DIY Eurorack: Side Panels 3U and 6U

This is actually a simple exercise but if you are not a handyman and have the right tools it might get annoying. This is why I am trying to organise a groupbuy for this side panels.

This is what it is all about. A prototype of a 3U side panel for fixing the rails on a rack (still missing the drillings for fixing). Sure, you can fix the rails directly on the rack, but using the panels is way more elegant.

Eurorack Sidepanels 3HE with Module
Sidepanels 3HE with Module

You will find more details on Muffwiggler or on the German Sequencer Forum. If you have questions just leave a comment or send an email

DIY Eurorack: Building a 19 inch Rackmount Case

Assembling a 19 inch case is not rocket science but it has some pitfalls. Especially when you buy the components from eBay or different vendors.

Before you start be aware that there is no standard, not all components from all manufacturers fit together. This post should give you an overview of the components you will need. The construction is based on the Doepfer A-100G6 rackmount cases. The parts of my construction are a mix of Roger and Gie-Tec parts as well as my own power supply (PSU) and busboards.
I can provide you with a complete DIY set for your case or just some parts, just ask for pricing.

ClicksClocks 19 inch Eurorack - Complete Case
19 inch Eurorack – Complete Case

Not to get confused, some rack systems use rails with M2.5 threaded strips. You will hardly fit M3 strips in these rails. Please also notice that my rack uses side panels which are already combined with the rack ears as one part. This is usually not the case.
Some rails use M4 threads instead of M5 for the side fixing. The parts of the list below fit perfectly together.

There is also some mechanical work that needs to be done, drilling holes to fit the PSU on the rear panel and filing a big hole to fit in the mains inlet and fuse holder also on the rear panel. But this is it.

List of mechanical rack parts with order numbers from Gie-Tec as of May 2013

  • 4 pcs. 138006 – Rack ears 3HE
  • 2 pcs. 138010 – Side panels 6U
  • 8 pcs. 125010 0432 – Rails type 1, non perforated, l=432mm, 85HP
  • 2 pcs. 125021 0432 – Rails type 2, perforated, l=432mm, 85HP
  • 4 pcs. 138049 – M3 Threaded strips
  • 2 pcs. 138124 – Top and Bottom cover, perforated (222,3×431,7×1,5mm)
  • 2 pcs. 138087 0001 – Rear panels, 3HE/85TE
  • 20 pcs. 490050 1206 – M5x20 Allen screws, DIN 6912
  • 28 pcs. 499530 0006 – M3 Square sliding nuts, DIN 562
  • 32 pcs. 493030 0066 – M3x6 Pan head screws, DIN 7985/ISO 7045
  • 5 pcs. M3 Thooth Lock Washers

What really confused me when I started to build my first 19 inch rack was the width of the rails. To build a 19 inch rack with a usable width of 84HP (ca. 427 mm, exact 426.72 mm) you will need 85HP (432 mm, exact 431.8 mm) rails. The rack ears need 2,54 mm space on each side of the rack, as you can see on the following picture.

Rack ears and rails
Standard z-rail with rack ear, extending into the rail by 2.5mm

The busboards will be screwed on the two perforated rails using pan head screws, thooth look washers and square sliding nuts. Don’t worry, the part that is connected to the rail does not carry any contacts. So no risk of short circuit.

List of electrical components

  • 1 pcs. IEC 320 Mains inlet with fuse holder and switch
  • 5 Fully Insulated Receptacles, 6.3 mm
  • 10 Fully Insulated Receptacles, 4.8 mm
  • 5 Insulated Fork Cable Lug
  • 1 Micro Fuse, 230V – 400mA, time lag or slow blow
  • 1m PVC Cabel for internal wiring, H05V-K or H07V-K, green-yellow
  • 1m PVC Cabel for internal wiring, H05V-K or H07V-K, black or brown
  • 1m PVC Cabel for internal wiring, H05V-K or H07V-K, blue
  • 1 IEC 320 Mains Cable

If you have questions feel free to contact me.

TECHNICAL DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the power supply carries mains voltage (115 or 230 V AC). According to the safety rules the installation has to be done by qualified personnel only. Please keep that in mind: Danger to Life!
This is a private blog, and it is about sharing experiences. No warranty at all.

DIY Eurorack Console Case – Rear and Bottom Panels

This was a major step. Today I got the bottom and rear panels bended. Two main parts of my case construction, which I couldn’t do on my own.

The idea of the case construction is to fix the rear and bottom panels with threaded rods between to wooden side wings. Next up I have to drill several holes to fix the busboards and and PSUs on the panels. The hole for mains inlet with switch and fuse holder needs to be routed. Once the metal work is done the panels will be powder-coated.

Some sketches of the case to visualize the construction. The other main components of the construction are the wooden side wings. These need to be drilled, routed and sanded before they finally get an oil finish. That’s the rough plan for the next weeks.

Some pictures of panels:

If you want to read the full story, here are all the posts:

DIY Eurorack – Case bundle and 19 inch rack stuff

All you need to build your own Eurorack case

Ever thought about building your own modular synth case? Here you may find the basic components. Just ask for pricing and shipping conditions.

Basic set to start your own case project:
1 Clicks and Clocks PSU, +/-12 V/1200 mA, 230 V or 115 V
2 Clicks and Clocks Busboards plus cables for connection with the PSU
4 Z-Rails, 84HP length, plus sliding nuts (threaded strips optional) and screws to fix the rails

Basic set to build your own Eurorack modular synth case
Basic set to build your own Eurorack modular synth case

Set for a 19 inch/3U rack frame:
2 rails, 85HP length (84HP when mounted with the rack ears)
2 rack ears, 3U
2 threaded strips

DIY Eurorack 19 inch case set
DIY Eurorack – 19 inch case set

Some detailed images

DIY Eurorack 19 inch case M3 threaded strip
M3 threaded strip

DIY Eurorack 19 inch case rack ear
Rack ear, 3U height
DIY Eurorack 19 inch case rail detail
Rail detail, 84HP

TECHNICAL DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the power supply carries mains voltage (115 or 230 V AC). According to the safety rules the installation has to be done by qualified personnel only. Please keep that in mind: Danger to Life!
This is a private blog, and it is about sharing experiences. No warranty at all.

Modular Shelf

So, i wanted to use this old shelf i had. As i couldn’t afford a manufactured eurorack case of this size, and i love these old vintage furnitures (my home is filled with them), it felt like a nice idea.
I also realized that i most probably would make several misstakes during the process of this, as i’ve never built anything like this before (only been in to DIY modules, but nothing of this size), so i tried making it as low cost as possible, but still wanted quality in the things that i could reuse later if needed. Therefore i chose the Clicks&Clocks PSU and busboards for instance.

I noticed when measuring the shelf up, that it actually could fit 104HP in width, and at least 7 rows of them in height. Like it was meant to be!
So i went ahead and ordered specially cut mounting profiles and contacted Stefan about the power boards.
The profiles arrived, and they fitted perfectly! Well, at least in the middle and lower part of the shelf (vintage issue nr1). So i had to grind down 1mm on the top 4 profiles. Thats fine though, as my measurements from before told me that i had about 1-2mm of playroom anyway.
Me and my brother started to measure up the profile drill holes, to have the rows lined up but still keeping a small gap between them. Just in case i wanted to adjust them a bit later, for the odd module here and there.
All looked well, so we drilled away and started mounting the rows up. Now for vintage issue nr2, during this process i noticed the middle shelve was glued in the shelf, rather than just slided in like the rest. Impossible to remove without inflicting serious damage.  So, out pre drilled holes did not have this in mind, but – with some luck and small adjustments i noticed i could fit one of the removed shelves in right underneath the glued on one. It was pretty tight, but i managed to get it in there while keeping the rows around it intact. Looking pretty good too i gotta say, even if it wasnt planned like this.

With all the mounting profiles in place, i noticed the gaps between them wasnt really lined up perfectly, but i figured this would sort it self out when modules was screwed in.
So i started mounting some modules in there to see if it all fit and got lined up etc.
Seems it all fitted with some minor adjustments, but here comes vintage issue nr3 – the left side of the shelf was a bit taller than the right. Which means the profiles dont get the perfect lining i wanted.
I adjusted as close as i could to get some uniformed look, and it looked OK considering this problem i guess. Some gaps a bit bigger than i hoped for, but hey, its not too bad. We’re talking 0.1-1mm here. 🙂

Just as the profiles were mounted and ready, my Clicks&Clocks boards arrived. Just in time (pun intended).
As the shelf was a bit too deep, and the back was only made of this wood, i made some pieces of more solid wood to mount the power on. Also will make it easier to unmount them if needed later on, + that i can adjust the depth of the mounting where i need it to be.
With the power in place, i started with the wiring. Going by the included manual from Stefan, is was all pretty straight forward.
I got to say however, that i got stuck in my mind for a lot of details during this build (i always need to understand everything full out), which Stefan addressed in great manner. I dont think i’ve ever gotten such helpful response ever.

Then, after some careful wiring, and re-checking it all a few times, the moment came. I flipped the power switch, and the LED’s glowed like they should. Checked everything with the multimeter and it gave me the thumbs up too!

Finished up the rest of the wiring, as i tested 1 PSU section at a time. Wired it all together, and it worked. The joy!

I have plans for a third section of PSU and 2 busboards, though this would be enough already for a while.
However, after doing this, i got tempted by doing one more modular housing. Already have plans for another at some point. This was fun, and now i know what to really think about for the next one!

– Rickard Steffensen