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.
- Sounds great - I already have one of your modules with an acrylic panel, can you supply an FR4 panel for it?
Due to the COVID-related shenanigans that are happening, my supply chains are still disrupted and I'm prioritising building stuff for stock rather than relying on the off-chance that someone might want to buy a single panel. Once things have settled down a bit, I will make individual panels available for sale - otherwise any spares from a build run will be made available.
That being said, if you have the necessary knowledge and access to a PCB fabbing service (and there are plenty out there) then the KiCAD PCB files for my panels are freely available here - submit them to the fab of your choice and that's that.
- 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.
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.
ORDERS TO JAPAN ARE COURIER ONLY AT PRESENT - JAPAN POST ARE STILL NOT PROCESSING INTERNATIONAL MAIL IN A TIMELY MANNER.
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 or Amazon Lockers.
- If I order something, can you put a low amount on the customs form so I can avoid paying duty/fees?
No - I will not falsify customs documents. I don't have a criminal record and would very much like to maintain this state of affairs.
Without exception, I will list the true value of the goods on the CN22/23. For a more in-depth explanation of why falsifying value is a bad thing, see here.
Similarly, I will not mark items as gifts.
- What mounting hardware is provided?
For the few remaining perspex panelled modules, an appropriate number of M3x10 machine screws (usually 2, sometimes 4 for larger modules). M3 nylon washers are also supplied to minimise the risk of marking panels.
Newer modules with FR4 panels will come with M3x6 machine screws - these seem to cover most eventualities. However, if you're using a Doepfer case then you may find that M3x8 screws work better (there seems to be a lot of variability here - the rails in my 9U Doepfer case are quite happy with 6mm screws. Others have said that M3x8 works better ...)
- Do you make 1U tiles?
Not any more - it was an interesting experiment, but ultimately a failure.
- 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.
However, as I am phasing out the use of perspex panels on most of the smaller modules, any replacement panel you get is likely to be made from FR4 fibreglass, the same stuff that I have my PCBs fabbed from.
The downside of this is that panel fabrication is subject to the same constraints and lead times as PCB fabrication.
FR4 is relatively cheap, although more expensive than perspex, but a lot more resilient. The standard thickness is 1.6mm, and breaking this stuff requires major grunt!
- Are you really a one-man operation?
- 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.