General Discussions => The Lab => Topic started by: adamboon on January 08, 2011, 08:43:56 PM

Title: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: adamboon on January 08, 2011, 08:43:56 PM

First I apologize if this information is easily available, I have done a little searching but not (easily) found what I was looking for.

It seems to me that the 51x DIY standard/specification has sat on the horizon for a while and is now starting to really take off.  I am REALLY excited by the idea of 51x and look forward to seeing it grow (and building, perhaps designing, a few 51x things) it is an awesome platform for DIY development.  Whether it be cloning cool vintage gear, designing radical new stuff or just tinkering or building handy studio gizmo's 51x gives an easy and standardized development platform.

As an aside, I have designed a few circuits here and there (very basic) and either dalo'd or PCB print and etched them, all a bit primitive (and have done a little playing with Eagle software, mostly schematics not PCB's).  Is there a recommended PCB layout program that most people are using? (Preferably Mac Compatible)

Anyway the 51x questions I have:

1. Does there exhist some "Standards" documentation for the 51x platform (ie. a schematic of what a unit should look like, sizes, etc).  I see the pinout and the front panel dimensions on the website, but that's all the detail I could find).

2. Does (anyone else thing it would be great if) there exhist a 51x design "Primer"?
For example, say there are a few standard programs that are popular for a few jobs (lets say there's 3 - Schematics, PCB's and Front Panels) would it be great to have a "Starting Point", like a .zip that contained a blank front pannel for [insert front pannel program here] and a PCB that contained a blank card with the backplane connector and was setup to be the correct size for [insert PCB program here] and say a schematic that contained the backplane connector (or an object to suit popular schematic program/s).  Perhaps a PDF with some drawings and specifications of what a few standard (blank) module configurations would look like (Single, Double).
On top of this, if there always needs to be metalwork to fix the PCB and the front pannel together.  Could this be a standard item available to purchase (say from the 51x site, or around the forums here).

I guess what I'm getting at is if someone here (let's say a newer member, like me) had an idea to build something, it would be great if they could download a .zip file from the 51x website to help get them on their way. (it all feels a little "Secret mens business" at the moment)

I realize this means work (and/or time) for someone, I'm willing to help out in any way I could.

What do we think? (Will I now wait around to get flamed?)
Title: Re: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: adamboon on January 08, 2011, 08:46:51 PM
Another question I had is if anyone thinks there should be a segregation in the White Market for 51x/500 compatible products/projects?
Title: Re: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: kepeb on January 08, 2011, 10:37:30 PM
there are actually some very detailed specifics for 51x you just have to look a little harder.
its difficult to put all this in one place.
its the way of the forum :)
also, some options are purposely left open to encourage new diy ideas and not get hemmed into a strict format.
although it would be nice, i think there are too many variables for that to work and still be 'diy'
i think all that effort would only be worthwhile for designers if it were pursued solely as a business.

and there are also lists of the 51x/500 stuff about.check some of chungers recent posts, there were ultra exact measurement discussions in one of them.
one forum guy here started a great website with all current projects listed and 500 was a category, i cant recall the site tho
also recently 500 series to the meta. check there

i like the market as it is :)
Title: Re: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: adamboon on January 09, 2011, 05:47:59 AM
Ahh Yes, at first I found Vince's PDF (for 500 series)

And then Chungers (for 51x, which is excellent):

This is exactly the sort of thing I am talking about. Chunger's diagram is one awesome piece of the puzzle.

i like the market as it is :)

Fair Enough!
Title: Re: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: adamboon on January 10, 2011, 04:52:18 AM
Yes the Meta ( is a good place to start.  Perhaps it should have 51x also in the title, and be linked from the 51x ( page?

I have found the relevant bits of information I require.  I still think it would be great for someone to share an 51x edge connector "Object" for some common programs (Eagle, Target, Osmond) and/or a format common to all of them (DXF?) and also perhaps a template of the card to size with the edge connector (and cutouts) placed.  If anyone who has drawn a 51x item could delete all of their hardwork and save a blank template?

If no one else is interested in helping out other DIY'ers, than maybe this is less of a "community" than I thought it was.  Either way, if no one else steps up, I will draw one to the best of my ability when I can and upload it for others.  I would also like to create a API DOA template/object. (both DOA board, and socket)  I'm sure there are plenty of other objects that people have made that others would find handy?
Title: Re: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: [silent:arts] on January 10, 2011, 08:48:45 AM
It is neither a "Secret mens business", nor easy to standardize everything.

Looking at the DIY projects here we have at least three different DOA socket diameters already.
would be nice if it all would be the same, but if Peter wants it smaller than Jeff ...  ;D
often these are individual design decisions (needing more space for the traces between the pins i.e.)
same for L-Brackets and mounting holes. if I want to have a switch or jack where Igor normally has his mounting screws I will move it. others don't even use L-Brackets.

next thing is we all use different software and workflows.
I could publish my 51X card object/template in Target format.
but it won't have any card edge connector copper, my workflow is to add it afterwards due to signal names.
my PCB manufacture knows the bugs I always do, others won't.
I wouldn't like to see any comments aka "I used the [silent:arts] template, but now I have soldermask all over my gold-fingers". dangerous.
I think the dimensions etc are well documented / covered.
looking at Chungers PDF it is even better then anything you will get from API if you join their alliance.

and don't forget, we are talking about
note the DIY in the name ...
Title: Re: 51x Standards, Designs, Ideas and Guidelines
Post by: kepeb on January 14, 2011, 04:44:23 PM
do it adamboon,
i'm waiting for a good excuse to try my hand in eagle if i use your nw template maybe ill actually start some of the ideas i have, but am far too lazy to get on with :D

i think i prefer 500 units designed with L brackets, the others seem to put stress on the board/connections when inserting/removing