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Filling a Doepfer Beauty Case
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Filling a Doepfer Beauty Case
Leisure Cove
Hello all! I'm new to the forum (new to modulars as well!) and apologize if this is already covered ground:

I found a deal on a Doepfer "Beauty Case" earlier today and picked it up. I know they don't make the most economic sense in the world as far as racking solutions go, but at the price I couldn't turn it down.

The situation I'm facing now is: how can I fill this case in a way that covers the most ground, with the limitations of it being a 28 HP width width and a power bus with only 4 terminals on it.

I've ordered an ELF LFO from Noisebug, which will take up 4 HP and one of the connections on the board.

The other modules I'm considering are:

Doepfer A-119 External In/Envelope Follower (8 HP, 1 bus connection)
Doepfer A-132 Dual VCA (4 HP, 1 bus connection)
Plan B ELF ADSR (4 HP, 1 bus connection)
Plan B ELF ADSR Expander (4 HP, powered by its parent ADSR)

...and a blank 4 HP panel, which I'd drill and solder into a passive dual attenuator.

I have a pair of Frostwave pedals here (filter and ring mod), and am primarily looking at the mini case as a modulation source for them, at least until I make the move to a more properly sized rack and start expanding!

That said, what would you all recommend? If you were stocking a "Beauty Case," what would you fill it with?

thing you gotta be aware of is that a) the beauty cases have *really noisy* power supplies, and b) there's a limit to how many milliamps you can draw from it. Plan B and Doepfer list the power consumption of each module on their respective web pages, and you can deduct that from the total power in the case - also listed on the Doepfer site.
Definitely get the 119.

hope this helps a bit! And welcome smile
If you put the A-119 in there, you open it for processing. The LFO's and ADSR's will do little there without a modifier like a filter. For the space I'd select the Harvestman Polivoks Filter; so mine would be:

A-119 8hp
Polivoks 8hp
ELF ADSR Expnder 4hp

Or, two Elf LFO's would be better, ditch the ADSR Xpander and you could use one as an LFO and the other for Osc duties or to modulate each other for weird variations. Problem is then you need 5 power connectors or more power, maybe some of the Doepfer DIY stuff can help like small buss boards, possibly extra powered.

Leisure Cove
Thanks for the suggestions! Very much appreciated!!
I know we already had some discussion over email, but REwire's point about the A-119 made me think about it some more.

With such a small space it's gonna be really hard to get a collection of modules that makes a good little mini synth *and* an audio processor. I think you'll get those most out of it if you choose one or the other.

You already have your Frostwave Resonator and Blue Ringer, so there's your filter and ring mod.

So I'm back to my recommendation of adding at least 1 more ELF LFO and keep the Dual VCA (or maybe the doepfer dual ring mod, since it will work like a VCA with regular 0-10v signals as well as -/+ 10v signals like you will get from your LFO). You might consider a mixer as well, for mixing LFOs.

That way you not only get stuff that can make noise, but will also be a great modulation source.

While it's starts to reduce the whole "cost effectiveness" thing, you can add a Plan B Model 1 power protector which will give you a few more bus inputs. I don't know how will the Beauty Case PSU will handle it though.
I would be very careful with adding too many modules.

it can only handle 200 ma MAX.

even then, i put a bbd delay in there and a frequency multiplier and the bbd coudlnt get enough juice to work correctly even though that adds to about 130 ma...

but the bbd works fine in there now with a malgorithm

so there might be certain combinations of modules that don't work well. but yeah look up the power consumption of the modules and add them up, if they are over 200 they definetly wont work correctly
Leisure Cove
As an update, as of Tuesday, my Beauty Case will have three modules in it:

Doepfer A-119 External In/Envelope Follower
Doepfer A-132-3 Dual Lin/Exp VCA

I'm planning on filling out the remaining 8HP with an envelope generator of some sort. Doepfer's A-140 fits the bill, and is certainly cheap enough, but I thought I should ask the forum first before putting in an order.

Is there another envelope generator at that width that I should be checking out instead?

Thanks again for your suggestions!! w00t
i think the AS RS60 have a much better snappiness then Doepfer's, but a bit more expensive.
RS60 is 12HP though so if there's 8 left, that's not an option...
Leisure Cove
Another update, this one a bit of a downer:

Two new Doepfer modules arrived today, and when I plugged them in alongside the ELF LFO, initially... nothing happened.

The modules...

Doepfer A-119 External Input
Doepfer A-132-3 Dual Exp/Lin VCA

...combined for a total draw of 80mA, which the Case should have been able to handle. I tried unplugging the modules one at a time to see if perhaps one of them was pulling too hard on the current, but no matter the configuration (including just the LFO), nothing worked.

I double-checked to see if the ribbon cables for the modules were plugged in correctly (red stripe down), and they were.

One thing I noticed that was curious was that of the two LEDs on the bus board, only the bottom one lit. However, when the wall-wart was unplugged, as the bottom LED faded, the top LED would light, in turn, activate the LEDs on the modules momentarily. Then they'd all fade and that would be that.

I tried plugging the Beauty Case into several outlets and surge protectors, to see if the problem was coming from one of them, though I found the same result at each outlet: no activity in the modules, and only one of the two LEDs on the bus board lit.

And then, while typing this post (literally moments ago), I heard a loud "POP" and noticed a small trace of smoke rising from the Case. angry

I've unplugged the power supply (obviously) and removed the modules from it, but assume the Beauty Case is, literally, toast.

What do you all think: is there any way to salvage this thing? I have not had a chance to use it and still very much want to (this was to be my entry point into modulars). Would buying a replacement power supply make sense? Also, do you think the modules I had in it are fried as well (the A-119 and the ELF LFO were installed when it kicked the bucket)? Is there a way to test them w/o a functioning case/power supply (I assume no, but figured I should ask)?

Have any of you heard of this happening before? A Beauty Case actually blowing up? Does the description above help diagnose what might have gone wrong? help

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I would email Shawn (assuming you bought the beauty case from AH) and find out what the next step would be.

I would hope that your modules are still OK. I've never had a PSU blow, so I'm not totally sure what would happen, but so long as they were plugged in to the bus board properly, I would assume they OK until you find out otherwise.
Leisure Cove
I picked it up from Noisebug (they were unloading their Doepfer stuff). I've written to Antonio there and, well, we'll see.

It's a total bummer. I've already resorted to drinking.
Out of curiosity, which of the two LEDs on the bus boards lit? They should both be labeled on the silkscreen. I bet one is +12v and the other is -12v.
Leisure Cove
The bottom LED in this photo was the one that would light when the Case was plugged in:

I heard back from Noisebug-- apparently, there were "hiccups" in the early Doepfer Beauty Case designs, this being an example of one. Yikes. On the plus side, an exchange is in the works.

The first photo below is of the popped cap. I figured someone would want to see it. I can assure you, it smells about as toxic as I'm certain it actually is.

Yikes that really popped. That really sucks, I'm glad it's going to get exchanged. Maybe you can finagle a prototype Plan B case out of them? wink
Leisure Cove
The replacement power supply arrived yesterday! w00t

I felt like such a happy dad-- I even filmed its first patch:

Woo hoo!
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