Elektor Vocoder, part 8
As the rails for the filter boards are in order, I finally got to focus on some bezels for these boards. Since I don’t have any mechanical drawings, all these bits need to be tackled on the fly and I couldn’t start with the bezels until I had the board/rail spacing figured out. Otherwise, I would’ve probably done all the mechanics much earlier, maybe whilst still looking for parts.
Material-wise I chose to go for aluminium as it’ll match the metal parts of the casing neatly. For mounting, I decided to try soldering L-brackets to the bezels (that is, no ugly screws on the front side) and these brackets are in turn fastened to the filter board. When a potentiometer is fastened to the bezel it will also support the overall structure a bit. Having done a bit of solder patching with the QuadSID I knew to expect that this would require extreme/crazy/insane heating, so I set up a heater gun at maximum setting right next to the bezel to provide additional heating from the opposite side.
So, protective gloves on and give it a go..
Crap results, yay! \:D/ .. Gotta admit, I was a bit hasty with the soldering so the whole thing got messy in no time. Sanding the solder joint clean, I was able to see that there was hardly any solder fusing to both surfaces, it was mostly either or.. Oh well, second try with a bit more patience and the results were instantly better. Though far from excellent, the joint seemed solid and withstood moderate handling so I decided to stick with the method. Here’s what the second attempt looked like after sanded clean:
After these initial tests it took about an hour to complete the remaining bezels.
Reckon I’ll clean up the solder sides and give them a layer of silver paint after I have all the potentiometer holes and such worked out. It’ll make the internals a bit more pleasing to the eye. ;)
In case you’re wondering about soldering aluminium, a special kind of solder containing zinc and/or aluminium is called for. The bog-standard 60/40 tin/lead alloy just simply won’t fuse. In case you’re interested. There’s a good list of mixtures suitable for soldering aluminium here.