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Old 27th December 2006, 05:20 AM   #1
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Default Dantimax based Preamp

With some money I received for Christmas, I would like to upgrade from my Pioneer receiver to higher quality DIY components.

First I'm looking at getting a preamp so that when I build some amplifiers, I'll have a method of controlling them.

Being rather inexperienced with actually building any kits (I'm only a highschool student so I'm mainly limited to only reading about projects due to limited funds) I'm looking for some nice kits to get me where I want to go.

First off, I'm aiming for only 2 channel audio. I've decided my surround sound amp is a bit excessive for stereo.

Second, I love my remote control. I want to keep a remote in the system.

Third, I like having a graphical display of volume level.

So I'm looking at getting a kit from Dantimax, however I'm a little confused with what I need to get.

At the moment I think I need:

(1) ChipVol1 - no buffer
(1) Input 1
(1) Philips RU254 Remote
(1) LCD16x2RB
(1) 8.5 and 15V transformer

I know I need some type of control board, but I'm confused on this. I think I need the Control2 because it has the capability to control the LCD display, but I don't understand what the buttons or encoders are. If the buttons are button selectors for the channels like the Control1 board has, I want that, but what are the encoders?

Then, I need to find a power supply source. Am I correct in assuming I will need a Standby1 kit if I want a remote switch on?

This should be everything I need correct?

My last question is how does the relay powering work? If I were to build a gainclone at a later date and what to switch in through the preamp, how does this work? Is it a signal it sends to tell another power supply to wake up, or is it a switched outlet like some electronics have?
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Old 27th December 2006, 02:13 PM   #2
SRMcGee is offline SRMcGee  United States
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LightwaveDude:

I'm in the middle of my own Aikido / Dantimax preamplifier project and can tell you that Mikkel Simonsen, who runs Dantimax, has been exceptionally helpful in the selection of parts and in helping me to work my way through the assembly. I suggest you e-mail him with your questions; it sometimes takes him a while to respond, but he will get back to you. He has been very gracious and I can't recommend his kits and services highly enough.

Regards,
Scott
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Old 27th December 2006, 02:28 PM   #3
SRMcGee is offline SRMcGee  United States
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LightwaveDude:

Sorry, but I ended my last message prematurely. I have a few answers to your questions, but others who know far more than me are encouraged to respond as well.

1. The encoders are the volume control and (where applicable) the selector switch. Both operate digitally (meaning that the actual audio signal does not run through the encoders) and simply tell the Control PCB to alter the volume and source selection. I think that modern car stereos use encoders -- the dials rotate without any stops, though the source selector encoder that I am using does have detents.

2. The power supplied by my Input1 PCB is sufficient to power everything in my Dantimax system; I trust the same goes for the ChipVol1 PCB.

3. I screwed this up (and Mikkel is now helping me through the problem), so this one I'm pretty sure of. On my Input1 PCB, there is a power relay header. It provides power (in my case, about 4.9VDC) when the Dantimax system is turned on. You could tap off of that header (asuming it's on your PCB) to drive a relay which, in turn, could provide power to your Gainclone or switched outlet. Incidentally, the fact that I messed this up is purely a reflection of the inadequacy of my skills, not Mikkel's work.

Regards,
Scott
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Old 27th December 2006, 02:46 PM   #4
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OK, Thank you SRMcGee, That helps a lot. It sounds like what I want is the Control2 board with buttons for source selection and one encoder for volume control.

Also, thank you for confirming that the transformer powering the Input1 board will provide power to all the other components I need.

However, I still would like to know if I need the Standby1 kit to power it all in standby mode.

Lastly, what type of experience do you, SRMcGee, or anybody else who has built Dantimax kits, have with soldering and other kits? I'm brand new to electronics (I've done a couple of sub boxes), so would a total newb be able to solder these together correctly without ruining the boards?
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Old 27th December 2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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Forgot one of my questions.

When working with the LCD screen, how does one change the labels for the separate inputs? Does one need to have a programming [workstation, board, etc.] in order to reprogram the chip on the Control2 board, or is there a built in interface for that?
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Old 27th December 2006, 08:28 PM   #6
SRMcGee is offline SRMcGee  United States
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LightwaveDude:

A couple of thoughts: first, I consider myself a newbie. I've built a Bottlehead Foreplay preamp, an AES SuperAmp Signature and some Gainclones, but in each case I either followed step-by-step instructions or was principally populating a circuit board. I found most of the Dantimax assembly process to be straightforward, though I did have questions along the way and did need some help from Mikkel Simonsen, which he provided quickly and without complaint. You need to take your time to minimize mistakes (bad soldering, etc). A fine-tipped soldering iron helps a lot. The rest you'll learn along the way.

Programming the display is very simple and no additional equipment is needed; the included manual walks you through the process.

If your setup is similar to mine, you won't need the Standby1 kit. In my case, the transformer powering the Dantimax PCBs is dedicated to that purpose; if the main power switch is on, the Dantimax boards are powered. Another on/off switch is connected to the Control board, and either that switch or the remote toggles the Dantimax PCBs between standby mode and "on". When the Dantimax boards are turned on, the remote power header on the Input1 board trips a relay which, in turn, toggles the transformers for the rest of the preamp on. If the ChipVol1 board offers a similar feature, you'll be set.

Regards,
Scott
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Old 28th December 2006, 12:43 AM   #7
bowdown is offline bowdown  Australia
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Hey Lightwavw dude try these posts theres quite a lot of info on them as others have asked similar questions. By the way i bought a kit from Mikkel about a year ago and its still running superbly he was really good to deal with too!!


Remote control kits

Dantimax Volume Control an Aleph P1.7

hope this helps u out.

Cheers

Bowdown
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