DAC Kit 2.1 Construction Manual
Manual Version 2.2 – March 2011
Build instructions for DAC3.1, DAC3.1 Signature, DAC4.1 Limited Edition
Copyright © 2006-2011 AudioNote Kits
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Page 1
Table of Contents
Section1: Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................ 4
Overview ............................................................................................................................................................................ 5
Component Placement Breakdown .................................................................................................................................... 6
Electrical Safety Warning ................................................................................................................................................... 8
Section 2: Mechanical Assembly ........................................................................................................................................... 9
Installing the feet ................................................................................................................................................................ 9
Mains Transformer, Choke, and Mains Installation ............................................................................................................ 9
Configuring the Primary Winding for your World Region .............................................................................................. 11
Installing the IEC Socket (AC Socket) and Rocker Switch ........................................................................................... 14
Installing the Choke ...................................................................................................................................................... 15
Installing the Mains Transformer .................................................................................................................................. 15
Wiring up the Mains ...................................................................................................................................................... 16
Shield Positioning ......................................................................................................................................................... 17
Section 3: M2 Power Supply ................................................................................................................................................ 19
M2 Power Supply Board Parts List .................................................................................................................................. 20
M2 Power Supply Board Construction Steps ................................................................................................................... 21
Installing the Valve Bases ............................................................................................................................................ 21
Installing the Resistors ................................................................................................................................................. 23
Installing resistors in the HT ADJUST position ............................................................................................................. 25
Zener Diode Installation................................................................................................................................................ 26
Electrolytic Capacitor Installation .................................................................................................................................. 27
Installing the Bridge Rectifier ........................................................................................................................................ 29
Installing the Non-Polarized Capacitors........................................................................................................................ 29
Wiring the M2 Power Supply Board .............................................................................................................................. 30
Filament Component Section of the M2 Power Supply Board ...................................................................................... 33
Regulator Installation .................................................................................................................................................... 34
Installing the LED Harness ........................................................................................................................................... 35
Remaining Wire Connections ....................................................................................................................................... 35
Installing the Heatsink .................................................................................................................................................. 36
Installing the Choke Wire .............................................................................................................................................. 37
Inter-wiring to the Mains Transformer ........................................................................................................................... 38
Securing the Regulators to the Heatsink ...................................................................................................................... 41
Section 4: M2 Power Supply Testing ................................................................................................................................... 43
Preparations ..................................................................................................................................................................... 43
Fitting the Mains Fuse .................................................................................................................................................. 43
Installing the LED Indicator ........................................................................................................................................... 44
Installing the tubes........................................................................................................................................................ 44
Tidying Up .................................................................................................................................................................... 44
Ohm Check ...................................................................................................................................................................... 45
Electrical Testing .............................................................................................................................................................. 45
Voltage Check Summary ................................................................................................................................................. 47
DC Voltage Checks ...................................................................................................................................................... 47
AC Voltage Checks ...................................................................................................................................................... 47
Section 5: Digital Power Supply PCB .................................................................................................................................. 48
Parts List .......................................................................................................................................................................... 48
Construction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 48
Installing the LED‟s ....................................................................................................................................................... 49
Installing the Capacitors ............................................................................................................................................... 49
Installing the Diodes ..................................................................................................................................................... 50
Installing the Resistors ................................................................................................................................................. 51
Board Installation and Wiring ........................................................................................................................................... 52
Section 6: Install the Screen ................................................................................................................................................ 54
Section 7: Installing the Digital PCB .................................................................................................................................... 55
Digital Board Overview..................................................................................................................................................... 55
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Digital Board Installation .................................................................................................................................................. 56
Section 8: Digital Board Power Supply Connections ........................................................................................................... 57
Section 9: Line Board Construction ..................................................................................................................................... 58
Installing the Valve Bases ................................................................................................................................................ 58
Parts List .......................................................................................................................................................................... 58
Installing the Resistors ..................................................................................................................................................... 59
Installing the Electrolytic Capacitors................................................................................................................................. 61
Installing the Film (non-polarized) Capacitors .................................................................................................................. 61
Board Orientation ............................................................................................................................................................. 62
5687 Filament Wiring ....................................................................................................................................................... 62
Section 10: Installing I/V transformers ................................................................................................................................. 63
Wiring the I/V Transformers ............................................................................................................................................. 64
Section 11: Connecting the 5687 Output ............................................................................................................................. 65
Connecting the 5687 HT to the power supply .................................................................................................................. 65
Connecting the Output Transformers ............................................................................................................................... 65
Output Transformer Type 1 (Single-ended Only) ......................................................................................................... 66
Output Transformer Type 2 (Single-ended or Balanced) .............................................................................................. 67
Section 12: Source Selection and Switching ....................................................................................................................... 68
Installing the Input Selector Switch .................................................................................................................................. 68
Input Connections ............................................................................................................................................................ 69
Connecting the RCA Input ............................................................................................................................................ 70
Connecting the USB Input ............................................................................................................................................ 72
Connecting the XLR Input ............................................................................................................................................ 73
Section 13: Turn-on Procedure............................................................................................................................................ 74
Final Thoughts ..................................................................................................................................................................... 75
Appendix.............................................................................................................................................................................. 76
Resistor Color Code Reference ....................................................................................................................................... 77
Analog Board Schematic .................................................................................................................................................. 78
M2 Power Supply Board Schematic ................................................................................................................................. 79
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Section1: Introduction
NOTE: This manual is for the DAC3.1, DAC3.1 Signature, and DAC4.1 kits - The kits are all the same except that the
component level is increased with each kit the - The DAC3.1 can come as RCA or RCA/Balanced while the DAC4.1 using
the C-core output transformers comes in RCA/Balanced.
Thanks for purchasing the AudioNote DAC Kit 3.1 or 4.1. Our goal is to provide you with the highest quality Kit that you
will build from scratch with these instructions. If you have any questions or comments during the build feel free to contact
us and we would be happy to help out.
You will need a soldering iron or soldering station with a sponge along with wire strippers and a Phillips screwdriver. A nut
driver or a pair of pliers would be useful as well. We have divided the manual up into a series of step-by-step instructions
for the successful build and debug of the kit. There are several places during the build that you will perform tests and/or
checks to make sure that you are on track. This way when you complete the kit you will know that all the major sections
are working.
You will find a number of component bags supplied with your kit. These bags will be referred to throughout this manual.
Here are some tips from working with many kit builders over the last few years:

Perform your work in small manageable chunks. Do not be in a hurry to listen to your finished kit.

Savor the build experience. Here‟s a chance to really get to know your audio kit that will give you many hours of
enjoyment.

Better to work on a section and then spend the time to check over the section rather than just carrying on.

The kit building experience should be a pleasant one so find a place that you can build the kit with relative peace
so you can concentrate on the instructions.

If you plan for a long build stretch on a Saturday afternoon for example then take plenty of breaks with constant
re-checks of your work.
Whilst working through this manual, please feel free to give us your feedback and any other information that may allow us
to improve the build experience.
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Overview
Here is a rough guide to the steps you will be following. You may want to use this page as a general checklist, crossing
out each item as it is done.
1.
Install Feet on Chassis
2.
Install M2 Mains Transformer and Choke into chassis
3.
Connect up IEC section (IEC/rocker, Mains transformer)
4.
Build M2 Power Supply Board
5.
Wire up Mains transformer to M2 power supply
6.
Build DAC PS PCB
7.
Wire up Mains transformer to DAC PS board
8.
Build 5687 analog Board
9.
Wire up Filaments and HT from M2 Power supply Board
10. Install Digital Board in chassis
11. Connect Digital Power Supply leads to Digital Board
12. Connect Digital Board to 5687 Board (via IV transformers)
13. Connect 5687 analog board to output transformers
14. Connect output transformers to audio outputs
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Component Placement Breakdown
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The graphic below shows the block diagram overview of how the DAC works:
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Electrical Safety Warning
There are sufficient voltages in this kit to give you a very nasty and harmful shock so be careful when powering
on, debugging, and probing around.
Please be aware of proper electrical safety.
Please contact AudioNote kits via phone or email to discuss any precautions necessary when building the kit if
you feel unsure about what you are doing at any stage of the build.
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Section 2: Mechanical Assembly
In this beginning section we will start by installing the 4 feet from the Fittings Bag then we will install the Mains transformer
and Choke as shown in the pictures below.
Installing the feet
Insert 4 feet in the bottom of the chassis.
Fix them each in place using an M4 nut and washer.
Mains Transformer, Choke, and Mains Installation
Above you can see the Mains transformer that is used with the M2 Power Supply. The first step is to take the supplied M4
GND lug from the Hardware Bag and solder it to the end of the green wire.
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Trim the wire to about __ inches.
Strip about ¼” of insulation off the end of the green wire.
Tin the bare wire by adding solder to the end.
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Add solder to secure the GND Lug to the end of the wire.
Configuring the Primary Winding for your World Region
Next step is to decide what world voltage you require – for example we have some of the most popular regions listed
below:
United States
120v
Canada
120v
UK
230v or 240v
Europe
230v / 240v
Hong Kong
220v
In order to wire up the for 120V operation we will need to connect the primaries as shown below:
The graphic shows above the correct wiring for of the Primaries for 120V operation where the 0 of one winding connects
to the 0 of the second winding & the 120 of one winding connects to the 120 of the second primary winding. Check the
chart on the next page for the correct PRIMARY winding for the world Voltage you live in.
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Now we must configure our Mains transformer for the World Voltage that we reside in. For this example we will show
120V Operation.
Start by cutting two short pieces of
wire approx 2” in length each, stripping
the insulation off the ends and tinning
the wire.
Then we will inter-wire the Mains transformer primaries.
Remember, we are wiring here for 120v - if your region is
different then you will need to consult the wiring chart on
the previous page to determine how you inter-wire for your
region.
From the IEC bag we want to take the brown and blue
wires with the crimps on one end.
Trim the wires to about _____ inches in length and then
solder on to the correct Mains transformer primary tags for
your region.
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Here, the wires are soldered onto the top-most 0v and the
bottom-most 120v for North American/Canadian 120v.
Remember, we are wiring here for 120v - if your region is
different then you will need to consult the regional wiring
chart to determine how you inter-wire for your region.
Installing the IEC Socket (AC Socket) and Rocker Switch
The rocker switch simply snaps into
pace in the chassis slot.
Use the CSK M3 10mm screw and M3
nut to secure the IEC socket into
position.
Here you can see the correct installation of the IEC socket
and rocker switch from inside the chassis.
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Installing the Choke
Since the Choke fits into a tight
location we suggest you put the
screws and washers into position
through the holes in the choke covers
– then lower the choke into position
making sure that you align with the
non painted hole - see opposite.
Note the wires at the back of the
choke.
The left-most picture shows the final
position of the choke from inside the
chassis.
The central picture shows its position
under the chassis where you will now
secure the 4 holes of the choke with
serrated M4 washers and M4 nuts.
Installing the Mains Transformer
The picture opposite shows the correct orientation for the
Mains Transformer.
The following instructions will show how this is achieved.
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When installing the Mains transformer
be sure to line it up with the unpainted
hole in order to ensure a ground
connection.
Secure the transformer at all four
corners.
Wiring up the Mains
Once the transformer is installed you can connect up the
Blue and Brown Crimped wires from the Mains transformer
directly to the Rocker Switch.
Also connect the green earth wire from the mains
transformer to the GND lug as shown opposite.
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Add the twisted wire (Cable #3) and the ground wire (Cable
#4) as shown in the graphic opposite.
Let‟s add one final GROUND wire connection from the M4
screw in the chassis.
Take a piece of bare wire and solder it between the V300
and 0 terminals as shown opposite. Next, take a terminated
ground wire and strip the un-terminated end and solder it to
the short that you have just made. The other, terminated,
end connects to the chassis ground post.
Shield Positioning
I would like to explain where the shield fits at this stage – you won’t actually be installing this until the end of the
build but by then there will be a number of things inside the chassis.
Take a look at the shield provided and locate the hole underneath that has no paint on it – this will match up with a hole
on the chassis that is also unpainted in order to ensure a good grounding of the SHIELD when in stalled in the chassis.
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Here you can see the correct
installation of the shield – You will
need to remove it later on when we
wire up to the Mains transformer but
for now you can leave it in and show
off your wonderful work to your wife!
This concludes the IEC Wiring section for the Mains Transformer.
You may want to double-check your work at this point. Also, make sure that the crimped end on the Rocker switch are not
coming into contact with each other - make sure there is plenty of clearance. If you want to add some solder to hold them
into place that is fine but I would wait a little bit. Also remember that you can use the rubber hoods that are supplied to
cover up the rocker and IEC plug and it is a matter of threading the crimped end through the rubber hood.
With this section completed we are going to move onto the building of the M2 Power Supply Board.
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Section 3: M2 Power Supply
In this section we will be assembling the M2 Power Supply Board PCB.
Here is a view of the parts that you will find in the M2 Power Supply Kit Bag
Most of the parts for this section can be found in the M2 Power Supply bag (although the filament wires may be located
elsewhere).
For an experienced builder you can look at the parts list on the next page and get started but I would read through the
step by step instructions as we feel that this is the best and most efficient error free method of building the board.
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M2 Power Supply Board Parts List
The Complete Parts list for the M2 board is shown below.
For resistor color code chart refer to the APPENDIX. You can also find an 'Interactive Resistor Color Code Calculator' on
our website (available from the Links page).
Category
Capacitors (Electrolytic)
Quantity
Part
Designator
2
1
2
2
470uf 16V
2200uF 35V
22uF 450V
68uF 450V
C2, C4
C9
C6 ,C7
C3, C5
Capacitors (Non-polarized)
1
1
1
Disc 4700uF 1000v
.22uf 600V
.47uF 600V
C10
C8
C1
Resistors
1
100R
R8
2
1K0
R5, R6
1
2K7
R12
1
15K
R11
1
33K
R2
1
68K
R3
2
100K
R1, R10
1
150K
R7
1
220K
R9
1
470K
R4
Semiconductor Devices
1
1
4
2
2
KBU6J6A
3.5W 150V Zener
Zero Ohm Resistors
1N4007
78S12
U1
D7
D1, D2, D4, D5
D3, D6
U2, U3
Variable Resistor
1
50K 500mW
VR1
Valve Bases
1
1
8 pin valve base
9 pin valve base
Tubes
1
1
6X5 Tube
ECL82 / 6BM8 tube
NOTE: This may be replaced with 2x 22K resistors
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M2 Power Supply Board Construction Steps
Installing the Valve Bases
Lets start by installing the 8-pin valve base with correct orientation.
The 8-pin (octal) valve base is shown opposite.
It‟s a fairly tight fit into the board so take you will need to
take your time and make sure all the legs are individually
positioned over the holes in the board.
Now, let‟s make sure we have the correct orientation - note
the Notch on the valve base along with the Notch on the
PCB. These need to line up - see next image.
Here you can clearly see the notches lined up – this is a
correct orientation of the 8-pin valve base.
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The next job is to solder the valve base into position – Once
you have fitted the octal into position I suggest you use a
cap or something to support the board so that it is nice and
horizontal.
The reason for this is so that the valve base will be
soldered into the board nice and level – you may want to
solder a pin on one side and then the opposite and then
double check that the valve base is nice and level see the
following images.
It is only necessary to solder half the
valve base whole – feel free to put
solder on the entire hole if you feel like
you need to do so – I usually pick one
side and solder the lead to the board –
you may want to pull on the lead to
make sure that it is all the way out –
sometimes a valve base lead can stick
in position.
Next step is to solder in the 9-pin valve base – this one only goes in one way so you can‟t really make a mistake. I would
suggest using some tape though to make sure that the valve base is level to the board – then solder a pin on one side
and then the other to make sure the valve base is level and that you are on track. See pictures below:
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Installing the Resistors
Resistors
1
100R
R8
2
1K0
R5, R6
1
2K7
R12
1
15K
R11
1
33K
R2
1
68K
R3
2
100K
R1 ,R10
1
150K
R7
1
220K
R9
1
470K
R4
If you have a voltmeter you can check the value of each
resistor prior to soldering in OR you can refer to the color
code chart in the above parts list.
Identity the correct resistor and then install in the specified
designator (R1 for example).
Resistors have no polarity so it does not matter the
orientation but I find that if I stick to one direction from left to
right it makes it a lot easier to read the resistors on the
board.
RESISTOR NAMING LESSON: When a resistor has a value of lets say 10 ohms we will refer to this as 10R. If the resistor
has a value of 10.5 ohms we would say 10R5. When a resistor value is 250 ohms we would say 250R – When it becomes
1000 ohms we say 1K or 1K0 or 1 Kilo ohm.
Its common to see 1K5 which would be like 1.5 K ohm or 1500 ohms – Just like when we get to 1 Mega Ohms we would
say 1M or 1M0. For 1.2M we would use 1M2 – so this is the standard way of naming resistors – The first resistor we are
going to install is the 100R or 100 ohm resistor!
Here we are installing the 100R
resistor.
You should locate the reference
designator on the board (in this case it
is R8) and then do an approx bend on
the correct length as we have done
opposite.
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Above shows the installation of the 100R resistor into the R8 position – Bend the legs slightly on the underside to keep the
resistor in place.
We suggest you install the spacers on
the board at this point.
Once you are feeling confident of your resistor installation it
is time to solder on the underside of the board.
For first time soldering here are some tips to follow:
1. Clean the tip with a wet sponge after each solder
so as not to let resin build up.
2. „Tin‟ the tip (i.e. add a small amount of solder to it)
just before soldering.
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Once the joints have been made, give them a quick
inspection and touch up any that look suspicious in any
way.
Next step is to clip the leads - you want to do this but be
careful not to clip off too close to the board where you
endanger the pad – see picture opposite for a good
example.
Installing resistors in the HT ADJUST position
We used to use a little trim pot in this position – but due to
its unavailability we are now using a resistor combination to
do this. The diagram below illustrates what we are about to
do:
Insert the resistors into position as shown.
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Bend one of the legs over and through
the hole in the board as shown - solder
into position from the top of the board.
Take the leg of the other resistor and twist it around the leg
of the other one as shown opposite.
Here you can see the resistors in position – you will want to
solder the two resistors now on the underside of the PCB.
Zener Diode Installation
Semiconductor Devices
1
3.5W 150V Zener
D7
This is a critical part and therefore warrants its own
individual bag.
The Zener diode goes into the D7 Position .
You will notice a gray stripe on the zener and you will want
to position this to match the stripe on the stencil on the PCB
in D7 position.
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Here you can see the Zener diode
installed in the correct orientation.
Electrolytic Capacitor Installation
Capacitors (Electrolytic)
Do not install C2 and C4 at this stage
1
2
2
2200uF 35V
22uF 450V
68uF 450V
C9
C6 ,C7
C3, C5
We are now going to install the Electrolytic Capacitors into
the power supply Board. Note that C2 and C4 will be
installed at a later stage.
Electrolytic Capacitor Lesson: An electrolytic capacitor is
a device that has a positive and a negative side to it. In
other words it MUST be installed correctly or it will basically
explode. Luckily the modern capacitors have a slow
explosion mode that will look like a dragon breathing fire.
Let‟s begin by installing C3.
You will notice that the capacitor has some markings on it a 68 for 68uF, a 450 for 450Volts, and a large strip down
one side which signifies the NEGATIVE side of the
capacitor.
You will notice on the stencil on the PCB that there is a +
designator on the board and you will need to orient such
that the + side is the opposite to the NEGATIVE stripe The electrolytic capacitor also has a longer lead on the
POSITIVE side.
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Here we can see both 68uF capacitors (C3 and C5)
correctly installed.
Install the remaining electrolytic capacitors that are required
at this stage (i.e. C9, C6, and C7).
You can see these installed in the picture opposite.
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Installing the Bridge Rectifier
Semiconductor Devices
1
KBU6J6A
U1
Install the Bridge Rectifier into position in U1.
Note the notch is located facing into the middle of the board
- you will also see a corresponding notch stenciled on the
PCB.
Installing the Non-Polarized Capacitors
Capacitors (Non-polarized)
1
1
1
Disc 4700uF 3000v
.22uf 600V
.47uF 600V
C10
C8
C1
Install in C10 the DISC capacitor – this
capacitor is not polarized so it does
not matter which direction you put it in.
Now the same for C8 which is called a
FILM capacitor and also is not
polarized so it does not matter the
orientation. You will notice on the
.22uF capacitor it designates 300 V~.
This means that it is rated for 300V AC
which is like 600V DC - well within the
range of this power supply.
Next step is to install the .47uF AN
FILM capacitor into position.
Again this capacitor is not polarized so
the orientation does not matter
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Wiring the M2 Power Supply Board
Get your Bag #2 from the Wire Bag as we will be installing the “filament” wires onto the board. We are going to connect
several wires to the M2 power supply board – this is easier to do at this stage.
FILAMENT LESSON: In order for a tube to function it must be supplied with a Filament Voltage – this is basically a DC (or
AC) voltage applied to 2 pins on the tube - this is what makes the tube “light up”. We get these filament voltage supplies
from the M2 Power supply board - these twisted wires will be supplying the filament voltage to the tubes on the audio
board!
Remove the two long twisted wires
from the Bag #2 – We will be inserting
these into the PCB from the underside
of the board.
From the underside of the board you
can see how the wires are positioned.
On the topside of the board you can
see the wires protruding through in the
correct location – the red wire will be
the + side and the black wire will be
the negative.
You will see the +6V2- Note that we
use this board in a number of different
configurations for both 12v and 6.3v
filaments for different kits – the stencil
is always marked 6V2.
Solder the filament wires from the top
of the board now and you will then
want to clip the tops of the wires - be
careful not to let them flick up and hit
you in the face!
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Now take the short wire from BAG #2 - we will be using this
to hardwire from the 8-pin valve base to the 9-pin valve
base.
The graphic to the left shows the
connections for the twisted wires.
EXPLANATION: On the M2 Power
Supply Board we will have 2
different tubes - a 6X5 and an
ECL82. As explained before, in
order for tubes to operate they need
a filament voltage - we will be
supplying 6.3V AC to both of these
tubes. The wire we are installing
here is used to “parallel” the 6.3V
AC that will be coming from the
secondary of the Mains transformer.
Note in these pictures the twisted wire
has been soldered into pins 4 & 5 on
the 9-pin valve base.
On the 9-pin valve base note the
upper and lower holes through the
pins. Connect the current red & black
wires to the lower hole on the valve
pin.
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Here is the completed connection of the “parallel filament”.
We are now going to install the 6X5 filament wire - this is
the THICK black & white twisted wire that is located in Bag
#1 of your WIRE BAG.
This is the wire that will connect from the Mains transformer
secondary to the 6X5 filament.
Start by stripping about ¼” of insulation off the end of the
wire and then tinning the copper ends – these ends will be
inserted into the holes on the 8-pin octal base – the same
pins we have already connected to with the Parallel
filament wire from the last step.
Use the upper hole on the 8-pin valve
base pin to connect these wires.
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Now get out your BAG#3 from the wire bag and we will
install the red and black wires that will be used as the B+
(High Voltage) and corresponding Ground wire.
These pictures show the red and black
wires installed in the B+ and GND
holes on the M2 power supply board.
On the right you will solder the red
wire on the B+ from the topside of the
board - clipping off the remaining lead
- and do the same for the Black GND
wire.
Filament Component Section of the M2 Power Supply Board
Semiconductor Devices
4
2
Zero Ohm Resistors
1N4007
D1, D2, D4, D5
D3, D6
This section controls the voltages that we will be supplying
to the analog output board.
Here we are configuring for 12V filament operation (as used
in the L3 Line, L3 Phono, and DAC3.1).
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The 1N4007 Diodes are polarized and therefore need to be
installed correctly. In the picture above you will note the D3
& D6 designators which shows a bar – this bar lines up with
the gray strip on the zener diode – Note how they are
correctly installed.
Go ahead and install the zero ohm components into
position and the zener diodes.
Regulator Installation
Two regulators have been provided with the kit – these
have been specially made to an exact length by AudioNote
Kits. They use a solid core wire so that it is easy to position
on the board through the tiny holes – Read this section
before doing any soldering!
IMPORTANT: Note the position of the regulators in the
pictures below.
Place the regulators into position as
shown opposite and below.
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The pictures above and opposite show
a successfully configured regulator.
Once these components are in place
you can then install the remaining two
electrolytic capacitors (C2 and C4).
Installing the LED Harness
Take the LED Harness from your M2
PS bag and you can solder it onto the
board as shown opposite. Solder from
underside of the board.
Remaining Wire Connections
Take the remaining thick Black &
White twisted wire from the BAG#1
and solder it to the 13V6 locations on
the PCB.
It does not matter which is red or black
as it is an AC voltage signal.
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Then take the twisted thick RED wires
and connect these to the 300V 300V
on the PCB.
The picture opposite is what your M2 Power supply board
should now look like!
Installing the Heatsink
Feel free now to “place” (do not screw in) your newly
assembled board into position in the chassis.
Now install the metal heatsink under where the regulators
will sit. This must be firmly attached to the chassis.
One more step and then time for a coffee break on a job
well done!
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Installing the Choke Wire
The Black CHOKE that is located at the rear of the chassis
and has a red and black wire. you will want to twist these
wires by hand and feed them along the shield towards the
M2 PCB.
We will now solder these wires directly to the underside of
the PCB – You will notice that on the top of the PCB there
is marked “CH” in two locations – these are the holes that
the CHOKE will be connected to – Flip over the M2 PCB
and locate the holes on the under side
You will want to cut the choke wires to
the correct length, leaving a nice
amount of slack. Trim the insulation
from the ends and tin the wires if you
see fit. Then insert the wires from the
underside of the board - no polarity for
red or black so you can follow along
with the pictures opposite.
Now that the choke wires have been
soldered to the board, you can now
place the board back into position.
Well done – we will be soldering
connections to the Mains transformer
in the next session!
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Inter-wiring to the Mains Transformer
I would suggest at this stage to REMOVE the black shield so that we can work on this side of the chassis.
The following graphic shows the wiring between the M2 PCB and Mains Transformer. Note that the „second‟ transformer
is simply another view of the same mains transformer.
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We are now going to take the 3 pairs of twisted wires that
are already connected to the M2 Power Supply Board and
connect these directly to the SECONDARY of the Mains
transformer.
Start by taking the RED / RED twisted pair and trim to a
good length and then solder to the „300‟ lugs on the Mains
transformer. I would suggest stripping the insulation off the
end of the red wires and tinning. Then place the tinned lead
through the lug on the Mains transformer and then apply
solder – it is not necessary to twist the lead around the
post.
Next step is to take the Red/Black twisted wire that is
connected to the 8-pin octal valve base.
For the 6X5 – this is the filament wire which will be supply
6.3V to the 6X5 and ECL82 tubes on the M2 power supply.
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The third pair of wires is the Red/Black twisted pair that is
connected to the 13V6 on the M2 power supply board.
Note that the 0 tap is not used here.
The last wire for hookup in this section will be the long green wire with the GND
lug on one end found in your IEC Kit Bag- Secure the GND lug end on the M4
screw in the chassis and trim and solder from the top of the board the green wire
into the GND hole located near the 13V6 pads on the M2 power supply Board.
Now review your connections made in this section using the
graphic opposite and wiring table below.
Wire
RED / RED
RED/BLACK
RED/BLACK
M2 PCB
300v 300v
13V6 13V6
Pin 2 & 7 6X5
Mains Transformer
0(1) V300(2)
8 8
0 6.3v
Check that you have made the connection between the
chassis GND lug and GND on the M2 PCB.
Check that you have made the connection between the
chassis GND lug and 0 on the mains transformer (i.e. the 0
between 300 and 300).
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Securing the Regulators to the Heatsink
We are now going to secure the regulators to the Heat Sink
that is installed in the chassis.
The picture opposite shows the parts that are necessary to
do this.
EXPLANATION: It is ideal to electrically isolate the
regulator from the ground on the chassis (i.e. the heatsink)
– this way the regulator is floating – we do this with our little
insulation kit which consists of a mica layer and a plastic
insert. You can get these from the Hardware Bag marked
Heat Sink.
Begin by taking one of the mica
washers and laying it on the heatsink
as shown in the left-most picture.
The plastic insert should be fitted onto
the screw as shown in the central
picture.
I would suggest that you line up the
mica strip with the hole in the heat sink
and install the screw and plastic insert
into the hole in the regulator.
Then gently screw the regulator into
the heat sink- the mica piece may try
and move so just gently ease it back
into position.
Repeat for the second regulator.
At this point you can secure the M2
power supply board to the chassis with
one or more of the M4 screws
provided.
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That completes our assembly of the M2 Power Supply
Board.
Feel free to re install the shield back into position or you
can wait until nearer the end of the kit build if you prefer.
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Section 4: M2 Power Supply Testing
Preparations
Fitting the Mains Fuse
In this section we are going to
electrically test the power supply.
Start by installing a 1A Slo Blo fuse
(IEC BAG) into position as shown.
Use a screwdriver or flat edge or your
fingers pull the Fuse holder out - you
will need to squeeze to completely
remove it.
Insert the fuse into the holder as
shown opposite.
With the fuse installed into the holder
insert back into the IEC plug.
With the Fuse installed we are ready
to do some testing!
READ the entire remaining section first
before taking any actions!
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Installing the LED Indicator
The LED on the M2 Power Supply
Board will be the first indicator that we
have power – I would suggest just
taping the LED – make sure the metal
leads of the LED are not touching any
other circuitry or chassis – Note the
Led has not been pushed in all the
way.
Also note that the LED will only work
when inserted the correct way around.
Installing the tubes
Let‟s install our tubes into the board – the supplied 6X5 in
the 8-pin valve base and the ECL82 (or 6BM8) in the 9-pin
base.
Tidying Up
Seeing as we have a number of loose filament and HT
wires coming from the PCB, I would suggest taping the
ends to make sure that they do not short with one another
when we go to test with power!
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Ohm Check
EXPLANATION: There are a number of terms that we will
be using in this section that we should be familiar with – the
HT or High Voltage or B+ is all the same thing – this is the
HIGHEST DC voltage in the circuit typically and is the
voltage that we will be supplying to the Tubes in our audio
signal path.
THE UNIT IS STILL OFF AT THIS POINT
If you have a Multimeter set it to OHMS and measure the
resistance from B+ to GND on the M2 Board – you can see
from the picture opposite the approx location on the board
to find these 2 points. You should see a reading in the 300K
ohm range – this is a good sign – if you have a very low
ohmage then there could be a problem and you may want
to contact us first.
Electrical Testing
Take a power chord and plug in the unit but make sure the
amplifier is off.
Before the first power on we suggest the following steps:
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1.
Make sure that you have a quiet environment when
you are turning on for the first time – that way if there is
a problem with the circuit you will be able to see & hear
a crackle or a vibration or hum etc. if there is any.
2.
If you have a Variac then it would be useful to use it
so you can power on slowly and check DC voltages – If
not we will just turn on.
3.
Press the Rocker switch such that the 1 is pushed
flat against the chassis.
4.
Observe the LED light turning on and also look for
glow from the tubes.
5.
Get ready to switch off immediately if anything goes
wrong.
6.
Get your voltmeter ready – you will want to perform
a High Voltage check.
Page 45
First measure from B+ to GND on the M2 PCB (use the
ground point closest to the LED section).
You should read approximately 260v DC.
Now measure the filament voltages - these are the
connections labeled +6V2- on top of the PCB.
These should be approximately 12v DC.
If there is a problem with any of the above voltages, switch
to AC volts and measure the 300 300 points on the M2
PCB – you should get somewhere over 600V AC.
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While in AC mode measure the 13V6 pads on the M2 PCB
– We have 8 0 8 taps which should give us roughly 16V
AC.
Voltage Check Summary
DC Voltage Checks
Location
B+ to GND
+6V2+6V2-
Approx Reading
260v DC
12v DC
12v DC
AC Voltage Checks
These are optional if DC voltages are correct.
Location
300 300
13V6 13V6
Approx Reading
>600v AC
16v AC
If you have correct voltage readings on the M2 Power
Supply then Congratulations are in order and you have
completed the first half of the kit.
Feel free to contact us if you have any problems with your
power supply or have any questions up to this point
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Also feel free to give us an update that things are going
according to plan.
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Section 5: Digital Power Supply PCB
In this section we will be building, installing and testing the Digital Power Supply PCB that is used in the DAC2.1 and 3.1
kits.
EXPLANATION: This small board receives an 18V AC signal from the 9-0-9 taps on the Mains transformers and converts
it to several DC voltages that are required by the DAC board. The outputs are A+ - AGND - A- , D+ and DGND.
Parts List
Category
Capacitors (Electrolytic)
Quantity
Part
Designator
2
4700uf 16V
C1, C2
Resistors
2
2
1K0
4R7
R3, R4
R1, R2
Semiconductor Devices
4
2
Schotkey Diodes
L.E.D‟s
D1, D2, D3, D4
LED1, LED2
Construction
Start by installing the 4 spacers
provided. This will make it easier to
work with as we install the
components onto the board.
If you are an advanced builder we
suggest you read through this section
completely and then proceed with your
build from the parts list – otherwise we
suggest you work through each step in
the order suggested.
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Installing the LED’s
Install the LED‟s into the LED1 and LED2 positions.
You will notice a square end on the stencil and a rounded
end – Insert the LONG lead of the led on the SQUARE
end.
Installing the Capacitors
Capacitors (Electrolytic)
2
4700uf 16V
C1, C2
Lets now install the 2 Electrolytic capacitors in the board.
The stencil on the board for each capacitor is a circle with a
+ sign beside it.
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Note that each capacitor only has the POSITIVE side noted
– You will have to locate the Stripe on the capacitor as
shown above and insert correctly – Don‟t be confused by
the two caps close together.
The picture opposite shows the capacitors correctly
installed.
Installing the Diodes
Semiconductor Devices
4
Schotkey Diodes
D1, D2, D3, D4
NOTE: This board has been designed to accept either standard diodes or Schotkey diodes (fast recovery diodes).
Schotkey diodes are supplied with the kit but we will also show how to install standard diodes.
Schotkey diode Installation
For correct installation of the diode shown you will notice
the – sign on the top of the DIODE case that denotes the
negative side. Also note the white DOT on the board noting
positive side.
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Standard Diode Installation
Opposite is a picture of the standard diode inserted – you
will want to line up the gray stripe on the diode that denotes
the positive side and position it where the White Dot is.
Installing the Resistors
Resistors
2
2
1K0
4R7
R3, R4
R1, R2
Install all four resistors into their correct positions. These
pictures only show R3 and R4.
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Board Installation and Wiring
Position the Digital Power Supply board into the chassis as
shown with the DC voltage side (AGND DGND etc.)
positioned away from the Power Supply.
BE SURE THAT THE KIT IS NOT PLUGGED INTO THE WALL at this point.
Take the prepared twisted blue wire and locate the 9-0-9 taps on the Mains transformer secondary. Then strip, and tin the
blue wire and solder to the 9 & 9 taps – These blue wires then come around the transformer and connect into the AC pads
on the power supply board.
Take a black wire and connect the 0 tap from the Mains transformer to the CT pad on the digital power supply board.
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You should now have 3 wires connected between the
Digital Power Supply Board and the mains transformer.
If you are feeling good about your connections install your
AC plug into the back of the chassis and switch the unit ON
(1 pressed flush to the chassis) – Note the LED‟s turn on.
Perform following VOLTAGE checks
Between A+ and AGND
Between D+ and DGND
Between A+ and AGND
+12v
Between D+ and DGND
+12v
Between A- and AGND
-12v
Between A- and AGND
This completes the Digital Power Supply PCB section – if you are having any problems with your voltage checks feel free
to contact us for support.
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Section 6: Install the Screen
The next step is to install the metal screen.
It is important that a good electrical contact is maintained
between the chassis and the screen itself.
This picture shows the hole that will make that contact from
the chassis – note that the surrounding paint has been
removed.
As you can see here, the screen has a corresponding hole
where the paint has been removed.
These holes should mate and provide a good electrical
contact.
This picture shows the final position of the shield.
Use 3 M4 10mm screws and nuts to secure the screen in
place - insert screws from underneath the chassis.
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Section 7: Installing the Digital PCB
Digital Board Overview
The Digital Board is supplied with the kit built and tested. The board was originally designed for use in the DAC1.1 Kit,
which had the analog filter and IV circuitry. This circuitry is removed now and you will notice tantalum resistors located in
R34 and R35. These resistors are at the output of the DAC chip. In order to use the IV transformers we also need the
820pf capacitors in parallel with these resistors and you can see them installed in locations R44 & R43.
The Board was originally designed to support 75 ohm RCA input (CON1) and XLR 110 ohm (CON2). We are finding that
now with the USB option there is a third choice. So what the board allows you to do is use any two of the three and you
can switch between them. Most customers would either use RCA or XLR but not both so what we do then is use the USB
on the other channel. The switch at S1 allows you to select which input. Currently this switch needs to be set on the
board. The switch can also be hardwired in one way if you are always only going to be using just one input source.
On the Digital Signature Board we include the AN Toroidal input transformer and we custom install this on the channel
that you require (RCA or XLR)
Typical scenarios today are people using RCA 75 ohm and also USB – So we are using the CON2 as the USB channel
and you will notice that we have wired two of the three inputs together – the wired two are the GND for the SPDIF input
(same as the RCA input signal and GND) - So you will want to connect the signal from the USB to the hole that is the
large OVAL (not soldered) and the GND to either of the two remaining holes that are connected together
You will notice that when using the USB input on the “former” XLR input we have changed the value of R36 to 75 ohm –
(it would be 110 ohm for XLR operation)
If you ever want to change this back to XLR operation you can install the 110-ohm resistor back in this position.
IMPORTANT NOTE:
It is important that all five of the spacers and
screws are used to secure the digital board in
place.
One of these screws (see picture opposite) is
used to earth the digital board directly to the
chassis. If this 'connection' is not made
securely, a great deal of hum and RF
interference can result.
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Digital Board Installation
Install the 5 aluminum spacers on the board and position in the chassis.
Once the board has been positioned in the chassis you will want to connect up the input RCA‟s.
You will need to install three RCA‟s – 2 are for the analog output and one is for the digital input.
The RCA‟s on top of each other are the analog output
RCA‟s, install these into position along with the single input
RCA. You can use a red one on top and a black one below.
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Section 8: Digital Board Power Supply Connections
In this section we will make the connections between the digital Power supply (small red board) and the Digital DAC board
(green board). This is quite straightforward and shouldn‟t present any problems.
Please refer to the following wiring table:
Power Supply Pad
AGND
A+
ADGND
D+
S- (unused)
Digital Board Pad
AGND
A+
ADGND
D+
Using the colored PTFE wire provided you can make connections between the named connections: A+, A-, AGND, D+,
and DGND - the S- is not used (it is a spare output).
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Section 9: Line Board Construction
In this section we will be building the 5687 line board that is used to drive the output transformers in your DAC Kit 3.1. You
can begin by securing the board spacers (shown in the first picture below).
Installing the Valve Bases
Install the 9-pin valve bases into
position and secure each with the M3
16mm pan head screws, 6mm spacers
and nuts on the underside of the
board.
Parts List
Category
Capacitors (Electrolytic)
4
470uf 16v
Designator
C1, C2, C3, C4
Capacitors (Non-polarized)
2
0.1uf 630v
C5, C6
Resistors
2
3K3
R1, R11
4
1K0
R3, R4, R5, R6
2
39K
R7, R8
2
1K5
R9, R10
1
1M
R2, R12
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Part
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Installing the Resistors
Resistors
2
3K3
R1, R11
4
1K0
R3, R4, R5, R6
2
39K
R7, R8
2
1K5
R9, R10
1
1M
R2, R12
You will want to bend the resistors to
the correct length for easy insertion
into the board – I suggest that you
place all the resistors into position and
bend the legs gently on the under side
of the board to make sure they stay in
one place – also line them up so that
all the color codes are readable in the
same direction.
Once the resistors are placed, check them with picture on
the next page and the parts list for correct values before
soldering.
Solder all the resistors AND the VALVE BASES into
position. Once soldered, clip off all the component legs
from the underside of the board.
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Above you can see the resistor installation / valve bases completed
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Installing the Electrolytic Capacitors
Capacitors (Electrolytic)
4
470uf 16v
C1, C2, C3, C4
The next step is to solder in the 4x 470uf 16v capacitors.
These capacitors are electrolytic and they are polarized
which means they have to go in a certain way - the
capacitor has a long leg and a short leg - the short leg is
the negative side and the long leg is the positive side.
You will see a + marking on the board, align the long leg on
the side closest to the + marking on the PCB.
Installing the Film (non-polarized) Capacitors
Capacitors (Non-polarized)
2
0.1uf 630v
C5, C6
The final step is to install the 2 x 0.1uf
630v film capacitors. These can go in
either way but it is recommended that
the strip is on the side with the analog
signal entering. These capacitors will
be installed on the underside of the
board as shown opposite - the reason
for the heat shrink is because the
casing on the caps is conductive and
could short any circuitry touching the
case.
You can then proceed to cut the extra leads. Note that these are made from
silver wire so may be very useful to keep around for future projects!
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Board Orientation
The above pictures show the correct installation of the new 5687 line board into the chassis.
5687 Filament Wiring
There are two pairs of filament wires coming from the M2 power supply boards. Each pair connects to one of the 5687
valve bases. One wire from each pair will connect to pin 4 and the other to pin 5. It does not matter which color from each
pair connects to which pin but it is a good idea to be consistent between the valve bases as to which is used.
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Section 10: Installing I/V transformers
In this section we will install the IV transformers into the DAC.
Secure the IV transformers in their clamps with their leads facing upward and so they are flush with the bottom of the
clamp where the fixing holes are situated. Then fix the clamps into position in the chassis as shown in the following
picture.
Above, you can see the I/V transformers installed in the chassis in between the analog output board and the digital board.
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Wiring the I/V Transformers
All you need now to do is connect the Red lead from the Left I/V transformer to the LSIG and the Black lead from the left
I/V transformer to the LGND on the Digital Board.
Repeat for the Right I/V transformer.
RSIG RED (right I/V)
RGND BLK (right I/V)
LSIG RED (left IV)
LGND BLK (left IV)
You will also want to connect two green wires from each I/V transformer to the Digital Ground for each channel.
Now that we have installed correctly the interface between the IV‟s and the digital Board side we now need to do a similar
thing on the 5687 analog board.
Solder the Blue wires to left and right channel inputs (LIN / RIN). Then solder the corresponding Yellow wires to the input
Ground LINGND (Left Input Ground), RINGND (Right Input Ground).
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Section 11: Connecting the 5687 Output
Connecting the 5687 HT to the power supply
First, we need to connect the 5687 board to the M2 Power
Supply board. The connections for this can be seen in the
diagram shown opposite.
Take a red wire and connect between the HT pad on the
5687 board and one of the B+ pads on the M2 Power
Supply board.
Take a black wire and connect between the HT GND pad
on the 5687 board and the GND pad on the M2 Power
Supply board.
It is a good idea to connect to one board and twist the wires
together - making a twisted pair, before connecting to the
other board.
Connecting the Output Transformers
We essentially have two different types of output transformer when it comes to connecting up. The first (Type 1) can only
be connected in single-ended mode. The second (Type 2 - which includes Double C-Core types) can be connected in
either single-ended or balanced configuration. Please ensure that you are using the connection information that is relevant
to the transformers that you have purchased with the kit.
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Output Transformer Type 1 (Single-ended Only)
As you can see from the diagram, the Black leads from
each of the transformers connect to a B+ pad on the M2
Power Supply board.
The Red lead from the Right output transformer connects
to the R TX pad on the 5687 board.
The Red lead from the Left output transformer connects to
the L TX pad on the 5687 board.
This type of output transformer has a Blue and a White lead
at its output.
The Blue and White leads from each transformer should be
twisted together and the twisted pair connected to its
relative RCA output connector.
Connect the Blue lead to the RCA‟s earth tag.
Connect the White lead to the RCA‟s signal tag.
Note that the diagram only shows a „shortened‟ version of
the connections for clarity. In reality, you will be taking
these leads from the front of the chassis, all the way to the
back of the chassis.
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Output Transformer Type 2 (Single-ended or Balanced)
Above we can see the pair of output transformers used in the DAC output stage
We are now ready to connect the output transformers to both the output of the 5687 analog board and to the RCA (singleended) or XLR (balanced) outputs.
Connecting the Primary Windings
The picture on the far left shows the
Primaries (or input) of the transformer.
GREEN Wire – connects to GROUND
on the 5687 Board.
BLACK WIRE – connects to HT on the
5687 board.
RED Wire – connects to RTX for right
channel, LTX for Left Channel.
Connecting the Secondary Windings
The picture on the far left shows the
secondaries (or output) leads of the
transformer.
These leads will connect to the XLR
and RCA outputs.
For RCA operation each transformer
will connect to the output RCA via the
yellow (GND) and orange (signal).
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Section 12: Source Selection and Switching
The DAC3.1 Digital Board has two inputs on it – CON1 and CON2. A selector switch is used to select which input source
will be used. This allows switching between two different digital input type sources. You may choose between any two of
the following input types:
RCA.
XLR.
USB (requires additional USB board).
Installing the Input Selector Switch
Install the toggle switch provided at the back of the chassis
in the bottom left corner position that is available after the
rear faceplate has been installed.
We are going to hook up 3 wires to the 3 positions on the
Digital board as shown here.
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This picture shows how the pins on the back of the switch
are connected to their relevant position on the digital board.
Here you can see the wiring between the switch and the
Digital Board.
This will now allow us to toggle between the CON1 input
and the CON2 input.
Input Connections
Typically you will wire the RCA input into CON1. Then either use the XLR input or the USB input for CON2.
If you are using a USB input then you will install the 75-ohm resistor in R36 on the digital board.
If you are using the XLR input then you will install 110-ohm resistor into R36 on the digital board - this may have been
installed at the factory based on your configuration (USB XRL for example – but can always be changed later).
The bottom line is that you can configure your DAC to support any two of the three source inputs (USB, RCA XLR) and
can be switched over at a later time to accommodate a different two.
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Connecting the RCA Input
To connect the RCA input you will want to use the Coaxial
cable length supplied.
Strip the outer casing to expose the grounding shield as
shown opposite.
Separate the ground shield and twist together.
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Now TIN the shield by adding solder to it.
Now repeat this process at the other end of the cable.
This picture shows how the solid core will fit into CON1 and
the shield will be soldered to the pad beside it.
This picture shows how the other end of the cable will
connect to the RCA connector. The RCA connector must
first be attached to the rear panel as follows:
Install the single RCA into the back panel in the top left
corner of the 4 positions available and then solder the Co
axial cable to the RCA.
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Connecting the USB Input
If using the USB input then you will want to examine the
three holes in the “XLR” footprint on the Digital Board.
You will notice that there are three holes that the XLR
would normally fit into – this is where we are going to hook
up the USB inputs.
To prepare for USB connection you will need to put a
jumper from the circular pad in the center to the rectangular
pad on the right.
This is the GROUND connection and the signal from the
USB goes to the loan OVAL pad.
This picture shows the connection of the USB (signal – red)
to the Digital Board input.
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Connecting the XLR Input
For XLR Operation you will mount the XLR connector in the back rear position and then connect the wires from the XLR
to the digital board – just the same way that you connected the switch.
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Section 13: Turn-on Procedure
At this point we should be finished – we have two working power supplies – Perform the following checks:
Make sure that the Digital Power Supply is connected correctly to the Digital Board.
At this point we can try the turn on – we should see the 3 LED‟s on the Digital Board Light up – If they do not then I would
suggest rechecking the inter-wiring to the digital board and the power supply and or measuring the voltages again.
AA+
D+
-13V
+13V
13V
If all of the LED‟s are on, we should try putting a digital source into the DAC.
We have provided you with an audio test CD with one track on it generating a 1Khz sin wave that should allow you to get
a solid AC voltage measurement at the output of the DAC – 1V RMS (AC measurement!).
Plug in the digital source using a 75-ohm RCA cable (or any spare RCA cable for now) into the DAC. You will probably
hear the relay chatter when you first connect or the digital board receives a digital signal. If the chattering continues then
power down the DAC and power on again in a few seconds – all should be well.
Connect the analog outputs to a line level pre-amplifier or an integrated amplifier and check to hear the sound!
The M2 Power supply can take up to 45 seconds to turn on so be patient when you are waiting for the music to play.
Congratulations if you have a working DAC3.1 Kit. Feel free to contact us to share your excitement or if you are having
any problems on the debugging front!
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Page 74
Final Thoughts
The kit is fairly complex and we would welcome any feedback on the manual/ instructions, parts list, build instructions –
Any omissions etc…
If you feel that you can take some really good pictures of your build process or even final build we would like to see your
work. If you have any suggestions that you feel would help other kit builders then send it over in e-mail and I will collect
and we will put a DAC3.1 support page for other users.
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Appendix
The appendix contains auxiliary information. That is information that is either common to most project manuals or any last
minute pieces of information that did not make it into the manual in time. It may also contain pull-out circuit diagrams that
may be handy to have outside the manual etc.
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Resistor Color Code Reference
You can also find an 'Interactive Resistor Color Code Calculator' on our website (available from the Links page).
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Analog Board Schematic
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M2 Power Supply Board Schematic
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