It's alive!

a 3W single ended EL84 amp for home, work & school

It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:29 pm

I'll get some pics up after while, but just wanted to say I finally got my Edcors yesterday, and the Budgie SE is alive! It sounds great! Thanks Shannon for putting together a great kit.

Couple of mishaps before I got it to sound good. I found out that I needed to tie the grounds together at the volume pot - maybe I read that somewhere and forgot, but until I did that, it sounded terrible - lots of hum and no volume control. Once I tied the grounds together - music bliss.

Also, when assembling the beast I found that the crimp connector on the BOM for the AC common and half the primary (switch terminal 3) is too small to get both the wires in there. I thought no problem, I'll just solder them to the switch. My Hakko melted the guts of that Chinese rocker switch in seconds rendering it useless. I think I only had the iron set at 350 C or so. I just ordered a new switch and I'll be sure to use crimp connectors next time. Probably pick up a bigger connector at the hardware store. In the mean time, I just have half the primary connected to the fuse holder and the other half is soldered to the neutral. I just have to unplug the amp to turn it off.
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Re: It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:20 am

Image
Bottles are JJ ECC 83S and Sovtek EL84M. Very happy with them so far
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Re: It's alive!

Postby Shannon Parks » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:33 pm

Cool! Thanks for the feedback - this is a new design and I'm happy to smooth out any rough edges. Break it in and have some fun. Try out the headphone jack when you get a chance and let me know how you like it. Listening to my Budgie SE right now as I type this.

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Re: It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:31 pm

I haven't tried the headphone jack yet. Will do that and let you know how it sounds. I have some good sounding headphones (Sony MDR 7506) so I'm sure it will be sweet. I've just been listening with some old cheapo KLH prologic surround speakers (like a 3.5" 2-way) I had sitting around and I'm amazed how well it sounds.

As far as putting the amp together, soldering the components on the board was easy. Think it maybe took 45 mins. It took more time putting all the chassis components together and wiring up everything. Using those MPC cdrom cables is nice but they are tiny and difficult to strip. Another thing is it took me awhile to figure out how to connect to the POT. I tried looking at your pics but couldn't quite make it out. I realize not everyone will use that particular POT, but maybe if you had a diagram included on the instruction sheet, that would make things easier. There's a wiring diagram, but I couldn't figure out how it related to the 6 pins on the POT.

Do you suppose I could solder wires to the fuse holder? Or will it melt like the switch did? I used the one from Eagle that was on the BOM.
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Re: It's alive!

Postby Shannon Parks » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:55 am

Indeed - I'll work on some fancier wiring diagrams. Volume pots can get confusing.
The fuse holder should be less of a melting danger. Maybe pre-tin the lugs so that they flow much faster once you connect the wire. But the quick connects serve a couple purposes, and I really encourage their use. They cover exposed high voltage - namely mains AC - and are easy to connect and disconnect.

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Re: It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:21 pm

Sure, I only mention it cause the one connector seemed kinda loose and I didn't want it to fall off. It's working at the moment though, and I won't mess with it until I get the new switch I ordered from Mouser. Dang shipping cost more than the switch! I ordered 2 switches just because and shipping was still more. :|
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Re: It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:40 am

Had a chance to try out the headphone jack and the sound is fantastic! Dead quiet and full bass.
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Re: It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:29 pm

got my replacement chinese switch today from Mouser and got it installed. Works good. Better than having to plug it in and unplug it all the time.
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Re: It's alive!

Postby MacL » Thu May 30, 2013 7:38 am

Hi All,
I just received my tubes and had to drop everything to install them on my budgie se build. Using 2 JJ el84s and a new make Mullard 12ax7 (total $40).

I am blown away with the clarity and volume! I will post photos by this weekend. No problems - just put tubes in and go - (its nice when that happens!). Going to let it run a few hours today.

BTW-used a 21 step attenuator 100k log pot from Ebay $14- This thing is tiny and works great. Problem is first step is too loud! LOL
I was afraid it wouldn't be load enough so I hooked to some very efficient Fostex full range speakers I built previously and it is too loud. Going to run though my PE overnight sensations next to see if I can get a grip on the volume. No noise and great neutral tone.

Thanks again for a great design and PC board. I built mine on a 12x7 chassis - I don't know how you did it with a 10x6. Highly recommend this build-worth the money!

MacL
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Re: It's alive!

Postby MacL » Thu May 30, 2013 8:09 am

I should have knocked on wood. I blew a 1 amp slo blo fuse about 40 mins into flawless playing. I won't be able to troubleshoot until the weekend. Any ideas on where to start?
Thanks,
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Re: It's alive!

Postby Shannon Parks » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:51 am

First check the two diodes to see if one of them blew with your DMM (also looked for any burnt resistors). If both are OK, then see if you can replace the fuse and take voltages. Take the cathode voltages on all three tubes and the power supply voltages at J5-1, J5-2, J6-1 and R21.

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Re: It's alive!

Postby MacL » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:35 am

THANKS for the advice!!
Removed diodes. One of the diodes tested as "short"-no signs to the case and I had even used IN5408's I had on hand! The diode worked for under a hour before failing.

I need to go to RS tonight to get fuses and diodes-so I haven't been able to reassemble and test. I will update when complete.

Thanks!
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Re: It's alive!

Postby jollyrogr » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:22 am

MacL wrote:Hi All,
I just received my tubes and had to drop everything to install them on my budgie se build. Using 2 JJ el84s and a new make Mullard 12ax7 (total $40).

I am blown away with the clarity and volume! I will post photos by this weekend. No problems - just put tubes in and go - (its nice when that happens!). Going to let it run a few hours today.

BTW-used a 21 step attenuator 100k log pot from Ebay $14- This thing is tiny and works great. Problem is first step is too loud! LOL
I was afraid it wouldn't be load enough so I hooked to some very efficient Fostex full range speakers I built previously and it is too loud. Going to run though my PE overnight sensations next to see if I can get a grip on the volume. No noise and great neutral tone.

Thanks again for a great design and PC board. I built mine on a 12x7 chassis - I don't know how you did it with a 10x6. Highly recommend this build-worth the money!

MacL



Glad to see your build went well. A 10x6 is tight but it does work. I'm guessing it's so loud because of the highly efficient Fostex. I've been running mine on some old KLH bookshelf speakers I had laying around (87 db sensitivity I think) and it works just fine. Hooked up a powered sub I had lying around as well to add some bass extension and it sounds perfect! When I get around to it, I'm going to build enclosures for a pair of CSS EL70 drivers to use with this amp. How do the overnight sensations sound on it? I think those are roughly 88 db speakers IIRC...
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Re: It's alive!

Postby MacL » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:33 pm

Followup- Sounds great with Overnight Sensations-most listening still done on 1 or 2. Maybe 3 on rock or if in other room of the house.
3 watts stereo is very loud. I would encourage anyone to add a 3.5 mm jack to their unit. I have never used my smartphone for music until now. Hook the droid to my local network (avoid data charge) and stream free music. :{)
I would like to build my own FM stereo receiver next- but having problems finding a starting point (tube or ss)...
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Re: It's alive!

Postby Shannon Parks » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:03 am

MacL - could you post some pix of your custom chassis? I'd love to see it.

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