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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

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Old 16th August 2010, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Long term listener, first time caller :)

N00b in other words...

Considering I have some sort of engineering degree and an electrical engineer/radio geek for a father I am remarkably dense and hence have been relatively uninterested when it comes to electronics... however, I intend to rectify (ahem) that. I can't speak intelligently about anything more complicated than what a transistor and capacitor and resistor are - diodes confuse me... so getting all technical will have me averting my eyes and slowly stepping backwards out of range...

The degree was some 30+ years ago and everything I learned went up in a cloud of digital nonsense (and maybe some other 70s concoctions... but I digress) and while I can fix a lot of stuff - I can solder and follow a circuit and test with a multimeter - I am really barely as smart as a room full of chimps with typewriters...

So, putting to good use some of the skills I have managed to retain over the years, I though it might be a good idea to make a chipamp... for a number of reasons.

I am emigrating in a few weeks - to deepest, darkest Borneo... where there are going to be few parts suppliers, poor electricity, lots of rain and humidity - and bugs, lots of bugs...

I don't want my nice Audiolab stuff to rot away, nor my pretty laminated speakers get all grain-envy at all the natural hardwood about the place - they would probably peel away with the amount of moisture in the air.

To that end, I bought some M.O.T.R. (read - cheap!) Mordaunt Short speakers that don't seem to have ever seen the inside of a tree, a nice cheap CD player that I won't mind if it doesn't make it back to civilisation... but the amp - that was a dilemma.

One that not only could I build, but hopefully fix - when I'm not running from snakes, headhunters, orang-utans and ... my wife.

So, can anyone recommend a good kit - complete with all the components I will need as well as a recommendation for PS and case... I would be most obliged.

I am not expecting sonic awesomeness, so am prepared to be extremely pleased if I get it.

I am also hoping it will keep the monkeys at bay - the 1812 overture or some such - failing that, the Dead Kennedy's or Iggy should suffice...

If I ever get it to fruition, I will take both poetic license and make full use of my graphic skills and fashion a ChimpAmp logo for it, secure in the knowledge that not only are there no chimps on Borneo, but that I am smarter than one.

Any help or tips gratefully received.

PS - I did read the stickies, but the forums threads themselves lost me after LM3.... - I did try!
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Old 17th August 2010, 12:53 AM   #2
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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More info needed ... How much power do you need ?? Powered with Batteries or AC ?? if AC what is the Voltage in Borneo ?? Are you looking for a Kit that you can put together or do you want to built from Scratch (etch yer own PCB"s and source yer own parts) ??


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Old 17th August 2010, 01:03 AM   #3
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Location: Wirral UK
Hi Zootalaws.

If the mains power supply is going to be that dodgy, batteries may be worth considering. Also the extreme humidity may make mains power a bit risky.

Would you have enough sunlight to make solar charging possible or are you going to be under the canopy?

The sensitivity and impedance of your speakers will largely determine which chip would be the most suitable for your needs. As you mention the 1812 and punk I assume you would be looking towards the higher power end of chips. Especially if you want monkey startling volume levels.

I love the ChimpAmp name, I wish I had thought of that. "ChimpAmp, startling monkeys since 2010"

John
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Old 17th August 2010, 09:22 AM   #4
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240V AC - the supply is ok, just it goes off without notice.

Looking for premade PCBs and a kit with all the parts I need, amp and regulator/PS.

I have seen a number of cases that might suit - not sure of the calculation needed to work out heatsink size, etc. so if anyone has a tame case manufacturer they can point me to - bearing in mind I will be in Asia, so US suppliers are out - their shipping charges for things like that seem to be stratospheric.
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Old 17th August 2010, 09:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john blackburn View Post
...As you mention the 1812 and punk I assume you would be looking towards the higher power end of chips. Especially if you want monkey startling volume levels.
Mostly I listen to French Nu-Jazz, Lo-Fi, that sort of thing - but there are some old hangovers in the collection
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Old 17th August 2010, 10:43 AM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Location: Scottish Borders
buy a dual primary 115/230Vac 50/60Hz transformer.
Wire up the mains through an insulated terminal strip.
That allows use in almost every country on the planet.
It will even run from a 110V generator.

Choose a chipamp with "mute" facility. It prevents switch on and switch off artefacts getting to the speakers.
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Old 17th August 2010, 10:51 AM   #7
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I am not intending on going to any country that uses 110v, but the 'mute' is a great idea for flaky electrics, thanks.

This is pretty much my last leg of a 30-year round-the-world trip... once I have done 4 or so years in Borneo, it is back to NZ to rest my weary bones and watch my grandchildren (Im bound to have some by then!) grow up. Unless I end up staying there... who knows?
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Old 17th August 2010, 11:56 AM   #8
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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If humidity is a real issue (it will be ) then consider coating everything in a "conformal coating" laquer. Spray both sides of PCB, components as well.

http://cpc.farnell.com/electrolube/a...ing/dp/SA00362
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Old 17th August 2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for that - great tip! I guess I can get it from RS?
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