Not thrilled with how a computer soundcard drove my 32ohm headphones so I decided to build myself class-A mosfet headphone amplifier. As with most of my projects, the goal was to keep it simple, keep cost down and try use some salvaged parts. This is a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) headphone amplifier project that is fashioned primarily after the Class A MOSFET Headphone Driver project by Greg Szekeres and to some extent Mark's DIY Class A 2SK1058 MOSFET Amplifier Project. The amplifier concept is simple and follows a typical single-ended class A circuit utilizing an active constant current source (CCS) in place of a passive resistor. A CCS doubles the efficiency of the circuit over that where a passive load resistor is used, bringing it to a maximum of 25%.
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 • Category: Power Supplies
This is a basic universal variable Power Supply voltage regulator circuit using an LM317, 3-terminal regulator in a TO-220package. The Universal Power Supply output voltage can be set to anywhere in the range 1.5V to 30V by selecting two resistances. By using a potentiometer, R2, as one of the resistors you can dial up the output voltage wanted. Either AC or DC input can be supplied to the PCB via a socket or terminal block. Connection can be either way around. This is because we have provided a bridge rectifier on board. The input DC voltage to the regulator must be at least 2.5V above the required output voltage. An off/on switch is provided.
For many applications (say 12V at 60mA) a heat sink will not be necessary. The LM317 will provide slightly higher output voltages than 30 volts. However, for most hobbyists over 30V will not be needed. So to make a small PCB we have used some electrolytic capacitors rated to 35 volts. To be safe for continuous operation the maximun input DC voltage to the regulator should not be over 33V. With a 2.5V to 3.0V drop across the regulator this will give a regulated output of 30V. You can draw up to 1.5A from the LM317. If you need higher then use an LM338T rated to 5A.
Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 • Category: Amplifiers
I'm not sure what motivated me to decide on building a high-gain tube preamp of this sort. Maybe it was the tube computer sound card idea I have seen, or the fact that I have enough junk to fill a dump truck. What ever it was, it all started with a cute little plastic Hammond enclosure that had been on my shelf for a couple of years. I originally thought I might use it for a tube headphone amp, but in the end realized there would not be enough space for the three tubes needed to make a head amp. This is a high gain preamplifier that is suitable for use where a lot of gain is required - to drive a power amplifier that needs plenty of gain or perhaps for use with instruments, like a guitar or microphone. If you need less gain, take a look at the RCA 12AU7 / ECC82 Cathode Follower Tube Preamp Schematic which has a gain of about 8.
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