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  • #31
    Thanks Andy,
    you're probably right on the alum, I just didn't feel like dealing with little shards of sharp metal... and sticky metal at that. ):
    hopefully I can get some more done this weekend.
    TomZ
    *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

    *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

    Comment


    • #32
      I was able to get the radios veneered and sanded.

      I'm doing the full-on boiled linseed oil and sealer treatment on my friend's mother's radio. I really want that one to be near perfect finish-wise.

      Here are a few before and after shots of the BLO on the veneer. Boy, I get excited every time I see the beauty of the wood start to 'pop' with the application of the finish.

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      This week I plan to get the other ones to this stage as well. I may just put poly on the striped ebony unit since I know that veneer will play nice with the poly... the Bubinga on the other hand has issues with poly sometimes.

      Anyway, thanks for looking, hopefully more pretty pictures of finish being applied this week.

      TomZ
      *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
      *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

      *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

      Comment


      • #33
        Tom, those are going to look great!

        Comment


        • #34
          Thanks Andy. I hope you're right.

          Finished sanding the veneer seams on the other two boxes, which really takes me awhile. Ready for some boiled linseed oil...

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          ...and poly on the striped ebony version.

          The poly version should be done in a few days. I sprayed one coat of poly on, then a rub-on coat. Probably two more coats to go...
          Then I can start putting parts in and see what kind of crossover changes are needed if any.

          I have a feeling that I'm going to be moving slower that I want on these. This week was my first back to school with the kiddos, and I have a few challenging students which is just making me tired in my head and body. Usually by October it eases up, but for now after work, it's come home, eat, shower, sleep... repeat.
          Not complaining, I'm blessed to have a job. But as I've said at least two times... " I hate it when my job gets in the way of my hobby"

          TomZ
          *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
          *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

          *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

          Comment


          • #35
            Just a little more progress. The finish takes a long time, but these are basically done except for a little polishing. Lacquer as the final coat.

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            There's about 2 cans of rattle-can lacquer on each of these over the span of a couple of days.

            The Striped Ebony had poly applied and it's done as well finish wise.

            Time to start getting the electronics in and do a little Omnimic listening.

            TomZ
            *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
            *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

            *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

            Comment


            • #36
              tomzarbo These builds look great! Love both veneer choices.

              I've always had a hard time getting a "piano" finish but it sounds like you have the process down. I was wondering if you could answer a lot (but hopefully easy) questions.

              What adhesive did you use for applying the veneer?
              How many coats of lacquer did you apply? Any idea how thick it is?
              Did you use a catalyzed lacquer?
              Did you sand between coats?
              Are you going to wet-sand /polish the finish? What grit are you going to?

              For my last time consuming speakers, I used contact cement under birdseye maple, then went with a sunburst stain, BLO, one coat of shellac and 10 (yes, I know way too many) coats of cat-lacquer with 320 sanding every 2 coats. Let cure a month and wet-sanded the finish to 3000 grit and polished. Looked amazing for about a month until it cracked with the grain everywhere. I put 10 coats on because I was afraid of burning through the lacquer during the sanding but I know now that was part of the mistake. I believe the contact cement was also too flexible, which added to the cracking problem as there were changes in the environment. It's also possible that using catalyzed lacquer caused additional disagreement between a flexible cement and super hard lacquer, which made it crack.


              I hope to get the process right on some scrap this time and not a finished product and would appreciate any advice you have. Thanks!


              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by cpconner View Post
                tomzarbo These builds look great! Love both veneer choices.

                I've always had a hard time getting a "piano" finish but it sounds like you have the process down. I was wondering if you could answer a lot (but hopefully easy) questions.

                What adhesive did you use for applying the veneer?
                How many coats of lacquer did you apply? Any idea how thick it is?
                Did you use a catalyzed lacquer?
                Did you sand between coats?
                Are you going to wet-sand /polish the finish? What grit are you going to?

                For my last time consuming speakers, I used contact cement under birdseye maple, then went with a sunburst stain, BLO, one coat of shellac and 10 (yes, I know way too many) coats of cat-lacquer with 320 sanding every 2 coats. Let cure a month and wet-sanded the finish to 3000 grit and polished. Looked amazing for about a month until it cracked with the grain everywhere. I put 10 coats on because I was afraid of burning through the lacquer during the sanding but I know now that was part of the mistake. I believe the contact cement was also too flexible, which added to the cracking problem as there were changes in the environment. It's also possible that using catalyzed lacquer caused additional disagreement between a flexible cement and super hard lacquer, which made it crack.


                I hope to get the process right on some scrap this time and not a finished product and would appreciate any advice you have. Thanks!

                Thanks, CP
                I don't really have it down, but have followed some of the help that the guys on this board have offered.
                I used Heatlock veneer glue for the veneer, I really like the method and I haven't had a single piece of veneer ever come loose that was adhered properly.

                I did 6-8 coats of lacquer some minutes apart, then in a second round a day later... I used spray cans of Rustoleum. No idea how thick. It looks visibly thick on the top though, I laid more on that because I could.
                I didn't sand between any of the coats, lacquer 'melts' into the previous coat, creating basically one thick coat that won't 'ghost' like poly can.
                I usually use a polishing compound and I have two grits, the black bottle and the green bottle, no idea on the grit. Last time I looked I didn't even see the grit listed.

                Does catalyzed lacquer dry harder and not melt into the next coat?

                Honestly, there are other folks who really know how to get this right. I'm still learning.

                TomZ
                *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                Comment


                • #38
                  Thanks TomZ. Seems like I might be on the right track. Pre-cat lacquer has a hardener added to it (similar idea to two part epoxy). All other properties are the same, each layer adheres to the next. I mainly sanded because I sprayed in a bootlegged spray booth in my garage and I had a lot of imperfections land on it. I think I will go with a new glue and leave the catalyzer out and see if that helps. Looking forward to the finishing touches here.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Getting close to wrapping the first one up.


                    I've got the drivers installed and the amp and video/preamp faceplate in as well. Just missing the PR's and associated crossovers.

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                    I used a 5 v out isolated DC to DC converter to get the 24v down to 5v and possibly eliminate any noise as well. That's the little black blob glued to the left of the board below.

                    This larger faceplate has a different 'issue' than the smaller one. The small one produces a 'whump' of a DC offset at turn-on, but other than that it's fine.

                    The big one has just a little 'staticy' sound when turned on that isn't offensive at all -- hardly hear it. But what it DOES do is reset the volume to 28 (out of 30) each time it's power is disconnected for some reason. That's unacceptable because that will literally scare the stuffing out of you because it automatically starts playing from where it left off... at full volume!

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                    So what I did with the big one is use the top lighted power switch for just the amp. The faceplate/preamp will always be powered on unless it's unplugged... you turn that off with the remote 'power' button. That way it turns on with the volume at the same place you left it. Yeah, it means that there are two things to switch off -- but at least it will eliminate coming on at full volume.

                    I think leaving it on for a day and turning it off at night would probably be okay, that amp board is pretty thrifty juice-wise.

                    BTW, I sprung for a really good locking push-button switch for the top. It's built in LED works with 12 to 24v and it has a nice removable connector that clicks on firmly, it even came with a really nice wiring diagram in color which is unusual.

                    Yeah, this setup is very quiet, not like my other Toni Table Radio. I connected a 3.5mm input into this and it took the signal noise free. Really nice for a change!

                    Hard to tell, but that's Maurice White from EW&F in the video.

                    I need to solder together the crossovers tomorrow if I can and see what this thing can do finally!

                    TomZ
                    *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                    *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Here is a shot of the small speaker binding post I hacked to get the DC in as well as the 3.5mm input jack. Cheap and easy way to do it.

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                      This thing actually gets half-decent radio reception as well. It automatically picks the strongest 6 stations I think. Not great reception, but better than the last one I used.

                      TomZ
                      *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                      *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                      *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Really cool looking project Tom! Bet they sound great. Nice work man.
                        My "No-Name" CC Speaker
                        Kerry's "Silverbacks"
                        Ben's Synchaeta's for Mom
                        The Archers
                        Rick's "db" Desktop CBT Arrays
                        The Gandalf's

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Thanks Kevin,
                          I'm not planning on changing the crossover for this one. I'll take a measurement on it before I send it out the door to see if I need to adjust anything on the other two. Probably minor if anything.

                          Hey, you changed your avatar! Finally retired the Archers huh?

                          TomZ
                          *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                          *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                          *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post

                            Hey, you changed your avatar! Finally retired the Archers huh?

                            TomZ
                            Yea, just playing around with a different look. Will probably update it again after finishing the next set of speakers I'm working on.

                            My "No-Name" CC Speaker
                            Kerry's "Silverbacks"
                            Ben's Synchaeta's for Mom
                            The Archers
                            Rick's "db" Desktop CBT Arrays
                            The Gandalf's

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              I didn't get the crossovers finished up, but I did get the components attached to the Passive Radiator frames. Ran out of steam I guess.

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                              Hopefully I can get it buttoned down this week and run it for several hours. It's going to Georgia, so I want to make sure nothing is amiss.

                              TomZ
                              *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                              *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                              *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post
                                These are the head units I'm planning on using. I've tested both of them in several versions and they are solid units with consistent build quality. It would be great to see PE carry them, especially the smaller one as it would fit in almost as small of a space as their other Bluetooth faceplate preamp unit... https://www.parts-express.com/12-vdc...remot--320-348 I have not had good luck with that one, personally.

                                Here is the bigger one:

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                                It has a 4.3" screen and It comes in two versions, a 5 volt version without the rear plug panel, and a 12 volt version with the rear panel. The rear panel includes hook ups for video output audio in and out, plus power input. It has a voltage regulator on the board which accepts 8-12 volts and sends it to the player as 5 volts. I would be using the 5 volt version as it's just a bit cheaper and I don't need the plugs on the back. This player is all over AliExpress and you can get one shipped to your house for under $30.
                                You'd have to search for 'Lossless video Bluetooth player' or something similar to that. The AliExpress search engine is not the best to find these.

                                Here is the smaller one:

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                                It has a 3" screen and comes in black and raw silver aluminum. I've only seen it in the 8-24V input version so far. It isn't very deep so I think it would be an upgrade to the PE bluetooth faceplate preamp unit linked to above. The big player needs a few more inches of depth as it has one of the daughter boards arranged so it needs more space behind the player. This one is around $30 shipped as well.

                                They both use the same remote and work basically the same way.

                                They will play all types of music files, video files, and pictures. They both have FM radio tuners as well, although only the larger unit has a place to connect to an antenna.
                                At least on the larger one I was able to play music files on it while displaying pictures like a digital picture frame, that was nice. It's not touch screen, but the interface is well done and logical, the remote works well and takes two AAA batteries and has decent feel, not like the thin card remotes, I really dislike those for some reason.

                                I believe they use the same internal chipset to operate as the screens are basically the same and they both operate the same way. The video screens are high enough quality for their size, not HD or anything, but you're not going to be staring at these things or watching a movie on them, just accessing features or maybe playing a video while you do other things... for that they are great. The screen can be easily changed to English too. They both seem to be low-noise and of decent quality. Bluetooth seems to work well, though the antenna is just internal on both of these. The USB and SD card inputs are handy if you're not a bluetooth person.

                                There is another version of the larger player that comes raw without the mounting plate. Don't be tempted by saving a few bucks, I have one of those, but there just isn't a good way to mount it. That's how it was first available, it took a year or so for them to get the faceplate version up and going. I really like the look and feel of the smaller player, it's buttons are aluminum and really feel pretty good to press for something this inexpensive.

                                One of the things I want to do with both of these preamp boards is find a switched voltage source so that I can connect a relay or something so that turning on the video player via remote will turn on the amp as well, that would really tidy up things a lot. My other 'Toni Table Radio' had a power button on top that needed to be switched on and off before using the unit which wasn't as nice. Once switched on, the amp would always be powered up even if you turned off the preamp faceplate player.

                                I may end up ordering one of those amps Mike. Beings that this will be controlled by a head unit, I was just looking for a basic amp without all the knobs and Bluetooth, but I guess some adjustability wouldn't be bad. The other sub amp I was considering using had pots for the volume and lowpass frequency as well. Maybe put the knobs out the back so they can be adjusted, but not easily.

                                TomZ
                                Hey, thanks for sharing, if I got you right, they are pretty much the same and I can order one which fits best in size

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