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SC DSP Musicolour

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by David L. Jones, May 27, 2008.

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  1. As mentioned a little while back, the new DSP Musicolour is in the latest
    Plenty of high voltage "Danger, Will Robinson" type warnings as you'd
    expect, but no physical barrier by the looks of it. But the construction
    notes are next month.
    At least the Triacs are the insulated tab type.

    Oh, and a valve amplifer review on the front cover.
    Of course, they had to start the article with "Some readers may be annoyed
    by the sight of a review of a valve amplifier"

  2. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    shades of EAT 2001 :)

    Mind you, I got a shock when I saw what sales of new valve amplifiers is
    today. Didn't realise this industry existed to the extend that it does.
    No shortage of enthusiasts.

    Don McKenzie

    Site Map:
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    Intelligent 2.83" AMOLED with touch screen for micros:
  3. Doesn't surprise me. And I've heard the vintage hobby is big too,
    hence the long running column in SC.
    But the question is, does this stuff belong in Silicon Chip?

  4. **Ultimately, SC must satisfy their advertisers and their readers. If the
    readers demand information on a particular product (cheap, but poor value
    for money Chinese valve amps) then they need to respond accordingly. They
    reviewed the product fairly, IMO. The also, correctly, added that the
    product was hardly good value for money and could be comfortably
    outperformed by a much cheaper solid state product.

    As for the vintage radio stuff, I agree that it is of passing interest to
    me, but I have gained some insights by the occasional read.
    [Anecdote] One of my mates is a tech and has recently completed a (very
    time-consuming) restoration of a black & white TV set. He told me that it
    was one of the few remote control (yep, turret tuner and all) sets in
    Australia. I've yet to see it, but his last restoration (a 1920s vintage
    radio) was astonishingly good.

    Whatever floats your boat.
  5. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Even Leo's intro in big bold red text, indicates he is biased away from
    valve designs.

    Does it belong in SC?
    I couldn't see too may other Australian magazines doing such an in depth
    technical appraisal, and have the readers understand it. Unless there
    are specific mags aimed at this market, but not having a direct
    interest, there may well be.

    I haven't played with valves since the late 50's/early 60's. I was glad
    to see transistors come along. :)


    Don McKenzie

    Site Map:
    E-Mail Contact Page:

    Intelligent 2.83" AMOLED with touch screen for micros:
  6. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Trevor Wilson"

    ** That would likely be a mid 60s Kriesler, 23inch console TV set.

    The remote control unit was on a long multicore cable and had a small
    speaker fitted inside it for personal listening. The functions included
    volume, brightness and channel change - up or down.

    The turret tuner was driven around by an induction motor plus step down gear
    box and it " chugged" between channels - stopping only on the ones you had
    pre-set. The TV had independent fine tune knobs for each channel on the

    They made thousands of the things in various versions.

    ...... Phil
  7. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    I remember those fairly well. Very advanced technology for its time.
  8. Then he must have a lot of readers (or the reader surveys) tell him
    people want this stuff, if he is doing it, as it appears, somewhat
    "against his will".

    I'd love to see the results of the last reader survey conducted.
    I agree. Doesn't mean it belongs though!
    I've always been of the opinion that all these type of reviews and
    vintage radio stuff don't really belong in SC, but that's just me. But
    if it keeps SC afloat, then so be it I guess.

    Perhaps I should have done a valve MP3 player watch project? :->

  9. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Trevor Wilson"
    ** Kindly point me to those words in the article.

    BTW 1: The amp tested showed around 1% THD as full power was approached -
    which is very poor - as was the *pathetic* damping factor figure of 1.68.

    Even valve amps made in the 1950s ( Quad, Leak etc) boasted 0.1 % THD and
    DFs of 10 or 20.

    The design of this Chinese example must be VERY primitive.

    BTW 2: The graph on page 77 for 4 ohm load ( THD v. Watts ) is plain wrong.

    BTW 3: I bet it does use toroidal mains and output transformers, tall ones
    do exist.

    ...... Phil
  10. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "David L. Jones"

    ** Hmmm - it is now just on twenty years since SC published a 240 volt
    musicolour design.

    Took them a while to get over the furore generated by their last one

    ** In the "Main Features " blurb it says:

    " * Four phase-controlled output channels...

    * Zero voltage switching of Triacs for minimum RF interference. "

    Anyone see a *problem* with these two claims ???

    ........ Phil
  11. Anyone want to play spot the glaring error in the USB power injector

  12. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Is there a prize Dave?

    The one obvious item I noticed was the box cover print shows 9V AC/DC
    Input, and the schematic appears to allow for 6VDC. This has a single
    diode apparently for polarity protection only, not full wave rectification.

    That is as far as I went, as I had just got a Logitech 4 port USB
    powered hub ([email protected] output) for $28 from K-Mart. have 4 port powered hubs listed at $8, but then, I get to
    wait in a line for 40 minutes. :)

    So unless it was for the experience of building the kit, I don't see it
    as being a practical project for myself, or too many others.

    The Maxtor Onetouch (pictured) must be a monster with power. I think
    it's a Seagate.

    I have many external 2.5" USB drives, and it's the only one that seems
    to need a powered hub to kick it off. Got the usual 2 connectors, but
    won't run up to speed with a non-powered hub, and I believe this could
    be why this project was designed.

    As soon as I saw the drive picture in the article, I thought some other
    poor bugger got stuck with one of those. I run mine from a $9.95 Ritmo
    AC to USB power adapter KT-22A ouput [email protected], and it runs fine.

    Sort of defeats the purpose of having a nice little 2.5" drive to pop in
    your pocket, or notebook bag.


    Don McKenzie

    Site Map:
    E-Mail Contact Page:

    Intelligent 2.83" AMOLED with touch screen for micros:
  13. Perhaps Leo will offer a free subscription?
    That ain't it, but nice guess, thanks for playing.
    You are welcome to try again.

    Can anyone else beat Don to the punch?

  14. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    Seagate and Maxtor are the same thing these days. Recently I was
    looking into buying an external 500GB drive but then I looked at user
    The number of people having 3.5" external drives of all brands
    either fail without warning after a few weeks/months or fail when they
    bumped them and they fell over put me right off so I bought an internal
    Seagate unit and installed it in my PC case without any problems.
    I've got a 2.5" 80GB external Seagate FreeAgent drive whose cable
    has two USB plugs to allow it to get up to 1A from a pair of ports which
    is reasonably convenient.

  15. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    I have been paranoid about backups since my wife unplugged the power to
    the TRS-80 in March 1978, after I had invested about 8 hours into a
    program. She only wanted to plug in a double adapter, so she could get a
    bit of ironing done :) I failed to write a copy to audio tape before
    the damage was done.

    In the XT days, (early 80's) I had an external 20Mb drive hanging
    outside the case, and alternated backups to another spare 20Mb drive
    every day. That is, a 3 drive system, which I have used ever since.

    I then graduated to plug in caddies, the ones with the blue Centronics
    type connectors, but they proved very troublesome, as the connectors
    kept failing. Each time they did, I purchased another.

    When USB V2 came along, it was fast enough to use for my dual backup
    system, however I have lost many external drives in the process, so I
    have to agree with you Bob, regarding external 3.5" drives.

    Seeing the 2.5" more robust, notebook drives dropping in price, and
    increasing in capacity, made me think about them as a new potential
    backup system.

    But the first drive I tried was a Maxtor, and I found that it really
    takes some grunt in the 5V department to fire up.

    Am now trying an nice little LACIE which so far has been humming away
    nicely, usually on one USB port.


    Don McKenzie

    Site Map:
    E-Mail Contact Page:

    Intelligent 2.83" AMOLED with touch screen for micros:
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Guest

    You mean apart from the fact that it's cheaper and easier to just buy a
    powered USB hub?

  17. Yep, apart from that, an error in the design.

  18. Another recent project that falls under that category is the dsPIC
    You can buy a genuine Microchip PICkit2 programmer for under $40, and
    it supports all the PIC ranges, including the dsPIC. And if you need
    the ZIF socket (who needs to with ICSP?) simply wire one up.
    Add to that it's USB powered, can even power your (low power) project,
    can double as a 3 channel 1MS/s logic analyser, and integrates into
    Makes the SC project look very silly indeed. The space would have been
    better served reviewing the PICkit2

  19. Andy Wood

    Andy Wood Guest

    .. . .
    To have any chance in this game I would have to rush out and buy the
    latest SC.

    Just how much is Leo paying you?

    Andy Wood
  20. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Andy Wood"

    ** LOL !!

    I have put a scan of the schematic on ABSE for you.

    ..... Phil
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