music, guitars & other obsessions

Back to The Drawing Board

All my DIY projects have been put on hold for the past few weeks, I am getting stuck/bog down in how to best fit all the projects into their respective chassis… Since I am building multiple effects and amplifiers, I thought I should make everything modular so they can share the same chassis and power supplies, at least that was the goal. But as it turned out, there were many issues to overcome, both electrical and mechanical, I think I now have a good handle on the electrical ones, but as usual, I kept going round and round on how to build the chassis.

Here are some of the alternatives that I am (still) mulling over:

1) Euro-rack style cabinet with the effects mounted on individual strips (easy to switch, add, and remove effects from the chassis);
2) All-in-one panel with pre-drilled holes to fit the modules into (change-out would require taking off the whole front panel);
3) The one panel per box stompbox approach.

I was all geared up to do the effects in an Eurorack style then I had a hard time locating all the hardware to fit them together (without proper tools like table saw, jig saw, etc. did not help either) The All-in-one approach could work but I need to get a large piece of aluminum to provide shielding, the bakelite board that I originally got, while it’s pretty easy to work with, it did not offer any sort of shielding, with so many effects all jammed together, it just seemed like asking for trouble… Hate to go back to the stompbox, although that will look the coolest, since many creative design elements could be used to make it look cool…

As for the amps, I failed to take into consideration of the amp-to-amp power supply decoupling when they are used in unison. I suppose some chokes could be mounted in each of the amps to decouple it from the other amps, but good chokes are not cheap, and it defeats the whole idea of saving “iron”. The original idea was to share a single adjustable power supply among may be 4-6 small amps, if I had to put decoupling chokes on each of the amps, there would be hardly any saving at all, since good choke and small PT are nearly the same price. If I use small PTs, then the amps could no longer be considered “modular”, can’t they?!

Then I came across Decware’s Zenkit 2, which simply use two PT to power 6 SE amp channels, each channel has its own rectifiers and RC filters, that’s it, there is no decoupling between the channels to speak of, so I may still give it a try to see if it is “good enough for rock and roll” in my case.

So many projects, so little time, back to the drawing board!!!


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