when reading the questions they ask just means they shouldn't be allowed to touch a soldering iron?
I mean, when you read some questions about power supplies it is just clear that those askinf them don't have a clue what this is all about. It is very clear they don't understand what they are doing, have no idea about the safety issues and probably make things worse than they were. And very likely they make it unsafe.
All suitable candidates for a Darwin award.
Results 1 to 10 of 19
2007-11-09, 13:43 #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Why are people modifying circuits...
2007-11-09, 15:02 #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
2007-11-10, 05:40 #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
You don't start with modifying circuits you don't understand but by building simple stuff and getting experience and knowledge.
2007-11-10, 06:54 #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
your answer presupposes that the modder has some prior knowledge....
as haunyack says where do you get that knowledge or experience if you don't first ask or try ?
What may seem stupid to you ....may be perfectly sensible to others.
As to safety well you can just as easily get run over by a bus ....but any sensible response should offer advice as to the safety and safe practice of any mods. The whole of life is one long risk assessment...
Also you learn by your mistakes in general terms. As the old saying goes someone who has made no mistakes has done nothing.Acoustician and builder of interesting cables
2007-11-10, 07:15 #5
We all have to start somewhere
I guess I would start with What does Evolution have to do with Electronics?
Evolution implies that over time (and that is lots of time) and specific conditions a species develops skills or changes. Are people new to electronics expected to grow a soldering iron on the right hand and have solder feed out of their left hand before they are allowed to “Join” the modification part of our hobby?
They already have to learn a second language (the language of Electronics) and become proficient with a soldering iron. They have to start the same places we did, but they are trailing because they are new to the hobby and do not have all the years of training, hands on experience, project building, or working in the electronics industry that we do.
Isn’t it good for our hobby and the future of audio modification to encourage and nurture the spark of wanting to improve on a product by finding suitable modification projects that either replace OEM parts with better parts because the manufacture was building to a price point or modify output circuits to improve the purity of the audio path?
I do agree that opening the back of the SB3 and soldering away is probably not the best place to have ones first modification lesson or experience. Building an outboard PS project is a much better place to start. The SB3 will remain intact and undamaged as long as they insure that the center pin is plus 5 VDC and the outer is ground. It is to bad that all the electronic kit companies have all but disappeared. Heath was a great place to get somebody interested in electronics that start they needed but was not already knowledgeable in the arts of flowing solder. My first projects were crystal radio sets and test equipment kits. Moving on later to build a Conrad-Johnson PV3 Pre-Amp and building tube amps.
Better yet, one of us should probably take the time to post a few simple projects to get them started. If they can handle them, then they can consider moving on to the inside of the SB3 as their skills increase. If they can not complete the projects, they should probably leave the modifications to others. Maybe start a new section in Modifications or DIY just for beginners: Hello and welcome, Modification Newbies start here!
2007-11-10, 11:43 #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
When I was 16, I had a Heathkit 2ch stereo amp kit that I built and promptly fried the power transistors.
That was my last kit.
OK...so for a beginner (as I am) what would be a good starting toolbox to have on hand for when one decides to jump in again?
2007-11-11, 18:26 #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
For starters, a very useful kit to build would be a power supply kit. Since if you do experiment, you will need that from time to time to power up some part of the circuit while you measure the result.
As for useful tools to have in the toolbox.
*63/37 eutectic solder, preferably with rosin that does not stink. (you can't imagine how bad some machine stink once you started modding...)
*a good soldering iron (good depend on your budget, cheap ceramic heating element soldering can be quite good for the price.)
*a soldering iron stand that have a good sponge "tray" thing, wiping your iron clean EVERYTIME you solder is one of the KEY to doing it right.
*Big Blue Solder Sucker, the one and only.
Anything else I missed?
I've just got my first SB3, and I'm now planning to mod it with big antennas... Ah, the pain of living in an apartment with very sturdy build. The solid concrete/rebar construction of the walls is just too much to have a good strong signal to my SB3.
2007-11-11, 22:15 #8
Possible Starter Toolkit (your mileage and tools may vary)
As for toolbox, I think it is best to fill it as the need arises. Sure there are tools you will use again and again, but I would tell you this, nothing works better then having the right tool for the right job. Can tools be used for things they were not meant for and still get the job done, of course? But nothing makes a job easier then having the right tool.
Good tools to start with (off the top of my head):
A pair of precision true-flush cutters
A pair of quick cutters (don’t cut Ty-wraps with your good true-flush cutter)
A pair of precision needle nose pliers with smooth jaws
A pair of precision needle nose pliers with serrated jaws
A pair of lineman pliers (for powercords and wall outlets)
A solder pullet (sucker)
Solder Wick Tape
A roll of WBT 4% Wonder Solder (use it for signal connections)
A roll of Reliacore 15 62/36/2 SN/PB/AG (use it for components)
A good soldering station (not your dad’s big black Weller gun!)
Weller WLC100 to start or Metcal PS-800E ($135)
Squeeze to open spring-loaded tweezers
Set of alignment tools (tweakers)
Precision #1 Phillips screwdriver, #2 Phillips, flattips
Static Wrist Strap with proper ground (the simple 3M grounded outlet unit works good)
Get the best DMM (Digital Multimeter) you can afford
If you really enjoy the hobby and start doing SMD or do a bunch of soldering, think about getting a Metcal Soldering Station
Always keep the soldering iron tip tinned and clean it on the wet sponge before every round of soldering. When you are finished, clean the tip, over tin the tip, then turn the station off, this will keep the tip from oxidizing and safe you money from having to buy new tips all the time.
I am absolutely sure I have forgotten some tool that somebody thinks is absolutely necessary, but I beg forgiveness in advance. In 20 years, I have collected just about every tool imaginable to work on electronics. So since it is in one of the draws of my roll-around, I’m not thinking about it now (even harder to think back to when I first soldered).
2007-11-11, 23:24 #9
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
I'm with the OP on this one. There is some weird "mod-culture" that has developed in which people have an uncontrollable urge to modify everything, including things they know nothing about. For some inexplicable reason, they think they will improve the device by randomly swapping parts. If they had any concept of the sort of work and the underlying knowledge base that goes into designing the device in the first place they would know how futile their efforts will be.
If you want to learn about engines, do you go out and take apart your car or do you play with an old lawn mower engine?
OK, you want to learn a little about electronics. Do you think playing with a $300 piece of hardware is the place to start, or would a small construction project or two make more sense?
This is one of those things that make you go hmmmmmmm.
Regarding Thomas Edison- many people have the idea that Edison invented everything with his name on the patent. This could not be further from the truth. Once he achieved a bit of success, he hired people to do the vast majority of the lab work. I've heard claims that thousands of different materials were tried for use as filaments for light bulbs. Edison didn't sit there year after year trying different materials. He had lab rats doing that for him. When they found anything with remotely commercial potential, Edison filed a patent. No one remembers any of the lab rat's names but everyone has heard that Edison "invented" a lot of stuff and has a huge number of patents. Engineering companies do the same thing today. Engineers have to sign away rights to anything they discover/develop as a condition of employment. They get to put their names on the patent, and sometimes a small cash bonus, but the company owns all commercial rights to the invention.
Last edited by tyler_durden; 2007-11-11 at 23:41.
2007-11-12, 00:20 #10
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
One of the things that Edison did was to piss off Tesla so much that he quit and started his own lab. Which we should thank both of them for this bit of interesting history, because without that, we might not have the AC power system that we have today.
Anyways, about modding. I've modded a fair bit of stuff, mostly for fun and my own enjoyment. One of the latest project was updating a B&K CS-117 pre amp, basically refreshed the whole thing with better parts, and in some cases, installed extra components to activate some of the optional features. (Like the XLR balanced out that my amp so badly needed) As well as a Musical Fidelity A220 that had some fairly badly dried out caps and aging pots. They all responded quite well to the refresh and upgrade. One interesting result is with A220 integrated amp.
At the time of refresh, we swear not to mod anything more than swapping OP Amps on this amp again, since it is such a pain to tear down and put back. We would have replaced the OP-Amp with national's new OP-Amp, but we don't have them on hand. So the amp was not touched, just updated caps and Alps Pot. The friend took it back and found the bass was much better controlled, and sounded much cleaner and enjoyable. A few days later, the Quad amp from NS had arrived, and he naturally was itching to try it on. As with his previous experience, he expected such high performance/resolution OP to sound harsh, bright, and scratchy even in the beginning, and slowly get better as it get burned in properly. That wasn't the case, the sound got surprisingly better without much ran in, detail/resolution, sound stage, ambiance and more.
IMHO, some modder are modding for the sake of modding, some mod so that they got colorful parts (I know a few), some mod for the gold/silver/diamond encrusted parts (I also know a few), and some mod because it actually sound better.
I personally have my friend do the listening trial for me, they have no idea how it is supposed to sound, and would not be "tainted" like the modder (myself) could be. It is quite an interesting experience to say the least, but you do need to have a "known good" reference so that they can compare it directly, rather than asking them to compare it from their memory.
IMHO, start modding on a kit bench power supply, then move on to regulators and OP-Amp circuits. It is a lot of fun, and can later be applied to SB3 if so desired. Also check out datasheets and app notes from those big semi companies, as they often bury some rather juicy tips in there.