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  • A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

    It seems that one of the most common requests for help relates to how one goes about assembling a crossover network. A recent string took on the characteristics of a mine rescue as a dozen or so forum regulars tried repeatedly to communicate how the components could be laid out and connected together. I sensed from the beginning that the chief problem was communication, i.e., expressing instructions and advice in a way that the person requesting help (PRH ) could understand. It is deceptively difficult to do. On the other side of the equation, it's often difficult to discern just what is frustrating the PRH. I think in the example I alluded to above, the PRH was trying to make everything connect together using only the leads on the components - as a result, he was severely limited as to where components could be placed. If he hadn't concerned himself at this early stage with how he was going to connect things together, he would have been pretty much free to place components wherever they fit best (using additional wire when he began hooking things up). Instead, he experimented with the layout by twisting leads together, and the resulting bending and rebending eventually caused metal fatigue and broken leads.

    I should add that while many on this forum are very good writers, it takes time to compose a proper message and we typically have other things we'd like to be doing. So, we try to be brief. Drawings are often essential and producing one adds still more time. Further, I suspect everyone has had the experience of spending a lot of time on a carefully crafted response, only to find that the PRH is now going in a different direction, lost interest, stopped communicating, or perhaps abandoned the project altogether.

    In order to simplify communication when a similar request appears, I've been working with a set of instructions, a grid marked in inches, and scale icons representing the various components. About three pages would be required, one for the instructions, one for the grid, and one for the components. Basically, using the method would require that the PRH print out the grid and the components, cut the components out, tape them in place on the grid, rearrange as necessary, draw lines to indicate connections, draw a rectangle around the group of components showing the board size, and then use the diagram they've just made to guide assembly.

    My intention is to post my proposal and get everyone's comments. If it looks like the idea has promise, it could be referred to when the problem comes up again.

    So:
    1. What do you think of the idea?

    2. Has this already been done adequately?

    3. Can someone with experience producing PDF files point me in the right direction? I've been looking for a PDF writer on the Internet. Which would you recommend that would be capable of handling the drawings? It would be nice if I could supply a file that would print out in 1 to 1 scale, in a format just about everyone could print out.
    Tritrix HT:http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222519
    Dayton 12" Subwoofer: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222930
    Overnight Sensations: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=223751
    Cerberus sub: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...hlight=cerebus
    Duellatis: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=224943
    NTN's: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227902

  • #2
    Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

    I like the idea. A lot. I have not seen anything that does what you're proposing, certainly not that concisely. Not sure what to do about writing PDF's, having never attempted it or even felt the need to....

    Hopefully someone else will chime in on that one.

    Mark
    You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

    ~Pink Floyd

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

      I am willing to help with creating the PDF, and can offer some assistance on editing/proof-reading.
      Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

        Great idea Ron!

        I think there are a number of ways to create a file in PDF format. OpenOffice Writer can save documents as a PDF, that's just one method I know of. I have a feeling there are dozens of other easy ways to create a PDF.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

          Yeah just google for "free PDF writer" and you'll find many options.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

            I'm doing the drawing in an older vector graphics program, similar to Corel or Adobe Illustrator. From there, I can convert the drawing to several different file types, including Autocad DXF, jpeg, gif, Windows WMF or EMF, Adobe Illustrator, and Sun raster. I'd like to convert one of these file types to a PDF file. Sometimes, the conversion isn't flawless. If someone knows of a program that I can download to do the conversion here, I can fiddle with it until I get it the way it needs to be. Once I have the PDF file, I will post it so that forum members can help refine it. I suspect that several drafts could be needed, so that means I'll need make corrections. I have looked at several of the programs available but it's tough to discern which one might do the job.

            Johnny, I sent you a PM.
            Tritrix HT:http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222519
            Dayton 12" Subwoofer: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222930
            Overnight Sensations: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=223751
            Cerberus sub: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...hlight=cerebus
            Duellatis: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=224943
            NTN's: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227902

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

              Good idea. The question seems to come up often.

              I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
              "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

              High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
              SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
              My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

              Tangband W6-sub

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                I think the illustrations in pcd work pretty good. I have to make mine like that and big or I screw things up.
                " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

                http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
                http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                  Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                  I think the illustrations in pcd work pretty good. I have to make mine like that and big or I screw things up.
                  +1 emphatically! Just today I soldered up my crossover, (for the last time Marc) and had a print out of the PCD illustration right in front of me the whole time.

                  From a relative newbie, that style of drawing works very well for me. Mark

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                    Originally posted by Soundslike View Post
                    I should add that while many on this forum are very good writers, it takes time to compose a proper message and we typically have other things we'd like to be doing. So, we try to be brief. Drawings are often essential and producing one adds still more time. Further, I suspect everyone has had the experience of spending a lot of time on a carefully crafted response, only to find that the PRH is now going in a different direction, lost interest, stopped communicating, or perhaps abandoned the project altogether.
                    I think your idea is excellent. There are many times I would love to jump in and help out a PRH but I simply don't have the time to craft a clear and concise response. Or I'm sitting somewhere remote reading this forum on my iphone. They're good for reading, not so good for responding. An easy way to push around virtual paper parts "electronically" would actually be kinda fun and definitely convey accurate information quickly (the old saying a picture is worth....)

                    It's not freeware but I draw everything in MS Visio and it will create a PDF if I want to share it online.
                    Last edited by PWR RYD; 06-15-2013, 11:21 PM.
                    Craig

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                      Originally posted by psycoacoustics View Post
                      +1 emphatically! Just today i soldered up my crossover, (for the last time marc) and had a print out of the pcd illustration right in front of me the whole time.

                      From a relative newbie, that style of drawing works very well for me. Mark
                      lol!
                      HAGD,
                      Marc

                      Even though I try to tell everyone upfront, understand that I am still a Newb. I wish the status of Seasoned Veteran/Senior Member, etc. was earned with time not posts...

                      TMWW thread

                      Maurbacs DCR Tower

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                        ouch! not free. any freeware like that?
                        " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                        Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                        Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

                        http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
                        http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                          Whenever I lay out a crossover assembly, I cut out thin, cardboard (backs of paper tablets that are usually thrown away) outlines of the components. I then draw an outline of the board onto which the components will be mounted using Quadrille pad paper (1/4" squares in blue lines). I also draw onto this the input and output connectors in locations I determine by requirement or desire. I then copy that drawing on one of our printer/copiers. Using the cardboard cutouts, with the cutouts labeled with component designators (R1, L1, C1, etc.) and values, I arrange the components on the drawing copy more or less just like they are shown in the crossover schematic until I have them where needed to connect most of them with their own leads. It usually takes no more than two iterations to get the final version.
                          Paul

                          Originally posted by Soundslike View Post
                          It seems that one of the most common requests for help relates to how one goes about assembling a crossover network. A recent string took on the characteristics of a mine rescue as a dozen or so forum regulars tried repeatedly to communicate how the components could be laid out and connected together. I sensed from the beginning that the chief problem was communication, i.e., expressing instructions and advice in a way that the person requesting help (PRH ) could understand. It is deceptively difficult to do. On the other side of the equation, it's often difficult to discern just what is frustrating the PRH. I think in the example I alluded to above, the PRH was trying to make everything connect together using only the leads on the components - as a result, he was severely limited as to where components could be placed. If he hadn't concerned himself at this early stage with how he was going to connect things together, he would have been pretty much free to place components wherever they fit best (using additional wire when he began hooking things up). Instead, he experimented with the layout by twisting leads together, and the resulting bending and rebending eventually caused metal fatigue and broken leads.

                          I should add that while many on this forum are very good writers, it takes time to compose a proper message and we typically have other things we'd like to be doing. So, we try to be brief. Drawings are often essential and producing one adds still more time. Further, I suspect everyone has had the experience of spending a lot of time on a carefully crafted response, only to find that the PRH is now going in a different direction, lost interest, stopped communicating, or perhaps abandoned the project altogether.

                          In order to simplify communication when a similar request appears, I've been working with a set of instructions, a grid marked in inches, and scale icons representing the various components. About three pages would be required, one for the instructions, one for the grid, and one for the components. Basically, using the method would require that the PRH print out the grid and the components, cut the components out, tape them in place on the grid, rearrange as necessary, draw lines to indicate connections, draw a rectangle around the group of components showing the board size, and then use the diagram they've just made to guide assembly.

                          My intention is to post my proposal and get everyone's comments. If it looks like the idea has promise, it could be referred to when the problem comes up again.

                          So:
                          1. What do you think of the idea?

                          2. Has this already been done adequately?

                          3. Can someone with experience producing PDF files point me in the right direction? I've been looking for a PDF writer on the Internet. Which would you recommend that would be capable of handling the drawings? It would be nice if I could supply a file that would print out in 1 to 1 scale, in a format just about everyone could print out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                            Whenever I lay out a crossover assembly, I cut out thin, cardboard (backs of paper tablets that are usually thrown away) outlines of the components. I then draw an outline of the board onto which the components will be mounted using Quadrille pad paper (1/4" squares in blue lines). I also draw onto this the input and output connectors in locations I determine by requirement or desire. I then copy that drawing on one of our printer/copiers. Using the cardboard cutouts, with the cutouts labeled with component designators (R1, L1, C1, etc.) and values, I arrange the components on the drawing copy more or less just like they are shown in the crossover schematic until I have them where needed to connect most of them with their own leads. It usually takes no more than two iterations to get the final version.
                            Paul
                            That's exactly the process I'm talking about. What I'm attempting to do is institutionalize the process and make it easy for people who need help to use it. By providing a grid and a representative set of components that can be cut out, both of which are to the same scale, all the PRH would need are provided. Then, when someone needs help forum members could point them to the instructions and suggest they start there. Any further conversation would be facilitated because both the PRH and the helper would be using the same language, so to speak. Here's the written instructions I've developed so far.

                            1. Cut out the components that are closest in size
                            to the components you are working with.
                            Note: resistors are usually the same size
                            but condensers and inducters vary according
                            to their value. If the crossover diagram you're
                            working with has identifying numbers such
                            as R1, R2, C1, C2, L1, L2, etc., mark the
                            components you've cut out with corresponding
                            numbers.

                            2. Print out a copy of the grid provided. It is
                            important to use this grid as it is sized to the
                            same scale as the components. It should print
                            scaled 1 to 1, as should the components. (1 to 1
                            means that objects shown, or the space between
                            dots, should actually measure as specified, i.e.,
                            they are actual size).

                            3.Place components on the grid so that
                            the leads are directly over intersecting lines.
                            It's probably best to avoid placing
                            components tightly together, unless
                            you're sure the sizes you've chosen
                            are very close to actual size (scale) of
                            the actual components you will use.
                            Use Scotch tape to hold them in
                            position. Don't be concerned about connecting
                            components together in this step, or
                            whether the leads are of sufficient
                            length. It's generally good practice
                            to first place the inductors, following
                            the orientation rules in the accompanying
                            diagram by Troels Gravesen. The teminals
                            should be placed next, and marked
                            as Input (+ or -), and Output (W, T, and Grnd.).
                            Some more complex designs will require
                            mulitple output terminals (the Stentorians,
                            for example).

                            4. Draw erasable lines to simulate wires connecting
                            the components and terminals together
                            as depicted in the crossover diagram. Rearrange
                            components if you are not pleased with yout original
                            placement. Redraw lines as necessary. When
                            you are satisfied with the layout, recheck the
                            circuit marking each link in color after verifying
                            that it is correct.

                            5. At this point, you must decide whether to make
                            connections above, or below the board. Making
                            connections below the board results in a firmer
                            attachment of the individual components and a
                            more professional appearance,but is more
                            difficult (confusing). If you choose below the
                            board, you can simplify the task by first tracing
                            all components and connections from the front
                            to the back of your layout grid. This provides a
                            mirrored image that can be used as a map showing
                            how the components are wired together on the
                            underside of the board.

                            6. Draw a rectangle around the components to
                            define the outside dimensions of the
                            board. Select a board from non-conductive
                            material, preferably between 1/8" and 1/4"
                            thickness, and cut to size. Place your
                            layout diagram over the board and transfer
                            hole locations (where the wires will pass
                            through to the underneath side of the board)
                            using an icepick, awl, or similar tool..

                            7. If you have opted to make your connections
                            above the board, the transfer marks will be
                            used only to help you place the components.
                            If you are connecting on the underneath side,
                            drill holes at each location, using the smallest
                            drill bit you have (but one large enough to accomodate
                            the component leads).

                            8. Place the individual components on the
                            board according to the layout developed
                            in the previous steps. It is good practice
                            to spend a little time straightening the leads
                            on each of the components, before placing
                            them. Be sure to place each component
                            with the label up to make them easier to identify
                            later if it becomes necessary. If you
                            are making your connections below the board,
                            you will need to bend the leads 90 deg. down
                            on each side of the components at a point
                            where the downward leads will match the
                            appropriate holes. When the connections
                            are made up on the underneath side of the
                            board, lighter components such as resistors
                            and capacitors will be held in place by the
                            leads alone. Inductors, particularly
                            those standing on edge, will need to be glued
                            and tied down. If connections will
                            be made on the top side of the board,
                            use an adhesive such as hot glue to hold
                            each component in place. Inductors should
                            also be secured with zip ties.

                            9. Connect the components together, following
                            your layout. For many connections, you will
                            find the leads are sufficiently long to make
                            it possible to simply connect the leads
                            together, but in others it will be necessary
                            to add additional wire to gain the needed
                            length. Typically, a ground wire will run from
                            the input terminal to the output ground
                            terminal, with various component leads
                            attached to it..
                            A good connection is achieved by first
                            making a good physical connection, and
                            then soldering. When connecting inductors,
                            be sure that the clear coating that serves
                            as an insulator, has been removed from the
                            ends to be soldered.
                            Tritrix HT:http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222519
                            Dayton 12" Subwoofer: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222930
                            Overnight Sensations: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=223751
                            Cerberus sub: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...hlight=cerebus
                            Duellatis: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=224943
                            NTN's: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227902

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A Method of Explaining Crossover Layout and Construction

                              If someone has a recent version of MS office you can import pictures, scanned drawings, or whatever into Word or Excel, add text to explain things, and then "save as" and select a pdf format. I create pdf's this way all the time.

                              Jeff
                              Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

                              Comment

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