Stop the mounting hole madness!

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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PM33AUD
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Stop the mounting hole madness!

Post by PM33AUD » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:50 pm

Ignore part 2 if part 1 has me overlooking something obvious.

1) Am I missing something with the slotted mounting holes? Last few nights I'm rearranging my modular and if I start refilling with a slotted hole module, I have to leave it loose until I get a module in there that has regular ol holes to line it up against. It's a real mess when you have several slotted modules installed first. At some point there needs to be an unslotted module to line everything up. So why the slots?

2) If I am not missing something, can folks who make panels/modules stop doing this?! I know the panels are cut to decent enough tolerance to put a straight up M3 thru hole in there... I've never had an issue with a standard hole'd module fitting weird.

:omg:

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causticlogic
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Post by causticlogic » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:41 am

Funny, there are a bunch of people in the past who have complained that everything wasn't slotted because they don't like those tiny little gaps that sometimes form between modules.
I suppose they are trying to squeeze 1 or 2 more hp out of the row by cramming modules up against the rail hardware too, possibly shorting to ground in the process...
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CJ Miller
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Post by CJ Miller » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:34 am

People keep missing the point of what they are for. The slots are meant for captive screw bushings. Eurorack comes from Eurocard and VME gear, where the standard is that the screws are part of the panel. The slot holds a plastic bushing, and the bushing holds a screw which is smooth towards the outside, and threaded at the end. This way, when you turn the screw, it loosens the panel but stays in the bushing. They look like this:

Image

They are not meant for extra mounting slop when your panels or cases are already imprecise!

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Post by flts » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:42 am

I guess one reason as well, at least historically, has been to provide for people with mixed Doepfer / standard Euro vs. Analogue Systems module sets since ASys ones have the hole offset a bit different than Doepfer and basically all the others. Mix & match will leave gaps by design unless there are slotted holes.
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Post by andrewF » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:16 am

If no modules had slots, some people would whinge about that too :cry:

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Post by Daisuk » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:07 am

So, a 'slotted mounting hole' is a mounting hole that is a bit bigger than what it really needs to be, right? I quite like those, in general they seem to be easier to fit into the rack.

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Post by windspirit » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:30 am

yeah I also support slotting - in frankensynth world it is tough to say that everyone manufactures their panels just right. Tiny gaps in the panels make my OCD go :santacruz:

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stellvia
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Post by stellvia » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:43 am

I quite like the slotted panels, and I like lining everything up just so :hihi:

For me, they are most useful when you get the occasional panel that isn't quite right, like a couple mm short of the width they should be.

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Post by johyde » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:12 am

Yeah, kind of know what you mean. I certainly had to do a lot of juggling with my system, partly because of a lot of slotted modules which were fitted wrongly to start with. In the end I've ended up with a 3/4 u (or so) gap all the way down the left hand side of my (Doepfer 9U portable) case, which bugs me a bit, but at least it's a uniform gap, and everything else lines up nicely!

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Post by Funky40 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:18 am

flts wrote:I guess one reason as well, at least historically, has been to provide for people with mixed Doepfer / standard Euro vs. Analogue Systems module sets since ASys ones have the hole offset a bit different than Doepfer and basically all the others. Mix & match will leave gaps by design unless there are slotted holes.
this is the point why we have slotted eurorack modules !

in the past doepfer was more popular and more and more people wanted also to incloude some Asys, as i did.
in fact, from there the story went........nothing else





for us DIY folks its also a good thing, assoon you make and drill your own panels.
not allways exactly perfect such DIY works :lol:


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Post by Kentucky » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:52 am

:youkids:

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reodjectz
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Post by reodjectz » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:07 am

I love slots.

:loves:

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Post by ndkent » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:29 am

Yes, the strips for screws almost always slide until you tighten a module and Analogue Systems, the second company to make Euro(like) modules did not drill their screw holes the same distance from the edge of the module.

Analogue Solutions, the third euro company and last to start in the 1990s followed Doepfer in terms of screw holes and power connectors though they added keying connectors which Doepfer had not used.

Interestingly, Cwejman, who might have been the 6th Euro company by my count first introduced the oval holes. Thinking about them, they also introduced being skiff-able on their entire line but confused things with their red stripe and included keying that was, I believe, opposite from Analogue Solutions, though I've not really studied that controversial topic.

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Remote337
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Post by Remote337 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:57 am

Slots = no gaps

All modules should be slotted.

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Post by dualmono » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:34 am

Remote337 wrote:Slots = no gaps

All modules should be slotted.
Slots all the way to compensate for tolerances in the front panel/frame manufacturing process. This gets more apparent if you have a large row of modules by different manufacturers (who produce their front panels in different places).
Remote337 nailed it.
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Nuuj
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Post by Nuuj » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:16 am

Enough with the slot shamming!
Slots are hot!
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Post by saemola » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:24 am

causticlogic wrote:possibly shorting to ground in the process...
could you explain that?

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Post by cephalopod » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:28 am

I definitely prefer slotted. Because of gaps, and the less common but equally frustrating overlaps.
I at one point received a new module that had the mounting holes drilled slightly off from where they should have been, making it impossible to put some of my modules next to it. It required rearranging my live case into a less ideal layout to get the module to fit (by putting a module with slots next to it).

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Post by PM33AUD » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:45 am

Well, it looks like I'm in the minority here. I haven't really had an issue with any round-holed modules not lining up or having any noticeable gaps between them.

The captive screw deal is quite nice but then they should be included with the module. I haven't received any module with captive screws as of yet.

I don't understand how (in production) one could produce a panel that isn't within a few thousandths tolerance. The folks who have the luxury of machining panels to high precision should be the ones driving the 'precision' of the format and these should have holes. Adding slots does not help the overall standard of the format that is already very much lacking in proper standards. The talk about overlaps and large gaps is an issue of manufacturing (or possibly incorrect design). For a purchased module, it would be considered a flaw if it didn't fit. I have some early DIY panels I've made and I cut the panels small. So there are gaps; but this is 100% my fault and am OK with it until I redo them correctly. At least I know they're not too big, which is far worse.

The ASys stuff I cannot recall issues with either (other than the hole sizes being quite small for an M3) - but it's been a bit since I've had one of their modules.

Also, by 'gaps' are we talking a couple thousandths of an inch or 10's of thousandths or more? The former would be taken care of by the screw hole tolerance (you could slide a panel around by a very small amount).

All this talk about round and slotted holes :hyper:

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Re: Stop the mounting hole madness!

Post by Graham Hinton » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:53 am

PM33AUD wrote: 1) Am I missing something with the slotted mounting holes?
Yes. The panel dimensions are based on first a DIN, later an IEC standard, that goes back to the '70s. Standard Eurocard blank panels with slots have been available since then, the slots are to retain captive screw fixings rather than to provide an adjustment.

The panel width and tolerance is specified to guarantee that all instances conforming to the standard will fit. There are lots of different manufacturers of this hardware in Europe, particularly Germany, where it is widely used in industrial systems.

It's just that some people can't work to a spec or understand what tolerances mean. The formula for a panel width is [(HP x 5.08) - 0.3] +0/-0.2 mm which means that there should be a gap of between 0.5mm and 0.3mm between every panel. The left hand hole should be 7.62mm (1.5HP) from the left panel edge and other holes on HP multiples from there.
Last edited by Graham Hinton on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PM33AUD
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Re: Stop the mounting hole madness!

Post by PM33AUD » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:03 am

Graham Hinton wrote:
PM33AUD wrote: 1) Am I missing something with the slotted mounting holes?
Yes. The panel dimensions are based on first a DIN, later an IEC standard, that goes back to the '70s. Standard Eurocard blank panels with slots have been available since then, the slots are to retain captive screw fixings rather than to provide an adjustment.

The panel width and tolerance is specified to guarantee that all instances conforming to the standard will fit. There are lots of different manufacturers of this hardware in Europe, particularly Germany, where it is widely used in industrial systems.

It's just that some people can't work to a spec or understand what tolerances mean. The formula for a panel width is [(HP x 5.08) - 0.3] +0/-0.2 mm which means that there should be a gap of between 0.5mm and 0.3mm between every panel. The left hand hole should be 7.62mm (1.5HP) from the left panel edge and other holes on HP multiples.
Thank you for the clarification.

The last paragraph is more along the lines of what I am trying to say. I don't understand why production modules cannot be manufactured or laid out properly to conform to the eurorack (eurocard) specification. My guess for the most part is they can and are but the slots accommodate other sloppily made panels. I just feel the panels that are made sloppily should be the ones with the slop!

Also, captive screws would be AWESOME. I'm gonna look into that.

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.

Post by toby » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:13 am

Yes

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Post by reodjectz » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:15 am

Could someone explain to me how to implement a captive screw system with a slot that is as high as it's diameter would be if it were a normal hole? A quick google image search was not too helpful.

I don't really see the advantage of the captive screw for eurorack. some people use 2.5mm some 3mm - some hex heads or thumb screws. It would add an extra step in installation for anyone not using the 'standard' 3mm screw. (I have 3 cases now and all of them are 2.5mm so that standard is out the window too).

I even know of people who just drive a wood screw through their modules (I cringe when I see it, but it's their gear).

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Re: Stop the mounting hole madness!

Post by Graham Hinton » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:28 am

PM33AUD wrote: I don't understand why production modules cannot be manufactured or laid out properly to conform to the eurorack (eurocard) specification.
They can be, but that has to be specified and checked. Most metal engineering companies would only guarantee +/-0.25mm tolerance whatever precision their machines work to. If you ask for +/-0.1mm that means that they have to check it carefully so the price goes up.

I suspect that a lot of Eurorack panels are simply made without specifying the tolerances so what you get is what you get.

You may find this document useful, but note there is a mistake for the hole spacing on page 14. It should be (n-3) x 5.08.
Also, captive screws would be AWESOME. I'm gonna look into that.
The shape of the hole is not part of the spec, it varies with each manufacturer to suit their hardware. Some have plastic clips and some have metal ones, there are also bushings that may be pressed into the panel, but the normal thread size is M2.5 not M3. Doepfer used M3 screws because they are cheaper.
Last edited by Graham Hinton on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sempervirent » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:36 am

If the slots were derived from a Eurocard influence, then why don't Doepfer modules have slots?

I thought this had to do with mounting Doepfer/Eurorack modules in Analogue Systems racks (as fits mentioned) because prior to Eurorack taking over the world there were two heavyweight contenders that offered modules with slightly different mounting hole spacings.

If your name is Wowa Cwejman, it's 2006, and you're trying to figure out which standard to use in order to sell the most modules, the obvious answer would be "both" if you can accomplish that by using slotted mounting holes.

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