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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

building a euro set up/suitcase *warning lots of pics*
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author building a euro set up/suitcase *warning lots of pics*
spbaker
after two weeks and lots of trips to the hardware and electronics shops, i've finished my new case hyper

after the interest shown in the first one i built i made sure i took lots of photos to help others that might have similar ambitions, so here they are with explanations. this is also as a big hearty thanks for all of your help and tips, tricks and info shared here on this forum, so cheers fellow Muff Wigglers!! Guinness ftw!

there should be something here for everyone as a lot of these steps can apply to any modular set up.

also i reckon i got away with the case for under $200AUD inc power supply and mounting/racks (i can't remember how much i paid for the case as i've had it a few years).

ok here goes:

THE CASE

When i got this it was full of foam and had some pop riveted dividers in it. i had been using it to carry my xstation around along with a few pedals. after finishing the first case i realised that this one would fit 6RU in height perfectly. first off i had to pull out all the foam (no pics of this sorry) which involved lots of scraping and mineral turpentine (and headspins). there is still a tiny bit left up the top but its hidden so i left it...

after the foam removal:


the case had latches on one side and hinges on the other, out with the drill to drill out the split pins that were holding the hinges on and went and tracked down some more latches.


i didn't want to put too many more holes in the case and luckily i found some latches from the local Bunnings (think mega super hardware the size of a shopping mall) that had similar mounting points. these went on easy making sure there was enough of a gap for some tension when they closed. You can see from the photo that i drilled through the latch rather than drill more holes in the case. these were pop riveted on.


once the lid was removable the next thing was to get the vector rails i had ordered from mouser (part no: 574-TS300 30"X1" T-STRUT) and work out how to attach them to the left over panels i had from sawing one of my schroff racks in half.
the schroff cut offs:


now even tho these look special, you could substitute these for any piece of metal or wood cut to the right 3RU or 6RU height and use a couple of modules bolted to the rails to get the drilling/screw holes, the tricky bit is how the hell do you connect the sides to the rails?
after a heap of experiments on the cut offs the best thing to do was to use a 10 gauge self tapper screw and screw directly into the end of the rail, pics:






this is a pic of where i tested the whole set up using the cut offs and a module to make sure the distances were correct:


by only putting the screws on the back of the vector rail it allowed a small amount of play/rotation up and down to ensure the modules would fit and it seemed like over kill to put screws in the front seeing as the modules themselves would become a part of the strength of the over all frame (if that makes sense?) the other issue with putting screws in the front is that the modules can't be bolted right to the edges of the rack as the square nuts in the vectors would be stopped.

with the small testing rack all good the main rack was screwed together.

and tested for fit.
i didn't take any photos of fixing the rack into the case...
like i mentioned before i didn't want to drill more holes in the case so instead i found some 8mm thick hardwood and araldited (araldite) (super strength two pack epoxy glue) them in to the sides and the back (you will see the wood bits when i get to the distro boards and grounding lead pics) allowing me to use four 6 gauge self tapping wood screws to fix it in place. this allows the whole rack to be taken out at any time if that need should arise.

Multiples
the rack left about 15 to 20mm gap at the top and bottom just perfect for rows of multiples, but unfortunately not enough room for a feedback circuit or efx pedal convertors like in the other case as fitting a 1/4inch socket in the was too tight.
From the technical diagrams for the vector rails i saw how they used the top slots to fix hinges to and applied that principle to fix the multiple rails to the rack. i bought two 1 metre lengths of 12mm X 25mm X 1.6mm aluminum angle, marked it up, did a test with an offcut and then spent a couple of hours drilling and soldering, heres the pics of fixing the multiple rails:
marking the curve:


lining up the nut underneath the angle



perfect!


this is fitting the jacks - the lines are done with a paint texta


wiring is easy with these simply wire all the earths together, then wire all the positives/tips together (my camera batteries went flat at this point very frustrating )

then finished and fitted:


Power

as we have all read from mr Muff's trials and tribulations and from our own experiences the power side of the euro system is the biggest PITA and expense to getting a system started.

*this is where i have to say that you try any of this at your own risk and that i am not responsible for any damage caused to you or your property.*

one of the guys at VICMOD found this:
http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KJ8106&CATID=&keywords=12v+pow er&SPECIAL=&form=KEYWORD&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber= &priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=
a true linear +/-12v supply (you need the plug pack that is listed on the page too)
and it works! cheap, coming in at under $50AUD for the kit, plug pack and $3.00 instructions (cheep bastards!!). Easy to build and easy to integrate in to your system.

i built it but wanted to modify the kit as the input plug wouldn't mount in the case and i also got a panel mount LED which i could put on the outside of the case to know that the power was on and ok, and this is the result:



next was hooking something up to get power to the distro boards and based on the doepfer tech specs:

i marked the + GND and - on the power PCB and worked out which bits of the ribbon cable to use:



and then soldered them in place:

i also soldered on a long loose wire to the GND point so i could later fix it to the rack and ground it (some modules especially VCO's need this to stay in tune and stable).

Distro Boards
this is also cheap and easy and i think a bit superior in quality to the ones doepfer sell based on mr Muff's experiences. go and buy some of this:
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=HP9544&CATID=&keywords=ver oboard&SPECIAL=&form=KEYWORD&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNum ber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=
and as many of these as modules you want to power plus a few extra:
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=PP1106&CATID=&keywords=idc +16+pin&SPECIAL=&form=KEYWORD&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNu mber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=
* for readers in other parts of the world these parts are all readily available either online or at your local electronics shop*
the vero board and 16pin box headers fit together perfectly and all you do is lay them out making sure they are all facing the right direction and are all in line:


as many as you will need (the AFG needs 2 by itself SlayerBadger! )


then solder away making sure that none of the pairs of pins are soldered together width ways:



as a safety precaution and to stop accidental shorts i put a strip of tape over the solder and metal strips:

the box headers are great because the chance of plugging a module in the wrong way is drastically reduced. the red stripe on the cables should always be negative and will always plug in one way to the box headers as they have a groove and won't go in any other way.

Putting it all together
Almost done!
i bolted the 5 pin DIN to the case wall on the side:


then fixed everything down, as i said i used some hardwood glued into the case to fix the power supply PCB and distro boards to just by using some small self tapping wood screws and here are the pics:




this is the grounding (green) wire fixed with a metal washer soldered to it


ribbon cable joining the distro boards


done!

Guinness ftw!

Now for the fun of putting in all the modules:

it took me half of the Phantom Menace and a big chunk of the opening ceremony to work out the order and screw em down and here is the final result:
front:


back:


made in oztralia:






if you have any q's feel free to ask, i'm sure i will have missed something here d'oh! so if you want clarification or sumpin i'll try me best.
sandyb
great post! some really useful information in there.
consumed
now that is just badass. thanks for documenting that! great info. SlayerBadger!
Moog$FooL$
not too shabby MAN!!
nice build. SlayerBadger!

i think that'll help others do the same, provided they can find a similar pre-built case.

i like your style we're not worthy
consumed
looking over your module collection, im surprised to see no (DC "coupled") VCAs in your system?
its too bad the dual timbral gate is AC coupled--i tried processing CVs through it but no dice.
Muff Wiggler
very very very slick work indeed! incredibly cool of you to take all the pics and make this thread..... pretty inspiring to make me want to build a portable case!! It looks fantastic, really really well done. wow. w00t
gaslampmusehog
That looks great twisted
wetterberg
fantastic post, mate! hyper

Quick question: have you tried measuring the ampere output of the psu? It would seem to be equal specs of the Doepfer, yet a lot smaller and a LOT less money?!? eek!

Looking forward to seeing the joystick in there love
wetterberg
consumed wrote:
looking over your module collection, im surprised to see no (DC "coupled") VCAs in your system?
its too bad the dual timbral gate is AC coupled--i tried processing CVs through it but no dice.
in many devices this is easily fixed: look inside to see to capacitors near the jack connector ( i forget which it is, input or output) these caps can be shorted to provide DC operation - can even be set with a switch, simple and quick solder expedition.

Peter should oblige with the mod info if it's possible.
helitron
love
spbaker
wetterberg wrote:
fantastic post, mate! hyper

Quick question: have you tried measuring the ampere output of the psu? It would seem to be equal specs of the Doepfer, yet a lot smaller and a LOT less money?!? eek!

Looking forward to seeing the joystick in there love


thanks everybody!

yep, i was lucky enough to try it on a friends PSU and then after building mine its a perfect +11.98 to -12v! i think the missing +.02v is from the different LED i put in there?

although after doing some intensive testing last night i seem to be getting a lot of crosstalk between modules eek! for example a stright sine out from a A110 is being effected by the rate of the AFG or Utility LFO and vice versa and i can't seem to find much info out there about this issue so today i'm trouble shooting... anyone got any ideas on this?
sandyb
spbaker wrote:

although after doing some intensive testing last night i seem to be getting a lot of crosstalk between modules eek! for example a stright sine out from a A110 is being effected by the rate of the AFG or Utility LFO and vice versa and i can't seem to find much info out there about this issue so today i'm trouble shooting... anyone got any ideas on this?


Scott - there was a thread on the planb yahoo group a while ago on a very similar issue. i can't remember all the details but it might be worth having a read through to see if any of the suggestions there help. here's the link:

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/PLAN_B_analog_blog/message/1393

hope you get it sorted out

sandy
Kwote
hmmm. crosstalk? i experience a teeny bit of this with my frac system every now and then.

i didn't really know the technical term til just now though smile
spbaker
thanx sandyb! that lead was perfect, this is from Peter G on the list talking about some crosstalk between some Model 15's:

> As far as what's causing it, is it terrible to say
> I'm not 100% sure?
> How's that for honest? One thing I do know, M15's
> do not cause other
> M15's to do this, and I've made special precautions
> to limit the
> amplitude of the square outs well short of the power
> rail of the op
> amps driving them. My suspicions are there are a few
> square wave
> vco/lfo's out there that are not attenuated - that
> run from rail to
> rail. This causes havoc on any power system, much
> like when LEDs are
> not properly current limited and I believe my VCO is
> especially prone
> to picking up on that.

He went on to say:

"in the olden days' when open architecture and cross polination (read:
Frankensynths) weren't as previlent, we as designers only had to
concern ourselves with integration within our own closed systems."

so this is a fairly common issue however after testing the set up with power supply i used for this case then with the switched power supply in the old case there was a massive difference eek!
still a small amount of crosstalk but nothing like with the Jaycar kit... so i'm not so sure about the kit i listed above... maybe for a smaller set up it would be fine but the AFG especially was really REALLY noisy. i'm going to order a Plan B Model 1 protected power supply as well, but i think out of the budget supplies the computronic/meanwell one is the cleanest even tho its is switched (albeit at 50khz)
http://www.computronics.com.au/meanwell/t-60/
Luka
perhaps see if there is one module in particular that is causing the drama. remove one module at a time and isolate the problem.
sandyb
spbaker wrote:
thanx sandyb! that lead was perfect, this is from Peter G on the list talking about some crosstalk between some Model 15's:


glad it helped.
i've been thinking about it a bit more. there could be a potential issue with the way you have your rails set up too? one of the things i think i've seen suggested in this sort of situation is to move the offending modules onto different/separate rails to see if that makes a difference. however, with your two rails set up in a daisy chain manner (at least that's what it looks like from the photos) you essentially have one big rail. now - i don't know if it would make any difference, but maybe if you connect your rails directly/separately to the power supply- which is what the doepfer diy kits do- it might help eliminate the crosstalk.
spbaker
Luka wrote:
perhaps see if there is one module in particular that is causing the drama. remove one module at a time and isolate the problem.


hey luka,

yeah i got halfway thru doing that before i decided to test the power supplies, but i reckon i will still try it, the crosstalk is low enough to be acceptable at the moment with the switched power supply and i'll wait until the model 1 arrives to see if running all the VCO's & LFO's off that fixes the prob and if not then i'll prolly start with one module at a time, adding until i hear it, i just so want to play the silly thing very frustrating
spbaker
sandyb wrote:
but maybe if you connect your rails directly/separately to the power supply- which is what the doepfer diy kits do- it might help eliminate the crosstalk.


another blinding insight! SlayerBadger!
thats a bruilliant idea!! and that makes a lot of sense too, even if the crosstalk continues this would isolate a rail from being affected, brilliant!
thanx again grin
consumed
spbaker--did you use your continuity checker to make sure your chassis is successfully grounded? i know that seems obvious but its something to check.
spbaker
consumed wrote:
spbaker--did you use your continuity checker to make sure your chassis is successfully grounded? i know that seems obvious but its something to check.


hey consumed, yeah i sure did, and double, then triple checked everything before plugging any module in and still i crossed my fingers and prayed LOL

the noise is pretty much sorted now with the switched supply, and i have a plan B protected power supply on its way, i'll report back how that goes.

i also found this on the Plan B list about switching supplies and thought it may be of interest, it goes to expand on sandyb's idea where no daisychaining occurs which will reduce crosstalk, it pretty cool!

Peter G wrote:
Regarding the use of a switched supply and one of our members recently
sent me some information about this offline which I am addressing here
- if we go this route, the switched supply will act as the central
power distribution, yet on board on each power strip there will be
power conditioning and linear regulation which will handle the
electrical noise/interference issues sometimes attributed to
improperly designed switched power systems. VCO resets will not be
effected once the power hits the bussrails. Also, individual returns
from each connector (ground will not be daisychained as they are in
other Euro racks, each will have it's own patch to the source) will
keep noise generated by the modules themselves from effecting one
another (possibly infecting is a better word). This covers electrical
noise. That which is generated by EMI should not be an issue as the
central power unit can be placed far enough from the modules
themselves and when placed in a faraday cage (metal box) any radiation
from the main PSU - the switcher - will not be an issue. It shouldn't
be anyway.
felix
I can't believe I didn't catch this thread earlier! Magnificent work!

Please continue documenting your progress. I'm keep to build a small portable system with Harvestman modules and a few others and the one thing I'm most concerned about is the PSU.
wetterberg
See I eventually want to build a LARGE portable system - roughly 18u-24u - and I'm loving the technical challenge of it all. Every modular should be portable, right? smile
spbaker
felix wrote:
I can't believe I didn't catch this thread earlier! Magnificent work!

Please continue documenting your progress. I'm keep to build a small portable system with Harvestman modules and a few others and the one thing I'm most concerned about is the PSU.


thnx felix!

i'm getting a new switched supply in the next week and will take detailed pics of setting it up, i'm gonna work out some kind of system based on Peter G's comments of having direct grounds for each module instead of the daisy chain system... how i dunno just yet lol
swordsect
Just curious but where could I get the rails that the modules themselves scew into? and what are they called? thx!
sandyb
swordsect wrote:
Just curious but where could I get the rails that the modules themselves scew into? and what are they called? thx!


there are a number of options for getting suitable rails:

- buy a Doepfer DIY Kit - these come with a power supply, bus board(s) and rails. note that the rails in the linked picture are the "old" ones Doepfer used to supply - they supply ones like you see in this thread now.
http://www.analoguehaven.com/doepfer/a100diy1/

- buy Vector T-Struts. they come in a variety of lengths and are usually used with sliding nuts to mount the modules onto. you can get them at lots of places - here's one.
http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/SearchResults.aspx?N=0&Ntk=Primary&Nt t=vector+t-strut&sid=11C0A135309C

- buy rails from Schroff. this is what i did for my diy case. i use threaded inserts to mount the modules onto but these can use nuts too.
http://www.schroff.us/home.asp then go to "europacPro - accessories - horizontal rail"

hth

sandy

edit: i've linked USA sources for these as i'm presuming that's where you are based. if you're in europe (or some other part of the world) there are most likely suppliers more convenient for you.
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