Site

Welcome to the new Tubelab website, now powered by WordPress!  After a long and tedious process, all of the content from the old site has been resurrected and reproduced here.  The information has been reorganized into the categories that you see in the menu bar above.  The Navigation Box on the right can also help to guide you.

We are still testing the new shopping cart experience.  Until it is up and running, please use the usual method for ordering PC board via email using the instructions on the ordering page.  New postal rates may apply.

New computer

My new computer is finally operational, and most of my applications and data have been migrated. Microsoft has decided not to offer anymore upgrades to the Front Page software that I have been using to make this web site. They now offer Microsoft Expression Web as the upgrade path. I purchased Expression Web and loaded on my computer. I tried to use it on my web site. It doesn’t work with my site. Expression does not support the navigation structure built by Front Page, and tells me that my Web site was not built to current web standards. I bought a couple of books, and decided that this is not going to be easy. I am still using Front Page for now.

I have been on the road for almost every weekend so far this year. Most of this web update was written from the passenger seat of a car on my laptop. Some pages are still incomplete, but I decided to post what I have since it has been a while since the last update. Most of the SSE manual is complete, except for the wiring diagrams, parts list with vendor part numbers since I don’t have internet access in my car, and the assembly pictures of my latest amps, since I haven’t been home to take the pictures. I built (and documented) the Industrial amp shown above in December, and haven’t had time to listen to it since then. I haven’t touched a soldering iron yet this year either.

I have not yet figured out how to set up an internet shopping cart on my web page. It must be set up interactively on the server, and again, I have not been home to figure it out. I plan to begin listing the PC boards on Ebay as soon as the parts lists and wiring diagrams are complete. If my current work schedule does not change, this should be in a couple of weeks. My Ebay ID is Tubelab*com. There is nothing posted there currently.

I have fallen far behind in answering email. I thought that I could catch up over the holidays, but my planned two week vacation turned into 6 days off from work. I spent one to two hours per day answering email. During this time I received more email that I answered. I still have several hundred emails in my in box, and 5 or 10 come in each day. I have come to the realization that I may never catch up. All email from purchasers of my boards has been answered promptly. Much of the other email concerns PowerDrive. The PowerDrive cookbook page is not finished yet, but I have posted the first part. More email concerns the availability of the PC boards. They will be available shortly, and the ordering info will be posted here. Email that requires considerable time, like those asking me to design a special circuit, or modify or test an amplifier that I have never seen often does not get answered. I simply don’t have the time to design one off circuits until I get caught up.

Many questions (e-mail and diyAudio forum) relate to the PC boards. I get questions that ask about the “SE board”. I have no way of knowing which board you are referring to, since there are now two different SE boards. I have also received questions asking how to wire a DHT into the SSE board and vice versa. This is not really practical. Each board was designed and optimized for the type of tubes listed in the assembly manual. I simply do not currently have the time to assist with a custom design or application for these designs.

The most popular questions are,” Where can I get a board” and “When can I get a board”. I plan to offer the boards directly from an online ordering page on this web site. I have that option on my current hosting plan. I may also offer them from an Ebay store. I will do this as soon as the assembly manual is finished. Most of the manual is finished (all of the fun amp building stuff). I need to finish processing about 200 pictures and organizing all of the text. I have about 3 weeks worth of work at my present rate, but I can not predict the demands of my full time job, which have been considerable, and require 8 to 10 hours of sitting in front of a computer per day.

The progress will be posted here on this page, and ordering information will be posted here as well.

Email overload

It has been about two months since I last updated this web site. A lot has happened since then, and I have not had time to update this web site. I should have known what was waiting for me after almost a month off of work. I have been working a lot of hours since my return. Most of my time away from work has been spent on the SSE assembly manual. It is nearly done.

I received about 1000 e-mails while I was away. Unfortunately some spam artists have acquired my e-mail address and filled my mailbox with offers of sex pills and penny stocks. This caused my email box to fill up (twice) and some e-mails may have been lost. E-mail that gets caught by the spam box still counts against my quota until I empty the box. If you e-mailed me in late August or September and never got a reply, your e-mail may have been lost. Please send it again. I try to answer all serious e-mail. E-mail from customers with questions get priority, everything else gets answered in order of receipt. I am currently about two weeks behind answering e-mail. My current work schedule only allows me time to answer e-mail on weekends.

From the Nats

I am posting this minor update (from a hotel room with free internet) to add the pictures from the 2006 Mopar Nationals including an entire page of pictures of the 2008 Dodge Challenger concept car. It was announced that production of this car will commence in April of 2008. I have done some minor reorganization of the site to make room for more pages in the future. Everything is still here, although some pages (and their links) now have their own sub page. I have been working on the assembly manual for the SSE amplifier. My return (and the manual) has been delayed by car trouble. Try to find an oil pan for a Volvo in rural West Virginia.

The break in my work schedule lasted for 7 days (I knew that it was too good to be true). The SSE boards are in and three amps are already up and running. I can build these boards in about 45 minutes each, they go together real easy. I am already working on the construction manual. I have gathered about 500 pounds of transformers which will all be tested and the results posted here (two transformers are already done). I will be out of town for most of August, so there will not be much activity until September.

I finally got a break from my relentless work schedule (it won’t last) so I have been updating the web site every night. I have added (or finished) several pages in the Tech Pages and Tested and Proven Circuits sections. These pages were created to explain some of the experiments that began as a thread on the diyAudio forums. Some of the material is directly cut from my contributions to those threads. Some additional material has been added.

The SSE section has been updated, and will continue to be updated as more info becomes available. The PC boards are on order. My amp has been stressed tested in several ways, including me playing guitar through it, and plugging it into a Variac and cranking the input voltage to 135 volts while playing rock music at full volume! It is still going strong.

I have added some text and old pictures to the Tubelab SE assembly manual. I sold every assembled board that I had during the time that I was too busy to build any (the past 4 months). The pictures (text too) for the checkout and bias adjustment pages were lost last year. I have finished assembling a new board, and the new pictures will be shot this weekend. I will add them to the site ASAP.

Success!

Number three was a success! I have added several new pages, with more to come soon. Some of the new pages may have little or no content. That is because I mapped out the design of the web site before I finished the individual pages, and I needed to make sure that all of the hyperlinks work. Content is being added as I have time. I sit in front of a computer for 8 to 10 hours a day at work, when I get home, I would rather play with tubes. All of the old pages are still here (some have been updated) and they are still in the same location, so all old bookmarks and links should still work. Email me if I broke anything. I don’t claim to be an expert web designer.

The PowerDrive circuit has become quite popular, and I constantly get requests for unique designs. There is no way that I have the time to design, prototype, and test each one of these. I am finishing up a new page that should help you design your own. (Actually I am doing it over, it got zapped when my hard drive died).

Family matters and other commitments have required me to be out of town for many of the weekends so far this year. I now have a work schedule that allows little time for Tubelab. This will continue for the near future. I have tried to set aside one or two evenings per week to answer e-mail. I am currently running about one to two weeks behind responding to e-mail.

New Tubelab SSE PCB

I finally have a free weekend. We are ready for the demo at work, and I have just finished building the new Tubelab SSE (simple single-ended) PC board. It rocks! I have been blasting this thing with everything from Roberta Flack to Metallica. It is hard to believe that I am listening to $18 output transformers. If I don’t find anything wrong with this in a few days, I’m sending the board out for duplication.

Upload issues

I am back at home, and the new web site will not upload. I have found out that I must have a prototype design ready to demo on June 15 at work. I finished the PC board layout before going on vacation. Now I have less than 2 months to get them populated (1200 parts on a 3 inch by 7 inch board) and debug the design. Looks like there will be no time for Tubelab.

New site design

I took the laptop with me on vacation. I am designing a new version of the Tubelab web site. I attempted to reorganize the web site so that I could manage it better. The original site was made up of several individual pages that were linked together by a menu system that I made by hand and pasted on to each page. This allowed total control, but became unmanageable as the site grew. It was also the source of the broken links. The new site is built using Microsoft Front Page 2003. It will either work better, or not at all, only time will tell.