For information regarding bespoke jobs, see here
FAQs - frequently asked questions. If you have a query then this is your first port of call.
- I can offer you loads of exposure on my website! Will you send me some free stuff?
See here ...
In all seriousness, if you want to buy a bunch of my stuff then contact me and it's quite possible we can come to an agreement. There are only a couple of people I will give stuff to gratis and they're in the music business ...
- FR-4 panels? What the heck are they?!
FR-4 is flame-retardant fibreglass which also happens to be the same stuff that a lot of circuit boards are made from. As it turns out, 1.6mm FR-4 is a surprisingly good panel material which is considerably cheaper than metal even if it is subject to the same constraints that apply to PCB manufacturing.
Wikipedia has the fine detail right here.
- Why don't you offer metal panels?
Short answer: cost.
On the scale that I (currently) work at, getting metal panels made is insanely expensive - to the point where the cost of the panel often exceeds the cost of the module itself. Metal fabrication to sub-mm tolerances doesn't come cheap. Perspex is a good alternative - for the cost of a single metal panel I can get a sheet full of perspex panels made.
I get that people may not like the Perspex panels - nothing wrong with that. For those people I can offer the design files for the panels so they can get their own made in the material of their choice.
If you desperately want a module with a metal panel then submit a custom order and we'll sort something out, just keep in mind that one-offs are expensive. I am offering panels made from FR4 (aka PCB material) for some modules - these seem to have been pretty well received.
- I can't find your gear on ModularGrid ....
There may be some of my modules on there, but you'll have to dig around for them. Keeping tabs on ModularGrid is way down the list of my priorities so I rarely pay it any attention - as such, any information regarding my modules has been put there by someone else.
I am not listed on there as a manufacturer and this is highly unlikely to change in the near future (again, priorities) If you want to put one of my modules on ModularGrid, feel free to do so - you don't need my permission.
- Do you ship to ....
Probably - if you're prepared to pay the shipping costs, then I'll ship to you. I've shipped to places like Brazil, Japan and Thailand without any problems.
UK orders will use first class Signed For by default. Particularly expensive gear or orders will use Special Delivery. International orders will use RM International Tracked and Signed or International Tracked (if IT&S isn't available - eg. Brazil and Australia). For international deliveries Royal Mail only track the package whilst it is in the UK.
After that, you should be able to use the same tracking number on the website of your national mail carrier.
RUSSIAN AND JAPANESE CUSTOMERS: Please supply your address in English - Royal Mail are seemingly unable to process addresses in non-Latin characters. Not doing this will delay your order (whilst I can read Cyrillic characters reasonably well, Japanese is another matter entirely ...)
Due to an unacceptably high level of returns I am unable to ship to German Packstation addresses.
Deliveries to Amazon Lockers and the like are entirely at the customer's own risk.
- What mounting hardware is provided?
An appropriate number of M3x10 machine screws (usually 2, 4 for larger modules) - nylon M3 washers are also included to minimise the risk of marking panels. For 99% of cases, this will work. If you use M2.5, 4-40 or whatever then unfortunately you'll need to supply your own mounting hardware.
If you're using a Doepfer case then you may find that M3x8 screws work better.
- Do you make 1U tiles?
Not any more.
I have done on a couple of occasions in the past but they never sold particularly well. They may make a comeback in the future, but don't count on it.
- Perspex sucks! I want to make my own panels ....
Then this is your lucky day ... I can supply files suitable for use with Schaeffer's Front Panel Designer software and/or AutoCAD DXF files. SVG files are also available on request.
If you just want to cut your own panels out of a different material then DXF is probably what you want - just send it to someone with a laser cutter and you're good. If you wish to customise the panel then the FPD files will be your best bet.
- Regarding returns ...
In the event of something not working, let me know - despite my best efforts, faults can happen and electrons are notoriously fickle beasts. Sometimes it can be 'operator error', other times it can be a genuine fault - in either event, be nice about it.
Basically, if something doesn't work then I'll offer you a replacement (or repair, where practical) or a refund - defective items should be returned to me at your earliest convenience (non-UK buyers: I get that returns can be costly - I'll deal with these on an individual basis)
Note that per the returns policy, you are responsible for return shipping costs. In situations where something is clearly faulty, I'll generally process your refund straight away - no muss, no fuss. Please return any faulty modules to me within 14 days of receipt.
- My module has stopped working ...
That's unfortunate - sometimes these things happen. Because I try to keep my module designs relatively straightforward there's a pretty good chance I'll be able to repair it for you. More often than not, this will be done free of charge. Obviously, for this to happen you'll need to return the module to me - see the FAQ 'Regarding Returns' (above) for more info.
You don't need to send stuff back via super-mega priority mail - a simple tracked service is adequate.
Note that you are responsible for the cost of return shipping - in the event of a module being irrevocably knackered and no replacement being available I'll do you a refund.
- My panel has broken - can you replace it?
Short answer: more than likely, yes.
Longer answer: if it's a recent module then there's a good chance I'll have a couple of spare panels in stock, otherwise I'll have an appropriate panel added and submitted when I next put in an order.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to fab your own out of some other material (steel, aluminium, cheese etc.) then I can probably provide you with the design files to do just that. Whilst I'm able to source metal panels, be aware that this is a) expensive (£20-25 per panel up to 4HP-ish) and has a lead time of at least a couple of weeks.
I can also source panels made from FR4 (PCB material) although the prices of these will vary and there will be a setup charge.
- Do you really hand-build all your modules?
Whilst there are a lot of PCB assembly services out there, very few are geared to small production runs and those that are tend to be expensive.
Besides, I like building stuff.