Banana Jack Amps: No-Solder All-Tube Modular Guitar Amp Kits - diyAudio
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Old 4th September 2014, 09:17 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Franklin, KY
Default Banana Jack Amps: No-Solder All-Tube Modular Guitar Amp Kits

Now on Kickstarter, looking for backers:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...guitar-amp-kit

Check it out. Tell your friends. Thanks!

Last edited by Gerry Rzeppa; Yesterday at 07:27 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Franklin, KY
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

We've added the "Coppertone" option. See the Project Update:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-amp-kit/posts
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Old Yesterday, 08:25 PM   #3
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Location: Buenos Aires - Argentina
Banana Jack Amps: a KILLER Amp ... literally
For those who are tired of life and might want to end it with a flash, search no more, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...guitar-amp-kit are here to stay.

A seemingly nice and original idea when drawn on a paper napkin, HORRIBLY put in practice by Mr Gerry Rzeppa .
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...get/video.html

The idea is that you have 9 pre built (soldered, of course) modules and you interconnect them to build and mod amps "without soldering".
LEGO style of course.

Click the image to open in full size.

Problems:

1) banana jacks are used for interconnection (duh !!!)

Click the image to open in full size.

as it's easy to see, all have a thick 3/4" exposed ... er .... "banana" on the end, which of course is metallic and is used to carry voltage and current.

We all know the kind of voltages which are used in TUBE amps

2) as shown, this amp has input on left, power to the right, with mains to the extreme right, and sequence follows classic Tube Amp signal path .

Now IF you connect left to right, the exposed tip banana you are holding in your bare hand, carries no voltage, because voltage comes from the right.

BUT if you plug any right hand banana, and hold the left in your hand while reading the leaflet or whatever, you WILL have voltage.

How much voltage?

Well, the rightmost box is directly connected to mains, so those grey banana jacks carry live and neutral 120V (240V in Europe). (0:34 in the Video).
Which you can grab when fiddling with the banana.

They go to the Power transformer.

Now it starts getting better:

The PT boosts to 300+300VAC , and dutifully sends them to the rectifier tube ... through another pair of bananas, again grey but now sporting some 600VAC end to end.

Just what I needed for my homemade

Click the image to open in full size.


I think you already got the idea.

The rectifier supplies more than 300VDC to the Output Transformer, the preamp tubes get their share (think 250V DC) , always through nice exposed end bananas.

3) By the way , even if using shrouded bananas (which he already said he won't, because they cost almost 6$ each instead of less than a buck apiece) , the flimsy plastic boxes can be opened without tools (sic).

4) don't forget to check the actual SOUND of this execution device:

https://d3mlfyygrfdi2i.cloudfront.ne...2Fkickskin.swf
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Old Yesterday, 09:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
The idea is that you have 9 pre built (soldered, of course) modules and you interconnect them to build and mod amps "without soldering".
Correct as far as it goes. The design goals were three:

(1) Produce an educational kit, that
(2) Results in something interesting and useful and that is more than a toy, and that
(3) Is built entirely with "basic" or "fundamental" electronic components (like resistors and transformers rather than op-amps and microprocessors).

Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
Problems: 1) banana jacks are used for interconnection.
I think that should be listed under "Features" rather than "Problems".

Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
We all know the kind of voltages which are used in TUBE amps
That's why our instructions include cautionary warnings, in bold, colored, eye-catching text, on every page.

And of course our voltages are no different than any other small valve amp kit. For example, in assembling these popular kits (Untitled , MOD 102 Guitar Amp Kit | MOD Kits DIY) the student manually cuts and strips high voltage transformer wires and solders them to the rectifier circuitry with a hot iron; with our kit, the student connects the transformer module to the rectifier module with a few color-coded banana cables. In both cases, perfectly safe operations if the thing is not plugged in; in both cases, dangerous if the thing is plugged in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
...Now IF you connect left to right, the exposed tip banana you are holding in your bare hand, carries no voltage, because voltage comes from the right. BUT if you plug any right hand banana, and hold the left in your hand while reading the leaflet or whatever, you WILL have voltage.
Only if you're fool enough to plug the thing into the wall and turn it on -- contrary to the warnings on every page of the instructions -- before you build the thing! And again, the same dangers are present in every other tube amp kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
How much voltage? ...120V ... 300+300VAC ... 600VAC
Actually, the highest voltages carried on a single cable in the current prototype are 120 vac and 240 vdc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
By the way, even if using shrouded bananas (which he already said he won't, because they cost almost 6$ each instead of less than a buck apiece)
It's true that we've had trouble finding an affordable source for shrouded banana plugs and jacks. But we haven't stopped looking. And we're now offering "cabinet, panel, and speaker kits" to compliment our modules and to support more permanent installations where the cables, once connected, would be out of reach inside the cabinet. See the photos below for what they'll look like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
the flimsy plastic boxes can be opened without tools.
I wouldn't call our plastic cases "flimsy"; they are precision manufactured and 1/8-inch thick. And the fact that they open, easily, is a feature -- especially in an educational product -- not a "problem". We want the student to have access to the basic components so he can study them. And for the third time, I don't see how this differs from other amp kits where the student can poke around in the open chassis any time he pleases.

Note that we hope to offer a variety of modules in addition to the nine Mr. Fahey mentions: various tone stacks, gain controls, alternate power amps; and voltmeter and ammeter and perhaps even 'scope modules as well.

Here are a couple of pictures of our prototype Coppertone amp kit, to give you an idea of how our modules (mounted to the back of the copper panels) might be enclosed:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

This is the "totally enclosed" option we're not offering on our Kickstarter Project Update.

Last edited by Gerry Rzeppa; Yesterday at 09:15 PM.
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