GroupDIY

Project Specific Discussions => Mixers/Monitoring Systems => Topic started by: boji on February 27, 2020, 07:43:36 PM

Title: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 27, 2020, 07:43:36 PM
Been putting off posting about this project for too long. Figure some updates are better than none. Posts will not be in order of completion, since if I run across some older stuff, this is where it'll go.  Suppose this will be the completion thread too....roughly estimated to be 6-10 months from now.

Original sourcing for project and 1604 schema transcription began here:  https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=39204.0 (https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=39204.0)
(Thanks to members for uploading what you could)

A note on GDIY:
Without getting too wordy or melodramatic, let me just say how important everyone has been in helping me see this to completion.  A few of you took the time to look over my schematics, pointing out concerns or potential issues. The discussions on how to manage grounds was fantastic. There's been at least 100 other conversations since the beginning where I opened a thread up out of ignorance or confusion, only to receive generous and thoughtful responses that almost always amplified my knowledge around the topic, and often took paths that led to questions I didn't even know were in need of asking!

Truly, there's no place like gdiy.

-Boji




Title: Re: DIY API 1604-inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 27, 2020, 07:54:33 PM
Group / Aux VU (Thanks to JLM for VU buffer design improvements)
Prior to backfill and modutec ledger:
(https://i.imgur.com/94owwjP.jpg?1)

Using adafruit's neopixels for color segmentation and brightness. Plans in the future are to dim or brighten vu's that are solo'd or muted, as well as to 'color flash' as a peakmeter.  That may require some A/D conversion. I say may because bufferboards include peakmeter, so it could simply be about assigning MC pins to sense dc  --returning to it late game.
(https://i.imgur.com/VDKIn0x.jpg)

By the way... I don't see many people using blind tapped holes in their faceplate projects. Provided metal is thick enough,  I can attest they are super helpful at mounting things on the back while making for a clean face, and they really don't cost much more than a standard hole, using FPE.
(https://i.imgur.com/fVGJaRH.jpg)


Backfilling:
(https://i.imgur.com/H6ca3uR.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/5ydeqAN.jpg?1)

VU panel backfilled and Main L/R meters complete:
(https://i.imgur.com/O59nrXL.jpg)

Modutec Retrofit of sifam VU

Using sifam as template:
(https://i.imgur.com/Z1lI4dT.jpg?1)

Using a dremel (That same thing that PRR says is useless  ;D) to cut template:
(https://i.imgur.com/JTeFwBa.jpg?1)

Plaining the  VU face to be as thin as the sifam (Whew boy, this took a lot of patience):
(https://i.imgur.com/q4rBhxG.jpg?2)

Completed:
(https://i.imgur.com/rVN77Zx.jpg?1)



Aux Group VU Metalwork :

Removing top and bottom mounting bars:
(https://i.imgur.com/rDOv87n.jpg?1)

Cutting bottom flange to fit panel
(https://i.imgur.com/Li5GaSS.jpg?1)

Creating notch to leave room for vu
(https://i.imgur.com/VHMNS0J.jpg?1)

Notch closeup (fitted)
(https://i.imgur.com/NA9HCfx.jpg?1)

Notching out top
(https://i.imgur.com/DT83S9m.jpg?2)

Getting top bar flush with panel
(https://i.imgur.com/m8gpdam.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/WUlo3Q3.jpg?1)

Success!
(https://i.imgur.com/1Y8v3rT.jpg?2)


Title: Re: DIY API 1604 (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 27, 2020, 08:23:36 PM
Group faceplate, raw.   Custom powder coat color makes things a pita.  Trying out some color on my own, we'll see if it leaves enough gap in the engravings to hold backfill. If not, I may have to accept a standard color, and have FPE do the backfill (FPE only does RAL).
(https://i.imgur.com/zXYNHjT.jpg)

Channel faceplate evolution. Deceitful micrometer. Thanks to Frank at frontpanels.de for the color proto.
There's nearly a year of weekends in the below pict if you include PCB work.
(https://i.imgur.com/7uBIULX.jpg)

Plenty more to follow, got metalwork to do right now.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Fsharpminor on February 27, 2020, 10:06:28 PM
This is so amazing. I hope you are able to keep us posted through to the end. This is a dream thread for me. FAN-TASTIC!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Winston O'Boogie on February 28, 2020, 06:09:45 AM
Very cool Boji.
Regarding your wanting to use a custom paint colour,  can you have the panels painted the colour you want before having them engraved?
In the past I've done this before sending to FPE for the engraving and fill.  I used an under-coat and top-coat process and never had an issue with the FPE engraving chip any of the paint edges.
Anyway, happy building, thanks for posting
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Fuzz Face on February 28, 2020, 07:44:29 AM
WOW this is impressive. I love the use of adafruit to control VU brightness/color

I can’t wait to see more!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 28, 2020, 10:34:41 AM
Quote
can you have the panels painted the colour you want before having them engraved?

I'm very glad you mentioned your positive experience, Winston.  I've had poor results trying this at home on my mini cnc,  with engraving edges chipping and flaking, but that could have been due to poor prep, as I didn't pre-etch aluminum at the time.  Also perhaps FPE has a particular endmill or S&F trick that keeps edges sharp.  I may very well try this, as it would allow the addition of a cool clear coat that is 'frosty' or ultra-matte, good for hiding scratches. Thanks!

Thanks for support FF and F#m :)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: ruffrecords on February 28, 2020, 12:27:30 PM
I like the red square buttons, especially as they appear to have round fixing holes which are much cheaper than square ones. What type of switch are they?

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Winston O'Boogie on February 29, 2020, 10:02:59 AM
I'm very glad you mentioned your positive experience, Winston...   
...I may very well try this, as it would allow the addition of a cool clear coat that is 'frosty' or ultra-matte, good for hiding scratches. 

When I first contacted FPE about them engraving an already painted panel they said that any guarantee of success depended on the paint application so I asked what would shift the odds towards a good result.  They said a well bonded prime coat and top coat would be best, which is obvious I suppose.  So that's what I told my painter to do and, as I said, I had no problems at all with chips.  Probably about 100 rack panels all told done that way.   
 Good luck  :)
 
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 29, 2020, 09:54:35 PM
Ian:

https://www.nkkswitches.com/wp-content/themes/impress-blank/search/inc/series.php?series=HB (https://www.nkkswitches.com/wp-content/themes/impress-blank/search/inc/series.php?series=HB)

Spec Sheet w/ part#'s
https://www.nkkswitches.com/pdf/hbilluminated.pdf (https://www.nkkswitches.com/pdf/hbilluminated.pdf)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: john12ax7 on February 29, 2020, 10:09:45 PM
Looking good.  What are you using for meters,  is it Sifam or something else?
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 29, 2020, 10:33:32 PM
Quote
Probably about 100 rack panels all told done that way.
 
Extra time in the phosphoric acid bath it is!  Thanks.

Quote
is it Sifam or something else?
Thanks 12ax. Big ones are sifam with modutec ledger.  Rest are modutec.
(added picts in first post to reflect this mod)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on February 29, 2020, 11:20:06 PM
Bought a roll of nomex last year and tried my hand at oldschool wire wrapping.
Turns out it's an artform that requires lots of practice. At least it's doing its job at wire management in the channel and group cards.
(https://i.ibb.co/sHRDC0p/wire-lace.jpg) (https://ibb.co/sHRDC0p)

Can't even begin to express how relieved I am knowing the bulk of the PCB work is complete.  Mucho, mucho time. #hermit_life.
(https://i.imgur.com/cbx7S6m.jpg?1)

Here's a group assign card cracked open.  Passive HPF,  CAPI litzwire Tx's.  Dunno what I would have done without them,  along with the insane amount of OPA's needed to power the ship.  Then there's the 48+ 500 slots... >.<
(https://i.imgur.com/DKY8Emv.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 03, 2020, 01:38:50 AM
Aux Sends (3 x 2).  Just your basic 312 summing type amp. Heavy!
(https://i.imgur.com/IbHNGez.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 03, 2020, 01:53:56 AM
Had an issue with backplane flex. While trying to push the cards down, the PCB was bending off the metalwork, even after secured with ~14 screws. There was also some flex from the lower plate even with the included right angle rails that secure the lower metal to the bucket sides (2 of 4 of those is what I'm working on now).
(https://i.imgur.com/75gGKoh.jpg?1)

Solution was....hodgepodge, but effective.  I'm sure there's a better way to do it, but I used what I had around the shop.  Basically sandwiched the edge of the PCB with aluminum U-bends. Now, seating cards still requires pressure and a rocking back and forth to get the faceplates to sit flush in the bucket, but 90% of the backplane flex has been removed.
(https://i.imgur.com/6N59EMK.jpg?1)

In the below pict, you can see the four U-shaped extrusions that give extra rigidity to PCB, while also setting the height at which the 100 pin edge connector passes into the metal notches for the backplane. They also serve as riser mounts to which an underside box 'cage' will be attached. This covering may also hold some ACA's and shield the bus bars.
(https://i.imgur.com/soLFX7v.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: ruffrecords on March 03, 2020, 04:01:30 AM
Now you understand why the Eurorack sytem uses a pair of extrusions to support back planes. Building a console is a tremendous learning experience. Keep at it!

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Holger on March 03, 2020, 06:20:10 AM
... Building a console is a tremendous learning experience...

Cheers

Ian
I second that.

Boji, excellent work and thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Winston O'Boogie on March 03, 2020, 06:53:41 AM
Wow, you've done tons of work.   Great job on all the pcb stuff.
I like the aluminium framework/side-cheeks etc.  Did you have them laser cut?
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Rocinante on March 03, 2020, 09:59:16 AM
Boji! For the win man. Amazing work. Like spare no expense.  Those E-switch illumintaed switches are made in the burbs here in MPLS, did you order them from mouser or from E-switch?  I seem to recall that caps for them was an issue in how many were available, and IIRC there was a limit on how many switches were available of each color. It seeems you bought a ton, was there any difficulties?
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 03, 2020, 10:53:39 AM
Quote
framework/side-cheeks etc.  Did you have them laser cut?
Thanks Wb. No, went the hard way.  Melanite template and a 1/2hp laminate router. 3-fin carbide flush cut with lower bearing guide, and yep!-- I went through a few of them.  Separation/mounting Bars are home depot, drill press and tapped. Brother offered his tig, but I think I'll keep to the bolt method for the 500-series backplanes. Pre-tapped faceplate mounts courtesy of CAPI.

Back XLR/Insert/Pwr
This was a frankenstein approach but it's turned out ok.  Took old wheatstone console channels and cut the backs off them and remounted to a hinged console back (more on this later as I get into wiring them).
(https://i.imgur.com/MGIfbHT.jpg?2)

Lid
This is my favorite accident (and the only thing that would carry forward if I started again):  Got a local AC ductwork guy to break some aluminum sheet 90 degrees, then I routed it down to mate with top VU bar. Roundover lip looks nice, like a preform mold or cast. Tops are in a vat of stripper as we speak, getting ready for a color change:
(https://i.imgur.com/cVBi4Ok.jpg?1)


Quote
I seem to recall [cap color/qty] was an issue... any difficulties?
Thanks Roc,  Scooped them from the bay in bulk. Good price. Any color you want as long as it's red.
Been awhile since I made inquiry, but I believe Allied/Mouser carries a few of the insert color 'wafers',  and I've pulled the led's and replaced them. Way back when, Abby noted that in pressure situations we tend to forget button hold-time logic options, but I do need to differentiate pfl and afl, which at this point must be indicated with a bicolor led and solo button presstime logic. I'll add a lockout and panic button somewheres to be safe.

(https://i.imgur.com/E2jMviV.jpg?2)

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: iprovlek on March 03, 2020, 02:20:29 PM
Amazing work Boji...
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: scott2000 on March 03, 2020, 05:46:30 PM
Intense!
Great work!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Winston O'Boogie on March 04, 2020, 08:47:38 AM
...went the hard way.  Melanite template and a 1/2hp laminate router...

That's hardcore!  Very impressed mate. 
As Ian said, "keep at it"  :)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on March 04, 2020, 10:24:17 PM
That is an incredible amount of work and persistence.   I’m very impressed.  This is real DIY.   Years of effort.  The meters look great.   VU with a micro for Visual light Reinforcement logic.   The frame you show seems different from the original 3 bank frame.  Beautiful!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 05, 2020, 01:12:16 AM
Quote
The frame you show seems different from the original 3 bank frame.
First off, can't say thanks enough Faze;  from going out and copying your original schemas for me, to taking pictures of your channels, sharing your vintage API desk experiences,  plus all the other helpful replies to questions... cornerstone, my friend.

Frame remains the same...Just missing patch section and misc bezel/trim pieces.  Everything has to be stripped and re-painted since flash flood last year ruined powder, and seller no longer makes color. :/  Cutting and shaping the last of the trim pieces this weekend, hopefully!

Quote
Now you understand why the Eurorack system uses a pair of extrusions to support back planes. Building a console is a tremendous learning experience. Keep at it!
Yes sir, lol....I see now!   Trial by  :o"doh!!!":o

Again, thanks everyone for your support and kind words. Really helps right now, during metalwork, which has a fun-factor I put right below trips to the dentist.

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: echoplex on March 10, 2020, 06:34:30 PM
simply amazing
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 12, 2020, 03:35:16 AM
Thanks Echo.

Today's unfun work:

Stripping old color:
(https://i.imgur.com/HXTrQC3.jpg?1)

Etching prep for powder
(https://i.imgur.com/PK2e7xl.jpg?1)

Examples of how varied finish can turn out depending on prep, cure time, etc.
(https://i.imgur.com/wuQSOIF.jpg?1)

Getting some orange peel finish. Not sure if toaster has insufficient heat, or timing's off.  IR gun measurements showed piece temperatures well below what the stove analog thermometer was showing, so I'm perplexed.  ???
(https://i.imgur.com/Q2yWHbT.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Rocinante on March 12, 2020, 09:02:39 PM
I'm curious on the panel coating dry time etc...
What worked best? I can see you got some great results.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 13, 2020, 02:43:38 AM
As with most things, it's an art.  Application sheet is rather vague.  Powder wants 400F for 10min--not ambient temp-- material temp, which is hard to determine with crappy IR gun.

Prep is 80%:
Shape piece, 800 grit sand, followed-up with optional 1200, dish soap clean, acetone clean, etch (phosphoric acid or walnut sandblast), distilled water clean, acetone clean, preheat 400deg  for 5-10min to outgas metal (basecoat only).  For topcoat, pieces need minimal handling and should be done shortly after basecoat.

20% is application:  low psi, dial-in cfm, set voltage, hook conductivity, and 'intuit' substrate thickness uniformity with gun passes vs cloud density and distance to part.  I'm still learning. Practice makes perfect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45gKVb12LGI

Edit: Notice in above vid, the top bar farthest from cam has least topcoat, and therefore shows most blue among all pieces.
Might appear subtle in vid, but that color grade is the goal.

(https://i.imgur.com/jPbn1qD.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Gold on March 13, 2020, 11:31:24 AM
Thanks Wb. No, went the hard way.  Melanite template and a 1/2hp laminate router. 3-fin carbide flush cut with lower bearing guide, and yep!-- I went through a few of them.

That’s impressive. Do you have any photos of that setup?

I use lacing twine instead of cable ties. I use it kind of like cable ties. I just wrap it around the wire bundle where I want and tie. To do the classic look down the length of the wire bundle you really need  to plan in advance and have a jig. Doing it on the fly doesn’t work very well which is why I do it the way I do.

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 13, 2020, 01:29:35 PM
Do you have any photos of that [hackaday milling]?
Hi Gold. Photos are sitting on a old HD somewhere... :/

Thinking about it again, forgot I made a master metal template from melanite template, which I just dug up.  Melanite is still needed for sandwich safety gap (I'll show/explain later).
Because I was surprised how well it worked, I'll have to simulate it for you in a photo, which I wanted to do anyway for photoblog.

Some mistakes while learning: 
Gently approach metal in direction opposite bit rotation or you get runaway or chatter (perhaps obvious).
Do not attempt to cut excess material off and get flush cut at the same time.  This is not like a milling bit, not at all.
Use cutoff wheel / angle grinder to cut up to 1/4" of material near template, then use router to flush metal to template pattern.  Too much feed, too much metal, and you get massive, scary kickbacks. Mock-up to follow.


Quote
[Wirelacing] on the fly doesn’t work very well which is why I do it the way I do.
Yes, very hard to make perfect! Totally see how a jig would help. The thought of tying two dozen simple ring knots feels like ...cheating... but I'll give it a try on few remaining that are not yet laced.  Thanks!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: ruffrecords on March 14, 2020, 04:51:14 AM
I admire your patience and mechanical skills. Something I can only aspire too.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Gold on March 14, 2020, 02:12:37 PM
Some mistakes while learning: 
 Too much feed, too much metal, and you get massive, scary kickbacks. Mock-up to follow.

That's what I'm scared of. I have a Bosch Colt 1HP router. When I fired it up it was a little too close to a bucking bronco for my taste. I'm sure with some practice I can get better results.

I've been using this:
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-4-1-2-Mini-Track-Saw-Super-Kit/T27444?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxv6Lg8qa6AIVm4FaBR0GqwyVEAQYAiABEgIVU_D_BwE
to cut off excess metal. I use cutoff wheels for short length cuts. This saw is great for cutting off longer pieces. It's relatively cheap and it's built very well. One of the best tool purchases I've made.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 14, 2020, 02:26:32 PM
Ok good news. As it turns out I have to mill 1/8" off some fader 'cheeks' to make room for 1.5" x 8 fader metal.  I'll do a vid.
(https://i.imgur.com/y0FFUfv.jpg?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/6bPylVj.jpg?2)

Quote
When I fired it up it was a little too close to a bucking bronco for my taste.
Yes, understood. It's more like painting and brush strokes, only in reverse.  :)

Edit: As with most things, the prep helps. If there's only a leading edge of say, 1/8"-1/4" of aluminum hanging off the template, then once you've dug down to template, put preloaded pressure on the bearing and the routers plate while slowly moving forward on the template. 'Brush away' from material with oval-like motion if and when rpm dips too low or you hear an inkling of chatter developing.  It's a sound thing too.  "Wax on, wax off"
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 14, 2020, 03:43:55 PM
How I did sides:

After drawing a few ideas, I settled on this shape, which I carefully cut, filed, and sanded as straight to the eye as possible.
(https://i.imgur.com/WAFrGfq.jpg?1)

Then I made a 'master template' out of metal, using the melanite. (You'll just have to imagine the bit is in the router)  ::)
(https://i.imgur.com/4zwgvsD.jpg?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/6q5JUh3.jpg?1)

Once I had master template, I used melanite as insert between metal template and next piece of aluminum stock. This allowed for a safe gap between guide bearing and cutting bit:
(https://i.imgur.com/3OUEk1M.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/cUlyxaU.jpg?1)

These are the tri-carbide bits I used.  Not cheap, but available from your local home despot.   :(   Went through 2 and a half of them. (C'est' la vie)   First one I blew out bearing cause...learning.   Learned I could cut through about 25 feet of aluminum before bit started to give out and kick like a mule.  The slower and more patience I had, the longer the blade lasted.  There's some zen lesson in there somewhere. Did it all dry, so imagine cutting oil would have helped lower blade temps and prolonged bit life.
(https://i.imgur.com/oVrQ688.jpg?2)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Gold on March 14, 2020, 03:59:51 PM
Thanks! I guess I set it up wrong from go. I've never used a router before so I'm flying blind. I didn't use a template or a guide bearing. That setup looks like it would be much more stable. I just put the router away after trying it because it seemed scary dangerous.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: mjrippe on March 14, 2020, 10:04:08 PM
Hey Paul, I have experience with routing metal if you want some help.  I wanna see your console again anyhow.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 20, 2020, 01:15:27 AM
Measuring cheeks, setting punch points:
(https://i.imgur.com/Bo4aQbO.jpg?1)

Drill nTap x 64... fun fun repetition
(https://i.imgur.com/jxte4by.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 20, 2020, 04:04:45 AM
Cheating with the router table, but same cutting action.

Fader trim panels:
https://youtu.be/97vzuBLseWk (https://youtu.be/97vzuBLseWk)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: evil grill on March 20, 2020, 05:40:40 AM

These are the tri-carbide bits I used.  Not cheap, but available from your local home despot.   :(   Went through 2 and a half of them. (C'est' la vie)   First one I blew out bearing cause...learning.   Learned I could cut through about 25 feet of aluminum before bit started to give out and kick like a mule.  The slower and more patience I had, the longer the blade lasted.  There's some zen lesson in there somewhere. Did it all dry, so imagine cutting oil would have helped lower blade temps and prolonged bit life.



We used to use slow turns and lubricate with very small amount of oil mixed with high % alcohol for aluminium when I was in school. Our teachers knew their stuff.

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 25, 2020, 02:46:11 AM
Small update--  After mixed results using a brake for backplane brackets, going to instead try the brazing route.  Picts to follow after stuff arrives and I've got acquainted with the process.

(https://i.imgur.com/loRY4dS.jpg?1)

Some bent fine, some didn't. Didn't feel like doing cutting and measuring each piece only to gamble on the bend not turning into this:
(https://i.imgur.com/dAMQ4ms.jpg?1)

Edit: In retrospect, preheating the bend would have probably produced the results wanted, but the next method will hopefully look better and make for stronger brackets.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Gold on March 25, 2020, 11:43:36 AM
, going to instead try the brazing route.  Picts to follow after stuff arrives and I've got acquainted with the process.


I’m interested to see that.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on March 26, 2020, 11:12:14 PM
Quote
I’m interested to see that.

+1
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 26, 2020, 11:41:59 PM
Ok...first try was...bad. Learned proper aluminum temp is sneaky tricky!  The way to determine proper temp is as follows: Absent direct torch heat, If dragging the rod across the metal seam to be brazed makes the rod melt, you've got the aluminum at the right temp.

Alloy rods melt at 700°F.   Aluminum melts at roughly 1200°F.  Aluminum oxide melts at much higher temp (3,762°F!)  so with thicker gauges, you can have a piece hold its shape in spongy fashion, but inside, beneath the oxide, it's liquifying!

(https://i.imgur.com/8QTqbyN.jpg?1)

After few failures, poor application on test pieces, first success pic below, prior to cleanup.

(https://i.imgur.com/3EFWXgn.jpg?1)

Ok after cleanup, this looks decent... not bad for a 'dry' application.  All about creating a 'V' divot in the joint, making sure seam is oxide free and acetone cleaned before laying-in filler:
(https://i.imgur.com/nT2gOT7.jpg?1)

Finished test pair.  They'd  work fine going in the console, but they are kinda ugly, and I'd prefer to wait for attempts with flux. 
(https://i.imgur.com/YvZmBVm.jpg?1)

I'm guessing flux will make joints look nicer with less post cleanup, and wick better for more strength.
(https://i.imgur.com/KdVBRLj.jpg?1)

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Gold on March 27, 2020, 12:18:34 PM
What are you using to heat the metal??
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Squeaky on March 27, 2020, 03:31:41 PM
Taking it to the next level Boji. You have my admiration.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 28, 2020, 01:59:12 AM
Quote
What are you using to heat the metal??
Standard propane torch.  MAP-Pro gas produces a hotter flame,  but 4x the price per bottle.
(https://i.imgur.com/Tis6J5S.jpg?1)

Ceramic tiles reduce heat absorption into the vice somewhat.
(https://i.imgur.com/QVQAV2N.jpg?1)

So, flux does help a little if dropped into seam at the right point and temperature. But it also comes with its own set of problems, as it can pull bead out and create a thin braze. It can also be overused and create a hard shell which requires chisling, sanding and use of a grinder to produce a clean finish.

When it's all dialed in, you get a fairly solder-like finish:
(https://i.imgur.com/M1yKiOa.jpg?1)

Quote
Taking it to the next level Boji
Thanks squeaky, trying my best to not cut corners, inside and out.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: scott2000 on March 28, 2020, 02:10:34 AM
Thanks for sharing all this!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 30, 2020, 05:37:31 AM
Quote
Thanks for sharing all this!
You're quite welcome, least I can do.

So...feels like cheating to powdercoat over uglier brazes, but will add a sense of consistency...should anyone EVER decide to peer into 500 slot bay to look at support metalwork.  ::) ::)

(https://i.imgur.com/EtLQmtU.jpg?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/sGOfSNL.jpg?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/MYuzT7K.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on March 30, 2020, 12:23:01 PM
Finished looks good.

My brother is a welder and talks about how a 100 amp welder is needed for aluminum because of its dissipative quality’s .   It takes an amazing amount of heat wherever the weld is. 
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on March 30, 2020, 03:45:20 PM
Quote
It takes an amazing amount of heat

Aint kidding.  Also  turns out the flux localizes the heat fast, so if temps are not just right, the flux pits the aluminum while I'm trying to add filler rod.  Real pain/art to it.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: ruffrecords on March 30, 2020, 06:02:16 PM
Aint kidding.  Also  turns out the flux localizes the heat fast, so if temps are not just right, the flux pits the aluminum while I'm trying to add filler rod.  Real pain/art to it.

Aluminium is possibly the worst material to braze or weld. I take my hat off to you. Have you thought about using brass?

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 02, 2020, 06:50:33 PM
Quote
Have you thought about using brass?
Support structures or rod alloy? 

Late edit: Didn't know what I didn't know. Yeah, brass would have been easier.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: efinque on April 02, 2020, 10:46:47 PM
I remember from school that spot welding is the most effective method for aluminium.. I heard there are plier-sized spot welding devices too, ours was like 1,5m tall that stood on the floor and you'd operate the electrodes with a pedal.

In your case it isn't much of a help though unless you know someone who has spot welding equipment, and as those corner-looking profile bits are sort of tricky.

I think you'd need to fold the corner, weld it, sand&grind the edges flush and coat it with some compound I guess, although I recall people making square boxes from aluminium by spot welding.

Anyway, nice looking build!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 09, 2020, 03:20:44 AM
Preclean:
(https://i.imgur.com/6R0dq0E.jpg?1)

Outgassing:
(https://i.imgur.com/vSm8wRx.jpg?1)

Setup:
(https://i.imgur.com/KtE6sjw.jpg?1)

Super hightech Booth:
(https://i.imgur.com/3M8kNEb.jpg?1)

Bakeing:
(https://i.imgur.com/kp1TLjn.jpg?1)

Basecoated:
(https://i.imgur.com/E4tBBHC.jpg?1)

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: scott2000 on April 09, 2020, 09:48:06 AM
Ah man.... I have yet another reason to look at  curb sides on trash day...

Very cool!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on April 13, 2020, 02:34:53 AM
Your a Renaissance man boji.  Nice work.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 14, 2020, 05:04:04 PM
Scott keep looking you might find this console out there at some point  ;D

Thanks faze, but not really. Appreciate the love tho!  Keeps me going.
Slot backplanes work.
(https://i.imgur.com/kNWJ3Sd.jpg?1)

Locking it down:
(https://i.imgur.com/7aUkCSP.jpg?1)

500 backplanes mounted!  (happy to be done with this, alignments were not so fun.)
(https://i.imgur.com/07tOCwE.jpg?2)

Moving over to patch panel section for a bit, have to add some brackets for aux, cut some plate for monitor controller, etc.
(https://i.imgur.com/lmlB74F.jpg?1)

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: scott2000 on April 14, 2020, 06:50:03 PM
Scott keep looking you might find this console out there at some point  ;D

lol...Was talking about an oven for some baking experiments...

Unless you were having a bad day with it ....Then I say don't quit! Ever!

Thanks!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on April 16, 2020, 01:50:40 AM
Quote
alignments were not so fun

Do you put a couple of 550 modules into backplane pcb’s and then seat into face plate rails and then screw in brackets to side panels?  Short of CNC it’s difficult to get it seated for faceplate to extrusion and seat edge connect to backplane .

I’m thinking about how you bolt switches and pots to a face plate and then solder to pcbs for alignment rather than solder first.   This also works good for stompbox pots and switches located to a drilled box.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 17, 2020, 12:17:36 AM
Quote
Do you put a couple of 550 modules into backplane pcb’s and then seat into face plate rails and then screw in brackets to side panels?

Yep, except there's an intermediate stage where you have to mark the inside of the frame where the 500 mounting rails sit, remove everything since 500 cards get in way of punch and drill.  Flush bit the outsides using holes as guide, then add cards again hoping holes align.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 19, 2020, 06:13:31 PM
Thinking about future aux returns, leave room for expansion should it happen.

(https://i.imgur.com/H2meKQ7.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on April 20, 2020, 09:23:47 PM
Looks like you have capi graphic eq module.   Been thinking about building a couple.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 20, 2020, 10:52:34 PM
Yessr, I needed a break from the metalwork! Easy peasy if you follow his advice on aligning all the mini grayhills.  I'm quite anxious to hear his latest offering in vintage opa design with the CA0252.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 24, 2020, 04:02:53 AM
Getting bezel/trim plate dims for talkback/monitor control module:

(https://i.imgur.com/aDRXlJj.jpg?1)

Update:

After discovering the Grace m905 has updated their firmware for IR and cellphone app control, it may be better to integrate the remote unit into the frame with a fitted front panel instead of cutting out a rectangular space for it.

This allows for many options: 
Keeps trim / faceplate color consistent, lowers profile and reduces chance for dust/spills to get into the fader cavity, continues use of square NKK's found elsewhere on the desk and lets some extra space be used for logic buttons. Most importantly, it allows for the rearrangement of the controller's buttons for improved workflow.  For example- does a user really need the setup button to occupy the same real estate as the buttons controlling monitor mute and L minus R?
"Setup" is a set-and-forget button imo, so it's getting nixed. Going to instead experiment activating it with a magnetic reed switch, so, if settings need to be changed by some guest engineer, they are going to have to ask to borrow a magnet and wave it over a section of the faceplate.  ;D

https://www.amazon.com/Normally-Proximity-Magnetic-PS-3150-Perfect/dp/B07QR14M7H

(https://i.imgur.com/5lyKLY9.jpg?2)

FPE Mockup:
(https://i.imgur.com/h3fSPy5.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 25, 2020, 09:36:06 PM
Using granite surface plate to true the monitor controller cover:

(https://i.imgur.com/cAqixDP.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/6QGbx25.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on April 25, 2020, 10:00:10 PM
I've dialed-in the color finally. Quite pleased how it's turned out.  At most angles, it's a respectable, low-key 60's console grey:
(https://i.imgur.com/hoeEu27.jpg?1)

But at some steep angles, it puts on its party hat and becomes an "api-inspired blue"  ;D ;D
(https://i.imgur.com/whoW6vl.jpg?1)


Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on May 02, 2020, 12:37:57 AM
Quote
But at some steep angles, it puts on its party hat and becomes an "api-inspired blue" 


That’s real nice
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 07, 2020, 01:15:39 PM
Quote
That’s real nice
Thank you.  I'm doing the top panels with are rather large and as a result, am having some coverage consistency issues. One turned out nice and is ready for topcoat.  Once I get em' all done, I'll update this post with picts + all trim (edit: almost) complete.

Update 5/15:  WIth the exception of the monitor control faceplate and channel faceplates. all trim metalwork is ready for topcoat!  (Topcoat is much easier and less stressful)  yay.

(https://i.imgur.com/mtArMSC.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 08, 2020, 06:50:27 PM
Woot!!!  Monitor controller fp arrived.  Things fit. This is good.   ;D

(https://i.imgur.com/z3SEriU.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/GbsyJql.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: john12ax7 on May 08, 2020, 06:52:45 PM
Everytime I visit this thread the fire to build my own console burns a little brighter.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 09, 2020, 01:41:49 AM
Quote
Everytime I visit this thread the fire to build my own console burns a little brighter.
Paying forward inspiration to create. No better compliment. Thanks 12ax.  Now is the best time to get started!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: mjrippe on May 09, 2020, 06:54:39 PM
Display shows 74 degrees, 30% humidity, and 0.0" of precipitation in your studio  ;D
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 15, 2020, 04:10:16 PM
Hmmm... where to begin...
(https://i.imgur.com/5PVNKF7.jpg?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/vlIooIX.jpg?2)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: 80hinhiding on May 18, 2020, 01:51:11 PM
Just finding this thread now Boji.

It's nice to see more of the work I knew you were plugging away at.  Even better than expected, and I expected it to be good.

Adam
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 18, 2020, 05:11:41 PM
Thanks 80HH! Very kind of ya to say that.

Around the bend fun soon will begin:
(https://i.imgur.com/16Me8Or.jpg?1)



Blue =  :'(  patch panel pita-town.
Black =  Monacle levé, que voir...zut alors!
Red n Yel, =  8)
(https://i.imgur.com/atvifXo.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604-inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: rbuskov on May 19, 2020, 08:08:37 AM
By the way... I don't see many people using blind tapped holes in their faceplate projects. Provided metal is thick enough,  I can attest they are super helpful at mounting things on the back while making for a clean face, and they really don't cost much more than a standard hole, using FPE.
(https://i.imgur.com/fVGJaRH.jpg)
Very interesting. I have been thinking about doing this and asked about it in another thread (http://"https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=75055.0").

I'm designing a 500 series module and I'm looking to attach the bracket that holds the PCB to the front plate using 4 blind tapped holes (one in each corner of the front plate). I'm concerned about mechanical strength when the thread is only 2mm long, but I'm hoping that a hole in each corner will do the job.

Anyway, it's reassuring to see another DIY'er doing something like this. I assume the faceplate you are referring to is made from aluminium? What did you mount (how much stress is there on the assembly)?
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 19, 2020, 01:55:00 PM
Quote
What did you mount [using blind, tapped holes]?

Things I know will get very little lateral/shear force applied to them. They're best for things put on a supported structure, not so good to support an entire faceplate. I'd have to test a 500 module. 

Overdo the holes (add more than four) to spread out the force as much as possible, I say. ;)    For example, concerned about the below volume knob, as it will get plenty of use.  All 6 hex standoffs are secured with loctite.  But if someone was to put something heavy on it, or banged on it downwards,  I'm hoping the breadboard will break, not the threads/encoder.

(https://i.imgur.com/EySx4nm.jpg?1)



Minus button caps, monitor controller faceplate is ready to be installed.   Engravings need backfilling, but for whatever reason, one of them was milled very shallow and powder has taken it all up, so it needs to get send back to FPE for re-engraving but...I'll worry about that later.  Much to do.

(https://i.imgur.com/kAImjfr.jpg?1)

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: rbuskov on May 19, 2020, 06:37:36 PM
Things I know will get very little lateral/shear force applied to them. They're best for things put on a supported structure, not so good to support an entire faceplate. I'd have to test a 500 module. 

Overdo the holes (add more than four) to spread out the force as much as possible, I say. ;)   

Thanks for the advice. These screws wouldn't really support the face plate once it's installed, and there should be very little lateral force during installation. Someone might "wiggle" the module back and forth to get it out of the chassis though.

Still, I'm starting to think that this design might actually work just fine  :D
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 21, 2020, 03:53:45 AM
Nom Nom Powdercoat
(https://i.imgur.com/ZCuNdfU.jpg?1)

Brick of HDPE stock. Will cut out some bus bar iso blocks this weekend.
(https://i.imgur.com/d1cpeNm.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 22, 2020, 08:55:01 PM
Bus Bar Overkill:
(https://i.imgur.com/tQAIv6l.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/hu5BUkx.jpg?1)[

img]https://i.imgur.com/5Mw0Wtu.jpg?1[/img]

(https://i.imgur.com/IR67RGj.jpg?2)

(https://i.imgur.com/bg28Yx8.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/ELJXywA.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/pSlafHE.jpg?2)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: 80hinhiding on May 23, 2020, 12:01:44 PM
oh. ma. goodness.

haha

That's so much copper.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: ruffrecords on May 23, 2020, 04:56:36 PM
My memory is not that brilliant  but I have a feeling that at Neve we used a brass bus bar for B- (=AGND) which was tapped at regular intervals along its length. I am not certain but I suspect copper is a bit to malleable to tap reliably.

So you will need a BIG soldering iron to make connections to it.

Edit: Forget that, I just found that pre-tapped copper bus bars are commonplace.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 28, 2020, 01:25:35 AM
Soldering "smaller" bus bars:
(https://i.imgur.com/CvnKsWQ.jpg?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/7XIlliO.jpg?1)

Main bus distro done:
(https://i.imgur.com/qmoWSOD.jpg?1)

Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: fazer on May 29, 2020, 09:40:42 AM
Looks good .   What is the estimated current draw with all the slots occupied.   That is all modules.
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on May 31, 2020, 02:52:09 AM
It's been awhile since I had things hooked up and I've yet to test vu buffer strips + illumination draw, so a super rough estimate with everything pegged and energised (which of course would never happen with a mix, ever) including slots,  perhaps 1100 watts if channels kept at stock 16v +/-
For 500 slots I had to take an average from API @ 215ma per unit, and assume tube stuff and clean IC slots offset for a total of about 330watts.

Course bus bars could likely handle 10x that and not even get hot.

I'll definitely stick a kill o' watt unit between the PSU and mains when everything's done and get real answer for ya (I'm curious too).

 ;D Might sleep here in the winter time to save some money:   
(https://i.imgur.com/CJ1fkVo.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: Togs91 on June 12, 2020, 01:20:28 PM
Wow, this really looks amazing, great work!
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: cyrano on June 12, 2020, 06:07:38 PM
Man, this is really badass, Boji!

I keep hoing over the pics. Beginning to itch, trying to stay wise  :P
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: ruffrecords on June 13, 2020, 04:09:00 AM
If you are itching to build a mixer, my advice would be to start small - 6 or 8 into 2. There is so much to learn and so many skills to acquire it is well worth scaling down to start with. You can always use the modules in the bigger when when you build it.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on June 13, 2020, 11:22:41 AM
Quote
If you are itching to build a mixer, my advice would be to start small
Thanks for the compliments guys.  If ya want to do anything big, reduce it in size until you will actually begin to take action on it.  So +1 on Ian's advice.  Make a small prototype, perhaps something that can scale up if repeated. And never work on the frame first. ;)

Edit: To mark progress, confirming ACA's work.  About to test out the ACA/Bo master fader before deciding on pcb placement. Can't believe I'm saying this, but gonna likely add a few more (shorter) bus bars under the existing ones that allow a separate, 'balanced' power scheme for summing.  Also leaves room for the 'balanced bus' trick if it turns out there's a noise problem.

On main mix, following the advice from folks here and from Self's book, I'm attempting the 'distributed summing' approach, or two aca's per 4 channels (L&R). This leaves three, 4ch aca pcb's which is again summing down to one aca pair / st fader / st boost (CAPI's ACA/Bo).
(https://i.imgur.com/5TzZacZ.jpg?1)

Afl and pfl won't get the same distributed treatment since a few extra dB's of noise on the monitoring bus (which is likely quite negligible, since this is only at max, a 24x2 mixer) isn't that important.

Side note: Distributed summing only makes a large impact on noise when the track count is say, greater than 48 channels. So, for the 24 x 2 main mix (or even less if using the last bucket's channels as subgroups), I'll try it out and see if it nets a 2-3dB lower noise floor.  ::)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on June 13, 2020, 02:09:06 PM
Yay, stumbled upon an older 10k P&G stereo fader didn't know I had ! It came from an old ebay sale where everything was bubble wrapped, and I missed this in the box. :) 

Has the additional bottom throw switch for true-bypass?  Perhaps it's to be used as a CV trigger in a broadcast environment.  Happy day (If it's not too worn out or scratchy).
(https://i.imgur.com/aKNys39.jpg?1)

Guts:
(https://i.imgur.com/0xWQPbW.jpg?1)

Dual (stereo) commutators? brushes. Plastic tracking holes/bushings are completely worn out.  I wonder if a replacement brush set is worth the trouble or if it would be better to simply seek out a new P&G.
(https://i.imgur.com/XMqsMRc.jpg?1)
Title: Re: DIY API 1604 inspired mixer (16x8x2)
Post by: boji on June 30, 2020, 01:05:09 AM
Metalwork for bus bar well is done.  Looking forward to turning this thing upright and being done with distribution. 

(https://i.imgur.com/YzGG0Qu.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/fKOEwRj.jpg?1)