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Valve DAC from Linear Audio volume 13
Valve DAC from Linear Audio volume 13
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Old 24th January 2021, 06:17 AM   #1381
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Haarlem, the Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyMarrow View Post
Did you have to use a ground loop breaker or something to prevent hum?
I tried to make everything double insulated, so I didn't have to connect the enclosure to protective earth (which would have been difficult anyway as the enclosure is made of wood). I live in an old Dutch house where most outlets have no protective earth.

As the circuit is balanced and transformer coupled, I think it should be possible to get rid of ground loops even if it were built into a metal enclosure connected to protective earth and it were driving an unbalanced input of an earthed amplifier. In accordance with AES48, the enclosure could be connected to the internal circuitry at only one place and pins 1 of the XLR connectors could be connected straight to the chassis. When you then connect pins 2 and 3 to the amplifier, there is no ground loop.

I used transformer coupling for the S/PDIF inputs. No idea if it was really needed.
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Old 25th January 2021, 03:17 PM   #1382
SonnyMarrow is offline SonnyMarrow  United States
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I'm trying to come up with a little PCB for the three non-USB inputs I want. My plan is to do BNC, AES, and optical. The BNC and AES ports will plug into J1 and J2.

C1 and C2 are 0.01uF capacitors, T1 and T2 are Scientific Conversion SC947-02, U1 is a SN74LVC1G125DBV buffer/line driver, L1 is a 47 uH inductor, C3 is a 0.1 uF capacitor, and the optical port is an Everlight PLR135/T10. This would mean that on the Valve DAC PCB, R30 and R31 are going to be 75 and 110 ohm, respectively. the P7 on this board corresponds to P7 on the Valve DAC, so I was hoping to get the 3.3 V for the optical receiver from pin 1. Does this look alright? I also think that for the BNC input, that I connect the RX minus to ground? But not for the AES?
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File Type: png input board.png (66.7 KB, 118 views)

Last edited by SonnyMarrow; 25th January 2021 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:57 PM   #1383
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Haarlem, the Netherlands
The recommended application circuits from TI for the DIX4192 AES3 and S/PDIF inputs are as shown in the attachment. Note that the pins of the XLR connector are drawn in the wrong order, pin 1 is never in the middle. TI recommends 0.1 uF for C1 and C2.

I think the secondary of the AES3 transformer can not be grounded on one side because that would make the level on the other side too high to handle for the DIX4192. An AES3 level can be as high as 3.5 V peak differential into 110 ohm, while the DIX4192's I/O supply is 3.3 V nominal. It probably just fits when the positive and negative signal swings are equal but opposite.

There is no such issue for S/PDIF, but I have no idea what advantage grounding one side has over not doing so. Apparently TI has the experience that there is some advantage or other.

The application circuit also shows one side of the S/PDIF transformer's primary grounded, but that makes no sense when you want to prevent ground loops. In my build, I mounted the transformers very close to the input connectors and didn't ground either side of the primary.

The buffer behind the optical receiver may be a very good idea, as the receiver datasheet isn't very clear about what loads it can drive. I have no such buffer, but the one time I wanted to use the optical input, it actually didn't work (could also be due to the source driving the optical cable, I don't know). You can tap off the 3.3 V from the valve DAC. I would recommend reserving space for a resistor between the buffer's output and the cable to the main PCB, so you can terminate the cable more or less characteristically at the driving side.
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File Type: png DIX4192fig72fig73.png (75.1 KB, 106 views)
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Old 26th January 2021, 12:33 AM   #1384
SonnyMarrow is offline SonnyMarrow  United States
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I will take a look at the DIX4192IPFB datasheet and edit my schematic. I was copying the inputs from the Gamma 3 DAC that I have because I don't have any actual EE knowledge lol. All of the part values are from that part list. On that DAC, I think the transformer is grounded, and it's labeled "shield" on the data sheet. I left pins 2 and 3 floating.
Attached Images
File Type: png inputschematic.png (44.0 KB, 102 views)
File Type: png sctransformer.png (15.5 KB, 103 views)
File Type: png myschematic.png (23.5 KB, 99 views)
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Old 26th January 2021, 05:34 AM   #1385
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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Sorry, I didn't realize it has a shield. The shield always has to be grounded, no matter whether it's AES3 or S/PDIF.
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Old 26th January 2021, 03:31 PM   #1386
SonnyMarrow is offline SonnyMarrow  United States
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After looking at the DIX4192 datasheet, I realized that my configuration was for a 5 V optical receiver, but my selected part is a 3.3 V, so the buffer is not needed. I fixed the schematic to follow Figure 74 from the datasheet. I am also no longer using RX4P, since U6 seems to also be suited for 5 V inputs. The PCB has dual ground planes now as well.
Attached Images
File Type: png myschematic.png (21.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: png input board.png (23.9 KB, 21 views)
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Old 26th January 2021, 07:14 PM   #1387
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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The 74LVC1G34 (U6) between pin 3 of connector P7 and pin 7 of the DIX4192 on the original valve DAC main board is meant as a level shifter, to make it compatible with both 3.3 V and 5 V optical receivers. I don't know how long a cable the optical receivers can drive, though. A buffer right next to the receiver may or may not be useful when the connection between the receiver and the main board is long.
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Old 26th January 2021, 07:43 PM   #1388
SonnyMarrow is offline SonnyMarrow  United States
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The datasheet says the receiver can drive a max of 5m, and I plan on making the connecting cable as short as possible. I guess adding the buffer back in isn't much effort. As far as the ground, I should only connect one of the ground pins back to the Valve DAC, correct?
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Old 26th January 2021, 09:48 PM   #1389
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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There is a transmission distance d = 0.2 m to 5 m specified in the optical receiver datasheet, but I assume that relates to the length of the optical cable rather than the electrical cable. The specifications at 3 V are with a 5 pF load, which means just a few centimetres. All in all, I think the buffer and output termination resistor are required, or at least they won't harm.

I also may have to retrofit a buffer in my own valve DAC. My optical receiver (Cliff FC684208R) is specified for 10 pF load and I'm pretty sure the cable it drives has much more capacitance than that.

Regarding the ground pins, I would connect all of them to have a reasonable RF ground connection and some shielding between the signal lines. That creates ground loops, of course, but assuming you use a flatcable, they will have very small loop areas and any hum currents they pick up will not flow anywhere near the analogue audio parts.

Last edited by MarcelvdG; 26th January 2021 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 26th January 2021, 09:53 PM   #1390
SonnyMarrow is offline SonnyMarrow  United States
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Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but what output termination resistor are you referring to? I don't see one in any of the data sheets for the DIX or the optical receiver.
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