SC DSP Musicolour

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As mentioned a little while back, the new DSP Musicolour is in the latest
SC.
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"

Dave.



Re: SC DSP Musicolour

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hmmmm.....
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

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Re: SC DSP Musicolour
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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?

Dave.

Re: SC DSP Musicolour


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**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.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



Re: SC DSP Musicolour

"Trevor Wilson"

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** 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
front.

They made thousands of the things in various versions.



.....   Phil



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    I remember those fairly well. Very advanced technology for its time.




Re: SC DSP Musicolour

"Trevor Wilson"
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** 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



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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...


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Don McKenzie

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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.

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I agree. Doesn't mean it belongs though!

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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? :->

Dave.

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"David L. Jones"
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** 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
........


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** 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






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Anyone want to play spot the glaring error in the USB power injector
project?

Dave.



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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 (5V@2.5A output) for $28 from K-Mart.

msy.com.au 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.

BTW
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 5V@1A, 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...



--
Don McKenzie

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     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
reviews.
     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.


Bob









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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...



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Don McKenzie

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Re: SC DSP Musicolour
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    I know the feeling. :-(
    Wow - audio tapes takes me back to the DSE VZ200. Even if you did
save it to tape, it was often hit & miss getting it back into the
computer. All that fiddling with volume settings and tearing out of hair...



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     Did they fail due to physical accidents, or just fail by
themselves?  A lot of user reviews of big external 3.5" drives mention
the USB -> SATA interface board in the box dying, sometimes with
considerable amounts of smoke involved.



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     These days, once a week I save a compressed full image of my main
drive to the new 500GB internal drive + the 80GB external which is
stored in a safe place. Crucial day-to-day stuff gets backed up on
DVD-RW. So far I haven't needed it ... fingers crossed.



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     Apparently LaCie just installs whatever drives they can get, into
their own packages. I read that they often use Samsungs.


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:-)

I ripped the roms out of the VZ200 and decoded them. Almost an excact
copy of the TRS-80 with the obvious alterations to suit the hardware.
I then re-wrote them a little to suit a few mods I did.

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failed by themselves. Sometimes drives, sometimes electronics. I think I
only found one that was nicely vented and with a fan. Was an ATA/SATA
i/f. That one is still going.

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OK, thanks Bob.
After the mention of the LACIE, (Yes LaCie) I just tried the single
cable on powered and un-powered hubs to remind me. Un-powered, software
recognizes new hardware, but doesn't specify device, and it can't be found.
Powered, it flies right into it, and announces itself, no drama.

On my baby EEE PC's, it needs two ports to power it up.


Don...


--
Don McKenzie

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As well as multiple hard drives and CD archives etc, I automatically
back up important folders (photos, documents, project files etc) to my
FTP server in the US that has unlimited space. Nice'n'easy with the
incremental backup feature, only files that have changed are copied.
I use the free Cobian Backup 8 software
http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

Dave.

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Both good ideas. Diverify, little like the old super fund. A few bob
each way. My two backup drives, one lives in a fireproof safe, the other
next to the PC, and they change over daily.

I always have a drive with files about 3 months old, off site, and as
most of my files these days are in web based shopping carts, they live
on line, and auto backed up every 4 hours to another server by my US host.

I use Acronis for local backup software, and always travel with a full
disk image of my main PC and notebook, in the notebook bag.

Don...


--
Don McKenzie

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Perhaps Leo will offer a free subscription?

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That ain't it, but nice guess, thanks for playing.
You are welcome to try again.

Can anyone else beat Don to the punch?

Dave.

Re: SC DSP Musicolour

. . .

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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
snipped-for-privacy@trap.ozemail.com.au

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