Author Topic: Interesting utility pedal  (Read 878 times)

Mark Hammer

Interesting utility pedal
« on: April 26, 2018, 03:44:43 PM »
A fellow on another forum drew my attention to the Patchulator 8000 today.  It's an interesting utility "pedal" that allows a person to repatch their pedalboard without having to tear it down.  Not for everybody, but I'm sure a life-saver for some, given how complex some pedalboards can be and how reluctant owners might be to tear them down for re-ordering effects.  I pondered the design, which I thought clever, and not unreasonably priced, and wondered if I could make a reduced DIY version.  Did some measurements and found I could fit 1/4" Neutrik-style send-return jacks for 5 devices into a 125-B enclosure, with 1/8" send/return jacks on top, where a person could reroute signals easily, including sending them to other devices not on the pedalboard.  I probably would have included more if I had spare 1590BB enclosures, but a 125-B provides a nice compromise of function and compactness.  I already have a bunch of 1/8" patch cables (Eurorack favorites!), so it will be an easy liftoff once the couple of coats of paint gets baked, and the legending put on.  In the meantime, I'm wondering what sorts of interest possibilities the closed circuit TRS jacks afford for going beyond a simple in and out.


EBK

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 04:07:43 PM »
...so it will be an easy liftoff once the couple of coats of paint gets baked, and the legending put on.
Those steps have taken me more than a year on some of my builds.  :icon_rolleyes:
No affiliations. If I glowingly mention specific merchants or products, it is because I like them without having to be paid to like them.

Mark Hammer

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 05:15:03 PM »
How long does your toaster oven take to warm up?

EBK

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 05:25:31 PM »
How long does your toaster oven take to warm up?
Haven't plugged it in yet.  I've been using the oven in the kitchen whenever my wife isn't around to express misplaced horror over such an act.   :icon_wink:  I did find my extension cord today though, so maybe the toaster oven will finally warm up in a month or so.
No affiliations. If I glowingly mention specific merchants or products, it is because I like them without having to be paid to like them.

J0K3RX

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 10:01:34 AM »
Doesn't matter what you did to get it... If it sounds good, then it is good!

Mark Hammer

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 11:39:49 AM »
I decided to make myself a mini version of it, described in the earlier post here.  Someone had a great idea to make the patch cords from distinctively coloured shielded cable.  The legending I included does not imply anything about the wiring inside.  It's largely there for a user to keep track of what cables are going where, just like the distinctively-coloured patch cords.


aishabag23

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 10:50:00 AM »
I bought a Patchulator some years ago, when it first came out. IMO, it's such a cool idea. However, you have to mute your signal when you exchange plugs or you get that dreaded POP. It annoys me just enough to make this gadget unusable. I suppose one could make patch cables with the Silentplugs, but that could get pretty expensive.

Mark Hammer

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 02:47:51 PM »
That's a good tip about the pop. If I sell the box to someone, I'll have to mention it to them,
At the same time, the purpose of such a unit is to repatch, in a way that doesn't involve a complete teardown.  Hard to imagien contemplating a teardown while plugged in, and on.

ElectricDruid

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 04:27:03 PM »
It's an interesting gizmo, for sure. Is it *more* or *less* confusing than an electronic patch bay device would be, I wonder?

There's something nice about a thing covered in wires and being able to pull them out and stick them back in though, that's for sure. Humans are tactile and we like that sort of stuff.

Mark Hammer

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 08:17:09 PM »
On another furm I'm on, there is a show-us-your-pedalboard thread (up to 164 screens long now).  Some are simple and straightforward, and others are large, expensive, and complex, with a great diversity of pedal footprints and form-factors from iddy-biddy units, like those little sub-1590A-Hotone pedals, 1590B and BB sized units, Boss pedals, Strymon, and a host of others, often rotated around just to be able to fit.  Some are stuck in the only location where they would fit, rather than in any sort of intuitive serial order.  Sometimes the pedals are directly patched, and other times through a loop selector, with some sort of custom-length patch cable and just enough space for right-angle plugs required to fit everything in.  Sometimes they are held down by velcro, and other times by cable ties and such.

My point is that an ever-increasing number of pedalboards create a certain degree of inertia, when it comes to re-arranging anything.  That's where I feel a patchbay like this comes into its own.  I often hear people touting the virtues of top-mounted in/out jacks.  And while I often think they are on to something, the fact remains that surface real-estate can often be at a premium, making side-mounted jacks the more feasible solution.  So a patchbay that can utilize top-mounted jacks can be practical in some instances.

An electronic patchbay would be wonderful, and some higher-end switching units can do that sort of thing (though many tend to default to series connections, without permitting any parallel arrangements).  Even so, you still have to run patch cords from the pedals to such units, so there is no real space savings, just the convenience of not having to plug and unplug, and whatever preset-capability such a unit would have (such a burden!  :icon_rolleyes:)

Andrekp

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2018, 02:38:26 PM »
I know this is a slightly old thread, but I thought of another way to do this that would be neater.

IN a 125B type box (or whatever) set up an overall input and an overall output. (say in from guitar, and out to amp).  Normal type jack.

The between those two jacks, maybe on the top side of the box, you wire up a number of stereo jacks (we'll number them J1 to J4) in a predetermined order.  The way you will wire them is (for example) input jack to J1R, J!L to J2R, J2L to J3R...J4L to output jack.  (Can the grounds all be shared straight through?)

Then to have a pedal in that chain, you use one of those mixer insert type cords with a stereo plug on one end, and a mono R, and mono L Ying off from it.  You plug the R & L as appropriate into your pedal, then the stereo end into the patchbay you just built.  You have 4 patch jacks, so plug in four pedals.  The pedals will be in the order of their insertion into J1-4.  You want to change the pedal order, you just swap around those stereo plugs in the 4 jacks on the patch bay.  A single plug for each pedal.

I am assuming in this that the signal ground can just be shared all the way through.

The advantage is simplicity, one plug for each pedal, one cable for each, order is determined by jack order. 

If this would work, it might even be a way to simply an effect loop pedal, instead of having to have both an in and out for each pedal, you just have the single stereo jack that covers both, and one cable instead of two.

Just a thought.   

EBK

Re: Interesting utility pedal
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2018, 02:52:10 PM »
That is an interesting idea.  My head hurts too much to fully think it through though.  Maybe a color-coded drawing would help.

A side note: The toaster oven I mentioned earlier in this thread still hasn't warmed up, by the way.  :icon_razz:
No affiliations. If I glowingly mention specific merchants or products, it is because I like them without having to be paid to like them.