First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get bits

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First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get bits

Postby ishumusic » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:29 am

Hi all

I've just ordered a pair of ADM 1540 eq's from the For Sale section on this forum... It'll be my first DIY rack job. I've got basic electronics skills, have done loads of soldering cables, fixing headphones and pedals etc... I'm on a 4 month tour at the moment, finishing in August, and am keen to get stuck into this as soon as it finishes so am ordering bits and pieces to be delivered and ready when I get home. I'm living in Melbourne at the moment, but will be moving home to Sydney very soon.

Where's a good place to get a rack unit for this type of thing? I've been in touch with Orphan Audio in the US who have a ready made kit available, pre-cut and everything, but would prefer to get locally. And their power supply is expensive, as it's a ready made thing with 5-pin XLR good for powering 10 units of ADM gear (but obviously I don't need this much).

Once I have the rack, where can I get it cut?

I remember reading somewhere that these are unbalanced i/o's, but it's very easy to fit a transformer into to make them balanced. Any info on this would be great too.

I'm pretty confident with the audio wiring side of things, but haven't done any power stuff in the past... If anyone has any advice, comments, experience or pictures it'd help me greatly...

Thanks!
Gary.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Gian » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:08 am

Ring Joe at JLM Audio and ask about what power supply would suit.
The ADM 1540 need a +20 VDC, -20VDC and a +24V DC (for the indicator on/off led).
I am using a JLM AD/DC to get those voltages, but Joe might suggest a better/easier option.
His number is (07) 3102 9444
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby ishumusic » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:49 am

Thanks Gian, I'll get in touch with Joe asap...

Any tips on where to buy the rack unit from? Or where to get it cut?
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Alistair » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:06 am

Altronics has the cheapest good quality rack units in Australia to the best of my knowledge.

In terms of cutting it- that's the hard bit! Everyone I know does it themselves... accompanied by a lot of swearing and thinking that their time must be worth more than this...
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Gian » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:12 am

I use a dremel to cut the large rectangular front panel holes then file by hand. For the sockets I got a metal punch kit from eBay.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Alistair » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:01 pm

Hey Gian,

Do you use the Altronic rack units with the aluminium front panels?
I haven't been able to find a dremel that can cut them ok. What dremel/blade are you using?
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Chinagraf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:43 pm

Dremel have specific 'metal cutting wheel' blades for this. The wear down quick though so get a pack of 5 or whatever. Don't forget safety goggles I find it easiest to tape of the front with masking tape, mark the cutout lines then cut through the tape. Also cut from the front, or what will be the outside of the front panel, it gives a cleaner finish.
Also get a good flat metal file for finishing off the edge. If you mark the exact dimensions then cut just inside the line and file it out you get a really clean edge with a real snug fit. You can always file more out but you can't put metal back in if you cut the hole a few mm too big...
This is the one job I hate the most out of racking tasks. Hate it. With a passion.

Get "D" size panel mount XLR's, they are the ones the hole punches fit. Is it a 22mm punch...anybody...? I can't remember, mines at home. I have a punch so if you get stuck you are welcome to drop by the studio the punch you xlr holes out. If you're planning on doing more racking they are worth getting one of evilbay.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Gian » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Hi, what Andy said is good advice. I use a combination of the metal cutting discs and the browny-red thin ones. I get the container that has like 10 in them. I find it difficult cutting aluminium, it gets really hot. Wear ear plugs and safety goggles.

It is slow going, but I just take my time, leave it for a bit, then come back to it. If you rush, you make a mistake. I never force the cutting when using the dremel, I just let it go at its pace.

But, I do love the dremel. It is an amazing tool.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Alistair » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:23 pm

Interesting. I wonder if my dremel is perhaps underpowered. I've always given up and set up a jig and used a jigsaw with thin metal cutting blades. Cuts very very easily, but it's hard to get exact so you need a lot of filing. And yes, filing is shit.

I've got a 22mm and a 25.2mm punch- different brands of XLR are slightly different sizes unfortunately.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Paul Maybury » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:09 pm

Hi, I am about to do the same. Well done getting a response from Orphan Audio. It has taken me about 6-8 weeks just to order and get an invoice from them for 4 ADM output transformers. When they finally sent it, it didn't have any payment information on it! They sent another one and now I wait for the postman.
The output will need to be loaded with a 650 ohm resister I think, and I'm looking at maybe Cinemag's for the input.
Still not sure about powering, but JLM should have an answer. I'm not too concerned about being able to light the led, so I may just go with a 20v +- supply for simplicity.
Mine will be going into a wooden box and mounted vertically. I can't stand having units being on their side in a rack if they are meant to be vertical.
Cheers,
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Chinagraf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:39 pm

You can get 620R for terminating 600 ohm gear. I think I got them from RS.
Joe's 24V switching power supplies are great (is that what the ADMs use?)and he has a simple thing I think it's a T-rex for getting other voltages if you need them.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Alastair Reynolds » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:09 pm

An alternative to a dremmel and cutting disk for cutting aluminum panels is a traverse or slot drill in a drill press. It cuts on the edge rather than the plunge and is very handy for cutting square hole or as the name suggests,slots..Aluminum being relatively soft is easy for such a drill or more correctly a milling bit.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby obutcher » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:35 am

I'm going to have a go at racking my 1540's too, but don't have the tools at home to cut the panel. If someone wants to cut my panel while they do theirs in exchange for a 6-pack, let me know!

I'm currently building an 1176, which is the first real go at DIY I've had, so once that is done (and hopefully works!) I'll be looking to get the EQ's sorted out.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby ishumusic » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:09 am

Thanks for the replies everyone...some great info there! Feeling much more confident knowing there's a helpful community here.

Paul - it took about the same time for me to get a response. To be fair, I did get an auto reply when I sent the email saying they might take that long. Thinking I might get both the original ADM input and output transformers for mine.

Andy - I may just take you up on your offer to use the hole punch...but won't be until August when I return from tour...

Looking into racks, dremels etc now...
Thanks again everyone!
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Barney Loveland » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:32 pm

Don't forget you can always use a 240v lead and a cable grommet if you want to avoid the IEC socket metal work.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby waitup » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:39 pm

I put my ADM's into a rack last weekend with line trims/power switch/jewell light. Unfortunately I don't think you can actually use a 1u altronics rack because the extruded parts on the back are too close together, so it has to be 2u or another brand.

Man I hate making big rectangular holes in metal! So much filing. XLRs and other round holes any day of the week, but rectangles... gah!!

I'm going to wire up the power/audio this weekend. I've got a JLM power station that will take care of that...
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby ishumusic » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:34 pm

Hey Nick... So which rack case did you use for them?

I'd love to see some progress shots if you have time...
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby waitup » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:44 pm

I used a 3u altronics one that I had lying around from another project. Overkill for sure but its what was on hand! Will try to snap some pics tomorrow!
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Paul Maybury » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:16 pm

Has anyone had any luck finding a good line input transformer for these that will fit in the modules?
I wanted to go with Cinemag as I have had good dealings with them before, and their products are excellent.
Unfortunately none of the Cinemags will actually fit as there is only 24mm space available. The Cinemags are 27.5mm.
I want to avoid the original UTC ouncer.
I looked at the Altronics shielded line input trannie, but the specs weren't encouraging. It would fit though.
Cheers,
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Gian » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:11 pm

I'm using a 600:600 as an output transformer.

However, for the input I have rewired the input to use the first op-amp as the balancing input circuit.

I only just did this on one module and haven't tested it yet.

I'll try to test this weekend and let you know how it goes.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Paul Maybury » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:34 pm

hi Gian, interesting idea.
Love to know how it turns out.
Cheers,
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Gian » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:36 pm

It should save (money) not having an input transformer. As I said, don't know what it sounds like. But the mods were pretty easy.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby mylesgm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:25 pm

Might have luck with harbuch tx or try some of the tx used for DIY 1176. Also lundahls have a low profile.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Ben M » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:03 am

Paul Maybury wrote:Has anyone had any luck finding a good line input transformer for these that will fit in the modules?
I wanted to go with Cinemag as I have had good dealings with them before, and their products are excellent.
Unfortunately none of the Cinemags will actually fit as there is only 24mm space available. The Cinemags are 27.5mm.

Hey paul, do they need to fit them onto the board? Couldn't you mount the input transformers off the board (perhaps place them near the input XLR's) and fly some leads onto the board. Then you'll be able to use the Cinemags...just thoughts.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Paul Maybury » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Thanks, I have some Lundahls somewhere, I'll see if they fit.
I would like whatever I end up using to fit in the original space the circuit board has for an input trans.
The reason I want to avoid the original trans or a reissue of it are to get better bandwidth and phase shift through the circuit. I wouldn't mind a transformerless, balanced input. I do want floating balancing because I plan to cart the unit's around from studio to studio and want them to be tolerant of various wiring schemes.
Cheers,
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby mylesgm » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:21 am

If you want a simple active balanced circuit check out jlm offerings.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby rob » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:50 pm

JLM's regurgitator is perfect if you want to add electronically balanced I/O. You can trim the gain structure so you keep overall through gain at unity but drop the level through the ADM by say 6dB to maximise headroom.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby seancook » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:34 pm

I would contact Joe, in addition to his regurgitators he has racked up a lunchbox of 4 modules for me and he used a different way of balancing the input that was even simpler.
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby Paul Maybury » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:38 pm

Hm, sounds like a plan.
Was it cost effective to have JLM do the work?
Cheers,
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Re: First DIY Project - ADM 1540 EQ rack job - Where to get

Postby ishumusic » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:33 am

I'm finally getting around to finishing these off. I ended up getting a rack case from Orphan Audio, along with their audio/power XLR kit (which the case is already cut for), and original ADM input and output transformers. I figured since this is my first real DIY job I'll keep it simple. Just need the power from JLM soon and that should be all I need to get it fired up.

Just looking at the schematic, and I see there's a few resistors that are different between the -200 and -100 versions. (-100 being with transformers, -200 being direct in/capacitor out). Myles mentioned on the original For Sale thread that the transformers are easily installed - are these resistor changes necessary? And if so, can you suggest parts?

1540-schem-grab.jpg


Cheers,
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