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Help on my ZKIT1 sockets and chassis (Read 3916 times)
Steve Deckert

If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3369
Help on my ZKIT1 sockets and chassis
10/22/09 at 03:35:34
Hello Steve,

I have the circuit board populated. Installed one resistor incorrectly but besides that no other troubles. Perhaps I missed it in the assembly instructions document, but the mistake came when I installed the 1 K ohm  (2 watt) resistor where the dale 1 K ohm resistor was supposed to go. Obviously slightly better organization on my part prior to starting the soldering activities. A few questions now.

1.       The sockets are really really really tight. I couldn’t get the tubes to go into the socket at all. The pins go in roughly half the distance they are supposed to. I was suggested that I take a leg of a resistor and stick that into each hole. I did not want to do that unless I had run that past you. If you have any other suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.

Make sure all the tube pins are straight first and foremost.  Then find a resistor or solid wire around the same diameter as the pins on the tube and stick it in each hole to see if it can be inserted the full depth of the pin.  It's not uncommon when soldering sockets to have the solder run down inside the pin retainer and basically plug it so that a tube pin will never go in.  This is of course if you leave the heat on too long and are soldering point to point.  The circuit board makes it really much harder to screw up.    The sockets ARE often tight to begin with especially when new, but so long as the pins are straight you should be able to insert the tube fully.

2.       I mounted the sockets with the board lying flat on the socket and the socket lying flat on the table. However, 1 of the sockets still mounted slightly off the horizontal plane that the other 2 sockets. Any suggestions?

Presents no technical problems.  The only way to correct it is to re-solder the socket.

3.       Do you have a pdf or any kind of document with an exact representation of the board that you sent me for the zkit1. I am trying to get started with casework and the gentleman who runs the machine shop at my university has agreed to help me with it. He said that he could do the holes for me as long as he knows exactly what I want. I made an outline of the board and marked the circles where the spacers go on a piece of paper. However if the gentleman has to use a CNC machine he would like something more precise with exact distances between the holes for the sockets and what not. Any help here would be most appreciated.

Here is a DXF file of the board mechanical s.


4.       Any suggestions for where to get a sheet of aluminum that will take the weight of the power transformer as it is quite heavy. Also, what thickness of aluminum should be used? Given the weight of the transformer, would steel be a better option? I plan on mounting the board and the transformers on the aluminum sheet and then the volume control and the power switch on the front and the iec socket, binding posts and rca sockets on the back panel. Any pitfalls I should be aware of?

Thanks a ton for this great kit.  


Your CNC shop will have plate metal on hand.  1/8th inch aluminum is ideal.  Let them supply the plate.

Pitfalls?  Yes, make sure the case of the volume pot is grounded.

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Re: Help on my ZKIT1 sockets and chassis
Reply #1 - 10/22/09 at 14:45:46
thanks for the reply steve Smiley.
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Alan H
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Re: Help on my ZKIT1 sockets and chassis
Reply #2 - 11/02/09 at 23:07:34
Re aluminium - I got a 3mm sheet cut to size from ebay for very little cash (6 UKP + del) The 25cm sq sheet ended up being a wee bit tight for size.

Different grades of aluminium represent how easy to machine it is ... do some research. I have no connection with this seller ... FYI only

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