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Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1 (Read 10410 times)
martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #50 - 01/20/17 at 01:38:48
 
This is, so far, the most recent schematic I've been able to find.  The web is awash with ZKit1 schematics, though, and most (as I believe this one is) are not current.

Steve, can you point to a current schematic or am I wrong about this one?

Here's what I've got but it seems to show the Edcore power tranny but Decware output trannys:

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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #51 - 01/20/17 at 01:52:23
 
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #52 - 01/20/17 at 02:58:27
 
I hate switch datasheets!  :)
In all the documents I can find, including the link you sent, the tabs are not labeled or described....So typical of switches.
Can you tell me if there are any markings on the switch body for each tab? I'm going to keep looking for a better picture of the switch.

The schematic you post at least shows the white/blue "not used". Maybe the board you have just put holes there to keep them safely tied down.
Can you tell if the solder holes those wires solder to, go to any other component connections?
And I think the 4 is part of "SE84DIY".
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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 02:59:47 by Core32 »  
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #53 - 01/20/17 at 04:56:25
 
I think SE84DIY was an early designation of ZKit1, and with the transformer change, I suspect other changes may have been made as well.  Although looking again, the leads from the power transformer match the colors of the Edcor leads so maybe this is the correct, current, schematic.  I can't recall where I thought I saw something labeling the Power tranny as a Decware.  EDIT:  It's not the power, but the output transformers that are Decware and it looks to me like it says so right on the schematic.

Regarding the switch, yes the tabs are numbered.  1 is the copper colored tab on it's own to the side of a plastic (looks like) barrier.  2, copper colored right next to the opposite side of the barrier and 3 silver colored on the far end of the switch from #1.  SO 1 is on its own on one side, 2 and 3 are together on the other side.  Sort of like:

1 | 2 3  where | is the barrier.

I can't see through the board any more but it sounds reasonable that the white/blue don't go anywhere.  I'll have another board to check soon though, and can confirm if they dead-end.
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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 16:13:16 by martin »  
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #54 - 01/20/17 at 05:19:28
 
Hey, thanks JPV!  Somehow I missed your posts.  I think the switch makes that connection (from the negative power and the negative transformer connections) between tabs 1 and 2 when it's in the on position.  ???

So...  I believe power comes in from the power connecter, branching to the positive tranny lead and tab 1 on the switch.  It has nowhere to go until the switch makes connection between tabs 1 & 2, with 2 allowing the power to continue back to the negative tranny lead.  The negative lead on the power plug is connected only to the negative LED (lighting the tubes) wires.  That's one thing I am not sure about - having I-don't-know-how-much power returning to the wall plug going only through those thin LED wires.
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #55 - 01/20/17 at 09:49:58
 
Thanks for pointing me to the shot of your wiring JPV.  VERY clear.


For now, I guess my main question is whether or not it would be unwise to power mine up.  If I can do that many of the questions I have could be worked out, I believe.
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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 16:10:12 by martin »  
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #56 - 01/20/17 at 11:48:44
 
This is a circuit diagram of a "similar" switch. Should be easy enough to verify it's guts are the same as yours with an ohmmeter (DMM).
When the switch is open (OFF), pin 2 should be open circuit to both pins 1 and 3. When closed (ON) pin 2 should measure a short (near 0 ohms) to pin 1 and some value of resistance (not 0) to pin 3, accounting for the resistor and lamp shown.

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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 13:18:53 by Core32 »  

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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #57 - 01/20/17 at 13:19:12
 
And maybe your switch has this little diagram on the side as well.
Can you also send the exact switch part # as well? The link you sent shows a 250 in the part # and that would mean the internal lamp is rated for 250V, not 110V I believe. Might not even light up at 120V.
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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 15:15:57 by Core32 »  

switch_2_001.JPG
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #58 - 01/20/17 at 15:46:20
 
If the switch turns out to be designed as I suspect, this diagram should help you get started.
Not sure how your IEC connector is pinned out number wise but we can determine that if it's not labeled.
If you wanted the "LEDs" to be lit all the time, you would connect their hot side to the L pin of the IEC connector (or pin 2 of the switch) and the low side to the N pin of the IEC connector (or pin 3 of the switch).
If you want the "LEDs" to switch on and off with the switch then connect their hot side to pin 1 of the switch instead.
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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 16:00:33 by Core32 »  

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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #59 - 01/20/17 at 16:32:52
 
Thanks Core32!  I see from your image of the switch wiring that I need to make changes.  I plan to do that as soon as I step into my work area!  

And with regard to the LEDs, I just hook them in as though they were being added subsequent to everything else?  In other words, they don't carry any necessary part of the power except for lighting themselves, correct? Smiley
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #60 - 01/20/17 at 16:39:25
 
The LEDs are a bit of a mystery to me if you can share any data on those. But no, they should have no effect on any other circuitry if they are just used for "mood lighting".   Wink
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #61 - 01/20/17 at 16:57:51
 
Lol, yes the LEDs and some candles.   Cheesy

I'm pretty sure the switch in your image is the one I'm using.  It looked to me like it's rated for 16 amps at 110v or 10 amps at 240?  I'll verify if it's the same switch though.

I'll also get the specs from the LED package.
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« Last Edit: 01/20/17 at 16:59:08 by martin »  
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #62 - 01/21/17 at 00:55:34
 
Hi again.  Here's a shot of the switch I'm using which, to me, looks pretty much identical to what you found Core32.

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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #63 - 01/21/17 at 01:24:04
 
Very similar switch for sure. I think it's a 250VAC lamp however. The LRA911 on the datasheet falls under the 250V lamp section and the LRA211 falls under the 125V lamp section.
It won't hurt anything to use it at 125V but it will likely be dimmer than you expect.
All other functions are the same and the connection diagram is what I suspected so my wiring schematic section I sent you should be correct.
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #64 - 01/21/17 at 02:53:42
 
I'm curious to see what happens with the light in the switch.  I ordered it, of course, knowing nothing about making sure the bulb voltage would be right.  But that's one more thing learned.

I'm taking a break from doing the wiring. I'm following the schematic you posted here.  I'm also re-doing the wiring for the volume knob; it had gotten a little funky.  Once that's done, I hope to hook it up to power (volume all the way down) and start the voltage checks...  I hope.   Roll Eyes

Oh, the LEDs.  There wasn't much on the package other than saying they are 120V and are for Blue Sea Systems Electrical Distribution Panel.  Another place it says "Use with Blue Sea Systems electrical panels.  
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« Last Edit: 01/21/17 at 02:57:29 by martin »  
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #65 - 01/21/17 at 10:44:43
 
Well it seems I've got some troubleshooting to do.   Huh

I got to the point where I have everything wired up.  I plugged power in and the little green LEDs glowed.  Not very bright though; next time I'll use some of the super bright ones.  With the volume all the way down I turned on the switch.  It glowed an encouraging red.  I then hooked the whole thing up and tried it out.  Nothing.  No sound at all.

I will probably take some time off from this again and then come back to it fresh.  Thanks much for your help Core32 and jpw.  I really appreciate that.   Smiley
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #66 - 01/21/17 at 15:06:11
 
I got discouraged more than once with my point-to-point build. Always turned out to be something obvious.  :)
If you have some time to make some voltage measurements (safely!) it may become clear what's wrong.
Did the tube heaters even glow?
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« Last Edit: 01/21/17 at 15:08:09 by Core32 »  
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #67 - 01/21/17 at 20:12:48
 
Hi Core32, thanks, and yes the darn think LOOKS  just about perfect.  The tubes glow very nicely.  😒 I will do the voltage measurements.  The tubes shouldn't be in for that, correct?
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #68 - 01/22/17 at 00:30:14
 
They should be in. If out, the voltages will look somewhat higher (no load).
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #69 - 01/22/17 at 06:59:19
 
Thanks Core32.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #70 - 01/22/17 at 07:59:00
 
Looks like I'll be following in your footsteps eventually.

I bought this off another forum member and never got around to doing anything with it. I never even really looked in the box, just saw the board and transformers were there and hoped the rest was as well.










I wanted to do point to point as well, but I'm lost without a layout to follow. And I have a bit of cleanup to do on this board if I keep it and use it.  Dig that volume pot/knob I got with the kit though!
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #71 - 01/22/17 at 14:50:57
 
Surface mount dual stepped attenuator it would appear.
Pretty expensive new if I recall and that one looks to have 24 steps or more.
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #72 - 01/22/17 at 17:21:52
 
Yes, and you've got what look to me like some upgraded capacitors also - the big yellow ones (how's that for some electronics terminology???).   Looks nice!
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zeke
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #73 - 03/12/17 at 20:19:48
 
Fuse is a good idea since if something goes wrong you don't want a meltdown.....

3 amp is, I believe what is specified and what I have in mine.

Good luck.
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martin
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #74 - 03/13/17 at 03:09:36
 
I've wondered for a while now about doing upgrades in order to get better sound.  It looks like bigger caps are one of the things people do.  As a still relatively new guy to the hobby I'd love to know how to determine which components to upgrade and what to upgrade them to.  Starting with the ZKit seems like a good place to start.  Or would that be like putting high octane gas in a VW?
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Core32
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #75 - 03/13/17 at 12:47:58
 
I don't think the Zkit pcb would limit the improvement you get from upgrading some of the signal path components.
"The big yellow ones..." (caps) are definitely a more expensive component than called out in the original Mouser parts list from Steve.
You'll just need to be careful that the new part can be "morphed" to fit in the pcb area designated for it or you'll have to add so much hook up wire to make connections that your improvement will be diminished.
I believe those "audience" caps in the picture come with the red/black wires already attached so I would not consider that install diminished.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #76 - 03/15/17 at 17:07:37
 

Quote:
I've wondered for a while now about doing upgrades in order to get better sound.  It looks like bigger caps are one of the things people do.  As a still relatively new guy to the hobby I'd love to know how to determine which components to upgrade and what to upgrade them to.  Starting with the ZKit seems like a good place to start.  Or would that be like putting high octane gas in a VW?


That's maybe not the best analogy since some VW (anything Turbo) requires high octane gas. It would be more like changing out your rims and expecting a horsepower increase. LOL

I've spoken with several amp designers - both audio and guitar. All of them have said at one time or another that most of the amps sound is in the design and layout. The parts chosen is usually final voicing.

That said, I'd look at the very few components that are actually in the audio path. Which really is a couple caps, few resistors, volume, tube and socket I think. That simplicity is part of what makes the Zen amp special.

If it were me, I'd built it to spec, give it a good listen so you understand it's nature, *then* try swapping caps. Give yourself time to understand how that changed the amp, and either keep trying caps, or move on to resistors. But you need to start with a baseline, so build it to spec to get an idea of what you have to work with.

Being completely serious, you might go ahead and and buy some expensive high end caps, and completely hate the sound.  I took a Fender 5E3 Deluxe layout, and bought nice transformers, and installed audiophile parts instead of the usual recommended parts...and it was so harsh and sterile it just killed what made a Fender Deluxe what it is. I spent double what the amp costs on audiophile caps and resistors and the like, and it wound up being nothing but an expensive lesson.

Just something to think about.
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LFS
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Re: Taking a shot at building the ZKIT1
Reply #77 - 04/03/17 at 18:36:52
 
Would anyone be kind enough to measure the DC voltages on both sides of either one of the 47K resistors going to the input tube on their ZKIT-1 and provide me with those readings? Thanks in advance for your efforts.

LFS
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