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Old 30th August 2011, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default diy turntable project... advice needed

hey everyone.. ive decided i needed a turntable, as im buying all my music in vinyl form, and i believe i can actually get most of it, including the really new stuff on vinyl... and i was looking for an analog source

so... im the type that likes to build everything themselves, so i have advanced knowledge in fabricating many things, not so much in the electronics aspect yet though

my idea was to make a wooden tone arm that is mounted with ball bearings... ill try to describe this idea...

there will be a block of wood cut to a squared off U shape.. a bottom and two sides, in the bottom will be an abec-7 or abec-8 ball bearing.. and in the sides will be two of the same bearings.. the bottom bearing will be bolted to the table and the entire block will pivot around this bearing (i will probably use some means of mounting it to absorb vibration)... the arm will fit through the middle of the block with a shaft going through it and fixed to the side bearings allowing it to pivot up and down... tone arm will be cut from wood with a groove hollowed out on the bottom side for the wires to fit into, and that groove size will either be covered with a thin piece of trim wood, or just filled in with wood putty.. or if the wires fit in snug enough, i could just leave it open

i would fab a cartridge if i knew enough about that, but ill probably just buy one with an elliptical stereo stylus and mount that to the arm which will be counterbalanced

since im just listening to music, not doing any DJ or mixing stuff, i will probably go with a belt drive, platter i would probably make out of wood as well and line the top with a soft cork mat....

my questions are specifications i would need for a motor... i already have a 12v DC adapter, so a 12v DC motor would work, but what specs of a basic, run of the mill motor should i look for, and what will i need for electronics to switch between 33 1/3 and 45rpms on the platter?.. obviously im going to need a motor, basic electronics, and a specific set of pullys, and thats what im stuck on at this point... i could use a large rubber o-ring for the belt.. and im looking for low cost, but good quality sound for listening purposes...

thanks in advance for any help i recieve.
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Old 30th August 2011, 08:44 PM   #2
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimusDivinus View Post
hey everyone.. ive decided i needed a turntable, as im buying all my music in vinyl form, and i believe i can actually get most of it, including the really new stuff on vinyl... and i was looking for an analog source

so... im the type that likes to build everything themselves, so i have advanced knowledge in fabricating many things, not so much in the electronics aspect yet though

my idea was to make a wooden tone arm that is mounted with ball bearings... ill try to describe this idea...

there will be a block of wood cut to a squared off U shape.. a bottom and two sides, in the bottom will be an abec-7 or abec-8 ball bearing.. and in the sides will be two of the same bearings.. the bottom bearing will be bolted to the table and the entire block will pivot around this bearing (i will probably use some means of mounting it to absorb vibration)... the arm will fit through the middle of the block with a shaft going through it and fixed to the side bearings allowing it to pivot up and down... tone arm will be cut from wood with a groove hollowed out on the bottom side for the wires to fit into, and that groove size will either be covered with a thin piece of trim wood, or just filled in with wood putty.. or if the wires fit in snug enough, i could just leave it open

i would fab a cartridge if i knew enough about that, but ill probably just buy one with an elliptical stereo stylus and mount that to the arm which will be counterbalanced

since im just listening to music, not doing any DJ or mixing stuff, i will probably go with a belt drive, platter i would probably make out of wood as well and line the top with a soft cork mat....

my questions are specifications i would need for a motor... i already have a 12v DC adapter, so a 12v DC motor would work, but what specs of a basic, run of the mill motor should i look for, and what will i need for electronics to switch between 33 1/3 and 45rpms on the platter?.. obviously im going to need a motor, basic electronics, and a specific set of pullys, and thats what im stuck on at this point... i could use a large rubber o-ring for the belt.. and im looking for low cost, but good quality sound for listening purposes...

thanks in advance for any help i recieve.
Mr. Divinus,

I would recommend doing a search here on diyAudio for diy turntables and arms to see what others have used or adapted. FWIW: a fair number of people on this, and other forums, have done Turntables that have turned out very nice.

Best Regards,
TerryO
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Old 30th August 2011, 09:14 PM   #3
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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I have once been into building turntable, or rather rebuilding
airborne tangential arm etc
but have no vinyl today

but when I see al the nice parts available today
motors, pulleys, and all other hard to do stuff
gets my hart beating

I think I would do a two-pulley design
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Old 30th August 2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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I liked the idea of the graphite golf club shaft for tone arm. You can get used clubs for $3-$5 or free. Shape is like a lot of arms and they typicaly are very straight and stable.
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Old 30th August 2011, 11:08 PM   #5
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hmm.. golf club shaft sounds interesting.. what about a section of a graphite fishing rod?.. those tend to be hollow too for the wiring... or maybe a carbon-fiber arrow shaft?.. or maybe even just a bulk length of carbon fiber tubing? i can buy carbon fiber tubing on amazon in 2 foot lengths for about $3-5 for various diameters.. i could epoxy glue a piece on the end to hold the cartridge... but if i did use a carbon or graphite shaft.. im not sure how that would work with the wooden materials in the rest of it.. i would probably have to replace all of it... but i guess that wouldnt be too hard either... i could probably get a carbon fiber block
also, wood is pretty rigid, but allows shock absorbtion, seems like it might be a nice material, and its easy to work with.. thats one reason i was considering that

actually.. im a bit of a minimalist, and enjoy building things with unconventional materials, or just really, really inexpensive, off the shelf materials... im kind of curious as to what a PVC-pipe tonearm would sound like.. i would just have a 4-way fitting of PVC pipe.. a 1/4 or 1/2 inch outter diameter pipe coming out of each end.. two sides go through the inside of the bearings which might be aluminum pillow blocks, and the front side would be the arm, back side would be an extention to hold a counterweight... maybe by simply filling the tail section with lead weights or sand..... i dunno, its still in brainstorming phases anyway
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Old 30th August 2011, 11:12 PM   #6
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i still have a lot of thinking to do about this.. but that aside my plan for the platter was to make a wooden platter with a cork mat on top.. suspended by an abec bearing to the rest of the table with a pully on the underside of it to match with the pully of the motor... simple, i already have an excess of abec-7 bearings, with the wooden arm im looking at a sub $20 project for the entire player with what i would believe to be quality sound... ive noticed wood always achieves good results with music and acoustics, which is why its still used for musical instruments

Last edited by AnimusDivinus; 30th August 2011 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 31st August 2011, 04:16 AM   #7
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My tonearm is made from MDF and friend who made it,did a lot of tests of different materials,but not the carbon-fibre.At the moment he is testing his new tangential design and again he used the MDF,but he will do a test with graphite shaft too.My tonearm overkill the REGA RB300,HELIUS ORION,MYWARE F4,etc.You can saw the pics on the THREE MOTOR TURNTABLE thread
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Old 31st August 2011, 04:28 AM   #8
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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I built an arm from thick fishing rod

I would suggest to try balsa wood
could be treated in many different ways
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Old 31st August 2011, 04:15 PM   #9
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i was thinking i could buy a single board of red oak to make the chassis, platter, and tone arm... and maybe make additional tone arms later to toy around with
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Old 31st August 2011, 05:31 PM   #10
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question... what if someone made a record player that was sorta C shaped from the side.. the tips would hold the record.. and along the piece across the top would be a rail that slides back and forth carrying the cartridge?.. instead of an arm youd have a rail that held the cartridge, free to move inwards and outwards as the music progresses?... would be really simple, with a hinge on the top section to remove records
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