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Hi

how to make a patchbay (connection slots) for your modular synth
or anything else you want to connect and deconnect easily by hand..


Before starting you need things like this:

for the patchcables building:

1-some wall pins of the 2 kinds (with big plastic and the plane ones)
2-some cables (harvested from electronic craps like hard-drive cables, vhs player etc)
3-a soldering iron and a lighter



for the copper patchbay:

1-a copper clad (sold for making printed electronic circuits, pcb the format you need for your project
(mine is 10X16 cm for fitting in a wood enclosure I've cnc made) -some magnets (harvest from speakers (break it for many magnets), earphones, headphones, or buy them on the internet) (make sure the magnetic field is sufficiently strong by trying to hold firmly a plane wallpin through 2mm plastic)

if you want to etch the patchbay on copper clad:

1-hydrogen peroxyde 20%

2-vinegar 8%

3-nail varnish or deco-marker, or permanent marker Edding 400 (or google "marker for pcb")

if you want to engrave it:

1-a sharp knife or a cutter

2-and a metal ruler (or anything solid and straight to lead you knife on the copper clad)

(if you want to make any other way, you can just glue some copper money cents on a board and solder a cable on each one ^^)

Step 1: Making the Copper Board

follow what you see on the gif

do whatever forms you want for your patchbay ^^ (the patch areas just have to be isolated one from another),

with your cutter or by drawing the patch areas with a marker,

mine is just a simple grid because it was a test.

-if you have done the work with cutter, normally it is almost done for you for this part..


-if you have done this with varnish, marker, or any way to draw it, you'll have to etch the board

so, Etching the board:

there is a instructable made by Feinmaniac for this :

put about 40% hydrogen peroxyde and 60% vinegar (transparent one , maybe other work^^)

and mix it, and put your copper clad in this bath.


after between 1 to 4 hours it will be done.

wash it with water and remove the varnish or marker with a scraper sponge (google translation) or anything that works

...ok we have the board done, next step , the magnets (or the patchcables if you prefer on step 4)

Step 2: Making Holes and Gluing the Magnets on the Board

you can now make little hole on every copper area you want to use as a patch area

(just a little hole to put a copper cable or a wallpin metal pin through it(you heat the metal pin of the wallpin and take it apart from the colored plastic ))

you will want to make it not on the center of the area because that is the place the magnet will be glued ;)

now you have made all the holes, you can put can glue one magnet under each patch area you've drawed

make sure they don't touch each other and let some space for making a little hole on the board to put a wallpin in it.

Step 3: Making the Patch Cables With Cables and Wallpins of the 2 Kind

so you need for one cable 2 big wallpins (with the big plastic),
2 plane wallpins
and 1 cable

you have to remove the metal pin from the plastic of the big wallpin

so now you can use it in the patch area holes if you want (in the previous section)

now you can roll the end of the cable around the plane wallpin's pin ^^

and solder it to the pin (and if you don't have solder, maybe it will work too but the electrical connection maybe random ^^)

after that plug the cabled metal wallpin inside the hole of the plastic pin and heat the metal pin with the soldering iron to fusion it with the plastic ^^

(look at the photos, and ask me if I explain badly ^^, (english isn't my native language, it's french)

now repeat the operation and you will have a lot of patchcables for you magnetic patchbay :)

Step 4: My Final Result

I put 3 logic chips from the cd4000 serie, so I can patch their logic gates
(I have a patchcables coming from squarewave oscillators for the logic gates inputs

<p>Very simple! Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community! </p>
<p>thanks ;)</p>

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