Cabling with rack drawers

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
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ctc
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:15 pm

Cabling with rack drawers

Post by ctc » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:50 am

My current rig has evolved to have my effects (Falange/chorus, tremolo, and delay) mounted vertically on the face of an 8U shallow rack set on top of my amp. This way I can easily tweek knobs without going down to the floor. I control them with a midi foot controller. Until recently, my pedals have been midi enabled and I could toggle them on and off easily. Now however I’ve Added some non-midi pedals which brought me to the Hex, and still wanting to keep it small, rack drawers. I figure I’d mount the Hex above the drawers using the VL rack mount. The 3 previously mentioned effects will take up one drawer, and up to 3 others in the second drawer. Question, how do people run all of the cabling between the Hex and the several effects in 2 rack drawers while still being able to operate the drawers and close the rack back for transporting?

nyteowl
Posts: 1375
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Cabling with rack drawers

Post by nyteowl » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:35 am

Most people group their cables together and hold them in place with wire ties affixed to Cable Ties. They run them along the back of the drawer, then along the side of the rack cabinet to keep them out of the way, but there is always a large loop between the cable tie and the drawer to ensure there is enough slack available to freely open and close the drawer. If you like, you can use a rubber band to hold the slack out of the way when the drawer is closed.

For what it's worth, I'm building a new rack in which I'm also using two sliding rack drawers. I already had the Raxess version of the Chief SLS1 that I bought years ago for $60-$70, and I wasn't too keen on spending $195 (+/-) for another one, so I shopped around and bought one of these Sliding Keyboard Shelves. At 12-1/4" it's not quite as deep as the Chief, but it will easily accommodate 3-4 pedals, and you can't beat the price. The mouse shelf is easily removed by unscrewing 8 small Phillips head screws, and without it the shelf height is reduced so it occupies a single rack space.

Hope this helps.


I am not affiliated with Voodoo Lab in any way, but enjoy sharing what little MIDI and signal routing knowledge I've picked up over the years. If you find my assistance helpful, please pay it forward.

ctc
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: Cabling with rack drawers

Post by ctc » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:30 am

Thx nyteowl. That’s the same drawer I bought. So cabling this as you say sounds well organized, and would require custom length cables for every connection (including audio, power and midi) to keep it neat and tidy. Are you ordering all these cables from a custom shop to length (yikes, that’s a lot of pre-planning), or are you buying a spool and cutting your own? ...and in the case of the ladder, soldered ends or solderless?

JohnClark
Posts: 7309
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Cabling with rack drawers

Post by JohnClark » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:08 am

Another option is to actually mount the HEX right on the shelf with the pedals it is switching. If the pedals don't all fit on one drawer, you could still maybe mount it on one of the two drawers to at least cut down on some of the cabling.

Here are a couple drawers and a shot of the whole rack from a rig I built. Access to the pedals knobs was the primary goal here so the HEX went into the back of the drawer. Each drawer has only a single power cable, MIDI in and out, and audio in and out so there no bulky bunch of cables to deal with.
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nyteowl
Posts: 1375
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Cabling with rack drawers

Post by nyteowl » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:48 am

ctc wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:30 am
Thx nyteowl. That’s the same drawer I bought. So cabling this as you say sounds well organized, and would require custom length cables for every connection (including audio, power and midi) to keep it neat and tidy. Are you ordering all these cables from a custom shop to length (yikes, that’s a lot of pre-planning), or are you buying a spool and cutting your own? ...and in the case of the ladder, soldered ends or solderless?

I am a long-time user of George L cables, and while I don't buy cable by the spool, I usually buy 15-20 foot lengths of .155 in a few different colors so I always have some on hand. Over the years I've also amassed a decent collection of straight and right angle connectors, so whenever I'm wiring up a rack or pedal board I make custom length cables, and often recycle existing cables I have to shorter lengths.

Some folks have problems with George L cables, but the only way a George L cable can fail is if it's not assembled properly. I have a 12' .225 guitar cable I've been using for 15+ years now and it's never failed me once.
I am not affiliated with Voodoo Lab in any way, but enjoy sharing what little MIDI and signal routing knowledge I've picked up over the years. If you find my assistance helpful, please pay it forward.

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