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Starving Student PCB's

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  1. Andy Mac
    Got it all hooked up on the workbench, powered it up, no smoke or sparks so that was a bonus.
    I plugged in some cheap earhones, hooked up my Fiio X3 and voila!! Tube magic!!!
    The tubes glow a nice even healthy orange and the mosfets heat up very well.
    When nothing is playing or the music is quiet, there is a loud hum... very annoying!!
    It increases with volume control and is the same on both channels. It is also present with no source being plugged in...
    I have wired my tube holders on wires and not directly to the board, will this effect it?
    I notice if I touch the tubes or the volume pot the hum changes...

    Any ideas or pointers?

    It's going into a wooden case once this issue is sorted...
  2. muskyhuntr
    Hard to tell without pictures and other info, but sounds like a grounding problem. From your description, one possible cause is that the pot case is not grounded.
    Check that input wiring is away from AC. Twist input wiring.

  3. Andy Mac
    Thanks for the help. I'll report back once done.
    Another thing, due to the case design, I am not soldering the tube sockets directly to the pcb.
    Is this an issue?
    Is it preferable to bunch all 9 socket wires together, spread them out or twist certain ones together?
    I just want to eliminate any potential noise....

    I have also lined the entire inside with aluminium adhesive foil. I will ground this to the pcb as well... is this a good idea too???
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  4. Andy Mac
    IMG_0955.JPG IMG_0956.JPG IMG_0957.JPG IMG_0958.JPG Done. Sounds awesome. I'm more than happy for a first build.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  5. chitnik
    I joined this forum so that I could order a couple PCBs. And they are already on the way! Thank you fred_fred2004!
  6. chitnik
    I started building my BOM based on a BOM another member posted in this thread. After building the list, I noticed the other member used 1/8 watt resistors. Of course, the schematic calls for 1/4 watt resistors. Should I update my BOM to use 1/4 watt resistors? Or will the 1/8 watt resistors be okay?
  7. chitnik
    Never mind. I figured it out. They are "military spec" which means they are equivalent to 1/4 watt consumer spec.
  8. Detectit
    Are these pcb 's still for sale? Ordered the parts. And it's convenient to have a board.

    Looked on the ebay shop. But could not find anywhere.
  9. jeeper
    Hi, I have a question. I have accidentally ordered 4 non polarized capacitors with the specified values as written in the OP for:
    c2 c4 c3a c5a

    Would these be okay to use? or do they have to be polarized? Thanks.
  10. DaKube
    Hi Fred,
    Do you happen to have the artwork for the board? I want to have Mammoth custom drill a case for me and having the exact location of the tubes will help with that. I could measure, but you guess that a guy who can't even drill his own case also really sucks at measuring, too. Thanks!
  11. Etlie
    Hi all

    This is my first time doing anything like this and will be a very silly question for most of you. I've wired everything up, and the amp works however one tube is considerably brighter than the other. One lights up like a light bulb and the other is very dim. Ive switched both tube around and its the same side which has the problem meaning both tubes are fine. I also checked the mosfet, and the mosfet on the same side as the dim tube is significantly warmer than the other mosfet which is cooler to the touch. Is this normal? Have I wired up something wrong?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  12. Nathan P
    Finished V0.1 (This enclosure is a trial run for one I'll build from scratch out of hardwood. The metal switchplates are quite rough as well as I'm working only with hand tools at the moment.) of my Starving Student using one of Fred's PCBs today. I finished the actual amp circuit over a year ago but life got in the way. Finally got a chance to finish it. The box was supposed to be a pet funerary urn. :D

    Took some troubleshooting with grounding and isolating signal connectors to get the noise floor down, but it's dead silent now and sounds amazing with the GE tubes I picked up.




    Thanks for the awesome PCBs Fred! You rock.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  13. Detectit
    Nice Nathan.

    Mine finished two weeks ago. Didn't take the effort to make a case myself.

    I have made a 3.5 mm male jack in the case. Where I can pug in the Cayin N3 directly.

    Some orange led's in the tube sockets which I can turn off.

    MVIMG_20180101_223900.jpg MVIMG_20180101_223850.jpg Nice little project.
  14. Nathan P
    Nicely done!

    I have a second PCB, I'll probably leave this one as is, maybe clean up the cosmetics a bit. v2.0 I'll probably make a case from scratch if I can get access to the tools I need.

    My main source is an Audient recording interface (nice Burr Brown dacs) so I went with RCAs. I have a nice 3.5mm to RCA cable that I use with a dragonfly black when I'm listening from my laptop.
  15. spencerb
    Thanks for the boards, going to start my build soon!
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