diyAudio - abraxalito
Go Back   Home > Forums > Blogs

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Old

I found some more suitable EDLCs

Posted 25th August 2014 at 06:09 AM by abraxalito
Updated 26th August 2014 at 07:52 AM by abraxalito

Many hours can be whiled away trawling through stuff on Taobao - most recently I've been browsing the selection of electrical double layer caps (aka EDLCs, supercaps).

I looked at supercaps many years ago when they first showed up in the Farnell catalogue, initially they were designed for back-up memory purposes and always had very high ESRs so weren't much good for power supplies where any kind of current is needed. That seems to have changed and now the caps are finding their way into all kinds of energy storage applications where high pulse currents are required. ESRs have dropped to where they're attractive for audio applications which call for a really stiff power supply down to low frequencies.

The current crop (in the pic) are made by Samwha (a Korean firm) and are really nice and affordable here - 4.5rmb a piece (about $0.70). That's for a 2.7V 100F size which comes in a 22mm diameter can, 45mm tall. A 7cap hexacap packs about the same energy and roughly...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Samwha100F.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	117.5 KB
ID:	1374  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 130 Comments 6 abraxalito is offline
Old

DAC filter for discrete buffer

Posted 14th August 2014 at 11:44 PM by abraxalito
Updated 22nd August 2014 at 03:56 AM by abraxalito

Here's the next experiment - a higher working impedance anti-imaging filter which allows operation without any active voltage gain stage following it. Its also one you can build with Mouser parts - Fastron make inductors suitable for this - substitute their 27mH for the 30mH for only a modest degradation in the FR. Or add a Panasonic 2.7mH in series with the 27mH if you'd like to go the whole hog.

The frequency response is -3dB at 18.5kHz and about -55dB by 24.1kHz. Passband ripple is <0.3dB.

Update - after winding all the coils I realized that I don't have a system right now to slot a full bandwidth DAC into - mine at present is fully activated. So to test out the buffer design's audible qualities I need to build a limited bandwidth DAC (for my bass/mid, up to 3.5kHz). Hence another version of the bass/mid LPF is called for, with the highest possible working impedance. Turns out I can wind a 125mH coil with wire which doesn't break too easily (0.13mm dia)...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Discretebuf-filter.jpg
Views:	81
Size:	35.8 KB
ID:	1365   Click image for larger version

Name:	DACdiscreteRF.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	85.5 KB
ID:	1366   Click image for larger version

Name:	3k5LPF1800.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	31.4 KB
ID:	1367  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 147 Comments 1 abraxalito is offline
Old

Hexasupercap

Posted 30th July 2014 at 09:06 AM by abraxalito
Updated 9th August 2014 at 12:30 AM by abraxalito

Here's a hexacap built with 10F caps, so the total capacitance is 610F. The individual caps have ESRs varying from around 30mohms to 60mhoms - I weeded out those above 60mohms with the aim of getting the ESR (and hence total impedance) below 1mohm for all audio frequencies.

The caps are rated at 2.7V which is plenty enough for powering a stack of TDA1387s. Just they take a while to charge up - with around 500mA being fed in the voltage takes almost an hour to reach 2.7V from cold. I've been forming them up and the leakage current seems to be stabilizing now, around 30mA, or 0.5mA per cap.

Update - I've installed this beneath a stack of 6 TDA1387s and been listening for a couple of days. The long and the short of it is there's now no going back to 'conventional' caps, supercaps are here to stay in my DAC designs. The improvement in SQ is rather hard to describe in words - its lower colouration to the LF which might be described as improved 'weight' or 'authority'....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010126.JPG
Views:	73
Size:	678.5 KB
ID:	1357  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 248 Comments 5 abraxalito is offline
Old

Cheapest 32bit CPU to date...

Posted 22nd July 2014 at 07:22 AM by abraxalito
Updated 22nd August 2014 at 04:17 AM by abraxalito

These Cortex M0 modules are 14rmb on Taobao, just over $2 a pop, with more number crunching speed than my first ever PC (40DMIPs).

The CPU is the STM32F030, a 48MHz devuce with limited I/O (I2C, SPI) in a 20 pin TSSOP. The going rate for this chip is 2.4rmb ($0.40).

I have an idea to build a DAC with a handful of these little beauties carrying out some of the filtering.

Update - a price drop just happened on Taobao to a similar board, now down to 9.9rmb - http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...32&ns=1#detail

Pic attached of this mind-numbingly affordable board.

Aliexpress has the boards I bought now, priced at $6.20 but this includes 'free' shipping - http://www.aliexpress.com/item/stm32...701304725.html
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CortexM0.jpg
Views:	54
Size:	129.6 KB
ID:	1356   Click image for larger version

Name:	stm32f99.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	54.3 KB
ID:	1368  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 208 Comments 1 abraxalito is offline
Old

First prototype PCB-based hexacap

Posted 21st July 2014 at 11:59 PM by abraxalito

Seeing as building hexacaps with wire is very time consuming, I'm investigating ways to get the production cost down. Here's my first attempt at a PCB hexacap, using 2oz copper - I did the layout on EasyEDA - Web-Based EDA, schematic capture, spice circuit simulation and PCB layout Online

Once I've ironed out the minor errors on the groundfill I'll make the PCB public so anyone can order up their own. There are 127 caps on this board giving a 50Hz capacitive reactance just under 8mohms.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PCBhexa.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	134.0 KB
ID:	1355  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 154 Comments 0 abraxalito is offline
Old

The real story about closed vs open loop class D amps

Posted 11th July 2014 at 12:11 AM by abraxalito
Updated 23rd July 2014 at 09:51 AM by abraxalito

Very interesting paper which I'd not come across before which poses about as many questions as it answers. Thanks to Bob Cordell mentioning it in his book, here's the link :

http://www.eetasia.com/STATIC/PDF/20...URCES=DOWNLOAD

Compare the FFT in fig3 (closed loop) with fig4 (open loop) in the text - which do you think will sound better?

Here's my take on what the paper is claiming, FWIW. That PSRR measurements when the amp has a BTL (balanced) output aren't appropriate because there is output stage cancelling of them. My first head-scratch moment came because this is true of other amp topologies too, not just classD as BTL outputs are very much alive and well in NXP's range of chipamps for automotive use. So why restrict this to just classD?

Secondly what's the argument that PSRR in BTL amps isn't appropriate? They seem to be saying (though they don't express this very clearly) that whilst output stage...
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Posted in Power chip amps
Views 419 Comments 17 abraxalito is offline
Old

Amplifier-centric two-way XO (and system) design

Posted 3rd July 2014 at 04:30 AM by abraxalito
Updated 5th July 2014 at 02:55 PM by abraxalito

The traditional view is that the speakers are the weakest link of the audio system and hence they're not really designed with amplifiers in mind. Why make amp design easier when speakers are plenty hard enough to get right?

In my experience speakers don't contribute very much to the listening satisfaction. They're more a matter of taste, but a much better speaker can't undo the faults of an amplifier (or DAC for that matter). That's not to say some speakers don't sound better than others - I mostly prefer my Paiyons to the much cheaper Denons but their 'betterness' is orthogonal to the way to the manner DACs and amps sound better. Electronics has had the biggest impact on my listening satisfaction so far so here is an XO designed to make the electronics' job as easy as possible.

Given that the critical parameters of an amp designed for listener satisfaction aren't THD+N and FR, rather multitone IMD (aka MTPR) and PSRR it makes sense that an amp is given the narrowest...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	twowaysch.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	56.4 KB
ID:	1319   Click image for larger version

Name:	twowayXO.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	83.3 KB
ID:	1320  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 320 Comments 5 abraxalito is offline
Old

Tweeter DAC

Posted 22nd June 2014 at 04:24 AM by abraxalito
Updated 25th June 2014 at 05:49 AM by abraxalito

Hexacaps have their limitations - they provide a great low impedance for lower freqs but according to my LCR meter, turn inductive for frequencies in the mid-single digit kHz. Which is about the lower edge of the passband for a tweeter. So what to do to get a low impedance power supply to a DAC chip from 4kHz and up? Here's my first attempt - there are 7 TDA1387s each sandwiched between two low ESR 4700uF lytics. Sandwiching them together is an attempt to get the inductance as low as possible - the loop area can't practically get any smaller than this. Getting the wires in has tested my patience and that's even before powering the beast up....

Update - well I could have been knocked over with a feather - this worked first time I plugged it in. So now I'm thinking about how to build a markII version, considering if I can get more decoupling close in....
Oh I'm now not sure that my bandpass tweeter filter is really delivering the goods as per its simulation. Connecting...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PtweeterDAC6.JPG
Views:	110
Size:	690.7 KB
ID:	1316   Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010117.JPG
Views:	91
Size:	680.0 KB
ID:	1317  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 411 Comments 7 abraxalito is offline
Old

Just for fun - an ultra-low impedance AIF

Posted 18th June 2014 at 11:40 PM by abraxalito

DIYing high enough Q inductors for anti-imaging filters is a bit of a challenge so here's another way to approach this. I found its possible to build very high Q inductors by simply slipping ferrite beads over a fairly thick copper wire. The limitation though is that the beads I have offer about 1.2uH per bead. So making a ferrite bead version of a 660uH inductor will call for over 500 beads - rather impractical.

To make such a ferrite bead inductor filter a practical possibility its necessary to work at a much lower impedance. I've taken a 1ohm working impedance inititally to develop this filter. Now the largest inductor just needs 10 beads. Given this very low impedance the post-amplifier's noise performance becomes rather a challenge - but a transformer will probably do the trick nicely. I plan to try this with a 1:7 step up trafo and see how it goes.

This kind of filter is probably very suitable for DACs with higher output current - the communications type...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ultra-low-Z-AIF.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	32.9 KB
ID:	1308  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 186 Comments 0 abraxalito is offline
Old

Tweeter line level passive XO

Posted 13th June 2014 at 04:47 AM by abraxalito
Updated 16th June 2014 at 04:51 AM by abraxalito

I'm really impressed with the bang for the buck with my 228rmb speakers, but have a theory they're rather being limited by their crossover. Especially the first order tweeter crossover which hasn't enough LF rejection.

In search of a steeper XO for the tweeter I've decided to go the whole hog and design a kick-*** filter that'll allow me to fully activate these puppies and see just how much they're limited by their electronics. kinku just pointed me to a filter design program called AADE which I've just finished using to design my first LC bandpass filter.

Its bandpass because I want to stick it straight after the DAC and it needs the anti-imaging function, meaning a steep low pass around 18kHz. The tweeter doesn't need this as they're fairly low on IMD, but the tweeter amp sure benefits from having no ultrasonics. Hence here is my first attempt at a tweeter bandpass filter, to go between the DAC and a dedicated tweeter amp.

For now I'll use the TDA1521...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PLLtweeterXO.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	37.5 KB
ID:	1303   Click image for larger version

Name:	TWeeter bandpass FR.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	95.3 KB
ID:	1304   Click image for larger version

Name:	TweeterXO.JPG
Views:	83
Size:	716.7 KB
ID:	1305   Click image for larger version

Name:	5thordertweet.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	38.7 KB
ID:	1307  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 443 Comments 17 abraxalito is offline
Hide this!Advertise here!

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:00 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2