Sunday, 4 February 2018

The case

I finally made it.

I got a case for my modular synthesizer.

The finished case
Even though I had identified the necessary pieces of wood available at home, I dismissed my initial idea of having a full custom 8U wooden case.
I got inspired by this thread on Muff Wiggler to use a basic tool case to host my first modular synth. 

I reckon my initial idea of 2U 84HP utility panel would have taken me too much time.  So starting from an existing box seems a better idea.

As usual with me, I progressed step by step.

The box is a standard tool case from the local DIY store (Sencys from Brico). External dimensions are 46 x 33 x 15 cm.   This is great for hosting a 6U 84HP Eurorack modular synthesizer.
I'll keep the lid from now.

The Doepfer A100 DIY kit is perfect for the job : four rails, two bus boards, a power supply is all you need to start..

Checking everything is in place ...

I started by checking that everything could easily fit into the box.  And from there I evaluated what would be needed to mount the kit inside.

Apart from the box, I exclusively used pieces of woods already available in the house.  Mainly remnant from a 6mm thick MDF wood panel..

I decided to keep the foam inside.  I only had to tighten the corners and cut out the part where sides were recovering the bottom part.

I bought some 6mm x 6mm square nuts to fit in the rail, as the standard hexagonal ones have a tendency to rotate and block into the rail.  As I miscalculated my needs, I kept 4 hex nuts per rail, two on each end, for a total of 21 nuts per rail.  I reckon this will suffice.

The back of the structure is a bit more than 4 cm deep.  It gets to support the power supply placed vertically and can accommodate 2 8HP modules turned horizontally.  Not as good as the 2U utility panel I initially envisaged, but this will do.

For the bus boards, I decided to fix them from below an horizontal wood piece.  These slats were a bit thick.  The box is not very deep.  This way I keep a full 7 cm clear.  The bus boards are blocked by the foam.  And yes I checked if, by any chance, this would be conductive … which it is not, obviously.

The connection of the power supply to the 240V-15V AC transformer is done via an appropriated connector on the front panel to avoid piercing the box.  No trouble thanks to the parts I collected when I started to make guitar pedal kits.

A green LED connected between the -12V rail and the ground (with the help of a 1k resistor) indicates when the case is powered.

Both fit into a custom panel, drilled with some ventilation holes.

I made sure the power wires would stay nicely on the side and I double checked the connection with a voltmeter.

Before fixing inside the case
Finally, I secured the lot into the box thanks to four 5mm carriage bolts.

Finished.  It's time to add modules.

No comments:

Post a Comment