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August 18, 2019, 08:59:08 PM

Author Topic: Intro and a Mainline related question  (Read 225 times)

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Offline iamjanco

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Intro and a Mainline related question
« on: June 18, 2019, 06:19:16 PM »
Hi all,

I'm a noob here and pretty much a noob to higher end audio (haven't really had anything extravagant audio-wise since the earlier '90s). I'm no stranger to electronics though, as I did a 20 year stint in the Air Force as a comm/nav/weather radar tech (retired in '92), and followed that up with a few years on high-end electronic warfare receiver test beds as a systems integration and field service engineer, before moving into technical writing and eventually web design and development (which I do now for fun money).

Anyway, a couple of months back I managed to pick up an unbuilt Mainline kit on eBay, and I've been lurking here ever since.

Now for some background about the project I've got planned: I've been toying around with the idea of making some physical changes to the kit to save space as space is a premium where I'm currently at. What I'd essentially like to do is build the base out a little differently by splitting the top panel up so that the controls and the headphone jacks are mounted on the front wood panel, with everything else mounted on top pretty much the standard way (though I might move the IEC connector to the rear wood panel). I'm also planning on making a custom panel (or set of panels if I split the one up) that will do away with the plastic control faceplate. Additionally, the wooden frame I've planned will be increased in height an inch or so and it will be built out of walnut or a combination of walnut and maple.

I've adding a few pix below to help illustrate the project.

Now the question: does anyone see any reason why I couldn't (or shouldn't ) split the top panel up as I've described? There'd be plenty of room to do wire routing internally that could accommodate the changes I've proposed. I'm also fairly well equipped electronics wise (I bench high end computer components).

TIA for any advice; it'd be much appreciated.



Jan (the Man) Cohen

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Intro and a Mainline related question
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 04:47:02 AM »
Sure, this could be done and made to work, but it will change all of the wire lengths and make some of the routing a bit more difficult. 

I would keep the plastic overlay though, as there's a lot going on with those controls and it can be difficult to remember what is what!

-PB
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline iamjanco

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Re: Intro and a Mainline related question
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 10:31:51 AM »
Sure, this could be done and made to work, but it will change all of the wire lengths and make some of the routing a bit more difficult. 

I would keep the plastic overlay though, as there's a lot going on with those controls and it can be difficult to remember what is what!

-PB

Thanks for the response and the words of caution, Paul  :) 

Any new panel I make would include the labeling that exists on the plastic overlay; and if I need to mitigate any differences in component installation heights, I'll use shims/spacers.

As for the length of wires changing and routing, understood. I've got the test equipment I need to keep an eye on changing characteristics and plan to compensate for them if/where needed. It's been a while, but I've worked some pretty complex wire-wrap back planes in the past.

The only thing I won't know for sure of course are the typical baselines (other than signal ins/outs and psu voltages), but I do have my eyes and ears and somewhat of an idea as to what to expect as things burn themselves in.
Jan (the Man) Cohen

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Intro and a Mainline related question
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 11:06:27 AM »
You'll have to be really careful that the attenuator doesn't run into the components on the top panel.  That stuff hangs down pretty low under the top panel, and I'd leave a decent amount of clearance so you can get in there and build everything properly.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline iamjanco

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Re: Intro and a Mainline related question
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 11:17:44 AM »
Thanks! Already thought of that and I plan on adding a bit of height to the wooden frame to allow for that. Probably make it five to five and a half  inches tall (instead of the four the stock kit provides).
Jan (the Man) Cohen