Thursday, July 26, 2012

LM386 amplifier

I was initially inspired by Hack-A-Week to build this amp kit.  I noticed while I was looking around the web that there are a lot of different version of it, but they are all basically the same, and it can be used to power a small speaker, headphones or as a pre amp of some kind too.

I wouldn't be surprised if most distortion pedals utilize the 386.  I saw 4 inside this old "boutique" pedal I had.  

You might have noticed, if you've ever tried to panel mount anything--like switches or jacks--inside a wood cabinet, the wood is usually too thick.  I've found that having a 1 1/4" paddle bit laying around is helpful for recessing the jack into the wood so the threads reach the other side.

I built the schematic on a piece of perf board and mounted inside this drawer I had.  In the Hack-A-Week video, he builds a little pedal type thing, but I opted for my "mini-amp" idea. The speaker is a 16ohms --2.5 watt.

It's actually pretty loud for a 9v battery amp. 

I decided to build a second one, but I went this this "dip" style perf board this time around.  It worked out really nice and made for a really clean soldering job.

For this one, I put in a power switch and I got these handy 9v battery clips from jameco which made for a nice touch.

I left this one in the orignal case (this is the back).  Strangely, the 2 amps sound kind of different even though I used the same schematic for both,  I'm not sure if its the case, but the first amp in the drawer case seems louder and a bit brighter.  This one on the other hand seems like it might be better for bass.

A couple weeks ago,  I went the the reuse center and bought a broken receiver for a couple bucks,  inside was a bunch of boards full of Caps.  On this board, theres about 40X 10uF caps, 10X 220uF and some others.  It's nice to have these lying around for parts on projects like this.

Yep.  building stuff.  All the schematics and stuff are on Hack-A-Week

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