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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » MusicFromOuterSpace.com designs by Ray Wilson
Making a face panel for DIY Synth Experimenter - Help Needed
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jukingeo



Joined: Oct 24, 2007
Posts: 161
Location: The dark side of the moon

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Making a face panel for DIY Synth Experimenter - Help Needed Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello All,

Ok, I have completed the population of my DIY Synth Experimenter Board and now I have the arduous task of coming up with a face panel design.

I know there is a face panel design on the MFOS site for the Experimenter, but I don't like it. The reason for this is that I have seen completed versions of the Synth Experimenter (on You Tube) and given the current location of the jacks IN THE MIDDLE of the layout, this yields a birds nest of wires that obscures the controls. While to some this might look cool, I prefer to see my controls. So I would like to redo the layout.

What I would like to do is have an arrangement that looks more like a modular layout where the jacks are all on the bottom. Thus when I decide to add modules later on, it will go together and look like a complete modular rig.

The face panel for the Synth experimenter on the MFOS site is a .pdf file and what I would like to do is break this down to the component controls, jack, and switch holes.

Now, in terms of art programs I have Corel Draw (a really old version eight) for Windows and I have Inkscape (a Corel Semi-Equivalent for Linux). Neither of these really extracts information well even though it is possible. I would like to work with something that is fast or perhaps there is a way I can get the individual, control or jack artwork and then I can just plonk this down on the "universal" module layout that is present on the MFOS site.

Out of the graphic programs I have, I am most familiar with Corel Draw, but if there is something better that is easier to use for this purpose, then I am game.

I think what I am mainly looking for is some artwork for controls that I can plonk down on an existing 'blank' module panel. Then I can use my graphic program to label everything once it is in place.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

Thank You,

Geo

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noto



Joined: Nov 05, 2009
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Location: portland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hi! i use coreldrawx5 for my panels. i have drawn a lot of standard parts as two layer vectors(component and hole). if you'd like , i can send you a .cdr file with a bunch of components that i use a lot. seems like all you need are 1/4" shaft potentiometer, 5/16" and 1/4" jacks, and toggle switches.
are you planning to use all of the same size hardware as shown in the mfos drawing? those potentiometers seem larger in size than the ones i've drawn. it would be easy for me to just draw them all up for you... seems so easy, maybe i misread your question?..
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some folks use Illustrator. Any vector program is probably good. Myself, I use Photoshop because I have it and I don't have Illustrator or know much about using it.
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jukingeo



Joined: Oct 24, 2007
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Location: The dark side of the moon

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

noto wrote:
hi! i use coreldrawx5 for my panels. i have drawn a lot of standard parts as two layer vectors(component and hole). if you'd like , i can send you a .cdr file with a bunch of components that i use a lot. seems like all you need are 1/4" shaft potentiometer, 5/16" and 1/4" jacks, and toggle switches.


Yes, for the most part I would be interested in that. Starting from scratch seems to be the hard part and as it is, I don't how to extract individual items from a .pdf file. With Corel, you can crop down to the needed component but doing that isn't the most efficient way to make a component library.

Quote:

are you planning to use all of the same size hardware as shown in the mfos drawing? those potentiometers seem larger in size than the ones i've drawn. it would be easy for me to just draw them all up for you... seems so easy, maybe i misread your question?..


Yes, initially I did want the 24mm pots, but since I can get the 16mm ones overseas for less than half the price. Thus it wouldn't be a smart move. Perhaps with future panels I might go with the larger pots, but for this project and the sequencer I am planning, I am going to use the 16mm ones. But I tell you what...perhaps it would be best to go with the 24mm spacing as that would allow me to go either way.

elmegil wrote:
Some folks use Illustrator. Any vector program is probably good. Myself, I use Photoshop because I have it and I don't have Illustrator or know much about using it.


Well, for the most part I wouldn't be looking forward to learning a new graphics program, unless it was fairly simple and/or Linux based. I am short on funding as of now and can't afford one of those 'big bad boy' programs.

Corel Eight has served me well for MANY years but it isn't always straightforward. I was hoping Inkscape would be one up on Corel, but the downfall there is that it supposed to be a Corel substitute and be compatible with Corel, but it isn't. It fails to see many of my Corel made items. But if I had standard vectoring clip art to work with, then it probably would work.

I know Ray Wilson uses something I haven't used (or seen) before. But yeah, if I did have some kind of library to work from then it would be much easier.

Thanx,

Geo

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elmegil



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have always heard good things about Inkscape, but never had any reason to compare it to other programs. Sorry to hear that doesn't sound like an option.

Wikipedia has a list of over Linux based vector editors, but I'm not sure how good the list is. Things like "Xfig" don't seem to me to be in the same class.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Linux_vector_graphics_editors
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noto



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i went ahead and drew those parts for you in corel. the dimensions are based off of what datasheets i could find at mouser. let me know where to send the .cdr file
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jukingeo



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

noto wrote:
i went ahead and drew those parts for you in corel. the dimensions are based off of what datasheets i could find at mouser. let me know where to send the .cdr file


I sent you a PM with my email address.

Thank you very much.

elmegil wrote:
I have always heard good things about Inkscape, but never had any reason to compare it to other programs. Sorry to hear that doesn't sound like an option.


Inkscape might still be a good option (in general), but perhaps it just doesn't like my older .cdr files. I tried to import my files that I created with Corel Draw Eight and it refuses to recognize them. I know Corel is up to X6 (version 16) now. So I am WAY outdated.

I eventually will have to do my important files over in Inkscape as I do not have the funds to buy a more recent version of Corel Draw.

Quote:

Wikipedia has a list of over Linux based vector editors, but I'm not sure how good the list is. Things like "Xfig" don't seem to me to be in the same class.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Linux_vector_graphics_editors


Well, outside of Inkscape, I do have Front Panel Designer for Linux, but I don't know how that program operates. If I did, then I might be opt to go that route.

Thanx,
Geo

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jukingeo



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

noto wrote:
i went ahead and drew those parts for you in corel. the dimensions are based off of what datasheets i could find at mouser. let me know where to send the .cdr file


For some reason the file didn't take. I tried it out in Corel Draw and it comes up as an invalid file (which I don't get as it has a .cdr extention).

I am wondering if my version of Corel is too old. Perhaps exporting to something more 'graphic program friendly' would allow me to import it into my version of Corel.

Geo

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noto



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

did you get the DXF i sent you?
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Nardu



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Front Panel Designer software Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I recommend Front Panel Designer, is free, easy to use, works in Windows, Linux, Mac OS X.
Library is customizable.
The project can be exported to popular DXF and SVG formats.

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jukingeo



Joined: Oct 24, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Panel Designer software Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nardu wrote:
I recommend Front Panel Designer, is free, easy to use, works in Windows, Linux, Mac OS X.
Library is customizable.
The project can be exported to popular DXF and SVG formats.


I already have Front Panel Designer for Linux. The trouble is I don't really know how to use it. I can set hole sizes and place them, but I am having trouble with making labels.

I just need a collection of controls, switch and jack labels to work from.

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