Portable (analog) amp powered via USB
post-220202
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 3

halcyon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
1,801
Reaction score
165
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Posts
1,801
Likes
165
Could anybody here modify one of the recommended portable headphone amps so that it would take it's power (not the signal!) from an USB connection and not from batteries?

As I understand USB offers a 5 Volt connection and high current needing devices can draw up to 500mA, which again might not be that high, but enough to drive most headphones.

At least META42 can be tailored below 6 Volts it seems. Porta Corda II seems to run off 9 Volts, whereas the Supermini runs off 3x1.5 Volt batteries.

I haven't measured any USB power rails, so I don't know how stable they are. Probably quite unstable at least on most computers, I'd think. This would probably necessitate further power regulation compared to an ordinary battery based setup (?).

I have a specific need for such an amp as I'm trying to build a portable amp that doesn't have to rely on batteries (or availability of wall to plug into) and will be plugged into various kinds of portable sources and computer soundcards.

The amp might have to drive phones up to 300 Ohms and quite inefficient. Specific models I have in mind (although this may change) include Sennheiser HD-250 Linear II and Beyerdynamic DT831.

Any ideas / links?

cheers,
Halcyon

PS I could probably build it myself, but I have so much to do right now...
 
     Share This Post       
post-220501
Post #2 of 3

halcyon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
1,801
Reaction score
165
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Posts
1,801
Likes
165
I just wrote a message to Jan Meier about Porta Corda II asking if it can be fitted to work with USB power source.

However, looking at the images at Meier Audio site, it shouldn't be too much of a problem AFAIK.

EDIT: Well, Porta Corda II needs 6 V minimum. It would need a redesign to accomodate the lower voltage of USB bus and also (I think) additional power cleaning.

I don't think it's worth the effort, so I will go with a battery version.

regards,
halcyon
 
     Share This Post       
post-223266
Post #3 of 3

Wodgy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
4,657
Reaction score
12
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
4,657
Likes
12
There are inexpensive voltage regulator chips meant specifically for this purpose (stabilizing USB power). They also have mechanisms for preventing surges into your laptop. You can also grab power from the PC card slot (PCMCIA/Cardbus) or the removable battery/hard drive/disk bay, if you have one (10-12V).

On the other hand, it might not be worth the trouble. I'm working on a USB device right now (should finish the PCB this afternoon), and I'm using wall/battery power. It's simpler.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top