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rjm 17th May 2005 01:45 AM

The Phonoclone and VSPS PCB Help Desk
Today I shipped the first batch of Phonoclone PCBs. Its appropriate I think to switch gears, and threads, from the design phase to the build phase.

Component selection, soldering, mounting, wiring, cases, power supplies, mods and varients. All that good stuff, Q&A, FAQ, Discussion... and pics pls! ... goes here.

First an update for Batch 2. This will be a mixed order of VSPS and Phonoclone boards and I'll be taking orders for these up until Sunday, May 22.

Reviewing the Phonoclone PCB, it came out as I had imagined it might. Looks good. The only changes I would make are purely cosmetic, so I'm not going to bother with an update right now. Batch 2 Phonoclone PCB will be exactly the same (ver. 1.5e Beta) as Batch 1.

Just so you know, Batch 3 will be in 6 months, September-October. I want both projects to go through a full build cycle before continuing.


Relevent Links:

PCB Ordering Information

Phonoclone Page

Hint page for the Phonoclone PCB


Hint page for the VSPS PCB

rjm 17th May 2005 03:18 AM

Two "issues" came up during the manufacturing process of Phonoclone 1.5e, both related to the silk screen layer.

1. The text font came out much bigger than it looked in Eagle, so the RJM Audio label got offset and chopped off. The board is now RJM Audi. I hope I don't get sued by the car company! :D

2. The other point is slightly more serious: the component values layer didn't get printed. (Olimex doesn't print this by default) Please use either the table of components or the Eagle-generated images of the board as a guide to match the component (C2, R4 etc) with the required value. The regulators ended up unlabelled, but it should be clear that the 7912s go beside V- at the bottom and the 7812s go near V+ at the top.

Also, I notied the edges of the boards are cut quite roughly, so you may want to sand them down before you start. In any event, since the boards are fibreglass please take appropriate precautions when handling the edges.


earsandeyes 20th May 2005 02:34 PM

Boards did arrive safely
Today the PCB's did arrive safely.
Now awaiting part of the components.

Did I see it correctly that you have silvermica's at hand for the RIAA?
If yes, is it a good choice?



pinkmouse 20th May 2005 02:39 PM


Originally posted by rjm
1. The text font came out much bigger than it looked in Eagle, so the RJM Audio label got offset and chopped off. The board is now RJM Audi. I hope I don't get sued by the car company! :D
Set all fonts to vector, that way they will appear full size. I also use to check my gerbers look correct before I send them out.

rjm 20th May 2005 04:53 PM

Glad to hear your packages are showing up.

>With vector fonts the Eagle results match the Olimex end product. Good call. VSPS layouts have been updated accordingly.

>Those caps are actually polypro, and given their size might be film-foil. They ought to be ok. I haven't tried them yet.

I was using some itty-bitty cheapo metallized polypro things before and they weren't all that great. Lent an, um, metallic grain to the sound. Using polystyrene since yesterday, seem v. fast and clean but too early to call.

The big revelation was with diodes. I have two power supplies (actually three but...) two at any rate differ only in having a 25A bridge rectifier vs four fast/soft glass passivated diodes. So I can hot swap between the two rectifiers easily. This time around the big bridge was sooo much better. That nagging greyness in the treble which has been bugging me for a some time fell away to black. Moral: watch out for RF, either from the power line or diode-generated.

Anyway, that switch, in combination with the new caps, really pushes it from 75 to 85 points /100 and into the A list.


pinkmouse 20th May 2005 05:42 PM

Oh, and if you want component values on the silkscreen, you have to enable that layer in the silk gerber in the CAM processor. I think it's called t_value(?).

steenoe 20th May 2005 06:13 PM


The big revelation was with diodes.
Did you try some small Schtotky diodes? I am considering that option. Just received some of these today. They should be fairly free from noise:)


rjm 21st May 2005 01:45 PM

A lot of people use Shottkeys and like the result. Didn't work for me when I tried it with the Gainclone, but dont let that discourage you, necessarily.

Phil Jeffery 25th May 2005 11:00 PM

Hi R,

The boards & components arrived safe & sound; thanks for that!

I am now awaiting my Russian teflon caps, & hope to put it all together soon thereafter. I look forward to comparing it to my other equipment.

I intend to play with opamps & powersupplies as well. One step at a time though!


naz 3rd June 2005 07:25 AM

Sweet my parts just showed up safe and sound today.. now it's time to get a crackin' on building them up :D.


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