Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Synthesizer Build part-5: THE CABINET.

I'm not going to get too deep into this because every individual will make their own cabinet or case to their own taste I think. This cabinet represents the vintage 70's look that I wanted for my synth and I'm very happy with it. Here are some pictures from different stages of completion:

Almost finished, just one more panel to fit but already working very well:

I made no drawings and I measured everything as I was building it. That's the way I usually approach woodwork. The drawing is in my head. I did make two cardboard templates for the side panels to make sure I got those exactly the same. I measured the current draw with all panels that I have build so far switched on. All together it drew 250mA. That's less than an old fashioned bicycle lamp. :) I also installed a temperature sensor that is directly in contact with the heatsink of the LM317 that regulates the 15 volt output and it runs up to about 60°C. That's perfectly fine and normal. It can handle double that and the temperature stays at 60° and doesn't climb.

The panels I use are made from aluminium (or aluminum if you're in the States ^^ ). They are 20 centimeters high so you could say I use the LookMumNoComputer Kosmo format. I bought 2 sheets of 1 meter long and 1.5mm thick and they are powder coated in gray/black. This powder coating is something I can really recommend because it's hard to scratch. If you just spray-paint your panels they will scratch very easily. You can write on the powder coating with a white acrylic pen. The one pen I bought had too wide a tip and I sharpened the tip with a razorblade but in the end it was un-useable. I ordered a pen online with a 0.7mm tip and that works far better. But if you laser-engrave your panels then you don't need all this anyway.
Make sure the panels you are going to use are at least 1.5mm thick aluminium!! If they are any thinner than that they will bend or flex if you put a cable into a socket on the panel. So keep that in mind!
This cabinet is 1 meter and 11 millimeters wide, 38 centimeters high and deep. Now that I'm almost finished I wish I made it a bit longer because I'm running out of space for my modules, haha. Nevermind, I can always put some electronics in the wood panel above all the modules. I think what I'll actually do in the future is to build a second enclosure to house drum modules. That would really open up the musical options ^____^
If you are building your own synthesizer I would be very curious to see some pictures so if you can link to that please leave the link in the comments. That'd be awesome!

March 2020 the second stage:

Here are some pictures of the second stage of the synthesizer. This is a much simpler case and it is 20 by 20 by 100 Centimeters so it sticks out at the back a bit. This was necessary to accommodate the power buss system. I made some trunk locks on the sides so I can clamp the top section to the main synthesizer. This works just perfectly. I did have to solder these locks though because the locks themselves were connected to the main plate with the screwholes by three bits of folded-over metal. So if you put any force on that they would bend and let loose over time. So I heated them with a blowtorch and soldered them from the inside. This worked really well because I used a bit of flux on the metal and this made the solder flow into all the little seems so it is very neatly soldered.

I made the width of the second stage too short by 1 centimeter so I had to use extra pieces of wood to connect the locks to.

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