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Old 3rd June 2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default Western Electric 1928 - WE 555 Dissect, Design, DIY??

This is branched off from the western-electric-1928-how-far-have-we-come-last-100-years thread.

This part is about the reverse engineering, design, and possible DIY of the WE 555 driver. Also considered are related and unrelated drivers, and commercial clones of the 555.

To kick it off here are some random pix from around the web of the 555 and related products:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg z18.jpg (258.5 KB, 870 views)
File Type: jpg line magnetics 4-2.jpg (35.7 KB, 848 views)
File Type: jpg 555 guts.jpg (59.6 KB, 845 views)
File Type: jpg image_bc408bf88cf662aea4fbb3d3fcf80.jpg (19.3 KB, 826 views)
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Old 3rd June 2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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I would like to make computer model the physical driver if I could find some accurate measurements.

Here is a sweep of the 555.
Western Electric 555 driver SN 49771 sweep test - YouTube
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Old 3rd June 2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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That is a 555 driver, but it doesn't provide any useful information.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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lol, about as much as four static pictures.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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actually the static pictures show a lot about the design and construction. You could build one with just those pictures, if you had some background knowledge.

The real problem in building one DIY is not the dimensions or the basic design, since the basic design is in the patent... something to think about here.

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fwiw the 3rd picture is a WE but not a 555...
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Old 3rd June 2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
The real problem in building one DIY is not the dimensions or the basic design, since the basic design is in the patent... something to think about here.
The diaphragm looks like the bottom of a pop can, apart from the tangential ribs for a surround. Perhaps a thin flat rubber disk, or even a standard spider, could serve as a surround. Use the pop can sides as a voice coil former.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The real problem in building one DIY is not the dimensions or the basic design, since the basic design is in the patent... something to think about here.

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Are you sure about that?

I'm not sure what you are going to gain without hands on experimentation.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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Ron, I suspect the stiffness and the mass of the surround is an important design criterion?

But that would be a way to at least get something going on the cheap... or some method akin to that...

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Old 4th June 2012, 10:35 AM   #9
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I think the first and fourth are 555 and the other 2 are more modern. If you want to get to the sound of a 15a you need to get the operating range down to the point of being useful in a full range horn. Low resonance and high Excursion will be the greatest challenge.

Line drawings of the 555 show the reversing sphere cross section and simple phase plug, like the first and fourth picture.
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Old 4th June 2012, 12:00 PM   #10
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the second one is a Line Magnetics driver, probably a clone of the later WE594 (do I have the number right?) and the third one is a WE594 showing the phase plug and the field coil.

Afaik, almost all the compression drivers operate below their fundamental resonance frequency when loaded with a horn. I find that a bit confusing, but iirc this is correct...

I be no expert on this.

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