EZ1290: The Ongoing Saga Pt.3

Monday was a very exciting day for me, because when I got home from my day job at Wegmans, it looked like Santa had payed me a visit. I’d recently put in orders for a bunch of stuff for couple of new projects as well as the final components I needed to finish my 1290 preamps!

2017-10-02 16.27.08
Oh, how long I have waited for this day

Those parts included the Greyhill rotary switches, and Carnhill input and output transformers. The input transformers are the smaller, blue rectangles. The outputs are the big red things.

So, first things first, I had three stuffed PCBs that needed switches before they could go anywhere else. What I would soon come to realize is that my perception of time becomes very distorted while I’m working. I felt pretty confident that I’d be able to get these three remaining channels up and running well before it got too late. Spoiler alert: I was very wrong.

2017-10-02 16.37.37
Here’s 30 reasons why I didn’t get a lot of sleep on Monday.

As you can see from the image above, each switch requires about 30 pads to be soldered. It’s certainly no small task to get just one switch installed, let alone three. Still though, with it all said and done, these switches definitely weren’t the only thing eating up my time.

Once those switches were installed, the next step was to wire up and mount the transformers. In retrospect, I really didn’t make it easy on myself by having the one channel already in the case to start with. I should have waited until I had everything to assemble the full unit. But I’m impatient, so here we are.

Both input and output transformers used in this build are variable, meaning you can wire them in a bunch of different ways to suit your project. That means that not only do you need to wire them to your inputs/ outputs, you also have to add some jumpers onto them.

I found it pretty funny looking in that case at the input transformer that I’d wired in about March this year. It’s kind of a train wreck. It gave me a really excellent insight into how much my wiring has improved in just the last six months though. I was really tempted to go in and rewire the whole thing just to make it look a little nicer, but as a wise man once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

2017-10-03 00.00.03
A flaming dumpster fire
2017-10-02 19.36.00
Neat and tidy wiring

The nice thing about the input transformers is that the mounting screws fit perfectly in those grate slots that were already cut into the case. The output transformers, not so much. That means drilling holes into the case, which means counter-sinking said holes in the case. It’s a process that I’d rather do without, but it’s pretty necessary since those guys weigh about a pound each.

Would it kill you to go on a diet?

On the bright side, once those were in, all that was left was hooking everything up. On the other hand, it was about 11:30 at night by that point. At least I didn’t have to get up early the next day, so I decided to just keep going until I at least had everything ready to go, and then I could test it tomorrow.

2017-10-02 23.53.28
2 out of 4 is insufficient

So I got channel 2 all hooked up, which including the trim pot, took about another half hour. But I was in it for the long haul, because I kew at this point I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until it was finished.

2017-10-03 01.23.24

And so finished I made it and then promptly went to bed at around 1:30 or so after doing some double-checks and tidying up my cabling. The box now weighs a ton (a sign of its immense quality), and is happily living back in its home in my racks. I tested them out the next day and was very happy to find that there were no issues whatsoever with any of the channels. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Now, in the meantime I just have to wait for the parts to come in for my next projects. “Projects?!” you ask, bewildered and intrigued, “What could they possibly be?”

Well, I’ll keep that to myself until I get started on the first one at least. I’m looking forward to chronicling the entire builds from start to finish this time instead of picking things up half-way through. Until then though, I think I’ll just relax and catch up on some of the practice that I’ve missed since I’ve been so engrossed in these projects.

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