Helios thread

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letterbeacon

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Out of interest, how was the summing done in a Helios? I can't work it out from the Musicland schematics that Whoops kindly posted.

I was thinking of maybe building an unbalanced summing mixer, and I was thinking that perhaps basing it around the Helios schematics could be fun.

EDIT - looks like this this is the summing section attached?

So to build a Helio-esque unbalanced summing mixer you would go unbalanced in > fader> 2213 amp card> pan > then the summing bus with 10k summing resistors to the Master Mixing Card?
 

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letterbeacon

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Thanks Ian - so if I take the insert, pan and summing resistors from the channel routing schematic, and use the MMC board (one for L and one for R), I should have a fully functioning virtual earth, unbalanced summing mixer without the need for transformers?

That sounds like a fun, relatively cheap build!

One question about the fader: the Helios uses a 5k log P&G fader, which then goes into a line amp before going to the pan circuit. Why do you need a line amp after the fader? Is it just acting as a unity gain buffer?
 

ruffrecords

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letterbeacon said:
Thanks Ian - so if I take the insert, pan and summing resistors from the channel routing schematic, and use the MMC board (one for L and one for R), I should have a fully functioning virtual earth, unbalanced summing mixer without the need for transformers?

That sounds like a fun, relatively cheap build!

One question about the fader: the Helios uses a 5k log P&G fader, which then goes into a line amp before going to the pan circuit. Why do you need a line amp after the fader? Is it just acting as a unity gain buffer?

A couple of reasons. First because the fader usually had 10dB in hand - in other words the zero mark on the fader was at 10dB attenuation so you need 10dB of gain make up after it. The other is that , in the routing module at least, there is a fairly heavy load to drive. Remember all the bus feed resistors are affectively connected to 0V by the virtual earth. By the time you add up the two echo sends, the foldback send and the pan pot, the worst case load is not far off 1K. You cannot drive that from a 5K fader. Instead you need a meaty driver stage. The pan pot and its bus resistors alone worst case represent a load of about 2.65K.

Cheers

Ian
 

InterstellarObscure

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I was hoping to get an idea for the type of transformer called for in the PPM  circuit. Unless I missed it, there’s no caption on the Helios schem. The article does list a part number (xvol.038) but I’m not finding any reference to it online.

Is there something in the schematic that makes it fairly obvious what the transformer ratio is? In the article, it sort of looks like there’s twice the windings in the secondary, maybe it’s 1:2.
 

ruffrecords

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InterstellarObscure said:
I was hoping to get an idea for the type of transformer called for in the PPM  circuit. Unless I missed it, there’s no caption on the Helios schem. The article does list a part number (xvol.038) but I’m not finding any reference to it online.

Is there something in the schematic that makes it fairly obvious what the transformer ratio is? In the article, it sort of looks like there’s twice the windings in the secondary, maybe it’s 1:2.

Looking at the preamp that drives it I would say a 10K:10K:10K type is most likely or a 10K:10K with a centre tapped secondary.

Cheers

Ian
 

Strat96

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ruffrecords said:
Looking at the preamp that drives it I would say a 10K:10K:10K type is most likely or a 10K:10K with a centre tapped secondary.

Cheers

Ian

Thanks for the information. I have been taking notes, including the Studio Sound article for the PPM driver circuit. There is little information in the Helios original schematics, so it is a matter of figuring out what works. I will be building these eventually and bought some meters many months ago without even having a clue to how compatible they would be. The Helios PPM circuit has 24 volts running straight into the meter followed by a 10K resistor.
 

ruffrecords

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Strat96 said:
Thanks for the information. I have been taking notes, including the Studio Sound article for the PPM driver circuit. There is little information in the Helios original schematics, so it is a matter of figuring out what works. I will be building these eventually and bought some meters many months ago without even having a clue to how compatible they would be. The Helios PPM circuit has 24 volts running straight into the meter followed by a 10K resistor.

That is right. The meter is a 1mA movement so applying 10 volts to the 10K resistor results in 1mA through the meter. Fairly standard practice.

Cheers

Ian
 

ruffrecords

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I looked again at the Studio Sound article and I noticed they said the transformer is made by Transformer Equipment Ltd in Sandwich, Kent. Turns out they are still in business. I contacted them and a very helpful guy called Luke looked up the transformer in their archives. It is a 1:5 step up transformer. Primary winding is Black and Red, secondary is Green, Blue and Yellow. And get this - it was originally supplied to Olympic Sound Studios dated 21st Feb. 1966. The correct part number is XUOL.038A (it looked like XV on the Studio Sound schematic but in the parts list it is correctly listed as XUOL.038A).

Hope that helps.

Cheers

Ian
 

ruffrecords

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I have done some more research and found David Robinson's original mixer design series from 1964. Lo and behold the PPM design is the same only it use germanium transistors. Even the transformer is the same and this time it is marked on the schematic as 1:2.5:2.5 which ties in with what Luke told me.

Cheers

Ian
 

Strat96

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ruffrecords said:
I looked again at the Studio Sound article and I noticed they said the transformer is made by Transformer Equipment Ltd in Sandwich, Kent. Turns out they are still in business. I contacted them and a very helpful guy called Luke looked up the transformer in their archives. It is a 1:5 step up transformer. Primary winding is Black and Red, secondary is Green, Blue and Yellow. And get this - it was originally supplied to Olympic Sound Studios dated 21st Feb. 1966. The correct part number is XUOL.038A (it looked like XV on the Studio Sound schematic but in the parts list it is correctly listed as XUOL.038A).

Hope that helps.

Cheers

Ian

Thanks Ian, you are awesome!

I gave them an email, maybe I will hear from Luke? We can see what they say. Over the weekend I was looking at Edcor 10K 1:1s based on what we previously were talking about. They were really well priced for a 20-20KHz transformer. It's a good thing I didn't order.
 

vitopower

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I was speaking with Mr. Jim Dowler of Audio Digital Technology (formerly of Sound Techniques / Olympic Studios) recently about the Olympic Germanium Mic Amp '65 and eq 500 series modules his company is working on (creators of the Olympic '65 reissue in Sound On Sound a few years back).

It is not advertised, but they are currently offering the complete preamp in a kit form with lustraphone transformer, API footprint modular amps and switchable amp or transformer output, 5 way hpf, 48v, gain, fader level control, "air" and SI/GE switch.

I am in no way affiliated with the company but I thought the kit might be of interest here.

http://www.audiodigitaltechnology.com/page-4/
 

Whoops

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vitopower said:
It is not advertised, but they are currently offering the complete preamp in a kit form with lustraphone transformer, API footprint modular amps and switchable amp or transformer output, 5 way hpf, 48v, gain, fader level control, "air" and SI/GE switch.

Thanks,
that's really interesting and some pretty cool ideas there.

Do you know the price for the kit?

Thanks
 

vitopower

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Whoops said:
Thanks,
that's really interesting and some pretty cool ideas there.

Do you know the price for the kit?

Thanks

Best to contact directly as I'm not sure how long until the availability and reasonable price I was quoted are subject to change. 
 

Uk03878v2

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Sorry to bump the thread (it seems my original postings on this are now attributed to Guest)
I am the bloke who popped over to Watlington to interview Cyril Jones way back in 2004-ish or so
It would be interesting to see if Cyril Jones is still alive - I have a google search that says he was alive around 2018
(and I wish I knew more about electronics when I had a chat to him back then)
 

Whoops

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It would be interesting to see if Cyril Jones is still alive - I have a google search that says he was alive around 2018
(and I wish I knew more about electronics when I had a chat to him back then)

You should have done a search here on the different Helios project threads in this forum.
Cyril Jones is a member here and posted on some of those threads some months ago.

Just search “Cyril Jones transformers”
 

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