Remote volume control knob for old preamp

elsewhere

Member
2011-05-23 1:24 pm
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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rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
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
 
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NATDBERG

Member
2006-11-25 4:52 pm
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.
 
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jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
OP wrote:

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.

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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jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
Yeah it sure does look professionally done. Creative solution though. Resale value is also unharmed :D

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-...r-Control-Adjust-50K-6-W-Remote-/111333858449

You can use it without display.
 

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NATDBERG

Member
2006-11-25 4:52 pm
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) :)

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.


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.

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..... :) )
 

NATDBERG

Member
2006-11-25 4:52 pm
Yeah it sure does look professionally done. Creative solution though. Resale value is also unharmed :D

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!
 

jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
Had the manual operated version once. Nice stepped attenuator. I think the motorized version costs more than the device OP has is worth.

BTW it would not surprise me if other remote controls work OK with the cheap solution. You can "upgrade" the potentiometer with a known original Alps one in case it might be an Alps China version if you know what I mean. Still, for the price it is one that is hard to beat.

You wrote this:

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) :)

But OP wrote:

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.

So...I would conclude (translated to one of my languages) that he does want to do it for this particular device. It seems logical that this device is not going anywhere soon as the user wants to enhance usability of this particular device. Please elaborate in perfect off topic style what my grammatical mistake is here. There is nothing against learning languages online you know :)
 
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NATDBERG

Member
2006-11-25 4:52 pm
It seems logical that this device is not going anywhere soon as the user wants to enhance usability of this particular device. Please elaborate in perfect off topic style what my grammatical mistake is here. There is nothing against learning languages online you know :)

Nothing! No grammatical mistakes at all - your understanding of English is pretty damned good Jean-Paul.

However, in any language you've made an assumption of someone's intention based on, perhaps, your actions in that situation and projected that understanding of the situation on to the words given. It may be correct, it may be wrong. That is not strictly speaking, "Logic".. It is more like "reasoning" based on your own interpretation of the world which may or may not match the interpretation of the subject, Elsewhere in this case.

Logic (formal logic, scientific logic) is either correct or false, there are NO assuptions.

It's strange to me - it's a certain way of thinking that is beneficial in some ways and a hinderance in others.

I remember a house mate showing us their Civil Service Logic Test (like these examples: Civil Service Reviewer for Analogy and Logic Part 2 | INFINITHINK.ORG ). Some of the questions involved normal social situations where people have made certain statements and you're asked to say which of the following could be known to be true.. Only acting on the real, established facts is quite important for things like international negotiations or strategic thinking.

It was amazing to me how some others just couldn't see that they had made assumptions or read between the lines to find information that was never given specifically. Guessing people's intentions is such a part of normal human social interaction that some can't see when they're doing it.

However, I'm quite less a social person than they were and am probably less likely to correctly interpret the deeper meaning of what people are trying to express (or perhaps less likely to wrongly interpret their meaning too..) - I take people's words on face value, which can cause some confusion!

That all said, you are probably correct in your assumption but, me being me, I can't bring myself to make that assumption, only to present answers for either case until it has been specified.. :)
 
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