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Old 23rd February 2016, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default Remote volume control knob for old preamp

I am new to this forum and I have an old preamp and all knobs are rotary and there is no remote control. I want to try and craft a remote for the volume. I found this picture on the internet to illustrate my point. I don't want use a rubber band but I am curious if there are aftermarket options anywhere for slipping a knob control over the volume knob or something similar to get remote volume. Can anyone offer some thoughts?
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Old 23rd February 2016, 07:26 PM   #2
DF96 is online now DF96  England
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Looks like a good way to wear out the pot bearings, and so achieve a short but happy life for this old technology.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 08:05 PM   #3
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsewhere View Post
if there are aftermarket options anywhere for slipping a knob control over the volume knob
or something similar to get remote volume.
I'd mount the motor in front of the volume control, with a flexible shaft coupler joining the
knob-less volume control shaft to the motor. Ugly, but effective.
Something like this: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1175

Last edited by rayma; 23rd February 2016 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 09:14 PM   #4
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Why not replaced the original potentiometer for a motorized one ? You can build the PCB in the case too. Drill a small hole for the IR eye and you are done.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 09:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsewhere View Post
I am new to this forum and I have an old preamp and all knobs are rotary and there is no remote control. I want to try and craft a remote for the volume. I found this picture on the internet to illustrate my point. I don't want use a rubber band but I am curious if there are aftermarket options anywhere for slipping a knob control over the volume knob or something similar to get remote volume. Can anyone offer some thoughts?
I thought about a similar thing too - if you're the kind of person who swaps pre-amps regularly enough then you don't want to keep replacing the volume control with a motorised Alps, costing you time and money and devaluing the pre-amp in the process (people don't like modded stuff in general).

I would do it differently in that I would use a belt/string that wound around the knob a few times tightly perhaps with a spring tension - like the string used on many tuner/receiver dials, connecting to the tuner knob. That way the tension in the string is used to increase the grip on the volume knob and not in pulling the knob in one direction (and therefore potentially damaging the pot).

Or.. because most knobs are attached via grub screw, simply replace the knob with a toothed one of some description (look inside an old printer for some spare parts to play with) and use a toothed belt.

Or as above but using secondhand lego gears with a remote control - Lego Bionicle remote control sets seem to be about 10 on ebay.

Otherwise, if it's a pre-amp you intend to keep, I'd go for a digitally controlled volume kit using the Muses chip and replace the volume pot with an associated rotary data thingamy.

Last edited by NATDBERG; 23rd February 2016 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:07 PM   #6
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OP wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by elsewhere View Post
I am new to this forum and I have an old preamp and all knobs are rotary and there is no remote control. I want to try and craft a remote for the volume.
If my english deciphering tactics work OK then I may conclude that it seems that the device will stay in the chain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NATDBERG View Post
I thought about a similar thing too - if you're the kind of person who swaps pre-amps regularly enough then you don't want to keep replacing the volume control with a motorised Alps, costing you time and money and devaluing the pre-amp in the process (people don't like modded stuff in general).

I would do it differently in that I would use a belt/string that wound around the knob a few times tightly perhaps with a spring tension - like the string used on many tuner/receiver dials, connecting to the tuner knob. That way the tension in the string is used to increase the grip on the volume knob and not in pulling the knob in one direction (and therefore potentially damaging the pot).

Or.. because most knobs are attached via grub screw, simply replace the knob with a toothed one of some description (look inside an old printer for some spare parts to play with) and use a toothed belt.

Otherwise, if it's a pre-amp you intend to keep, I'd go for a digitally controlled volume kit using the Muses chip and replace the volume pot with an associated rotary data thingamy.
There is a reason some people don't like modded stuff. It depends how it is done and in most cases it looks severely DIY from miles away. So the challenge is to do it in such a way that it seems factory made. Simple, only costs some more thinking, some more preparation and thus more hours (and some more sweat). Eternal fame will result from the results of YOUR work. Please be aware that it is also still not forbidden in 2016 to deliver quality.

I am sure the belt and string approach has some negative effects on resale value of the device too

BTW don't go with digital volume control. It is less OK compared to a good quality stepped attenuator or a good quality potentiometer. Some are very good but for some reason they look very out of place in old analog devices. Did not give me satisfaction (taste/personal preference so nothing technical against it). Same counts for the belt as pictured in the first post. I would rather buy another remote controlled device than going that route. Must be a heavy burden on the soul of a technical person to make stuff work like that. Square wheels and all that.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 23rd February 2016 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:30 PM   #7
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Here's someone's Arduino based solution:

https://www.waste.org/~knobs/arduino...e_control.html
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:32 PM   #8
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Yeah it sure does look professionally done. Creative solution though. Resale value is also unharmed

How people can do things like this is beyond my imagination. Maybe the internet generation has fear opening devices ? Or has extreme apping made the brains to do stuff the most illogical way ?

If "cheap and fast" are the most important parameters check this one out:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2CH-Remote-M...-/111333858449

You can use it without display.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 23rd February 2016 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
OP wrote:



If my english deciphering tactics work OK then I may conclude that it seems that the device will stay in the chain.
I disagree - there is nothing to say that the "old preamp" has been in Elsewhere's posession for any length of time or if they wish to keep it for any time longer. Not so much in the language but in the assumptions made/logical analysis (i.e. only using the facts presented)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
There is a reason some people don't like modded stuff. It depends how it is done and in most cases it looks severely DIY from miles away. So the challenge is to do it in such a way that it seems factory made. Simple, only costs some more thinking, some more preparation and thus more hours (and some more sweat). Eternal fame will result from the results of YOUR work. Please be aware that it is also still not forbidden in 2016 to deliver quality.
True to a certain degree but if you look at people's comments on forums asking about this or that piece of equipment, the general opinion is to give a modified piece of kit the miss because you have no idea how good that modification is or if there are any other failed fixes involved too somewhere.. it introduces doubt into people's minds. At least that's is the reaction of the general public.. Originallity is an important factor with hifi - people want to hear how it originally sounded and to hear the same as all others listening to the same equipment on the forums..

For seasoned DIYers the thought process might be completely different! Unless of course there are Black Gates as part of the mods to be removed and resold as if they are gold nuggets.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
I am sure the belt and string approach has some negative effects on resale value of the device too
I mean that you could do this on the outside just like the example in the picture so that it can be removed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
BTW don't go with digital volume control. It is less OK compared to a good quality stepped attenuator or a good quality potentiometer. Some are very good but for some reason they look very out of place in old analog devices. Did not give me satisfaction (taste/personal preference so nothing technical against it). Same counts for the belt as pictured in the first post. I would rather buy another remote controlled device than going that route. Must be a heavy burden on the soul of a technical person to make stuff work like that. Square wheels and all that.
I don't know... the Muses 72320V chip has been compared on this forum to some well made and well regarded stepped attenuators and subjectively chosen to be better sounding. But of course, as you say, it is a personal thing. It wouldn't be seen so it shouldn't "look" out of place (only in your heavy heart will you know..... )
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
Yeah it sure does look professionally done. Creative solution though. Resale value is also unharmed

How people can do things like this is beyond my imagination. Maybe the internet generation has fear opening devices ? Or has extreme apping made the brains to do stuff the most illogical way ?

If "cheap and fast" are the most important parameters check this one out:

2CH Remote Motor Alps Volume Potentiometer Control Adjust 50K 6 w Remote | eBay

You can use it without display.
I think they probably don't want to get involved inside, too worried to harm it in some way... and some people just love Arduino! It's what they know, a challenge.

I just looked at that cheap and fast solution too - if the remote wasn't so horrible, it could be a good solution for the Bruno Putzey preamp I want to build (although I'm not sure how good the tracking will be or the durability..). Definately a good temporary solution!
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