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Tubelab Discussion and support of Tubelab products, prototypes and experiments

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Old 23rd May 2020, 06:31 PM   #731
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csample View Post
I originally built a 300B TSE-II in an enclosure (Pesante 5U from diyAudio store), and it got too hot inside so I added the quietest fan I could find, but the fan is still to loud for me. I would like to rebuild the amp in a more traditional fashion (tubes and transformers on an aluminum plate with wood base) and I was wondering if using chassis mounted tube bases and wiring back to the board is asking for trouble or if it is a nonissue. Anyone have thoughts or experience with this?
Check out the photo for my preferred build method for tube amplifiers. I normally build entirely on the aluminum top plate, and suspend the top plate off the wooden base with standoffs. This leaves a gap all the way around that allows air to flow through from a perforated bottom plate. The gap is too small for prying baby fingers, so no worries with that. Everything stays cool inside that way. No more hot box for your ampís innards.
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File Type: jpeg 86443697-805F-4134-87A2-9A2DA424E418.jpeg (534.1 KB, 218 views)
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Old 23rd May 2020, 06:35 PM   #732
Evenharmonics is offline Evenharmonics  United States
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I'm a strong believer of form following function. I used to be the opposite until I had to rebuild something due to less than optimal performance when the aesthetics was given the priority. It's not fun to go through such experience.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 06:59 PM   #733
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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The best way to cool a tube amp silently is through convection. The photos in post #731 show how that can be done elegantly and cheaply. I have also drilled holes in top plates and base plates in an attempt to increase convected air flow through the inside of the chassis, but you will not get as much as you would doing it my way unless you drill a lot of holes. Arranging heat sinks for SS components near the perimeter gap means that heat generated by the components on these heat sinks is immediately vented out through the gap instead of staying in the chassis. For me this building method is the best example of form following function that I have used. A mostly closed box just doesn’t make sense for a tube amp that is going to be on for any length of time.

Last edited by tizman; 23rd May 2020 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 07:31 PM   #734
Tubelab_com is offline Tubelab_com  United States
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I usually prefer a symmetrical design and use it in many designs that do not use a tube rectifier.

My boards however are laid out with performance as the primary design criteria. The original TSE was originally intended for 45 tubes before Tubelab Inc. existed, but one of my friends stuffed 300B's in his, and that snowballed into the TSE board. It's really too small to be running 300B's on nearly 400 volts, hence the larger TSE-II when it was redesign time.

Quote:
build entirely on the aluminum top plate, and suspend the top plate off the wooden base with standoffs.
I have done something similar. The amp was built entirely on the top plate. The re were square oak wood posts in each corner of the oak base, such that the top plate sat on them, and its top was flush with the top edge of the base. Then I cut a rabbet in the top of the base with the table saw such that there was a ventilation groove all around the top plate for airflow.

It was for an SPP board that had an ugly Antek toroid and a screen regulator board hidden under the deck. That amp took EL84's where they never belonged, 30+ WPC on 425 volts of B+. It saw daily use on my PC speakers for a couple years in Florida. It's still in a box somewhere since I moved 6 years ago.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 07:51 PM   #735
csample is online now csample  United States
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After a 14 year run, the TSE must DIE!
Thanks everyone for the great feedback! I had no idea about the oscillation issues with the 5842's I am glad I asked. It seems that for performance reasons it is best to keep the original layout with the tubes board mounted so that is what I will do.

I bought a new board from George two weeks ago and I will build that with the tube sockets on top and the other components on the bottom. Can anyone suggest a high quality 9 pin socket that fits the hole spacing on the PCB? The problem I had with the generic ones (AES P/N P-ST9-217G) was the fit to the pins on the tube was very tight - I was worried that I might break the 5842 trying to push it in. Would a socket with a PCB adapter to change the pin spacing be likely to cause oscillation?

Thanks again!
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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:19 PM   #736
csample is online now csample  United States
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After a 14 year run, the TSE must DIE!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Zenith View Post

Regarding heat buildup in the chassis, my experience with the TSE-II has shown that the major culprits are the power transformer (particularly the Hammond 27X-series I'm using), the heatsinked components (filament regulator, CCS chips, driver transistors) and power resistors. Paradoxically, the tubes themselves aeren't really a big contributor. Use mongo heatsinks, provide plenty of convective cooling (i.e. lots of strategically-placed holes), and you'll be fine. I'd even posit that a move away from the Pesante chassis may be a step back in terms of overall conductive dissipation, but I don't know your amp like you do.
Hi Mr_Zenith! Your amp is beautiful! Hopefully I can build something that nice eventually. My amp had the tubes inside the chassis - which I think is why the amp got so hot. The 300B's were dissipating 37W each (80mA and 390V B+) and the area of the chassis above them was the hottest part of the chassis. It is not visible in the pictures, but the bottom of the chassis is fully perforated like the top. Maybe this fully enclosed design would have done better with lower dissipation type 45 tubes.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:47 PM   #737
Tubelab_com is offline Tubelab_com  United States
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Quote:
was the fit to the pins on the tube was very tight
What's worse is not noticing this until I had the board completely populated. This board was a one off DIY prototype that eventually became the Tubelab SPP.

I keep some old dead tubes for loosening up the sockets before sticking any good tubes in. I also put a little WD40 on the pins of the old tubes before doing this.

I think the sockets I'm using are ST9-221G

Quote:
Would a socket with a PCB adapter to change the pin spacing be likely to cause oscillation?
I'm guessing that they are probably Ok, but I have never actually tried them.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 10:06 PM   #738
colnago55 is offline colnago55  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csample View Post
Thanks everyone for the great feedback! I had no idea about the oscillation issues with the 5842's I am glad I asked. It seems that for performance reasons it is best to keep the original layout with the tubes board mounted so that is what I will do.

I bought a new board from George two weeks ago and I will build that with the tube sockets on top and the other components on the bottom. Can anyone suggest a high quality 9 pin socket that fits the hole spacing on the PCB? The problem I had with the generic ones (AES P/N P-ST9-217G) was the fit to the pins on the tube was very tight - I was worried that I might break the 5842 trying to push it in. Would a socket with a PCB adapter to change the pin spacing be likely to cause oscillation?

Thanks again!
I've had good luck getting sockets etc from Tube Depot. Here's what I've used and I've used their socket extenders as well, both have worked well for me.

TubeDepot.com | 9 Pin PC Mount Socket

TubeDepot.com | 9 Pin Socket SaverIMG_3208.jpg


This is a TSE.

I have a TSE-II board built and tested. The next step is to design and build a more elegant chassis for it. I'm thinking of a machined top plate and a nice wooden base.

Enjoy.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 10:28 PM   #739
brl0301 is offline brl0301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colnago55 View Post
I've had good luck getting sockets etc from Tube Depot. Here's what I've used and I've used their socket extenders as well, both have worked well for me.

TubeDepot.com | 9 Pin PC Mount Socket

TubeDepot.com | 9 Pin Socket SaverAttachment 846775


This is a TSE.

I have a TSE-II board built and tested. The next step is to design and build a more elegant chassis for it. I'm thinking of a machined top plate and a nice wooden base.

Enjoy.
If you end up doing a machined top plate there is a file, buried in this thread with the hard work done already, for the pcb layout. All I had to do was set the final dimensions and add in the cutouts for my transformers and switches.
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:25 AM   #740
Mr_Zenith is offline Mr_Zenith  United States
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After a 14 year run, the TSE must DIE!
Hi csample, It looks like you did a heck of a job on yours, too. Beautiful job on the layout and wiring, with everything easily traceable and in its place - very professional. From the pictures it looks like you did everything I would have, and then some. Well done!

By the way, I seem to remember a post some months back from someone who wanted to build one inside a chassis like this because they had small children to protect. Was that you? I haven't had time to look back at previous posts, but if so that makes sense.

And thanks for the compliment! Honestly, the hardest part of building it was keeping it on the workbench for long enough to get something accomplished. I found myself dragging it into the living room for a "quick audition" on quite a few occasions; the problem was that "quick" usually turned out to be two or three days. It's become my favorite amp, and I have it playing in my home office for the occasional "shutdown serenade"...
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