[DIY]Custom patchbay octatrack stands (electronics questions)

i’ve got some tiered side panel designs i’m getting lasercut for my 2 OTs but I saw a multi elektron case someone designed on here somewhere earlier and they’d put a patchbay in the corner. this has me thinking it would only be logical to put a patchbay on the side of my stand so I can fill in all the gaps and make it look more like one solid unit. I have never undertook an electronics project or even used a soldering iron but I get the idea, would this be as simple as soldering a couple of connections on a bunch of female TRS connectors wired up to all inputs & outputs or is there something im missing? also how could I implement some kind of level metering above the top OT, any ideas? thanks

As for the patchbay, yes. If the OT has balanced inputs or outs, you need to use stereo connectors and cables, otherwise use mono. Watch a YT video on the basics of soldering as there are a couple of tricks that you need to know.

That’s as much as I know, level metering is a different story.

Nice one man. I’m trying to think of a way I could fit enough meters on without it looking awkward. There are some old school VU meters on eBay that look like they’d be simple to wire up. even if I only use one for the master it’d look pretty cool if a bit redundant. Ideally I’d have some visual feedback for all I/O but I’m sure it wouldn’t be easy

Really hope you get this off the ground as I’m really interested in seeing the final results - especially if you’re going to be putting VU meters on.

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You can buy VU meter kits, like this https://www.velleman.eu/products/view/?id=18696&country=us&lang=en

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I’m really struggling to find a price on that page. Been looking at similar things on eBay though. I’ll need to map out how I can do this. I’d need to put some switches on the side too as the power switches wouldn’t be accessible but that scares me a bit as it actually involves power. If I can figure out a design that doesn’t look horrible I think it’s all doable though. Failing all else I don’t think I’ll be able to resist finding space for one of those big round dial ones on the master, that would be cool

Ooh, analog VU meters would be slick. Would love to learn how to wire those up to my Octatrack “pedal board” outputs.

Those are the ones! Beat me to it, I just went to grab a link

I think those Velleman LED ones I linked to are about £20 or equivalent in € or $.

With those analog moving coil/needle type you might need to have additional drive circuitry so it is worth checking before parting with your money.

Yeah I noticed some of the ones I was looking at came paired with a driver circuit. I’m gonna do some reading and start with attempting the patchbay then go from there. Does anyone know if OTmk1 has balanced outputs or not?

Right I’ve commited. Just bought a variable temp soldering iron, if anyone can help point me towards the types of inputs/outputs I need for the cheapest that would be great, if not I’m sure i’ll figure it all out, stay tuned

I collected all my parts and did my first bit of soldering, got the first mono socket soldered up to a 1/4 jack. Tested it on an OT out and it sounds bad, way way quieter and worse quality. Any ideas where I’m going wrong? Not sure if it’s cause of bad soldering or wrong parts. The ones on the jack look like shit but it’s the first time I’ve ever soldered anything. Any help?

I have limited experience and someone else will know more etc but it looks like you may be trying to solder a trs jack as mono? You don’t seem to have soldered to earth. For trs I think you need a twisted pair plus earth.

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If you are trying to wire it as mono, moving one wire to ground may work. The one that is connected to ground on the socket.

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@drNate Yeah I’m trying to do trs as mono. I could only find stereo jacks near me and someone on another website said it would be okay to use stereo jacks if I left one pin free. I did actually try that first but it sounded bad so I assumed I’d done it wrong and tried this which sounds just as bad.

Edit: Wait I think I get you, I think I had the other one on the jack soldered to ground first

Edit 2: that works! Thanks man @drNate


Gotta solder the patchbay up yet but just checking everything fits together nicely. Left a nice comfortable space at the top for when I’m ready to pop a VU meter on. It’s got a top piece that goes where the tops overhanging there. There’s a ton of space inside, I was thinking of maybe building some kind of effect into it and putting the controls and selector switches across the front between the two OTs to route outputs through or bypass it. Gonna just finish this up before getting more ideas though


Yeah, that’s dope mate

Doing one for your other toy…?

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Great work! That’s a good idea with the FX.

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Enough for draft beer ? :beers:


Even better! You did a great job of that :ecstatic: made me laugh + @spktkpkt I was thinking maybe an axoloti. My first thought was a tube amp and make a clear panel on the back, it would look rad with those old school style VU meters and add something that’s not perfectly achievable by digital means. It could add some nice warmth to OT and I’d be able to run a turntable straight into it. Axoloti would be cool cause I could reprogram it. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it though