Author Topic: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?  (Read 7928 times)

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Online GK

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Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« on: October 15, 2012, 10:52:22 AM »
Hello all,
I regularly receive emails from people wanting to know if I have any PCB’s to sell for the “Generator Board”, as described as part of my THD analyser project, here:

http://www.users.on.net/~glenk/thd/thd.htm

The Generator Board is a switched-frequency state-variable audio oscillator that covers 10Hz to 50kHz in 1, 2, 5 steps. As detailed on my website, THD+N for the whole analyser is less than 0.0001% (-120dB; 1 part per million). The distortion of the Generator signal output by itself would be somewhat lower, but I simply lack the measurement capability at the moment to asses just how good it really is (I don’t have an analysers section with better performance than the Generator), but I estimate that it is typically in the order of -130dB to -140dB.

Schematic and Gerber files for the project can be downloaded from my site, but it seems most want ready made PCB’s. So, due to the number of requests (about half a dozen so far) I’m considering having a batch of boards made, but only if there is sufficient interest. I don’t want to spend $500 - $1000 if it will take 2 years for me to recoup my money.

So, the purpose of this thread is to test the water, so to speak. If I can get a list of, say, 25 people interested, I’ll go ahead and get a batch made. I would like to point out in advance that I’m not a charity and I will not be doing this for free or for part at my own expense (done that in the past and it was not a rewarding experience; will not be doing it again, ever).  I Think I’d sell the boards for 2x what they cost me, plus a fixed postage fee to cover airmail.

I’ve had hundreds of boards made over the years through my places of work, but we traditionally use local suppliers such as Entech or IMP. I know these aren’t the cheapest options, so if this will come to fruition I’ll be open and appreciative for suggestions for alternatives.   

Cheers,
Glen

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 12:58:33 PM »
Sounds like a case for a Kickstarter crowd funded project?
Or in your case, Pozzible for Oz.

Dave.

Online GK

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 04:16:16 PM »
Pozzible Kickstarter?
Say wot?
Sorry! Jargon overload!

Logging onto Google now..................

Offline JuKu

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 05:32:11 PM »
I'd be interested about notch filter, provided a little bit better documentation. Either ready-made or PCB only. I have AP and dScope audio analyzers, so I can asses how good that is.  ;)

Online GK

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 06:54:30 PM »
Well, almost all of the expressions of interest I have received have been for the oscillator ("Generator") board on its own. Most just seem to want a really low distortion, stand alone oscillator that covers the audio frequency spectrum to use in conjunction with a soundcard and highy averaged FFT.

The Notch Filter board requires the Auto-tune board to work, but I wouldn't consider having a batch of a compete set of boards for the complete analyser project made. That would be a quite considerable initial outlay and I don't think I'd ever sell them.

I was considering having a batch of 50 to 100 Generator boards made. In that quantity the cost per board (from one of the budget Chinese manufacturers) should be pretty reasonable. Also, I'm only talking about bare boards here, not kitsets or loaded and tested PCB's - definately don't have the time for that!

 

« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:54:44 AM by GK »

Online GK

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 08:19:48 PM »
OK, thanks to Google I now know what "Kickstarter" and "Pozible" are. Intetresting concept. On Pozible one guy seems to have >$19k for sticking RGB LEDs into a hoola hoop!  :o How many of these projects actually come to fruition in the end? Some seeem pretty ambitious, some completely stupid. Cast your net wide enough and it seems you can sell almost anything.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 08:22:49 PM by GK »

Offline krivx

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 09:27:59 PM »
I would be interested but I'd like to have some idea of cost before committing...

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 10:16:04 PM »
OK, thanks to Google I now know what "Kickstarter" and "Pozible" are. Intetresting concept. On Pozible one guy seems to have >$19k for sticking RGB LEDs into a hoola hoop!  :o How many of these projects actually come to fruition in the end? Some seeem pretty ambitious, some completely stupid. Cast your net wide enough and it seems you can sell almost anything.


Err, you haven't been following Kickstarter then! (there is another recent thread on it).
Every kid in his garage is getting 6 or 7 digits for any idea they throw out there. 5 digits is practically guaranteed on Kickstarter for any flashing led board.
How about $313K for a micro on a board?
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digistump/digispark-the-tiny-arduino-enabled-usb-dev-board
An example of a simple bare board that met it's very modest funding target:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/671510748/superlf398-low-parts-count-sample-and-hold?ref=card

Pozzible is much less simply because it does not have the market presence and hype of Kickstarter.

How many actually deliver? Well, almost all of them are later than promised because so many underestimate how much time/effort it takes to manufacture stuff. And some completely fall through and deliver nothing after a year or two.
There is so much failure that Kickstarter have recently changed the rules to try and stop "pie-in-the-sky" ideas getting listed.

But if you need money up front, and effectively get "pre-sales", it's well worth considering.

Dave.

Offline dirkwright

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 11:30:25 PM »
Thanks Glen! I'm in for one board. I'm in the USA. I would prefer plated through holes, solder mask two sides, and silk screen one side.

Online GK

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 10:54:18 AM »
I would be interested but I'd like to have some idea of cost before committing...


I'll get a quote from PCBcart or similar. As there doesn't seem to be a great deal of interest I'll look at having perhaps only a batch of only 20 made. If I sell them for 2x what they cost me, I only need to sell half to break even. After that I'm not particularly bothered with how long they take to shift.

Offline poptones

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 06:43:12 PM »
You may be underestimating your market based on low sampling frequency. Post an article in rec-audio-high-end and one in rec-audio-tech and see how many responses you get.

Offline dirkwright

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 11:58:02 PM »
I posted it in a thread specific for ultra low distortion oscillators on DIYaudio.
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/equipment-tools/205304-low-distortion-audio-range-oscillator-73.html

Offline dirkwright

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 07:31:22 AM »
I also posted this thread in the DIYaudio group buy forum:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/group-buys/221670-sv-oscillator-pcb-group-buy.html

Hopefully there will be more people interested in your oscillator.

Online GK

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 11:35:18 AM »
OK, thanks Dirk. Bit busy right now, will try to get some on-line quotes for various batch sizes this evening.

Online GK

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Re: Who would like an ultra-low distortion audio oscillator PCB?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 07:01:51 PM »
OK, here is the PCBcart quote. Doesn't estimate shipping though, dunno how much extra that would be.


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