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Budget DIY Pre-amp with MP3 Player (and FM Tuner)
Budget DIY Pre-amp with MP3 Player (and FM Tuner)
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Old 10th November 2011, 06:19 PM   #1
activexp is offline activexp  United Kingdom
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Default Budget DIY Pre-amp with MP3 Player (and FM Tuner)

I wanted a Pre-amp to go with my TA2024 chipamp and after seeing the
products on offer from various Chinese eBayers I rather fancied having a go
at building my own.

The USB MP3 Player and PSU came from Helder HiFi. Both were well packed in
cardboard boxes and were delivered in about 2 weeks.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Adjustable 11- 14V @ 3.5A Switched Mode PSU

The Pre-amp module from Zoe Tsang which came bubble wrapped inside an
unpadded buff envelope. Although seemingly inadequate, no damage done.
Delivery took about 10 days.

Click the image to open in full size.

Four inputs, volume, balance, bass, middle, treble and 3D. The board I
received differed slightly from the one shown. The control pot on a separate
board with a ribbon lead has been replaced with one integrated on to an
extension of the display board. This made mounting the assembly much more

Click the image to open in full size.

The metal case came from CPC.

Click the image to open in full size.

During assembly I noticed that the MP3 module had an 'aerial' symbol on the
board. Out of curiosity I connected a piece of wire to the marked hole on
the PCB and was quite surprised to hear BBC Radio2 coming through loud and
clear. The product description does not mention an FM Tuner. Bonus.

It all works pretty well apart from a problem with the remote controls -
they both operate on the same frequency! However the pre-amp remote revealed
two more undocumented features of the MP3 module - FM station memory (not
sure how many, on autoscan it stored 25 but only about 10 are listenable
using a piece of wire as an aerial) and 6 sound 'equalizer' settings ranging
from bassy to toppy with something inbetween. Now I can't decide which one
gives a 'flat' response :doh:

As for the pre-amp module, no surprises although I haven't discovered how to
alter the brightness of the display which apparently can be done using the

All in all I enjoyed this little project but doubt I'll ever master cutting
accurate openings in sheet metal.

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Old 23rd December 2011, 08:23 PM   #2
newAgeRoman is offline newAgeRoman
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Default Anyone else use these MP3 players?

I have a lepaiTA2020 on the way, but spotted this just a couple days ago. it is more what I was looking for. Just a small/cheap way to play mp3s from a SD card. Price seems unbeatable. remote is a definate plus.

I am interested in trying this unit in an auto application. I would like to power with cigarette lighter, but I'm sure that would require some kind of rectifier. Also I'm contenplating the TA2024 2x15w amp or maybe the MKII TA2020 amps in conjunction with this unit.

I just checked Helder's ebay store and there seems to be two versions of the MP3 player module, one a bit smaller and different form than the other.

Has anyone else tried these with a small TA2020 or TA2024 amp?
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