MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

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MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

davidbivins
Hi all,

My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning). 

I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s). I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure twice, cut once. 

Thanks,

David
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Cooper Sloan
Mine is mounted in the back but I'd much prefer it have it's own enclosure, which presents some technical challenges but makes things more elegant IMO. Obviously you'd need to keep the wire run short and stout for starters. Just my 2c.

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 3:05 PM, David Bivins <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning). 

I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s). I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure twice, cut once. 

Thanks,

David

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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

davidbivins
Thank you! If you don't mind, can you elaborate on why you'd prefer that the PSU has it's own enclosure? Because of the cable run? Or because of how it looks like from the back? I was thinking that if it's in the back, it's more like the PSU on other synths - coming out the back where the mains cable can be run to an outlet on the wall behind the modular bank.

Thanks,

David

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 11:19 PM, Cooper Sloan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Mine is mounted in the back but I'd much prefer it have it's own enclosure, which presents some technical challenges but makes things more elegant IMO. Obviously you'd need to keep the wire run short and stout for starters. Just my 2c.

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 3:05 PM, David Bivins <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning). 

I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s). I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure twice, cut once. 

Thanks,

David


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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Jimmy Moore
 For adherence to the true spirit of modularity! ;)

It could also help slim down the modular cabinet, which may reduce project cost, complexity, and/or footprint, depending.  I'm also thinking it could improve case temps, but I've never been around a modular long enough to know if the power supplie(s) contribute to very much, above and beyond the modules themselves.

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 9:45 PM, David Bivins <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thank you! If you don't mind, can you elaborate on why you'd prefer that the PSU has it's own enclosure? Because of the cable run? Or because of how it looks like from the back? I was thinking that if it's in the back, it's more like the PSU on other synths - coming out the back where the mains cable can be run to an outlet on the wall behind the modular bank.

Thanks,

David

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 11:19 PM, Cooper Sloan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Mine is mounted in the back but I'd much prefer it have it's own enclosure, which presents some technical challenges but makes things more elegant IMO. Obviously you'd need to keep the wire run short and stout for starters. Just my 2c.

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 3:05 PM, David Bivins <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning). 

I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s). I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure twice, cut once. 

Thanks,

David



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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Andre Majorel-8
In reply to this post by davidbivins
On 2017-07-31 18:05 -0400, David Bivins wrote:

> My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut
> cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so
> I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's
> been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning).
>
> I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s).
> I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case
> then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth
> of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have
> found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure
> twice, cut once.

Some 5 U users' web sites for inspiration :

http://jhaible.com/
http://m.bareille.free.fr/
http://mz.bluemole.com/
http://pugix.com/
http://www.analognotes.com/
http://www.dragonflyalley.com/synth/billAndWillMOTMSynth.htm
http://www.hotrodmotm.com/
http://www.modularsynthesis.com/
http://www.tellun.com/
http://www.wiseguysynth.com/
http://www.yusynth.net/index_en.php
https://naturalrhythmmusic.com/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sduck409/

How important is it for you to make your modular as shallow as
possible ? If it were me, I'd go for something like 30 cm
because, in my case, the advantages of making the case
10 cm thinner are nearly non-existent.

--
André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Andre Majorel-8
In reply to this post by Jimmy Moore
On 2017-07-31 21:56 -0600, Jimmy Moore wrote:

> For adherence to the true spirit of modularity! ;)

Mmm...

> It could also help slim down the modular cabinet, which may
> reduce project cost, complexity, and/or footprint, depending.
> I'm also thinking it could improve case temps, but I've never
> been around a modular long enough to know if the power
> supplie(s) contribute to very much, above and beyond the
> modules themselves.

Power supplies, especially linear PS that modulars tend to have,
are major producers of heat. Keeping them out of the case will
make the inside of the case closer to room temperature and that
will *probably* reduce tuning problems.

I say "probably" because since the power dissipated inside the
enclosure is less, the modular might take longer to get to its
equilibrium temperature. Not sure, ask a real physicist.

What's for sure is that the higher the electrical resistance
between the PS output and the module, the worse the regulation
will be. So, if you use a remote PS, use thick wires and good
connectors.

If you have several power supplies, it's better to have one
switch. Less chance of a powered module's output injecting a
voltage into an unpowered module's input and damaging it. I
don't think there is much risk with outputs that have a 1 k
resistor in series, but some outputs have lower resistors for
better precision. Can 15 volts through a 75 ohm resistor damage
an IC ? Not sure. Maybe there's an EE in the attendance...

--
André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Andre Majorel-8
In reply to this post by davidbivins
On 2017-07-31 18:05 -0400, David Bivins wrote:

> My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut
> cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so
> I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's
> been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning).

A Moog-55 type case might look "better" but it will be worse in
some ways. For one thing, you won't be able to move your modular
because there won't be any protecion for the knobs. Also, it
will be harder to integrate your modular with other (rack-mount)
equipment.

--
André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

davidbivins
I was thinking something like this. 


I'm not gigging with it and I don't plan on moving soon, so it will stay where it is. I haven't had a problem integrating it with other equipment in the last two decades in its SKB cases, so I don't think this would be any different. The other, more expensive option would be to build them into flight-style cases with metal corners, latches, etc. 

A Moog-55 type case might look "better" but it will be worse in
some ways. For one thing, you won't be able to move your modular
because there won't be any protecion for the knobs. Also, it
will be harder to integrate your modular with other (rack-mount)
equipment.

 
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

RJ Krohn
In reply to this post by Andre Majorel-8

I have built 2 5U full side modular cabinets, as well as a TTSH. On my 2nd cabinet, I went with an outboard box for the PSU. I had transformer hum issues with the TTSH build as well as the first cab build that I wasn't thrilled with. The outboard PSU cab works best, IMO. I'd suggest using dedicated fittings that you won't mistake for audio or non 15VDC voltages; cinch jones or the 5 pin that the dot com stuff runs on is great. Good luck-R




From: Andre Majorel <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 12:55 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [AH] MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders
 
On 2017-07-31 18:05 -0400, David Bivins wrote:

> My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut
> cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so
> I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's
> been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning).
>
> I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s).
> I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case
> then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth
> of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have
> found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure
> twice, cut once.

Some 5 U users' web sites for inspiration :

http://jhaible.com/


http://m.bareille.free.fr/
http://mz.bluemole.com/
http://pugix.com/


http://www.analognotes.com/


http://www.dragonflyalley.com/synth/billAndWillMOTMSynth.htm


http://www.hotrodmotm.com/


http://www.modularsynthesis.com/
http://www.tellun.com/
http://www.wiseguysynth.com/
http://www.yusynth.net/index_en.php
https://naturalrhythmmusic.com/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sduck409/

How important is it for you to make your modular as shallow as
possible ? If it were me, I'd go for something like 30 cm
because, in my case, the advantages of making the case
10 cm thinner are nearly non-existent.

--
André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Quincas Moreira
I like having the trasformer outside in it's own little box. Then I run a cable to a three pronged connector in the cabinet. Inside the cabinet is my PSU board. This solves many issues. Less heat, interference, hum, weight and bulk inside the cabinet, but keeps the cable runs from PSU to modules short.

I've done this for Euro as well as my own format which is similar to 5u, also 15v, but slightly smaller and with banana jacks.

Hope this helps

Best

Quincas

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 1, 2017, at 9:26 AM, RJ Krohn <[hidden email]> wrote:

I have built 2 5U full side modular cabinets, as well as a TTSH. On my 2nd cabinet, I went with an outboard box for the PSU. I had transformer hum issues with the TTSH build as well as the first cab build that I wasn't thrilled with. The outboard PSU cab works best, IMO. I'd suggest using dedicated fittings that you won't mistake for audio or non 15VDC voltages; cinch jones or the 5 pin that the dot com stuff runs on is great. Good luck-R




From: Andre Majorel <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 12:55 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [AH] MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders
 
On 2017-07-31 18:05 -0400, David Bivins wrote:

> My dad has offered for years to build some attractive walnut
> cases for my MOTM system. I'm going to do 10U x 10U "cubes" so
> I can reuse the 19" MOTM rails I already have (the system's
> been in SKB pop-up mixer cases since the beginning).
>
> I wanted to know what others have done with the PSU unit(s).
> I'd rather mount them in the back. Is the depth of the case
> then basically the depth of a standard module plus the depth
> of the PSU module? What are some of the solutions people have
> found? I just want to make sure I don't miss anything. Measure
> twice, cut once.

Some 5 U users' web sites for inspiration :

http://jhaible.com/


http://m.bareille.free.fr/
http://mz.bluemole.com/
http://pugix.com/


http://www.analognotes.com/


http://www.dragonflyalley.com/synth/billAndWillMOTMSynth.htm


http://www.hotrodmotm.com/


http://www.modularsynthesis.com/
http://www.tellun.com/
http://www.wiseguysynth.com/
http://www.yusynth.net/index_en.php
https://naturalrhythmmusic.com/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sduck409/

How important is it for you to make your modular as shallow as
possible ? If it were me, I'd go for something like 30 cm
because, in my case, the advantages of making the case
10 cm thinner are nearly non-existent.

--
André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Oakley Sound-3
In reply to this post by RJ Krohn
I'd allow at least a depth of 200mm if you just have front mounted
modules. However, at 200mm it will almost certainly fall over unless
it's supported at rear, only one tier high, or lying down on its back. I
find 300mm is a nice size that is stable for two or three tiers, and you
can fit power supplies in the back.

Using a metal back on your case on which you can mount your power supply
will keep the unit cool enough. If you are making your case 10U wide
then simply using a 5U high 19" 3mm aluminium blank panel per tier makes
a handy back. Putting a back on it minimises the dust and air draughts
which can make the pitch unsteady. Using a solid wooden back with a
power supply in a sealed case is going to lead to excessive heat build
up - that won't be good for the electronics and your tuning stability.

If you put the power supply outside the case make sure your leads are
thick and your connectors decent. I use four way speakon connectors for
these types of jobs. For cable you can use 5A four way mains cable - the
sort that is used on central heating - or cable used for caravan and
trailer hook ups. Even so, any longer than 2m and you're probably going
to have problems with module crosstalk and other unwanted behaviours.
Any cable runs will introduce these problems but the shorter and thicker
the cable, the smaller the problems will be.

If you have more than one case running from any single power supply then
do not daisy chain your modular power supply leads. Each modular case
should take its power direct from the power supply in star fashion.

Generally speaking several smaller power supplies local to the modular
cases are better than one big power supply powering several cases. I
still think in a modular situation a linear supply is better than a
switch mode supply. Nothing wrong with switchers but they really need to
used only when you have full control over its casing and output load -
which is unlikely in an open ended thing like a modular synth.

Tony

www.oakleysound.com

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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

James Black
In reply to this post by davidbivins
I have a system mounted in one of those slanted studio racks 20u with 3 power supplies mounted in the back. I have distro board(s) mounted in the rack as well as in an external case. No issues.

Of course you can always go to JLR via muffs and get the definitive answer. ;-)

On Aug 1, 2017, at 10:10 AM, David Bivins <[hidden email]> wrote:

I was thinking something like this. 


I'm not gigging with it and I don't plan on moving soon, so it will stay where it is. I haven't had a problem integrating it with other equipment in the last two decades in its SKB cases, so I don't think this would be any different. The other, more expensive option would be to build them into flight-style cases with metal corners, latches, etc. 

A Moog-55 type case might look "better" but it will be worse in
some ways. For one thing, you won't be able to move your modular
because there won't be any protecion for the knobs. Also, it
will be harder to integrate your modular with other (rack-mount)
equipment.

 
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

davidbivins
Thanks for the replies, everyone. The considerations for case depth were especially helpful. Just to be clear re: PSUs, I'm just using the MOTM-900 which has a Power One linear PSU (which I know you already know, Tony) and will soon add a 950. I've had the 900 since 1998 when I started building my system, in an SKB pop-up mixer case with everything else. A wire harness goes from that PSU to a distribution board in the second SKB case currently. I've never had a problem with this system. 
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

Andre Majorel-8
In reply to this post by davidbivins
On 2017-08-01 10:10 -0400, David Bivins wrote:

> I was thinking something like this.
>
> http://www.synthfind.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/motm-modular.jpg
>
> I'm not gigging with it and I don't plan on moving soon, so it
> will stay where it is. I haven't had a problem integrating it
> with other equipment in the last two decades in its SKB cases,
> so I don't think this would be any different.

You haven't had a problem because the horizontal MOTM rails were
screwed into the vertical IEC 60297 rails to which you could
screw rack-mount equipment. If the new case doesn't have IEC
60297 rails, it will change things. If you have pieces of
rack-mount equipment which is tied to your modular (MIDI-to-CV
interface, a euro/frac modular, effect box, patch bay,
whatever), it will have to live somewhere else, in a different
pile.

It's like going from sorting books by subject to sorting them by
format. You might or might not mind.

--
André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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Re: MOTM and other 5U users and case users/builders

davidbivins
Thanks for clarifying, Andre. I would be using standard rack rails. 

You haven't had a problem because the horizontal MOTM rails were
screwed into the vertical IEC 60297 rails to which you could
screw rack-mount equipment. If the new case doesn't have IEC
60297 rails, it will change things. If you have pieces of
rack-mount equipment which is tied to your modular (MIDI-to-CV
interface, a euro/frac modular, effect box, patch bay,
whatever), it will have to live somewhere else, in a different
pile.

It's like going from sorting books by subject to sorting them by
format. You might or might not mind.

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