I have designed most boards for myself with no profits in mind, for now. However, parts for projects purchased in single quantities can cost a lot of money, especially PCBs, enclosures, transformers, and high-performance semiconductors. Therefore, I would be really happy to get some money back to put into new ideas and designs I have in mind. Unfortunately I cannot offer fully assembled boards at the moment but I can offer bare PCBs to more experienced builders. Occasionally I also have partly or fully populated boards I have used in my tests.
The plan is to start offering assembled boards in the future.
My current stock
- Purchasing instructions are at the end
- Postage fees will be added
- PCBs go in a normal letter, assembled boards may require a small parcel
- I will check the fees when you contact me regarding your order
Assembled boards coming in September 2019!
Addon BalOut v2.0
A set of fully populated boards available, all with LM4562 opamps.
Fully populated simplified PCB, version A (two opamps), 6dB gain.
This is simplified in a way that some components are left out and some shorted for simple single-ended input and balanced output. This provides not only simpler design but also even slightly lower noise. Population is per this simplified schematics, compare to the original one to see component differences.
With XLRs £29 (1 pc in stock)
Without XLRs £21 (3 pcs in stock)
Fully populated simplified PCB, version B (one opamp), 6dB gain.
With XLRs £24 (1 pc in stock)
Fully populated original version A (two opamps), gain 0 dB. Takes in single-ended or differential signal.
Like the A version in the original schematics except slightly different resistor values, 1k = 1k21 and 47 = 51.1. Also has the output protection components populated.
With XLRs, £25 (1 pc in stock)
H-DAC fully assembled board for AC supply
One Toslink, one coaxial, and USB inputs. All opamps are LM4562. This was the main board for all H-DAC measurements.
12 VAC (at least) 1 A power supply is required. Note that regulators get very hot if not mounted on chassis or proper heatsink! Can be used with DC supply as well although electrolytics are overkill for that.
No USB connector or PCB screw connectors next to RCA populated. Ask for these if you need.
£50 (pretty much price of components)
Dual Trafo Board
Make sure your transformers are the same pinout and understand that you are dealing with potentially lethal voltages!
Simple PSU 3 board
Simple PSU 3 fully assembled
For +5V/+12V/-12V, includes screws and spacers (the right height for mounting the regulators on chassis)
Smart PSU 3
Includes diodes soldered because silk screen symbols are wrong way.
Where do you get the components?
I get all my electronic components from Mouser or Digi-Key. I have provided Mouser (and sometimes Digikey) part numbers in the BOMs. Mouser and Digi-Key have worked well at least when ordering to Finland and UK. You get free shipping for orders above £33, you pay VAT on them when ordering, and they handle all customs (there are no customs fees for electronic components at least in the EU) for you. Despite coming from the US, delivery is very fast – I get the parcel in 2-3 days from ordering.
Enclosures I mostly get from eBay and custom front/back panels from Schaeffer AG. A word of caution of ordering electronic components from eBay – there are lots of fakes around.
Do you have assembly and test instructions?
I do not have detailed instructions for each board as I expect someone buying a bare PCB to have relevant electronics skills. However, there are some general assembly instructions. Generally speaking, you should be fine with schematics, component placements, and PCB images. Not all boards have reference designators on silk screen so populating those boards requires a bit more attention using component placement files.
If you have questions or face problems, contact me. When I get questions asked I will understand what is unclear and can add more FAQs.
Why only DIY-unfriendly SMD parts?
Simply performance, cost, and availability. SMD components have better performance largely due to their smaller packages and leads, for example inductance of SMD-capacitor is significantly smaller than its through-hole counterpart. The smaller the better but I do try to choose larger SMD-packages if available. My normal passive component size has been 0805 but I’m moving toward 0603.
Not only smaller packages are cheaper but the space saved on board saves money on PCB costs. And again, more compact design means shorter traces and better performance.
Not many high-performance parts are even available in through-hole packages.
SMD-parts, at least the larger ones, are not difficult to solder at all and I encourage all DIYers to learn. Watch YouTube videos and get hands-on experience. Just do not fry your components (which does not happen easily) or destroy your PCB traces (can happen quite easily) and always check the soldering before powering up the board. Using extra flux makes soldering a lot easier! Although not very environment-friendly, I also recommend using old-school leaded tin for makers as it’s a lot easier to work with.
I do understand some of the smaller SMD parts are tricky to solder for less experienced makers. Therefore, I can solder some trickier parts for you if requested and if I have the part. I can also populate some passive components you do not have.
Offering kits of boards with SMD-components is simply not practical. Sorting the components would take too much time and it is also very easy to make mistakes. As many parts don’t even have any values on them, sorting out those mistakes can be very tricky.
No fully assembled boards?
At least not yet except some boards I have hand-soldered for my own tests and measurements and do not need anymore.
The plan is to offer more assembled boards in the future.
How to buy?
- Before buying I expect that you:
- Have good enough electronics skills to build your board and debug it if required
- Also understand the aspects of electrical safety, especially if your device uses mains voltage
- Understand that I will not be responsible if something goes wrong; this may be damage to your speakers or even electric shock
- Before paying, contact me and let me know:
- What boards you would like to have
- Do you want me to solder some components for you (for component price plus small fee)
- Where do you live so I can figure out the postage fee
- I will reply you typically within a day, giving the status of components and price.
- If I have the products, you can pay via PayPal. If I do not have them, I will give you an estimate how quickly I can get them for you to decide if you want to proceed.
- After payment I will send you the products as soon as I can, normally within 1-2 days if I have them.
That being said, feel free to contact me if you have any issues. I will also be glad to hear your success with your projects! You can also use my Twitter handle @nihtilacom.