by Janne Isotalo - published 2021-02-18


An article how to prepare the enclosure for your PROGUE synthesizer

With stand-alone DIY gear there's the inevitable need for some kind of enclosure for the project at hand. Opinions amongst DIYers vary on how to approach this when designing a new DIY product: some prefer a ready to buy custom enclosure and other's want the challenge to build and customize it yourself. With PROGUE we decided to give you the option to choose. This article sheds a light on our mechanical design decisions and gives you an better idea what you are up against if you decide to go the DIY route with the enclosure.


Tools used on this video:

  • Automatic Center Punch tool.
  • Hand Drill with various size drill bits.
  • Two one-handed clamps.
  • M4 Thread Steel Tap Threading Tool
  • Small flat metal file.
  • Permanent marker.

...and lastly a lot of patience!

Progue J16 J14

The mechanical design considerations


The Hammond 1441-16BK3 metal enclosure was chosen for its suitable properties: it is relatively cheap and widely available, dimensions are reasonable and it is easy to modify for our DIY needs. Instead of the separately sold optional bottom plate, PROGUE uses the enclosure upsidedown with a custom PCB as a front panel. This is handy especially when there is a need for rectangular holes which can be a pain to make with basic tools only. The pre-made mounting holes (D2.95mm) on the Hammond enclosure can be modified into M4 threaded holes with a steel tap threading tool.

It's a challenge to keep tolerances low when hand drilling. To make it a bit easier, it's a good idea to have the holes needed for that particular PCB on a single side of the enclosure only. A common mechanical design solution is to use pin headers between PCBs, but that works much better when you only need holes for one side of the enclosure like in many modular synth modules.

PROGUE uses one 2x17 IDC ribbon cable between the mainboard and the connector board. This solution makes it very user-friendly to build due to the minimum wiring needed and eliminates the need for extra mounting screws.

Progue J16 J14


The drill holes needed are:

  • 6 x D12mm for 6,3mm jacks
  • 2 x D18mm for MIDI connectors
  • 1 x D8mm for the DC jack
  • 1 x D10mm for the power switch

The trickiest one is the DIP switch rectangular hole 6mm x 22mm, which can be omitted when using a 2x8 male pin header and jumpers instead. This of course makes it impossible to change the MIDI settings without opening the device.

Use the Drill Guide PDF file found on the PROGUE product page!


JSI SYNTH © 2021