Today's topic: Faceplate frustration and you.

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coomby
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Today's topic: Faceplate frustration and you.

Post by coomby » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:00 am

So i i'm in the process of building a wogglebug for myself.
I've ordered the parts from bridechamber, i've done my research. I'm pretty much sorted with everything except one thing: i can't find a way to get a faceplate.

I would gladly use schaeffer's website, but i have a Mac and therefore cannot download their designing program.

I've also thought of doing it MFB style and use a black PCB, but i can't find any.

Does anyone have a way for me to get a Euro-format 14hp blank plate with holes in a similar layout to this ?


i would really appreciate some help.
thanks
William

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BugBrand
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Post by BugBrand » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:09 am

Hey William
---- hmm, I'm in Bristol too....

You can get black PCBs through www.pcbcart.com -- thing is that for a one-off you'll pay quite a bit due to setup costs and shipping... Perhaps you can (somehow) get some other people interested and then organise a group-buy?

I use Abacom's FrontDesigner (but, unfortunately, also PC only) to design panels and then export them via a conversion into Eagle - from there its pretty much straight & easy to fabrication.

Dunno if that's any help?

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Post by berfmurret » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:56 am

i have zero DIY experience (well.. circuitbending..)... my 2 wogglebugs are in the mail.. i was planning on buying a blank panel (or 2) and drilling holes myself and doing a press and peel blue for the etching. is this a bad idea?

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coomby
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Post by coomby » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:11 am

well that's my idea but thinking about it, i don't think it's going to be easy to drill the holes myself, and even before that, i don't have the appropriate gear to do it...

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Post by chinard » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:15 am

I have been working on a 12hp euro front pannel using the abacom software.
I have ran it through many revisions trying to get the best spacing between parts.
Attached is my latest revision. It is not perfect, but its a pretty good start

As far as fabrication goes, its pretty damn easy.
Just get 2mm thick aluminium, cut to size, then use the 'toner transfer method' of printing the pannel design to some overhead transparency paper (mirror image)
Once it is on the transparency paper you can use a regular iron to transfer the ink to the aluminium. You will want to apply some light clear coat, then drill to specifications and voila!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Post by pristak » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:23 pm

I have zero experience doing panels, but on the forums I've seen many people suggest using cardboard to test your panel design.

If I understand correctly they actually mount the finished module on stiff cardboard and place all of the elements rack it up and see how it works in practice with the finished module before ordering the panel. That way you can test the spacing and the layout and see if it works for you before spending money.

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Post by chinard » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:41 pm

yeah thats exactly what i am doing with this design which is why it is at rev 7 now.
Thats how many times i have printed this, glued it to cardboard, and mounted all the jacks and pots. Its a great method of prototyping a design.
I will be doing a test mount of faceplate #7 later tonight after i get home from work, i have a feeling this one will be a keeper.

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Post by BananaPlug » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:22 pm

...using cardboard to test your panel design.
I add filled circles representing the jacks and knobs to my drawing. Even with that you can be lulled into thinking everything is fine. I print that out on paper actual size, put it on a table and place knobs on it. That's usually enough of a reality check. I recently did this and found I had put switches between knobs in such away that it would be really hard to get your fingers in there. That was not obvious to me on the screen but the knobs made it very clear.[/b]

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Luka
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Post by Luka » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:54 pm

doing panels is pretty easy as long as you have some appropriate tools. in synthdiy one of the most valuable tools is a drillpress. they are not too expensive and makes drilling plates easy. aluminium is a really soft metal, it is a no-brainer drilling into alu.

ive also found doing cardboard mockups very helpful in panel designs

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:40 pm

Is a dremel type press sufficient?
or do you really need the power of the true drill press?

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Post by Luka » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:16 pm

drill press will just ensure you have a perpendicular cut, and will save you buying drill bits (due to snapping them when wobbling the drill). it is also a lot easier. we have a cheap one (it gets totally abused by my housemate who even uses it to drill into thick steel.. but it manages to handles that somehow)

we bought ours for $5 second hand, but it is a lower end one anyway, i think i noticed one in our local hardware chain for about aus$75 .. which is about US$2 at the moment... or 0.000000000001 yen :).. wel maybe a bit more.. hehe

also if you ever think about etching your own pcbs it makes drilling them an achievable task.

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Post by chinard » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:06 pm

and also dont forget that home despot has tool rentals, you could probably rent one for a day if you only plan on using it once.
the really hard part is finding a bench shear to cut the individual panels.
If you dont have access to one you could always use a hack saw with jig but not get as clean a cut.

Anyways, i just also wanted to post that i found a really cool supply of appropriate aluminium to make the panels out of. A local surplus store has a few dozen dead LaCie external hard drive enclosures that they are selling for scrap. Just bought one for $10 and im gonna punch my panels out of that :D

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Post by Luka » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:17 pm

im getting all my panels professionally cut to ensure they fit together snug. it doesnt cost much. they just use a big guillotine

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Post by plord » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:21 pm

So I don't have the bench or garage room for a drill press. So I got this:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/t ... itney2.php

Punches a *crazy* clean hole, and will go through 2mm aluminum (haven't yet tried 3mm). And after 25 or 30 uses you'll have hands like the Incredible Hulk. I even use it to enlarge the existing holes when I screw up an FPE design. We loves it.

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Post by Roycie Roller » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:21 pm

I've found that just firmly holding the aluminium panel flat against a block of wood is a good way to drill holes, just with an electric drill, no clamps or vices required. The block of wood underneath provides support, especially needed when the drillbit goes through the panel. It's best to first drill a small hole with a small drill bit, then come in for the kill with the actual size drill bit needed for the hole. This prevents the drill bit from rolling across the panel and scratching the artwork.
A small cylindrical file can be used afterwards to smooth out any sharp edges, however these are'nt a problem when the jacks & pots are installed.

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Post by chinard » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:39 pm

plord wrote:So I don't have the bench or garage room for a drill press. So I got this:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/t ... itney2.php

Punches a *crazy* clean hole, and will go through 2mm aluminum (haven't yet tried 3mm). And after 25 or 30 uses you'll have hands like the Incredible Hulk. I even use it to enlarge the existing holes when I screw up an FPE design. We loves it.
Image

omg sexy!!

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Post by flight » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:14 pm

Dremel press: no, not sufficient. They can only go up to 1/8" I think, and have little to no real torque. They are also too fast for drilling aluminum - especially the softer tempers like 5052 - and will clog your drill.
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Post by Kwote » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:38 am

plord wrote:So I don't have the bench or garage room for a drill press. So I got this:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/t ... itney2.php

Punches a *crazy* clean hole, and will go through 2mm aluminum (haven't yet tried 3mm). And after 25 or 30 uses you'll have hands like the Incredible Hulk. I even use it to enlarge the existing holes when I screw up an FPE design. We loves it.
ahh yes. thanks for the reminder. i meant to get this already.

hopefully next year :)
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Post by flight » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:45 am

But if you're going to do panels that are wider then 1.5", you'll want this one(click on it for webpage):
Image

You might want to get the base as well:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=93787
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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:59 am

Wow! and the 'deep-throat' punch is ALOT cheaper too!!!
Seems like a no-brainer.
I may have to pick one up soon.
Do you find the base to be necessary?
I can't think of anywhere to mount it in my wee Japanese apartment.

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Post by Kwote » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:16 am

LOL! DEEP THROAT!! :lol: :hihi:

nice. fuck yeah i want. i'll have to see if the local harbor freight has it in stock!
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Post by coomby » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:14 am

well guys thanks, that's certainly given me a lot of ideas.

at least i'm reassured to see not everyone has their faceplates professionally made.. i'll keep you updated when anything gets done.
(i'm still waiting for the PCB, which is now starting to take a bit of time to get here..)

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Post by neandrewthal » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:23 am

My best friend when it comes to making panels:
Image

I've drilled close to 1000 holes of all sizes through 1/8" aluminum with it and it keeps on going.
Initiate the sequence, create catastrophe.

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Post by flight » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:07 am

@ coomby: I don't know if you've seen this thread already - viewtopic.php?t=1906
I put up some pictures of my experiments with using Lazertran for panel graphics.
@ Cat-A-Tonic: How big are your hands? The Deep Throat (shall we start calling it the "Linda Lovelace"?) Punch is pretty massive - about 10" x 6" (26cm x 16cm) and, with a panel in the jaws, the handles are about 7.5" (19cm) apart. I have some massive paws, but even I have some trouble holding this thing. I recommend getting the base.

@ neandrewthal: I keep meaning to get one of the style on the left in this picture:
Image
The step distance on the other sizes tend to be to short for me, and I end up over-chamfering or just forgetting which one to stop at. :)
You can find them in different size ranges too.

The hand punches are only able to punch a 9/32"(7.14mm) hole (for most 16mm pots) in soft aluminum up to 0.63"(~2mm). With tempered aluminum, such as 6061 or harder, I use the punch to make a 1/8" pilot hole for the step drill. The punches are much easier to precisely locate.
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Post by plord » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:29 pm

flight wrote:But if you're going to do panels that are wider then 1.5", you'll want this one(click on it for webpage):
Image
OMG WANT.

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