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DIY Projects
11 replies
26 days old
last post: Feb 26, 2020

DIY Projects

1 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-20 06:51
Do any of you regularly take on large DIY projects? I enjoy working on electronics projects when I can, even though my electronics knowledge is limited. If am able to find a well documented design for something I need online, I derive a lot of enjoyment from using those designs instead of dropping money on something prefabricated.

Recently I wanted to build a vacuum tube headphone amplifier, and found a very easy to assemble design for a hybrid amplifier using the Korg NuTube, by Peter Millet. He is one of the few people selling individual NuTubes outside of Japan, and sells the PCB for an amplifier using it for one cent. The entire parts list is available as a Mouser project, so there's no extra work towards gathering parts.
The info page for it is at http://pmillett.com/nuhybrid.html

It took me about two hours to put together, my solder job is solid, although the alignment of the capacitors is messy because I didn't properly secure them before flipping the board over. I'm really happy with it, using equipment you built yourself is far more satisfying than anything else.

I'm wanting to build my own DAC now as well, currently planning on building the AMB Labs y1. It's looking to be a significantly more difficult project, but I'm confident that it's something I'll have no major troubles with.

I spent a while today assembling a Mouser project for the parts, and finding alternatives for the components that have reached end of life. There is some surface mount soldering I'll have to do, but only the ICs are surface mounted, every other component is through hole. The ICs that I will have to solder either have few pins, so won't be very time consuming, or have pretty wide pitch, so will be very forgiving.

When I'm finished, I want to manufacture my own enclosure to mount both the amp and DAC together in, with a plexiglass window on top to show off the boards.

I'd really like to be able to start designing my own electronics projects of this level soon, but I need to start taking some electrical engineering classes. I'm going to start taking some at one of the nearby community colleges next semester.

What are some things you've built or designed?
2 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-20 20:46
Right now I'm working on putting together a z80 computer kit. It's all predesigned stuff, straight from a kit, so I'm just soldering everything together. Everything is through-hole so the soldering is a breeze. I did manage to melt the tip of my $10 Sears soldering iron but I ended up just getting a slightly nicer Yihua station.

It's still only half put together, my car ended up breaking down so I was putting most of my project time into that for a while. Now though my car is running fine so I finally have time for more physical projects, and I should be able to get this computer assembled and running pretty soon
3 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-20 22:45
That's super cool, I've been wanting to build a Z80 computer for a while but have never actually put in the effort to do anything more than think about it.

I think I was originally inspired by a hackaday article featuring a computer with an interface vaguely like that of the Altair 8800, where the only I/O is a row of switches directly interfacing the address and data bus, and a row of LEDs to read off the status. The article was titled "A Z80 Computer With Switches And Blinkenlights".

I've been slowly learning how to use KiCAD so that I can design my own PCBs, I may go finally go for it once I'm comfortable with that.
4 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-21 00:01
for accurate audio reproduction, the usage of a vacuum tube amplifier is non-ideal. john conover has made a free schematic of a high-quality class-b headphone amplifier with less than 0.001% (-100 dbfs) THD + noise using easy-to-find solid-state parts.
it's possible to make a computer in kicad
5 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-21 00:35
as for me, i wish i had more time and money to do the things that i want to do, like making plants sing for example. maybe i'll get around to it someday, but in the meantime, i'll just share the links on how you can do this.

also since you seem interested in diy audio, headwize memorial is a nice diy source for headphone-related projects, if you didn't already know about it.
6 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-21 04:59
oooh, that newtube project looks very cool! I wish we saw more things like that, new takes on old designs.

don't have much time lately, but I've been interested in making my bicycle a rolling access point and linux machine - probably via a raspi zero w and/or STM32 (for wireless and bluetooth monitoring, etc).

I have a bunch of spare RFID cards from my work also, perhaps I can find a use for them. too little time and too many projects as always.
7 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-22 02:37
are you talking about going wardriving? (or warcycling, in the case of a bike) I've always thought that sounded like a fun time, but I'm not passionate enough about networking or radio to find entertainment in the process of data collection or doing things with it.

I think it'd be pretty neat to go wardriving with an SDR and look for more esoteric radio transmissions, hopefully some unprotected stuff to snoop in on. You'd get to see what sort of things people around the area are using radio for beyond straightforward networking.
8 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-23 07:06
I have a lot of fun playing DDR, but all of the arcades around me with decently maintained machines are at least two hours away, and every one of the dance platforms available for at home play are either ridiculously expensive or garbage. I ended up building my own a couple of months ago, and am able to play ~13s on it.
9 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-26 05:10
yep, that's one part of it! SIGINT stuff (wifi, bluetooth, radio, etc) really interests me, it'd be cool to have a rolling signal sniffing platform, or to have my bike act as a piratebox or personal access point.

I've seen people convert water bottles into storage containers for inner tubes and small tools, certainly I can shove a few linux based SoCs in there. the dream would be to have an aforementioned raspi zero w in the bike frame itself, but short of doing major unwanted fab work it'd probably be too difficult.
10 Name: Anonymous : 2020-02-26 06:00
A rolling pirate box sounds like it would be really fun! It'd probably be interesting to set one up as a local message board. I can't imagine how a message board that was always moving would even be functional, community wise. Maybe something like that could get a lot of traction in a city with many active hackerspaces, where there typically are many cyclists and people interested in pirateboxes.
11 Name: Anonymous : 2020-03-17 07:27
I've started working on the DAC, I've done most of the SMT portion save for two voltage regulars that I lost thanks to their absolutely minuscule size. SMT soldering was far less tedious than I expected it to be, but there was one chip that I had a particularly exhausting experience trying to get rid of a bridge on. When I finally removed it, I realized I had my iron set 100C above the peak soldering temperature cited on the parts datasheet, so I'm a little worried the chip is fried. I doubt that much heat was actually conducted up the legs of the chip, though, given how the solder and wick were behaving, so it's probably okay.


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