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Modushop temporary front panel?
Modushop temporary front panel?
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Old 14th September 2021, 06:31 AM   #1
ConnerP is offline ConnerP
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Default Modushop temporary front panel?

Hi everyone, I am planning on getting a matching Slimline case to house a preamp (volume, source select, phono amp, raspberry pi) for my LM3886DR build which is in a Dissipante. The thing is, I'm not sure about the final front panel layout. As such I don't want to go tearing up the 10mm aluminium plate I will order the case with. Do you have any recommendations for a cheap front panel I can prototype with? The 4mm panel they offer still feels a bit pricey at 16 bucks for just something to hack into and not use in the end. But maybe that is just the easiest solution. What do y'all do for front panel prototyping?
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:27 AM   #2
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Layout on a pece of paper is the "easy" part ; big problem for DIYers and home constructors in general is the "mechanical" side.

IFyou have access to a CNC machine (some shop nearby) in principle you can use something like "Front Panel Designer" which outputs files the CNC machine can understand.
That is the very best option.

IF not, only practical/accessible machine for a Home user is a bench drill, which can make ANY hole ... as long as itīs round

You can file one or two into square/rectangular shapes but usually results look "handmade" and not in a nice way.

That said, itīs not a limitation if you choose wisely; when I started thatīs all I had, (think late 60īs, early 70īs) and way back then I had standardized into just 2 drill sizes: 10mm for pots, neon lights, jacks, rotary and toggle switches, and 4 mm for 1/8" nut/bolt mounting and TO3 transistor legs, plus a single 13mm Greenlee punch for fuse holders and cable clamps.

Plus the odd tube socket now and then cut with a "cup" saw, not your case I guess.

A bench drillpress will handle anything between 1mm and 16mm and various rotary files, mounted stones and cup saws, a good investment.

Stepped drills are also VERY versatile, this one goes from 4mm to 32 mm !!!!:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:36 AM   #3
ConnerP is offline ConnerP
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Hi JM, thanks for the reply but I really meant prototyping in the sense of trialing a layout in a temporary front panel. Something low effort to use for a few weeks before committing to working/outsourcing the real panel.
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:44 AM   #4
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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Some plywood or acrylic.
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:52 AM   #5
myleftear is offline myleftear  Switzerland
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Modushop temporary front panel?
I'd use mdf fibreboard… easy to work, nice „non-wooden“ surface/appearance. They even come in black (but not silver )
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Old 14th September 2021, 09:31 PM   #6
cherik is offline cherik  Denmark
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I use SketchUp for planning and layout, before doing anything. Quick and easy (for me) and I use it for all kinds of things, like landscaping jobs, furniture and front panels.
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Old 15th September 2021, 04:17 AM   #7
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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Modushop temporary front panel?
Use hardboard, plastic glazing, etc, but apply metal tape for hum shielding.

GOOD "duct tape" is heavy aluminum foil, excellent stuff, but one roll is some money. (You probably need the rest on your ducts, if you like crawling in the attic.) https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Alumin.../dp/B08L32Y48B Cloth "duct tape" is not really good for ducts and total crap for electric shielding.

Guitarists buy a copper foil in small lots from guitar-maker (luthier) vendors. StewMac is widely trusted, though they like generous portions.

Last edited by PRR; 15th September 2021 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 15th September 2021, 06:39 AM   #8
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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OK
I thought you wanted a functional prototype, to build the amp and actually turn it on and use it.

If itīs only to check spacing and aesthetics, yes,almost anything cann work.

Thick cardboard orb thin MDF (say, up to 3 mm) can be easily cut with a sharp X Acto type knife and some hand pressure.

After you cut everything, use some spray contact adhesive to cover it with kitchen type aluminumfoil, it will look quite like the real thing.

Keep us updated (hint: pictures)
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Old 16th September 2021, 07:21 AM   #9
ConnerP is offline ConnerP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRR View Post
Use hardboard, plastic glazing, etc, but apply metal tape for hum shielding.

GOOD "duct tape" is heavy aluminum foil, excellent stuff, but one roll is some money. (You probably need the rest on your ducts, if you like crawling in the attic.) https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Alumin.../dp/B08L32Y48B Cloth "duct tape" is not really good for ducts and total crap for electric shielding.

Guitarists buy a copper foil in small lots from guitar-maker (luthier) vendors. StewMac is widely trusted, though they like generous portions.

Aha! Brilliant idea with the aluminum tape!
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Old 16th September 2021, 12:43 PM   #10
johnmarkp is offline johnmarkp  United States
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Some of these solutions are getting pretty close to the $16 cost for the 4mm panel. Why not just go with it?
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