the DIY cases thread!

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McRINdk
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by McRINdk » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:58 am

Search on my name I posted .ai and pdf for 18U and 1 U skiff.

bdkauff
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by bdkauff » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:27 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm almost finished with my DIY Pelican-style case, and wanted to share some things I learned. I found an affordable Pelican-style case + rack combination that took a good while to source online, so I'm hoping this saves someone else some time and money in the future.

This is the case: https://www.newark.com/duratool/22-2412 ... derack-GLB. Its deep enough for rails in the bottom and in the lid AND closing it patched probably. Its definitely not as high quality as a Pelican (or competitor), with what feels like softer plastic, but that goes with the cheaper price.

The case perfectly houses the following Vector rails+ bracket combo: Vector TS195* + Synthrotek brackets. The rails + brackets fit nice and snug in the case, which made it easy to place the rails in there, mark and drill holes for mounting.

*TS195 are the 19.5" struts, so ~97 HP.

I was easily able to hammer out the original hinge pins in the case, to replace with grenade pins, so the lid is removable. I DID have to drill slightly larger holes in the hinges to get the grenade pins to fit. Pins are here: https://www.mcmaster.com/98404A040/

Will post pics once I've got modules in there, which I haven't had a chance to do yet...

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by DanaFo » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:54 pm

McRINdk wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:58 am
Search on my name I posted .ai and pdf for 18U and 1 U skiff.
cheers!

nexgen23
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by nexgen23 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:28 pm

DanaFo wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:35 pm
I was curious if anyone had any pdf/svg files for cnc cutting?
I'd be interested in this too, I still need to put my shop back together/rebuild my CNC after moving, but would like to eventually just cut out some cases. Right now I am relegated to 3D printing them small pieces at a time.

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canopychasesounds
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by canopychasesounds » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:12 pm

Here are two DIY cases I built to match my Sub 37. Walnut end panels, red oak front & rear, 1/4" ply back and bottom. Dowel, slot, and tab construction so it can be completely disassembled if you (remove all the modules and) unscrew the rack rails. Originally I planned for them to be 3U-1U-3U configuration which would have matched the profile and height of the Sub37 exactly, but I decided to go with 3x3U (@ 128HP) for better functionality and not having to mix 1U and 3U. Metatronic Mods Linear DIY PSU & Distro Boards.

Detailed build thread for the design and build process here: https://jasonaricfreeland.com/2020/06/3 ... ynth-case/

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Also cool, a happy accident is that they look pretty good in either orientation:
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noisewreck
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by noisewreck » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:47 pm

canopychasesounds wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:12 pm
Here are two DIY cases I built to match my Sub 37. Walnut end panels, red oak front & rear, 1/4" ply back and bottom. Dowel, slot, and tab construction so it can be completely disassembled if you (remove all the modules and) unscrew the rack rails. Originally I planned for them to be 3U-1U-3U configuration which would have matched the profile and height of the Sub37 exactly, but I decided to go with 3x3U (@ 128HP) for better functionality and not having to mix 1U and 3U. Metatronic Mods Linear DIY PSU & Distro Boards.

Detailed build thread for the design and build process here: https://jasonaricfreeland.com/2020/06/3 ... ynth-case/

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Also cool, a happy accident is that they look pretty good in either orientation:
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They look really nice! I like the fact you also were mindful of airflow. Those vents look great!

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Stoneyards
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by Stoneyards » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:24 am

canopychasesounds wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:12 pm
Here are two DIY cases I built to match my Sub 37.
Very pretty! Well done.

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andybizarre
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by andybizarre » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:36 am

canopychasesounds wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:12 pm
Here are two DIY cases I built to match my Sub 37.
Congratulations, these are most awesome! Can you elaborate a bit on the PSU and powerboards? Thanks.

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canopychasesounds
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by canopychasesounds » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:10 pm

noisewreck wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:47 pm
They look really nice! I like the fact you also were mindful of airflow. Those vents look great!
Thanks! Yeah, I wasn't sure how much heat this power supply was going to kick out, plus I thought the vents would look cool! I'm a recovering architect that used to specialize in designing hospitals, so I've also got some laminar flow, neg/pos pressure, and other airflow topics rattling around in my brain.
andybizarre wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:36 am

Congratulations, these are most awesome! Can you elaborate a bit on the PSU and powerboards? Thanks.
Appreciate it! Definitely happy with the way they turned out. PSU & Distro deets, long version here, in a build thread:
https://jasonaricfreeland.com/2020/07/0 ... wer-supply

Or the short version (which turns out to be not that short after all):
The PSU circuit boards and complete distro boards are from Metatronic Mods, you can find them here:
https://www.metatronicmods.com/linear-power-supply.html (note for some reason the site is throwing a security message now, I think maybe the SSL certificate is recently out of date)

I went with a DIY power supply because I've built several tube guitar amps in the past and was comfortable working with mains voltage/current safely, and have a lot of soldering experience (seemingly millions of cables, dozens of guitars, dozens of effects units, and three bands worth of amps).
I went with this particular PSU because:
1) its linear not switching (I'd read switching supplies can cause noise, but I've since gotten a 4ms Row Power 45 to run a 2x84 skiff with no problems)
2) it has on-board 5V
3) it has way more amps than I imagined I would need per case on all rails, something like 3A +12V, 1.5A -12V, 1A +5V
4) it was DIY
5) the assembly instructions made sense and were well documented
6) they provided a BOM shopping cart at Mouser which made it pretty easy to get everything.
7) I liked the guy's style
Raw circuit board before mounting components:
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Fully populated:
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I went with their bus bar distro system because:
1) It looked cool
2) Bus bars are used in large scale power distribution designs (I'm talking like, redundant medical campus central plants) so I figure there is a good electrical reason which I didn't spend the time to learn
I went with their preassembled system because I didn't have an iron that was hot enough to flow the solder on the bus bar anchors.
Bus bar distro:
Image
I mean, its probably overkill I guess. And I've read some Graham Hinton posts that suggest this design might not be exactly the perfect implementation of the bus bar concept. But, it has been working absolutely wonderfully for me, and my modular rig is absolutely dead quiet to the point that when it's connected to my Fireface 800 and there is nothing playing, there is no measured difference in monitored noise floor when it is connected to the FF800, or when its not. So I'm a completely happy camper. Except for the fact that I want (need?) about another $5,000 worth of modules.

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andybizarre
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by andybizarre » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:25 pm

Thank you so much canopychasesounds for the insights! I wish beefy linear PSUs like this were widely available as an assembled product. I got 5A Bel Power PSUs, and while they are quiet on the module side, they`re humming like a m***erf**er.

I really like the idea to match the Moog and keep the front row as shallow as possible. I might pick this up in a future build.

I also made the switch to a DIY case with half-assed busbar distribution like yours, good quality low impedance bus boards and linear PSUs. I made the same observations about noise floor, module crosstalk, pitch stability or grounding issues. Overkill on this side is well worth it IMO.

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Nonlocal
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by Nonlocal » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:55 pm

Built a studio in a suitcase
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canopychasesounds
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by canopychasesounds » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:19 pm

andybizarre wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:25 pm
Thank you so much canopychasesounds for the insights! I wish beefy linear PSUs like this were widely available as an assembled product. I got 5A Bel Power PSUs, and while they are quiet on the module side, they`re humming like a m***erf**er.
No problem I love talking about gear. The Metatronic Mods PSU is available as an assembled unit as well. Can't remember the price but it seemed reasonable.
When you say your units are humming, you mean the PSU unit itself is actually putting out sound, but the audio signals from your modules don't have the hum? It could be that its using a core or shell type transformer with a sketchy or inexpensive quality (either design or build) that is making it a buzzy thing. I'll presume you've already tried tightening everything inside and out of it down....I've heard stories of transformers buzzing so badly that its rattled screws loose over time. I've also read that toroidal (circular shaped) transformer designs minimize the stray magnetic fields that can cause buzzing better than core or shell designs do. But I'm not really an electrical engineer so I'm probably out of depth of the topic.
I'll say this, the Metatronic Mods PSUs I have are not making any sound whatsoever either in the audio or physically in the case. I'd definitely hear it if they were because of the open design of the case.

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EATyourGUITAR
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:24 pm

You can buy supper massive powerful soldering irons for soldering the bus bar clamps or anything else like that. No problem.
WWW.EATYOURGUITAR.COM <---- MY DIY STUFF

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andybizarre
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by andybizarre » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:46 pm

canopychasesounds wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:19 pm
When you say your units are humming, you mean the PSU unit itself is actually putting out sound, but the audio signals from your modules don't have the hum? It could be that its using a core or shell type transformer with a sketchy or inexpensive quality (either design or build) that is making it a buzzy thing. I'll presume you've already tried tightening everything inside and out of it down....
Exactly this. There`s a video on the Youtubes where a guy fixes a humming transformer by glueing the "leaves" with some kind of adhesive, but this is out of my reach I guess. Or I need to find someone with this kind of expertise. Or I move the PSUs to an external enclosure, I didn`t make up my mind about it yet. Thing is, I made two cases @ 12U/126HP with roughly 3.5A of draw per rail, so I`m kind of limited in PSU choice.

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by bobbylandry » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:59 pm

andybizarre wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:46 pm
canopychasesounds wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:19 pm
When you say your units are humming, you mean the PSU unit itself is actually putting out sound, but the audio signals from your modules don't have the hum? It could be that its using a core or shell type transformer with a sketchy or inexpensive quality (either design or build) that is making it a buzzy thing. I'll presume you've already tried tightening everything inside and out of it down....
Exactly this. There`s a video on the Youtubes where a guy fixes a humming transformer by glueing the "leaves" with some kind of adhesive, but this is out of my reach I guess. Or I need to find someone with this kind of expertise. Or I move the PSUs to an external enclosure, I didn`t make up my mind about it yet. Thing is, I made two cases @ 12U/126HP with roughly 3.5A of draw per rail, so I`m kind of limited in PSU choice.
Yea the transformers in PSUs are made with glue which can, I guess, break down or not be good enough from the start. I had one in an old Roland S760 that made a super loud whining noise and I was told by a tech that it's the transformed vibrating and it can be dipped in something (glue or wax?) and that would fix it. I never tried it myself and just pulled an entire PSU out of another unit cause they were cheap at the time. I've got a different unit with a dead PSU and still have the buzzy one so with the prices way up right now it might be time to try.

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by ersatzplanet » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:40 pm

bobbylandry wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:59 pm
Yea the transformers in PSUs are made with glue which can, I guess, break down or not be good enough from the start. I had one in an old Roland S760 that made a super loud whining noise and I was told by a tech that it's the transformed vibrating and it can be dipped in something (glue or wax?) and that would fix it. I never tried it myself and just pulled an entire PSU out of another unit cause they were cheap at the time. I've got a different unit with a dead PSU and still have the buzzy one so with the prices way up right now it might be time to try.
What happens is the leaves in the cores ave the shellac fail after years (or were poorly made) and the magnetic field will make them rattle against each other or just move in sympathy with the AC current. You can sometimes stop this by submerging them in very hot wax (with a high beeswax to paraffin ratio) or into some very hot shellac. These both soak into the windings and fill the air gaps and stop the mechanical hum. The problems are that the shellac has to be hot enough, but not too hot to melt the insulation on the transformers winding. Also of course either method is extremely messy. Back in the day, finding waxed transformers was a common thing, not so much nowadays.

If you do a search on "shellacking power transformers" you will get a bunch of hits to look for with suggestions on methods of doing it (like using vacuum pumps etc to remove air) and formulas for the right type of varnishes to use.
-James

James Husted - Synthwerks, LLC - www.synthwerks.com - info@synthwerks.com - james@synthwerks.com
Synthwerks is a proud member of the Mostly Modular Trade Association (http://www.mostlymodular.com).
Always looking to trade for Doepfer P6 cases

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by bobbylandry » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:09 pm

ersatzplanet wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:40 pm
bobbylandry wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:59 pm
Yea the transformers in PSUs are made with glue which can, I guess, break down or not be good enough from the start. I had one in an old Roland S760 that made a super loud whining noise and I was told by a tech that it's the transformed vibrating and it can be dipped in something (glue or wax?) and that would fix it. I never tried it myself and just pulled an entire PSU out of another unit cause they were cheap at the time. I've got a different unit with a dead PSU and still have the buzzy one so with the prices way up right now it might be time to try.
What happens is the leaves in the cores ave the shellac fail after years (or were poorly made) and the magnetic field will make them rattle against each other or just move in sympathy with the AC current. You can sometimes stop this by submerging them in very hot wax (with a high beeswax to paraffin ratio) or into some very hot shellac. These both soak into the windings and fill the air gaps and stop the mechanical hum. The problems are that the shellac has to be hot enough, but not too hot to melt the insulation on the transformers winding. Also of course either method is extremely messy. Back in the day, finding waxed transformers was a common thing, not so much nowadays.

If you do a search on "shellacking power transformers" you will get a bunch of hits to look for with suggestions on methods of doing it (like using vacuum pumps etc to remove air) and formulas for the right type of varnishes to use.
Nice thanks, that gives me some more specifics to look into when I decide to work on that project. I've got an electric glue pot for heating hide glue, maybe it'll turn out to have a second use. :tu:

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by andybizarre » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:02 pm

Thanks for all the comments, didn`t mean to derail the thread. Perhaps this information is helpful for someone else. Anyway, here`s the guy I was referring to:



This doesn`t look that hard, but I`m scared as hell of anything regarding mains voltage.

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by revaquarian » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:56 pm

Finished installing the Trogotronic last night. The design is highly influenced by the Analogue Sytems RS-8000. The back is vented kind of like a leslie speaker. I used oak instead of walnut.
side.jpg
front.jpg
back.jpg
lights.jpg

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by canopychasesounds » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:57 am

andybizarre wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:46 pm
Thing is, I made two cases @ 12U/126HP with roughly 3.5A of draw per rail, so I`m kind of limited in PSU choice.
Gotcha. In terms of PSU choice due to current draw, you could consider ganging 2 or 3 lower amp PSUs together in the same case. Not as awesome as a single unit per case, but probably cleaner than outboarding and encasing them. Definitely more expensive, but if you're planning to fill 24U @ 126HP with anything other than blanks the difference between $300 (guessing here) of buzzy PSU vs $900 of silent PSU is probably proportionate and reasonable.

By ganging I mean this: you're current PSU is taking 120V mains AC from the (probable) IEC connector on the outside of the case. Inside the case, three wires from that mains IEC plug (hot/black, neutral/white, ground/green) are going to your PSU. It would simply a matter of putting two PSUs in there, and wiring the PSUs to mains voltage 3 wires in parallel and connecting half your distro boards to one PSU unit and the other half to the other. Anyone with electrical engineering expertise chime in here....I don't think this would need any kind of isolation circuit because its just replicating inside the case what a power strip would be doing outside it.

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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by ABB » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:06 am

Nonlocal wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:55 pm
Built a studio in a suitcase
:goo:
:tu:

Thats a great one! Had some similar in mind, but i haven't done it until now... How do you deal with all powerconnectors? Did they make an issues regarding noise?
I like the drawer with the keyboard:)
Do you know whats the overall weight of the case is?
Thanks!

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Nonlocal
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Re: the DIY cases thread!

Post by Nonlocal » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:42 am

ABB wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:06 am
Nonlocal wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:55 pm
Built a studio in a suitcase
:goo:
:tu:

Thats a great one! Had some similar in mind, but i haven't done it until now... How do you deal with all powerconnectors? Did they make an issues regarding noise?
I like the drawer with the keyboard:)
Do you know whats the overall weight of the case is?
Thanks!
Thanks!

Nothing complicated, just a power-strip/surge-protector under the hood. It does not cause me any more noise than it would if it were all spaced out in a studio, but I was worried about that. A lot of power in a small space.

And with everything inside it, including the modules, it probably weighs 50lbs. I was considering putting wheels and a pull-out luggage handle on it since it's not as portable as I'd like.

Honestly this was just a prototype, cost me almost nothing to make since I already had everything for it (except for the rails). I wanted to see if it would be as ergonomic as I thought and before making a more thought out one. A few other things I would change about it:
- Small thing, raise the keyboard tray.
- Obviously use more tailored materials (birch of alder), instead of a plywood-encased-in-steel suitcase that I found in my closet. Would probably be sturdier and lighter.
- Not sure if you can see in the picture, but I have a Scarlett 18i8 popping out of the side. I'd probably ditch that idea. It would take some weight and some height off the case, and would allow some extra wiggle room (no pun intended) under the rack.
- The monitor is actually my laptop which folds backwards, so I built the enclosure specifically for it. But because the thing is so wide, and the laptop is only so big, it can be a bit annoying to squint at the screen when you're sitting down. So I'd probably swap it for an actual monitor.

Overall I think I was a bit overly ambitious to try and put everything in a box, it's really only usefully when you have to work in a small space like a shared apartment and if move a lot, in which case it's very handy. Also sucks because, if you want a bigger system then 312hp, you have to get rid of your whole studio or buy a second case (maybe its just me but I prefer to have one rack at a time). But it definitely looks cool(:

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