MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

5U and the soldering iron thing
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]

Whats your preffered front panel format?
MU
69%
 69%  [ 87 ]
MOTM
30%
 30%  [ 38 ]
Total Votes : 125

Author 5U and the soldering iron thing
GiliRose
Hi All,
I would die for a wall-to-wall MU/5U system, the Rolls Royce of modular format and regal scientific blackness, but plan on doing it point-to-point and module-by-module
with my soldering iron. Lots of time and patience and cash is always an issue, hence solder smoke = solution.

I was hoping that 5U/MU is DIY/PCB + Mouser+Panel friendly.
But the deeper I dig, the more it seems to me like boutique Pre-Fab stuff and less options for messy DIY, unless you stick to the MOTM side of the road.

So, to all you DIYers in 5U/MU land (and yes, f&$king amazing DIY rigs!!):

- Is there an Ali-Baba's cave of 5U/MU PCBs, panel screens and BOM's (or kit heaven) that I missed?

- Is there a need for more 3rd party MU panels to fit MOTM/Oakley and other gear in to that nice dotcom rack?


* * * * Here starts my edit - All tips gathered from the body of this topic * * * *


Modules suppliers in DIY kit or PCB form

###############################################

Synthesis Technology / MOTM
http://www.synthtech.com/
Creators of the Mother of all Modulars.
This is a DIY format, not supported in kit form or PCBs from ST but BOM's and helpful instructions on each modules web page.
Most MOTM format panels and PCBs can be found at SynthCube ( https://synthcube.com/cart/ ), and it is worth to check out theses two sites for extra insight on the DIY aspect of MTOM:

Bill and Will's MOTM Analog Synthesizer
http://www.dragonflyalley.com/billAndWillMOTMSynth.htm
Useful

Modular Synthesis
http://modularsynthesis.com/modules/modules.htm
Great source and info on builds

Dave's Hot Rod MOTM Shop
http://www.hotrodmotm.com/
More great stuff, info and the friggin SuperMoe sequencer!
For pinpointing those hard to find parts and specialty pots,
I just got a mail from Paul referring me to

http://www.hotrodmotm.com/parts_list.htm

Stooge Larry’s "Wise Guy" Synthesizer page
http://www.wiseguysynth.com/larry/default.htm
... more MOTM!

###############################################

Oakley
http://www.oakleysound.com/projects.htm
Lots of information and guides, PCBs, parts Built versions of these modules can be found at krisp1 (below)

The Oakley support forum here on MW:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=36
Lots of goodness, including this UK based 5U Modules Component List and suppliers:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2115668#2115668

###############################################

jhaible
http://jhaible.com/
Jürgen Haible intelectual property and kits provided by RandomSource.
Here is the link to J. Haible's original site, with lots of info to dig into:
http://jhaible.com/legacy/
The Phaser panel can be found at FreeStateFX!

Music from Outer Space (MFOS)
http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/
Amazing DIY, PCBs, diagrams, lots and lots of info!!! RESPECT we're not worthy
Ray Wilson is in a tight spot, sending him love and good vibes, hope to contribute as soon as I can.
He is also the author of Make: Analog Synthesizers

Soundtronics (MFOS Kits & PCBs)
http://www.soundtronics.co.uk/synth-products/
Great source for MFOS based DIY parts

Cat Girl Synths (CGS)
http://www.cgs.synth.net/
Ken Stone's site is another heavenly source for DIY: Lots of information, PCBs and an endless list of modules to build! RESPECT we're not worthy

ACX Synth
http://www.acxsynth.com/indexfr.htm
S-DIY
Note: The ACXSynth MIDI-2-CV board is available in KIT FORM
with an UPGRADED PIC Firmware from Hexinverter.net!
http://www.hexinverter.net/midi2cv

YuSynth
http://yusynth.net/Modular/modular.html
Yves Usson's great S-DIY Site!!!!! RESPECT we're not worthy

I am also making special notice of Yves's own DIYérs link page, dig!
http://yusynth.net/index_en.php?&arg=6


Grove Audio
http://www.groveaudio.com/synthstore/index.php?route=product/product&p roduct_id=87
The Grove Audio VCF is a great sounding filter (like a Moog 904) in kit form

Tellun
http://www.tellun.com/motm/diy/diy.html
From the site:
The Multi-Use Universal Buffer (MUUB) is a general purpose daughterboard that can be used to add additional circuitry to MOTM, Oakley, Blacet, or almost any synthesizer module.
Diagrams, info. PCBs from (closed) BridesChamber...

Blacet Research
http://www.blacet.com/
Frac DIY at 15v, can be moded to fit 5U/MU.

Barton Musical Circuits
http://www.bartonmusicalcircuits.com/synthstuff.html

MegaOhm Audio
http://www.megaohmaudio.com/home.html
DIY guide to Passive Attenuator and Multiple. Built modules in other section.

Frequency Central
http://www.frequencycentral.co.uk/?page_id=1564
One of the leading DIY sources/PCB in Eurorack land. Hinting towards MU

Chrutil - 32 step Arduino based sequencer in MU format!!!!!
http://www.chrutil.com/modular/diy/sequencer/

bild-schall
http://www.bild-schall.com/
Ready Made 5U Modules
http://www.bild-schall.com/category-modules-5u
DIY boards
http://www.bild-schall.com/category-kits

oZoe - France
http://www.ozoe.fr/articles.php?lng=fr&pg=257&mnuid=316&tconfig=0
Very good and inspirational DIY site. I linked to the "Free Modular"page, but make sure you check out the others.
And you must see this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtElixAosmo#t=151
Update: oZoe just added a VERY versatile MIDI-2-CV unit.
And its all DIY too!
http://www.ozoe.fr/articles.php?lng=fr&pg=390&mnuid=316&tconfig=0

SynthR - by Remi
http://synthr.yusynth.net/?lng=en
After 30 years, Remi is back with a vengeance, combining Arduino chips into his DIY circuits! nanners

Papareil Synth Labs
http://m.bareille.free.fr/fr_synth.htm
I love these sites!

Neo Retro Synth
http://neoretro.jimdo.com/
Going for a Moog clone, but I have yet to Google-Translate the french :-(

Analog Realities Steiner-Parker system
http://analoguerealities.com/projects/steiner-synthasystem-2/
PCBs for sale, BOMs and schematics!

ArcEnSon
Thanks Coyoteous! Some modules based on MOTM schematics
- If anyone has more info, let us know :-)
http://www.arcenson.com/projects/Modular/
http://synthcube.com/cart/arcenson
https://www.perfectcircuitaudio.com/products-by-brand?brand=1192

20Ojects's ArdCore - An Arduino based Module!!!
http://20objects.com/ardcore/
OK...
This is a little odd kid, but they show all their examples using an MU system and do provide for that little something-else factor.
And I love the fusion of Arduino + Modular, I'm sure it holds great promise!!!
And they have a DIY KIT!!!

S-DIY Wiki
http://www.sdiy.info/w/Main_Page

Digisound Project 80
Seems like a strange MOTM ancestor :-)
http://www.digisound80.co.uk/digisound/modules/modules.htm

Seb's MIDI-to-CV Fat Controller
This PIC chip based baby has 15 CV outputs !!!!!
http://www.burnit.co.uk/sdiy/index.php?page=fatcontroller

Fonitronik Modular Synth DIY
While containing quite a selection by others, these builds incorporate
an array of original modules and are a great reference
http://www.modular.fonik.de/Page18.html

After a long time developing for the Euro people, please welcome Rick's debut offering for MUland:
Frequency Central
For now - a snappy ADSR DIY board, but he has loads of great stuff in ER
format I really hope to see in MU soon!!!
http://www.frequencycentral.co.uk/?page_id=1730

###############################################


DIY and kit retailers

Elby Designs
http://www.elby-designs.com/contents/en-us/d67_Oakley_Modular_Systems. html
Carries DIY Oakley, CGS and Ian Fritz kits! Why are they in Australia?

Bride Chamber (inactive)
http://www.bridechamber.com/Home.html
RIP - Worth linking if just for reference

SynthCube
http://synthcube.com/cart/index.php?route=product/category&path=115
Pre-Built and DIY front end provider for many of the above.
Remember to look under "Bridechamber"on the right!

hexinverter
http://store.hexinverter.net/index.php?route=common/home

Synthrotek MST line
http://store.synthrotek.com/MST
DIY seems to be slowly growing in Eurorack land and there is really no reason you can't put a eurorack design behind a 5U panel,
either by converting an existing module or in some cases buying just the PCBs and building it from the ground up.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------

Panel and PCB Solutions

DIY Panel silkscreen how-to:
http://guitarfool.com/Silkscreen.html
I actually used to do silkscreen in art school. Once you set up and get the hang of it, you can do wonders with this method!

Here is a nice clip showing the process used for PCB printing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-WGaAmpfOU

And here is YuSynth's experience with the method:
http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-9133.html

...and even more info on tested ink types that seem to do the job better:
http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=46819.0

Re:Synthesis
http://www.bigbluewave.co.uk/resynthesis/resynthesis_home.htm
If you want beautiful MU style panels RE:Synthesis is the main place to go but everybody does so he gets somewhat swamped:
Panels for YuSynth, ACX Synth, CGS, Ian Fritz, J. Haible, Grant Richter, Magic Smoke, MFOS, Roman F's Projects, Roginator's Projects

Free State FX
http://free-state-fx.myshopify.com/collections/mu-panels
Free State FX also sells some nice looking MU panels, and just lately
added a MU conversion for Mutable Instrument's digital osc Braids!

Schaeffer
http://www.schaeffer-ag.de/en/
Schaeffer is great for panels, MOTM style in particular, but if you are in North America look to their sister company that is in Seattle WA:
http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/

OSH Park
https://oshpark.com/
OSH Park is a community printed circuit board (PCB) order.
High quality, lead free boards (ENIG finish), manufactured in the USA, and shipped for free to anywhere in the world.

Autodesk 123D Circuits
https://123d.circuits.io/
Online tools for circuit, breadboard and layout testing.
Seems useful!


---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------

Ready Made Modules

Synthesizers.Com
http://www.synthesizers.com/

Macbeth
http://www.macbethstudiosystems.com/
we're not worthy we're not worthy we're not worthy
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Mod Can
http://www.modcan.com/#
$$$ but we're not worthy

krisp1
http://www.krisp1.com/store/
Built Oakley modules in MOTM and MU/5U formats

Lunar Experience (Moon)
http://www.lunar-experience.com/home.html
Big range of MU modules

STG Soundlabs
http://stgsoundlabs.com/
Makes a Multi-Format power header

Club of the Knobs (COTK)
http://www.cluboftheknobs.com/home.html

Corsynth
http://corsynth.com/home/

Cyndustries / Cynthia
http://www.cyndustries.com/modules_zero-osc.cfm?type=38
Home of the Zerocillator

Analog Craftsman
http://analogcraftsman.com/?product_cat=modules
MOTM and MU, maker of the ac2600VCF

Synthetic Sound Labs / SteamSynth
http://steamsynth.com/shop/product-category/moog-unit-modules/
Lotsa nice MU modules

Mos-Lab
http://www.mos-lab.com/
"The Moog made in France"... Fully booked!
960 Moog sequencer clone coming 2016!

Synth Werk
www.synth-werk.com
Contending to the M**g throne

MegaOhm Audio
http://www.megaohmaudio.com/home.html
* CdS VCF/A
* LFO Two
* Delta VCF
* MA20 VCF

Happy Nerding
http://www.happynerding.com/

Currently, 3 modules are available in MU (and MOTM) format:
* FM Aid
* Fun VCF
* Super Sawtor

GRP synthesizer
http://www.grpsynthesizer.it/default.aspx
Home to the awesome MU R24 Analog - Midi Sequencer Rockin' Banana!

Trouby Modular
http://home.arcor.de/trouby-media/modular/5he.htm
Interesting musical time-based and rhythmic controllers

---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------

Interesting and might be relevant

Moog Archives
http://moogarchives.com/

MU_DIY_parts
http://www.sdiy.info/w/MU_DIY_parts#Blank_panels

Combining 5U MOTM and Synthesizers.com modules in the same cabinet
http://www.sdiy.info/w/Combining_5U_MOTM_and_Synthesizers.com_modules_ in_the_same_cabinet

DSL Man
https://www.dsl-man.de/display/MAIN/cgs75+Serge+VCS+in+MOTM
5U build descriptions and DIY. Worth a visit

emusic-diy
http://www.emusic-diy.org/EmusicDiyTop

synthparts.com
http://www.synthparts.com/
Providing hard-to-find vintage synth parts for over 15 years!
Got here after reading up on the Digisound System-80 using
CEM & SSM chips

synthdiy.com
http://www.synthdiy.com/
Odd site, but yet a resource for more DIY
cornutt
You're missing Oakley, for one. I'm waiting to see how things work out with Synthcube once everything is transferred. There are plenty of DIY sites with designs, like MFOS, and some of them sell bare or partially completed boards, e.g. CGS. You then have to get a panel made, but there are lots of places to find designs that you can send to Schaeffer, or you can download Schaeffer's software and design your own. Some of the Euro manufacturers also sell boards without a panel, and there are options for re-formatting them.
DrReverendSeance
Randomsource is now producing the J Haible projects. http://jhaible.com This is all DIY.

5U seems to me generally quieter than the Euro scene - I don't know if this has always been the case or is only more recent. Personally I prefer the pace in the 5U world. I've also found that those in the 5U forums here at Muffwigglers are very helpful, knowledgable and supportive.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
I offer a number of PCBs designed for my own DIY 5U rig. Quite a few people have built them successfully, and seem to be pretty happy with them. Most of them are very close to their Intellijel eurorack cousins (I have designed most of the Intellijel analog line).

I make all my own boards -- print, transfer, etch, drill, tin, and install all jumper wires -- all by hand. Hence, it is somewhat time-consuming. I have been very ill since late October (but getting better now), and I have a number of large orders backed up at the moment, so I'm not actually taking new orders right now (but I will be in a few weeks). Also, I don't really offer panels, so you'd have to get those made from FPE or another suitable source. I used to make Lazertran-baked-on-bare-aluminum panels, but a) they're not really that great, b) they're a pain to make, and c) I don't have the technical ability to print them out properly anymore.
JohnLRice
Welcome to Muff's and 5U, GiliRose! w00t

Even though the activity has dwindled I think the MOTM format is the best for DIY.

As mentioned, Oakley makes excellent top notch designs and the PCBs (and specialized parts like pot brackets and tempco resistors) are easily ordered from their site:
http://www.oakleysound.com/projects.htm

Schaeffer is great for panels, MOTM style in particular, but if you are in North America look to their sister company that is in Seattle WA:
http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/

If you want beautiful MU style panels RE:Synthesis is the main place to go but everybody does so he gets somewhat swamped:
http://www.bigbluewave.co.uk/resynthesis/resynthesis_home.htm

Free State FX also sells some nice looking MU panels:
http://free-state-fx.myshopify.com/collections/mu-panels

The Grove Audio VCF is a great sounding filter (like a Moog 904) in kit form:
http://www.groveaudio.com/synthstore/index.php?route=product/product&p roduct_id=87

DIY seems to be slowly growing in Eurorack land and there is really no reason you can't put a eurorack design behind a 5U panel, either by converting an existing module or in some cases buying just the PCBs and building it from the ground up. Check out the Synthrotek MST line:
http://store.synthrotek.com/MST

There is tons I haven't mentioned too.

And don't miss the DIY section on Muffs!
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=17

Have fun! This is fun!
GiliRose
Fantastic!
I hope to re-edit the 1st post so it will act as a quick guide for tracking and sourcing - keep it coming!

@ JohnLRice - That was one good and helpful reply :-) Thanks
Oakley, yes, got them listed and they do seem like a great source.

Here is my basic plan:

PCBs:
I Prefer to buy them ready made (etched/milled and drilled) rather than full DIY from a copper plate. Populated or not is a non-issue.

If any exotic circuit pops up and needs the treat, may order a 1-off from a dedicated supplier.
If you have one to recommend, that would be great!


Panels
I prefer the MU aesthetic as the folded sides create vertical visual separation between modules that I find pleasing.
I really prefer the consistent module-to-module layout (knobs on top, patches on the bottom) and it seems to carry between MU and MOTM.
I can understand that the flat MOTM panels are easier to source and work with.
Once I choose a panel format, I will not be changing, so this is a long run decision.

If custom, I will be re-doing the graphics and ordering from http://www.schaeffer-ag.de.
My eye-sight is not what it used to be and I find that having the module name printed boldly on the top helps a bit.
As I am thinking long term, I might be doing panels in batch orders, to keep the module to module look consistent.
I can also create a visual backlog by mounting the empty panels in the case.
Schaeffer will do MU panels if you supply them upfront.

Another question which I suppose is a non-issue is mounting MOTM circuits behind MU panels and vice versa.

@ Dr. Sketch-n-Etch - thumbs up I Actually read all of the Lazertran post which brought me to Schaeffer :-)... and I was considering a CNC mill for a moment! Best health and hope you feel better!!!


Bill-of-Materials and ordering
Mouser, Tayda, Digikey and others are readily available.
I hope to aggregate as many BOMs from the start so I can stock up on most run of the mill bits and pieces upfront.
The question goes to the more exotic bits, like NOS transistors, Cold War era Russian tubes etc. :-) But I might be getting ahead of myself.
I saw certain sites set these apart and on special provision, will need to track these too.


Porting Circuits from Eurorack to 5U/MU and combining
In the long run, I plan on mixing and matching, as electronically passing audio and CV between the two is possible, given the possible headroom issue (12v VS 15v) and level matching.

There are two ways to think of this:
A) Create a separate Eurorack
Easy, quick and no hassle. But I don't like the notion of breaking up the format, which is a personal issue, not technical...

B) Port ER circuits to 5U/MU format. Thanks cornutt!
This shouldn't prove too hard and I think in the long run will provide for a more consistent set up. It would allow for voltage regulation on the module itself, so it could connect to the
5U/MU power buss and live side by side with the other modules. It will also allow for level trimming on the module.

Thanks for now, got to get back to my income creating activities, so if any more PCB/BOM sources, keep it coming!
JohnLRice
GiliRose wrote:
If custom, I will be re-doing the graphics and ordering from http://www.schaeffer-ag.de.

Schaeffer will do MU panels if you supply them upfront.
You can do that but from what I've see and read about (no first hand experience, yet) it just looks OK, not great. Try to find some examples or have a one-off made before you commit to a particular panel process.
Paradigm X
as a realtive noob, but someone who has built up a few MOTM format (Oakley sound) modules, the panel thing i find the hardest. At least with MOTM you have the schaeffer option, although it is pricey. Or literally drilling holes into flat aluminium and doing it all DIY.

ive only really built oakley modules so far, but i love them, soo good sounding, really clear and helpful docs, all info youll ever need, plus ready to order panel designs, no hard to find rare parts, very little wiring etc. also seem to have a bunch of hidden/extra functionality im only just starting to appreciate. not having to design panels is a huge benefit for me, i hate it!

For the folded metal i think its only really big blue/synthnut who does them, and he's (understandably) snowed under. as theyre folded i guess theyre much harder to diy.

MUMU seems to be the more popular of the two formats by quite some margin at the moment with the commercial endeavours, fwiw. Possibly because motm is relatively easier DIYwise and hence people dont buy much premade MOTM? Just speculating.

GiliRose wrote:
another question which I suppose is a non-issue is mounting MOTM circuits behind MU panels and vice versa.


with MOTM, due to the width, you can only fit 2 jacks horizontally rather the 3 on mumu. I wanted, for example, the Slocum scat talker but repanelling it could/would be a pain.



vs

sduck
Thanks JLR for providing that list. I started the same thing last night but got bogged down with daddy taxi issues. Plus trying to make some headway with wiring a mutable instruments Clouds behind a 5U MOTM style panel.

Yes, there used to be a lot more 5U DIY activity. Back when I got started, some dozen years ago, there wasn't any euro DIY, and virtually no MU DIY, it was almost all MOTM format or close derivatives thereof. Hence you can still find MOTM power headers on a lot of current PCBs.

As far as getting PCBs to work on, I'd advise just checking in on the Music Tech DIY forum on a regular basis, see what pops up. Grab a PCB of whatever interests you. Don't worry about format, you can put virtually anything behind a 5U panel somehow. 12v-15v - doesn't matter, you can always make little regulator boards if something requires 12v to work properly.

Panels/formats - yes, the MU format is probably a better choice - it used to be that getting panels for MU was really difficult, but that seems to be a thing of the past.

So anyway, good luck! And be patient, this thing (all DIY) (except for the MOTM 650) took some 12 years to get to this state (and it's still growing) -

defutura
Paradigm X wrote:
Or literally drilling holes into flat aluminium and doing it all DIY. [---] For the folded metal i think its only really big blue/synthnut who does them, and he's (understandably) snowed under. as theyre folded i guess theyre much harder to diy.


Also, for MU panels there's always the option of getting Dotcom or Moon blanks and then do your own silk screening/drilling. Blanks are available in 1MU, 2MU, 4MU, and 8MU.

I've even seen an entire system labeled with Dymo. But that may or may not be to everybody's taste.

Come to think of it, I think forum member paulstone rolls his own MU folded panels. Might be worth checking with him to see how he does it.
Paradigm X
sduck wrote:


we're not worthy we're not worthy we're not worthy

Probably the most desirable 5u system, diy or otherwise, ive ever seen, although krisp1's collection is pretty awe inspiring too. hope mine looks vaguely similar in 10 years...

defutura wrote:
Also, for MU panels there's always the option of getting Dotcom or Moon blanks and then do your own silk screening/drilling. Blanks are available in 1MU, 2MU, 4MU and 8MU.


Thats a good point. thumbs up
xerxl
It seemed to me that it should be reasonably easy to order MU panels in a flat state from Front Panel Express and fold them myself.
But then I found that Jason at freestatefx is making very nice MU panels for us in the US. Good price too, I think.

Cheers
megaohm
defutura wrote:


Also, for MU panels there's always the option of getting Dotcom or Moon blanks and then do your own silk screening/drilling. Blanks are available in 1MU, 2MU, 4MU, and 8MU.


You can also send MU blanks to Front Panel Express and have them etched to your design.
Another good thing about MU is the 1/16" thickness. That makes it easier to use lock washers with all your jacks and pots.

I've had a bunch of panels made by Ben at Re:synthesis over the years and his work is flat-out awesome!

Jason from FreeStateFX is also making custom MU panels. Talked with him briefly on the phone and he seemed pretty gung-ho about it which makes me confident there will be an added custom MU panel supplier for the format.
screaming goo yo
megaohm
GiliRose wrote:

B) Port ER circuits to 5U/MU format. Thanks cornutt!
This shouldn't prove too hard and I think in the long run will provide for a more consistent set up. It would allow for voltage regulation on the module itself, so it could connect to the
5U/MU power buss and live side by side with the other modules. It will also allow for level trimming on the module.


You don't necessarily need to regulate down to 12V for euro.
If you have the schematic for the euro module (or are willing to trace it out),
you can simply adjust resistor values.
For instance:
12V across a 10K resistor = 1.2mA
15V across a 12K resistor = 1.25mA
Basically they are the same thing.
Just find what parts are hanging off the rails and replace with the appropriate value.
DrReverendSeance
megaohm wrote:
GiliRose wrote:

B) Port ER circuits to 5U/MU format. Thanks cornutt!
This shouldn't prove too hard and I think in the long run will provide for a more consistent set up. It would allow for voltage regulation on the module itself, so it could connect to the
5U/MU power buss and live side by side with the other modules. It will also allow for level trimming on the module.


You don't necessarily need to regulate down to 12V for euro.
If you have the schematic for the euro module (or are willing to trace it out),
you can simply adjust resistor values.
For instance:
12V across a 10K resistor = 1.2mA
15V across a 12K resistor = 1.25mA
Basically they are the same thing.
Just find what parts are hanging off the rails and replace with the appropriate value.


d'oh! This seems so obvious now that you mentioned it!

Another 5U DIY PCB source is Barton http://www.bartonmusicalcircuits.com/

JohnLRice wrote:
Schaeffer is great for panels, MOTM style in particular, but if you are in North America look to their sister company that is in Seattle WA:
http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/


I have seen group buys on MOTM or 5U panels in the past. Are these organized in the DIY section or is there somewhere else I should look?
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
In fact, many 12V designs can be powered with 15V and will work just the same, provided that only opamps are taking the power. If the rail voltages are being used as voltage or current sources, then this requires adjustment with different resistors. However, this is generally not a very good design idea. When reference voltages or currents are required, it's better to use voltage references, and these will work with either power supply voltage.
Flareless
I agree that panels are the trickiest part of DIY that I've personally run into. I've had some blank Dotcom panels silkscreened locally but the cost is prohibitive. I'm working on learning to screen them myself but so far making my screens has been a bust. I could order the screens pre-done by supplying a graphic but even that looks like a $100ish affair. It's ok if I plan to mass produce some of the modules but for onesy twosy builds it's a bitch.

I have a Free State FX panel coming which I'm looking forward to. They've got some awesome panels and reasonably priced. It's for a YuSynth module I've got built and waiting to be mounted (the Minimoog filter clone - wow it sounds great!). Here's the big problem for me though...

The Canadian dollar is literally in the shitter. While many US and UK products are very reasonably priced, conversion to Canadian dollars is a killer. Even worse is Duty charges. Today I just paid $115 duty for a $650 Dotcom order that cost me over $940 CAD after conversion. Talk about a nightmare.

I'm looking at a Moon Modular 553 MIDI to Clock module for $160 which will cost well over $230 plus shipping (in US$) plus Duty. Holy shit! For $160 I'd pull the trigger in a second but for close to $300 landed I have to really think about it.

Even a $40 panel is going to run me $90ish by the time it gets in my door.

And before you run to your currency converters and see that our dollar is now (at this writing) worth 69 cents US that's only the conversion rate. That's not what the banks, Visa or Paypal gives you.

Worse still is the powerful GBP. I love Oakley gear but with a Pound Sterling being over twice what our weak dollar is it makes US prices look attractive. Still, I think I'm going to order an Equinoxe board tomorrow - I just have to have one. BUT WHAT PANEL WILL I MOUNT IT IN?!?!?!?! very frustrating

So that's my rant. Panels are tough to get but if your country has weak money everything is way more expensive. No sign of our dollar getting stronger with our new leader King Justin either.

Great thread though - very helpful!!!

EDIT (The next morning) - I just ordered the Equinoxe and Classic VCA from Oakley. Conversion from 60.50GBP to Canadian dollars cost me $130.02 through PayPal. not this shit again Tony's boards are so great though and I had to have them Mr. Green
DrReverendSeance
Yes the Canadian dollar is in a bad place right now for buying from the US.

For panels I've started investigating local stencil and industrial sign making shops that can do the drilling and engraving in short runs. The prices quoted for a single unit, after receiving my DXF file, are generally similar to FrontPanelExpress prices, but in Canadian dollars!

For example in Toronto:
http://www.torstamp.com/Content/120?formid=96

Or in Montreal:
http://www.montrealstencil.com
http://www.robocutstudio.com
http://www.umake.ca/collections/frontpage

I haven't bought a panel from any of them yet, so I can't speak for quality. I'll report back after my first order.
Flareless
Thanks for the tip Doc!

I did examine two other options which were vinyl stickers and engraving.

The problem I had with engraving when I took a blank Dotcom panel to the dealer was they explained that because there wasn't a layer of white under the black coating I wouldn't get the white lettering.

The problem I had with the stickers was that they were.... well.... stickers. In my way of thinking it was only a minor step up from Dymo labeling.

Because I suffer from OCD (actually I have CDO which is the same, however, the letters are in the correct order) I am going for a consistent look and feel. I know that if I stray from a single manufacturer this will be difficult. For example here is a photo of Synthcube's Moogah SEM VFC which I just completed. It came with it own panel. The finish on the panel is a flat finish as opposed to the Dotcom panels which have a very slight texture. The flat paint tends to hold fingerprints where the texture does not. Further, the Synthcube panel is finished in a more dull off-white as opposed to Dotcom's bright white finish. These are of course nit picky things but I really am going for consistency.

Here is the panel mounted in my rig



If you look to the left you'll see an Oakley RM 4014 Ring Modulator with a panel I had made by my expensive local silk screen company. It is far closer in look and feel to the Dotcom panel although they claimed they were unable to make the small graduations between the dial settings. I don't know why as Dotcom and some DIY folks can do it but hey... they made a nice panel anyway.

But I digress. It was really great to receive the Moogah SEM VCF PCB along with a panel. The project was finished and mounted right away with no muss nor fuss. I've still got finished boards I'd like to mount as well as a multiple I'd like to build that are in need of panels which I will get I know not where. My best bet is likely to have silk screens made for me and to screen them myself. I could build and sell a few extra modules to recover the cost of the screen.

There is a company in BC called The Screen Print Store that will do it for me and I've built an inexpensive rig like the one Jeff the GuitarFool uses. Jeff has been very helpful in getting me started with info on his screening process.

Among my shipment from Dotcom yesterday were 5 Q131 singles and 5 Q132 doubles. I'd better get cracking!
Paradigm X
you can get 'crayon' type products which fill the gaps in the engraving, search the diy forum, cant remember what theyre called - they should work on engraved dotcom panels. thats all schaeffer/the beast* do afaik.

* uk based alternative to schaeffer.
dan_e10
GiliRose wrote:

I would die for a wall-to-wall MU/5U system, the Rolls Royce of modular format and regal scientific blackness, but plan
on doing it point-to-point and module-by-module with my soldering iron. Lots of time and patience and cash is always an issue,
hence solder smoke = solution.


Don't miss the zip of BOM's on Oakley's site:
Oakly BOM's
I was a little disappointed to see that the completed price for many of the modules came out to be similar or more than just buying the comparable module from dotcom (at least in the U.S.). If money is one of the drivers for going DIY, it might make the most sense to get basic dotcom modules and fill out the rig with DIY filters and other special sounding modules not available from dotcom.

I do love my Oakley ADSR and Oscillator so don't get me wrong. I'm working on a MOTM 490 now and that thing is a joy to solder. I've got high hopes that it will sound quite a bit nicer than my Q150 smile
Ask me about it in a few days when I've finished it and it doesn't work. d'oh!

It's really a pity about bridechamber closing up shop. Scott was a pleasure to do business with. Hopefully synthcube will offer everything that bridechamber did.
Dan
Flareless
Dan is absolutely right about the cost of the boards - to a point.

Again, the value of your currency greatly affects module cost. I am using an inventory management program to track the components I have and the build costs of my modules. It uses average inventory costing based upon my purchases so it is quite accurate. It also supports multi-currency conversion for PCBs which I purchase abroad.

I also purchase my components in lots of 10, 50 or 100 even if a board requires 1 or 2 of the components. This drives the cost way down and leaves me with plenty of inventory for the next project. I'm at a point now where I only require one or two purchases per project. Sometimes I don't even require any new parts and my build cost is PCB, Panel and time.

I did a comparison of my build costs of some Oakley modules versus the ready made Krisp modules which I understand are quite awesome. The Dual LFO costs me $148.0017CAD to build in Dotcom format. It costs $195.0553CAD in MOTM format with a Front Panel Express panel. In contast the Krisp/Oakley Dual LFO costs 125GBP. At a straight conversion that works out to $256.69CAD.

In US dollars the cost is $176.72, however if you convert my build cost to US Dollars (for the Dotcom version) you're looking at $101.95USD. That's a big savings.

The RM 4014 Ring Modulator I built cost me $129.9605CAD ($89.55USD). Krisp sells their finished module for 150GBP. That's $308.03 CAD and $212.11USD. Once again - very significant.

I should note that these conversions are straight Internet numbers (via SIRI) and not actual bank / Paypal conversions which would cost even more. In addition there are no shipping or duty charges applied.

If you live in the US and buy US or if you live in the UK and buy UK then building would be less economical than buying ready-made. If, however, you're buying products from another country with stronger money than that of your country DIY builds do have their advantages.

Plus you get the DIY bragging rights nanners
GiliRose
Just got in from 48 hours of work and hope to do some edits to the lead post
later on tonight.

All your contributions are absolutely fantastic and very helpful !!!

... and the Dotcom power harness was just ordered hyper !
ericD13
dan_e10 wrote:
I was a little disappointed to see that the completed price for many of the modules came out to be similar or more than just buying the comparable module from dotcom (at least in the U.S.).


I think this should be reminded every time "You don't build DIY synth to save money" never, neither in the US, UK or anywhere.

You build modules :
* to got your own synth
* because it's fun
* to learn electronic
* because you can.
But you can't hope to save money.
DrReverendSeance
GiliRose wrote:
Just got in from 48 hours of work and hope to do some edits to the lead post
later on tonight.

All your contributions are absolutely fantastic and very helpful !!!

... and the Dotcom power harness was just ordered hyper !


The edited post looks great - nice work GilRose
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Page 1 of 4
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group