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5U MU skiffs not very popular?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author 5U MU skiffs not very popular?
Jari Jokinen
Judging from this thread
Post pics of your 5U format setup!
it seems "walls" are most common in 5U/MU land. Instead of something like this:
Box11
Which seems clever. (Except the logos. Perhaps there could be multiples instead.)

Now, assuming module depth was not an issue, would you still prefer a vertical system? Or would you like one horizontal row in a skiff maybe?

I don't even have MU system yet. Just trying to plan ahead.
bwhittington
My first case had a bottom row at 30 degrees, a middle row at 60, and a top row at 90. It looked cool, but the set up made the top row a bit of a reach if I wanted a keyboard in front of the case. Something to consider. This format is a little different than 5.25" high Euro modules.

Another issue I see with horizontal rows are that when tearing a patch down, I like to collect handfuls of jacks and then let them drop to the desk while I grab another bunch. Someone else might be daintier, but the cables are tangled, and this way seems the most efficient to me. When I have something directly below the synth, that item tends to get scratched by the heavy jacks, even if I try to be careful setting them down. My poor ESQ-1!

And while angled rows a quite nice, modules that are flat on a tabletop seem a little harder to read the panels, particualrly when patched since the most jacks tend to be on the bottom of modules.

Also, dust!

I do have a Dotcom Box 11 now. Nice angle, but its wood ends make it seem quite a bit bulkier than a "skiff." I use mine as a mostly vertical row behind my Minimoog for the time being. It is also listed in b/s/t if you are interested. hihi The logos can be removed with acetone. A few people have been quite clever about using that space (installing a mixer module was my favorite).

These are somewhat minor points that probably shouldn't dissuade you if you are dreaming of a particular configuration. They are just considerations that have occurred to me from trying a few different things.
Synthoholic
I'd like to have a custom wood cabinet to house my moogerfoogers to take the space where a keyboard would be, I just had enough difficulties getting cabinets for my modular that I haven't gotten around to that yet.


And as far as the Box 11 logos go, a little acetone or something like that should do the trick to remove those.
Klangzaun
I have started with a Model 15 from club of the knobs plus an expansion case. This offers 3 x 8U rows plus a half high row. I have reached the limit sooner than expected ( seriously, i just don't get it ) and added a dotcom moog style case now with 2 x 8U rows. Additionally I have a dotcom Box 4 for some "controller" modules. This is handy as I have a wheel controller, the expression block and a pedal interface installed. This skiff is right in front of me.

I like the look having different black boxes in different highs and sizes. I can arrange the cases very flexible. Thinking more practically this is system is transportable. This was important for me.

I see all the benefits "a wall" offers as well, if tranportabilty is not important to you.

I like the box11 cases as well, but once your system grows and you are using more box11s, which are screwed to each other, it may isn't easily transportable anymore. Thinking of power plugs as well....
unrecordings
Dust here also !

The other thing to consider though is size - what may be ergonomic in Euro, can be simply unwieldy in 5U

I think Euro is more desktop friendly, but a 5U system of any size needs to be largely vertical(ish)

I've built a couple of angled cases and they were a sedate 75 degrees
burdij
I made a set of adapter brackets for a Box 11 chassis to allow the panel to be tilted at a more user friendly angle. The angle and height match those of the dotcom Box 11 angled sides but without the extra bulk of the wood extensions. Placed side by side with a cabinet mounted on the angled sides, the panels form a continuous surface angled toward the user.

Here is a view of the cabinet:



Another advantage of this is that it clears the DIN connectors on the back of the chassis and provides a place to stow the power supply. The adapter plates will eventually get painted black to match the panels.



I guess, just another way to float your Box 11 boat.
johny_gtr
Skiff friendly is for eurorack portable setup. MU modular system can be barely portable and it is not so needed to be less in size. I would always choose through-hole components and big format for studio duties.

Synth-Werk and Mos-Lab modules both have very big PCB. SW has also cases for their modules.
wsy
I made a 26-MU "suitcase - not quite a skiff, but prettty portable.

The problem is this - MU trades off small size for ease of access. It works great where space is not a big
problem - "wall-of-MU" is actually easy to use, you can see what's going on, you can reach the knob. But something small
enough (and light enough) to carry (like my 26-MU suitcase) really is not very featureful compared to the same size
and weight of Eurocrack.

That's why my "actually use it as portable" skiffs are all Eurocrack- and my "wall" is MU.

- Bill
Jari Jokinen
Thank you for the input. I need to consider more.
unrecordings
One more consideration I thought of last night (as I was lusting over the choices for a potential chop-saw purchase)

There aren't too many options for purchasing a ready built case (compared to Euro at least), so many - maybe most (???) 5U users resort to making their own cases. A vertical case is by far the easiest design not to fuck up
wsy
unrecordings wrote:
One more consideration I thought of last night (as I was lusting over the choices for a potential chop-saw purchase)

There aren't too many options for purchasing a ready built case (compared to Euro at least), so many - maybe most (???) 5U users resort to making their own cases. A vertical case is by far the easiest design not to fuck up


Well, Box-11 cases do all the hard work; they're easier than Ikea to put together.

If you want to go full ATA-approved, then there's this (scroll to page 2 or just "view all"):

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=56251&postdays=0&pos torder=asc&highlight=ata&start=25

Here's a teaser:


Note that Calzone did not install the inside furniture, so there's significant handwork to do first. HINT: Cut the cable
passageways FIRST before you glue the rails. Second- make the cable passages twice as big as you think you need.

- Bill
Dr Gris
Check out pictures of 10U mixer cases.
There are some floating around this forum.
I know I've seen pics from "JLR" and "alternating.bit" here.

I was thinking of going that route cause I want to stay portable.
Instead I chose shallow flight cases with a depth of 30cm.
If I go nuts I can fit any module in there, even from Synthwerk.
And they feel sturdy enough to stack if I ever get a "wall of modular"...

As a B-3 player they're easy enough to carry with me when you consider what I've been carrying around in the past... hihi

//M
cornutt
I don't know. My first inclination is that if/when I put together a skiff, it'll be to take out, which means it will be more convenient to use Euro. I have seen what JLR did, and the thought occurs to me that something could be done like the old PAiA 4700 cases, where you have two halves that can hinge together and close up to make an enclosed case. Something like about two rows x 12U.
kindredlost
The original "5U Skiff" concept was the Synthesizers.com portable cabinets. Dotcom makes a set of hinge and latch hardware for them so you can double them together. The only thing is the cabinet has two handles at that point and becomes a bit more unwieldy.

I started with these cabs for their ease of movement. I stack them vertically but they are very easily toppled unless you stabilize them some way.

My method was quite outlandish with a steel buttress fastened to a large rack mount cabinet. Not exactly the most portable thing but it is all on casters and can be rolled in place (with an ox team). Each portable cabinet is steadied with a strap but can be removed and put anywhere quickly.

The cables are the real snafu. There is virtually no way to avoid cable clutter unless you custom make all your cables for the exact length.

I also have a few of the 10U rack cabinets for MOTM format and my Mos Lab set. I use the dotcom rack frames for the Mos Lab panels. These are heavier and more stable to stack. I put a portable cab on top of each.
boothnavy
We have a new MU skiff available. It's not up on our website yet, but they are available.

The case is black powder coated aluminum so it is very lightweight. Solid walnut sides. It also has some built in utilities:

-1 x passive attenuator
-4x mult
-4 x 1/4" to 3.5mm converters for ease in interfacing with your euro modules
-power on/off switch with voltage rail indicators
-6 pin DIN power input

Inside it has a busboard with headers for 8 modules. The skiff will fit inside the maximum ATA approved carry on.

As with the Box11, acSKIFF can be joined together to create larger sized enclosures. It can also be used vertically on the back side for use in a studio. We even have end pieces that allow for a top/bottom configuration if you want to go for the TONTO look.

Feel free to PM with any questions.





Rex Coil 7
bwhittington wrote:
.....

And while angled rows a quite nice, modules that are flat on a tabletop seem a little harder to read the panels.....


The reason that is true is that performance synths with control panels that are designed from the get go to be on a nearly flat angle have the graphics beneath the knobs purposely so (specifically for the reasons of being able to see them).

5U/MU modules place the graphics above the knobs, specifically for being able to read them with the control panel on a vertical plane.

Placing the 5U/MU module on a more horizontal plane puts the knobs right in your line of sight, when it comes to being able to see the graphics.

Unless you're sortof lording right over the top of the horizontally angled modular panels, the knobs will obscure your ability to see the graphics, forcing you to crane your neck somewhat to look over the knobs.

And what Whittington said about the patch cables hitting the horizontally angled modules when patching vertically placed modules above those is 100% my own experience as well. While designing my Euro cab that is placed at ~roughly~ 30-odd degrees from flat, I have made sure to create a sortof *trough* for the 1/4" cables to dangle. That trough (erm ... space?) is about 2-3 inches wide, permitting the cables that are dangling from the vertical panels from disturbing the settings on the angled Euro cab beneath.

It ain't perfect, but it beats bad soup.

Before Teh Trough .... I've had a vertical module's patch cable semi-curled around a horizontal module's control slider and when I went to remove the cable it ~zipped~ the slider full-up and about blew my speakers out, along with my hearing. I've had the same thing happen with a knob, when that knob got spun around to a maximum setting things became highly unpleasant. Sometimes not some huge loud event, but just messing with the patch and making it difficult to figure out what exactly happened to the sound I had going.
alternating.bit
Please take a moment to browse some of the 5U portable threads in this forum:

A pic of your MOTM/ModcanB in a Dotcom Portable Case?

5U Portable Setups

Plus pretty much any time a "Dotcom 22 portable" is mentioned.
As for "popular" is anything 5U popular?? I use my portable boxes all the time, especially for live shows... usually a 22 or a 16 on a keyboard stand slightly tilted.


Also, this is a "skiff."


This is a "cab."


I still can't get used to you guys and your terminology... Ok, I get that "cab" is short for cabinet, but "case" and "box" work for me!!! Miley Cyrus
mmeixner
I think, the Hordijk case format is a very good solution: it's portable, light, very easy to tilt (on a guitar stand for example), and slim. See here:

Case example

or here:

Hordijk live

Quote:
The reason that is true is that performance synths with control panels that are designed from the get go to be on a nearly flat angle have the graphics beneath the knobs purposely so (specifically for the reasons of being able to see them).


Rob puts the lettering not just above or below the knobs, but at a 45° position, this helps with reading them in a live situation.
ersatzplanet
I see the predominant use for a skiff is to house performance modules or controllers. Modules that almost need to be laid flat to operate ergonomically. I make controller modules in the Eurorack format and have a controller skiff for this very reason. This skiff could easily sit in front of any 5U rig, or any other type of rig if the right conversion cables are used. I have always wondered how many 5U owners control their rigs with non-5U controllers?

defutura
ersatzplanet wrote:
I have always wondered how many 5U owners control their rigs with non-5U controllers?


Guilty as charged. cool
ersatzplanet
defutura wrote:
ersatzplanet wrote:
I have always wondered how many 5U owners control their rigs with non-5U controllers?


Guilty as charged. cool


Nothing to feel "guilty" about at all. Use whatever works. That is the best thing about the only real standardization in this industry that basically ever took hold - 1v/oct and positive gates. Even the outliers have ways to easily adapt. I would love to sell to all other formats!
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