Hello 2020! Current projects…

Folks: I’ve been super busy being a 2nd-time dad and rebuilding antique stereo consoles recently, so I’ve been AWOL here! Here’s the briefest glimpse into what’s been going on.

Here’s some progress on rebuilding the classic Grundig NF2 amplifier (4x EL84, 2x 12AX7) from the bare chassis up! I’m using all new professional Vishay-Dale (USA) resistors in the signal path, and reusing the old wax caps only if they match within 2% and pass the high-voltage leakage test. This amp will get wood bars on the sides and a decorative cage over the output transformers (not shown in this photo). This amp goes with my Grundig / Bayreuth console that I’m fully restoring augmenting. Yes, that tube that will be in the middle is a tuning-eye indicator tube for visually showing the music! It’s going to look awesome! The teak console will be for sale when it’s done, and will include this beautiful amp, the restored original FM/AM/SW radio, turntable, reel-to-reel tape player, bluetooth connection, DSP digital equalizer correction, and auxiliary inputs to boot!
This is several measurements** of a Grundig KS680 console from the 1960’s with all original speakers in excellent condition. Note the maximum at 1kHz-3kHz, no bass below 100Hz, and vanishing treble above 6kHz. This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the Fletcher-Munson equal loudness curves!! No wonder these old consoles sound so terrible! I’ll augment this with two 8″ subs, rebuild the crossovers, and add digital DSP equalization correction built right into the console. That console will also be for sale and come with the restored original AM/FM/SW radio, turntable, reel-to-reel player, Bluetooth, and DSP equalization correction. It’s going to look and sound stunning!
[[ **Using the amazing and free REW, and the UMIK-1 ($75) ]]

Interestingly, my VU-meter pedal has received some attention lately, so I’m also working on making production versions of those!!

Antique Stereo Consoles Coming

I’ve been bust the last few weeks working on antique stereo consoles and vintage audio components. It’s a LOT of work to restore (and improve) these, but they are awesome! Keep an eye on us. These things will sell FAST.

See the new “For Sale” page!!

Wow, it’s November already??? I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been busy on a number of really cool projects and had a bunch of stuff on Etsy for most of the year. It hasn’t panned out that well! I’m hoping posting all my “For Sale” items here might generate some interest.

I still have the AWESOME analog clocks available. There was a lot of views on my Nixie clock on Etsy, but no buyers. Someone please buy it!! It’s really cool.

I’m working hard on an organ pipe doorbell with 28 pipes, including one almost 7ft tall. It’s an amazing project and it’s coming together. Images/videos coming soon.

Little update

I’m back working on some items again. Sold two steampunked leather mice. Yay! But other stuff has been stagnant, so I dropped the prices on Etsy a LOT. Please buy stuff!! I really think my next move is going to be guitar pedals. I’ve been scouring the market so far with analog clocks, cigar box drums, steampunked wireless mouses, etc., but with hardly a bite. I’ve finally got Instagram account up and running to help get the word out.

It’s kind of depressing to spend so much effort on items I think are cool and have no sales to show for it, so I guess my final foray will be guitar pedals. If that fails, I’m going toward my big invention ideas whole-hog. Youtube hasn’t panned out for me yet either, now that you need 1,000 subscribers to make even a cent.

Here’s a preview of my new “Mini-Tubulum” with only 4 pipes. Actually, if you use the palm of your hand, you can get each to speak an octave lower, so you have effectively 8 very bassy notes. This one is tuned D, E, G, A, with the D 3 half-steps lower than the F on my big tubulum. It sounds really cool!! The pipes are 1-1/4″ PVC and are noticeably quieter (and lighter-weight) than the 2″ PVC on the big tubulum.

Sheet Music for Piano

Hi folks! I did a few recordings on a grand piano of my jazz hymn arrangements (Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us, Be Thou My Vision, The Love Of God). Sheet music will be available for purchase (low price) and videos will be posted on our Youtube Channel. Enjoy!

Steampunk Wireless Mice

Logitech m325 wireless computer mice that have been “steampunked” with dimpled aluminum and leather are now available at our Etsy store. SN002 is tan suede leather and SN003 is a rich brown polished goatskin leather. They are fully functional and tested before shipment. They really catch attention at the office!

…Okay, yet another item that’s not “music” – But hey, it’s really cool!

PVC Pipe Amp Kit Status

Just to keep you up to date on the PVC pipe amp kits… I’m working hard on the manual for the assembly. Whew, it’s a lot of work! It’s up to 22 pages now, and that just for the PCB and Faceplate assembly!

For the Faceplate drawing, I had to download the AppImage of latest build of FreeCAD (still at 0.17), because, well, I couldn’t figure out where 0.16 went (thanks, Ubuntu!), and the Ubuntu-software center version of FreeCAD (also 0.17) didn’t have dimensioning capability. Hopefully they’ll get up to version 1 of FreeCAD someday….

I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not to include a 15″ x 15″ baseplate in the kit, because it means the shipping carton has to be much larger. Any opinions? Also, the 90-deg elbow is easily available at any home improvement store, so I might leave that out too, because it might cost as much to ship as it is to buy in person! Besides, if you want to recreate the Super Mario Bros amp, you don’t need an elbow!

I made a few videos pertaining to the assembly. Those will be posted once the manual is done and the kits are ready.

Once the weather lets up, I can go ahead and router the features into the five remaining PVC pipes I have here. That a major part of the kit.

Clock SN001 & SN003 Update

Clock SN001 is done. The “nudge” factor I used to keep the needle from sticking seems to be working very well, and I recalibrated the “mode” knob. The demo video was posted on Youtube. It’s up for sale on Etsy.com as well…

Analog Meter Clock
SN003 is completely done!

Clock SN003 has been updated! I added a feature to the back corner of it, and it’s looking great. The instruction sheet is done too, and the demo video has been shot (but not processed). Hopefully it’ll be posted to Youtube and Etsy within the next week.

Status of products

  • PVC Pipe Amp kits: Parts-wise, I expect I can make about 7 kits, but the assembly instruction manual is not ready as of today. I also need to buy materials for the wooden bases.
  • Cigar-Box Drum Things: Seven of them are ready to go, except I didn’t take photos yet.
  • Tubulum plans are ready. Still on the back-burner: Paddles to play it with! We’ve been using foam sandals, which work really well, but, well, they’re sandals! We don’t plan to make kits for the Tubulum, because it would be too heavy to ship and you can buy all the parts at your local home improvement store.
  • Guitar pedals: Vacuum tube and other guitar pedals are in the works.
  • Clocks: S/N 1, 2, and 3 are basically ready, except for videos on how to set the time (it’s easy, and it’s described in the instruction sheet). I want to shrink the PCBs down for the next batch, but they function really well.