FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 

Diy different formats - Eurorack to 5u
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Diy different formats - Eurorack to 5u

I hope i can get some feedback from some fellow wigglers regarding a change in direction i have been lately thinking about.

I have come to realize that i enjoy building modules as much (or more) as playing with them.

I have been on a good roll for the last year or so, building eurorack.

I have always looked upon the 5u format with good eyes, but never had the actual time to really make any decision.

I have a bunch of synths i barely play with. Im thinking of letting go of them and starting a new 5u diy case. There are lots of modules that interest me and the fact that its bigger than eurorack really appeals me.

Also it seems like i could make a good interaction between my euro system and these new 5u modules.

Any thoughts on this? Do any of you use both formats? Have you changed from one to another?

Is 5u mostly thru hole or there are smd modules too? How is the diy-ing in general?

Apologies for the vague and general questions, just wanted to gather some feedback from you people.

With 5U, are you thinking MOTM or MU (Dotcom) format?

Historically, DIY has had a better foothold in MOTM format. And now that format is pretty much only kept alive by DIY, since no one really manufactures pre-built modules in that format. DIY was much more difficult in MU (particularly with respect to getting panels made), but there are now some kits and panels available.

The main place carrying kits and such in both formats is Synthcube:

Re:Synthesis also offers a number of MU panels for other projects:

Most of the stuff is through-hole.

I have a large MU system with includes some DIY stuff done with Re:Synthesis panels - some available in the store, some custom. And I'm building some MOTM modules currently. (I also have a small Eurorack system, but I don't usually patch any of my different modular systems together.)

For circuits not available with front panels, I personally find MOTM to be easier to work with, because you can put a panel together in FPD (or maybe even find an FPD file someone else has made), and get it manufactured. Sure, you can do this now for MU panels (if you supply a panel), but it is just easier with MOTM.
My system is Euro, MOTM, and MU, no issues with them playing together nicely as MOTM and MU both have relative standards, wherein Euro has no standard gate voltage, audio level, etc...

I want(ed) to make AI modules in 5U, but I fear the interest level for MOTM is too small, and the expense of MU panels is too great, and I don't have time to metal-brake panels one at a time...

One tip if you are going into 5U DIY - MFOS used to make "universal mounting brackets" and these are wonderful for large format synths, as "wiring-free" is rare in 5U- snatch them up if you can.
Rex Coil 7
Synthesizers.Com modules are an absolute delight to do any DIY/Modifications with. The PCBs are mounted on 1.5" standoffs parallel to the control panel. All (ALL!) of the connections to the PCB are on AMP headers so everything easily unplugs/replugs without touching a soldering iron. All of the jacks, switches, pots/knobs, LEDs use flying leads.

I know I've posted this picture a lot, but I'm gonna do it again anyway for the benefit of the OP's interests.

I designed this panel myself. It is 6 "MU" spaces wide. It houses two VCOs, two VCO mixers that I highly modified with switched on/off feedback loops with adjustable gain levels, and two VCO "aid" modules. I also brought all of the back panel jumper linked options to the front, replacing the jumper links with toggle switches. And much more. Those six modules normally require 8 MU spaces, but I easily managed to make the panel 6 MU spaces wide.

100% through hole construction, Dot Com modules really invite modification. And I also use Euro with it. All of the audio signal chain is Dot Com. All of my modulators are Euro. thumbs up


Many thanks for the responses and references.

Seems like i have overlooked the format, and there are quite a few variations, between MOTM, DotCom/Mu, i need to look closer as to what o would like / can work with.

I have a few 19"" Rack cases, so it would be a matter of seeing if need special rails (which looks like i do) and the power supply needed.

Good to hear its mostly thru hole, even tough i have been doing smt lately and im really enjoying it!

@Rex Coil 7 those are beautiful looking modules!

Maybe with this format i can find a balance between building modules and developing new ideas.

Many thanks for your help and feedback!
djthopa wrote:
I have a few 19"" Rack cases, so it would be a matter of seeing if need special rails (which looks like i do) and the power supply needed.!

Both have their own rail systems. A lot of people build their own cabinets, or use the Dotcom ones, but if you want to use 19" racks there's really just one option per format (unless there's some DIY plans I've not yet seen).
For MU, the Dotcom rack frames:
For MOTM, the rails are usually sold by Synthcube; the end-pieces (to make things pretty) are sometimes available via group buys in the 5U forum, but I think there's FPDs to get them done via Front Panel Express.

MU is +/-15V and +5V. I find it easiest to buy the power supply & distribution "squid" from Though it does use .1" connectors, so you can use stripboard.

MOTM is just +/- 15V. Sometimes I build these supplies myself (with a Condor/Power One/etc.), but sometimes it is easiest to just buy a PSU from Blacet (power & power connectors are the same for MOTM and Blacet Frac!). You can buy power distro boards from Synthcube, use the Blacet ones, or buy the DIY CGS ones.

In my experience, most DIY stuff doesn't usually require +5V, or if it does there's an option for an on-board regulator.
And you're more likely to find DIY boards with MOTM rather than Dotcom power headers. (But it is pretty easy to DIY a converter.)

There's a couple sticky threads about power & format in the 5U subforum here, btw.
Oh, and I forgot to mention:
a 19" rack row of MOTM is 10 modules; a 19" rack row of MU is 8 modules.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group