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DIY 5U Case Questions
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author DIY 5U Case Questions
MrNezumi
I'm in the process of designing a basic single-row case that my neighbor will build for me. It will hold a mix of MOTM and MU modules. I built a crude case many years ago, but it is gone now and the modules are sitting in a box waiting to see sunlight again. I'm aware of the differences between MOTM and MU sizes/hole spacing. I've read a bunch of older threads, but still have a few questions.

I will likely use wood rails, but I am considering using 1/2" aluminum angle(iron). I don't see the diy aluminum rails used often; are they difficult to use? And for wood rails - is there a recommended thickness? I will likely use bolts/nuts (instead of screws). I am thinking of using 1/2" square wood rails.

I want to recess the rails about 3/4" so that the knobs won't hit the table if it tips over. I'm wondering if there is any concern about the end modules which are next to the side walls. I don't have fat fingers, but I wonder if the outermost knobs will be difficult to access.

I noticed that a lot of cabinets have a thin strip of wood showing at the tops and bottoms of the modules. All the modules (both MU and MOTM) seem to be a few thousandths of an inch shy of 8.75". Is the a reason to leave space at the top and bottom? I imagine a few thousand thousandths would be good, but is more needed?

And any other comments/advice is welcome. Thanks.
cornutt
MrNezumi wrote:
I'm in the process of designing a basic single-row case that my neighbor will build for me. It will hold a mix of MOTM and MU modules.... I will likely use wood rails, but I am considering using 1/2" aluminum angle(iron). I don't see the diy aluminum rails used often; are they difficult to use? And for wood rails - is there a recommended thickness? I will likely use bolts/nuts (instead of screws). I am thinking of using 1/2" square wood rails.


Is there still a source for the dual-drilled rails for mixed MOTM and MU? I haven't seen any in a while. If you are going to DIY aluminum rails, then yes, you will want to use nuts and bolts, to save yourself the trouble of having to tap and thread a million screw holes.

However, I just went through building a case, and I used wood rails. I made them out of pine (easy to drill), 1-1/4" deep. That gives pretty good stiffness, and there's enough meat to the rail that splintering isn't a problem. Wherever I put a module, I pre-drill holes using a 3/32 bit, and then mount with 1/2" long #8 wood screws. I built my rack so that I can replace the rails when they get chewed up, but I don't move modules around that often, so they should last a while.

Quote:

I want to recess the rails about 3/4" so that the knobs won't hit the table if it tips over. I'm wondering if there is any concern about the end modules which are next to the side walls. I don't have fat fingers, but I wonder if the outermost knobs will be difficult to access.


If you're going to do that, only extend the top and bottom edges; leave the left and right edges flush with the panels. This way, you won't have a problem accessing jacks of MU modules that have jacks three-wide across the panel, when such a module is mounted at the end. I'm not really sure it's worth the trouble. If you think about it, it's only a benefit when nothing is plugged in -- when cables are plugged in, if the case tips forward, it will fall on the cable plug ends. A better idea might be to mount two horizontal strips of wood onto the bottom of the case, and have them stick out ahead of the case about six inches. That will make it a lot harder for the case to tip forwards.

Quote:

I noticed that a lot of cabinets have a thin strip of wood showing at the tops and bottoms of the modules. All the modules (both MU and MOTM) seem to be a few thousandths of an inch shy of 8.75". Is the a reason to leave space at the top and bottom? I imagine a few thousand thousandths would be good, but is more needed?


I've found that, while a lot of MU modules are about 1/16" short, SSL modules (to name one) conform to the Dotcom-published dimensions exactly. I occasionally have to file small notches in a rail to get an SSL module to fit.
MrNezumi
Thanks for your input, Cornutt. I know the case is more likely to tip over when there are cables plugged in, but, for me, recessing the modules still feels like the right thing to do. I hadn't thought about the triple-jack MU modules, so that gives me something to think about. I don't have any yet, but a few are on my radar.
Flareless
@Cornutt - Do you find that the pine gets screw-stripped often? I too used pine for my rails and while it's great to work with I've had a couple of instances where screw holes have stripped from repeated use. I don't torque the screws down like a mad bastard either, just gentle turns.

In fact, this afternoon I plan to fix a stripped out hole that developed late last week during a module shift.

I'd be interested to try a tougher wood that could take a bit more screwing.
bwhittington
I've always recessed my rails on all sides in my DIY cases and haven't experienced any problems with turning the knobs. The issue had actually never even occurred to me until now. Honestly, it isn't much of a tipping precaution. The case is unlikely to fall onto a perfectly flat surface, so you are pretty likely to damage something if it falls. Just make the cases deep enough to be stable and its own weight will keep it stable. This stuff gets pretty heavy! A C-clamp to the back of your table or the like would be the better precaution, but you don't hear a lot about falling cases. I actually did have one of my own tip over once, but I make them way too narrow. Still have a broken switch from it, despite the recessed rails.

Another reason to recess the rails is for transit or storage. A design where the cases can stack or stand together can be useful as you expand. The next time I make cases, I want the rails to be slightly deeper than the knobs and to add a slight lip to the back of the cases so that they can mate for stacking horizontally. Just a thought.

I don't quite understand the nuts and bolts approach unless the bolts are going to be adhered to the rails. Otherwise, it sounds hard to mount/unmount. I'm pretty sure I've used 5/8" hardwood squares and something that was deeper, the edge of a 1xWhatever.or something. Depending on how wide your rows are, you can experience some give in smaller wood rails without additional support. I never had an issue at 10-wide but at 17-wide definitely.

Depending on how "pro" you need this to look, you may not need to worry much about small tolerances. Firstly, it seems hard to calculate, but the mm differences seem to work out okay. When my rails have been a little narrow for modules, it has always worked out since the rails to flex a little or you can kind of dig the flanged edges into the wood a bit if need be. I'm a little loosey goosey with that stuff though. If you are totally OCD, you might have a different point of view, but those are things I only notice when they first happen. Once a case is full, I only see the pretty modules.

You may also find a subtle difference in the gaps between modules on rows with only larger modules and rows with lots of single modules because of the width tolerances.

Rich, I do use high torque (electric driver), and I haven't had many issues with repairing screw holes (probably 2 or 3 over 10 years), so perhaps a harder wood would help.
MrNezumi
Bwhittington, thanks for your comments.

I used nuts/bolts in my old case and while I suppose it is a little more involved than screws, it isn't a problem for me. My system is rather small, it is easy to move around, and I don't move modules around much. The rails on the last case were oak and the holes were drilled ever so slightly larger than the bolt diameters. I used a nut driver to reach into the back of the case.

The tipping of the case is only a small concern. I think mainly I like the look of recessed modules/knobs. I have a big clunky MOTM-900 power module which will be mounted on the back of a fairly deep case and should supply counter-weight as well as electricity.

I doubt my case will look very pro, but I hope it looks nice. I don't have any woodworking tools or a place to do that kind of stuff, so I asked my handyman neighbor/friend to build the case for me. He is more acquainted with building wood decks than "furniture", but I'm hoping he can do a decent job.
cornutt
Flareless wrote:
@Cornutt - Do you find that the pine gets screw-stripped often?


After a while, yeah. In the past I've tried filling them with various fillers. Wood putty isn't strong enough to take a thread. J-B Weld seems to work the best, but it's very messy to apply, and you have to remove adjacent modules to keep it from getting on them. Next time, I might try using one of those two-part putty epoxies that are made for emergency plumbing repairs.

I'm not aware of what might be a good "in between" wood that's readily available. Cedar and basswood aren't any stronger than pine, from what I've seen. Oak and maple are too hard and cutting and drilling them is a PITA. I wonder if it's possible to obtain a piece of LVL composite that's smaller than a 4x12 beam.

When I built my new case, I designed it so that when the rack rails get really chewed up, I can replace them. However, since I don't move stuff around that much, I imagine it will be a while before I have to resort to that.
coyoteous
Maybe a nice Larch, Shedua or Parana?

(actually, I'd never heard of those and many others which you can find on a Janka table... which I didn't know about, either)

I've thought about building wood cases, but have a substantial investment in Dotcom and Analog Craftsman rack frames, and Moon Modular sub-racks and a Moon P-Cab.

I keep toying with the idea, though... thinking of at least some alternative wooden or wood/metal 19" racks for the frames and sub-racks (currently using homebrew open-frame semi-server-style 'racks' that are all metal, and various racks I've purchased, commissioned or been given over the years).

Good info here, thanks.
bwhittington
cornutt wrote:
In the past I've tried filling them with various fillers. Wood putty isn't strong enough to take a thread. J-B Weld seems to work the best, but it's very messy to apply, and you have to remove adjacent modules to keep it from getting on them. Next time, I might try using one of those two-part putty epoxies that are made for emergency plumbing repairs.


You need something more dense than putty. Toothpicks and wood glue work very well. thumbs up
Flareless
I dip the thin end of a chopstick in a tiny bit of wood glue, insert it into the stripped hole as far as it will go, clip it flush with a side-cutter, then screw into the effectively solid piece of wood . So far it's worked great even if the screw is removed and replaced (several times).
J3RK
Ash works pretty well in my experience. I typically use metal rails, but Ash feels more solid than Pine, but with a somewhat similar aesthetic, and still pretty easy to work with. It might make decent rails if you're going with wood there.
Bowman
Flareless wrote:
I dip the thin end of a chopstick in a tiny bit of wood glue, insert it into the stripped hole as far as it will go, clip it flush with a side-cutter, then screw into the effectively solid piece of wood . So far it's worked great even if the screw is removed and replaced (several times).


Rich, you are overthinking it. Like BWhittington says, wood glue and toothpicks work great. The toothpick wood is crushed into the rail wood and the glue fuses them both together. Once dried, they will hold screws going in and out repeatedly. (Until you have to do it again.)

On the other hand, being anal about these things is good too. That's why your module builds are so nice! hihi
Mark11Audio
MrNezumi wrote:
I'm in the process of designing a basic single-row case that my neighbor will build for me. It will hold a mix of MOTM and MU modules. I built a crude case many years ago, but it is gone now and the modules are sitting in a box waiting to see sunlight again. I'm aware of the differences between MOTM and MU sizes/hole spacing. I've read a bunch of older threads, but still have a few questions.

I will likely use wood rails, but I am considering using 1/2" aluminum angle(iron). I don't see the diy aluminum rails used often; are they difficult to use? And for wood rails - is there a recommended thickness? I will likely use bolts/nuts (instead of screws). I am thinking of using 1/2" square wood rails.

I want to recess the rails about 3/4" so that the knobs won't hit the table if it tips over. I'm wondering if there is any concern about the end modules which are next to the side walls. I don't have fat fingers, but I wonder if the outermost knobs will be difficult to access.

I noticed that a lot of cabinets have a thin strip of wood showing at the tops and bottoms of the modules. All the modules (both MU and MOTM) seem to be a few thousandths of an inch shy of 8.75". Is the a reason to leave space at the top and bottom? I imagine a few thousand thousandths would be good, but is more needed?

And any other comments/advice is welcome. Thanks.


I still have a very large stack of STG Rails that I am no longer using... they are "pre-tapped" and are for a DYI Case 10U wide, I even have a few of the "double rails" for a single piece of steel between an upper and lower set of modules... I have tried in the past to sell them on BST, but it is kind of a specialized item that people have to want... so just tossing that out there. I have black button head hex screws that would come with the rails as well... they make for a nice clean unobtrusive finished look.... thumbs up

[img]
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/userpix2/21592_20170509_080857_1.jpg  [/img]

coyoteous
Drunken Homer Simpson Drunken Homer Simpson Drunken Homer Simpson
MrNezumi
Mark11Audio, thanks for the kind offer, but I'm going to pass. Today I was talking with my friend who will be building the case for me and he said he could do the rails in wood and that he had some ideas on what to use to make it inexpensive and durable.

Thanks to everyone for your comments.
ranix
what's the story behind that mark11audio? Did you reuse the cases?
Mark11Audio
ranix wrote:
what's the story behind that mark11audio? Did you reuse the cases?


I did re-use the cases, but I had to tear them apart first and rebuild them as I was building a smaller system overall.

After talking with my cabinet guy, we decide to go with the traditional wood cleats for mounting.

We've already been talking about making some single cases out of nice studio finished type woods... Birch, Walnut, Red Oak, Cherry, Purple Heart... so then I'd just sell finished 10U wide cabinets... but just an idea for now...



hamildad
just a quick question here which seems to fit this thread.

Is there any reason why 5U cases seem to be standard sizes?

I can understand legacy sizes, such as Model 15 cases.

but the cases sold seem to be 11,22,44 (2x22) (DOTCOM)

and up to 10 ( Moon Modular)

thinking about DIYing a case and 11 seems to small and 20 seems too big, so wondered about making a 13wide case.

just wondered if these sizes correlated to power supply boards or anything else I might have overlooked.
Gizmo
Roger has instructions for DIY 10-, 16- and 21-wide cabinets based on the length of laminate shelving stock.
https://synthesizers.com/diycabinet.html

I built 2 of 2-high/16-wide cabinets, each powered by a dotcom QPS-1, but just a bit of a stretch for the QDH-20 with 20 power headers (I added to them). Still, works nicely for my purposes.

Huba-Swift
I just finished making a spruce cabinet for a friend of mine getting into modular. While the cabinet is spruce, for the rails I made sure to use a hardwood. Right now I have two of my own cabinets, one is mahogany, and has only ever had one stripped hole, the other one is pine, and about half the holes have been stripped over time. If you decide to go with a wood cabinet, definitely use hardwood at least for the rails.

I was looking at the datasheet for Thonk's eurorack rails, and they are .291" wide, apposed to the .375" width of MU/MOTM rails. I wonder if that would be close enough to use the eurorack sliding nut rail system to alight both MU and MOTM modules seamlessly in the same case.
Flareless
Huba-Swift wrote:
...decide to go with a wood cabinet, definitely use hardwood at least for the rails.


Yes, yes, yes!!!

What he said thumbs up
burdij
Huba-Swift wrote:

I was looking at the datasheet for Thonk's eurorack rails, and they are .291" wide, apposed to the .375" width of MU/MOTM rails. I wonder if that would be close enough to use the eurorack sliding nut rail system to alight both MU and MOTM modules seamlessly in the same case.


That may work but these might be better and they are 10mm wide (0.393 in.) :

MicroRAX

or

MakerBeam
MrNezumi




I started this thread and here are some pics of the results. Other than using common sense, I don’t think there are any rules. My cabinet has a mix of (mostly) MOTM and MU. If it were strictly one or the other it would be roughly 17 MU spaces or 21 MOTM.

I used white ash for my rails, but unlike most I drilled holes and used bolts to mount the modules. Since it isn’t very big I can easily move it away from the wall to reach inside to add/subtract/relocate modules
Huba-Swift
Great looking cabinet Nezumi! I love the contrasting side panels. thumbs up

burdij wrote:
Huba-Swift wrote:

I was looking at the datasheet for Thonk's eurorack rails, and they are .291" wide, apposed to the .375" width of MU/MOTM rails. I wonder if that would be close enough to use the eurorack sliding nut rail system to alight both MU and MOTM modules seamlessly in the same case.


That may work but these might be better and they are 10mm wide (0.393 in.) :

MicroRAX

or

MakerBeam

Perfect!!! If I ever end up expanding my setup, I'm going to go this route with all my cabinets! I'm sure it would be possible to cut or sand a tiny bit off from either side to get it at exactly 3/8". Thanks for the links Burdij. The only problem I'm seeing is that the T-slot nuts are quite wide. They look like they might bump into each other if you tried to mount two MOTM modules side by side
https://www.makerbeam.com/makerbeam-t-slot-nuts-for-makerbeam-25p.html
MrNezumi
Huba-Swift wrote:
Great looking cabinet Nezumi! I love the contrasting side panels. thumbs up

burdij wrote:
Huba-Swift wrote:

I was looking at the datasheet for Thonk's eurorack rails, and they are .291" wide, apposed to the .375" width of MU/MOTM rails. I wonder if that would be close enough to use the eurorack sliding nut rail system to alight both MU and MOTM modules seamlessly in the same case.


That may work but these might be better and they are 10mm wide (0.393 in.) :

MicroRAX

or

MakerBeam

Perfect!!! If I ever end up expanding my setup, I'm going to go this route with all my cabinets! I'm sure it would be possible to cut or sand a tiny bit off from either side to get it at exactly 3/8". Thanks for the links Burdij. The only problem I'm seeing is that the T-slot nuts are quite wide. They look like they might bump into each other if you tried to mount two MOTM modules side by side
https://www.makerbeam.com/makerbeam-t-slot-nuts-for-makerbeam-25p.html


Thanks Huba-Swift! The side panels are made of Wenge wood, which is a huge pain in the ass to work with. I had to alter the design slightly halfway through building it, but I'm pleased with how it came out.

About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.
RussiaZero23
MrNezumi wrote:


I started this thread and here are some pics of the results. Other than using common sense, I don’t think there are any rules. My cabinet has a mix of (mostly) MOTM and MU. If it were strictly one or the other it would be roughly 17 MU spaces or 21 MOTM.

I used white ash for my rails, but unlike most I drilled holes and used bolts to mount the modules. Since it isn’t very big I can easily move it away from the wall to reach inside to add/subtract/relocate modules


Beautiful work there. I Made mine from Rogers DIY instructions as well. Made out of Red Oak. I do suggest to make the rails out of hard wood as well. My rails was Red oak.

The Stain was hard getting right and I had to do a few takes on it.
It was my first time. These are shots of it. 16U wide and very heavy.


Huba-Swift
MrNezumi wrote:
About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.
Didn't even think of that, dang. I don't actually own any MOTM modules, but that's mainly in part because there's no nice way of having the two in the same case, and I wouldn't but enough MOTM to justify them having their own case. Back to thinking!

Great looking cabinet RussiaZero23! That stain looks really nice. Since it looks like we're all posting pictures of our recent DIY cabinets... Here's the one I built for a friend. I'm starting to wish I had stained it instead of using tung oil and clear-coat after seeing Zero's, but oh well. I still like the way it looks.


Rex Coil 7
hamildad wrote:
just a quick question here which seems to fit this thread.

Is there any reason why 5U cases seem to be standard sizes?

I can understand legacy sizes, such as Model 15 cases.

but the cases sold seem to be 11,22,44 (2x22) (DOTCOM)

and up to 10 ( Moon Modular)

thinking about DIYing a case and 11 seems to small and 20 seems too big, so wondered about making a 13wide case.

just wondered if these sizes correlated to power supply boards or anything else I might have overlooked.
My cabs are 14 spaces wide (I have two). I bought them "flat pack" from one of our members *Christopher Winkels when he was selling flat pack kits for 5U modules.

(I promise I'll post just this one picture) ..... this seems like a thousand years ago since that synth doesn't look much like that at all anymore. I made a 1.5" gap between the two 14 space cabinets. The entire works is "screwed ~n~ glued" together, it's nearly one single piece of wood and isn't coming apart without a chainsaw. I also installed "T-Nuts" in every single predrilled module screw hole (88 of those things!) so now each module screw is a 6-32 and they screw into all metal inserts. It really wasn't that big of a job, took my time, everything aligned WONDERFULLY (even though some of the smarty smart guys said I would never be able to properly align those T-Nuts and the module screws wouldn't align with the holes in each module ... WRONG!). Ok ... so two pictures, just to illustrate the T-Nut installation.... but that's all, I swear!






Member *Christopher Winkels
no longer sells these 14 space cabinet kits ... which is a damned shame since they were about $130 shipped! They required full assembly, but the shipping was low due to them being "flat pack" designs.

So, short answer to your question is ~no~, not all 5U cabs are made in legacy widths or "standard" widths.

thumbs up
burdij
MrNezumi wrote:

About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.


Because the standard MOTM panel has such large holes, it turns out that if you carefully space the tracks in the case opening it should accommodate both formats.

First of all, it might not work as a retrofit in an existing case as the track is 20 thousandths wider than the average cabinet mounting rail. Because of that, the opening needs to be 8.790 inches instead of 8.750. Making it even a bit wider and using shims to adjust the rail spacing serves to avoid the "I keep cutting it and cutting it and its still too short" problem.

The offset for a MU mounting hole from the edge of the panel is .170 inches and the hole diameter is 0.150 inches. This puts the mounting hole almost perfectly in the middle of the 10mm rail at .197 assuming that the .020 extra rail width was taken into account.

The size of the standard track screw is 3mm or .118 inches so that fits the .150 hole and gives a little clearance.

The MT mounting hole is .243 inches from the edge of the panel and the hole is .231 in diameter. Because the hole is so large, the edge of the hole nearest the edge of the panel is within .128 inches. If the center of the rail is at .197 inches that means that the centerline will fall inside the hole with about .069 inches of clearance to the edge of the hole. This will accommodate the 3mm screw with a few thousandths to spare.

Obviously this calls for careful construction to maintain the tolerances and has one compromise which is that a washer under the MOTM mounting screws will probably be necessary due to the size of the hole vs. the size of the 3mm screw head but it appears that it could work.
MrNezumi
burdij wrote:
MrNezumi wrote:

About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.


Because the standard MOTM panel has such large holes, it turns out that if you carefully space the tracks in the case opening it should accommodate both formats.

First of all, it might not work as a retrofit in an existing case as the track is 20 thousandths wider than the average cabinet mounting rail. Because of that, the opening needs to be 8.790 inches instead of 8.750. Making it even a bit wider and using shims to adjust the rail spacing serves to avoid the "I keep cutting it and cutting it and its still too short" problem.

The offset for a MU mounting hole from the edge of the panel is .170 inches and the hole diameter is 0.150 inches. This puts the mounting hole almost perfectly in the middle of the 10mm rail at .197 assuming that the .020 extra rail width was taken into account.

The size of the standard track screw is 3mm or .118 inches so that fits the .150 hole and gives a little clearance.

The MT mounting hole is .243 inches from the edge of the panel and the hole is .231 in diameter. Because the hole is so large, the edge of the hole nearest the edge of the panel is within .128 inches. If the center of the rail is at .197 inches that means that the centerline will fall inside the hole with about .069 inches of clearance to the edge of the hole. This will accommodate the 3mm screw with a few thousandths to spare.

Obviously this calls for careful construction to maintain the tolerances and has one compromise which is that a washer under the MOTM mounting screws will probably be necessary due to the size of the hole vs. the size of the 3mm screw head but it appears that it could work.


I don't have time to run all the numbers, but there might be some problems with the way you're looking at this.

First, the MOTM is .213" (you listed .231) and the MU is .170" (not .150"). Secondly, the MOTM panel is 8.735" not 8.75" like MU. And this is assuming that everything is perfect and not varying in the tolerances. If you have the top aligned it will move the bottom MOTM holes up .015".

I haven't seen anything about how much wiggle there is for the nuts. This could help if there is enough.
tardishead
Does anyone here have any experience with Tolex? I would like to build some portable cabinets bit like the Moog Model 15 but with three rows of 5u modules not the smaller ones at the bottom like on original Moog Modulars.
I want to be able to carry them like guitar amps kinda.
Theres a couple of nice definitive ways to wrap tolex. I wonder how the original Moogs were wrapped. Or dot com for that matter - who also make really nice cabs.
I love real hardwood. I used to work as a cabinet maker. But I hate it when it gets dings in it. Tolex kinda hides the dings. I plan to take cabs home to work on stuff and not at the studio. So its inevitable that its gonna get bashed sometimes. But tolex has got that real hardwearing look together with corner protectors and hinged cover. Definitely not cheap though. Just like anything if you want the real deal you have to pay for it.
MrNezumi
tardishead wrote:
Does anyone here have any experience with Tolex? I would like to build some portable cabinets bit like the Moog Model 15 but with three rows of 5u modules not the smaller ones at the bottom like on original Moog Modulars.
I want to be able to carry them like guitar amps kinda.
Theres a couple of nice definitive ways to wrap tolex. I wonder how the original Moogs were wrapped. Or dot com for that matter - who also make really nice cabs.
I love real hardwood. I used to work as a cabinet maker. But I hate it when it gets dings in it. Tolex kinda hides the dings. I plan to take cabs home to work on stuff and not at the studio. So its inevitable that its gonna get bashed sometimes. But tolex has got that real hardwearing look together with corner protectors and hinged cover. Definitely not cheap though. Just like anything if you want the real deal you have to pay for it.


Flareless did a few recently. He posted a video he followed in this thread:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183143&highlight=

Scroll to bottom to Flareless' post.
Flareless
That video was VERY helpful in working with Tolex.
tardishead
Yeh I've seen that video. Its a bit rough and ready especially at the corners - he seems to use the heat gun to bodge things together a bit. But hey if it looks good and you can't notice the slight discrepancies who cares. Some guys finesse it some beat it into submission - everybody has their own technique.
Rex Coil 7
Here's another .... it's about putting new Tolex on Rhodes EPs.



seriously, i just don't get it
tardishead
Ah ok haven't seen that one
A bit more skill I would say
I've got equipment with different stylles of Tolex wrapping
Some classy some not so
There seems to be no standard
If I'm going to bother to do some more cases I wanna have a strong idea of how I'm gonna do it.
tardishead
Ah ok haven't seen that one
A bit more skill I would say
I've got equipment with different stylles of Tolex wrapping
Some classy some not so
There seems to be no standard
If I'm going to bother to do some more cases I wanna have a strong idea of how I'm gonna do it.
CZ Rider
I made a few Moog P style cabinets. Never did tolex before, but with only that first video as instruction, was able to do an OK job. Used the same pattern as Marshall cabinets use, as that was the closest match to the original Moog pattern. I used brush on glue to apply the tolex. Had a nice razor knife on a wood surface with a good metal straight edge. Did it all outside as the glue had strong vapors.
A few pics of the project.
Here is the wood cases to be covered.


I made three small 8U wide cabinets and one Moog size P cabinet.
Here are the three 8U cabinets after covering.



And the P style cabinet, tolex covered with modules mounted.


And the back of the cabinet.


I did not make front covers as I did not really need any. I was surprised how easy it was to do tolex, and the cabinets looked great. With all supplies cost less than purchasing one manufactured cabinet to make four cabinets. Supplies included a roller, heat gun.glue, brush, razor knife and a 3' straight edge, along with the tolex and wood.
Pic of the finished cabinets with the original Moog IP. Matched quite well.
Rex Coil 7
^ Holy shit, *CZ. This is WAY out of my league. And here I thought you were just some lucky bastard with a bunch of Moog stuff! Was I ever WRONG!

Between what I've seen you do (making full-on DIY joysticks, ring mods, and now CABS TOO?) ... you're quite the synthesizer master craftsman. Where I am the journeyman by comparison, doubtlessly so.

Precisely why I went with Rustoleum Truck Bed Liner as a finish. Sometimes I call it "tolex in a can". It is very easy to do touch ups with, and is far more durable than Tolex. Especially useful for those of us without the patience or ability to do such nice work (as you've done). I could do it, but chances are it would look like ass on a box.

With the bed liner, I just apply it in several layers after finish sanding and fixing imperfections with wood filler. Dents are easily fixed with touch up coats.

Not to say that it is better or even appropriate to use in given situations (such as how you were matching an existing covering). However, for people that want ~that look~ but are frightened away from using Tolex because of the process, the truck bed liner spray is a very viable alternative.



One may also apply it to module panels or other panels to achieve the exact same finish as that which is applied to their cabinet .....





By the way *CZ .... that keyboard of yours .... it looks like a Roland or even an old Oberheim that you've attached a Moog badge of sorts to it. Or is it ...... ??? hmmm.....

Excellent work, per usual!! I don't think I've ever seen anything you've done that stinks.

thumbs up
tardishead
Quote:
And the P style cabinet, tolex covered with modules mounted.


Hell yeh that looks amazing
Do you have dimensional drawings for those?
tardishead
Quote:
Used the same pattern as Marshall cabinets use, as that was the closest match to the original Moog pattern.

What pattern exactly. Is that when the seam is next to one of the bottom corners?
CZ Rider
tardishead wrote:
Quote:
Used the same pattern as Marshall cabinets use, as that was the closest match to the original Moog pattern.

What pattern exactly. Is that when the seam is next to one of the bottom corners?

Grain might be a more accurate description. I chose the closest match to the original Moog grain.
Can't recall exactly where I purchased the tolex, but it was a vintage amplifier parts retailer.
Here is a link to see the various grain and colors available. I chose the "rough black" grain.
http://www.thevintagesound.com/store/tolex-and-tweed-specialty-tolex-c -8_34.html

The Moog P cabinet dimensions are 8" deep, 24 3/8" high and 18" wide. Moog used 1/2" plywood. I did simple butt joints and glued them together. So my top and bottom pieces were 18" X 8" and sides 23 3/8" X 8". I think that was I cut them to. Just purchased a 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet of plywood and ripped it with a table saw.
I did a few walnut cabinets, but those were the first tolex type. Wanted to expand the original Moog.
Here is an almost 5U Aries modular I did in walnut.
Can see the general construction, with walnut sides, top, cross pieces and a valance panel. Used a 3/4" plywood base.


The walnut turned out nice.
2 rows of Aries and bottom row frack.

tardishead
You did a stellar job
In the moog cabs it looks like all edges are routed with a 1/4" roundover apart from the front face is that right? What did you do for fixing rails - aluminium or hardwood?
Really inspiring! I'm going to do tops for mine because they will be transported
CZ Rider
Rex Coil 7 wrote:


By the way *CZ .... that keyboard of yours .... it looks like a Roland or even an old Oberheim that you've attached a Moog badge of sorts to it. Or is it ...... ??? hmmm.....

Excellent work, per usual!! I don't think I've ever seen anything you've done that stinks.

thumbs up


That's a Roland MKB-1000. The Moog logo was found on eBay, a large badge that went on the Sonic-6. Really nice 7 octave MIDI controller, let's me split or layer two MIDI channels and has a great weighted action. Helps tuning the 901's when you have a piano on the same key as reference. So much fun to layer the low note priority Moog with other poly synths. That stuff was magic back in the 70's.

My favorite DIY project was a custom Moog 1150 ribbon controller made into a synthesizer/guitar. Done in red mahogany, looks wicked badass.
]
CZ Rider
tardishead wrote:

In the moog cabs it looks like all edges are routed with a 1/4" roundover apart from the front face is that right? What did you do for fixing rails - aluminium or hardwood?

Yes, the back edges of the Moog style cabinets are rounded. Probably the only reason for this is for those metal corner pieces. I did not notice until I tried to fit those metal corners. I just used a rough grit drill disk to round the back edge.

I used aluminum 1/2" bar stock tapped for 6-32 for my mounting rails. The original Moog used two metal pans for both strength and mounting surface. I tried to replicate this using aluminum L stock and aluminum plate bolted together.

Here is the mounting surface.


And how I bolted it together.


Here are the three mounting rails. The bottom pan was made shorter due to circuit board clearance that I had mounted in the bottom of the cabinet.



Here they are mounted in the cabinet. Painted black similar to the dotcom rack mounts.


The top was just the rail mounted to a small 1/4" wood strip, screwed to the top.


For that Aries cabinet I used a different method.
I used tinnerman clips mounted on aluminum with a bent L.


The tinnermans just tap in with a hammer and have a little wiggle room so the drilled holes can be less accurate.


Both methods work great. Tapping the 6-32 and aligning the holes required a bit of accuracy. The original Moog modules did use larger mounting holes and wider truss head screws giving a little wiggle room.
Rex Coil 7
Tapped aluminum .... tinnermans .... PEM nuts .... there are a few viable options!

PEM nuts are a good choice if you don't have access to taps/dies or aren't skilled in metalwork enough to do solid and square drilling/tapping and well done layout. All that is required for PEM nuts is angle aluminum, a drill, either a vise or a hammer to install the PEM nuts, some PEM nuts of the proper size, and the patience required to do decent layout.

Same with tinnermans.

Good layout is paramount to doing straight, properly spaced work.

PEM nuts ........

Laughing wrote:




Now the rails might actually be, as you put it, a workaround, really.



I was introduced to angle aluminum as a method for mounting boards, but tapping them would not only be a bitch, but probably not entirely reliable in the long run. I drilled out holes at as-precise-as-I-could-get spacings with the help of a compass and a good ruler, and then gave it the secret weapon... Pem-Nuts! Old HP test equipment made ubiquitous use of pem-nuts to hold the panels to the frames of their test equipment, and now I'm doing the same, since I know where to find the nuts. Just drill a 3/8's hole, line up the nut, and SMACK it in with a hammer, and it's like I've got a tapped hole. A place called the Olander company has a store nearby that I can get these at, with the item code here: http://www.olander.com/default.aspx?page=item%20detail&itemcode=CS632- 1 if you want to give it a try. With this, I can make rails to fit any size I want, really. Could even have an 8' wide cabinet if I really wanted.


PEM nuts .... thumbs up
tardishead
Wow thats great thanks for the info guys.
So in the Moog the pan braces the whole cabinet. Fascinating!
tardishead
I've done plenty of tapping but I don't enjoy it at all. Those PEM nuts are great I think we call them insert nuts/self clinching nuts here but theres no wiggle.
Tinnermans we call spire clips. They're great cos they allow a bit of wiggle.
I'm thinking of doing a 3mm pan but folded at the front or with angle so I can use the spire clips/tinnermans. I think that bracing is definitely worth it.

As for the fixing rail how far is it set back from the front of the cabinet?
Rex Coil 7
CZ Rider wrote:
.... Just purchased a 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet of plywood and ripped it with a table saw....
By the way .... I recently discovered a new set of tools by Kreg that can replace a table saw for longer rip cuts.

This one depends on the wood having a nice square/straight edge to work from .....

$40.00 bucks - Link = https://www.kregtool.com/store/c48/saw-attachments/p424/rip-cuttrade/

This one uses a track system so if the sheet you have doesn't have a straight edge it won't matter ....

$80.00 bucks - Link = https://www.kregtool.com/store/c48/saw-attachments/p425/accu-cuttrade/

What Kreg needs to do is offer the small one with the large one as a kit, so you're only buying one saw trolley. While those tools are not anything as good as a table saw, for those of us that can't afford a true table saw or don't have the space for one, them Kreg units look like good solutions. In fact, the long one may be easier to use than a table saw when ripping an entire sheet of something. Watch the videos.

I still have my old Skill 77 that I built from parts.

Which reminds me ..... when I used to own/operate my power equipment repair shop I gathered up ~better~ pieces of "DOA" (Dead On Arrival) Skill 77s that were given to me against the troubleshooting bill. My policy was if you brought in a power tool for repairs, and it was beyond practical costs to repair it rather than replace it, we allowed the customer to trade in the dead tool instead of paying us for the time spent on troubleshooting it. That said, over the course of fifteen years of owning my shop I was able to slowly repair and build up a few nice power tools ....

(Milwaukee Hole Hawg, Skill 77, DeWalt reciprocating saw ... aka "Sawzall", several Makita 4" - 4.5" - 5" right angle grinders, B&D 14 inch cutoff saw, B&D 9" 4 horsepower right angle grinder, two 10" bench grinders, a Miller Dialarc HF TIG/ARC welder, a Lincoln SP200 MIG welder, two Makita corded drills, a few Onan generators, and so on .... plus boxes of extra repair parts for all of that).

When you're the Factory Authorized Warranty and Repair Center for over forty manufacturers, and writing over eighty invoices per week for fifteen years you get the opportunity to outfit a small home-based workshop! Not to mention all of the tools I bought back then, enough to fill three full-on roll-aways, as well as two drill presses a nice ZX45 clone mill, and a 22" x 12" metric/SAE lathe as well.

Now ... if I only knew how to use all of that stuff .... hmmm.....

Here's my wife and I a few months after we opened "Service Depot" for business (June 1994). Sold it in 2009 after some health issues got in the way for both she and I, and a permanent neck injury I rec'd while helping a customer load up a 600Lb generator got away from us and it fell on me. State of Arizona said "nope" to workman's comp.



There I go again ... ramble ramble ramble ..... Back to topic .....

thumbs up lol
Dave Peck
CZ Rider wrote:

Here is a link to see the various grain and colors available. I chose the "rough black" grain.
http://www.thevintagesound.com/store/tolex-and-tweed-specialty-tolex-c -8_34.html



Well your new cabinets certainly look great, but next time you just gotta use the 'brown alligator' or 'brown ostrich' patterns! This is fun!
Rex Coil 7
Dave Peck wrote:
CZ Rider wrote:

Here is a link to see the various grain and colors available. I chose the "rough black" grain.
http://www.thevintagesound.com/store/tolex-and-tweed-specialty-tolex-c -8_34.html



Well your new cabinets certainly look great, but next time you just gotta use the 'brown alligator' or 'brown ostrich' patterns! This is fun!
Snake skin.
Dave Peck
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Dave Peck wrote:
CZ Rider wrote:

Here is a link to see the various grain and colors available. I chose the "rough black" grain.
http://www.thevintagesound.com/store/tolex-and-tweed-specialty-tolex-c -8_34.html



Well your new cabinets certainly look great, but next time you just gotta use the 'brown alligator' or 'brown ostrich' patterns! This is fun!
Snake skin.


Ah, did not see that! Even better!
tardishead
[quote="Rex Coil 7"]
CZ Rider wrote:


What Kreg needs to do is offer the small one with the large one as a kit, so you're only buying one saw trolley. While those tools are not anything as good as a table saw, for those of us that can't afford a true table saw or don't have the space for one, them Kreg units look like good solutions. In fact, the long one may be easier to use than a table saw when ripping an entire sheet of something. Watch the videos.


Yeh they look great. A cheap table saw is a waste of time and money. I bought a Makita table saw which is not worth the metal its made with. Terrible. Its only good for ripping planed pine boards. Sheets of ply and mdf - forget it. Right angle cuts no way!
hamildad
Dave Peck wrote:
CZ Rider wrote:

Well your new cabinets certainly look great, but next time you just gotta use the 'brown alligator' or 'brown ostrich' patterns! This is fun!
Snake skin.


For Tolexing my TTSH case I used Deep Space. Far more appropriate for the sounds I was making...

http://www.mojotone.com/Cabinets_x/TolexCarpetTweed_x/Mojotone-Deep-Sp ace-Tolex-55-W
Flareless
CZ Rider wrote:
My favorite DIY project was a custom Moog 1150 ribbon controller made into a synthesizer/guitar. Done in red mahogany, looks wicked badass.
]


Dunno how I missed this earlier.... WOW eek!

That's freaking awesome CZ! thumbs up applause
Rex Coil 7
hamildad wrote:
... For Tolexing my TTSH case I used Deep Space. Far more appropriate for the sounds I was making...

http://www.mojotone.com/Cabinets_x/TolexCarpetTweed_x/Mojotone-Deep-Sp ace-Tolex-55-W
Almost looks like that metal flake tuck and roll stuff Kustom used to put on so many of their offerings.

This here is the Kustom Kombo in black metal flake tuck and roll. Just looking at it makes "Green Onions" play in my head.



(Give this guy a minute or two, he starts warming up ... is it 1968 again?) ....



thumbs up
tardishead
Damn I love those old combo organs
I've got a few Farfisa
hamildad
sorry for the n00b question but what are those bars that people run along the bottom of their cases??



I guess its grounding, but it seems a lot of work....

just mocking up plans for my case, so didn't want to miss an obvious design
tardishead
Aluminium bussbars for power and ground
Very low resistance
Good power distribution reduces clicks, noise, crosstalk, cross modulation etc.
Rex Coil 7
hamildad wrote:
sorry for the n00b question but what are those bars that people run along the bottom of their cases??

I guess its grounding, but it seems a lot of work....

just mocking up plans for my case, so didn't want to miss an obvious design


tardishead wrote:
Aluminium bussbars for power and ground
Very low resistance
Good power distribution reduces clicks, noise, crosstalk, cross modulation etc.
This is very true. I'm going to hitch on to that response and expand on the concepts ... I've used some generalized explanations in an attempt to simplify the ideas a bit ... Get comfortable:

In a 5U system, the power supply has four "rails" (four different voltages) that are provided by the power supply. There is 15 volt positive - 15 volt negative - 5 volt positive - and one called Zero Volt. In the picture you referenced of my synth, there is one aluminum bar (known as a "bus bar") for each voltage. Those bus bars are part of the "power distribution system" since they are used to distribute power to all of the modules. That picture is of the bus bars in an unfinished state. They had not been drilled for the screws which are used to connect the power cables for each module. As you may guess, each power cables has four wires ... one for 15v neg - one for 15v pos - one for 5 volt pos - and lastly one for Zero volt (aka "0v").

This diagram I sketched up (below) depicts a basic power transformer used in the power supply for synthesizers. On the left side is the power coming in from the wall socket. On the right side is the power output side. Left = input (called "primary" side or "primary voltage"), right = output (called "secondary" side or "secondary voltage"). Let's look at the right side, just beneath where it says "Dual Secondary Windings". Note the little "+" sign next to where it says "15 volt". That's the 15 volt positive power rail. Think about how electricity powers something .... electricity must flow both TO the device, and the it must flow back FROM the device ... this is called a "complete circuit". Voltage has flown both to, and from the device being powered up (like a light bulb, or a synth module). So if the 15 v+ is flowing TO the module, how does it return back to the power supply? It uses the Zero Volt wire (the word "wire" can also be expressed as "rail" or "tap") to return back to the transformer to create the complete circuit.

The same exact process happens for the 15 volt negative output ("rail" or "tap"). 15 volts negative flows from the transformer, out to the synth module, then back to the transformer using the Zero Volt wire (or "rail" or "tap") to return to the transformer creating that completed circuit again. As you may be able to tell by now, the Zero Volt "rail" (or "tap") has a lot of burden placed on it because it is responsible for carrying both the negative and positive voltage "returns" to the transformer secondary windings.

(Note that in 5U/MU systems there is that extra 5 volt "rail" coming out from another "tap" in the secondary windings, it too must use the Zero Volt wire to complete it's roundabout circuit ... however Euro systems do not generally have a 5 volt "tap" ... just to get that said).



So as the power is sent out of the transformer to the modules, the aluminum bars act as conductors, each one carrying a different voltage TO the modules, with one of the bars being responsible for carrying voltage BACK to the transformer. That is the Zero Volt Bar.

Below is a picture of a completed bus bar system built by Graham Hinton of Hinton Instruments in the U.K. (look at the lower right side of the image). When completed with all of the modules' power cables attached, a bus bar system looks more like this (I used a Euro power system as an example for no other reason than it was all I had on hand when I posted this ... don't let the fact that you only see three bus bars throw you ... as I had said above, Euro systems are configured differently than 5U/MU systems having only THREE bars instead of FOUR.)



Why use these big ass bars? The bus bar distribution system is what I call the "apex predator" of power distribution systems. You can just use a bunch of wires all soldered together at one end (tying all of them together in bundles, each bundle representing one of the separate voltages). Like so (below is a Synthesizers.Com "QDH" power distribution "Squid" ... called a "squid" due to it's squid-like appearance).

Note how there is one ~thicker~ wire attached to one "bundle", and there are four bundles. Each single bundle feeds a number of modules. One single "thicker" wire comes directly from the transformer's voltage taps (one wire for 15 pos, one for 15 neg, and so on).



(below) you can better see how this system is set up. One thick wire that comes from one transformer "rail", then a number of thinner wires soldered directly to the thick wire. One soldered up "wad" is the same as one bus bar. It's where all of the modules' power cables receive "power distribution" from.



Why is the bus bar system better? Let's think of electricity as people. Let's think of (let's say) 100 people. Now, think of the bus bar as a hallway in an apartment building. And think of each individual apartment as a synth module. As you might imagine, the WIDER the hallway, the more efficiently those 100 people can traverse through it. The more narrow the halllway, the less efficiently those 100 people can all walk through it. The WIDE hallway is like the bus bar. The NARROW hall way is like the soldered-up wire wads.

Since each apartment door only needs to deal with one person to go through it, it can be much more narrow than the hallway. Said another way ... the power distribution system (the hallway) needs to be as wide and unrestrictive as possible .... but the individual module power cables (the door to each apartment) can be much less "wide" (or more restrictive) since it's only dealing with a single person (module).

This is why it's ok to have skinny little module power cable wires, but not as ok to have a restrictive power distribution system.

Let's extend this analogy a bit farther. Think of each hallway as the "to my apartment" hallway (same as the 15 volt power rail), and think of each voltage (positive, negative) as a single floor (one floor for positive, one floor for negative, and so on). So there is one hallway on each "floor" (one wire for each voltage). 3 separate floors, each with it's own "go to my apartment hallway". But, there is only ONE "return to the street hallway" for all of the floors! That one single "escape" hallway is like the Zero Volt rail. It has to deal with ALL of the people coming out of each floor of the building at once. 3 separate hallways to get IN TO EACH apartment on each floor, but only ONE hallway to get out of all of the apartments FROM ALL of the floors. Which is why the Zero volt conductor (the escape hallway for all of the floors) has to be well though out.

So .... the hallway is like the distribution method (bus bars = wide hallway, or soldered bunch = narrow hallway) and the apartment door is like a power cable for one single synth module.

You can also think of the power system like a tree. With the power supply being the trunk, the bus bars being the branches, and the modules being each leaf. As you get closer to each leaf, the trunk turns into branches, the branches turn into twigs, and each twig feeds each leaf. Big heavy conductors close to the power supply, and they can become smaller as they approach each module (leaf).

With all of that said, the bus bar system is the "apex" of distribution systems. It provides nice heavy branches (hallways) that feed each little twig (door or module power cables) that feed each module (apartment or leaf).

However, many people "get away with" having less efficient systems. That can create some problems such as cross talk, and leakage (LFO signals reaching modules even though there is no patch cable connecting the module to the LFO), grounding problems (which can create audible noise), and some modules that use human fingers as conductors (aka "capacitive controllers" like the Rene, or like the Lightstrip modules where your finger is actually conducting electricity ... sortof ... so just touching the panel makes the module change it's activity which is how the module is actually designed to operate). Some of these "capacitance" type modules don't work right at all if there are power leaking issues and grounding issues.

Why have I gone to all of this trouble if I can get away with a less involved setup? Because I wanted to build an "apex distribution system". Same reason anyone climbs a mountain or enters a foot race. To do it the best way possible. Yes, it takes time. A lot of time. Yes, it takes patience. Yes, it takes a lot of attention to detail.

All of those "yes" answers are precisely why synthesizer case manufacturers don't go to all of that trouble. It takes a lot of labor, which drives the price of the power distribution systems up.

New customers just getting started with modular synths find the power system to be the biggest "drag" ... it doesn't make any sounds, it doesn't look cool, and it's all hidden inside of the cabinet. So it's a big old drag. It deters people from getting started with modular synth systems. So to draw in new customers, manufacturers tend to sell "narrow hallways" (if you will) to attract new customers. They ~work~ ... but they're not the optimum.

There are very few manufacturers that offer high spec power systems, but the idea of "solid power" is gaining traction in the modular synth community, so we're seeing better efforts being offered as time goes by.

Hinton Instruments makes top end "apex" bus bar systems, which are far less costly than most people think. When you think of the total cost put into the collection of modules most people end up with, investing less than 10% (that's ten percent) of the amount spent on modules is really "nothing" compared to what is invested in modules. It is money well spent, that's certain.

But starting out, a less efficient system is acceptable. But be aware that, that "tree" is going to grow like the proverbial WEED. So be prepared.

If you are designing your own cabinet, it is most wise to design the power system FIRST, then design the cabinet around the power system. Most people install the power system nearly as an after thought, long after the cabinet has been designed and built. This is the least wise method of doing things. Going back to the apartment building analogy, it's like designing the entire building first, then putting in the fire escape system as an after thought. When the most people are going to be flooding those "hallways" all at once attempting to flee to safety.

Apologies for the extended length of this post. I wanted to address the question of "what are those bars for?" not just for the person that asked it in this thread, but to provide some answers for all of the lurkers and searchers that may come across this thread/question from afar.

Lastly, here's a more representative image of my bus bar system as it is now (nevermind the terminal strips mounted on the angle aluminum railing suspended above the bus bars, those are for distributing CV signals into the rear of each module as part of a CV signal normalizing project I am doing in my synthesizer ... which is a completely separate topic) .....





The heavy aluminum "blocks" are where the heavy cables that come directly from the power supply connect to each bus bar. In the picture below, you see the heavy cable (Class K 1/0 welding cable) compared to 16 gauge wire, and 24 gauge wire. The 16 gauge is the "big wire" that was soldered to the bundles of the soldered bunch system .... the 24 gauge is what the individual module power cables are made of ... just to provide a visual comparison.



As power distribution systems go (in their order of preference) .. best being first:

** Bus Bars. (really wide hallways)
** Bus Boards. (not as wide hallways).
** Soldered bunches. (narrow hallways).

I'd best sign off here. This post has become ridiculously long, and I have not even addressed chassis grounding yet!

Hope I helped!!

(unsubscribed - not mad or having a hissy fit - just trying to keep my number of subscribed threads under better control - if you wish to correspond please feel totally free to send me a PM - thanks!)

cool
hamildad
this is brilliant, thanks,

I'll spend a bit of time digesting all this, but its really great to have this knowledge in one place.
tardishead
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

I'd best sign off here. This post has become ridiculously long, and I have not even addressed chassis grounding yet!
Hope I helped!! cool


Great post. Really helps when everybody can visualise every aspect of this.
Lets spread the word.
tardishead
CZ Rider wrote:

The Moog P cabinet dimensions are 8" deep, 24 3/8" high and 18" wide. Moog used 1/2" plywood. I did simple butt joints and glued them together. So my top and bottom pieces were 18" X 8" and sides 23 3/8" X 8". I think that was I cut them to. Just purchased a 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet of plywood and ripped it with a table saw.
I did a few walnut cabinets, but those were the first tolex type. Wanted to expand the original Moog.
Here is an almost 5U Aries modular I did in walnut.
Can see the general construction, with walnut sides, top, cross pieces and a valance panel. Used a 3/4" plywood base.


Hey there
Couple of questions
How far back from the front of the cabinet are the modules set back? 1/2"?
And the case lids on Moog cabinets how deep are they. I presume they are made with a large flat piece of 1/2" ply with 1" ply strips?
CZ Rider
tardishead wrote:


Hey there
Couple of questions
How far back from the front of the cabinet are the modules set back? 1/2"?
And the case lids on Moog cabinets how deep are they. I presume they are made with a large flat piece of 1/2" ply with 1" ply strips?

The original Moog modules are almost flush with the sides. Might be 1/64" or 1/128" recessed. The lids are all the same construction, all 1/2" plywood. I will have to measure the depth. Don't use those much and they are stored away.
tardishead
CZ Rider wrote:

The original Moog modules are almost flush with the sides. Might be 1/64" or 1/128" recessed. The lids are all the same construction, all 1/2" plywood. I will have to measure the depth. Don't use those much and they are stored away.


Thanks thats great.
So one more question. Where did you get the corners from?
And what American size screws are used to secure the modules 8-32??
hamildad
Quick question as I need to get his straight in my head.

if I am running wires from PSU to 3x distribution blocks, I need a mult but for power, so PSU goes to mult and then I can safely distribute the 15V/-15V/Com to each dizzy block without wiring 3x cables to each powerone post.

something like a Wago 222 terminal block would work for this?

whats the safe and secure method of doing this?
hamildad
Have come up stumped, almost finishing the electrics in my case.

I am distributing the +15V & -15V via Wago 222 terminals.

I send a healthy 15V into the Wago only to get a measly .8V out the other end.

I thought Wago's were straight bus terminals, so cant work out whats going wrong??


Huba-Swift
Have you checked for shorts between your voltage rails? It's hard to tell from your picture, but I'm guessing the red wires are being used for both -15v and +15v? I could see it being pretty easy to mix them up. If there aren't any shorts between any voltage rails I'd also check the continuity of the Wago bus terminals. I'm not familiar at all with Wago terminals so I have no idea if they're straight up bus terminals, but seeing as you have a little meter it shouldn't be hard to track down the culprit.
hamildad
Went back to it and it was crossed wires. All giving a thorough 15v where needed and the PSUs been trimmed to 15.00v.

IEC socket keeps blowing the fuses but i’ll Just have to search for any stray wires and make sure I have the right fuses.

Might even have sound out of it by the end of the weekend!
hamildad
Managed to get the main case all sorted, some seriously, i just don't get it with regards to a STG EG that liked one power cable and didn't like another, and I have a STG switch that might have got confused in transit...

Now got a wiring issue with the upstairs cab..... not difficult to fault find, but I tested it yesterday and was looking good....

got a Q960 and Q170 being brought over from the US by colleagues next week, so thats a good incentive to get it all working...
Synthbuilder
hamildad wrote:



I'd put the Wago blocks much closer physically to the output pins of the power supply. Use the thickest and shortest leads possible to connect the blocks to the power supply pins.

Then use the thickest and shortest wires to connect the Wagos to the distribution PCBs. The wire lengths look a little longer than they should be at the moment.

Or...

Replace the Wago blocks with a Faston block like this one:

https://www.rapidonline.com/Catalogue/Product?Id=21-0716

I think it'll probably allow for much thicker wire. You'll need a crimper and a suitable number of 1/4" blade female sockets.

Also, what's the black and white wires going to each of the distribution boards? Is it mains earth? I'd be tempted to connect mains earth to the 0V connection on the Wago/Faston block - again a nice thick wire is needed here. There is no need to earth the 0V outputs at the power supply if the distribution is earthed - although the metal frame of the PSU should be bonded securely to earth for safety reasons. Any earth wiring that goes to 0V should be kept a reasonable distance away from the transformer without adding excessive length to the wire. Wiring taken too close to mains transformers can create hum problems.

Tony
hamildad
thanks for the comments Tony,

I've trimmed the leads to the Dist blocks since phot was taken, but will think about moving the Wago blocks. I'm always worried about too tight cables getting strained in movement. but I can easily trim this lot down.

Quote:
what's the black and white wires going to each of the distribution boards?


the Krisp1 boards I used have a GND fixing hole, so this is Mains earth going to the boards. (using shamefully thin wire though)

Quote:
There is no need to earth the 0V outputs at the power supply if the distribution is earthed


If I can upgrade the wire on the above Earthed connection to Dizzy board, I might do away with the Earth to 0V.

Quote:
although the metal frame of the PSU should be bonded securely to earth for safety reasons.


yep, all done.
cornutt
Nice work! Where did those distro boards come from? (Or did I miss that in the thread?)

hamildad wrote:


If I can upgrade the wire on the above Earthed connection to Dizzy board, I might do away with the Earth to 0V.


Mine is not earthed at all. Avoids ground loops this way. I plug it into a GFCI for safety (I think you guys call it an RCD).
Synthbuilder
cornutt wrote:
Nice work! Where did those distro boards come from?

They're Oakley Dizzy MU boards available from Krisp1.

Quote:
Mine is not earthed at all. Avoids ground loops this way. I plug it into a GFCI for safety (I think you guys call it an RCD).

Unless you are using a double insulated external transformer specifically designed to work with no earth then missing the earth off is a really bad idea. Apart from the safety issue there is also a problem with excessive leakage currents from the mains side to the low voltage side. If they aren't shunted to earth properly you can get excessive noise on your audio outputs.

Tony
hamildad
2x Oakley Boards as the man says.

then I have Corsynth board for the Cabinet above.

the reason for this is I can drive the top cabinet off the main PowerOne PSU when in joined up mode, but then I can use a dotcom PSU to drive the top Cabinet separately if I just want to roll with a 13MU set up.

the Oakleys dont need a 5V, but I needed 5V separately on the top board to use the dotcom PSU.

re: missing out earth, you wont get me missing it out on anything. not in this country....our houses have proper earth,so its a vital safety measure.
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