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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Stupid? Plastic for front panels
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Wild Zebra



Joined: Apr 28, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Stupid? Plastic for front panels Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I know with high gain stompboxes plastic boxes are no no. Too much radio interference. What about front panels for modules. Or my MFOS SEQ? I have adout 20, 4ish X 7ish inch plastic panels here at work. I reckon cut em to size and make some nice stickers and they'd be easy as hell to cut and drill.

Any other Pro's or CON's

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zonkout



Joined: Oct 12, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was just thinking about this yesterday. Seems like it would work fine.
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sneakthief



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hmmm - first of all, the plastic can't be too thick otherwise your jacks and pots won't be able to be screwed in place.

secondly, you have to be really diligent about securing and bracing the panel otherwise you'll get some serious flex when plugging+unplugging jacks.

that said, Laurie Biddulph of Elby Designs said that a super-cheap & cool way to get custom panels is to order silkscreened PCB's. Interesting, huh?

cheers,
michel

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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Stupid? Plastic for front panels Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wild Zebra wrote:
I know with high gain stompboxes plastic boxes are no no.

have you ever seen stomp boxes made by Behringer Question Pure plastic Confused

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Mikmo



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I used Perspex or whatever it's called as frontpanels for a few of my circuit bend toys that was rehoused, this one for instance :

http://www.mikmo.dk/cbbrakedrum.html

A few things to be aware of:

Depending on the type of plastic it's very easy to crack the whole panel when drilling larger holse for pots and so.

Be very carefull when soldering near the plastic, or you will melt it.

If the panel is large you probably need to support it more than just around the edges to avoid flexing.

Most types of plastic are not very scratch resistent, this might not be a problem if you put soemthing over it.

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bugbrand



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I used perspex for the recent DroneMachines - much easier to cut straight lines in plastic than metal - just use a sharp knife.

Strength - yeah, bracing may be needed but I have pots on the circuitboards mainly so these provide a good deal of strengthening.

Interference - don't think its a problem for such signal levels really.

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Wild Zebra



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey, thanks for all the advice. Very Happy
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zonkout



Joined: Oct 12, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Seems like a lot of vintage mono synths have plastic front panels.
I guess they don't have patch points though...
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Usually on those synths the plastic doesn't need any strength 'cos it's just a facade. The components are mounted on PCB behind it.

If your sheet of plastic gets too big, you can strengthen it by mounting a support under the middle component which rests against the back wall of the case. (as long as your PCB etc isn't under that component)

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