Tuesday, 19 June 2012

RichyHo's Rack Planner

We all love our rack planner of choice don't we? Well I'm going to use that love to craft my own. I'm using Processing to code it and basing it heavily on dougcl's Rack Planner (I spoke to him today to make sure I've got his blessing, and I have :-). This is my "let's learn Processing" project and in the last 24 hours it's taught me so much, including how to....
  • Unzip files (that's the module zips)
  • Read text files (the module.xml files)
  • String manipulation
  • Mouse handling
  • Image scaling
  • Snap to a grid
  • Handle fonts
  • Manage arrays
It uses the existing module zip files as so much effort has already gone into creating these it would be crazy to reinvent this particular wheel. The feature list so far (with a LONG way to go) is....
  • Browse a 'modules' subfolder to pick a module to add
  • Preview the module's "drop zone" (see green in image above)
  • Check it's not being dropped on top of another module (override will be available)
  • Pick up and move a module to a new unoccupied location
  • Define a rack structure (width, rows, columns, scaling)
  • Track HP usage
Next steps...
  • Delete module
  • Save & load standard Rack Planner files
I want to bring together the best bits from dougcl's Rack Planner, the online Modular Planner and also the Eurorack Database and add many new features of my own. I love it when a new project gets a grip on me!

Comments, ideas and any other feedback would be welcomed.


  1. Hi Rich,

    One useful addition would be something that measured how long of a patch cable you would need to patch together modules. For instance, it would be good to know whether or not you need a four foot cable to connect modules in opposing corners in a large, custom case.

    It also might be a good idea to be able to limit a cable to a real length so that you have hard limits on the cabling in the planner. This way you can make sure to buy correct cable lengths to work with a planned system.

    Great work, btw. This planner is light years beyond what we've had up to now.

    - LPH

  2. Thanks for your comments and suggestions. They're now on my list.