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Old 14th November 2002, 03:21 AM   #1
JDeV is offline JDeV  South Africa
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Default Aleph30 - My 1st time.

Just a story.
So you heard about building your own amplifier. Maybe you must give it a try. Then you search the NET for a good circuit, but not difficult, this will be your 1st time so you want to have it easy. You get 100's of circuits, then you get to Pass Labs. You read about "Class A" amps, "Pure Class A", "Single Ended" and it just sounds better and better. And then.... you find their circuits. Now you really hooked, start searching more about how good they are (those Pass amps), read the reviews, read the forum articles. You MUST have 1. O.K. decide which 1 you like the better, or can afford the better , you start asking THE questions, (allthough others asked it already, you want to make sure and know yourself), What size transformer will do the job, what quality caps must I use, what size heatsinks do you need, are there PCB's available somewhere, where must I get all these things????
So you get all the parts, order a custom made transformer, for which you must wait 3 weeks in RSA, find some sort of heatsinks and start to assemble. Assembly done, checked and rechecked component lay-out and orientation, now to switch on.

I could not wait for the transformer, so just hooked up 1 I already had, a bit under rated, but will do for now. (Gives 20V on the rails)
1St switch on with no input and no load, . Hookup a little 10ohm 10 Watt resistor, (all I had), still no input and switch on again. Within 3 sec. this resistor start smoking. No, what now?? Switch off, check all again, can find nothing wrong, switch on - get 16V d.c. on load resistor, still without an input signal. What, what, what??? After going over the circuit again and again, there it was. Shamed to say, but suppose it can happen and DID happen, all Zeners was turned around Corrected mistakes, praid all else was still well, switch on again. Resistor cool as an Eskimo. Voltages perfect. Connect an old speaker, which friend borrowed to me with the understanding that he might get back a magnet with a paper cone in front, connect the input, switch on again, what did I see, hear, feel...., beautifull, sweet, gorgeous, pure NOTHING!!! Check speaker, dead. Measure all again, all good. Connect nother speaker. Perfect! (or near perfect anyway). Turned out that speaker was dead before I connected, not funny. What a relieve and experience. All voltages measured just fine. What is true, these Class A amps are PURE, within 30 minutes I measured 70°C direct on MOSFET's. Must have big heatsink. So not to BURN them in , just put some 12v fans on them till bigger, better, smarter heatsinks arrive.

So far this project is very enjoyable. Matching the FETs were no problem, out of 24 IRFP250's, the biggest differance was 27mV.
Next is the other channel, which is just a repeat of the 1st 1, with zener's the correct way I tested with my CD player (Yamaha CDX480) connected direct to amp, without any pre-amp. Works beautifull. HOW??? CD player got own output level control

1 Question:
I see a tiny little signal on output when input are disconnected, only 10mV pp @ 100Hz, where can it be from and is it normal?

Thanx to all for all help so far, and Panos, your PCB's work perfect.
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Old 14th November 2002, 03:26 AM   #2
halojoy is offline halojoy  Sweden
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the 100 Hz signal is normal
it comes from powersupply
bridge rectifiers doubles the 50 Hz

when a connector is unplugged, it can act as a little receiving antenna
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Old 14th November 2002, 04:36 AM   #3
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Hi JDeV,

Great story with a happy ending (at least up to this point).

the 100Hz 10mV is power supply ripple. It's really not bad unless you have very efficient speakers.

Maybe you have some pics you can post?
Rodd Yamashita
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Old 14th November 2002, 06:32 PM   #4
Taco is offline Taco  Netherlands
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Great story, I think it was very difficult to get the parts all over to another continent .

I just finished my Bride of Zen pre-amp, it worked the first-time. What am I lucky. If I have pictures I open also a thread.
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Old 15th November 2002, 02:40 AM   #5
JDeV is offline JDeV  South Africa
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Default Pictures

As Rodd requested, here are some pics.

The Construction Site:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg site.jpg (50.4 KB, 1394 views)
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Old 15th November 2002, 02:41 AM   #6
JDeV is offline JDeV  South Africa
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Wired for Sound:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg a30-1.jpg (47.8 KB, 1385 views)
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Old 15th November 2002, 02:43 AM   #7
JDeV is offline JDeV  South Africa
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2nd Channel in the making:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg a30-4.jpg (28.9 KB, 1348 views)
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Old 15th November 2002, 06:16 PM   #8
Taco is offline Taco  Netherlands
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Very nice pictures! These heatsinks are your small one's I presume? And the last picture shows the big sinks?
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Old 15th November 2002, 07:36 PM   #9
ststone is offline ststone  United States
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It's good to see that a real diy'er still does his thing on the kitchen table.

Wonder whats for diner ??
Some IRFP244's in red sauce??
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Old 15th November 2002, 10:42 PM   #10
swede is offline swede  Switzerland
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Default Pride!

Hey man, I remember when my amp looked the same... I can see some similarities. ;=)

Click the image to open in full size.

I also used a fan and I was soooooo proud I had it up and running. Now I've played it in my livingroom for some hundred hours and I'm still happy as a puppy.

Man, isn't it a good feeling, the first time you fire it up and IT WORKS!

Good luck! Good job!

And, Panos29!!! Thanks for your PCB artwork!

//magnus
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