Helicopter Pad

I had some scraps of wood lying around the shop, some pine and plywood, and figured I’d put it to good use. My son needed another helicopter pad for his wooden helicopter, so I just knocked together a quick little pad for him with a little ramp and building. The ramp was just sanded down using a belt sander. I used a router to make the circular pad. I coated it with some non-toxic varnish oil from tried and true. He likes it.

Mod Stereo Stand

Well, Woody got me started on this whole stereo thing what with the amp and speakers, so I just had to quickly knock together a nifty little set of shelves with the leftover plywood. Nothing fancy, nor even perfect, but it holds the amp just fine, and has a bit of room for more components later. I slapped on two coats of shellac. The best part is the rear cable management in the column in the back. I drilled a series of holes in each of the braces all the way down the back, and it provides a method by which one can route cable from each shelf down the stand and out the back to the wall.

Amp6 Basic Portable Enclosure

Woody had enclosed his Amp6 Basic that I soldered for him into a plastic case. After having wood case envy, he asked me if I could make a case for his Amp6 out of wood, that was a bit smaller than mine. So I did. See the pictures for my results. The wood is Anigre and an unidentifed species of wood that I salvaged off a pallet from work. 2 coats of high gloss Tung Oil is the finish.


The speakers have begun. They are Zigmahornets, based on a design found around the internet, and reviewed here. I have all the sandeply plywood cut into strips, mitered, and rabbeted for the front, back and sides. The next part is to create the 45 degree angled front, the base, and the port. I am going to be using a pair of single driver speakers, Fostex FE103 series. More coming soon, so stand by.

Update (July 1st, 2007):
I have almost completed the assembly of the Zigmahornet basic cabinets. I’ve sealed the edges inside using silicon latex caulk, and cut the holes for the speaker drivers with my router (I had to make a custom circle jig using the baseplate). They are almost ready for wiring and the drivers, and then final finishing.

Update (July 6th, 2007):
The Zigmahornets are finished. I made a pair for Woody too, and he’s said that they sound very good. They sound fantastic for the price and effort to me, and I have them hooked up to my Sony minisystem right now to break them in while we’re away.

Update (July 17th, 2007):
The speakers have been relocated to the shop for light sanding, hole filling, and two coats of natural danish oil. I opted for this as I can always recoat later if they get dinged up, and it doesn’t alter the look too much. It also hides the imperfections and wood puttied holes better too. I removed the stuffing (poly-fill) from the lower portion of each cabinet, sealed them a bit better, and closed them up. With the broken in drivers, they should sound pretty good. Woody has tweaked his a bit more than I have and he reports that they sound very good. He painted his black (see the photo gallery).

Amp6 Basic

I’ve decided to embark once again on an amplifier project. This one will go a little bit different than the last electronics project which was strictly a headphone amplifier. This one is a Class-T amplifier, based on a tripath chip. It comes in kit form, with a PCB, components, and jacks. The kit (an Amp6 Basic) was from 41hz.com audio, and I’ve already had the pleasure of building one kit (and hearing it) from my good friend Woody. It sounds incredible for its price and size. It’s slightly cheaper and better quality than the Sonic Impact T-amps which are sold commercially. It runs from a 12V power supply. Note I had to cut of the original tip from the PS and reattach a new one as the old tip was not correctly sized for the T-amp’s DC input jack.

Without further ado, I am providing pictures of my build as I get it completed. The eventual goal is to build and complete the kit, enclose the kit in a nice hardwood enclosure, and then build a set of full range driver speakers to listen to the amp. The speakers will also be custom built. More on that later (it’s a secret for now). Excuse the fuzzy pictures, as my camera is not able to do macro shots very well.

Update (June 10th, 2007): I’ve added the rest of the components, and run initial tests of the amp. It sounds fantastic, especially with my Athena speakers. For 10 watts, I have a pretty awesome sounding amp with good clarity and midrange. I also added a SPST switch for the sleep function (replacing the jumper directly on the board) and a bright blue LED. I’m happy with it so far. Now on to the enclosure for the amp…..

Update (June 16th, 2007): I’ve started (and basically finished) the Amp6 enclosure. Soft maple, walnut strips, and some sandeply plywood that I had left over. All 1/2″ materials. I’ve basically got the shell done and all the holes machined for the various connections. I coated the exterior with Tried and True Varnish Oil and I’ll be adding a coat or two of paste wax. The cover screws on using #6 square drive screws.

Update (June 17th, 2007): I’m done! It’s working, and sounds great. Looks good in its enclosure. Phew. Now on to the speakers.