Website makeover

This web site is in the process of a complete makeover. I have about 6 months worth of new information (and some old stuff that I found) that I haven’t had time to post. It will take a while to get it all posted. The Tubelab SE assembly manual is being uploaded first. The Tubelab 3 prototyping system is finished, a few pictures are here, more will be added as soon as I can get them processed. Complete assembly details will follow. Several new amplifier designs are done, and will be added also. 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.

I plan to put a lot of new and old content on this site over the next few months. This requires some better site organization. It will no longer be possible to have a link to everything from this home page. The menus (links) on the left bring you to secondary menu pages that have links to the individual pages. The news that formerly occupied this space has been moved to the news page.

All of the old pages are still here (some are 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.

I have concentrated on functionality and content, I will make it look nice as time permits. 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.

Family matters and other commitments have required me to be out of town for many of the weekends so far this year. 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 week behind responding to e-mail.

New hosting service

I have got a new internet hosting account with far more bandwidth than I had before, for the same price. I can now put all of my ideas on the internet without worrying about the cost. Many have requested the Tubelab SE PC board assembly manual, so it will happen first. The PC boards will also be available at this time.

Data recovery

I have now recovered much of the data that was lost when the hard drive in my main computer died. I now believe that the drive just died, unrelated to my poor programming ability. The drive has become extremely temperature sensitive. I have discovered that If I put the drive in the freezer for a while to get it real cold, then put it into the computer, it will work for about 15 minutes. I have been running back and forth between the freezer and the computer for a few days. I have recovered most of the data that was not backed up. Some of the pictures for the assembly manual were corrupt. I have recovered my e-mail, and will be answering the unanswered mail as soon as I reload all the software on the new drive. I have got a new laptop (which I am using at this moment) that contains an image of the web site so that the web site exists in at least two places. All of my software writing experiments are being moved back to the old computer just in case they had anything to do with the crash.

Last week I learned why it is important not to use your primary Windows computer (the one that does this web page and stores all e-mail) for dumb Linux and “C” experiments. A program ran away and wrote garbage over much of the useful data on the drive. I am in the process of reconstructing the data for the new web site from back ups that were 1 month old. Email that was sent to the Tubelab address was trashed, I have recovered less than half of that e-mail. E-mail sent to the Bellsouth address was restored intact.

After this crisis is over, all Linux experiments will happen on a dedicated computer. I got a new Windows laptop that will mirror the Tubelab content of the main machine. This computer could do webpage support. It has been used for development of the big web page upgrade that is coming. Early in January, some of the changes will go live. As these are debugged and become fully functional, more will be added. The entire SE amp board manual will be on the site. Boards will be available at that time. New content is coming.

My first grandchild

My first grandchild (a boy) was born on 6-18. Unfortunately at the same time my father, who has been in the hospital (80 miles away) for almost a month, was moved into intensive care. Needless to say I have not had the time to finish the assembly instructions. I will get back to this as things return to normal. The safety and meter use pages continue to get few hits, 4 each this week. by contrast the 845 SE page got 55 and the 73 Challenger page got 60. Come on people, you asked me to write them, at least look.

The amp sales are on hold again. I sold about 6 boards to people that I work with. Now that three of these people have started building their boards, the unexpected questions have arisen. I am currently re writing the test procedure, again. I am now writing it for a beginner, even though I had always stated that this was not a beginners amp. I have expanded the section on safety. I now require that you use 3 digital meters to test this amp. After this procedure has been tried by a few people, I will put the boards up for sale. I am sorry for the delay, but I am concerned that an inexperienced person will build this amp and get shocked. I have spent 3 weeks (that could have been used on cool tube stuff) writing the page on safety, and in the two weeks that it has been on the site it has received TWO VISITORS. I have had dozens of e-mails from people expressing their "fear of frying", yet no one visits the safety page. I am adding a new page on safe meter use, it is taken primarily from the new Tubelab SE test procedure, but it can be applied to any amp. If you are going to build a tube amp, read it and then order a few cheap meters.