Orange 86 Build Thread

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ElSmurf

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So.

All along my testing I was a bit worried about the enormous amounts of gain the preamp produced. After going over the drawings I figured out I had my output transformer wired in reverse. I wired the Sowter as described in the Directions PDF, not taking into account that the Cinemag has a double primary but the Sowter has a double secondary. Live and learn. The gain switch works as intended now, and the preamp is very quiet already, even with the lid off the enclosure and I still have some wires to dress. Looking forward to doing some real testing soon.
 

guavatone

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i’m sorry for not following up. I didn’t get any notifications of the new posts. Feel free to email or call/text me if it seems like I’m ‘sleeping’. Seems like you figured out how to solve most of the problems. Good work. So, we’re they actually BC560’s? or did I send BC550 by mistake? What’s your 1st name ElSmurf? I was thinking we would have to do a phone call to troubleshoot, which is an option if you have more trouble.
 

ElSmurf

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No worries, it gave me the opportunity to figure it all out on my own, and learn some electronics in the process. I got the BC560s from Banzai in Berlin. Even though they were labeled BC560 they measured as NPNs. As for the gain switch working in reverse because of the output transformer wired in reverse, no idea why it behaved that way. But that solved itself when I wired it correctly.

I got to test it for the first time today on some vocals, pitted against my EZ1073. It's immediately apparent how more open and smooth the Orange sounds compared to the Neve. And the track I recorded sits much more solidly in the mix. Instantly fell in love.

For anyone who's interested, I used the two Sowter transformers, Mundorf Mlytic caps for the HT regulator, Takman MF resistors in most places, Kiwame's for the higher watt resistors (just because I could). And I got the tubes from Christian "Bowie" Whitmore. An Amperex EF86 and a Philips PCC88, as per his recommendations. Very happy with the result. Pictures to follow.
 

TimG

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Hello,

Hoping someone might be able to help me get off the starting block with this project, please?

I’m having a hard time trying to align the BOM’s with the schematics and the photos I see on the first page of this build thread. Admittedly, the photos on page one may include added modifications that are irrelevant initially, but I digress…. My goal is to get a basic build working first. Mods later…

The BOM’s and schematics I’m referencing here are downloaded from page one of this thread…

Orange 86 AuxPWR-BOM.2020b.xlsx
Orange 86 Preamp BOM.2020b.xlsx
Orang86schematics.pdf ( from O86_Build Docs-v1.6 )

For example, but not inclusive…

Looking at the P48 Relay & Filament PSU PCB schematic (page 7), and comparing that against the Orange 86 AuxPWR-BOM.2020b.xlsx, on sheet 1 of the BOM, the BOM includes R1 and R2 which is also shown on the schematic, but there is no BOM reference for R10, R3, R4. The photo on page one of this thread shows the P48 Relay & Filament PSU PCB with placed components R1, R2, R3, R4, & R10.

The page one photos also show a jumper in place of C11, but cannot find any references to jump C11 on a schematic, a BOM or in the directions. Page one photos also show no placed components for R12 or D7. There’s also no V1 or V2 on the BOM, but placed components in the picture to name just a few.

On the Red Preamp board, the Orange 86 Preamp BOM.2020b.xlsx doesn’t have a C2 that appears to be associated with the preamp board, but again the photo on page one shows a component placement and the Orang86schematics.pdf (page 1) does indicate a C2 – 470uF/16v?

I don’t usually have to struggle with my builds when starting up like this, so I’m concerned that I’m missing something critical. I’m sure this all makes sense once it’s all figured out, but I can’t see where the documents 100% align with the schematics and the PCB’s – in particular the P48 Relay & Filament PSU & the red preamp boards. I think I have all of the off-board PCB’s placed and soldered with good confidence. Do I leave off the PCB’s anything not included in the BOM’s? Are the photos on the first page of this thread irrelevant for visual confirmation and should be ignored – at least for a basic, not modified build? Are there any photos of the PCB's and / or enclosures of finished basic builds available that I can download or view for reference?

In advance, any insight or path to follow that can be offered here would be appreciated from those who have successfully made a build. Hopefully, I’m just being dense here.

Cheers!
I’m kind of confused at the same point.
I’m a newbie!
I know I don’t need R1 and R2 for my build.
What’s out of place with Diodes and Resistors? I can get fresh bits. Let me have it!!
 

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guavatone

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Hi Tim. What transformer are you using for the p48 and relays?

depends if you need a doubler or tripled. If you are using a 24V transformer. Use the doubling instructions

i just added text to describe the supply photo on the main post #1

looks like you’re missing 2 rectifier diodes in the top and C11 jumper.
 
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TimG

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Hi Tim. What transformer are you using for the p48 and relays?

depends if you need a doubler or tripled. If you are using a 24V transformer. Use the doubling instructions

i just added text to describe the supply photo on the main post #1

looks like you’re missing 2 rectifier diodes in the top and C11 jumper.
Thanks! (I’ll not to do this every stage.)

I have the Hammond 162F24.
I planned to do it doubled.
Ultimately I’d like to use it for 2 channels but one thing at a time!

👍 appreciate the updates!
 

guavatone

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Hello good people. 1st post edited to add gain switch sourcing link. Electrical suppliers have been really funky. Parts that were available as singles are now only available in 100’s. Mainly the Xicon resistors but TE, Yageo, Vishay, or KOA will be fine. Preferably Yageo and KOA whichever costs less. Kits are a bit delayed because of this and other parts being discontinued.

I will post more part substitutes on main page and build docs.

alos BC560 was discontinued several years ago. The best replacement pin for pin is BC557

PN2907A should be fine too just reverse the orientation.
 

TimG

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How do I wire LT 6.3 to second channel?

I understand how to get the HT to channel one, and from One to two.

How do I do it for the 6.3 v brown taps?
This is the Edcor XPWR009-120
AC and doubled.

(Aux PSU works!)

Thanks!
 

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ElSmurf

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How do I wire LT 6.3 to second channel?
IIRC, and it's been a while : looks like you've set up the Aux PSU board to create the virtual center tap for the LT. You just need to jumper C1 and provide a ground connection for LT Ground. Since you're using screw terminals, you can install two 3-way terminals in LT Supply & Fillaments on the Aux board. The brown wires go into 1&2 and you can use the two other pairs to connect each board, and then connect LT for V1 and V2 with twisted wires on each board, as per the directions.

Anyone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

guavatone

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Pretty much what smurf said. you should have a 6 connector or 2 3 connector screw terminals for the Aux per board. They are connected in pairs one pair the transformer the other 2 pairs go to each Preamp PCB LT with twisted wires going from V2 to V1 LT. Nice progress. You’re almost home. :)

and as Smurf said jumper C1 on Aux PSU board

And take your grounds from LT and DC to the star ground where it’s grounded by mains Obviously, or maybe not so obvious. Make sure to jumper the desired ground scheme
 

TimG

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Thanks guys!
I think I can see the end much better. I knew it would have a straightforward implementation based on the rest of the kit.

Do the twisted wires need to be more tightly twisted?
 

ElSmurf

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Do the twisted wires need to be more tightly twisted?
They could be a little tighter, especially the on the left where part of the red wire just wraps around the white wire instead of being twisted together.

That being said, I recommend you redo some of your solder joints. Some look really problematic and might cause trouble.
 

TimG

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Thanks ElSmurf! Thats the help I need at this stage.

I can focus on this for a while, now that I better understand the final scheme. I have Sowters etc. for the rest so it will be worth going over slowly and carefully.

Innercityman, thanks for the thumbs down on solder quality. Its totally helpful at this stage!!

Maybe an interesting story on why I selected a project so over my head, but I will save it for my completed build thread! ;-)

The Orange 86 is a great project and has been a ton of fun.

cheers.
 

TimG

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Thanks - I have a 40 watt Weller wlc100 but maybe its time to upgrade. It seems fine sometimes, and sometimes it seems like more work than it ought to be. I am learning.
That looks like a great alternative.
It is a fine juncture for me to go back and do some remedial practice on another project and go slowly over these again, that they might be saved. :) Not rushing.
 

guavatone

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a weller 40 watt should be solid, although I’ve never used one. Maybe a solder tip with more surface area. Like a wedge tip. I used very wide races and pads and not enough heat relief pads, so some pads need a good amount of heat. Just plant the tip down on the point where the component leg and the pad meet for a bit longer so the solder flows well and good and you should be in business.

oh. And always wet your tip and hope it first. Others with better soldering skills than I may have more to say.
the PhD physicists over at diyaudio.com May have more to say.
 

ElSmurf

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It is a fine juncture for me to go back and do some remedial practice on another project and go slowly over these again, that they might be saved. :) Not rushing.
Yes, take your time. This preamp is worth doing right, it'll become a trusty work horse - if it's stable and fully functional.

My advice would be to add some more solder. The picture of the underside of your boards is gone now, but from memory, many pads could use some extra solder. Pretty sure that'll fix most of them.
 

JMan

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@TimG I don't want to pile on about the soldering, as we've all been at that stage of learning before. But if you haven't seen this, this tutorial from EEVBlog is great. Even seasoned hands can learn a thing or two.

Related to your earlier pictures, I would offer these two pieces of advice for improving the joints: (1) Apply enough solder to make a good joint, but don't go overboard. It can take a little practice to learn what that looks/feels like, but you can take a look at closeup pictures of good solder joints to get an idea; and (2) Apply enough heat to ensure that not only is the solder wetting but also that the pad and component lead both heat up enough to let the solder flow and adhere. Again, you have to practice a bit to find the balance of enough/not too much.

I hope that this is helpful!
 

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