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custom racking old modules

Does anyone have advice for how to approach a custom racking project (i.e. getting old console modules working as standalone units)? I'd like to attempt to do it myself, but I'm having trouble finding any good resources online or otherwise. Is the bottom line that an amateur really shouldn't expect to be able to do this? I hope not!

The Details:
I have several Neotek channel strips (and a subgroup unit, all Series II, I think) that I'd like to put in a little "producer pack" type of unit. I am planning to build a nice wooden box, so actual metal work is not the issue, but rather just the electronics. I basically need to figure out how to deal with the power supply (and phantom power supply), I/O, connection to the sub unit, etc., and hopefully not fry them in the process of trying to figure it out. I've also been told that the Neotek units have very low output, so i'd need to put output transformer(s) on there, too. If it makes any difference, here's some photos of the units I have ( -- let me know if I'm mistaken about what they are...), but I'm interested in general advice as well -- specific products to use (for the power supply / transformers, etc.), where to get them, and how to go about figuring it all out, etc.

thanks in advance!


Kev Fri, 05/19/2006 - 22:44

some of the things you need are off the shelf and some are available as kits

what is your intention with the subgroup module ?

the mechanicals could end up being yur biggest hurdle
many things are possible

JLM have a neat power supply and a simple torroid power transformer will suffice

just how many modules
do you have good info on your modules ... pin outs and voltages etc ?

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 05/20/2006 - 08:28
Thanks for the info (that site is down right now, but I'll check back later). My basic idea was to put 2 channel strips into the box with mic and line inputs, direct outs and inserts, and also route them to the subgroup stip as a summing "master" out (that I could route straight to a power amp to use them as a front end for a 2 mic acoustic live performance). Maybe that doesn't make much sense? I've seen it done in other boxes (e.g. ).

I don't have schematics, but there are notations on the board on one of them with references to where and what the ins and outs are, and a "+24 Volt" note next to a pin that has a big P on the printed side (opposite), which i'm assuming is power.

what exactly do you mean by "the mechanicals" being a potential problem?


saemskin Sat, 05/20/2006 - 13:58
You dont need any resources.... Take some measurements and hit up any of the small fabrication shops to build you a small rack.

I build a custom 6 x 1U rack for under my creform table I built. I built 2 custom 2U racks that used to double as monitor stands, until I built custom swivel wall mounts. Lastely I built a custom frame for my side desk so I could mount these synth arm brackets I bought.

Have the fab shop build the frame, and buy a drill and tap and do the holes yourself to save the money. Or shit, if you have access to a welder and a band saw, make it yourself. You can go to any steel distributor (NOT a mill) and see if they will sell you some drops of angle for a few bucks.

If that's the case, you could most definitely build this rack yourself for about 50$. You arent going to buy a rack for that cheap.

Kev Sat, 05/20/2006 - 14:21
the summing section input may need some loading to compensate for the missing input modules
you will only have two

johnmcg wrote: what exactly do you mean by "the mechanicals" being a potential problem?

simply the mounting and containing of the modules and power supply ... and any additional switches and indicators that you may require

does it fit the 19 inch format

it's all very well saying a fabricator can do the job
but you still have to tell them what you want and what is required

have a look at JLM Audio
or Dan Alexender for racking ideas etc

and check the website above
bread and butter stuff for us

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 05/20/2006 - 17:18
thanks to both of you!

sweet, is back up and running -- i'll give that a good look over. since i'm planning on doing it in a wooden box for "standalone" use, it doesn't have to be 19", and I don't mind if it's not super compact, so the "mechanicals" as you call them will be up to me. :D my biggest concern is figuring out the pinouts, what power supply and output transformers to get, and how to connect it all right. hopefully there are some good tips on the DIY site.

thanks again!

Thomas W. Bethel Sun, 05/21/2006 - 06:29
This is a good email based web forum for users of Neotek equipment and they can help you with all kinds of information.

You will have to subscribe but there is a wealth of information and some of the nicest people on the web and there are some people who have already done what you want to do so they can give you some pointers. Just be aware that most Neotek owners don't like to see the consoles cut up for the modules.