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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
panel connection options?
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gdavis



Joined: Feb 27, 2013
Posts: 155
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:02 pm    Post subject: panel connection options? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm looking at building a control panel with some 26 pots and 6 switches and considering my options for making all the connections. Wondering if anyone with experience or thoughts on the best way to do this might have some advice.

Ultimately the pot outputs will go to a string of buffers driving a header for a ribbon cable to the voice boards.

I was thinking of doing PCB mounted pots, but of course the panel arrangement doesn't really match up with the header pin order (which I set based on the voice board layout) so there's a lot of crossing signals from the pots to the buffers. Doable, but not as neat as I was hoping and I'm having second thoughts about producing such a large PCB.

Then I thought maybe I ought to just do panel mounted pots and switches, but not thrilled with the idea of soldering all those pot connections. I guess I'd do a connector on the buffer board for the pot connections. Aren't there some kind of connectors that will slide onto the pin terminals of pots? Maybe just soldering them won't be so bad.

My brains kind of thrashing back and forth on this so just looking to bounce ideas off of someone to help get some clarity Wink

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Zodiak



Joined: May 20, 2007
Posts: 242
Location: Gillingham, Kent UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I guess my rule of thumb is to think about:

how much confidence I have that the design will not change? If it is pretty fixed then use a PCB.

How long will each approach take? If its one huge PCB then hard wiring is probably quicker.

Is this one board or many? My mixer had an etched PCB for the channel strips, because there were 12 of them, but the group/output boards were done on pin board.

Is it going to be transported? A good wire man will make something that is a tough as a PCB, look at Marshall amps, or Hammond organs, but if yo are not that good then a properly mounted PCB will probably be better.

How will the PCBs be fixed? On my mixer I bought solder brackets for the pots so there was no strain on the connections to the pots, but I don't know anybody who sells them now. Recently I have started using 1" L section aluminum bolted to the edge of the PCB before I do any soldering. The pots are bolted in place before I solder them in and I am reasonably confident that will be fine.

My closest project to this is my rebuilt MFOS soundlab, and that's being hand wired, mainly because I keep on changing it, but then I have been doing this for nearly 40 years Smile (I started VERY young!)

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gdavis



Joined: Feb 27, 2013
Posts: 155
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the feedback. You're points of consideration seem to lead me to the PCB conclusion.

I spent some more time on the layout and it's a bit cleaner now, I guess I'm just scared by the size of the thing. I though 4x8" was big now I'm looking at over 14" long. It also needs some jumpers or a second layer, which I'm getting pretty tired of doing with boards I etch myself. But spending $$$ to have a board made that's so simple circuit-wise and that I only need one of is really off-putting.

When I start to think about all that, hand wiring doesn't sound so bad. But I think I'll try etching a board. If nothing else it will be a learning experience Wink

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gdavis



Joined: Feb 27, 2013
Posts: 155
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In case anyone is interested, I made the PCB control panel:

IMAG0038

IMAG0043

You can read the details in my blog page.

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