Just started my first build (5E3)

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by TobyZ28, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Some pics from my first build, just started it today and I will post more pics as I go, things are looking tight in there ... getting a bit worried about hooking things up once i'm done the circuit board :S!

    Here is my original planning Q/A thread and the layout I'm about to (attempt to) solder up on the weekend. If anyone has any last minute suggestions/critiques before I heat up my iron i'm all ears!

    5e3_Tube_Guitar_Amplifier - M V0.4.png
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  2. Doctor49

    Doctor49 TDPRI Member

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    Enjoy!!
     
  3. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Get a large piece of corrugated cardboard, and use it to create a template of the chassis so that the top and bottom panels can be folded to match the metal version. Punch the holes for the controls and sockets into the cardboard, and you now have a 2 dimensional chassis template. You can make up the circuit board on the template, hook it up to the controls and jack sockets and drop it all into the chassis in one go. The tube sockets screw on from the outside, so leave them till last.
     
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  4. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Or you can shrink your hands in the tumble drier!
     
  5. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, it's ironic first amps are so often tweed amps with their skinny little gopher-coffin chassis. I'm starting a movement to promote the SF Champ as the preferred 'first build' amp, though so far I've got exactly zero followers.

    The advice above is sold. Also think sequence -- wire/install everything but the board and any flying cables first, then populate and wire the board, then use your template to figure off-board lead length (an inch or two longer than expected to allow for routing, then trim to optimal at installation). Meanwhile insert the board after each step to make sure it'll clear heater wires, pots, ground bus, and especially input jacks. But I think you've already looked at the jacks in the planning phase. :)
     
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  6. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    @TobyZ28
    Did you get a kit or did you source everything yourself? If a kit, whose? One of the toughest operations (or at least most crucial) when using a turret board in a stock 5E3 chassis is clearance between the turrets and the input jacks! Certainly doable (I do it), but it really needs to be properly thought out and addressed! Another tip is to make NO solder connections on the bottom side of the board! And build it bone stock, even if you plan to mod it!

    Don't be afraid to ask questions? I'll check your other thread when I get a minute.
    Best To Ya!
    Gene
     
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  7. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    I also prefer to run all of the B+ jumper wires on top of the board. This is much easier to troubleshoot than having to take out the whole board if there is a problem underneath. I just run all of the jumpers first, wrap them around the base of the turret and then solder. I also like to mount my socket and pot wires to the base of the turret. Some folks will run theirs up through the turret from the bottom and fold the wire over the top. This also works perfectly well. My resistor and caps will go on the board next using the holes in the top of the turrets.

    What type of soldering iron do you have for the build? Do you have a standard pencil tip for the iron? It really helps to have a slightly larger tip on the iron when soldering on the turrets. It just heats them much quicker and helps to prevent heat damage to components. It would also be smart to use heat sink clips on all component leads if this is your first time soldering to turrets. Good luck with your build!
     
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  8. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Ballzz!
    The kit i got was from Mable Electronics (Hong Kong Company), after going through the kit I went through and tested every component and sourced locally anything that wasn't up to snuff.

    I did a previous test fit with the Turret board and saw a definite clearance issue with the 2 input jacks - I managed to rotate them 180° and adjust the wiring accordingly. I also have some slightly shorter standoffs i can use but I was hesitant with the underside of the board shorting against the chassis. Can you elaborate on why to avoid soldering on on the bottom of board - is the short risk just too high? I was looking forward to keeping them nice and hidden :)
     
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  9. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Hi Dan, I'm definitly a fan of the component wires in the turrets and the socket/pot wires wrapped around method too - looks much cleaner! I'm using an adjustable 55W with a larger sloped tip so i think should be ok.. I'll see what i have for things i can use as heat sinks good tip!

    How do you like to run the pre-amp ground bus on a turret board? I was thinking just beside the turrets if i clear the pot's ok.. (as per my diagram).
     
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  10. BigDaddy23

    BigDaddy23 Tele-Meister

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    You can always shorten the 2 or so turrets if they are problematic with the jack sockets and the jack tip itself. It's often the ground buss that presents an issue too, so if you are wrapping a ground bus around turrets, keep it as low and tight to the board as possible. It's important you check the clearance with a guitar cable jack to ensure the tip doesn't short to a turret or the buss. If it is a bit too close for comfort, shorten the board standoffs a touch.

    Personally, I like to lace up ground busses with pre-tinned, bare wire like you see on the Hoffman style boards. I can then solder the laced/wrapped wire together to ensure good ground and attach wires/components from the pots where ever I like.
     
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  11. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    Like @King Fan said, it's all a bit crazy with these tweeds. In the middle of my tweed builds, I think, "How in the heck am I going to get all these wires stuffed back into that tiny thing?" But it works out somehow. Indeed, something like a SF Champ would be much easier starting point. But you're going to enjoy this amp. And enjoy the build, too! Once you've finished, and you get it up and running, it's a great feeling. But the build is also over. And that part stinks.
     
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  12. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    @TobyZ28
    Both Dan & Big Daddy (that's our cat's name) make some good points. Your iron should be OK, but if you can borrow a big one, or even a dual heat gun, for a ground tab (or two stacked) to the chassis, it would be nice. I take a grinding wheel on my die grinder (dremel is OK too) to scuff the area around the screw hole for the ground lug and then you need that "BIG HONKIN'" iron or gun to get it hot enough for a good solder joint without the heat getting sinked away!

    On my first 5E3, I started with a Mojo "small parts kit" and used their eyelet board as a template for the turret board and then I used the insulator sheet (same as eyelet board, but unpunched) under my turret board. It turned out that a "keps" nut with a #8 machine screw made the perfect height stand off with the screw coming from the outside of the chassis, through the insulator with that nut holding it and then the turret board with another nut.

    On another note. In one of your posts you mentioned going out for "dropping string resistors" and I gotta warn/prepare you to likely make that trip again! With the lower HT of your power transformer, you'll probably need to use different resistors to get you up to the absolutely perfect voltages that are shown on your layout. 369-372vdc for B+1 is the perfect range. Any higher and the amp will start to sound ratty/harsh and any lower it will be wimpy/lackluster. All the other voltages are spot on also! You may be able to make the overall voltage adjustments by trying different rectifiers as in NOS to lower it a bit and in the 5Y3 world, a SOVTEK is going to likely give the most voltage. And then there are other numbers like a 5AR4 if you need more.

    Keep Us Informed?
    Gene
     
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  13. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the insight /tips Gene!
    "With the lower HT of your power transformer" - I'm assuming you got the lower HT voltage (330V) from my other thread and compared it to my diagram(355V)? (Correct me if I'm wrong)

    I'm not familiar with the term "dropping string resistors" is this lingo for the two Voltage Dropping Resistors from B+1 > B+2 > B+3? Also when testing for the ideal 370V later, is that done with nothing hooked up except the Rectifier tube? I've seen several you tubes where someone says the voltages are a bit higher as there's no load on the amp - I just want to make sure i'm measuring later under the proper circumstances!

    Sorry for the assault of questions! Really appreciate all the answers, hoping i'll be able to contribute back to the community in the near future too! I'm looking forward to making a trip back to the electronics store (its a lot of fun to browse around there!).;)
     
  14. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Gene, I like your builds and respect your ideas, but different strokes here... I'd save our friend the trouble and expense of soldering to the chassis itself. A bolt, star washer (under), and keps nut (over) make a super-bomber ground anchor that meets UL and EU safety standards. I add loctite for grins, but I don't solder any of it. (OK, I solder over my crimped-on ring terminals also for grins.)

    upload_2020-1-24_8-29-46.jpeg

    I do something similar for the power amp ground (UL wants it off the transformer bolts, although with enough star washers and kep nuts, many builders use them, also without soldering). And I've done this for the preamp bus if I isolate my input jacks, but for a 5e3 it's easy and adequate to use a (non-isolated) input jack ground tab. Finally, even less elaborately, local grounds can be soldered to a simple solder lug that's bolted to the chassis with a keps nut and loctite. Here's a test-point ground.

    IMG_0096.jpeg

    I've soldered to the chassis -- with my 150W iron -- and it was still difficult; IMHO also less reliable. Just my $.02.
     
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  15. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    @King Fan
    Thanks for your kind comments and I totally agree with the "different strokes" perspective. I feel like (or at least hope) I learn something new with every endeavor and every time I pick up a tool. With my previous lives of being a professional, "road dog" sound engineer/tech/repair guy as well as traveling musician, I've seen what transport vibration, humidity, moisture, etc, can cause to even the seemingly most robust connections, so I tend to go a bit overkill! I operated a sound system rental company for +25 years!

    With that said, I'm not sure if these pics will be much help for @TobyZ28 but here ya go! Transformer wiring area looks like a rat's nest as I started with a multiple tap ClassicTone 40-18078 power transformer, in case the 710 tap was too hot. It was not, but then I had to find a place for the extra wires that I simply could not bring myself to cut off. I told myself that once all was completed/tested/confirmed, I would go back in and clean it all up and maybe even put the simpler OEM style/spec transformer in, but I immediately started enjoying it so much as it is, I didn't feel like taking the chance of ruining anything!

    The one mod I did recently was to add a passive effects loop, just before V2A which has allowed fantastic echo/reverb use. Not good for stomp boxes, but stellar with professional grade, rack mount effects, like my Lexicon MX300. This simple mod has made this my "main squeeze" over multiple fabulous Marshalls!

    Best To Ya,
    Gene


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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  16. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Meister

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    If you broke your teeth on effects pedals, things wouldn't seem so small in a 5e3.

    Tip:
    I address any burrs/sharp chassis bits before I get started. There are worse things but getting sliced by a chassis makes me say words my wife doesn't want to hear.

    Also, drill holes in the chassis for the AC ground and star ground while the chassis is bare. (look at King Fan pix above).

    star ground = one fixing point for ground where several wires to ground meet.

    I usually drill a star ground hole near the 5e3 board input side whether I use the input jack for star ground or not. Just keeps my options open.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  17. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Good grounding info, I'll feel it out when i get in there this weekend. I think i'll pickup a few kep nuts/star washers to start - kit was definitely lacking in those! I was originally going to ground to the transformer bolts as was recommended in the mojo instructions im using as a guide. Is this a sub-optimal practice?
     
  18. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Meister

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    Yep.

    As King Fan said, "UL and EU safety standards".

    3 prong ac cord. Bolt ground to chassis. Nothing but the ac ground on that bolt. Not to standard if ac grounds to transformer bolt.
     
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  19. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Meister

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    If you have the stainless steel chassis, pick up some extra drill bits.

    Don't ask my how I know. :cool:
     
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  20. BigDaddy23

    BigDaddy23 Tele-Meister

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    ^ +1 on this!

    The other tip is use a slow speed and some cutting oil. If you have a drill press and the chassis will orientate/fit under it, use it. To get rid of the burrs on the back side of the hole, I use a substantially bigger bit and spin it in the hole by hand. 9/10 times this is inside the chassis. That gets rid of the burrs nicely.
     
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