Haynes Build Your Own Mini Amp Kit (Review)

Silent Witness was “doing my head in”, so I thought I’d build this Haynes Amplifier Kit.

I bought it at 75% discount, but hey, it’s Haynes, so it must be ok?
Hmm..
Turns out it’s made under license by a German firm.
Took about an hour, but that’s only because I had wire cutters/strippers. Without them it would have been TWO hours.
Issues:
  1. The board is too big for the space between the speaker and the volume control. I had to install it upside down and skewed.
  2. You need wire strippers/cutters. Not made clear.
  3. The volume control is wonky unless you install the washer underneath instead of outside.
  4. The wires on the speaker, volume control, and aux jack are too long. You need to bend them so the case will shut.
  5. Same applies to the resistors and capacitors, you need to bend them to clear the case. Or cut them. See 2, above.
  6. There’s no way to secure the battery. I pritt-sticked it in place, but that will not last.. poor!
  7. You need a really small flat screwdriver to attach the volume knob. Not mentioned anywhere.
On a positive note, it worked first time. More by luck than judgement.  I need to look  at increasing the gain by swapping resistors..
The list price for this item is around £20.. I reckon £10 would be a fairer price.
The instructions are rubbish, printed way too small and in grey rather than black, on white. I needed a magnifier with an led lamp..
Next up will be the Haynes Retro Radio Kit. I have the Advent Calendar version where you get the components day-by-day over 24 days..
Finally, can I point out that this post was NOT sponsored in any way: I bought this kit with my own money.

Haynes Retro Radio Kit Advent Calendar

While I admit I haven’t done any work on any music-related stuff for a while, I HAVE been messing about with one of these:

It’s a new version of the standard Haynes retro radio kit, but with all the components arranged as an advent calendar, so you get new components every day for 24 days. Neat.

Anyway, I have FOUR of these for sale on AMAZON UK, all brand new and sealed. And for less than half the price Haynes were asking..

Click the image or link above if you fancy having a go..

 

You may also be interested in this: Haynes Retro Camera Kit Advent Calendar

Minor Structure Changes & Verification Update

I’ve rejigged the top menu a bit, as it was getting unwieldy.
The “contact” and “about” pages are now under the “Home” item, and “Cookies” is now under “Legal”.
I have added very prominent “I am not a robot” recaptcha verification to all contact forms.
It’s also added to comments and logins.
(Believe it or not, I was getting spam from contact forms and comments – FFS!)

RANT: Akai Timbre Wolf – Where are the ADSR and LFO?

Right. Here we go.

The Akai Timbre Wolf appears to be a cheap, but capable “analog” synth. It has FOUR separate voices which can be used separately or combined.

There are separate controls for each voice.

There are NO ADSR or LFO controls for any of them!

What the hell use is a synth without LFO or ADSR?

So we have four voices. But you can’t change the ADSR settings and you can’t manipulate the sounds with LFO.

Yes, there are settings for “Decay” and “Filter Envelope”. Where are the LFO and ADSR? Nowhere.

 

 

A spurt of activity..

I have bought and sold a Korg MicroKorg XL+,  a Boss DS-330, an iPhone 5c, bought TWO iPhone 5Ss, and an Alesis Photon.

However, I have done absolutely bog-all in terms of fixing things lately. (Ok, I ordered knobs for the Photon, and 3d-printed the joystick knob for the Delta)

I hope to have the Ion IDM02 drum machine fixed and sold shortly. It will probably take me half an hour all-in, but it’s just finding the urge to do it.

Maybe if there’s only “I’m a celebrity – get me out of here” on the telly, maybe that will work.. but tonight, it’s TOTP 1986..

 

Alesis Photon Project – Knobs

I bought an Alesis Photon x25 midi controller, the one with the light-beam controller that responds to the position of your (left) hand…

This one was described as “grotty”, with a couple of missing knobs, a dodgy security sticker, and decades of dirt and smeg.

I’ve cleaned it up, but ran into trouble finding replacement knobs..

Alesis directed me to a seller of second-hand spares, who wanted $33 for one black knob. No-one has the clear “volume” knob.

I ended up buying 11 black control knobs from CPC. (ordered) to replace ALL the black knobs AND the white one..

Should be a nice unusual controller.. for £25 all-in.

 

 

Ion idm02 Drum Machine (Alesis SR-16 with trigger inputs)

idm02_-_reference_manual_-_v2.0

I bought an Ion idm02, with a dicky power supply, for peanuts. (from my usual source of bargains)

Basically, these are Alesis SR-16 units, but with trigger inputs so you can make an electronic drumkit with this as the controller.

They also function EXACTLY the same as an SR-16, which is my digital drum machine of choice..

This one has an issue with the power socket: wobbling the power plug makes it go on and off. Either the socket needs “tweaking” to make a better contact, or it’s come loose and needs re-soldering.

Either way not difficult.

This project is probably next, now I have shifted the Boss DS-330, MicroKorg XL and Alesis SR-16 (the one where I fixed the PSU).

My balance is looking decidedly healthy.

I need to buy some stuff, or I’ll end up spending it on a clutch replacement on the Megane..!

 

 

[Sold] Korg microKorg XL+

Bargain!

I bought a Korg microKorg XL+.. for peanuts.. the thing is I got carried away testing it and now I kind of want to keep it..
It looks and feels like a toy, but bloody hell, it sounds great!
Even without the manuals, I had no bother getting to grips with it, even editing the default sounds!
Anyway, it’s on eBay, but if it doesn’t sell for a decent sum, it will be staying. Did I mention it has the original box, PSU and mic? By tomorrow, I will have printed off the manuals on a booklet maker as well..

* Update – it’s gone! **

I listed this at about 10:30pm, and someone hit the Buy-It-Now button at midnight.  I used “require instant payment on Buy-it-now”, so I already have the money..

That’s 1 1/2 hours.! – A record, even for me. (I once sold an Electro Harmonix drum machine for 200% profit in 2 hours)

Now, you may think that I let it go too cheap, but I checked what the going rate for these was on eBay before I listed it. (advanced->filter->Sold Items), and I was bang on the money.

Lessons learned.

So what I learned from this episode was:

  • microKorg XL+s are excellent (I’m now a convert)
  • People will buy them (Ok, they don’t make as much as they should, but if you buy smart..)

You will notice that I didn’t say which channel I bought this item through. The reason for that is that I may well use this technique again in the future. (I have used it a few times, but never had this level of success (100% profit).

Oh, and the Boss DS-330 has a £45 bid on it. 5 Days to go on that.. Next up will be my Ion Idm02 drum machine. Possibly.

[Sold] Boss (Roland) DS-330 Dr Synth Synthesiser Module

Selling my fully-working Boss (Roland) DS-330 Synthesiser module.

Nice and compact, and very capable, but it doesn’t fit with the rest of my setup..

I’m including a brand-new power supply unit (12vAC) – these are specific to Roland equipment, and worth about £15 on their own.

Also included is a printed, folded, stapled copy of the user manual.

Here’s the link..

It’s up for £45 start price, which I think is fair considering the condition and what’s included.

Oh, and it has bids.. it will sell in 5 days..

 

** Final Update: it sold for £46 **

I originally paid £50 for it. I then claimed £15 back from the seller as there was no power supply. I then paid £11 for a power supply from eBay.

so overall, a zero-sum transaction.. ANd I got to play with a DS-330 for a month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Sold] Korg microKontrol MC-1

Korg microKontrol MC-1

I’m selling my [mint] Korg microKontrol midi controller.
I bought this years ago, but never used it.

Complete with everything it originally came with..

Grab yourself a bargain..

Korg microKontrol MC-1