I am glad to announce the next step in nihtila.com and break the long silence. I have re-designed some of the boards that have been out of stock for long time and there are completely new designs in the pipeline as well. I have opened a new website and online store kaamostech.com for selling them under a UK-registered limited company Kaamos Tech Ltd. This is still just a side hustle but this is a commitment to continuation and more regular and consistent updates after such a long silence.
A bit longer version..
This website has been up for 10 years now, of which 6 in its current form, albeit mostly inactive. During Covid lockdowns was the last active period when I was producing and selling boards. Since then life happened in a way, less time and energy to spend on this hobby, and the biggest impact being AKM factory fire and global chip shortage that made many of the key components unavailable. Some of these were discontinued by AKM so the production never continued.
While silent, there has been a lot of work in the background in 2023. In recent months I have spent most of my free time re-designing the boards, working on DIY test solutions, and drafting new ideas. To take a step forward, I will continue this hobby and side hustle under a limited company named Kaamos Tech Ltd (kaamos means polar night in Finnish, to get a unique name and a Finnish connection in there..). This has also meant a huge amount of new things to figure out as well as admin work but I felt it was a necessary step to take things a bit more seriously this time and commit to continuing this. It is still a side hustle with limited time and resources but let’s see where we get in the long run; this is a longer term plan now.
Brand new kaamostech.com is now open and hopefully everything works – let me know if not. I’ve got a handful of each boards in stock and will get more soon.
Here is a summary of the new boards and changes to previous revisions sold:
- W-DAC v2
- The same form factor, similar design.
- AK4493S DAC IC (AK4493 discontinued), slightly higher performance at around -116dB THD+N.
- Output mute relay.
- Supports HW-control or I2C (two variants), I2C variant supports one-step relay attenuation like W-DAC S.
- DSD support in I2C-variant.
- Similar reference generation with 2x LT3042 and third order Bessel output stage with LM4562s.
- DAR 18 Digital Audio Receiver
- W-Input replacement (S/PDIF to I2S), the same form factor but completely new design around AK4118A (AK4115 used in W-Input was discontinued).
- Similar features with RCA and Toslink onboard, XLR can be wired out or addon used for XLR and BNC input; also PCM pass-through is supported.
- Supports HW-control or I2C (two variants).
- ADC AK5572 v2
- Similar performance (-114dB THD+N) around the same AK5572EN, the same form factor.
- Major design changes around inputs, protection and reference generation; I/O buffer added.
- PCM or DSD output, Master or Slave (PCM only), HW-control or I2C.
- Stereo or Mono, XLR or RCA inputs.
- SPDIF TX v2
- Major PCB re-design but similar circuit around DIT4192.
- Master or Slave (finally – v1.3 only supported Master).
- Stereo or Dual Mono with two Mono ADC AK5572 (Dual Mono only works as Master).
- BNC, Toslink, and XLR outputs are all galvanically isolated and can be used simultaneously.
- Optional oscillator and buffer circuit to provide Master Clock to SPDIF TX and two other boards.
- Common features are that digital audio and clocks now use U.FL connectors and cables instead of pinheaders for better signal integrity. Power connectors are also unified using Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 to support upcoming Kaamos PSU boards. There are of course easy ways to connect these to any boards not having U.FL or Molex connectors.
- All PCBs are 4-layer designs.
Hopefully a new USB-C power supply board will be ready for release soon as well. I’ve got lots of ideas (and limited amount of time!) but let me know if there is something you would want to see.
Thank you for your support in buying boards and all the messages and comments during these years. It means a lot and gives some confidence to continue.