Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Analogue Systems to Doepfer Adaptor

Hi all and a very happy new year to you all, I've been a bit slow with my first 2011 posting but have been busy.

I saw two enquiries on the Analogue Systems/Doepfer forums for adaptors to enable Doepfer modules to be used in old-style AS racks which are those with just 16-way dual in-line IC sockets; the newer types also have a few Doepfer header connectors. It seemed that the usual sources had dried up so I did some checking to see how this had been addressed in the past.  

There were two approaches; the first was to use a very messy ribbon cable adaptor that is not 1:1 which must have been nightmare to assemble, the other was a small PCB which allowed a Doepfer ribbon cable to mate with an Analogue Systems ribbon cable and this, I thought, was a bit awkward especially as it just sits anywhere in the rack with bare contacts that could easily short out on the metalwork.

I set about designing a solution which I think is really neat, onubtrusive and quite versatile. Here it is; this is the first build of a 100 PCBs and already have orders for 12 of them. Note the red stripe - just line up the Doepfer cable's red stripe with it.  The adaptor is also marked with pin 1 and an orientation mark so pin 1 goes to the top (in fact to pin 1) and the red stripe goes at the bottom - SIMPLE!

The above adaptor is barely bigger than the IC socket and allows you to do the following:-

  1. Use a Doepfer module and ribbon cable in an AS rack - it plugs into the AS bus board.
  2. Use an AS module and Doepfer cable in a Doepfer rack - it plugs into the AS module socket.

Here is the adaptor plugged into an AS module and below a Doepfer cable is fitted to the adaptor.  This is my only AS module and it's the RS-35 External Interface which has two connectors and the top one doesn't really have enough clearance to fit a standard vertical header so it's probably not the best example but never fear.  As far as having two connectors goes it's simple to fit two Doepfer headers at one end of a ribbon cable (which I will gladly supply) and the adaptor can be made with a right-angle header so it doesn't protrude too high (again I will gladly supply those too - this will all be posted up on my Products page in a jiffy).

Not groundbreaking, not rocket-science just a bit of thought and careful design and in case you are wondering yes it does translate the connections so that all the supplies are in the right place.

In a few more days I'll also have a variant that will plug into a Doepfer bus board to give you AS sockets so you can just keep the ribbon cables you have already.

Please note that Doepfer and Analogue Systems are registered trademarks and that Synovatron is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, either company.

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