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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Front panel express question
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numbernone



Joined: Aug 16, 2006
Posts: 477
Location: new york city

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject: Front panel express question Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One or two for the front panel express users:

Can anyone comment on the quality of the surface on RAW aluminum? Its only slightly cheaper than the anodized, but I am going to be painting all my panels custom colors and use no engraving or legending of any type. YES I am being cheap!

As for the holes, what kind of tolerances are we dealing with. Are my 1/4" alpha pots going to be too fat for 1/4" holes?? I suppose an extra millimetre wont hurt.

I am only now accepting that I will be much better off with professionally made panels, after ignoring the obvious evidence that everyone loves these things.
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State Machine
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Can anyone comment on the quality of the surface on RAW aluminum? Its only slightly cheaper than the anodized, but I am going to be painting all my panels custom colors and use no engraving or legending of any type. YES I am being cheap!


It's the same stock only NOT anodized so your safe. The quality is very good.


Quote:
As for the holes, what kind of tolerances are we dealing with. Are my 1/4" alpha pots going to be too fat for 1/4" holes?? I suppose an extra millimetre wont hurt.


Every manufacturing process has tolerance levels which can in some instances work against you. It is not guaranteed that a 1/8th pin will fit into a 1/8th hole. In order to fit precisely I recommend leaving some space (0.1mm is usually adequate).

I also recommend getting the data sheet on everything you plan to mount to the panel and make sure you know the dimensions and the tolerences then add the 0.1 mm, mentioned above, to the worst case dimension. If you have the components in hand, use a digital caliper if you have one. A good quality caliper does wonders! They are expensive and you did say you were cheap so get the component datasheet.

Quote:
I am only now accepting that I will be much better off with professionally made panels, after ignoring the obvious evidence that everyone loves these things.


I use them professionally and for my DIY ocassionally. Small runs are expensive but if you really want to make an impression, the FPE panels are the way to go. Unless you know someone who machines and engraves .... Very Happy

Hope this helps .....
Bill
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numbernone



Joined: Aug 16, 2006
Posts: 477
Location: new york city

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the scoop Bill!!!

I checked into making some panels at a few machine shops here in NYC...youch!! Like all else here $$$$$$!!!$!$!$!$.

I will be using front panel express methinks for my standalone double SN box once i decide what else to squeeze in there Wink

I should amend my comment about being cheap, I am just avoided using the expensive engraving and lettering, as I like to roll my own panel stylings... but also I am being a little cheap Smile
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State Machine
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ALSO, I used the Front Designer program from Abacom , ink-jet printer transparencies, and double sided adhesives from Thermo-Web for some really great results! I used this for my SN-Voice prototype with a produced a nice colorful front panel for the 2U rack panel! You may want to consider this method also.

Here is a distributer for the program:

http://www.saelig.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=ES003&Category_Code=ES

The program is $80.00 but it will definitely pay for itself quickly !!! Very Happy

Double Sided Adhesive:

http://www.thermoweb.com/cpd-peelnstick_adhesive.html

Transparencies:

http://www.officemax.com/max/solutions/product/prodBlock.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&prodBlockOID=44819&expansionOID=-536905753

Bill
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