Hey, so if you’re like me and just getting started in the world of modulars, you might be asking yourself (as I did) ‘How do I hook up all my shiny, new modules to the system power bus in my Doepfer case?’ While this is not exactly rocket science, I thought I’d share my own experience in case it helps someone out there.
The Doepfer website, and most module makers too, warn you gravely from installing the power cable wrong, or your module will be ‘instantly destroyed!!’. While this is true for some modules, others, like the Kilpatrick 1600 Midi/CV actually have some built in protection from backwards currents.
Keep in mind though that if you are unlucky and your module is damaged from a badly installed power cable, all manufacturers that I know of will deny you any warranty coverage.
So, here’s a couple of pointers to keep in mind when installing modules into a Doepfer case.
- The power connectors on the system bus are all installed so that the -12v pins are at the bottom of the connector. If you look closely at the power connector on your module, it will likely have one side of the connector marked as -12v. If you match up the power ribbon cable so that the red stripe is facing down when you connect it to the power bus of the case, and that same red strip is at the side of the module power connector marked as -12v, you should be fine.
- If your module does not have any marking -12v on the actual PCB, check the manual.
- Some modules come with the power cable already attached to the power connector. In those cases they are almost always attached so that the red strip of the ribbon cable is attached to the -12v pins. Double check this and then attached the cable so that the same red strip is facing down on the system power bus.
- If you are unsure, Consult the internet, forums or ask the maker directly. Most Eurorack module makers are incredibly helpful and don’t mind newbie questions at all.
Here’s a couple of links to the Doepfer website that describe the system bus and power connections in detail:
This is what the inside of my case looks like with a bunch of mixed modules installed. Look closely at the power cables (click for larger version):
Hopefully this will get you started, but keep in mind that all modules are different, and I’m only speaking from my own experiences. Also, I’m not taking into account modules that require any additional / other power than the +/-12v.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.