Analogue Routing – patchbays and cables

Samson S-Patch Plus

Patchbays – routing your signal

Note:  This is a preliminary article and will cover the construction of a basic Arduino controlled patch bay/audio signal router.  Users should be aware that manufacturing a patchbay as a DIY project can and will will be very expensive. The Samson S-Patch Plus retails for between R2000 and R2500.00 in South Africa.  A parts B.o.M places this project at about R5 000.00. However, careful consideration of B.o.M (input types) and digital control will be infinitely cheaper than an electronic audio signal router off the shelf.

The Samson S-Patch Plus is remarkable in that it tidies up your flow,  gets rid of unsightly cables, is quick and affordable.  If you are like me you prefer to purchase pro series audio because it’s modular and often cheaper than commercial consumer integrated audio.  So you can throw away the parts you don’t like and only add that which you deem necessary and very importantly, have some control from the PC or laptop.

This comes at a price of course, spaghetti!  And if you are like the mechanic whose car never runs properly this spills down to never being able to find that missing plug or socket. To be honest, pro audio can be a nightmare.

Samson S-Patch Plus
Samson S-Patch Plus

Continue reading “Analogue Routing – patchbays and cables”

Upgrading to the new Mixer or Mic-preamplifier

Scarlett 18i20 Gen 1

To upgrade or not to upgrade is the question

So last year Focusrite decided to change their range of 1st gen Scarlett series to 2nd generation and I found myself looking at my older 18i20 unit which had just lost a couple of bucks in value.

Scary stuff, but not as scary as vehicle depreciation.  So the question that arises is does one sell now, get new or hang on?  This is a dilemma which we all face at some time or another.  The solution is usually to use common sense and logic. Team marketing hope that you have neither. Continue reading “Upgrading to the new Mixer or Mic-preamplifier”

Building circuits and PCBs

PCB - layer side soldering

The ultimate connection

Building electronic circuits is a fascinating pastime and if not your profession many new adventurers find the world of SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis), building PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) and getting a professional finish rather scary. And expensive!

Firstly, your best friend is your computer.  Many years back Joe Inventor was the amateur radio Ham.  Our biggest and best supplier of electronic components in the Western Cape was then of course Hamrads. Continue reading “Building circuits and PCBs”

Ed’s Back – Live at the Grand West Arena

Good news for South Africans!

The group Live will be performing at the Grand West Arena on the 7th November.   Rumour has it that Ed Kowalczyk will be appearing with them as lead vocalist – remember him, he that went solo for a while. Although Chris Shinn replaced him after 2012, Ed is back.


Grand Arena at GrandWest Casino, Cape Town, South Africa

Live at the Chilli Cookoff 2010 - courtesy Gitman00 at en.wikipedia
Live at the Chilli Cookoff 2010 – courtesy Gitman00 at en.wikipedia

Live are from York, Pennsylvania. Their rock style is familiar to many South Africans. Ed Kowalczyk left in 2012, replaced by Chris Shinn (ex-Unified Theory).  If you are not familiar with the group please catch up here at Wiki and don’t forget to donate.  🙂  –  Discography included. Continue reading “Ed’s Back – Live at the Grand West Arena”

Audiophile Class D – Part Two

Audiophile Class D – Part Two – Practical Examples

Just before we get started, Kenneth, a reader wants to know why if we claim to be “Analogians” why we keep on harping on Class D?  I think an explanation by way of clarification is necessary.

Kenneth, although the name of the website is a play on words, my name is Ian, we do understand the importance of digital electronics. Actually just as important and in many cases more so than analogue.  I do not think that a switching amplifier is indeed a digital device even if the PWM and switcher itself are controlled by DSP. The raw class D amplifier has a triangle waveform generator, a comparator and PWM.  If digital is all around bit-rate and 0s and 1s at a predefined 5V level then this is surely not digital.  Just as if a rail shifting amplifier can be made to switch to various voltage levels through a digitally controlled switch it does not necessarily make the amplifier a digital one.  What does seem to be the tendency is that switching amplifiers are being termed more “digital” now than ever and this is going to stick.  Possibly we do need to have a more inventive description however. 

Moving on…..

Practical examples of Class D Continue reading “Audiophile Class D – Part Two”

Asian Imports – to do or not to do

Asian Imports – not purchasing a white elephant

In today’s throwaway world it becomes enticing to purchase something cheaply because either you are cheap 🙂 or more importantly, if it doesn’t work you can just trash.  There is of course a cut off point to what is cheap. A student may baulk at paying R200.00 for a gadget which Joe, the JSE executive would not dream of buying, opting for the Apple equivalent instead.

We will refer here to electronic goods and of course,  the South African market.

Electronics Kits - Arduino
Electronics Kits – Arduino

A little about the Consumer Protection Act Continue reading “Asian Imports – to do or not to do”

Audiophile Class D

The pure ambiguity of high end sound systems

The purist may rate the ultimate audio amplifier as being a straight piece of wire with gain.  Possibly driving his or her Sennheiser HD800s. In South Africa this may well put you back R40 000.00.  Maybe it’s time to put aside the Woo Audio, Schiit or Linear Tube and take a listen to Class D. On real speakers.

Class D amplifier 500W available from wish.com
Class D amplifier 500W available from wish.com (500W 35/-35V supply on LHS)

Continue reading “Audiophile Class D”