MU: Super Mini Modular synth project construction journal.

Moog, Synthesizers.com, MOTM, Modcan, Moon and others..... Go big!

Moderators: lisa, luketeaford, Kent, Joe.

Post Reply
User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:44 pm

ALL SEVEN PANELS = $394.81

2ea. Q816 6 space 5U/MU Multi-Circuit Dual VCO - $94.45 each - $188.90 total.

1ea. Q678 8 space 5U/MU Multi-Circuit Dual VCF - $91.33.

1ea. Q113FB 2 space 5U/MU Main VCO Mixer - $42.69.

2ea. 272 x 472 Option Panels - $23.83 each - $47.66 total.

1ea. 2 x 4 Warning Placard - $24.23.

All seven in 3mm thick raw aluminum, no infilled lettering.

Image

:nana: :yay: :party:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:05 pm

MUNNIES - VCO PANEL WOOPS - SWITCHES BITCHES - MENTAL FLATULENCE:

MUNNY:

Dividing the entire $$ amount by the number of module spaces created (2sp for the mixer + 6sp for the vcos + 6sp for the vcos + 8sp for the vcfs = 22 spaces) it comes to $17.95 per space. And that includes the cost for the 2 "option panels" and the funny "Warning!" placard.

To compare that with blank Dot Com panels, the price of a single space blank is $12.00 ... but that is unlettered and undrilled.

So at $17.95 per space, for custom lettered, custom drilled panels, I feel that's pretty pennywise.

Now let's remember that these Front Panel Express panels I've cooked up are the bare minimum constructs ... raw aluminum with unfilled lettering. But let's also remember that one of my goals with this synth project is to keep it as inexpensive as possible (while still building a quality instrument), and rely on my own labor to perform various tasks. It's also an attempt to provide some inspiration to the modular synth owners that may wish to modify their own systems, but don't have a lot of money to devote to such things. It's all an effort on my part to "see how far I can go with a roll of tape and a paper clip" ... so to speak.

Let's look at the pricing differences:

Q816 Multi-Circuit Dual VCO panel, 8 spaces, 3mm thick.

$94.45 - raw aluminum, no infilled lettering.

$114.46 - raw aluminum, black infilled letters.

$101.29 - natural colored anodizing, no infilled lettering.

$121.30 - natural anodizing, black infilled letters.

$105.00 - black anodizing, no infilled lettering.


So just having the lettering filled in but still using a raw aluminum panel costs about $20 bucks more. Add another $6 bucks for clear anodizing.

Having anodized panels and filled in lettering is going to run about another 25% over raw material and no infilling. 25% added to $393.81 comes to nearly $494.00 ($493.51) ... yikes! Not worth it, to me. It's definitely worth $100 bucks saved to do the infilling myself, wet sanding the panel, then adding some clear coat.

And, by the way .... making panels with your own infilling and your own clear coat makes the panels' finish nearly infinitely "re-finishable". If, for instance, you wish to refinish the panels (due to age, scratches, changes in color tastes...) it's not too difficult to chemically strip the clear coat you originally applied, chemically remove the infilling for the letters, and then re-do all of that with fresh in-filling and fresh clear coat.

Try doing that to an anodized panel, worse yet, a black anodized panel. Or one with clear anodizing and infilled lettering. So down the road if the anodized panel becomes scratched up or fades to some funky looking purple (that's what black ano turns in to after years) ... it's gonna be a hella time redoing them panels! But the ones you infilled and clear coated will be far easier to "rebuild". Which fits in rather nicely with the "long term serviceability" ethos of this synth project.

So, back to the cost efficiency of the panels...
this has been an exercise of discovery for me, I really love the fact that FPE can provide holes drilled with placement accuracy within 0.0001" tolerance. This accuracy provides me with the design freedom to be able to create more complex panels. When I drill holes, on my best days I am good for 1mm accuracy (that's 0.5mm plus or minus). But to get there, I have to do painstaking layout, mark the drill locations with a finely tipped scratch awl, make a "witness mark" with a sharp center punch right where I want the hole, then center punch the witness mark with the center punch and a hammer, then go out to the drill press and drill the hole. I don't use my mill for onesies and twosies hole drilling, or even several holes in a panel. I find it simpler and quicker to just place the panel on the work table of the drill press, hold it down firmly with one hand, and operate the quill feed of the drill press with my free hand. And with that process, I am able to achieve 0.5mm +/- accuracy.

The hassle is doing the layout. It takes a long time to do all of the math, draw it up on the panel, scratch it all in, center punch it. Sure, it took me a long time to do those FPD files, but they will come out with gloriously accurate placement of the holes. And when it comes to mistakes, it is far easier to correct the mistake on a computer screen than it is to re-mark everything on an already marked piece of aluminum. Sometimes, when you forget to add one little thing to the panel, when you go to add that one little thing, it affects e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g else around it, and many components must be moved to suit the new situation. Believe me when I tell you that it is FAR easier to deal with re-doing a computer programmed panel than it is to completely re-do the layout on an aluminum panel that you've already marked for drilling.

Staying on track with this train of thought here, using FPD/FPE has been an experiment to see how inexpensively I can produce super accurately drilled panels while not breaking the bank in the process.

That said, it looks like (so far) it's a success. At $17.95 per space, that's fairly inexpensive, considering what that money buys you. It buys me the ability to create much more "adventurous" panel designs and module modifications than I would attempt if I had to do the drilling and panel making myself. In the end ..... FREEDOM ... that's what using FPE provides me with. Freedom of choice .... my modification and improvement choices really open up when using a service that can provide me with such tight accuracy.

Ok, so the next phase of this ~test~ is to see what the engraved lettering looks like without any infilling. And if the non-filled lettering isn't what I expect, then the next thing to test is how well I can infill the lettering myself. I spent years doing exactly ~that~ on aluminum enclosures, so I know how to get it done, and I know what to expect.

The point is to see how inexpensively I can get away with using FPE services and still produce modules that work (after all, I have to be able to see the lettering ... that's what I mean by "modules that work").

I'm sending FPE the little "Rockin' Bone" placard today as a test. When it arrives, I'll know straight away if the letters need to be backfilled or not. And if they do, then the next test is to see if I can do that myself. If it all fails, then I'll know that I'll have to order the panels "infilled" which will add about $10-$15 bucks per lettered panel (average). Which would raise my total cost by about $40 to $60 bucks. Boo.

FUDDUP'D THE VCO PANELS:

I had this nagging feeling that I'd forgotten something on the VCO panels. I couldn't think of anything, so I just tried to ignore it. Then, last night while disassembling the Q106 oscillators in preparation for mounting them in the new panels, I saw an unused 2 pin header on the Q106 PCB. Suddenly I remembered what it was I'd forgotten.

I need to add a minitoggle to take advantage of a jumper feature on the Q106 .. it changes the way the "sync" circuit works. Normally (factory default) the sync circuit looks for just the front edge of a wave form to synchronize the other waveform with. Well, with the installation of that one jumper the sync circuit will now synchronize the waveform to both the leading edge AND the trailing edge of the waveform that it is to sync up with.

I may also need to add even another toggle (on top of the one mentioned above) for a function that may be used when the Q141 VCO Aid Module is used. It seems as though that jumper changes the output range of the Q141 output from -5v to +5v .... to 0v to +10v. That may actually be a useful function ... so I might have to actually add TWO toggles to each VCO on the Dual VCO panels now ..... uh oh!


Image

I know for sure that I have room for adding 2 mini toggles to the panels (1 toggle for each VCO) to have the "UP/BOTH" sync option. But locating space for the "10v" switch for the Q141 output AND the sync-option toggle (2 toggles per VCO .. total of 4 toggles per panel) ... I may have to make more of the knobs 1/2" instead of 1.0" knobs to crowd some of the pots together tighter to create more space for adding them switches.

I just may go for it! Well, I already ~know~ that I'm going to attempt it, it's a matter of how well it turns out whether I end up actually using those changes.

I suppose there's no rules about what size knobs I use, after all, I am already using .....

..... (insert huge reverb now) ... GIANT CHICKENHEADS

:lol: :lol:

(conventions? ... who, me?)

Gotta Jet ..... :tu:

Brian.
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:39 pm

GOT IT!:

Added the "UP - BOTH" sync function toggle (I incorrectly marked them "UP DWN" on the circle that represents that mini toggle). I placed them in those locations because they are then grouped together with the other "sync" controls. Those two little toggles will not require labels, I mean their functions are clear since they're out of place with the 2 columns of mini toggles just above them, they are grouped with the other sync controls, and with the switch UP that will signify "UP" edge of wave to synchronize with. Switch DOWN is just gonna have to mean "both".

Added the Q141 +10v jumper option toggle (lower corners, labeled "+10v"). The mini toggle outside of that toggle is the Q141/Q161 output-to-mixer switch which selects which output is to be sent to the main VCO mixer. And the control just inside of the new 10v switch is the output level pot for the Q141, it sets the actual output level (like a volume control) of the Q141 output. All the rest of all of those circles on the 2 lowest rows are all 1/4" jacks. I'll think about labeling these switches, but it may not be required.



Image
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Eric the Red
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 737
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:43 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Post by Eric the Red » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:17 am

Your big circles, on the bottom, just above the two rows of jacks - if yOu move them to the outer edge, you can fit a few LEDs, or switches, or some other mod...

This panel is not yet dense .
^^ this is all sarcasm, do not redesign your panels again because of this!!

These are coming together nicely, layout out panels is very very time compnsuming, but well worth it in the end.
Abandon all hope, ye who wiggle.

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:10 am

Eric the Red wrote:Your big circles, on the bottom, just above the two rows of jacks - if yOu move them to the outer edge, you can fit a few LEDs, or switches, or some other mod...

This panel is not yet dense .
^^ this is all sarcasm, do not redesign your panels again because of this!!

These are coming together nicely, layout out panels is very very time compnsuming, but well worth it in the end.
Heheh .... yea, it looks a mess. It helps to remember the two rows of circles all along the bottom are just jacks.

But I guess the EIGHTEEN SWITCHES that I added kinda take the density up a bit.

Otherwise it's "just" 2 Q106s, 2 Q161s, 2 Q141s .... :roll:

.... plus eighteen switches .... :doh:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:53 pm

SLOPE JUMPER PANEL - BACK PANEL T-NUTS - COMPLETELY DISASSEMBLED THE SYNTHESIZER - REVERB TANK MOUNT TEMPLATE - FILTER MODIFICATIONS - CAN'T CUT OR DRILL STRAIGHT TO SAVE MY LIFE - NEW MODULES:

Lots to cover this time, so it will be broken up into a few posts.

First up, got some wood work done in preparation for applying a fresh coat of Rustoleum Truck Bedliner to the Main Cab and the 12U Utility Cab.


The Main Cabinet really needed to have back panels installed, so I drilled holes in a pattern that will accept a few Synthesizers.Com blank panels. On each end there will be a Single Wide panel, and then in the middle 12 spaces there will be three 4sp panels (1 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 1 = 14 spaces, which is the width of these two Amherst MU cabs).

I start by drilling those holes to 0.200". Then the T-Nuts are inserted by hand and pressed in as far as I can by hand. Once all of the needed holes are drilled and the T-Nuts are lightly inserted into their respective locations, I put the panels into place, and install the panel screws just tight enough to hold the T-Nuts in place. I then begin at one end, inserting a couple of business cards between two panels, then pushing the panels together with ~some~ pressure (this creates a gap between the panels that ends up being ~roughly~ 0.10" which is what the Dot Com specs call for per the CAD drawing that Roger Arrick published).

Once the business cards are between two panels, I use a screwing driver and tighten down the mounting screws until I can feel a solid *bottom* to the screw's travel. This tells me that the T-Nut has been sucked up into position, and it's cleats are fully seated into the wood. Using a panel for alignment makes certain that each T-Nut is in it's correct position, and it is straight and square.

After all of the T-Nuts are in place, and all of the screws are tightened up pulling the T-Nuts straight and seating the cleats, I then apply a SMALL amount of Gorilla Glue right into the openings of the T-Nut cleats, this allows the glue to flow under the T-Nut. The glue isn't really to anchor the T-Nut into place, it's more for holding the T-Nut in it's position when there is no panel in place and no screw inserted to keep the T-Nut in it's hole.

I allow about 24 hours for the Gorilla Glue to set up and cure properly before I remove the panels. Gorilla Glue does really weird shit when it dries. Sometimes it looks like something that grows in leftovers in the back of the fridge!

Image

Image

Image

12U Utility Cabinet - dammit holes!


Geez, I have no idea what got up my ass the night I did a bit of work on this cabinet! But it seems I not only had trouble drilling holes in the right locations, but I also couldn't drive a saw to follow a line worth a damn either! Well in any case, the job got done. The drill holes are for securing the Utility Cab to the Main Cab. I used eight 1.5" x 1/4" x 20tpi (threads per inch) bolts to hold the two cabs together, making them nearly become a single large 52 inch long synth cab. There will be a good deal of inter-cabinet wiring and cabling going on between the two cabinets, so I felt it best to just connect them together!

Yea ...... got some sanding to do ..... :doh: :roll:

Image

Main Cabinet Reverb Tank mount.

The spring tank that comes with the Dot Com Q115 Reverb module is really nice, but I needed to put it someplace. Since the blocks that I installed in the Main Cab a couple of years back will no longer be used for the PSU (it's being mounted in the Utility Cabinet), those blocks are great for mounting the spring tank. The tank is shorter than the spacing between the blocks, so I needed to fab up a simple template that I can use to make a wooden mounting shelf for the spring tank. I traced the PSU's mounts to a piece of construction paper, and then I placed the spring tank on the paper and traced it's dimensions. Now, I will use this template to cut out a plywood shelf for the spring tank to sit upon. Just one more item off the list before applying that fresh coat of bedliner!

Image

Super MiniMod completely disassembled!

I mean down to the circuit boards! This is what a Synthesizers.Com 4-VCO x 2-VCF modular synth looks like when it's reduced to it's components. It all sits in an old rocket box I picked up when I was enlisted in the military back in the early 1980s.

There are PCBs in there that were made in 2002, and others that were made just last week! I got in that eleven module order a few days ago. It was really weird to totally disassemble four brand new Q141 VCO Aid modules. I also got in one of those new Q114++ 4 channel mixer/distributor modules .... I think it will boot the STG "Mixer" module from it's perch in the Main Cab! Damned nice module, that one!

Image

Image

It will all sit in there, slid under the industrial racking that it normally resides upon, until I get the bus bars done and the Front Panel Express panels arrive and I get them assembled. I look at that box full of synth, and I simply cannot WAIT to get this thing up-n-runnin'!

Continued Next Post - Filter Mods and some thoughts about a few modules! Comin' up in just about an hour!

:tu:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:36 pm

(continued from previous posting).....

L-BRACKETS - SLOPE PANEL - VCF PANEL CHANGES:

L-Bracket Trimming.

Another part of the cabinet work was I had to trim off about 0.250" from one leg of each of the two L-Brackets that I made to hold on the Center Strip. The Center Strip is where most of the four Ring Modulators' circuitry is happening. There's one portion where wiring between two toggle switches spans across the Center Strip right where those L-Brackets are located. I had a choice, either place some type of in-line connector (like a bullet connector) in the wiring so that the wires may be split apart to facilitate installing the Center Strip into it's place ... or ... trim the L-Brackets a little so that when the Center Strip is installed, those wires may be lifted slightly while the strip is being put in to clear the L-Brackets. I chose to trim the brackets.

Turned out better than the holes I put in the Utility Cab, there's no doubt there!

Image

(below) Here's a picture of the exact location in question. It's an older picture before I installed a bunch of Ring Mod stuff on the strip. Look between the two toggle switches, see that L-Bracket in between them? Well, now there's some wiring that goes from toggle to toggle, and installing or removing the Center Strip would have been a problem without somehow ~breaking in~ to the wiring. So I trimmed the L-Brackets, which will allow the wires to jump over the brackets when installing or removing the Center Strip.

Yet one more thing scratched off of the list in preparation for this evolution into full-blown nomalization of the synth.

Image

Slope Jumper Panel.

I have tried and tried and tried to figure out how to go about using toggle switches to take advantage of the fact that the Synthesizers.Com Q150 Low Pass Transistor Ladder Filter has the ability to change it's response slope from 4 pole, to 3, 2, and 1 pole. In stock condition the filter comes set up to provide -24db (4 pole) and -12db (2 pole) filter slopes with a DPDT toggle switch. But there's also a jumper array that provides 3 pole, and 1 pole depending on how the jumpers are arranged. I've always figured that there was some way to use toggle switches to go about having immediate access to all of the slope values. I've even posted threads about it, and no one seems to know exactly how to go about it. So I nearly gave up on the idea.

Then it hit me like a lightning bolt. "Extend the jumper array and use some other means of jumping the array's pins" .... (he said). After a bit of thinking it over, I came up with the following module panel.

Using Tip/Ring/Sleeve jacks and plugs, I was able to work out ~that part~ ... at least I then knew that there were readily available parts to do this with. Next, how to wire it up? Well, I remembered that I had previously discovered that a Euro-type power cable connector fits a lot of stuffs due to the somewhat common "pitch" the pins use ("pitch" in this case refers to the spacing between the pins).

I have about fifty 0.1" pitch 2x5 ten pin housings that I'm using for making power cables for my Euro stuff. I also just recently bought fifty 0.1" pitch six pin 1x6 housings. HEY! THE JUMPER ARRAY HAS 12 PINS! COULD IT BE?

So, I put two of those six pin housings together, and test fit the assembly to the jumper pin array on the PCB of the Q150. HOT DAMN IT FITS!!!!

OK, so it alllllll came together. Gluing two six pin housings together to fabricate a 2x6 twelve pin housing, make a panel with six TRS jacks and a toggle switch (the switch to replace the DPDT minitoggle on the front panel of the Q150 that is used to switch between 4 pole and 2 pole). Then, take 2 TRS plugs ... right angle ones .... and solder a link between the Tip and Ring terminals, effectively creating a large 1/4" "jumper link" out of the plug. Then wire the TRS jacks to the 2x6 twelve pin housing to connect the jumper pin array on the Q150 PCB to the new Slope Jumper Panel.

HELLS YEA!!!

Another caveat is that should I ever need to ~undo~ this whole thing, all that is required is to simply unplug the damned thing from the PCB, and reinstall the two stock jumper links!

One other thing also lined up .... I had only just reconfigured the synth so that there was one module space available .... one! ... and it just so happens that the one space is right next to the new filter panel!

This was all just too crazy.

So .... without any more bla bla bla .... here's the new Slope Jumper Panel ....

Image



SWITCH UP = -24db (4 pole)

SWITCH DOWN = whatever configuration the jumpers are in.



Image


Image

"What would happen if the jumper plugs were inserted into the wrong jacks?" ..... no idea. I suppose the same thing as if you'd installed a jumper link on the wrong set of pins.

So the concept is quite simple .... just make certain the plugs are A.L.W.A.Y.S parallel to one another. The End.

This is no more difficult than remembering to never .. ever ... plug a cable into a "speaker output" jack on the back of your amplifier into an instrument input ... even though they have the same plug types. There's just some things you gotta do, and some things you gotta never do.

So there ya go ..... slope jumpers on the front panel of the synth!

VCF Panel Changes.

Ok, so one other filter trick coming up that I've added to the works, but I'll be posting that in the morning sometime. I'ze tired!


Gotta Jet!


:tu:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:03 pm

FILTER HOT RODDING ('cuz it isn't modded enough!)

Ok, on this SUPER-VCF situation. As it is now, it is one hell of a filter.

Think about it ... a combination filter that has a stage consisting of a State Variable Filter with a mixer that permits mixing all four states (low pass, high pass, band pass, and notch). Not only does it mix the states, but each bus has a feedback stage. One bus is used for the LPF and HPF .... the other bus is used for the BPF and Notch. Each bus has it's own "overdrive" gain stage. This filter stage also has a Resonance Boost (increases the resonance gain by at least twice) and a Constant Bandwidth option. Along with CV controllable resonance.

Moving forward ......

The second filter stage in this animal is a Transistor Ladder Low Pass Filter, that offers the player access to the ability to totally reconfigure the filter's slope in real time from a choice of 4 separate slope settings.

Combined together, these two filters create a highly capable tonal monster. Let's not neglect mentioning the fact that I've added a few features to increase it's overall usefulness and power. One major feature is the ability to invert each filter's incoming signal through the use of a Synthesizers.Com Q147 Distributor module. The outputs on that module use attenuverters which provide the ability to invert each outbound signal independently of one another.

Very near completion, here's the last bit of additions I am working (hard!) at becoming realities:

1.) Adding a switch activated Feedback Loop to the Q107 (State Variable) filter. The loop is routed in to the VCF's adjustable input.

2.) Adding a switch activated Feedback Loop to the Q150 (Slope Variable Low Pass) filter.

3.) Adding a switch activated Series/Parallel option that places the two filter stages in either series with one another, or places the 2 filter stages in parallel with one another.

4.) Adding a switch activated Order Flipper which reverses the two filter stages' order in which the signal passes through them when places in Series with one another. Switch placed one way, the State Variable Filter is first in line, the LPF second. Switch placed the other way and the LPF is placed first in line, the State Variable second. This all by itself is a powerful function, let alone in addition to all of the other features I've included already.

Now, I've already worked out (and added) the Series/Parallel switch to the new panel that I'm designing for this filter array. Where I am now is working out the signal routing for the Order Flipper in combination with the Series/Parallel option.

There's more to it than it at first seems, because gumming up the works are the "Send" and "Return" 3.5mm jacks that will reside in the two Option Panels I've designed in to the new panel. There will be a Send jack that breaks the circuit open as it feeds from the Input Distributor to the VCF Inputs. A Return jack brings the signal back in to the feed at the same place that the Send jack opens it up. No different than placing a patch cable between the Distributor's channel output and the Filter's input. Same goes for each filter's output, there are Send and Return jacks on the outbound side of each VCF.

So, mandatory for consideration are Send and Return jacks at the input and output lines of each filter, Feedback Loops for each filter, and a Series/Parallel condition switch. But I am getting there!

I've already worked out the wiring logic for the Series/Parallel toggle switch.

I've also worked out the wiring logic for the Order Swapper (Order Flipper? ... Reverse-O-Matic? ... Reverse Discriminator? ... "Get the hell outta my way, I'm first!"?) switch..... :roll: It's a 3PDT (three pole, double throw) minitoggle. Take a look ........


Image


So the hard part is done .... well, pretty much!

One other ~small~ complication is where the hell am I gonna put 3 more toggle switches!? I've done a lot of work on the QX678 Multi-Circuit Dual VCF panel the last week, and as you can see in this screen shot much has been done! There is some space to group them together, though. Right in the center, down low .... a bit of shuffling and all will be well. Of course, I'll have to use minitoggles for these 3 added function switches, but I'm good with that. I was able to make some room since I removed the "SLOPE" toggleswitch. That switch has been moved to the new Slope Jumper Panel that I described and posted pics of in the 2 previous postings. Screenshot ......

Image

I hope to have the results to share of my efforts to solve these few small issues within a few days. You can bet I'll be consulting the Construction Paper Mockups for help! It may seem silly, but those mockups I do with cut up pieces of construction paper really help .... A LOT!

Ok, so there's where the filters stand. The VCO panels are DONE DONE DONE. I ended up adding 8 more toggle switches, and 2 more output jacks (now there are "-" and "+" jacks for the Q141 outputs). All in all, there are EIGHTEEN toggle switches on each voice panel. Yes, 18.

OH! I have changed all of the 1/2" knobs on all of the panels to 3/4" knobs .... SO NO MORE HALF INCH KNOBS!

ONE MORE THING .... some of the more observant readers may have noticed that I changed the name of the filter panel to the "QX678" ... it used to be the "Q678" but I added the "X". For one thing, anything with an "X" in it is just friggin cool (me and my "X" names ... kinda like me and my stainless steel shtuffs!). Second, I felt that calling my panels "Q" this and "Q" that were a blatant kick in the nuts to Roger Arrick of Synthesizers.Com. So, I've added an "X" in there .... it's all the better for it now, too!

** So now both of the Dual-VCO voice panels are named "QX816".
** The main VCO mixer panel is the "QX113".
** The dual filter panel is the "QX678".

:yay:

Ok, that's it for tonight.

Gotta Jet ......

:tu:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:03 pm

HA! NAILED THE PARALLEL/SERIES + ORDER REVERSING WIRING LAYOUT:

Damned right I did! WaHOO!

It certainly took a while, but I got it! I was even able to manage getting the FeedBack Loops and the Send/Return 3.5mm Jacks in there as well. A little jibber jabber before the diagrams......

*** The boxes with "S" and "R" in them represent a 3.5mm "send" jack, and a 3.5mm "return" jack ... both are normalized together so that if a plug is inserted in either one the signal chain is opened up. This creates insert points, where the signal may be diverted out to be modulated in any way, such as flanging, phasing, wave folding, perhaps another filter, or whatever! I may end up making the "Send" jacks to where they act as mults (dividing the signal chain rather than diverting it) and only make the "Return" jacks to where they actually break open the circuit. I'll have to kick that around a bit though.

*** Note that when the system is in Series Mode that the Q150's input channel on the Q147 Distributor (the input distributor on the far left) is no longer connected, and the Q107's output channel on the Q112 Mixer (the output mixer on the far right) is also no longer connected. This is just wunna-tham-thangs that this type of switching setup creates. It's not a big deal, I just have to remember that when in Series Mode, CH2 on the Distributor and CH1 on the mixer are non-funkt, and to use CH1 only to control input levels, and CH2 of the mixer to control output levels.

*** One other little itch is that when in PARALLEL Mode, the Order Swapper toggle M.U.S.T be in "standard order mode" (Q107 first, Q150 second) otherwise there will be no sound. When I go to actually wire this up, I'll do so in such a way that when the Series/Parallel switch is in Parallel Mode, whichever way the switch bat is pointing will be the same direction that the Order Swapper toggle's bat is pointing when that switch is in the proper mode. That way, when in Parallel Mode all I need to do is place both switches' bats in the same direction (either up or down, depending on how I end up configuring all of this).

OK ... So We Have To Start With This Diagram Of The "Order Swapper Switch" As A Reference (since it is represented in the diagrams beneath it as just a ~box~):

Image


(below) Here's The QX678 In Parallel Mode:


Image


(below) Here's The QX678 In Series Mode (Q107 first - Q150 second):


Image


When swapping the two filter stages' order, every single thing will look identical other than the two filters being "swapped", the same "IN" channel on the Q147 Distributor and the same "OUT" channel on the Q112 Mixer will be used since neither of those circuits "knows" what's plugged into them.

So ok ..... there it is!

Phone is ringing ... gotta take that one! I'll check for any needed ~edits~ after the phone call.

:tu:
Last edited by Rex Coil 7 on Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
kcd06
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 4:22 pm
Location: REDACTED

Post by kcd06 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:42 pm

QED ammo boxes, speed tape and superglue build civilization. Or at least large synthesizers...

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:50 pm

kcd06 wrote:QED ammo boxes, speed tape and superglue build civilization. Or at least large synthesizers...
... willy-p rocket box (white phosphorus target marker) ... other times used for slap flares.
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:29 pm

FRONT PANEL EXPRESS FIRST ORDER - TEST PANEL:

Dayum!

Picture taken right out of the box. The bolts fit beautifully (0.005" over size of bolt diameter), and the panel's corner radii match the bolt head radii like they were both cut from the same piece of metalicum at the same instant.

I'm glad I did my measurements right as well. So everything looks good so far.

I'm going to infill this panel myself. I'm familiar with the process, and the lettering looks to be cut deeply enough for it all to work.

Yea ...... anyhow ........

Image

This is going to go on the top of the Main VCO Mixer panel (2sp), which will be mounted in the cab dead center, top row. So this placard will sortof be the ~crown~, sitting exactly centered between the two 6sp Voice Panels.

Here's a screenshot of the Main VCO Mixer panel (the QX113). The blue area is this panel (above). I will be having the QX113 panel anodized black, with engraved milled lettering, pretty much just as you see it.

Image

Ok, supper's ready! Gotta Jet!

:nana:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:34 pm

WARNING PANEL LETTERING INFILL - BOLT HEAD DRESSING - SLOPE JUMPER PANEL CONNECTORS PREPARED:

The first test on infilling the Front Panel Express engraving as a DIY project that I am aware of. It seems to be working out excellently! Here we go ....

Here's the panel as it came out of the wrapping, fresh as can be right off the mill. Some hard edges, some milling "signatures" here and there. A bit of a "surface ground" look to it ...

Image


After some wet sanding. I used a very worn out piece of emery pad (a sortof sponge like pad that has emery grit embedded in it's surface). This took some of the rough machined texture from the panel.



Image


Here's the back of the same panel, I used the same emery pad but used a "cross hatch" pattern while sanding it. I like this look quite a lot, as it draws the attention away from the surface and directs it towards the lettering. It looks a bit less fancy, too.


Image


Using 3M "Blue" masking tape, I masked off everywhere I possibly could so as to cover as little of the panel as possible when spraying on the infill paint. It would have been a lot more efficient to use canned paint and a small paintbrush to apply the infill (something like a fingernail polish bottle and brush would have been ideal). All I had on hand was spray paint, though. So ... masking it is! Also, the less amount of area painted means less sanding afterwards to remove the unwanted paint. Less sanding means fewer chances of messing up the surface and less chance of excessively rounding off the machined edges.


Image


After painting and allowing several hours to at least semi-cure, the panel was wet sanded with (again) the worn out emery pad. There's still some work to go on it, and I still want to use a cross hatch pattern to finish it off. After that is all done, I'll apply a few solid coats of clear coating to it to complete the job. So far, it looks EXCELLENT!!


Image



To dress up the button head socket screws used to fix this panel to the Main Mixer panel, I wrapped tape around the threads of these bolts, then chucked them up in a hand drill, and used that same old worn out emery pad to put a nice ground finish on the heads of those stainless steel screws. The ones in the center of each group of three are the stock bolts without any finish work done to them.



Image


Moving on to the Slope Jumper Panel, I got a little bit done to move that task forward. The little ridges on each side of each 6-pin housing needed to be shaved off, otherwise the two housings would not be able to be close enough to one another to allow them to be connected to the Jumper Pin Array on the PCB of the Q150. So, I used a small flat file (small flat bastard file), and finished them off with a little sandpaper. They are both quite flat now, and since the finish has some "tooth" to it (roughness from sanding), the glue I'll use to attach them together will stick better.




Image



Image



Little victories. Moving ahead one step at a time.

I didn't feel well over this past week, so I didn't get a whole lot done .... but it's all *something* in the manner of moving forward with the project!

I'll finish up the little Warning panel tomorrow, cross hatch sanding it and applying clear coats. I'm hoping like hell that it all works out, if so, that's how I'll do the QX678 Dual VCF, and the two QX816 Dual VCO panels. I'm actually toying with doing the Main VCO Mixer in bedliner (no lettering). We'll see what the future brings!

Hasta Lasagne!

:tu:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:24 am

NEW AESTHETICS - ROCKIN' BONE CLEAR COATED:

Two coats of Rustoleum Clear Coat on the Rockin' Bone panel .... it looks phenomenal! I did the swirl sanding (I've also called it "cross hatch") some more to even it up a little better, gives the aluminum a more consistent finish to the tiny little cuts that emery cloth does to it. If you attempt to use very straight lines when sanding or polishing the panel, e.v.e.r.y single little curve or uncompleted swipe shows up in grand glory. Using a more swirly type of pattern creates something more pleasing to the (my) eye. It's also a more forgiving finishing pattern as well.

That Rustoleum clear coat is great stuff. It covers like a mad dog, and flows out very smoothly and even. It's difficult to accept that the black infill of the lettering is actually FLAT BLACK! For all the world it appears as if it is gloss black after the clear coat is applied. Super sweet look.

So I am 1000000% happy with my choice to order the panel in raw aluminum with no infilled lettering .... not only is it A LOT less costly, but it was relatively easy to create a finish that is less commonly seen and a bit unique.

Cost wise, take a look:

Raw Aluminum, no infill = $24.23.
Raw Aluminum, infilled lettering, "Jet Black (RAL 9005)" = $34.14.
Clear Anodized, infilled lettering, "Jet Black (RAL 9005)" = $34.88.

So going DIY saved roughly $10.00 bucks from the purchase price. Granted, using emery pads and clear coat isn't ~free~, but it's DIY ... and fun DIY at that!

But those prices are for a small panel, only 2" x 4". Here's the same cost analysis on the QX678 Dual VCF Multi-Circuit, which is an 8 spaces wide 5U panel (16.99" wide x 8.75" tall):

Raw Aluminum, no infill = $103.69.
Raw Aluminum, infilled lettering, "Jet Black (RAL 9005)" = $127.86.
Clear Anodized, infilled lettering, "Jet Black (RAL 9005)" = $136.83.

So on this large panel, $33.14 is saved by doing the infill and clear coating it myself. And (this is the best part) the DIY finish is 100% refurbishable ... in that it may be stripped and re-applied should it ever require it. Refinishing and relettering an engraved anodized panel is pretty much not within reasonable costs at all. In fact, I'm fairly certain it can't even be done, and just may as well purchase an all new panel at that point.

Clear coat may be easily stripped using chemical paint stripper, as well as the infilled lettering. And both the lettering and the clear coat can be easily redone.

Here it is, I plan on adding two or three more clear coats just yet:

Image


New Color Scheme Worked Out:


These pictures are of modules that I've ~stored~ in a small two sided rack that allows me to put two Dot Com synthesizer module rack adapters on each side. I needed a safe place to keep them until the whole normalizing/repaneling project is completed. These modules will not be repaneled, they'll pretty much be left as you see them with only a little bit of normalizing back panel connections made.

I've locked in this particular color scheme:

YELLOW KNOBS = Time based modules (envelopes, slew). Only about 6 of those.

YELLOW LEDs = gates and triggers, or any continuous trigger signals sent by realtime controllers (""ON" lights indicating a footswitch has been stepped on) and the like.

YELLOW SWITCH CAPS = pretty much just about all of them - I wanted the switch bats on the mini toggles to stand out and be easily seen against any color.

RED KNOBS = Overdrive, Resonance, Feedback amounts .... any type of gain increasing controls or anything that adds distortion or "peaks". About 15 of those.

RED LEDs = VCO rate lights - there are still a few red LEDs on two of the modulation modules, but that is only until I take the time to completely disassemble the ribbon controller module and the foot control module (those new Q182 series ... them things are DENSE!). When I take those two apart to replace all of the black oxide coated steel screws with stainless steel screws is when I'll install my oversized LED holders and yellow LEDs. (EDIT: Then again, those modules along with the power control module may retain their RED LEDs, they look pretty sharp in contrast to the black, blue, yellow, and bright work.... besides, there's very little space to fit those LED holders in the modules that still have RED LEDs in them, tight contraints!).

BLUE KNOBS = Any type of CV amount levels, whether it be attenuators, CV amounts, or attenuverters ... as long as the control is moderating CV levels, it's BLOOO. About 25 of those.

Blue switch caps = temporary only until I get in a new batch of yellow ones from Small Bear.

BLACK KNOBS = Audio levels, and boy howdy are their a lot of those! roughly 70 of them.

I know that the knob color pretty much makes the synth ~become~ that color, especially if there are a lot of one color knob. That said, I knew that my synth had more audio level knobs than any other type, so I needed to make them BLACK. CV knobs are the second highest count, and "time" controls are the lowest numbers. Actually, the lowest number is for Pulse Width, and those will most likely be GREEN knobs (there's only 4 of those).

So .... BLACK .... BLUE .... RED .... YELLOW ...... it really works, especially against the aluminum or black module panels. And any of those colors works just great with the splattering of "bright work" (stainless, chrome, shiny aluminum, nickel plating).

Take a look, the yellow LEDs really jump, as do the new LED holders I used to replace the factory stock Dot Com plastic LED holders (.... wow ... those new LED holders look like they should have been used in the first place!). The whole new ~scheme~ really works:


Image


Image


Yup .... aesthetically it's really coming together now! It all goes GREAT with the bedliner coating I use as well. And BTW .. I ordered the Main VCO Mixer in plain raw aluminum with no lettering ... it will be bedliner coated and should look just stunning with the "Rockin' Bone" panel bolted to it!

Installing the new LED holders is a little bit of a hassle, only in that the panel has to be drilled out to 0.3125" to accept them. So there's a fair bit of disassembly to get the job done. The new 5mm Yellow LEDs just drop in to place, and the exisiting LED connector Roger Arrick uses fits on the new LEDs just fine. The Yellow LEDs also have roughly the same voltage drop as the stock RED ones, so there's no weird voltage or current issues that are put upon the VCO circuitry.

As for the VCO LEDs, even though I'm still going to use RED LEDs, I'm replacing the factory stock red ones with these beautiful ~wine red~ LEDs that I've had in stock for nearly ten full years. I've been saving them for something special for all this time, I just had no idea what "special" thing I'd use them in! They are this really rich red color, very unlike the buck standard red LEDs seen most of the time. Of course, they will also have the trick looking nickel plated stainless steel LED holders I've used in the modules shown above (I have over 400 of them, I'd best start using them for something!).

Ok, enough about ~looks~ for now .... more stuffs coming up in a few days!

Bye byes!

:mrgreen:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
MindMachine
weekend warrior
Posts: 6849
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:45 am
Location: Santa Susana Field Lab

Post by MindMachine » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:30 am

A labor of love! Kudos to your tenacity and detail. Nice to see someone have a goal and plow toward it. :sb:

I thought I kicked ass today because I stained and clear coated a pre-bought Doepfer case. :lol:

I long for the Deft solvent based coats. The water based suck.

Rock on Rex Coil 7.
FS: Pedals and Euro modules, Delta Labs
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=233636&p=3287718&h ... e#p3287718
WTT: my Mangler for your Rumour

User avatar
ArboriaAuralist
Common Wiggler
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Post by ArboriaAuralist » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:34 am

Maybe it's just my inner pedant, but shouldn't the envelope sustain knobs to be yellow as they're levels rather than durations? :razz:

That aside, this thread is super inspiring and educational. Thank you, Rex, for sharing your ongoing planning, thinking, solutions and results. :yay:

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:54 am

Mind boggling and excellent work! :hail:

Dr Gris
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:14 pm
Location: Sweden

Post by Dr Gris » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:34 am

This thread makes my head spin....in a good way.
Bas ass indeed!!

Keep it up!
//M

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:46 am

REPLIES - BUS BARS FOR MAIN CAB DONE - NEW WAY TO CONNECT PANELS TO NORMALIZING RAILS - STOCKING UP!:

Loads to get to tonight, may take a couple of posts ... let's get to it!
MindMachine wrote:A labor of love! Kudos to your tenacity and detail. Nice to see someone have a goal and plow toward it. :sb:

I thought I kicked ass today because I stained and clear coated a pre-bought Doepfer case. :lol:

I long for the Deft solvent based coats. The water based suck.

Rock on Rex Coil 7.
Thanks much man. HA!HA! ... Wow .... I had forgotten all about "Deft" ... used it in woodshop in High School, and never again.

Plowing on ..... :tu:
ArboriaAuralist wrote:Maybe it's just my inner pedant, but shouldn't the envelope sustain knobs to be yellow as they're levels rather than durations? :razz:

That aside, this thread is super inspiring and educational. Thank you, Rex, for sharing your ongoing planning, thinking, solutions and results. :yay:
Thank you .... at first I dismissed your suggestion about the SUSTAIN knob color since the theme is ~module focused~ not so much on the knob itself. Then I thought about it some more and I think I believe you are correct! That said, I'll make the Sustain knob "CV Dark Blue" to adhere to the color theme I've adopted. Thanks for the tip, it works!
JohnLRice wrote:Mind boggling and excellent work! :hail:
Thank you John, I really appreciate the encouragement ... more on that just below.
Dr Gris wrote:This thread makes my head spin....in a good way.
Bas ass indeed!!

Keep it up!
//M
Thank you Doc! And keeping iting uping.

Now, to all four of you .... I had a really shitty day previous to these replies the four of you posted. Sometimes the meds that the VA has me on sortof "backfire" and I get very sick, hard core nuasea, major headache, weak and wobbly, can't see properly. So I go to bed, and wake up to find these jewels in my project thread .... I cannot express how much I needed to hear these little bits of uplifting support. It really made my entire day, I even had my wife read them. So ... thanks TONS fellas. Sometimes the littlest thing can make a huge difference in someone's day. I honestly appreciate the high replies. Thanks again!

Ok ... now then .... lots to get to here. On wiffit!

GOT FOUR BUS BARS COMPLETED:

I have been dreading this part of my project since I decided to do this. I decided to do all of the bus bars on my drill press rather than the mill. I have developed a technique involving layout and center punching that I've honed to an edge over the years. I figured I may as well use that method rather than using the mill, even though it is 100% manual and involves more labor. It worked out so well that I'll do the remaining TEN bus bars the same way. Here we go ....

STEP ONE - LAYOUT
. I use some favorite tool for this. I use a Sharpie as "Dykem Blue" in the general area where I need a center punch. Then I do the layout and etch a cross with an old dentist's pick that I've modified for the process, I keep it very sharp to make sure my lines are accurate. I do my damnedest to retain a +/- 1mm tolerance on everything, which requires that I use a 10X Loupe over my 2X glasses to get a super close up look at things while I etch in the layout cross.

Image

Image

Once the layout cross is etched in all the way down the bus bar, I then go back with the 10X Loupe and make what is known as a "witness mark" with the center punch and a small length of 3/4" round stock that I use as a light hammer. I hold the round stock upright and simply allow it's weight to drop on to the center punch, which is just barely enough inertia to make a small tiny little ~dot~, otherwise known as a "witness mark". I do this across the entire length of the bus bar. By the way, I do all four bus bars at a time per process step. Meaning that I do the layout cross on all 4 bars, then I do the witness marks on all 4 bars, and so on. Here's the witness marks (little marks that look like ~stars~ in the night sky on the aluminum placed in the center of the layout crosses).


Image


Image


Then I bust out the brass mallet. It's time to actually punch a heavy center punch in the witness marks. The brass mallet works perfectly for this, it's weight is just right for making a nice deep center punch without skipping off of the center punch or making the tip of the center punch bounce (causing what's called a "double strike" ... essentially 2 center punch dents when you only want 1). Nice straight lines of 28 center punched holes on each bus bar!


Image

Image

Image


Then I suit up and it's out to the shop for some time on the drill press. I don't take pictures of my process on the drill press because I do not use any clamps. I only use my hands to anchor down the part while I drill the holes ... since this is an unsafe practice I don't want pictures of it published. But, here's the end result, right off of the drill press. They need to be finish wet sanded before they are ~done~ though.

Image

I use masking tape on the bottom of the work piece to keep from scratching it up too badly ... and ... to help keep the work piece from sliding or moving around too much on the drill press table while I'm drilling.

Image

Tape removed, and wet sanded. They still need just a bit more work, but they're nearly done!

Image

Image

These 4 bus bars will go here (below) .... in the upper row of the Mian Cabinet. They will connect to the 4 bus bars in the Utility Cabinet (the 12U rack cab that houses the power supply and two 8sp rack adapters that hold many of the real time modulation modules such as the controller module for the Dot Com 20 inch ribbon controller).


Image

The 4 bus bars in the Utility Cab will connect to the 4 bus bars in the Main Cab with heavy 1/0 Class K welding cables, via heavy aluminum "lugs". Here's the mockup of that termination ....

Image



Not bad for a hair lip! :lol:



NEW METHOD OF CONNECTING THE VCO PANELS TO THE NORMALIZING RAILS:

I've been frettin' over this issue for weeks. Previously, I used a combination of those "DC Jacks" on the normalizing rail to connect the VCO panels to the normalizing trunk so that I could easily remove the panels. This required 1 DC jack per every two CV signals. I've been uncomfortable with the idea of using those little jacks for several weeks now, and I've toiled over coming up with another method of patching the CV signals to the VCO panel CV toggles. Last night I was digging through a parts bin when I came across a wayward terminal strip that I'd bought at my local Lowes some years ago. It hit me like a lightning bolt .... just use those! Soooo ... I've worked out most of the wiring scheme with the terminal strips (terminal blocks?). I'll use them for both the incoming CV signals from the interface panel I cooked up, and I'll also use them for Audio signal I/O to the Main Mixer inputs AND for the Ring Modulator I/O signals as well.

Went to Lowes today, picked up six of them. They were only $7.00 each and are built very well. #8-32 screws, square flat washers, and the screws are long enough to handle doubling up #8 crimp on eyelets for parallel routings. The mounting holes are also good for #8 screws, which is what I'm using to anchor the module power cable eyelets to the bus bars, so I have over 400 of them in stock .... those trick looking button head socket screws in stainless steel (of course!). So ... we're #8 all the way through!

Image

Image

Since I used up all of my 1.5" x 1.5" aluminum angle on the prototype of the normalizing rail, I picked up 12 more feet of it .... here's the old prototype I'm replacing with the new terminal block method .....

Image

New aluminum for new normalizing rails!


Image

I finally got stocked up on Bedliner! It was out of stock around here everywhere I looked ... for weeks! Now I can finally get the MU cabs finished and start moving forward!

Image

I also got stocked up on my favorite clear coat. This is the same clear coat that I used on the "WARNING!" placard over the infilled lettering that I DIY'd here at home. Looking at the cost analysis I did in one of my previous postings on this page, doing my own infilling of Front Panel Express engraving will literally save me over $100.00 bucks when all three large panels are added up. Infilled lettering would cost me over $34.00 per panel ... X3 panels ... = >$104.00 saved! This clear coat is difficult to locate around here in certain times of the year (like now!). So I'm glad I located a few cans! This clear coat works very well covering infilled lettering.

Image

Now I need to order a few fingernail polish bottles that have the captive brush attached to the bottle cap. I'll use those to apply the black epoxy into the engraved lettering, rather than using spray paint. Spraying on the black infill requires a lot of time consuming masking around the letters with 3M Blue masking tape. Using a small brush means no more masking tape, and much faster and more accurate infilling, as well as far less paint used. Less paint used also means less finish sanding to remove the excess paint so the engraved lettering is all that has black paint in it.

Ok ... so I got a good deal done today! I'm VERY happy with the fact that I got the worst of the bus bars drilled out today. Those four are the worst of the 14 bus bars I need to make for this synth.

** 4 in the Main Cabinet (15v MU).
** 4 in the Utility Cabinet (15v MU).
** 3 in the Euro Controller Wedge (12v Euro).
** 3 in the Keyboard End controller Cabinet (12v Euro).
** Total of 360+ holes to drill.
** Got 116 holes done tonight with the first 4 bus bars for the Main Cabinet.

Oy!

G'night Folks. And thanks again fellas (you know who you are). The uplifting remarks I woke up to made my week!!!!!

Brian .....
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Flareless
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:33 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Post by Flareless » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:09 pm

:eek: Woah dude - you just keep upping the bar!!!

Thanks for sharing this incredible work :yay:
Rich

Image

What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it gives forth a sound - Neil Peart

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:15 pm

REPLY - QX113 MAIN MIXER PANEL (EARLY MOCK AND PREASSEMBLY):
Flareless wrote::eek: Woah dude - you just keep upping the bar!!!

Thanks for sharing this incredible work :yay:
Thank YOU for the props! When I look at the works of other people I feel like mine is pretty pedestrian. But I like it anyway!

The Front Panel Express panel I done which is named the QX113 has arrived! Here's the raw aluminum, right off the mill look (I partially assembled it). No wet sanding done:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Here it is with some wet sanding done, once completed it will be coated in Bedliner Black!. Imagine the silver Rockin' Bone placard against the black bedliner finish. Not to mention the 4 stainless steel flat washers on the 4 large toggles, and the knobs. Add the stainless hardware/bolts/screws. Sweet.

Image

More to come over the next week. I have a few bedlner items to be sprayed, as well as completing the new normalizing rails (the new ones that use 8 row terminal strips instead of using various TRS jacks and "DC Jacks"). I just ordered the Delrin required to fabricate the Power Supply Output Terminal Strip, so that will be happening as well. Been held down with a bit of a neck issue over the last week, but I'm feeling better each day.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year everyone!

:tu:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:46 pm

QX113:

I've been feeling pretty cruddy the last several days, not really up to intricate or detailed work (headaches, vision issues due to a certain VA issued medication, blah blah). So I've been sticking to simple mechanical assembly type stuff, painting, everwhat. Not much soldering going on though. Anyhow, enough with the apologies.

The QX113 Main VCO Mixer ... everything done except extending a few wires from a few panel mounted components and literally just plugging in the PCB. Obviously, a visual Theme has evolved here:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

OPERATIONALLY SPEAKING (use the image at the bottom here as a reference):

** Red Knob, left = Overdrive control for VCO Bus A (VCO1 and VCO2).
** Red Knob, right = Overdrive control for VCO Bus B (VCO3 and VCO4).
** Black Knobs, left to right = (VCO Volume) - VCO1, VCO2, VCO3, VCO4.
** Toggles, left to right = (VCO ON/OFF) - VCO1, VCO2, VCO3, VCO4.
** Jacks, left to right = Bus "A" Aux Input --- Bus "A" Output --- Main Mixer Output (sum total of the entire mixer) --- Bus "B" Output --- Bus "B" Aux Input.

Image

I'll be up to soldering in a day or so. Right now this headache is doing nothing but getting worse. All done for now ...

:tu:
Last edited by Rex Coil 7 on Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

Dr Gris
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:14 pm
Location: Sweden

Post by Dr Gris » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:19 pm

I really dig that name plate. It came out really well!!

Hmmm....makes me think. Shouldn't we all name our "children"...
Maybe something Roger at dotcom should consider.
A blank with a metal plate like yours or some utilities beneath.
Custom engraving with a couple of fonts to choose from.

Or not... I guess everybody needs all the space they have,
but I'd rather have that than the Patcher Jack even if he's "the guardian"...

Hope you feel better soon!!

Cheers
//Magnus

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:38 pm

ALL NEW LOWER ROW - DIY SWITCH CAPS - QX163 DUAL VCF EXPANDER MODULE:

Let me start off with a little sunthin sunthin that I did with some switches. I've been wanting to try out a product I've been acquainted with since about 1983. Stuff is called Plasti Dip. I was able to locate red and blue at our local Wal Mart, so I tried the red out first. Little colored switch caps that are available from various suppliers have produced hit and miss luck. Many of them simply split right in half, not during installation, but rather days or even weeks after they've been installed on a switch bat. Frustrated with this, I wanted to try the Plasti Dip thing. So here's a first try at it. It came out ~ok~, the next ones will be much better. I learned a few things on this first trial.

This is a LARGE toggle switch, it requires a 1/2" mounting hole and is the same type that I'm using in various places throughout my synth.

Image

As I said I have learned a few things on the first go around, so the next ones will be better looking.

LOWER ROW RECONFIGURATION:

I tend to listen to my instincts. That said, for some reason I have been very reluctant to order the large 8 space panel that I designed for the filter array. Something was holding me back, it felt as though the lower row of the synth wasn't properly designed.

The inspiration finally hit. I took to designing an all new "aid" module for the two filters (Dot Com Q107 ad Q150). I did away with the built in Q147 Distributor as well as the built in Q112 output mixer. I also went back to having both filters living in their original Dot Com panels. Long made short, I ended up picking up THREE module spaces that have turned out to be highly useful.

1.) 1space. Now, the lower row begins with a Q118 Instrument Interface (to incorporate the Kurzweil PC3A6 into the signal chain as another "VCO" of sorts).

2.) 1space. Next is an Oakley Dual VCA, which will allow me to control the gain levels of the VCOs going in to the....

3.) 1space ... 3 channel input panel I made (with the red cables coming out of it and the three large toggle switches to turn each channel on and off).

4.) 1space. Then the Suit And Tie guy clone of the Moog CP3 mixer.

5.) 1space. Next is the Oakley Distortion/Wavefolder module. This thing works great when placed in front of a filter. Add to that the VCAs that are going ahead of it, and I can control how much distortion is created with real time controllers such as Velocity, Ribbon Controller, Expression Pedals, and alllll the rest of the voltage control goodies we're all familiar with.

6.) 1space. After that comes the Q107, but in the new single space format (I'm ordering the conversion kit from Dot Com).

7.) 2spaces. Then the 2 space QX163 expander module (more on that in a moment).

8.) 2spaces. Then the Q150...

9.) 1space. .... and it's Slope Jumper Panel.

10.) 1space. On in to the Reverb module.

11.) 1space. Then lastly into the output VCA.

Total of 13 spaces used, leaving 1 space left unused (so far!) ... something tells me I'll find a way to use that one space before too long.

So no more 8 space filter panel. That does not mean that I've dumped the idea of normalizing the lower row. Everything is still being normalized, just in a more flexible manner.

Here's some diagrams and a couple of screen shots of the new QX163 Dual VCF Expander Module. Note that the minitoggles along the LEFT side of the panel control the Q107, and minitoggles on the RIGHT side of the panel control the Q150. The LARGE toggle switches' functions and destinations are clearly marked.

107 REZ = jumper option for how loud Resonance is on the Q107.

107 BW = Engages another jumper option, changes the filter's response to "constant bandwidth".

150 LVL = has to do with how the Q150 deals with volume (loudness) when the resonance control is increased. UP = Factory Default.

107 ON = Q107 is engaged and in the signal path. DOWN = Bypass.

STD ORDER = this is the "order swapper" switch that swaps the order the two filters are in .... UP = Q107 into Q150 .... DOWN = Q150 into Q107.

150 ON
= Q150 is engaged and in the signal path. DOWN = Bypass.

Image

Image


Here's a diagram of how it's laid out. It shows how the "Bypass" toggles are interjected into the signal flow. Both filters may be totally bypassed so the signal from the VCOs and the VCAs/Input Mixer/Distortion module can be shot straight through and right to the reverb module and ultimately the output VCA. I can also easily switch filters with the Bypass toggles (engage one filter while bypassing the other). And I can still reverse their order when in series. I disposed of the "Parallel/Series" switch, since parallel configurations may be easily done using PATCH CABLES! (Hey, remember those things?).


Image

This new expander module houses all of the toggle switches that allow access to the PCB mounted jumper options, as well as allowing selection of two CV signals for each CV input (an A and a B choice per toggle). It also houses a complete (yet modified) Q162 State Mixer that I've done the Feedback trick with. I've put two of the state outputs on one bus, and the other two states on the other bus. Of course each bus also has it's very own "Drive" control (feed back level).

The QX163 also has per-bus output jacks, a Main output that offers the total sum output of both busses, as well as two auxiliary input channels ... one per bus. Sortof the same thing I did with the modified QX113 Main Mixer module I posted a few posts back.

I'll be posting more infos on all of this as it develops and as I get it constructed. Oh, by the way, going with the QX163 instead of the 8 space panel (and it's associated "Option Panels") reduced the total cost of Front Panel Express panels by .... get this .... $108.00 bucks.

CABINET PROGRESS: The Main Cab is totally sanded and ready for it's final coat of bedliner. It's just been so damned windy the last week, so painting anything has been out of the question. Also coming up is the addition of all three (!!!) normalizing rails (two for the top row, and one for the lower row).

MY PROGRESS: I've been feeling a bit better the last few days. Hopefully this latest wave of "crap" I've been dealing with is fading away (as it usually does). I just wish the VA had something better to offer.

Alrighty then ... time to end this posting. I'm super excited about the new decisions regarding the lower row reconfiguration. It really seems like the best way to go. I felt ... I dunno ... fenced in ... the previous setup just wasn't sitting well. This one is! F'SHO!

L8R SK8RS!! Brian.
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

User avatar
Rex Coil 7
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6582
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am
Location: Captain Of Outer Space

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:28 am

QX420 V2 - MAIN CAB IS READY FOR ASSEMBLY - NORMALIZING RAILS CUT:

I'll be brief tonight ... well ... at least as brief as a loudmouth like myself can be!

FINALLY got off my lazy ass and got the MAIN CABINET repainted with bedliner. Taking pictures was an odd experience. That bedliner stuff literally inhales light waves. In any case ..... it's ready for assembly!!!!!!! YAY!!

:yay:

After many hours is applying wood filler, some more glue, and finish sanding in strategic places, I hand painted (using model paint brushes) some of the spots where I wanted extra coverage. Then it went out on the driveway for a good slathering of bedliner .... 2 coats.

Image

Image

I also got the two new normalizing rails cut to size, now they just need to be drilled to accept the new terminal strips ... that's about a one hour job after you include layout, center punching, and drilling.

Image

Lastly, I completely redid that Front Panel Designer panel for the filter array .... AGAIN! Yes ... it's now known as the QX420. That designation acknowledges the Synthesizers.Com Q107, the QX163 Filter State Mixer + Options module, and the Q150 ladder filter. After having designed the 2 space QX163 Dual Filter Aid, I thought I'd use the Dot Com Q107"A" 1 space reduction kit to reduce the Q107 from 2 spaces to 1 space. Then it hit me, why not do the same thing to the Q105? Then that thought cascaded into "why not just make a 4 space panel that mashes together a 1 space Q107, the 2 space QX163, and 1 space Q105? It took me roughly three or four days to get it worked out and the details though through. I really wanted to make the Q107 and the Q105 to be configured the same way, with their respective Cutoff and Resonance knobs laid out the same way. I really had a tough time when quickly moving from the Q107 to the Q150 without turning the wrong knobs since their cutoff and resonance controls located in different spots. So I fixed that too! I was even able to retain the "Order Swapper" toggle, as well as "Bypass" switches for both filters. Every single knob and jack of both filters has been retained, as well as all of the I/O jacks on the QX163 ... nothing has been given up. Here's the screenshots ... first pic is the "MASTER" file that depicts the knobs and washers (which ever is largest) ... second image depicts the same panel, but has the exact drill hole sizes that Front Panel Express will cut into the panel. I'm very happy with the outcome, even with it being Black Anodized it's over $100.00 LESS than the original 8 space filter panel I did in the beginning.

This new panel also ended up saving FOUR spaces. It squeezes 6 spaces of Mu into 4 spaces of MU. So ... 1st is "MASTER", 2nd is the "FINAL" panels.

Image

Image

$84.49 .... shipped!


With the MAIN Cab finally painted, momentum of this project will begin increasing quite a bit. I have a number of things ready for installation into the cab, so after I let it cure for a few days, progress will move along at a far more brisk pace.

So things will begin moving along like they were just prior to the Holidays!

I even got a bunch of soldering done over the last week. Yup, I've been feeling a lot better the last week or so. Those meds that I have to use every so often (Rx'd by our lovely Veteran's Administration) really make me "sickly" any time my kidney issues spring up. Glad it's over for now.

So there's the update. I'm excited, things are going to be moving along quickly now.

Thanks Folks! :tu:
Never Quit, Die Falling Forward
5U PROJECT - (skip pages 4 through 6, boring junk) ... https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=

Post Reply

Return to “5U Format Modules”