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largest portable 5U cabinet size?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author largest portable 5U cabinet size?
umma gumma
allright...so I have fallen into the black hole of 5U

was hoping to build a portable system so I can move it around & jam/play live etc

I already have 42 MU allocated

so far 3 rows of 14U seems to be the best option: I think it'd be easier to move a cabinet like that, than a longer 2x21U typical home install?

and I think I can get by with one power supply, for that cab

then build a second cab for any additional modules

my thoughts are a smaller cab like 3x8U is too small; most of my modules are 2U wide

but 3x10U or 3x12U might be more practical than 3x14U?

thx for any input!
JohnLRice
hmmm..... Even 3 rows of 10 MU is going to be a pretty heavy case if you make it structurally solid enough and with front and back lids etc to hold up to gigging.

If you are in good shape and don't have many stairs to deal at your home at least it might be doable though? cool
Rex Coil 7
My project synth is 2x14. While it got a LOT lighter "feeling" when I moved the PSU into another cab that is attached to the 2x14 (it uses quick release this and quick release that to separate the two cabs) the 2x14 is still a little bit awkward to rustle. I have to watch my knuckles when going through doorways otherwise it's pretty easy to rip one open if it gets caught on a door frame. You just have to sortof ninja your way while traversing through halls and doorways, think about your body position and such. These pictures are a few years old, but may prove useful.

Here's the 2x14 in it's go-to-church attire all by itself with unmolested modules.



Same 2x14 along side a 2x8 for context. The ~image~ may be useful for you to use and photo-shop to obtain an idea of what it would be like compared to a 2x8 rack setup.



Same as above, but the 2x8 is angled .. again just to provide some "raw footage" for your brain to work with.



I'm only 5'7" so my hand-to-hand reach isn't all so mighty. That said I can still grab the 2x14 and wrangle it from room to room when I need to work on it without too much fuss. When it had the PSU inside, it was pretty ungainly to move around. Possible, yes ... just not something I looked forward too.

Ok so no advice here, just some worth-a-penny observations. Carry on.

whistlin'
hamildad
I am going with.

2x 13U as a single unit,

then a separate 13U.

I would guess that for anything other than a major performance, I will have to use the 13U as a 'portable'.

I made a road case for my TTSH and with that and the 1601, I need to use a
trolley to move it anywhere.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkDgnAfAOC0
fac
Does it have to be a single cabinet?

I think the Dotcom TB22++ cabinet is damn sexy and practical. It can be folded and has a handle and a cable holder. You can easily take one of these cabinets in each hand (for a total of 44 spaces) and maybe everything else you need in a backpack (power cables, patch cables, small keyboard controller). These cabinets are much more practical for gigging than my two old QCP-22 cabs which are bulky and heavy as hell.

https://www.synthesizers.com/tb22.html

The TB22++ is a full system but I would ask Roger if he would sell the empty cabinets.
Stereotactixxx
I have a 3 x 14 MU cabinet that I recently moved to my summer house, and let me tell you, that size is not suitable for a cabinet intended for portability, unless you're the Hulk.
hamildad
I'm pretty sure the Hulk would favour 5U, as his modular format of choice..

He'd never manage the tinijacks of Buchla, and the esoteric layouts of Serge would send him into a rage.

he'd enjoy the one knob per function and larger sizes of the 5U panel...
umma gumma
ah, good food for thought, thanks all!!

maybe I will make more, smaller cabs. I also forgot about the weight of the PS!

those.com cabs look interesting, but it doesn't appear he sells them separate?

I do prefer a vertical layout anyway though. but they make a lot of sense, for portability! built in handle too
Mark11Audio
umma gumma wrote:
ah, good food for thought, thanks all!!

maybe I will make more, smaller cabs. I also forgot about the weight of the PS!

those.com cabs look interesting, but it doesn't appear he sells them separate?

I do prefer a vertical layout anyway though. but they make a lot of sense, for portability! built in handle too




I had [3] cabs like this, 10U wide, with a CP row in the bottom, and each had a 3.0 International Power PSU in the bottom, this was about the best size to weight ratio for moving it around for gigs... and I could fit it in a smaller car, "Prius" any bigger and you start to need a van or SUV to move things...

Just my .02 cents... thumbs up
ranix
I do not think I would want to move this 10U cab to a gig. It's doable but it's very heavy. JLR's smaller cases look more interesting for that kind of stuff to me
fac
Someone should make a shallow 20U (4 rows) cabinet with wheels and a retractible handle, so you can carry it like a suitcase. There are various rack cases with wheels but they're too deep and bulky.
JohnLRice
fac wrote:
Someone should make a shallow 20U (4 rows) cabinet with wheels and a retractible handle, so you can carry it like a suitcase. There are various rack cases with wheels but they're too deep and bulky.
There are some possibilities with cases made for other uses that could be converted to modular synth use. Take a look a this flat screen monitor case for instance:
https://www.displays2go.com/P-24402/Expo-Equipment-Case-with-EVA-Foam- Padding-for-Protection





Exterior: 45.0" x 32.5" x 12.5"
Interior : 41.8" x 29.0" x 8.5"
Foam Thickness: 1.3"
Weight: 40.0lbs
Price: $306

Of course as-is it would take a lot of rework and some money to make it usable for modular:
* add mounting rails
* remove existing hinges/lid straps and replace with come-apart type hinges
* add rubber feet to bottom edge
* some sort of back support would be needed. Maybe consider adding hardware so the lid could reattach in a different way to become the back support?
* possibly remove the interior foam to gain a couple inched if needed?

As a quick estimate for what might fit:
landscape orientation: 3 rows of 20 MU?
In portrait orientation: 4 rows of 13 MU plus a CP row?

Go Forth And Modify! SlayerBadger!
JohnLRice
Here's one that needs less modifications:
https://gatorcases.com/products/mixer/mixer-wood-flight-cases/g-tour-m ixer/24-x-36-road-case-g-tour-24x36/






Length 36"
Width 24"
Height 5.5"
46 pounds
$370

Estimate for what might fit:
landscape orientation: 2 rows of 16 MU plus a CP row?
In portrait orientation: 4 rows of 11 MU?

Pretty shallow though, I wouldn't count on more than 4.5 " behind the module panels.
umma gumma
cool!
Flareless
I built a 3 x 11U cabinet a while back with a QPS1. It works great and I've taken it to a couple of locations without a problem.

Would I like to carry it around all the time? Definitely not. If I were doing it again I think I'd take Rex's advice and mount the power supply separately. It makes the main unit MUCH lighter. In fact 33U wouldn't be so much of a pain to handle without the additional weight.

When I needed more space I built the additional 1 x 11U cabinet. I use a Q103 to daisy-chain the power between cabinets.

umma gumma
hey thx Flareless; Rex's thread about the Hammond leslie connectors as power cables has got me thinking too: I could build an external PS box, and use those cables to connect the cabs
PrimateSynthesis
It of course depends on what one considers portable.

The system that would give you the most options and flexibility would use modules mounted with 19" rack rails. Then you can decide whether you fewer large cases or more smaller cases. You can also decide whether you want lighter but less durable cases which are fine if you are carrying them yourself, heavier road cases if they are being stacked with piles of gear in a commercial truck, or ATA cases specified for air-travel. And be able to change the type of case as your needs change.
Flareless
One more thought about mounting the power supply in a separate cabinet;

Less noisy interference. It's often recommended that filters be placed far away from power supplies to avoid picking up noise. Well you can't get much further away than "in another box somewhere" hihi

The power supply also chews up a huge portion of real estate inside the cabinet. My 33 is set up specifically so certain modules will fit around the supply (and are not filters). An off-board supply leaves the cabinet wide open.

Hell, I'm liking this idea so much I might just move my power supply into its own case.
umma gumma
I think I have decided on 2 cases of 11x3 rows each, for 66 total MU

+ a small dedicated power supply box feeding both

thanks again, everyone, for the input!
Flareless
Sweet! thumbs up
unrecordings
Surprised I didn't pitch in earlier:

Don't forget to consider depth - my biggest cabinets are 3x11U x 300mm deep and they were a fucker to move even before the chemo. Fortunately most of my cabinets are 2x11U x 200mm which is very portable (even now).

Here's a pic from (edit) last August showing IMHO how flexible a growing system of small/medium cases can be

Though as Rich points out, you need a good plan in terms of external power supplies

hope that helps

umma gumma
that is a healthy looking attic!!

and thx for the tip!

I am hoping with external PS the cabs will be much lighter. I might even try 3/8" ply to build them, to save some weight
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