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Octave LB

Started by wgc, September 27, 2014, 02:27:44 PM

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wgc

Me again. 

So this is something I've been working towards for a few months now.  Still very much a work in process.

The idea is to have very small boxes that are mostly set and forget, maybe one or two knobs, and allow for a modular fast swap approach to a pedal board.  And to minimize the number of cables. 

Why?  Because I realized I could.  And I'm silly like that.  I'm not sure if its patent-able, or if there's any demand, but its something I want very much but have never been able to buy outside of the multi-units, etc.

Anyway, this is a green ringer octave in smd.  No wires. For real y'all.  Except the custom ones coming in from the back.

And I'm stoked.  The green ringer is what it is, ymmv.  But the modular swap idea works.  I did 2 other circuits in this manner, which will have one knob each, but unfortunately, I screwed up not one but two op amp pinouts in my schematic/layout and those boards don't work, not yet anyway.

My goal is to have about 10, and be able to pick and choose to get the 5-6 I would use at any given time quickly and easily without undoing a mess of cables or having all those jacks.

This may not be the final connector, only there for proof of concept right now. I have some friends that work in the cable industry and I may have them do something overmolded for me.

The box is something new for me on several levels.  One, the size.  1590lb.  Two, its swirled.  Powder coated white, swirled, and then powder coated clear by me.  I really love this process, this was my first swirled box.  And three, no laser etch.  Not yet.  And last but not least, no wires.

You might notice some extra holes.  This box was intended to be for one of the other circuits that doesn't work.  I also made the cutout for the connector in the back a little too big.  Drilled a hole and filed it square, but while doing so, I thought I needed clearance on the outside for the mating connector, but it turns out the fit is to the inside and I can make the next holes smaller.












Thanks for looking!  Have a great weekend everyone!
always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
e.e. cummings

lincolnic

This right here? This is what DIY is all about. Awesome idea and execution, plus it looks great.

About the no wires, though: obviously you've got input and output there, but how does this ultimately interface with the rest of your system? Where do you plug your guitar into? Where's the output to the amp? Is there some kind of "base station" that houses all of that stuff?

Leevibe

Very cool! I love the idea, and it's great to see someone building with the 1590LB. I do a boost in that box and it's insanely tight when you squeeze a board, stomp switch, pot, DC jack, LED, and in/out jacks. Eliminating the jacks opens up a ton of potential.

gordo

Put me down for some of this.  I've often thought of doing the same but to get multiple manufacturers on board would be a nightmare.  But to get a bunch of DIY geeks on board?  Hellyeah.  The box size would end up not being important and if you extend the idea out a bit further you could use a 4 conductor patch panel arrangement and then just remote switch. 
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?

wgc

Yeah, I figured someone might pick up on the missing link... How to deal with 1/4" jacks to and fro. No getting around it unless you want custom everything. Or a crazy custom cable harness.  Of course, I do, but there's a limit. :)

I have a cornholio smd buffer I made up, with a send and return with this mating connector and breaks it out to std in and out 1/4" jacks, 9vdc, and a bypass all. Already built and verified, but not boxed. That will probably be 1590a.

Everything else is swappable, though in reality it's probably just od and dirt that I'll swap most frequently.

Working on a design for a way to mount and carry them too. As well as ways to get more complicated circuits in there.

Thanks very much for the kind words.

I love these boxes...! (Always admired your boost, lee!)

Completely agree Gordo, this approach could work with any size box.
always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
e.e. cummings

PhiloB

What PCB mounted jack did you use?  Is the cable just 4 wires with heat shrink?


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kothoma


wgc

Quote from: PhiloB on September 27, 2014, 08:52:10 PM
What PCB mounted jack did you use?  Is the cable just 4 wires with heat shrink?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mini fit, & that's actually masking tape. :)
always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
e.e. cummings

kothoma

Would you trust in 4 pole 3.5mm jacks?

wgc

I like the idea of them quite a bit but not in practice. They're a bit long relative to their diameter, and easy to break something given the leverage available. The other issue is the potential to short power to ground during insertion. Would be a lot easier to drill for though!
always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
e.e. cummings

kothoma

Quote from: wgc on September 28, 2014, 04:29:22 PM
I like the idea of them quite a bit but not in practice. They're a bit long relative to their diameter, and easy to break something given the leverage available. The other issue is the potential to short power to ground during insertion. Would be a lot easier to drill for though!

Yeah, the power would have to be on the sleeve (or is it called third ring?).

wgc

yeah, that might help but even then, I just don't trust it for a stompbox.  The 1/8" contacts are always a little flimsy and have a lot less forgiveness, each connection only has one point of contact.  I've seen a lot of failures on these jacks in walkmans, mp3 players, etc.  Easy enough to fix, but still.

What I like about the minifit is that there is some mechanical float between the contacts and the cable side housing. So the housing can get bumped, but it has some forgiveness relative to the contacts and wires, so they're more likely to maintain contact and the housing absorbs the shock.  I don't know how they hold up over time, but the cable end should be relatively easy to replace if need be.  They also have a keyed snap lock, which is really appealing.  I don't see the pcb connector failing at all really, I think you'd have to really try to mess that up, and you'd have other problems at that point.

Overall, I really like the 2x2 minifit but I'm still semi-looking for something that requires less fuss on the outside box, maybe doesn't protrude as far when connected, and allows for more distance between in/out.  I may explore the 1x4 version when I get a chance.

always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
e.e. cummings

kothoma

Right, esp. 3.5mm sockets are flimmsy.

I never considered these Molex connectors. Someone could try to plug in a PC power supply...

icecycle66

I love the quick connect/hot swap concept as applied to modular pedal boards.

pickdropper

This is very cool, Billy.  The pedal reminds me a bit of the Henrietta Engineering pedals, although theirs have standard jacks, so this is cool in different ways.

I too like the idea of the modular connector.  A cool next step might be to come up with a standard wiring harness for a Pedaltrain Nano or Mini so that it looks really neat and orderly.

A Lemo or Hirose connector would work well, but it would likely cost more than the entire pedal. How about a panel mount USB connector?  Neutrik makes some for about $5.
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