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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

DJ looking to build an odd project w/ class d amp
DJ looking to build an odd project w/ class d amp
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Old 17th January 2011, 02:47 AM   #1
kearnsentertainment is offline kearnsentertainment
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Default DJ looking to build an odd project w/ class d amp

I am a novice with board level electronics so please "dumb down" your response if possible.
I have a large PC case that i am wanting to build a carry around DJ system in (for small rooms). I am wanting to build my computer and amplifier into this case and mount my mixer on top.
I need to find the best way to produce around 300w@8ohm x 2 with light weight and low heat.
I am thinking there should be a good class d amp kit somewhere out there that would work well and not be too expensive.
I have some concern about shielding between the amp and pc but i would like to give it a try.

I am running 2 "large" dj systems now and they are serious overkill for some of my gigs and pulling a trailer everywhere gets expensive at the gas pump.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 19th January 2011, 01:20 AM   #2
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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Location: Carlisle, England
If you want serious lightweight the class d with a SMPS would be best.

However half bridge class d doesnt mix well with SMPS.

I would be looking for a full bridge class d and a SMPS to match.

If you choose not to go with a SMPS then you will need a heavy transformer.
Murton-Pike Systems PCBCAD51 pcb design software. http://www.murtonpikesystems.co.uk
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Old 23rd January 2011, 09:44 AM   #3
norazmi is offline norazmi  Malaysia
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agreed, also you need many elec caps with linear power supply.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 01:10 PM   #4
mr. doom is offline mr. doom  United States
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Location: Montana Missoula
I would not want to tote a PC around if size and weight were and issue.
A laptop and powered speakers seems more practical for this application.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 01:39 PM   #5
madtecchy is offline madtecchy  England
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Location: wigan
If you integrate the amplifier and pc it can be a real pain when somthing go's wrong.
"The show must go on" After all that is what you are paid for .Utmost reliability would be very high on my list of design prioritys.
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Old 25th January 2011, 04:22 PM   #6
fwki is offline fwki  United States
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This is not a difficult project relative to the typical project in these forums as long as you are famililiar with building PC's. I built a high quality embedded PC/amp with a little help from these forums and some excellent vendors. The hardest part was integrating multiple SMPS's with a single AC supply. The key to PC reliability is the power supply and motherboard OEM. My entire system is enclosed in an aluminum HTPC case with an 8" touchscreen control mounted on top. I doubt the whole thing weighs 20 pounds.

For the PC I used an Intel Mini-ITX Atom MB, 5.25" optical drive, 3.5" HDD, Winmate PSU and the PCB from a 19V brick SMPS. For the amp I used one of the Class D Audio Super D Series which are covered in depth in this forum and an SMPS from Connexelectronics (see the vendor forum). Tom from Class D and Cristi from Connex were very helpful.

The MB DAC was the weak link, so I used a USB DAC (DAC Cable from Headphonia) to drive the amp. I may try one of the HRT Music Streamers as a step-up, but my current system sounds great as-is.

With this level of amplification, lossy compression sounds terrible, so rip your music to wav or flac or other lossless. With 3 TB HDD's out there, space should be no problem.

The expansion slot covers on the back of the PC case are easlily modified to mount speaker connections and master volume pots. I used the back plate of an ATX PSU for the master power switch and AC cord connector, so mobilization is a breeze with just 2 speaker cables and one power cord. Even the touchscreen is powered from the internal PSU.

I have about $1000 into it, not counting software and music. I am using one of the many jukebox touch GUI's out there for song selection, album art, soft volume control, equalizer etc.

My next upgrade will be a MB with high def graphics so I can add music videos and concert movies to my collection. nVidia ION or the upcoming AMD's Brazos platform would have no problem driving hi def content with minimal power draw. My case has three 12cm fans undervolted to silence under positive pressure for dust avoidance, and at full speed they could cool anything. I have loaned it out for several parties to test durability and usability of the interface, and so far I have just had to disinfect it.
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