There have been a few questions related to the construction of amps. Many builders request an exact parts list with part numbers and transformer recommendations for the “standard configurations” It is impossible to cover all of the possible combinations, but I have added specific transformer and configuration information to the Tubes and Applications page. There have been numerous inquiries about a small parts kit for this board. I have decided to offer a kit containing all of the parts to populate the PC board. Most of the parts have been ordered and I should have everything some time in November.
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.
It has been over 1 month since I ordered my new PC. It is still in pieces, occupying my workbench. I returned the defective memory, but have not received the replacements. Two of the three shiny new PC boards shown above are impatiently awaiting assembly into amplifiers, but I have no bench space. The middle board already has a happy home in a new amplifier. I have not been here much anyway.
Last Thursday was the Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA. Traditionally it is spent with family. I drove to Tampa to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom and brothers. The Friday after Thanksgiving has evolved into a major shopping event with half of America going to the shopping malls. This is a tradition that I do not choose to support, so I dropped Sherri and friends off at a mall near Orlando. A friend and I went to Daytona for the Turkey Rod Run. A 5 day celebration of all things automotive, where I spent 5 hours before going back to Orlando to pick up Sherri, and return to Ft Lauderdale. A page full of pictures has been added to the automotive pages.
Saturday and Sunday was spent working on the SSE assembly manual, and updating this web site. I have added more of the assembly manual, with more to come after it has been proof read by a few others.
Monday I returned to work, and was rewarded with another "must be done before years end" project. This means more days like today, 11 hours in front of a computer.
I have uploaded parts of the Tubelab SSE manual. Pages that I have had the time to finish, proof read, and have an associate use to assemble a board are posted. Much of it was written on my laptop in the passenger seat of a car. I have been away for 5 of the last 6 weekends. I will be away for the next two weekends also. I plan to finish most of the manual during the traveling time. If all goes well the shopping cart will go live during the last week of November.
Because I wrote most of the assembly manual while traveling, there are probably errors that we didn't catch. If there are any, please e-mail me and I will fix them. I have fixed the ones that I received e-mail about (mostly wrong pictures). Please e-mail me if anything is not clearly understandable.
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.
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.
With the last update I added a page of information about my simple single-ended (SSE) amplifier, The email and forum activity related to that project have been outstanding, so I have began a major expansion of that page. The one page is now 4, and more are coming. Some of these pages are not complete yet. When it is all done you will be able to follow along during the entire design process. Some of the new material being added is a direct result of questions asked on the DIY audio forums.
I have reorganized the site so that I can add new pages without having to re-do all of the links and table of contents on all of the other pages. This meant giving more control to Microsoft (Front Page 2003). The previous organization became impossible to manage. 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 a secondary menu page that has links to the individual pages. The news that formerly occupied this space has been moved to the news page.
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.
I have tested the first prototype of the new Tubelab SSE (simple single-ended) amp design. It works quite well but there was not enough gain for every application. I have fixed the gain problem by using a CCS load on the driver stage. Now I can reach clipping in triode mode on a quiet CD at less than full volume. This change requires a new PC board design. Our demo at work has been moved up to May 30. The web site still will not upload.