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biellis  
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 7, 2008 10:36:24 AM(UTC)
biellis

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Having an unconscious drive to build one of each of your projects one area I would like to see improved upon (I know you are bombarded by many helpful suggestions) is the interfaces between modules. The wiring barrier strips are certainly easy to use and universal, however the end project has a birds nest look on completion. While I know most people put a cover over it and call it done I tend to wake in the middle of the night wandering if the DIY community would popo my latest faux pas. I don’t feel it would work against you to adopt a standard plug/cabling standard. On that same line of reasoning it would be nice to provide solder on RCA and XLR connectors to the next generation Joshua/darwin. This would significantly improve reliability of the electrical connections and ease implementation.

Thanks
Bill
Brian Donegan  
#2 Posted : Thursday, February 7, 2008 11:25:12 AM(UTC)
Brian Donegan

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Hi Bill-

Good topic, and one that we (Russ and I) actually think a lot about and discuss at length.

We settled on the terminal blocks because they are easy to use, and provide a lot of flexibility. They are a lot like Legos so changing stuff is really easy. I agree that the wiring can get a little crazy, just look at my demo dac. They also take up a lot of room on the boards, which makes Russ' layout work much harder. That said, there are some definite issues with other approaches.

One of our guiding objectives is to not dictate how the kits/modules will be implemented. We chose a standard for cabling control of the JT and Darwin (10-pin ribbon with IDC connectors) which seems to work well. It's much harder to do that with signal wiring, especially given that many people have definite preferences on what kind of wire/gauge etc they like to use for such things. We used to use polarized headers, but people really don't like the crimp pins (Darwin signal wiring for example). I am also not a big fan of having to count out the pins when building the kits ;)

For things like I2S, we have talked about using something like RJ45 (Ethernet) connectors, but then we have to sell different length cables, or customers need to buy crimping tools, so that idea is out. Another option woudl be S-Video type connectors, but same problem.

As for on-board connectors (like on Darwin), this is also something we have discussed. These are the problems that we have found: you need to use the connectors we design for, you arrange them the way we tell you to, and you need to put them in exactly the right spot or they won't line up correctly. We have discussed something like an optional separate connector board with an umbilical, but that umbilical has to carry several channels of audio, so has to be nice, and runs into the same problems of just having panel mount connectors.

So, we are open to ideas and disagreements. If anyone has some, please reply. Let's talk this over.
akione  
#3 Posted : Friday, February 8, 2008 1:41:24 PM(UTC)
akione

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Hi Brian,

Had you considered the screwless, sprung terminals.They seem to grip better and aren't in any danger of shaking loose.

These are what I've used, but there are probably plenty of others available.


Camden Electronics


Colin
Brian Donegan  
#4 Posted : Friday, February 8, 2008 2:05:41 PM(UTC)
Brian Donegan

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I have never used them, but always assumed they would be less secure then the screw type. I equated them (in my head) to the speaker terminal spring clips on cheap audio receivers, vs a solid binding post. I will pick some up with my next order and play around.
Brian Donegan  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:20:49 AM(UTC)
Brian Donegan

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One think I am considering is not pre-installing the terminal blocks on the digital modules. That would more easily allow direct wiring (they are a pain to desolder) and they are easy to install if you want them. If you build the dacs in a stack, many of the connections can be made with jumpers straight through the holes.

Thoughts on that?
glt  
#6 Posted : Thursday, February 14, 2008 11:29:34 AM(UTC)
glt

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I think it is a good idea. Another idea is to install a little connector where the signal locking LED is at to allow having the LED elsewhere. Yet another idea is to have bypass jumpers for the DC blocking capacitors in the DAC board.

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