Best shape for 12u+ case?

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Richard deHove
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Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by Richard deHove » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:57 pm

I built my own 15u case following the pretty classic large case curve where the bottom few rows go from almost flat to curving up. it But doesn't feel ideal Lighting can be difficult, there are definite dark areas and I definite favorite rows because of the ergonomics, angles and lighting. Bow I'm thinking of making a much simpler case with either a higher but fully flat face slightly angled back, or just a slight angle change between two sections.

Have you wrestled with similar design and ergonomic issues? What was best? I'm hesitating to start construction...

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thelowerrhythm
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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:28 pm

I doubt there's a best even for a single individual. But I'd say the starting point would be the posture by which you interact with your machine. Sitting, standing, etc. I'm working with 48U and have found things work best to be in a bunch of smaller, movable cases that I can sit side by side or stack, because I can't go more than a month or two without wanting to rearrange.
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Richard deHove
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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by Richard deHove » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:37 pm

Good points. I sit down to play normal synths but always stand up to patch. Not sure whether it's because patching is more active or ergonomics push me that way.

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Mr. Aloud
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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by Mr. Aloud » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:58 pm

Good point on the lighting. Maybe LED strips on the inside of the top and side panels are helpful? But even with diffusors the light will come from an almost 90 degree angle, so lots of long shadows. Still worth a try.

Don´t forget the displays. I have a bunch of 19" racks strictly vertical sitting on tables. It´s hard to read displays depending on viewing angle. A curved design would have prevented that.

Since I haven´t found the ideal position for my modular yet - I´m still a newbie -, I plan to have a number of cases and arrange them according to need. The idea is to follow best practice from other fields, like bike or glasses fitting: Have some mechanic construct to find out what the best fit is, take measurements, then build the final setup. One idea is to take plain side panels, then use velcro pads to get a halfway decent connection between panel and side of cases. Rearrange as needed. Once things are final, add screws for stability and cut away the panel profile to match the case layout.

On the other hand I may be lazy and just add more Mantis - hassle free, can be used in or out the big rack (which then may be nothing more than a customized cupboard or maybe a bunch of drum stands). That way, you can always break out sections of the setup, rearrange or take them places.

Decisions, decisions...
Last edited by Mr. Aloud on Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
It would seem that still, after all these years, perception is essentially thought to be a passive process.

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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by KSS » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:37 pm

Richard deHove wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:37 pm
Not sure whether it's because patching is more active or ergonomics push me that way.
Be sure to find your answer to this before committing to the new setup.

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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by Pelsea » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:39 pm

There's plenty of ergonomic advice out there. Most of it is about computer workstations, but here is something more general:
https://www.ergonomics4schools.com/lzone/layout.htm

Translating that to a Modular workstation, I came up with this:
Image
There are two critical dimensions here-- the height of my elbows when seated, and the height of my eyes. My elbows are about 29" off the floor. This sets the comfortable height for a keyboard or a flat panel of knobs between 28" and 30". a desk with a top at 27" works well when I set stuff on it. My eyes are about 48". This determines an upper limit for equipment that is accessed often because I get a sore neck when looking up too much. (Seldom used items can be above this.) The ideal profile follows an arc centered on my eye. Breaking that up into 3U flat sections gave me what you see here. (The fact that I started with a Mantis case had some influence on the dimensions, but I choose the Mantis because it looked ergonomically nice out of the box.)

About that travel case-- I use it and the Mantis when I go out to perform. I made legs for it so it sets up like this:
Image

I prefer to light my workspaces with flexible arm lamps like this:
Image

I always use two light sources, plus overall linght for the room. Of course I have a cataract, so one eye is a bit fussy.
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Last edited by Pelsea on Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Richard deHove
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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by Richard deHove » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:50 pm

@Pelsea That's really interesting info, thanks. I currently have something similar to this. The first two rows were copies of the Sub37: flat first row and slightly angled second row - since I figured must know ergonomics. After that I just laid the next three rows back a bit. Mistakes I made in construction were:
- I didn't use a base board so it's hard to prop up higher and more prone to "edge of desk" dangers
- The first row is only 4cm high which is just a bit too shallow for comfort
- The wood I used was heavy hardwood so the whole thing weighs a ton

I've also found lighting is a constant struggle. I've tried those popular round lights on a flexible arm but by the time you get them perfectly positioned they're always in the way. I've had much more luck with a couple of diffuse Hue lighting bars. Trouble with those is that because of the changing angles some areas are much better lit than others.
I'm thinking now I'll just have a single flat plane set at about 67-degrees. I'll also unhook the lights from the case and try to mount them separately.

Truly awful pic gives an idea of the current setup:
case-edit.jpg
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Re: Best shape for 12u+ case?

Post by butter » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:06 am

Grab a few cardboard boxes somewhere and build a mockup...doesn't have to be full width, but you'll get your ideal custom profile in the end - you can even experiment with a single sheet, just score it every 3U or 6U and bend it to get your ideal shape.

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