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Thread: I love the 5e3. Just not mine! Please help.

  1. #36
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    Well, as there is no 300 scale on that meter, it makes sense that the 300V range doesn't work right .
    Sounds like all the weird readings were the meter though, so that is good news.
    When you get the other meter and can get proper readings, things will progress.
    It is normal for the voltage on the filter caps to go up when the other tubes are removed.

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  2. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-one View Post
    Well, as there is no 300 scale on that meter, it makes sense that the 300V range doesn't work right .
    I wondered why it would have a 250V and a 300V scale. They are too close together. The next logical scale after 250V is 500V. I think that is what the '300V' scale really is. The readings make sense if the '300V' scale is thought of as 500V full scale, 120V will then read 120 on both the 250V and ’300V’ scales. The meter is only rated for an input of 300V max so they have called the 500V scale '300V' for ‘elf and safety’ reasons, wonderful!

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  3. #38
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    Thanks Dave, makes perfect sense!
    I would not recommend trying to measure more than 300V with this meter for safety reasons.

    edit: seems there was another thread with some weird readings and the same meter was being used.

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  4. #39
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    Digital Multimeter Readings:

    Tubes Starting with the 12AY7 and moving to the 5Y3

    12AY7:
    1: 148
    2: 0
    3: 2.3
    4: 0
    5: 0
    6: 145
    7: 0
    8: 2.3
    9: 0

    12AX7:
    1: 189
    2: 2
    3: 1.5
    4: 0
    5: 0
    6: 234
    7: 19
    8: 53
    9: 1

    6V6:
    1: X
    2: 0
    3: 420
    4: 383
    5: 25
    6: 25
    7: 0
    8: 23

    6V6:
    1: X
    2: 0
    3: 419
    4: 383
    5: 120
    6: 117
    7: 0
    8: 23

    5Y3:
    1: X
    2: 428
    3: X
    4: 0
    5: X
    6: 0
    7: X
    8: 428

    Filter Caps Starting with the one CLOSEST to the Power Supply

    F1: 425
    F2: 386
    F3: 285

    Fuse: 75 AC
    Light: Top 3.3 AC Bottom 3.5 AC
    Black and White Power Supply Wires: 122 AC

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  5. #40
    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    I'm glad you have a new meter to use, I think this is getting somewhere now.

    Are you on a DC-only scale? That's OK, but important info. I see zero (or thereabouts) on pins 4/5 and 9 of the preamp tubes. If they're working (and they are!), they'd have 6.3vac across the heaters. Or about 3.15vac from the pins to ground.

    The 12AY7 looks normal. After that it starts to get weird. The 12AX7 side A (pins 1, 2, 3) shows 1.5v (about right) on the cathode but 2v on the grid. The grid of a properly-operating tube should *never* by more positive than the cathode. Excessive tube current and "red-plating" will occur. Maybe the 2v is an AC signal and there's some parasitic oscillations? This hypothesis, of course, conflicts with the guess above that you're on a DC-only scale. Oh, well.
    The other side of the 12AX7 (side B) is probably a cathodyne phase inverter (correct me, please) and while the voltage between the grid and cathode is 'safe' by the above definition, the grid being THAT negative with respect to the cathode is effectively not conducting. Here's a spot to start looking at component values and voltages for the problem (take voltage readings on both sides of each component and mark it on the print). You will be able to find bad components or bad solder joints this way. And...

    The plate and cathode voltages for both 6V6's look ballpark, but the grids (pin 5) are both off. If there was actually 120vdc on the grid of one of your power tubes, there would be smoke and noise and generally, mayhem. Re-measure these using both a DC scale and an AC scale if you can manually set them (usually there's a button that allows you to override the auto-select). Good voltages here will help narrow down the focus to the PI section.

    last observation: the 70v to ground for the fuse (and from your previous posts, white and black power wires) tells me that your house wiring DOES NOT have the neutral and ground bonded in the distribution panel. Not too much of a thing, but be aware that with devices that only switch on the L1 side of the power wires you will have 70vac live in your device (to ground) even with it switched off. Probably not enough to send you to the hospital, but it'll sure give a tingle! Not to mention that anything over 40v is legally considered too dangerous to work on live without protective gear.

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    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  6. #41
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    Im not seeing my response post, so here it is again.

    All of these readings are DC (the V with the ... under it) EXCEPT for the fuse, light, and black/white wire. I just retested using just DC again, and the numbers are the same. What would you like for me to AC (V~ icon)?

    ALSO!!!! The 5 & 6 pins on the 6V6's is MV NOT V!

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  7. #42
    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRose81 View Post
    ALSO!!!! The 5 & 6 pins on the 6V6's is MV NOT V!
    Ah! Makes sense now So the pins 5 of the 6V6's are reading in the millivolt scale? That's good!

    I'll find a 5E3 schem and look at the PI stage, that's where I suspect the trouble lies. There's been so much about the meter you were using in this thread, it might be of use to review the original situation... please expand on the low volume and lack of bass. Is that the main complaint?

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    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  8. #43
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    The schematic is towards the top of this thread. And yes. Maybe 1/3 volume and reduced bass. Normal channel volume pot is scratchy and cuts off as I roll the volume up and down.

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  9. #44
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    Maybe the fuse is wired backwards or the speaker is. Maybe too many grounds. Maybe not a good ground. Maybe I didn't solder the volume pot well enough to itself. Not sure. Double checked all. Seems good. Maybe I can Skype one of y'all.

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  10. #45
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    With only the rectifier tube in your voltage should be higher. But how much higher??? Not 210 with tubes in and, what, 430 without? You certainly have some wiring errors. Can you post a few detailed photos of the build? We need to see the wiring details of every circuit. If we can read component values that's even better.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  11. #46
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    Chuck: post #39 has the new readings with good meter and tubes installed.
    JohnRose81: The weird reading on the fuse holder seems to be what eschertron described, your outlet is not properly grounded, or 2 prong wiring rather than 3 prong. So that is not a fault of the amp.

    Edit: the power tubes seem to be running quite hot, which should probably be corrected, but I don't think it would account for a huge volume drop.

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  12. #47
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    Wired for 2 prong and not 3? And the 70v AC to the fuse isn't correct? And what's the difference between 2 and 3 prong wiring. I did it just like the schematic that's posted at the top. Hmm, I'll have to find a 3 prong schematic. Here are some pics...
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  13. #48
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #49
    Senior Member potatofarmer's Avatar
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    Have you verified the input jacks are wired correctly? Check post #14 in this thread: http://music-electronics-forum.com/t12667/#post99573

    Usually a good suspect when one channel isn't working.

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  15. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRose81 View Post
    Wired for 2 prong and not 3? And the 70v AC to the fuse isn't correct? And what's the difference between 2 and 3 prong wiring. I did it just like the schematic that's posted at the top.
    From the pictures and the schematic, you are wired for 3 prong. So either your AC cord is bad, or your house wiring does not have the 3rd prong safety ground connected.
    With the amp unplugged, measure resistance from the round pin on the AC plug to chassis. If it measures around 0 ohms, the amp is good and the problem is in your house wiring.
    This is a bit of a sidetrack issue here, it does not affect the sound problem with the amp, it only explains why you are measuring 70V on the fuse holder instead of 120V. It is strictly a safety issue. If the AC cord measures ok, the house wiring issue is something to talk to an electrician about.

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  16. #51
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    I checked the wall outlet and it's 120. So it must be my grounds. I may have messed up on my grounds. I wanted it to be secure since I'm afraid of shocking myself. So I put ring wire connectors at the ends of my grounds. I then drilled holes in my chassis and bolted down those wires with screws made for grounding. Some I doubled up per drilled hole. So there are two wires going to a hole. I also may not have put the ring wire connectors on correctly. You can see the pics (should be visible).

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  17. #52
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    Where did you put your probes when you checked the wall outlet?
    Try this: black probe to round pin, red probe to small slot, should read 120VAC. Then black probe to round pin, red probe to larger slot, should read around 0VAC. If you get other readings, the problem is in the house wiring, not the amp.

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  18. #53
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    You're so smart. Wall outlet on the bottom wouldn't spit a reading. Just bounced around. Top one gave me 123 ac volts. Plugged amp in that one, now I get 123 ac volts through the fuse. Do that's nice. Still have medium volume and little bass. I should make a video.

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  19. #54
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    Here is a video of the amp being played -

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    Just noticed, there is a orange and green wire coming from the OT that doesn't connect to anything. Well according to the schematic, what do I do with them?

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  21. #56
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Those are likely to be secondary taps for different speaker impedances. Intended to be used with an impedance switch for an amps output. If your amp doesn't have an impedance switch they should just be cut flush (no wire protruding from the insulation) and shrink tubed shut to insulate them. They should be kept away from any preamp leads.

    What were your amp and guitar settings for the video???

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    So my normal channel volume pot is bad. Would that be the total problem?

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  23. #58
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    The normal channel volume pot would only affect the normal channel.
    Looking over your voltages, I don't see any major issues. It is unfortunate you got caught up in measurement problems that had nothing to do with the amp (meter and outlet issues). It is quite an accomplishment that you didn't get frustrated and give up, many novices would have.
    So now that you have solved the volume pot issue, the remaining issues are low volume and lack of bass.
    Have you tried another speaker? If not that is the first thing to do (or try this speaker with another amp).

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  24. #59
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    Thank you G. I'm building this amp for a few reasons: save $2k and not buying boutique or original. I'm learning about caps and resistors. I'm building something. I'm learning about amps. I really want to be great with fender brown faces, tweeds, black faces, and silver faces. I'm great at working on guitars (electrics) and basses. But I know nothing of amp psychology. How can I be a musician and know nothing about amps.

    As for your suggestion, I have a brand new speaker that I tried but nothing. I was fooling with the wires on the normal channel volume knob and saw some extra solder and was trying to get it off when the pin on the pot started to wiggle pretty good. Anyway, now the whole amp doesn't work. I'm sure it wasn't the volume pot, but I'm sure it had something to do with the wires and/or the caps/resistors it was attached to. How does one check the integrity of their solders? I'm going to test all points. And in goin to buy a new 1m volume pot. Ha!

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  25. #60
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Those pots can't take prolonged iron contact. I can see a lot of new builder indications in your work. You'll get better and faster. The most important things IME to make the job easier is to:

    1) Use good solder with a flux core.
    2) Use a good iron. A soldering station with temp control.
    3) Make sure you have access figured out before committing. Not having good access can mean prolonged iron contact and failed pots or cold joints.
    4) Have the joint set up with leads and wire in place. Apply the iron and then press the solder to the spot where the iron tip meets the work. Feed solder until the whole joint is wet and get out.

    It's possible that you dislodged a lead or lost contact somewhere when you were moving wires around. You may want to "re flow" much of the amp. This is a cold solder joint image taken from your photos.
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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Thanks Chuck! I didn't use a solder with a flux core. I'm, at this point, 99% certain I have a multitude of bad solders, broken parts due to overheating, and overall sloppy work. With that, I congratulate myself on growing the balls to actually order all of this and sit down and do it, and then when it didn't turn on, explore and find out why all the way to the point where it was singing and humming along great - minus the reduced power and low end. ESPECIALLY since I've NEVER soldered anything together, never used a multimeter, and certainly know absolutely nothing about amps or their components.

    So with that, I have ordered all new guts, and I'm going to do it again. This won't defeat me. I will be back with an update.

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  27. #62
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    It's a bit of a PITA to re flow all the joints, but it's still easier than building a whole new board and reconnecting every lead. Nothing to lose by trying. Just use flux core solder and melt a little into each joint. It should flow just fine.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  28. #63
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I'm with Chuck. No reason to scrap the build. Just reflow all of the joints with the correct solder. It shouldn't take that long. It's already laid out with everything connected (kind of). Heck, there are often times I resolder entire circuit boards where they've used the correct solder and still do a crappy job of it. This isn't much different than that scenario.

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    Last edited by The Dude; 04-01-2014 at 03:24 AM.

  29. #64
    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    A couple tricks I picked up as a beginner and still use (guess that means I'm still a beginner?) are
    1) use a little clamp-on heat sink (looks like a tiny clothespin, but metal) to make a thermal barrier between the iron and a sensitive component. I use it on cap leads and on pot pins. Always. I have a couple different styles, pretty sure you can get some kind of this device at radio shack.
    2) I have a 100W/140W soldering GUN that I keep exclusively for nailing ground leads onto the backs of pots. This goes right along with Chuck's get in - get out philosophy. I actually count while I'm soldering. if I've counted to 5 and the solder hasn't started to flow, then I stop and rethink. more time on a joint than that and I'm afraid of damaging a component.

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    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  30. #65
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I have a pair of small tipped needle nosed pliers and I wrap a rubber band on the handle to hold them shut. This is my soldering heat sink. Point is that nothing special needs to be purchased. It'll likely work better, but it isn't necessary.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  31. #66
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Not saying the heat sinking ideas aren't good ones in some instances, but I suspect the problem was caused by using the incorrect solder requiring more heat to be applied. If the correct solder is used, this shouldn't be much of an issue.

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  32. #67
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    +1
    That's why I've never bought a special tool for it. I don't keep the rubber band on the pliers either. I put it on when I need to. That's how seldom I need a heat sink using the right solder at the right temp.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  33. #68
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    Well, here is where I stand, bought all new guts. Only original things are the cab, chasis, tubes, and speaker. Built it all out in a couple hours. Powers up and I get voltage on the filter caps. Only prob is no sound. Ha! My luck. Wiring looks good. I'll post pics and voltage readings. Anything off y'all's head of what it could be? Checked inputs and they look wired up right....same with speaker jacks. And yup, I ised the right jacks in the right place.

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  34. #69
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  35. #70
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    Found I had a cold Solder on one of the posts for the fuse holder. Fixed now. VERY quiet guitar through the speaker (Success) and very very distorted. Input?

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