Author Topic: TRS patchbay project  (Read 302 times)

Leevibe

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TRS patchbay project
« on: October 16, 2020, 06:52:43 PM »













This is a 24 point TRS patchbay that I was commissioned to do by the musician Tycho. He had spotted my Epic Looper build and liked the graphic design aesthetic. I initially turned him down because I always end up taking way too long on builds and I hate the pressure of keeping someone waiting. He changed my mind though because he was super laid back about it and was willing to wait as long as needed.

Itís kind of funny because I didnít initially figure out who it was. I noticed that he had a huge IG following, then I realized I had already been listening to, and really enjoying, a lot of his music. Throughout the whole build process, he has been super patient. Any time I updated him with progress or pics he was super friendly and encouraging. Itís so cool to interact with someone in that domain who is enjoying some pretty significant success and is humble and cool. If you havenít listened to Tycho you should!

This build was deceptively tricky. He wanted it to be half-normalled and fully point to point because he was getting crosstalk issues with his existing PCB card based unit. He also wanted it in a 1.5U form factor and he likes the look and feel of the plastic jacks and wanted green nuts on all of the inputs. Sounds pretty straightforward, no? Holy cow.

I discovered that 1.5U enclosures are not something you can just go buy in quantities anywhere close to 1. So, I had the brilliant idea of mounting a 1.5U face plate to a 1U chassis. Of course I had already purchased 50 Cliff solder lug jacks. They are not compact. Had I known how challenging this would be I would have used different jacks or insisted on a 2U enclosure.

It was scary doing all of the drilling and trying to get everything located so that the graphics would look good, the scribble strips would fit and I wouldnít run into any of the chassis hardware. In the end I had to do lots of cutting and bending jack lugs and I drew up a mounting plate that would allow the jacks to be properly located and spaced without fear that they could rotate and short on each other. I also drew up a wiring jig that allowed me to hold all of the jacks in proper orientation while I wired them. I canít imagine not having had that option.


















I also had to 3d print brackets that I could mount to the sides of the chassis to screw the faceplate into. These had to be thick enough to accept mounting hardware but thin enough to squeeze between the edges of the rack rail. I had to do a lot of cutting and grinding. I basically had to take off the entire front of the chassis to make room for all of the jacks.














As for the circuit, I looked at a few different configurations before settling on one that keeps all grounds isolated from the chassis and only connected per circuit. I figured out the easiest way to visualize how I wanted to do it was to pop out one of the cards from my cheapo patchbay and build the same circuit point to point. Itís not hard to imagine having crosstalk issues with these when you consider that these cheap bays just have 24 of these sitting side by side. Hopefully he will have no such issue with this one.









The black brushed/anodized look was achieved with vinyl wrap. The graphics on the front are printed vinyl that my buddy Forest Dukes made for me. The white numbers on the back and the logo are vinyl that I cut on my cricut. The logo is the same black vinyl as is covering the chassis but I rotated it 90 degrees to catch the light different. I think it looks pretty cool.

The overall graphic design was a collaboration between Tycho and myself. Heís not only a world class musician, heís also a world class graphic designer. Granted, itís a simple design but getting things to fit AND look good is always tougher than it should be and it always looks easy in hindsight.

Anyway it feels amazing to have this one off my plate. Iím really happy with the way it turned out despite its many flaws and Iím excited to get back into some of the pedal projects that have been waiting in the queue because of this one. Thanks for looking!

jimilee

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TRS patchbay project
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 07:56:19 PM »
Wow, nice job man, and a little congratulations on getting your stuff a little notoriety.


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Leevibe

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 10:31:21 AM »
Wow, nice job man, and a little congratulations on getting your stuff a little notoriety.


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Thanks Jimi!

Bio77

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 11:25:46 AM »
That's gorgeous!  Your stuff is always next level, thanks for sharing.

davent

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 12:15:36 PM »
Always, always jaw dropping Lee, so much to be taken away from your work, beautiful.

If you're not busy enough already, i could see you being swamped with requests.
dave
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jjjimi84

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2020, 03:50:49 PM »
I am so glad to see you posting again, your builds are always next level. Very fine work!

Stomptown

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2020, 06:47:42 PM »
 Iím always taken back by your wiring and execution but Iím even more amazed by the amount of time and effort you put in up front during the planning stage. Absolutely perfect!

cooder

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 09:55:33 PM »
Stellar tidiness and execution. Shame the enclosure is not see through.
Still waiting for see through aluminum... ;)
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mjg

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2020, 01:11:44 AM »
Good to have you back Lee.  That really is a special build, and a great story to go with it. 

Edit: just found some Tycho and gave it a listen - itís good stuff!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 01:41:41 AM by mjg »

mattc

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2020, 09:54:07 AM »
Wow!!!

Leevibe

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 11:44:42 AM »
Thanks guys. It's great to be back.

Edit: just found some Tycho and gave it a listen - itís good stuff!

Isn't it? I discovered his stuff when I was trying to find music I could listen to while working/studying. Most ambient or synth based stuff just doesn't resonate with me but his stuff is so organic and musical, and he uses plenty of guitar, which is cool.

m-Kresol

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2020, 10:49:54 AM »
Nice job. I already missed your projects. that wiring... 8) 8)
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jubal81

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #12 on: Today at 10:23:35 AM »
At first I was impressed because it looked like it came off the showroom floor. Then I scrolled down and realized no manufacturer in the world would do this.


That's just a work of art, bud. Wow.
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Leevibe

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Re: TRS patchbay project
« Reply #13 on: Today at 11:55:47 AM »
Then I scrolled down and realized no manufacturer in the world would do this.


Funny you should say that. It's actually the reason he wanted this built. He has other bays in formats like bantam/TT, which are what you find in studios and you can find those wired PTP but it apparently just doesn't exist for lowly TRS. He prefers to have all of his instruments and effects all patched in ready to go and of course all of that stuff is regular 1/4". I just hope he likes it! The pictures don't show all the flaws. It should function well for him though and I think that's what he cares most about.