Monday, August 31, 2009

Transformers back together... for now.

I just finished putting my transformers and choke back together. I must say, the splash of red paint makes them look pretty good. At least better than the bare metal they showed up wearing.

When the chassis arrives (it is here in town, but has the tracking status "Shipment On Hold") I'm going to end up having to remove one of the sides of the power transformer to expose things to the inside of the chassis, which means I'm going to have some metal work to do on the power transformer housing I choose to use. Snippy snippy!

My Cliff jacks showed up today as well! Go eBay!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Transformers... transform!

So I laid down some primer...

and then some paint...

on the transformer and choke casings. They are now a nice fire engine red. I know that I'll only be using a single side casing for the power transformer, but I figured I do both of them anyways, so I can pick the best of the two once done.

I've started thinking about what I am going to do with regard to some final dressing on the transformers and choke. I think I may do the logo from the top of the page in black. That's all I've come up with so far. Maybe I'll have more ideas when I'm away for my golf getaway this weekend...

The iron has arrived.

My transformer/choke bundle from triode electronics in Chicago showed up today. Check 'em out!

I also picked up some spray primer and some "Banner Red" spray paint as they are a bit bland. My order from Ceriatone has made it to Toronto so far and should be here some time mid next week. I hope that my order from Watt's Tube Audio in Florida gets here next week as well. That way, when I return from the Labour Day holiday weekend, I'll have everything I need to get down to business. Off to the shed!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Today I spent some time getting my workspace ready for the coming weeks. The first thing I did was I went out and got my hands on a tall saddle stool for my workbench. Luckily there is a nice level spot right in front of my workbench so all is well.

I then decided that it would be best to fix the rotted out door jamb and flaky door on the shed. I would like to keep my stuff mine. A trip to Home Depot and $15 worth of wood later and we have a door that closes properly. I still need one more hinge and some form of locking mechanism, but Hurricane Bill is on his way, so it will have to wait a couple days.

Finally, after an hour at that, I decided to take Joe Popp's schematic (see link from post dated August 18th) and tear out all of the electronic components and wires and stuff so I would have a nice clean layout, that I can print off, tape on to my blank turret board material when it arrives, and then drill to my hearts content. Thanks for doing the original in actual size Joe!

The outer 6 bigger "holes" are for standoffs, and the other 60 are where I'll be staking turrets. C'mon parts! Get here now!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let the spending continue!

So I just finished placing an order with Ceriatone in Malaysia for the chassis, face plates, and both the voltage and impedance selectors.

I also just finished placing an order with Triode Electronics in Chicago for a bundled set of transformers and choke. As you can see from the pictures they are Plain Jane and non-finished so I plan on doing some cosmetic work on these babies to make them look really nice.

I also just completed the ordering process for all of the internals from Watts Tube Audio. Now comes the waiting game. I should have most of what I need in a week or so, and should be on track to get the circuit board all done up before the chassis shows up.

I've started to put some thought into what I am going to do for a head cabinet when the time comes to put the assembled chassis in something. One idea I have is to do a nice birch cabinet done in the style of an old plexi stained really dark, with a clear fibreglas piece in the front that would allow you to see the tubes glowing and the transformers. We'll see how it develops as time progresses...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Start of the Journey...

So, here we are. Yesterday marked the beginning of my journey into tube amplifier building. I cleaned out a ton of stuff from my raggedy old shed (it didn't get that way on my watch, I inherited it when we bought this house back in December) and had myself a nice 7 hour fire last night to "take care" of it all. It was mostly wood...

This evening I went out and bought myself a simple 8" Jobmate drill press from Canadian Tire, a power bar and cheap extension cord with a light bulb socket. My shed is now equipped with electricity and a shiny new drill press. Maybe I'll take a picture of it once the new NiMH's I bought are done charging. (edit: charged!)

So here we go. I plan on doing a JCM800 2204 clone for my first build. I'm borrowing Joe Popp's schematic from his JCM Twins build. I went ahead earlier and parted out the entire diagram and am now in the process of putting it all into a spreadsheet so I have an easy way of managing what I've bought and what I have left to buy. Back to the spreadsheet before Hell's Kitchen comes on!