brach

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  • in reply to: PCB testing troubles #3237
    brach
    Moderator

    That makes since. It seems that the power transformer isn’t getting any voltage…probably because of the damaged pad. Would it be possible to send me some photos of the board where the pad got damaged? If you can’t attach them to the forum post then email them to me…brach “at” zeppelindesignlabs “dot” com
    Just to make sure…are you getting ~120vac at P5 (where the wires come in from the IEC jack)?
    Thanks.
    We’ll get this fixed.
    -Brach

    in reply to: PCB testing troubles #3235
    brach
    Moderator

    If the trace from that pad broke then that would explain why you are not getting any voltage on most of the test points. See if you can make that repair and let me know the results. If you want any help or tips on that process let me know.
    Good luck.
    -Brach

    in reply to: PCB testing troubles #3233
    brach
    Moderator

    Hi Grant,
    This Brach, the electrical designer here at ZDL.
    I’m curious what voltage reading you are getting from your power transformer. What AC voltage do you get across the brown wires coming from the power transformer (not from ground, but across the wires)? What AC voltage do you get across the Red wires? What DC voltage do you get at testpont 1 (from ground)?…If you get nothing, are the bridge rectifiers (BR1, BR2) in the correct orientation?
    Thanks.
    -Brach

    in reply to: No sound #3223
    brach
    Moderator

    The good thing is, the amp works…it’s got the correct voltages in the correct spots. The problem is some of the signal isn’t making it through somehow to the output. If I understand you correctly, every time you re-flow/re-solder some stuff on the board the amp gets louder. To me, that’s a sign that there’s some sort of connection issue…most likely it’s something that’s not making a good connection somewhere (as opposed to a short)….only letting a bit of the signal through. If you are at all un-confident about the solder joints then please check them again…look very closely at each joint. I know it’s a pain, but that seems to be what all signs are pointing toward.
    Just checking, you are using an 8 ohm speaker, correct?
    If all the tube voltages are correct then the tube is working correctly. Besides that, we test every tube before we send it out, so there’s very little chance that it’s a tube problem. Vacuum tubes contain a bunch of tiny parts, very close together, so often times they do rattle when they are shaken vigorously…unless you are talking about loose parts in the tube, but if that’s the case then it most likely wouldn’t have the correct voltages on the tube pins because something wouldn’t be making a connection in the tube.
    Thanks for verifying that you tightened the tube socket pins. If you are pretty sure all the tube pins are making good connection then you don’t have to keep trying to tighten them. I just know in the past these symptoms have been caused by that.
    You’ve probably already done this, but I wouldn’t hurt to double check the values of resistors in the signal path to make sure they are correct.
    Please keep me posted with how things are going.
    -Brach

    in reply to: No sound #3213
    brach
    Moderator

    The fact that re-flowing the resistors from the top side changed something, tells me that you had another bad solder joint somewhere. Since your Percolator still isn’t working properly it makes me think that there is another bad solder joint somewhere. You may be at the point of taking the board out of the chassis again and reflowing all the joints and double checking for solder bridges (shorts).
    Have you tightened the tube socket yet? If so, did you tighten the socket and re-flow the solder joints in the same step, or did you test the amp between each of those steps? I’m just wondering if it might have been fixed when you tightened the tube socket, but you didn’t notice it. If that might have been the issue or part of it then gently re-tighten the socket again…if that works it will keep you from having to remove the board from the chassis. When tightening the sockets focus on pins 3, 6, and 11 (next to R1, R6, and R11)…these are the grid pins. The “grid” is where the signal comes into the tube stage. If you have correct voltages on the other pins then it’s most likely that the signal is not making good connection to one of these pins…if it’s the tube socket at all.
    I don’t know if you have one, but it really helps to get one of those solder sucker tools to remove the solder from the holes after you remove the wires. They are very helpful in putting the board back after you remove it and removing excess solder from around the pads if you have any big solder globs anywhere.
    We are really close. Keep persevering!
    Good luck and keep in touch.
    -Brach

    in reply to: No sound #3207
    brach
    Moderator

    Hyllej,
    The fact that all the tube voltages are correct is a good sign that the tube circuitry is functioning properly. The first thing to do is to tighten the tube socket. To do this you just need to get some sort of sharp, pointy tool and gently pry the tube socket contacts closer together to help them grip the tube pins better. Sometimes they get spread a little to far apart in the “loosening the tube socket” step, and they don’t make good contact with the tube pins.
    If this doesn’t work then you probably need to re-flow (re-solder) the solder joints again. I know it’s a pain, but the fact that you had one bad solder joint is a sign that other’s could be bad as well. At first, just re-flow the resistors from the top (component side) of the board so you don’t have to take out the PCB. If that doesn’t work then you’ll have to take out the board and check really closely for solder bridges (shorts) and re-flow the capacitors and other components that you weren’t able to get to from the top of the board.
    You really shouldn’t turn on your amp without a load (speaker) attached. It’s really bad for the tube. So make sure the speaker is plugged in when you test it. It’s not uncommon for properly working tube amps to behave like that when they don’t have the speaker plugged in…so i’m not worried about the buzzing with no load. The problem is that the signal is not making it through somehow. We’ll get it sorted out one way or another.
    -Brach

    in reply to: No sound #3199
    brach
    Moderator

    Make sure that the feedback wire is connected to the correct lug of the output jack. If it’s connected to the ground lug instead of the positive lug of the output jack then it would exhibit symptoms like those. Let me know what you find.
    Good luck,
    -Brach

    in reply to: Can't get the display working #2751
    brach
    Moderator

    Troy,
    I’m sorry the display is giving you trouble.
    I agree with you that it does seem like there is no issue with the display itself. My guess is that some pins are not making good contact with the header pins. I often have to bend the display leads pretty far to get them working properly. Are any segments working on all three digits, or are only pieces of 1 or 2 digits working? Also, are the same segments not working on each digit? If we know which segment or digit is not working then we can tell which pins are not making contact.
    Let me know.
    Good luck!
    -Brach

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2234
    brach
    Moderator

    That’s really cool! Please keep us informed with how it works in your installation.
    Good luck.
    -Brach

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2230
    brach
    Moderator

    That supports my theory. By setting the bias that high, you are increasing the load on the SMPS, allowing it to stabilize. You now have 1mA going through each FET, which is fine, as long as you are ok with the sensitivity of the Cortado at that bias setting. If you need to adjust the bias back down (for sensitivity reasons) then just do as i mentioned in the previous post and plug in a different condenser mic into another channel on the converter to add a higher load to the phantom power SMPS at the same time the Cortado is plugged in to the first channel.
    Let me know if you have any more questions.
    -Brach

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2225
    brach
    Moderator

    I’ve never heard of that problem before, but I don’t think the higher voltage in itself would cause an oscillation. But to answer your question, there is not an easy way to reduce the voltage in the Cortado. Your can try to tinker with the zobel network (R7 and C3) to see if you can nullify the oscillation, but even then, I doubt that’s going to have any affect on it because I don’t think it’s coming from instability in the XLR cable. My thoughts are that you are somehow hearing a lower harmonic from the switch mode power supply of your converter. SMPS’s can be pretty finicky if they don’t get the proper load they want to see…in which case they can go into “burst mode” and become extra noisy….and Cortado’s do present a very low load. Plug in another condenser mic to a different channel on the converter at the same time to give the 48V rail a bit more of a load. The Mackie has a linear power supply, so it’s much more stable.
    Good luck.
    -Brach

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2174
    brach
    Moderator

    …I just got back in town, sorry that I wasn’t able to respond earlier.
    That’s great to hear that’s it’s working now! I was thinking there had to be more variables to this issue than I knew about because these Cortado circuits aren’t that complicated. Good job getting it figured out. I’m glad to hear that you are pleased with your Cortado and Espresso!
    -Brach

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2163
    brach
    Moderator

    Attaching a different piezo disc was going to be my next suggestion, but since you already tried that and it’s still distorted (good job troubleshooting, by the way), then lets start looking at the circuit. As you’ve heard, FETs are all over the map when it comes to consistency in gain. If it is the case that you happen to have a very high gain FET then you can compensate for it by raising the value of R8…try around 2-4k; then check your bias to make sure it’s not too low. Good luck.

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2160
    brach
    Moderator

    That’s good, this confirms that there is most likely something wrong with your piezo disc. I’m assuming that the disc is shielded, is this correct?
    Please make sure that the shielding is not connected to any part of the brass or ceramic part of the disc. Also, it’s important to make sure that the PZ1 and PZ2 wires are making proper contact with the 2 parts on the disc. When you measure the resistance between the red and white wires, the reading on your meter should continue to rise until it is too high to measure. This should let you know if the red and white wires are connected properly to the disc.

    in reply to: setting the bias current (scratchy Cortado) #2156
    brach
    Moderator

    Check these voltages to make sure they are in the same ballpark…This still seems like a piezo disc issue, but we shouldn’t rule out other components. Let me know what you find.
    Cortado troubleshooting voltages

Viewing 15 posts - 391 through 405 (of 426 total)