Friday, 25 January 2013

Channel Front Panels

I have been trying to finalise the layouts of the front panels of the two different types of channel. I use Front Panel Designer for this. When the layout looks good I print it out and place the knobs on it to get a better feel for the overall appearance. Here is a picture of one I finished this evening. It is the Helios 69 style channel.

For prototyping purposes I print a version of the front panel layout with the centres of each hole marked. I then glue this to a blank front panel and use it as a template for drilling the holes. After removing the paper layout I print out another one in colour on sticky backed vinyl and carefully apply it to the metalwork.

The legend has gone through a number of revisions but I think I have now settled on a standard for character sizes and font. Section headings, like HIGH in the above picture, are 3.5mm high whilst elements within a section like the frequencies on an EQ switch or the labels for individual pots are 2.5mm high. The font used in all cases is DIN17, 1-stroke as defined by Front Panel Designer. Here is a picture of the Pultec channel. As you can see I have not yet finalised knobs. The larger knobs for the frequency selection and mic gain I have selected because they push on to the D shaped shaft of the quarter inch Grayhill switches used. You don't have to worry about getting the pointer lined up correctly with the legend because these knobs have removable caps so you can rotate the cap to the right position and glue it in place.

All the pots have splined shafts and take push on knobs. Again the exact orientation of the pot does not matter as you can simply set the pot fully anti-clockwise and push on the knob at the appropriate orientation. I think so far my favourite small knobs are the bottom right hand three in the above picure.

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