Friday, January 14, 2011

Blind Panels II

Beside for safety uses, as mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the blind-panels that Doepfer sells are also perfectly usable for all types of DIY-projects.
The 'standard' panels of 4,8,42 and 84 HP can be used for all types of original self-made modules or expanders. Sadly they don't have other sizes, but wouldn't it be nice if they had a 16HP and perhaps a 24HP to 'fill in the gaps'.

Drilling the metal plates is quite easy ( if you use the right tools ), and the panels come with pre-drilled mounting-holes.
If you don't like drilling, you can also order some pre-manufactured panels from the Doepfer A-100 specials list;

They still have many punched A-100 standard front panels of 4HP width, punched for 8 sockets, identical to A-180 front panel but without printing, very useful  for DIY or A-101-9 expansion  applications. You can save yourself some money by making your own A-180 multiple for almost half the price. (sockets can also be ordered at Doepfer )

Punched A-100 standard front panels of 8HP width are still available too. Punched for 5 potentiometers and 5 sockets (same as A-102, A-103, A-105, A-120, A-122, A-123, A-124, A-130, A-131, A-138), without silk screen printing.
They even  fit the Synovatron DIY1 and DIY2 kits. (*confirmed / ,but see feedback for remarks and more info)
Update March 3 2011: Synovatron now sells his own generic front panels for his DIY kits.

Doepfer also still has a few 14 HP front panels punched for 2 wheels and 4 sockets ( like A-174-2 ), without printing, that might useful e.g. for a DIY wheel module. Order it with two modulation wheels and you even get the front-plate for free...


  1. Hi Pierre,

    Yet another good article! Just wanted to add a word of caution about the DIY kits and Doepfer pre-drilled front panels. Firstly I didn't know they were available so the kits weren't designed specifically to fit them and consequently I haven't tried fitting them together. From what I can see you are right though, I'm pretty sure they will fit but becuause Doepfer mount their jack sockets on the underside of the board they can move all the holes further to the left. This means that the DIY jack board might overhang to left of the front panel a bit, which may or may not be a problem for a prototype - I don't know. My support page has a dimensioned front panel that does fit the kits and you can see (with the aid of a ruler) that my holes are about 2.5mm to the right of Doepfer's. Tonight I'll dissassemble my A-120 module and fit the kit to it and I'll then be able to give a definitive answer; a cool idea if it works! Failing that I'm tempted to offer predilled front panels specifically for the kits and am considering the 8 jack socket version too with a larger breadboard area. Also keep an eye out for my new Analogue Systems to Doepfer adaptor boards in the next few weeks.

    Thanks for the reference Pierre and will update you soon.
    Best wishes Tony

  2. Hi again,

    I tried the A-120 front panel with the kit and sure enough it fits but the underside of the jack board slightly protrudes over the left edge of the front panel which means that all solder joints, component pins and any underside wiring will protrude even further. This will make it a bit awkward to fit but not too bad - please do this with the power off else you will short the pins out and also make sure there is nothing on the adjacent module that will touch. Once in place its ok and usable but not ideal. That's a pity!

  3. @Tony Thanks again for the quick check and replies. I updated the post and also put in a link to the 'hidden' A-100 specials list. I found out about it recently too, i have no idea how many they still have though. (list says 'many' as of November 2010)