MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Whatcha think of a more compact, lighter 5U format? (fishin'
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  

"New" 5U 1" Grid Module Line...
I wouldn't screw that in _your_ rack!
21%
 21%  [ 4 ]
Huh? What? Matters.
47%
 47%  [ 9 ]
Whoa! I could gig w/ my 5U modular w/o wrecking my back! I'm in!
31%
 31%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 19

Author Whatcha think of a more compact, lighter 5U format? (fishin'
bridechamber
So... I guess I'm fishin' here. I had a lot of trouble moving my big ol' 5U to a Euro format geekfest, while the Euro folks of course hardly broke a sweat. So's I got to thinking of how to make things lighter. The obvious answer is to go Euro, but I can't abide the 1/8" jacks!!!!!

I'm thinking of laying out pots and jacks on a 1" grid.
(Richard Brewster? http://pugix.com/synth/small-knob-panel-group/ ? Never heard of that!!! Okay, okay, I stole the idea from him!)
But to make things even lighter:
Thinner panels (.09")
No brackets. All PCBs are mounted via pot/ switch combos -- 9 pins per pot/ switch, up to 72 pins of support per PCB!

There would be a whole line, all 1U width:
8-Step Sequencer
VCO
VCF
VCAs
EGs
Chaos
Voice... yup, a 1U voice w/ noise and lfo!

Power would be for multiple formats -- MOTM, DotCom, ModCan.

Maybe a rack case w/ power.

Questions:
Does anyone even care? Would you buy it , notice it, or avoid like the plague?
Would you care if panels were dark brown w/ cream legending? I'm pretty much over black and white.
russma
<...looks for a curmudgeon emoticon.....>

Hell no.

8_)
russma
....hmmm....that made me sound like a dick.


Hell no, please.

razz
JohnLRice
While I certainly wouldn't replace my full sized modules with these, I am in the early stages of putting together a sort of large suitcase synth for portable duties! thumbs up Moving my big synth causes this to happen MY ASS IS BLEEDING Dead Banana

I definitely want to stay with ¼" jacks but I may also stay with full sized knobs as much as possible. But those darn EGs etc take up so much space I'll probably cave and build a bunch of those skinny Mattson EG/VCA combos like Mr. Brewster did!

That "dark brown w/ cream legending" color scheme doesn't sound appetizing to me though . . . sad banana . .
bridechamber
Yeah, I'll probably keep the brown-and-cream dealie to myself.
: )

Idiotboy: Gimme back my stapler, then!
ach_gott
Different colors & form factors is fine. (Brown is a hard one, though... and I like matte finishes if I had a choice.) I prefer the current lineup, of course.

Here's the main thing, though... the line sounds decidedly vanilla. I have a fair bit of that stuff.
JohnLRice
It's important for my implementation that the behind the panel depth will be 3" or less. It sounds like you are going to be.
Just me
bridechamber wrote:
So... I guess I'm fishin' here. I had a lot of trouble moving my big ol' 5U to a Euro format geekfest, while the Euro folks of course hardly broke a sweat. So's I got to thinking of how to make things lighter. The obvious answer is to go Euro, but I can't abide the 1/8" jacks!!!!!

1/8" jacks suck. The obvious answer is a roadie or Wheaties!

bridechamber wrote:
I'm thinking of laying out pots and jacks on a 1" grid.
(Richard Brewster? http://pugix.com/synth/small-knob-panel-group/ ? Never heard of that!!! Okay, okay, I stole the idea from him!)

Too dense for patching and live playing for me. I have a hard enough time in 5U as it is.

bridechamber wrote:
But to make things even lighter:
Thinner panels (.09")
No brackets. All PCBs are mounted via pot/ switch combos -- 9 pins per pot/ switch, up to 72 pins of support per PCB!

My cabinets aren't that heavy or unmanageable. I would hate to have flimsy panels that couldn't handle patching forces and transfered those forces to the unbracketed PCB,s causing fatigue failures.

bridechamber wrote:
There would be a whole line, all 1U width:
8-Step Sequencer
VCO
VCF
VCAs
EGs
Chaos
Voice... yup, a 1U voice w/ noise and lfo!

That all sounds good enough but the voice and seq I would want 2U so I could work the knobs.

bridechamber wrote:
Power would be for multiple formats -- MOTM, DotCom, ModCan.

Maybe a rack case w/ power.

Cool, a rack that wasn't more than 8 inches deep!

bridechamber wrote:
Questions:
Does anyone even care? Would you buy it , notice it, or avoid like the plague?

Depends on the above.

bridechamber wrote:
Would you care if panels were dark brown w/ cream legending? I'm pretty much over black and white.

I'm not over Black and White. I'd live with blue pretty easily!
sduck
I wouldn't be interested, I don't think, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea. I'm all for saving room, and have done lots of repaneling of stuff to have it fit in 1U instead of 2. And a lot of the stuff that you sell panels for just don't make sense to me in the panel size/usefulness ratio thing - the old motm grid doesn't always use space well. 5U for the doomsday machine panel you sell is way too big for instance - even my 3U version is too big for the amount of use I get out of it.

2.3mm panels probably wouldn't be an issue for many.

I'm not a fan of pot and switch mounted pcb's - I've had to fix too many of these. It's great in concept, but sucks the road-worthiness right out of a module. Personally I'd think old fashioned brackets would still work, but perhaps have all the wiring interconnect based like the dotcom stuff?
bridechamber
ach_gott wrote:


Here's the main thing, though... the line sounds decidedly vanilla. I have a fair bit of that stuff.


Ah, but they won't really be vanilla. Ian's interested in the VCO, so there will most likely be switchable 5Pulser and Phase Animation dealies. The first VCF is my take on the Polivoks. The Chaos I'll try to get Ian to do. EGs will be normalled to complex looping action. Voice will have variable noise and other fun.
bridechamber
sduck wrote:


I'm not a fan of pot and switch mounted pcb's - I've had to fix too many of these. It's great in concept, but sucks the road-worthiness right out of a module. Personally I'd think old fashioned brackets would still work, but perhaps have all the wiring interconnect based like the dotcom stuff?


Hmm... the combo pot/ switches give out or what? That's the key for me, to cut down on time, cost and weight.
J3RK
Well, since I'm just about finished with a couple of my own, similar designs (only a lot more dense where jacks are concerned,) I'd have to answer yes. smile I just finished a four stage shift register S&H, stepped generator module in a 1U. However the jacks are slightly denser than MOTM format, (in order to expose internal and external clock connections, etc.) I'm doing perpendicular boards, but small ones, so they could still fit in a shallow-depth case. I'd love to see more modules like this, without having to make them all myself, so please move ahead! w00t

I'm working on a suitcase (two rows of 5U) with the highest functional density per module that I can do. (just ordered a bunch of kits from you too to fill in the gaps) or maybe that's the other way around, filling the gaps with my own Mr. Green
russma
bridechamber wrote:
.....Idiotboy: Gimme back my stapler, then!...



...all right, but I'm gonna have to burn this place to the ground....


Mr. Green

Don't get me wrong Scott, your ideas are great. I guess I'm just a 5U purist.

seriously, i just don't get it
Entrainer
What about 4U and banana?

3U 1/8" to small.

5U 1/4" to big. Haha!

4U Nana just right.
ach_gott
bridechamber wrote:
ach_gott wrote:


Here's the main thing, though... the line sounds decidedly vanilla. I have a fair bit of that stuff.


Ah, but they won't really be vanilla. Ian's interested in the VCO, so there will most likely be switchable 5Pulser and Phase Animation dealies. The first VCF is my take on the Polivoks. The Chaos I'll try to get Ian to do. EGs will be normalled to complex looping action. Voice will have variable noise and other fun.


Well why didn't you say so? That's a horse of a different color! (And note that brown is a regular horse color. razz )

Seriously, though, it would depend on the functions in question. On the other hand, maybe I'm a bad person to ask. I have enough demand in the current Bridechamber catalog (if not always the $ or the build time) to force me out of house and home. What turns me on these days is slightly more esoteric.

On the other other hand, I love the Bridechamber and would sell some of my more vanilla modules to support a project. Unless it was really and truly a brown cow. hihi
bridechamber
Ooh, ooh, are you going to offer those boards for sale? That would be cool!

I might do 9 jacks in height, too. As long as we're stuffin'...
VinceL
Let me chime in with agreement on several of the points that sduck and Just Me made.

I have my 5U stuff in Dotcom portable cabinets (a lot of them..will be 8 next week). But, each cabinet is pretty easy to handle.

I would be VERY concerned about thinner panels, unless, as sduck brings up, you follow the Dotcom model of not mounting jacks or knobs or the panel to the PCB. Thinner panels would most likely lead to PCB cracks, broken solder joints, etc. when you are patching big-ass 1/4" plugs.

One of the reasons I use 5U is my chubby, clumsy hands. Any knobs or jacks packed tighter than current 5U modules would drive me crazy.

If I was going to try to have a modular synth that was really easy to transport, I would just sacrifice the benefits of 5U and go with something like a Vostok or Tereshkova.
russma
...are you talking about selling this in addition to, or instead of, traditional 5U?
bridechamber
You are all evil! My idea is best ever! (Yeah, my idea, not Richard Brewster's. I didn't get it from him. Nope.)

But seriously, thanks! The feedback is great. I don't want to make a bucketload of modules to just sit in, you know, buckets.
bridechamber
This would be a separate line.

I had .09" Neural Agonizer panels and they didn't flex one bit. Have others had different experiences?
pugix
Looks like a hard sell. lol

I agree with the point about the small knobs close to jacks making it harder to use. I'll mix them with regular formats in my portable cabinets. I really have to, because a lot of my favorite modules are 2U wide.

All my panels are the standard MOTM thickness and all of these small knob projects use brackets from Bridechamber, because I like sturdiness. No-bracket designs like Oakley and Blacet work as well as they do because of the pot brackets that remove stress from the pots. I don't much cotton to the thought of a board dangling off the pins of a pot or switch.

I got into these small-knob projects for one, "just because I could," and also I think because I'm running out of cabinet space (and space in the studio) and that led me toward density, not that I haven't always had that bent. twisted

http://pugix.com/synth/motm-101-noise-sample-hold-dual-oakley-sample-h old/
bridechamber
Dang, Richard found this. Now I have to eat all those words I said about his morally degraded layouts!
oops

Don't folks think 72 or so pins from the pot/ switch combos would be enough to support the PCB?
synthguru
Well, as I've said to the synth manufacturers for years:
Don't give me weighted keys; give me weighted knobs.

Does anyone remember the big, must-have-been-one-pound knob that used to be the volume control on old Onkyo hi-fi amps?

Little knobs? seriously, i just don't get it

Zon
JohnLRice
synthguru wrote:
Well, as I've said to the synth manufacturers for years:
Don't give me weighted keys; give me weighted knobs.

Does anyone remember the big, must-have-been-one-pound knob that used to be the volume control on old Onkyo hi-fi amps?

Little knobs? seriously, i just don't get it

Zon


Will this work? thumbs up

http://www.surplussales.com/ShaftHardware/Knobs-12.html
Solid Aluminum Knob with Spinner
Alco (Japan) solid aluminum knob with spinner (non-rotary). 1-3/4" diameter body x 5/8" high. 1/4" bore.

J3RK
Well, if the standard MOTMish layout was altered slightly (like I've done with some of my DIY designs,) you can still fit the full sized knobs, and plenty of jacks on a 1U panel. Maybe not quite as many as the 1" grid, but I got two knobs, a switch, 9 1/4" jacks on a 1U without completely ditching ergonomic ability. I'm not opposed to small knobs though either, as long as the pots behind them were still stable. Maybe still do panel-mount pots with small knobs for a more sold approach? seriously, i just don't get it

Something I did on the panel I mentioned above was stick a jack in the center of a set of four, so it would be a little tight, but since it's just in the jack-field, not next to a knob, I don't think its' that bad. The overall aesthetic is the same, but obviously if you had it next to a MOTM, you'd see the difference in layout plain as day. (knobs at different heights, switches in different spots, etc.)

I too like panel mounted controls, but like I say, the knob size doesn't make a huge difference to me. When I get my panel made soon, I'll post a couple of pics. Right now I just have an FPD file.
synthguru
JohnLRice wrote:
synthguru wrote:
Well, as I've said to the synth manufacturers for years:
Don't give me weighted keys; give me weighted knobs.

Does anyone remember the big, must-have-been-one-pound knob that used to be the volume control on old Onkyo hi-fi amps?

Little knobs? seriously, i just don't get it

Zon


Will this work? thumbs up

http://www.surplussales.com/ShaftHardware/Knobs-12.html
Solid Aluminum Knob with Spinner
Alco (Japan) solid aluminum knob with spinner (non-rotary). 1-3/4" diameter body x 5/8" high. 1/4" bore.



LOL applause

Very much like that grin

Zon
essex sound lab
At first I thought: sounds like Christmas.

But now I think I need to sober up a bit before I really weigh in. You know, think about what I would actually do. hyper
synthetic
Wouldn't. Studio rat myself.
neandrewthal
I can't see how it would make sense from a financial standpoint to have different variants of the same module/panel but you'd know more about that than me.

I like the idea, though. However I wouldn't buy them because I'm too stubborn/cheap to buy panels except the ones that are too big for me to make myself, like the sequencers.

I like to leave some room for big knobs on the tweaky controls like filter cutoffs/vco frequencies and cram the utility stuff even tighter to make up for it.
J3RK
synthetic wrote:
Wouldn't. Studio rat myself.


I'm somewhere in between. I don't play gigs, but don't like being tied to the studio either. My last few systems have been portable enough to haul it into whichever room of the house I feel like being in, or take it to a friend's place easily enough, and I want to preserve that now that I'm back in 5U.

The route I would go, is see which modules I could combine into useful mult-function devices, tweak panel layouts a bit to fit more without going too tight, but keeping them as solid as possible. Maybe mount the existing boards differently like making new PCB mounts that mount some boards parallel, some perpendicular, but vertically (tall way) to keep depth down.

Or, if there are some rather large boards that could be optimized, do a new PCB rev that could be used in either original or new panel format, so there aren't duplicate items being maintained. This way you're not ditching either panel preference, and only making two sets of panels/controls.

Just a few extra thoughts.

I love packing more things into less space, but I did go back to 5U from Euro, and the larger jacks, knobs, overall solidity, were all part of that decision. (ease of DIYing in 5U being the other major reason for me)

I've seen the interim Morphing Terrariums in 5U with the small knobs, and didn't think it was a big problem. There was still plenty of room between knobs, and they're definitely solid enough. Cramming some more functions into the empty space on something like that seems like a great idea.

Anyway...
analogsteve
synthguru wrote:
Well, as I've said to the synth manufacturers for years:
Don't give me weighted keys; give me weighted knobs.

Does anyone remember the big, must-have-been-one-pound knob that used to be the volume control on old Onkyo hi-fi amps?

Little knobs? seriously, i just don't get it

Zon


Amen brother.
slovo
I think compromises to your (Pugix's) idea are key. I should say that when I was first starting out in 5U, someone started that "what's wrong with 5U" thread or whatever it was called and I made an ass of myself for blaming other manufacturers not complying with what I had come to think was standard -- MOTM sizing. Now that I've been schooled, and started plunking down to support MOTM, Mu, and Modcan A, I realize that I sort of don't care which one people support, as long as they are electrically compatible and near-indestructible.

I do think that the splintering of the format has likely done a lot to deter potential adopters. I very nearly didn't jump in because it seemed too difficult, and sometimes, when I am faced with building a rack, I still feel this way! For this reason, I am very tempted to say, why not go Modcan A? It's basically the same as what you're looking at, only... banana, which IMHO is great.

Still, assuming you're not interested in that, I'd like to see the following things in your new format:

- panel thickness should come down. they are clearly expensive and heavy to a bit of excess. But of course, they should NEVER flex. I think most of us go 5U to feel more comfortable -- and safer.

- agreed, those MU ears are silly and heavy too

- now that I said all that, the weight is not my primary concern. I am strong and heavy racks fall less often, I think. So if you skimp on these weight factors, it should really be to save money (on shipping too).

- brown seems a little silly but I don't really care. If I got a vote, I'd say, that Oakley blue is killer, and Modcan white is gorgeous, too, so I have faith that you could make another color scheme that rocks. But brown does not sound too promising.

- pot supported PCBs sounds a little silly to me, too. I want my modules to feel tough. But you're the expert, compared to me -- if you can make it work, then do so, and save me some money, too! XD But it had better be reliable.

- the small pot thing I am not really excited about, but I'm not completely antagonistic either. It is definitely less good to tweak my Modcan A stuff. But then I can also fit at least twice as much functionality into a Sixpac. But at a certain point you have to wonder, why didn't I just go Euro?

- for gods sake make sure your mounting holes line up vertically with something (Mu might be safest). That way, at least vector rails and wooden cases in some format will still work.

Honestly, I am waffling like hell. I think it's a "if you build it, they will come" scenario. 5U guys may seem intolerant of stuff like off-brand panels and non-Moog knobs, but looking around I see a couple dozen guys here who are supporting Mu and Modcan and MOTM already, so I think, if you build something enticing, orders will come, and if you can be more price-competitive while remaining rock-solid, then even more orders will come! Your modules already sound great, like what I would expect out of Bridechamber. I'm surprised there's not more support for a cheap(er) 1U sequencer! Must not be enough noobs in the house today. Have faith in that product, you seem to be a brave and ingenious designer with great associates! Just look at Wiard 300, what a foolish-seeming format... (hides) And of course, don't make the PCBs incompatible if you should decide to abandon ship. applause

...sorry for the tldr.
kindredlost
I can see marketplace room for a denser 5U, but in coalescing module function instead of component size.

For instance, adding amplifiers to EG's, or filter/amp combo's. These are where dotcom modules are so space hungry. Other mfg's make better use of the module space. This is what I'd like to see more of.

The ARP 2500 had this concept going for it in some ways, but the beauty of it's design was no jacks. Using outboard slider matrix is still a killer idea. You could have a dedicated cabinet/matrix setup and sandwich dense modules between the matrix. I still wonder why someone hasn't done this like ARP and EMS.

Of course lugging around a 2500 is not exactly competition with EuroRack.

-David
drewtoothpaste
The weight of the system (and its immobility) are what I like about the 5U format. You can plug/unplug cables and turn knobs and nothing flexes, moves, or bends.

If you need to move that shit, get on stevia, lift some weights, get swole!

twisted WEIGHTLIFTING twisted
magman
You can get quite a lot into 5U if you move away from the MOTM standard layout, just look what Teknik from the EM forums has done, here:

http://synteknik.blogspot.com/

I especially like the look of some of these metal instrument knobs and the panels look quite a bit thinner than standard MOTM.

I'll probably stick to the standard MOTM format for now though, I'll just have to get a bit more exercise before I try and move my system around.

Regards

Magman
sduck
bridechamber wrote:
sduck wrote:


I'm not a fan of pot and switch mounted pcb's - I've had to fix too many of these. It's great in concept, but sucks the road-worthiness right out of a module. Personally I'd think old fashioned brackets would still work, but perhaps have all the wiring interconnect based like the dotcom stuff?


Hmm... the combo pot/ switches give out or what? That's the key for me, to cut down on time, cost and weight.


I've had several pots break off the pcb or pull apart, even when bracketed. Consider a fall from several feet, and how the pcb(/bracket) are going to fare if the angle is just right to flex the pcb back and forth. You've got 2 large masses involved; the front panel and it's components, and the pcb and it's parts - and the interface between these is often the weakest link in the system. Put wires that can flex between these two parts, and you eliminate a large source of problems.
pugix
magman wrote:
You can get quite a lot into 5U if you move away from the MOTM standard layout, just look what Teknik from the EM forums has done, here:

http://synteknik.blogspot.com/

I especially like the look of some of these metal instrument knobs and the panels look quite a bit thinner than standard MOTM.

I'll probably stick to the standard MOTM format for now though, I'll just have to get a bit more exercise before I try and move my system around.

Regards

Magman


Those Teknik designs are beautiful! I'd never seen them before. Thanks for the link. They don't look like any standard format I know of. 5U height, but narrower than MU. Agree about the appealing variety of knobs and switches, even panel graphics. The grid spacing is certainly closer than 1" on some. Here's one with 10 jacks vertically.

http://synteknik.blogspot.com/2010/07/mfb-seq-1-conversion.html

It looks as if he fit components in whatever way would work, not worrying too much about a standard, except the panel dimensions. I can appreciate that, even though I personally have stuck with standard grids.
NV
drewtoothpaste wrote:
The weight of the system (and its immobility) are what I like about the 5U format. You can plug/unplug cables and turn knobs and nothing flexes, moves, or bends.

If you need to move that shit, get on stevia, lift some weights, get swole!

twisted WEIGHTLIFTING twisted


I'm kind of on the same page. I have a mix of formats in my system and many of the things I enjoy about 5U are directly related to its unwieldy girth - big knobs, heavy and solid feel, seems like it would win in a fight with most people. One of the biggest 5U appeals for me is DIY - building a module where the PCBs aren't a hair away from SMT and the wiring can be done with a soldering iron rather than a miracle. Panel wiring a module in euro is a great way to test your patience.

1/4" cables are fun and all, but only when there's room to use them. If I'm tossing a portable and condensed modular over my shoulder I'll bring out my euro system and cram all the cables I'll need into a big pocket rather than try to build a combustion module so I can drive my 5U. That being said, I do love the non-standard 5U panel designs out there like the UEG, Tellun Switching Comparator, Klee, and MFOS Sequencer, but I think those are cases where the right mix between large format and practical density were achieved. On the other side of the spectrum, huge panels for the sake of being huge are sort of annoying (IE, MOTM-320 VCLFO with about 50% dead space).
analogsteve
Your module ideas sound great, but I think a new format is the last thing we need in 5U.

slovo wrote:
I do think that the splintering of the format has likely done a lot to deter potential adopters.

- for gods sake make sure your mounting holes line up vertically with something (Mu might be safest). That way, at least vector rails and wooden cases in some format will still work.


The weakness of 5U is the division between formats. A euro system may look like a patchwork of different colours and styles, but all those wildly different modules from so many manufacturers will fit in the same case and run off the same power supply. This is key.

5U is a weird scene. People get all worked up over what type of knob you use, or whether or not you stick to some stupid grid. As euro has proven, what makes a format is mounting and power compatibility.

MU is the dominant format in the 5U world. A lot of MOTM guys use Synthesizers.com walnut cases anyway. I don't really care what your modules look like, but I should be able to mount them in my Synthesizers.com case without drilling extra holes or leaving ugly gaps.

slovo wrote:
- agreed, those MU ears are silly and heavy too


This is kind of ridiculous. MU Panels are made of .062" aluminum and are incredibly light. The "ears" add strength and rigidity. The actual weight of the "ears" is so minuscule that it is hardly worth mentioning.

slovo wrote:
- the small pot thing I am not really excited about, but I'm not completely antagonistic either. It is definitely less good to tweak my Modcan A stuff. But then I can also fit at least twice as much functionality into a Sixpac. But at a certain point you have to wonder, why didn't I just go Euro?


Every once in a while, someone brings up the topic of making 5U more portable. I don't get it. A huge part of the appeal of the format is that it's just so huge. 1/4" jacks, lots of space for chubby fingers, big knobs... The larger the diameter of the knob, the easier it is to dial it in just right. I find this especially useful for recall. C'mon people. If you're really that concerned with panel size and function density then what the hell are you doing messing around with the 5U format stuff in the first place?
pugix
analogsteve wrote:
C'mon people. If you're really that concerned with panel size and function density then what the hell are you doing messing around with the 5U format stuff in the first place?


Because originally we thought we'd stay in the studio, but later changed our minds? hmmm.....

A few late nights I've pondered getting a BugBrand to carry around and leave the 5U stuff at home. BugBrand!
JohnLRice
pugix wrote:
magman wrote:
You can get quite a lot into 5U if you move away from the MOTM standard layout, just look what Teknik from the EM forums has done, here:

http://synteknik.blogspot.com/

I especially like the look of some of these metal instrument knobs and the panels look quite a bit thinner than standard MOTM


Those Teknik designs are beautiful!


Agreed! love

They remind me somewhat of the CMS modules only with ¼" jacks:

More here : http://www.discretesynthesizers.com/dsc/modules.htm
magman
I posted the Teknik designs as an example of the density you can achieve if you move away from the 1.625 inch pot spacing that is the MOTM standard.

I'm working on a few sequencer panels that are going to deviate from the MOTM standard (2 x Fonik VCPS8), simply because I want them to fit in 2U rather than 3U or more, so I'm using 19mm Alco style knobs rather than the normal 27mm to fit 8 pots in one vertical line, rather than the strict standard maximum of 4. The panel still looks good with all of my other MOTM panels.

I suppose what we are moving towards here is an MOTM-Lite type of panel design. It would still fit in an MOTM rack space (so 1U or 2U, with the standard MOTM mounting holes), but the pot spacing would be a lot tighter. PSU connections should also still be MOTM compatible. This would then allow the panels to co-exist with standard modules if required. There will probably also be some component issues (like pot sizes of 16mm max for example), though I would still like to see the jacks at the bottom of the panel, as in MOTM. I also think choosing the right knobs could possibly making the denser layout a bit more useable, something like the instrument style knobs that Teknik used on some of his panels, like these:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_scXskDGdzNw/TDzRqOko5lI/AAAAAAAAAOc/VxNsFiXl fEs/s1600/pol1.jpg

Interesting discussion though, lets see what develops.

Regards

Magman
Just me
One thing I like about MU is no rigid spacing scheme. I find it easier to recognize my modules even in the dark as each one has a different layout to it.
emdot_ambient
JohnLRice wrote:
Will this work?

I've got a couple of those to be used with some 10-turn pots. thumbs up
emdot_ambient
JohnLRice wrote:
pugix wrote:
Those Teknik designs are beautiful!

Agreed! love
They remind me somewhat of the CMS modules only with ¼" jacks:

With 1/4" jacks and only 5U tall. CMS are something like 6U tall.

I've worked with 1/8" jacks for over 30 years (ARP Axxes & Sequencer). I hate them. They've gone bad at least once every decade, whereas I've never had a 1/4" jack go bad in any of my keyboards.

As for the proposed format, I agree that they should conform to either MU or MOTM as far as mounting and power goes. Power's not such a problem really since a lot of 5U are now coming with either MOTM or Dotcom power connections...and of course it's pretty easy to adapt them from one format to another. But panel width and mounting holes are an issue.

As for spacing on the panels themselves and knob sizes...have at it! I'm designing my first case now and it's going to be pretty close to what's been proposed here (although I'm doing full 19" wide panels).

Brown/cream? Hmmm...not into that. Black/white is hard to beat. Blue/white looks pretty good, but I think I'd get tired of it after a while. White/black would make these panels fit in with Modcan B modules and I think that would be a plus (I really want Modcan B stuff when I can justify the cost, but I hate the idea of odd modules sticking out like a sore thumb surrounded by a sea of black/white).

Jack placement I prefer (as much as possible) at the bottom of the panel and not mixed in with the knobs. I also prefer inputs on the left and outputs on the right with the most likely to be used jacks on the bottom row. That's my own preference, though, and not everyone's cuppa.
J3RK
magman wrote:
You can get quite a lot into 5U if you move away from the MOTM standard layout, just look what Teknik from the EM forums has done, here:

http://synteknik.blogspot.com/

I especially like the look of some of these metal instrument knobs and the panels look quite a bit thinner than standard MOTM.

I'll probably stick to the standard MOTM format for now though, I'll just have to get a bit more exercise before I try and move my system around.

Regards

Magman


Davies 1900H and 1/4" looks beautiful! That may be a good way to go. You can pack these into less space and still turn them well, and as long as you've still got solid pots behind them, strength as well. I may do some rethinking of my designs to go this route. I like a thick panel and panel mounted controls, so switching the knobs, could be the key here.
sduck
J3RK wrote:

Davies 1900H and 1/4" looks beautiful! That may be a good way to go.


Here's some examples of lots of knobs and functionality packed into small 1U panels -



These knobs, although crammed in pretty tight, are no problem to work with. And you could probably get even more of them on one of these panels.

The one thing I like to stick with is the standard motm jack grid - I like having all my jacks down at the bottom, and I don't think compressing them even more is a good idea. At least with my fingers, manipulating cords in and out of tight patches is fine at this spacing, but any tighter and things would get hairy.
neandrewthal
analogsteve wrote:
C'mon people. If you're really that concerned with panel size and function density then what the hell are you doing messing around with the 5U format stuff in the first place?


Cause it`s my synth and I can do what I want Rockin' Banana!
analogsteve
neandrewthal wrote:
analogsteve wrote:
C'mon people. If you're really that concerned with panel size and function density then what the hell are you doing messing around with the 5U format stuff in the first place?


Cause it`s my synth and I can do what I want Rockin' Banana!


Fair enough. I'm all for people doing what they want. I'm just pointing out the inherent dichotomy.
Luka
5U offers enough space to pack a lot of features onto a panel
everything can have cv input attenuators, extra utilities and still space to move

doctorvague
bridechamber wrote:
So... I guess I'm fishin' here. I had a lot of trouble moving my big ol' 5U to a Euro format geekfest, while the Euro folks of course hardly broke a sweat. So's I got to thinking of how to make things lighter. The obvious answer is to go Euro, but I can't abide the 1/8" jacks!!!!!


Dotcom portable cabs are not heavy IMO. I've hauled mine for studio gigs. Not a big deal. I'm wrestling with the same issue though, as I love my walnut cabs and need to to switch to all portables to move it around easily. Crowding knobs on small panels is not the answer for me. That bugged me about Euro more than the jacks - the crowdedness of the panels drove me crazy. You need needle-nose pliers to get to the knobs in a dense patch. I'm not a noodler, I'm a knob twisting freak so I would always lean away from crowded knob module designs. The Encore UEG is an exception, but I like the basic knob and jack density of MOTM and dotcom format panels as they are. They're pretty perfect in that regard IMO.
pugix
sduck wrote:
J3RK wrote:

Davies 1900H and 1/4" looks beautiful! That may be a good way to go.


Here's some examples of lots of knobs and functionality packed into small 1U panels -



These knobs, although crammed in pretty tight, are no problem to work with. And you could probably get even more of them on one of these panels.

The one thing I like to stick with is the standard motm jack grid - I like having all my jacks down at the bottom, and I don't think compressing them even more is a good idea. At least with my fingers, manipulating cords in and out of tight patches is fine at this spacing, but any tighter and things would get hairy.


I like! thumbs up

Those look similar to some of my Blacet conversions, e.g.
http://pugix.com/synth/blacet-io-2225-input-amp-envelope-follower-gate trigger/

In fact the circular 'tick' marks look just like mine. Did you take them from one of my panels? If so, that's just what I hope people will do. A great thing about FPE is once you get a design pattern you can copy and paste it forever.
sduck
Thanks Richard; and yes! I stole the basic concept from your io-2225 panel. I've downloaded just about everything from modularsynthpanels, your site, Dave Brown's site, and others, and use little pieces parts from all of it.
slovo
Luka wrote:
5U offers enough space to pack a lot of features onto a panel
everything can have cv input attenuators, extra utilities and still space to move



Luka, that is such a gorgeous panel!! Is it yours? Tell me all about it omg *_*
bridechamber
Regarding the "5U vs. compactness" thing, I just thought it would be nice to have a portable 1/4"-jack system. The dichotomy truly is only apparent -- it's not about space for some of us, but those big ol' jacks.

I should have thought about weight before getting a cabinet that's 4 rows of 48U!
d'oh!

But just for gigging or ease of patching in a simple sequence, I thought the Voice would be especially nice -- VCO, BP/ LP VCF, VCA, EG, LFO, Variable Noise in 1U.

They would definitely be in MOTM panel sizes, and have power for MOTM, DotCom, ModCan.

I love CMS and Teknik panels. Those are my favorite designs.

I may just do small, one-time runs of PCBs, and a mass of 16-hole panels that can be used by anyone for anything, painted and unscreened.
Henfield
If your goal is to reduce weight, I think that others have already mentioned that Roger at Dotcom already has this figured out with aluminum faceplates, wooden mounting rails, and mounting PCBs parallel to the faceplate (eliminating cabinet depth and steel mounting brackets).

Another way to reduce cabinet weight is to remove the power supply from the cabinet as well.

I have flirted with building a suitcase synth using 5U modules for a long time, and I have finally decided to make it happen. I will have modules mounted into a suitcase within the next month. The issue I am still working on is power, as the Dotcom QPS2 is undersized for my use (13 Dotcom Modules - 330 mV). I have a smaller Power One that puts out 400 mV and I need to figure out if I will mount it internally or externally and then use the Dotcom wiring harness or STG distribution board.

Without the shallow depth of the Dotcom modules, I could not make this happen with the Zero Halliburton case that I have. If you really want to make this new module style to work, the modules need to be very shallow.
Luka
slovo wrote:
Luka wrote:
5U offers enough space to pack a lot of features onto a panel
everything can have cv input attenuators, extra utilities and still space to move



Luka, that is such a gorgeous panel!! Is it yours? Tell me all about it omg *_*


Yup, this is my t-zero vco bank (ian fritz teezer) check my blog below for more shots of system or in the diy section.




I think it is easier for euro to break thier gird patterns as every euro system seems to be in a state of flux. They buy and sell modules all the time. 5u systems seem to just grow or get built upto a point and stop so people are more considerate of keeping consistancy in their cabinets so they are a bit precious about more 5u fromats coming out.

Us diy kids are making the most of it though smile
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Page 1 of 3
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group