Racking a Modcan A system :sadbanana:

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parasitk
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Racking a Modcan A system :sadbanana:

Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:49 pm

Because I don't want to hijack this thread any more than I have, I'm picking it up here.
parasitk wrote:
ignatius wrote:i hear ya. they aren't cheap at all but they are nice. the PSU is quite beefy and they look really nice however ya cut it. the black anodized ears are solid and the option of removing them for a custom case is nice...

it would be cool if bruce sold bus boards and PSU's separately. then you could fit your modules in any custom case you could think of instead of rows of 7.
I have several Blacet PSUs here that I was planning on using for my Modcan modules. I just need a subrack. Rails even. It sucks there are so few casing options in Modcanland.

The Modcan subrack is stupidly expensive.
The Cynthia Sixpac is priced better, but is a stupid size if you want to stick it in a standard rack.

:bang: :bang: :bang:

But seeing your pics, I really would love to mount a Modcan row above the Frac row I'm keeping. It's too bad I never see Modcan subracks for sale used. :sadbanana:
So I want to put Modcan A modules in a standard 10u flight rack (one of those Audiopile jobbies) with my remaining Frac row underneath.

Thing is, it kills me to pay almost $400 for a subrack. I have several Blacet PS500s here to power both the Modcan and Frac, so all I really need are rack rails and a power distro for the Modcan stuff.

Another annoying thing is that since the A Series modules are 9" tall, you need extra padding to get them to 6U height, making something like Vector rails not immediately doable.

Does anyone have any ideas for rail/mounting alternatives?

You guys are all clever and charming and handsome so I'm sure you can help me find a solution! :cloud: :cloud: :cloud:

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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:53 pm

Also, can I just say how weird it is to post about a 6U banana system in a 5U 1/4" forum? :guinness: :emt: :woah:

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:02 pm

parasitk wrote:Also, can I just say how weird it is to post about a 6U banana system in a 5U 1/4" forum? :guinness: :emt: :woah:
i'll have a think about the racking question - the slight bit of extra height is, as you say, the problem otherwise i think something could be adapted relatively easily. thinking off the top of my head you could maybe make "thick" (height wise) diy rack rails that would take the extra height up to 6U?
oh - this is the 5U forum but i don't see mention they have to be 1/4" anywhere and modcan A series stuff is 5.something U
:razz: :hihi:

sandy

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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:08 pm

It's like a plus-sized 5U, poor thing.

I'm just teasing. The A series is such an odd man out as a format. I dig that though! :yay:

Anyway, yeah I suppose I could build some sort of 6U frame, and then just strap some sort of rails across for mounting. Not sure what rails would work for the A series... Would vector rails work? What's the screw size? I know none of these things! :huh:

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:30 pm

:lol:
i'll ask muff to make a plus sized section for the 5U sub-forum!

i'm not sure what exact size the screws are for modcan A series - pretty much the same as euro (M3) but i'm guessing they're whatever the nearest imperial measurement might be. i just tried a "euro" M3 screw in a sixpac and it sort of fits but feels like it would be a bit tight if i actually tried to screw it all the way in.
i can't imagine rack rails would be particularly difficult to make so maybe you could try local metal shops once you have specs and see if they could make something for you. you wouldn't even need a whole subrack really - you could just go with the rails (like MOTM ones) and then mount the power distribution boards to the rack case side or bottom.

sandy

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Post by bf » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:59 pm

Why not use wood?
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Post by suitandtieguy » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:00 pm

get a couple of blank 1U panels, cut them down and put holes in them?
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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:07 pm

bf wrote:Why not use wood?
In a road rack? Could work I suppose.
suitandtieguy wrote:get a couple of blank 1U panels, cut them down and put holes in them?
Sounds like there is no easy solution that doesn't require a metal shop (or at least metal working tools).

What a pain. Thanks for suggestions, time to brainstorm!

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Post by cornutt » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:40 pm

parasitk wrote:It's like a plus-sized 5U, poor thing.
It's not that much bigger. I have a couple of module blocks where I've got Modcan-A mounted alongside MOTM and Dotcom. It's not hard to devise a drill-where-you-need wood mounting rail that will accommodate all three.
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Post by bwhittington » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:55 pm

parasitk wrote:
bf wrote:Why not use wood?
In a road rack? Could work I suppose.
I was think about that, too. If you went with a shockmounted-style case, with that foam layer in the rack, which would be recommended if you actually intend to travel with it, then you could make a internal frame out of plywood that met your dimensions. That would be heavy as sin, though.

I guess you could mount a the modules on a sheet of that thin plywood painted black and mounted to the rack rails. Maybe you could get some kind of laminate layer from the hardware store--a countertop or flooring material that could jazz it up a little.

Short of custom metal work, which you definitely could afford compared to $378 per rack chasis, I'm not sure what else you could do to make it fit in a rack. There is, of course, always the option of a total DIY case. Something like the Dotcom portable case, in your choice of tolex, would be cool.

I just bought my first Modcan A format Cynthia module, but it's going to end up in a little custom case of its own. I really don't like the Modcan A racking options.

Cheers,
Brian

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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:58 pm

Yes, it's not much bigger. But I'm not so keen on wood rails in a road rack. I'll look into it, again thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

I was hoping there was more of a slick solution and not just me hacking something together.

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Post by bwhittington » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:14 pm

parasitk wrote:Yes, it's not much bigger. But I'm not so keen on wood rails in a road rack. I'll look into it, again thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

I was hoping there was more of a slick solution and not just me hacking something together.
The slick solution would be two Modcan rack chasis in a 12u rack. All for "value" price of $950 or so. :woah:

Cheers,
Brian

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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:15 pm

bwhittington wrote:The slick solution would be two Modcan rack chasis in a 12u rack. All for "value" price of $950 or so. :woah:
Ha ha, yes indeed. Perhaps a little too slick for me. I'd rather sink $950 into modules however!

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Post by DGTom » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:21 pm

Just thinking out loud here.
If you could purchase, or fabricate, 6U ears, then drill holes at the appropriate points on the inside lip you could then mount vector rails in the appropriate places? :hmm:

gimmie a sec. I'll have a fiddle in the workshop, wouldn't take more than a drill, centre punch & hammer been meaning to try something similar for euro.

I share the same concerns with regards to wood in a flightcase, 3mm thick alum. T section would be tuff :D

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Post by Roycie Roller » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:23 pm

Do you still have blacet racks? If you have a drill (maybe you don't even need one?) & 2 blacet racks, i reckon you could whip up a frame for 6u tall modules, just remove the 2 middle rails from 2 racks stacked one on the other.
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Post by ignatius » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:36 pm

Roycie Roller wrote:Do you still have blacet racks? If you have a drill (maybe you don't even need one?) & 2 blacet racks, i reckon you could whip up a frame for 6u tall modules, just remove the 2 middle rails from 2 racks stacked one on the other.
they aren't 6U. the modcan cases w/the rack ears (sides and top/bottom) add up to 6U.

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Post by DGTom » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:38 pm

Good thinking 99! You'd still need to fabricate 2 pieces to bridge the gap between the frac rails & the module mounting holes tho right? Would be solid ! 3mm with two rows of holes, 10 at frac spacing along one edge & then another row of modcan spacing, would be a pretty cheap FPE job!

this;

Image

was what I was thinking :hmm:

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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:42 pm

You guys rock. Ideas are flowing here.

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Post by DGTom » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:48 pm

ignatius wrote:
they aren't 6U. the modcan cases w/the rack ears (sides and top/bottom) add up to 6U.

Image
Modcan A looks SO tight! They don't look 'modular' at all!

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Post by parasitk » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:51 pm

Yeah they look awesome. If I had the dough to spare I'd just suck it up and buy one. ignatius's Modcan/Frac dual rows looks so slick. :waah:

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Post by decaying.sine » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:00 pm

I have been trying to come up with some helpful ideas for this, but it seems like I am basically running on empty! Outside of the flexibility you get with wood, another thing I have seen used (not in modular synths but in medical applications) is high density polyethylene, which is used to make food cutting boards (that white stuff). It is really strong and holds up to drilling and holding screws. We used it with many brass screws in an MRI magnet and the screws were solid like they were in wood. I was always really impressed with the construction. It appeared to be easy to cut to shape, cheap, and strong. Although, I imagine if you recreated something like Paul's MOTM rails with it, they would never be as sturdy unless it was a good 1/2 inch thick. The advantage of HDPE over metal would be that you wouldn't have to have the same type of tools, likely. You could probably just use basic stuff you would use on wood, which means you could probably just use hardwood to begin with!

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Post by parasitk » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:24 pm

I appreciate it! I'm going to keep researching. In the meantime, I have a lead on a Sixpac which should at least get me up and running.

I do want to figure something out – once I have more time to put into planning and building stuff.

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Post by decaying.sine » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:45 am

That's good news re. the sixpac. I can't remember the depths on those, but are you thinking of any mobile applications? I am looking at my modcan A ZO, which I still need to photograph and upload some pr0n, and damn, that thing is thick. Kills mobile dreams. Good luck. Time/effort/finance balance always seems to lead me to manufacturer cases for better or worse.

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Post by parasitk » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:45 pm

Okay so I've given up on the Modcan A rack. Bruce doesn't have any, and honestly the whole thing is making me tired.

So, we're back to either 100% DIY or a Sixpac + some DIY.
DGTom wrote:Good thinking 99! You'd still need to fabricate 2 pieces to bridge the gap between the frac rails & the module mounting holes tho right? Would be solid ! 3mm with two rows of holes, 10 at frac spacing along one edge & then another row of modcan spacing, would be a pretty cheap FPE job!

Image
I dig this.

I also had the idea of getting a Sixpac and mounting Blacet Frac-Rack-like ears on it (the DIY part). And so that it's not totally wasted space, get some holes in it for some passive attenuators and 1/4" to banana conversion.

I'm getting one of those Audiopile racks (1 row of Modcan, 2 rows of Frac), and I know there's some clearance on the top of the rack rails, so I think I could do this and have it only take up 5U of space!

Clearance (at the top):
Image

So the Sixpac is 9" tall. If I got 5U ears made (FPE or whatever) with standard 5U rack "outer" mounting holes plus the Sixpac spaced "inner" mounting holes I could nudge that extra .25" into that clearance in the rack.

Six pac side mounting holes:
Image

Does this make sense to anyone? Can anyone help me make this a reality? I'm on a Mac so I can't use the FPE tools, I have no metal working tools or skills, so I really need some help. I could likely throw money your way as well... :hmm: Suggestions and comments are also welcome!

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:05 pm

chris,

a bit lo-tech but you could just screw the sixpac to the bottom of that rack case and be done with it, no metal work etc involved. granted it wouldn't be especially pretty but it would work ok i think. the sixpacs have holes for screws in the bottom like the ones you see in the sides on the picture above.

sandy

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