Quad Plague Bearer Final run build process. (Lots of images)

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flight
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Quad Plague Bearer Final run build process. (Lots of images)

Post by flight » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:47 pm

As titled, this is to show what is involved in building a Quad Plague Bearer.

First, the housing. I use the Protex PL-CMD1 command module of the old ProLink “Hard Goods Security System”. They were replaced with a newer version years ago, but you can see them pop up on ebay from time to time - usually for $40-$100 each, which is why this was the final run of the classic QPB. The ProLink system was used in places like Guitar Center and Best Buy for theft deterrent. The PL-CMD1 was the brain, which connected to a PL-SAT satellite unit, which then had phone cords that went to adhesive disks that were stuck on display merchandise. Break the connection and everybody within two blocks knew about it. These little bitches were LOUD.

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(source: ebay)

Unfortunately, I disassembled my stock of these and tossed the unnecessary bits about four years ago, so I can’t show you what guts looked like and I had to grab the above image from ebay. The rest of the pictures are mine, however.

All of the circuitry is contained in the top half. The device was powered by four D-cell batteries, located in the bottom half. The power wires passed through the small hole between the two compartments.

Here’s the main housing after disassembly:

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The side panels, custom back panel, top piece, and screws:

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A moment about the screws: I had never encountered these before.

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Cleverly-designed little buggers, ain’t they? Hardened and tapered; your pliers won’t bite in and will slip right off. At first, I cut a slot in them with rotary tool cutoff disc and used a flat-cbladed screwdriver. Eventually, I finally found that they are called TGroove, Tri-Groove or Tampruf, depending on who made them, and picked up a socket for them. I liked their look and decided to just reuse them in the final product.

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These particular screws are self-tapping, thread-cutting screws - and rather aggressively so - which means that material gets removed every time you remove or reinstall the screw. This leads to the threads in the housing stripping out at least once per unit when trying to tighten the screws. To avoid having to repeatedly disassemble the damn things to repair the threads, I would repair them at this stage by deforming (crushing) the enclosure from the inside and tapping the hole with a #4-40 tap.

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Okiedokie,so, first step is to protect the housing. They are second-hand to begin with and usually have a few scratches and dings so it’s best not to add any more. Hooray for blue painter’s tape!

Tape it up then trim the edges.

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End result:

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Oh, right, I forgot. Up above in the before-taping shots, you see there’s two holes on the back of the housing. These have threaded press-in inserts so you could securely bolt the thing to something else.

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I use the inserts to hold my punch template when marking hole locations.

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Next, I use a roll pin punch as a transfer punch to mark the hole centers.

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Then I punch the holes with a Roper-Whitney No.-XX hand punch (in the benchtop holding bracket).

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This thing is freaking indispensable. One of the best purchases I have ever made. I also got the full set of punches and dies for it and stuck ‘em in a snazzy little box and made a cheat sheet for the lid.

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Next you punch the holes.

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The four black dots in the upper picture are to mark where to drill holes for the wires for each filter. Those holes are drilled with a unibit/step bit:

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Next, the threaded inserts are knocked out and the holes plugged with rivets (or a set screw, whichever I have on hand at the time), and the 9V battery holders are riveted on.

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I also stick the rubber feet on at this point.
Next: the panels.

The panels, well, they take more work than they should. The available thicknesses of Metalphoto panels are either too thick or too thin for the slots in the housing, so they need to be laminated to a support layer. I use 0.030” FR4 PCB stock and epoxy.

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After laminating, they have to be trimmed and the holes re-punched, whee!
For trimming, I use this modified benchtop shear & brake:

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The panels afterward, with the holes deburred & countersunk:

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Oh, right, the PCBs:

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And at some point in time they get populated:

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Now filters and jacks attached to their respective panels:

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Now the wires:

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(from left to right)
(4x) I/O cables for each filter - Out, Gain, Input, High/Low
(2x) Power to jack panel PCB
(1x) Power jack
(1x) Power source selector switch
(2x) Power cables for filters
To keep things clean - and because it’s fun - I braid the I/O harnesses.

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All leads are tested with this simple breadboard setup

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The 9V battery snap leads:

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I put a rubber grommet in the housing (to protect the snap leads from being damaged) then feed the leads through, terminate them, and put a strain-relief knot inside the housing to prevent them being pulled out of the PCB. Then the power jack and the standoffs for the power PCB are installed.

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The power PCB and power switch go in next.

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Now the wires

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Jack panel:

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The spacers keep the jack panel from bending (the original used steel panels which were strong enough to not bend).

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The filter panel:

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And the finished build

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~flight
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Post by mt3 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:33 pm

Wow.
Most valuable resource on the internet.
Fookin' excellent documentation!
:sb:

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Post by HeWhoWantsJeans » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:52 am

That's an awesome write-up, Flight. Thanks for putting in all the time to show everyone how the sausage got made. :tu:
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Post by flight » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:06 am

HeWhoWantsJeans wrote:That's an awesome write-up, Flight. Thanks for putting in all the time to show everyone how the sausage got made. :tu:
...to show everyone how the sausage got made.
...how the sausage got made.
:eek:
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justin3am
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Post by justin3am » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:53 am

I always wondered about the enclosure on these. I had no idea that is was such an involved process. Thanks for the images!

Here is mine:
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Post by HeWhoWantsJeans » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:33 am

flight wrote: :eek:
Now we all know the Quads are made of blood, sweat and sacrificed alarm system device enclosures.
:tu:
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Post by chvad » Thu May 18, 2017 3:05 pm

i missed this build thread before. i was one of the lucky ones to get one of the last QPB and I was already grateful. After seeing this.. even more so! Great thread.

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Post by EarlJemmings » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:48 pm

Popping in with a question- my psu stopped working about a week after I got the PB, so I started just using batteries. But I keep forgetting to turn it off and it's eating all my dang batteries!
However, I seem to have lost the psu- what should I get as a replacement?

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Post by flight » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:02 pm

EarlJemmings wrote:Popping in with a question- my psu stopped working about a week after I got the PB, so I started just using batteries. But I keep forgetting to turn it off and it's eating all my dang batteries!
However, I seem to have lost the psu- what should I get as a replacement?
When did you order yours and was it from me? If so, you should have let me know right away.

Regardless, by psu I assume you meant the wall wart/wall adapter. They use a 250mA (or greater) 12VAC adapter with a 5.5mm OD x 2.1mm ID x 10mm L barrel plug connector.
You can use this adapter from Jameco as a replacement.
~flight
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JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:15 pm

Cool build document, flight! :rock: Thanks for taking the time to post it! :tu:

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Post by EarlJemmings » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:32 pm

flight wrote:]When did you order yours and was it from me? If so, you should have let me know right away
Sorry :oops: I did order it from you, I have #2/10. It seemed like a freak accident of the wall wart, didn't think much of it. I believe the wall wart itself stopped working, rather then the connection being bad.
Thanks for the info!

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Post by flight » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:19 pm

EarlJemmings wrote:
flight wrote:]When did you order yours and was it from me? If so, you should have let me know right away
Sorry :oops: I did order it from you, I have #2/10. It seemed like a freak accident of the wall wart, didn't think much of it. I believe the wall wart itself stopped working, rather then the connection being bad.
Thanks for the info!
I is bad at names and lazy at checking my receipt logs. I just checked and now see why "EarlJemmings" didn't ring any bells...
:cat1: Dude, warranty.

I'll send you a replacement this week, k? Just please PM or email me to verify your address.
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Post by EarlJemmings » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:20 am

flight wrote:I is bad at names and lazy at checking my receipt logs. I just checked and now see why "EarlJemmings" didn't ring any bells...
:cat1: Dude, warranty.

I'll send you a replacement this week, k? Just please PM or email me to verify your address.
Ah yeah of course, sorry, it's not the best username. But I've got so much history with it!
I appreciate the support, but I've already ordered it with a couple other things I've needed, no need to have a second.
But thanks, I'm getting lots of use out of my quad PB :guinness:

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Post by Bodo1967 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:11 am

Is there any chance to get only the PCBs (and perhaps the parts) without the front panel?

... in my case, I'd make my own since it would (sacrilege! sacrilege! ;)) go into a 5U system, not Eurorack.
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

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Post by flight » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:07 pm

Bodo1967 wrote:Is there any chance to get only the PCBs (and perhaps the parts) without the front panel?

... in my case, I'd make my own since it would (sacrilege! sacrilege! ;)) go into a 5U system, not Eurorack.
You're talking about four kits without panels? Sure! Shoot me an email and we can work out a deal. If you're looking to cram four PBs into one panel, I can check to see how many of the old-style perpendicular PCBs I still have.
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Post by Bodo1967 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:04 pm

Finished the build yesterday :nana: .

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... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

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Post by flight » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:34 am

:woah:
Oooooooooo, snazzy. Me likey!
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Kent
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Post by Kent » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:00 am

Badass. Das ist sehr geil :sb:

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Post by mt3 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:41 pm

Bodo1967 wrote:Finished the build yesterday :nana: .

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Very nice.

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