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Standard measurements in front panels
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gusjdt



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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:20 am    Post subject:  Standard measurements in front panels Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm trying to design my synth's front panel on Front Panel Designer and I wanted to know what is the standard measurement for the holes where 1/4 jacks go, the holes where the pots go, and the holes where the switches, LEDs, and other misc stuff go.

I tried measuring my pots and jacks but I want to check with more experienced people before I make a mistake. Very Happy

Thanks

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fonik



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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

this depends on the parts you use. different potentiometers, different dimensions... you may want to check the datasheets for your parts (everytime i order parts i never had before, i download the datasheets).
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Radioshack pots, haha. Says here... Mounting Hole: 5/16" (8.2mm)
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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Standard measurements in front panels
Subject description: Added: What is a U?? to Standard panel dimensions-resources
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EDIT: Moved this Panel related message of mine here from another thread.

For context, see: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-17529-125.html

Hi,

The Euro Rack standard is promoted by this company: http://www.proma-technologie.de/ You can visit this link to see dimensioned drawings of Euro-rack components.

Doepfer has some good information on this subject at their Mechanical Details page. First go here: http://www.doepfer.de/ Then click your language preference. Next choose The "products" bar at the left. Finally click on the "Technical Details, A-100" link in the left middle of the large group of links on the Products page.

v-un-v wrote:
fonik wrote:

24TE (eurorack).

24TE? Is that roughly equivalent to 122mm? What does 24TE stand for?



TE (Sometimes also labeled HP, think Horizontal Pitch) is a horizontal distance in the Euro Rack system. 1 TE/HP is equivalent to 5.08mm, or 1/5 inch. So a 24 TE/HE distance is 24/5, or 4.8". In mm it becomes 24 x 5.08=122mm.

v-un-v wrote:


We've probably been here before, but is there a site with most of these measurements on. (You would think that 3U= 3 inches,6U; 6", but it doesn't )



A "U" is also a distance measurement in both the EURO Rack and American Rack standard format. Each U is 1-3/4 inches, or 44.45mm. Many synth manufacturers use the U system of measurement for their module panel size. Mostly we think of U as vertical and there it is sometimes referred to as HU . Think Height Unit.

Some Typical Height sizes in common use (and some example synths which use them) are:

1U (1-3/4") Nearly always full width; and a very common rack height for audio gear. Some DIY synths (Notably Thomas Henry) use this format extensively.

2U (3-1/2") A very common full rack width Audio gear height. Some commercial synths are sold in this size.

3U (5-1/4") All Frac-Rac, Euro-Rack, i.e., Blacet, Doepfer, PlanB, Livewire, Bananalogue, Analogue Solutions, etc. 3U height is also used for many large full rack width Audio and Power components.

4U (7") Serge.

5U (8-3/4") MOTM, Moog, Dotcom, Modcan B series.

6U (10-1/2") Wiard 300 series.

There are standard widths for many of these module formats. Some 5U Mfrs. use the "U" system for horizontal measurements as well as their height. The ones who do (MOTM, OAKLEY) usually have modules of 1U (1-3/4") and 2U (3-1/2") widths as standard. Greater widths in these formats will also follow the U system. So a large sequencer MOTM module might be 6U wide.l

To make this post complete, we will step outside of the EURO measurement system, and cover some additional details of the typical modular synth panels and standards.

Some modular synths do not use the U measurements at all. One example is Modcan A series with its 9" tall modules. The old Aries line also had 9" tall modules, at 3" width. Ray Wilson's MFOS (Music From Outer Space) personal Modular uses 4"x10" panels. The blank panels he sells are of the 5U size.

The FRAC-Rac format has a standard width unit of 1-1/2". So 3" and 4-1/2" wide modules are common in this format. Frac-Rac is an American format designed by John Simonton of PAIA, which has found a wide following largely through the popularity of Blacet modules. Worth mentioning is that the FRAC standard also calls for +/-15V power supply.

Note: The 3U EURO-Rack standard is most often used with +/-12V power. Note also that the panels of the EURO Rack format are often shorter than the 3U would suggest. This is not due to allowances for paint and fitting (which is seen in many of the other formats). But rather due to the shape of the top and bottom extrusions used by PROMA. These have a lip which "uses up" some of the height. So the Euro rack modules are often some 5mm shorter than the technically exact 3U height of 133.35mm (5-1/4").

The original MOOG modulars had a width unit of 2-1/8", so you will see that being used in modern Synths based on them. Such as those by COTK (Club Of The Knobs), Dotcom, Yusynth. The original Moog power was a strange +12,-6V. But nearly all modern Moog modular derivatives use +/-15V.

The single classic Synth using the 4U height is Serge. Serge is sold in full width panels only, and these are 17" wide. The original Serge panels used a grid of holes on 1 inch centers, so Serge "module" width tends to be also a multiple of 1 inch.

The Wiard 300 series also uses a 17 inch panel size to derive its width unit. But unlike the Serge, Wiard modules are 1/6 of 17", or 2.83 inches wide. (Six modules fit in 17")

Note that the American Rack standard specifies at least 17-1/2" of clear space between upright mounting rails, so these 17" width synths have only to add 1 inch "ears" on each side to be a fully rack compatible 19 inches wide.

v-un-v wrote:

I ask these questions so newbies can find it easier to design their panels (and I also need a refresher too!! )



Yes, it can be very hard to track all this information down. This Page: http://www.synthesizers.com/formfactors.html at www.synthesizers.com has some information, and a few mfrs. have technical drawings of their panels online.

I have been collecting as much info on the various formats as possible (Including panel thickness, components used (like jacks and knobs and switches), typical layouts including fonts and their sizes on panels, graphics standards, signal levels, etc. and will be adding it to my website; which will open Later this Summer, perhaps into Fall.

In the meantime I hope this overview is helpful.

Randal

******Orig related msg from THIS thread below ********************

Hi,

Most all the major synth manufacturers post dimensions of their panels online at their websites. Look in their technical specs page.

I know I've printed out one each from Blacet, MOTM (synth-tech.com), Doepfer and dotcom (synthesizers.com). I believe I may have them from Oakley and EFM too. Ray has panel layouts on his MFOS site; but he uses a non-standard 4x10" size. Won't matter since you;re looking for component hole sizes.

There's also the Yahoo group synth panels; where you can find FPD files for MANY different formats and specific modules. Load them up and measure what you're looking at.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that you can derive the sizes you need from what others have done. And there are examples of that all over the place! (because as some one already mentioned, it depends upon which jacks and pots you are using.

FWIW, many "Universal" panels use a 3/8 hole for 1/4" jacks and pots.
And notice that most panels are NOT the full size that their "U" size would suggest. In other words a 5U panel like Oakley, dotcom and MOTM is just a bit less than 8-3/4" tall. this allows for paint and assembly tolerances.

Hope this helps,

Randal

gusjdt wrote:
I'm trying to design my synth's front panel on Front Panel Designer and I wanted to know what is the standard measurement for the holes where 1/4 jacks go, the holes where the pots go, and the holes where the switches, LEDs, and other misc stuff go.

I tried measuring my pots and jacks but I want to check with more experienced people before I make a mistake. Very Happy

Thanks

Last edited by Randaleem on Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:25 am; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks a lot! That helps quite a bit, however, I'm only using MFOS modules and the paia MIDI-CV for this project. I didn't order from blacet, motm or others. MFOS hit my budget pretty well.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's worth swatting up on anthropometrics too- ie finger sizes etc. Many people overlook this vital part of the design process.

There's some useful measurements here on hand size and width data.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some general info can be found on this post at Aron's site. If it requires a login to view, here's the important part:

T1-3/4 LED bezel, mini toggles - 1/4" (6mm)
T1-3/4 LED without bezel - 3/16"(5mm)
16mm pot - 9/32" (7mm)
24mm pot - 5/16" (8mm)
audio jacks - 3/8" (10mm)
footswitches - 15/32" (12mm) for a perfect fit w/o washers,
1/2" is fine if you use the white plastic washer included with 3PDT's, Carlings don't include washers.

Note that "footswitches" refers to the switches used in stompboxes.

Also, I've found that a 1/8" hole is just right for a T1/3mm LED without bezel.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Perfect, that's exactly what I needed. Thanks for the help guys. Almost finished. I've been designing the front panel since 10 AM and its already 2 AM
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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:39 am    Post subject: Panel layout for a brand new modular synth
Subject description: It pays to use a standard size panel even if you think it won't matter...
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Hi,

Glad to see you've gotten the info you were looking for. I just want to add one more suggestion.

If you're making one of the single panel synths; much of what follows will not directly apply. Might be worth reading anyways?

Here are a few reasons used by first-time builders to justify a non-standard panel size for their first foray into a modular synth:

1) I'm only making one and it's for me, so it won't matter.

2) I'm not planning to use it with other units.
2A) The units I will use it with will work fine with this panel I've planned.

3) I can change it later if it becomes a problem.

4) I don't need that much space. (when planning smaller than standard)

5) I don't have that much space. (When contemplating larger formats)

6) I want it to be MINE, and it doesn't have to match anyone elses's ideas of what's right.

I'm sure others on this board can fill in a few? more from their own experiences!

Point is, there are enough viable, popular and usable standards now to fit nearly anyone's idea of what makes sense in a modular synth. And the odds are in favor that you WILL make more panels/modules!<G> FWIW, Re-building old modules or panels to fit your growing experience and resulting desires is a drag. (Means format changing, not sonic or usability improvments.)

The standards are well-proven over many years of active and not-so-active use by thousands of operators/musicians. There are reasons behind them beng standards. It's not ALWAYS a bad thing to follow the path others have trod before you.

This is free advice; so take it for what it is worth. But I think many here would agree that you'll be ahead of the game using something that WILL fit with other modules or panels later. And that it's worth some brain-time now.

You've got basically four height choices:

A) The basic rack panel which can be any height. But which is normally from 1-3/4" to any multiple of this which will fit in your cabinet/rack.) Width will of course be the standard rack width of 19+". Thomas Henry uses this in his designs.

B) 3U, which is nominal 5-1/4" high. A few examples are PAIA Frac-rac, Blacet, Wiard 1200, Doepfer, Bananalogue, Elbe Panther, and AS. Frac-rac was originally used by PAIA and Blacet. It is now being embraced by many others both new and old in the marketplace. It uses a module width increment of 1-1/2". Doepfer and AS use what is now called the Euro-Rack horizontal dimension; which spec's a unit of 1/5" (5.08mm). The Doepfer mounting holes are closer to the edge of the panel, which can increase usable space.

C) 4U, which is nominal 7" high. The main design using this is Serge, Which also means you will normally have 17" of "active" module width. (Original Serge panels were 7x17. Newer panels in the Serge format may be full rack width (19") with only 17" of space used for module fronts to keep the look and feel of the older panels. (And to fit easily into the standard Rack interior available width!)

D) 5U, which is nominal 8-3/4" high. Moog modulars, dotcom, MOTM, Oakley and many others use this size. Moog and dotcom (which is a modernized Moog clone) use a 2-1/8" width increment for each module.
Most all the others in the 5U format camp will use a horizontal width increment of 1U (1-3/4").

The standards go beyond height and width. They include such things as power supply connector and voltage(s). Mounting screw placement and size. PCB mount hole placement. Panel color and knob choice. Jack color(s), LED mounting, and switch type(s). You may not need to fit in with all of these; but it is a GOOD idea to be aware of them IMO.

Generally the taller panels use 1/4" jacks, and the smaller panels use 1/8" jacks. But there are variations on this theme.
Serge uses Banana plugs, and these are sometimes found in modules of various formats besides Serge and Modcan due to a usually STRONG<G> user preference for the Bananas. Many of those choosing Bananas had their first experience with a Serge or Buchla Synth. People seem to either love or hate banana jacks. They allow easy stacking of patch cords to a single input; but give up the possible use of normalized connection which are defeated by inserting a phone jack.

Actually that's true for ANY jack size or choice! Very Happy

There are other "standards", but many of these are from older designs, and/or are not being used in large volume these days. Aries, ModcanA, Wiard300 are a few examples. While these may be really nice synths to OWN; I'd suggest staying away from them as a general guideline for panel/module layout for a new builder just getting into SDIY.

Even if you only match the basic dimensions and mounting holes; I think you'll find yourself FAR ahead later.

You mention MFOS specifically.Right now I don't remember if Ray's universal panels are the 4x10 size He uses in his own projects, or if they are a 5U panel. (I suspect they are the 4x10; as he has said that he uses this size because he gets the raw panel material at a good price. (If it were me; I'd cut the inexpensively gotten 4x10 into a 5U x2U standard panel. But I have the tools to do that. What I'm trying to say is that if you are going to only ever use MFOS modules... OR, you are going to ALWAYS buy and use the MFOS raw panels; then it may make sense to go this route. I'd think hard about this though.

(I'd sure like to see Ray change to a 5Ux2U standard for his growing line of popular modules. I could even help him get the panels at a good price; because I feel strongly about this. (Do we need another popular modular panel size that won't work within present setups without a new front panel?)

Personally, I think this cuts down your options for the future (including the ultimate sales price of a synth you may want to sell or part-out later!)

Next, Think about how you like to work. Think about the kind of music/sounds you will be making (but also know that this will likely grow and change over time!)
I believe that the module/panel layout DOES affect the operation (and the operator!) of the synth in ways both subtle and profound. I think it often shows up in the resulting output.
Someone else mentioned considering personal hand size. A good idea IMO. Do you mind 6 small knobs in a row? Or would you feel better with more room around each control? Can you position a 1/2" diameter knob as accurately as you can position a 2" knob?
(I'd like to see some empirical testing on this. Prob'ly oughta start a new thread for that. I'm new here; so perhaps it's already been done?)

After you cover the basic of size and mounting, you can STILL express yourself in the individual attention to control and IO layout. But IMO do yourself a favor and at least choose one of these basic form factors as a start point for your first modular project.

I know you just want to get a modular synth at this point; so this probably seems like a lot of useless extra work. And for you, it may be. Many others have found that the up front(pun intended) attention will pay off in the long run.

Randal

gusjdt wrote:
Perfect, that's exactly what I needed. Thanks for the help guys. Almost finished. I've been designing the front panel since 10 AM and its already 2 AM

Last edited by Randaleem on Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Randal, I just deleted that last post because you submitted it twice. I know that it probably wasn't your intention, but try not to do it again Very Happy

The EM server can be slow sometimes, so just hang in there Very Happy

PS Great information! Keep up the good work Cool

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm- I think I'm going to have to make this thread a sticky. There's too much good construction info here (I was actually writing some things on front panel design, but my other work took first priority. Fortunately Randal has beaten me to it- so well done mate Very Happy ).

If anyone wants to add anything extra- please feel free. I'll ask Mosc if he'll allow posting of .dxf and .dwg files. Maybe even IGES and/or .STL files too? Idea

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slo



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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Can somebody please give me the exact x-y co-ordinates of frac rack panel mounting holes. I need it for the 1, 2 and 3 widths. thanks in advance.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Panel layout for a brand new modular synth
Subject description: It pays to use a standard size panel even if you think it won't matter...
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First off, thanks to Randal for the terrific post.
Randaleem wrote:
I suspect [Ray's universal panels] are the 4x10; as he has said that he uses this size because he gets the raw panel material at a good price.
I think that's the standard size available at many hardware stores in the U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wish this post had come a month earlier! I'm currently making panels for the first 12 or so modules of what will probably be a 24 module synth. I had originally wanted to something in a larger format panel (MOTM etc) because I think the human factors are much better, but I live in an apartment and also will need to fit the finished unit in the back of my tiny car. So I decided on Frac. Now that I'm actually making panels I was slightly dishearten to see how small they are. They looked so much bigger on the monitor ! Wink
My suggestion to someone going through this exercise themselves would be to mock-up some panels on some cardboard with real knobs and jacks and see if it suits you. I should have known this given my product design background, but in my excitement to get started It didn't occur to me.

Now that I've warmed up to the Frac format I'm starting to think its almost *cute*. and I do like the idea of so much sound generating power in a such compact space.

i can share CAD drawing of the panels I'm doing if people are interested. The work flow that I'm using is:
1.) draw the panel and all holes in a CAD program (I use VectorWorks on a Mac)
2.) export that as an .eps into adobe illustrator. I use illustrator for all the printed art that will appear on the panel (lettering, linework etc) I also have a library of knobs, jacks etc so I can get a reasonable rendering of what the panel might look like.
3.) then I export to photoshop where I invert and mirror the art for making the mask that I'll use to etch the panel.

I can share any of the formats mentioned above. However I don't expect everyone to like my rather idiosyncratic use of chunky 60's looking sci-fi fonts.

Peter
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Photon



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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

slo wrote:
Can somebody please give me the exact x-y co-ordinates of frac rack panel mounting holes. I need it for the 1, 2 and 3 widths. thanks in advance.

all dimensions are in inches. appologies for any confusion:
Frac panels have holes that are spaced 4.65" vertically x increments of 1.50" horizontally.
Panels are 5.25" high by increments of 1.5" wide.
The holes are clearence for a 4-40 screw (Blacet uses a .125" hole which is a fair amount of slop, a 4-40 is .112" DIA).
For the 1U panel, the holes are on the centerline of a 1.50" panel, so .75" from the edge. they are .300" in from the top and bottom edge which gives you a center to center spacing of 4.650" vertically.

for the 2U panel: the panel is 3.0 x 5.25". The holes are 1.50" apart horizontally (.75" in from the sides.) The same .300" from top and bottom as above )

The panels will need to be slightly less than the nominal dimentions so they won't interfere with each other. The mounting holes should be dead on.
The best way to do this IMO is to mirror the holes about the center of the panel
so they are correct with respect to themselves. Then you can design in whatever clearance you need for overall panel dimensions. I realize this is probably confusing. I can post drawings if that would clarify things.
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fluxmonkey



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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

blacet's standard dimensions:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

http://www.blacet.com/FPtyp.jpg

other mfrs. use different layouts, so you have permission...

b
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow! I didn't expect so many replies although I guess it was bound to happen since I'm sure other beginners would ask themselves the same questions. Randal, I'm printing out the information you wrote for future reference, its great!

You are right, I am not making individual panels for each module. I'm designing a semi-modular synth with a single front panel. The panel is 24" long and 10" high.

Either way, I've gotten so immersed with modular synths that I'm definitely making more DIY later. Maybe an ASM-2 or an expandable modular with modules from different manufacturers.

Edit: Hm.. Cant attatch the .fpd file. Can't save in anything but .fpd.

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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 456
Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Standard measurements in front panels Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

Nice to hear the info is useful. I mentioned in another thread on this forum that i've been thinking a LOT about form factor in DIY synths.

I need to post a message on that to see if others are interested? That way this thread can stay technical specs oriented?

I'm not familiar with the FPD program, as I have other means to make my panels. But this may be a workaround until others can tell us the better way? To post an FPD layout, you could use a screen grab (Press Shift/ PrintScreen in Windows to have your current screen placed on the windows clipboard).
Then convert to a Jpeg or some such to save up/download bandwidth using Irfanview (A nice shareware image converter for windows) .

Just want to add that 10x24 is 240 sq. in. of completely NON standard inches<G> The thought occurs that 2 Serge style panels will be near the same size. AND you'll be able to incorporate additional panels of this standard size as you go. 7x17=119, 119x2=238 sq. in.
In 5U height, you'd have 27-1/2" horizontally. closest "standard width would then be 16U, or 28 inches.

Of course, with the popularity of MFOS, maybe 10x4 WILL soon BE a standard size? (I'll save my comments on that for that other soon-to-be started thread...

Still, think of the standard sizes for the materials you'll be using in making the enclosure for the panels as well.

V-un-V: Yes; it was an impatient mistake. Thank you for cleaning up after me!<G>

Randal

gusjdt wrote:


You are right, I am not making individual panels for each module. I'm designing a semi-modular synth with a single front panel. The panel is 24" long and 10" high.

Edit: Hm.. Cant attatch the .fpd file. Can't save in anything but .fpd.
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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 456
Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Standard measurements in front panels Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you V-un-V.

We might want to consider that most mfrs. would probably prefer that we link to their site for the panel layout they have posted; rather than simply copying it here?

Doesn't stop us from creating our own panel layout drawing from theirs and posting THAT here.<G>

But we are a small and tightly knit community; so it might be nice to play fair and respect their wishes? (At least find out before doing a grab-and-repost?)

How about this idea? Three sticky posts: Standard Modular Dimensions, Standard Modular components, and Standard Modular Electrical Specs?

That way we'd have pots/knobs/jacks (for all the different mfrs.) on one, Panel layouts on another, and electrical specs on the third?

If this already exists, please forgive. I'm still wading in the shallows of this site here<G>

Randal

v-un-v wrote:
Hmm- I think I'm going to have to make this thread a sticky. There's too much good construction info here (I was actually writing some things on front panel design, but my other work took first priority. Fortunately Randal has beaten me to it- so well done mate Very Happy ).

If anyone wants to add anything extra- please feel free. I'll ask Mosc if he'll allow posting of .dxf and .dwg files. Maybe even IGES and/or .STL files too? Idea
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gusjdt



Joined: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 55
Location: San Juan
G2 patch files: 1

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, heres a JPG of the front panel. Sorry if not all the text can be visible, thats the best zoom I could get without cutting out part of the panel.


Front Panel GITM.jpg
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Front Panel GITM.jpg



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gusjdt



Joined: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 55
Location: San Juan
G2 patch files: 1

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Randaleem, do you really think that having the abnormal panel measurements would matter? Since it isn't an expandable modular and it will be housed in a custom case, I don't think it will matter. Although I definitely plan to use the standard measurements in future projects that _are_ expandable, I don't think it will be such a problem with this particular project. What do you think?
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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 456
Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

Thank you for posting this. Looks like a lot of work went into the layout.

I hope you don't mind a bit of constructive criticism?

The right hand panel of jacks? is going to be a nightmare to work with.
(I can't actually tell if this is a patch panel or matrix of switches or? The following comments assume it is for patch cords.)

First, please immediately point to the 6th row and 5th column jack...

Even if you know this patch panel by heart; it is STILL hard for a human eye and brain and hand to select from a ROW of similar items.
Didya ever look up in a classroom while bored and try to count the row of holes in an acoustic ceiling tile? Err, No, Randal, just you!<G>

Even harder is to select from a grid of holes.

So you may want to "give up the ghost", so to speak, so that you can put some jacks along the bottom of the panel where those words now appear. the reason for doing this is to allow you to SPACE the remaining jacks in groups of 3, 4, or 5 at least horizontally, and preferably vertical also. Because you CAN select easily from a row/column with fewer holes in it.

Like this:
ooo oooo ooooo
ooo oooo ooooo
ooo oooo ooooo

ooo oooo ooooo
ooo oooo ooooo
ooo <and>

Compared to this:
oooooo
oooooo
oooooo
oooooo Notice how adding the 6th hole makes it tougher

Next, having the jacks so tightly together means that your patch cords are all over each other. Trying to grab a specific one is gonna be a PITB. Even a short patch cord could create problems because it may not have enough length to "droop" in a way that keep is out of the way.

Next, if you have used up a majority of the holes so they are filled with patch cords: You now will have to remove the patch cord by pulling on the CORD. Because yo cannot get to the patch plug. The forest of plugs is in the way... Gotta thin out yer orchard there IMO.

Finally, it's not necessarily a good idea to have all the ins/outs close together. Space is a friend of the person seeking low noise audio. Room between processing elements is a good thing.

Personally; I'd go for a "distributed architecture"; and put the plugs all over, across the board near any associated knobs. IMO it will be better electrically, sonically and for usability.

Randal

gusjdt wrote:
Ok, heres a JPG of the front panel. Sorry if not all the text can be visible, thats the best zoom I could get without cutting out part of the panel.
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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
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Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I find it "disturbing"<G>

Just kidding, referral to your sig, which I like.

Have a look at Ray's synth pic over at MFOS. How does the Soundlab look/feel there on top of the rest? Would you want to patch between it and the rest?

Now Consider his 16 step seq in that same pic.

Put your panel into that pic and give it a bit of thought.
Is your GITM gonna be its own voice in your ultimate plans?

Or will its modules be heavily interacting with the ones you have in mind for the future?

IOW, having a bass synth or drums synth that is a separate piece of gear makes more sense than having a lot of generalised processing power that you have to go out to and return from; due to its non-conformance with the rest of your stuff.

After this, I can only say that much of the answer depends upon the case you have in mind for your 10x24. Will it be shallow so it can lay down? Wide so it can stack? Angled to be ergonomic or attractive?

And it's once again worth mentioning since you are on the MFOS path already; your 1024 does fit into THAT panel size.

Tough call to make from here. I can see it going either way. IMO the answer you choose is less important than the fact that you will have considered your choice beforehand.

Randal

gusjdt wrote:
Randaleem, do you really think that having the abnormal panel measurements would matter? Since it isn't an expandable modular and it will be housed in a custom case, I don't think it will matter. Although I definitely plan to use the standard measurements in future projects that _are_ expandable, I don't think it will be such a problem with this particular project. What do you think?
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gusjdt



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Location: San Juan
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the reply, I see what you mean. How about this:

Ins
oooo oooo
oooo oooo
oooo oooo
------------
Outs
oooo oooo
oooo oooo
oooo oooo

the rest of the jacks that dont fit on the 10x10 layout would go along the bottom, I could move the Mixer up where the Lag Processor is, shrink the text of GITM to make room for the jacks, and work from there.

I would like to keep the jacks on one side of the panel because I wouldn't want to mess with spaghetti just to turn a knob. That's for this particular project, since I'm planning to use it outside of the studio as well.

Would this layout fix the audio quality problem you mentioned? You kinda scared me there with the interference of the inputs and outputs. Or is it something else?

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gusjdt



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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, the case will be shallow, wide and angled, and made out of acrylic. Something like this. I would like for this synth to be a seperate piece of gear, and I don't plan on interfacing it with future synths except a sequencer.


case.jpg
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case.jpg



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