Monday, June 22, 2015

@MAKE #Electronics Experiment 29: Filtering Frequencies Part I

I know very little about audio, etc., so this experiment is very interesting to me.  When I was 10-12 years old, I read about people making hi-fis, ham radios, and the like, and thought I'd like to do that someday.  With neither persistence nor guidance, that interest was never nurtured, but it was always somewhere within me. Thank you Charles for helping to bring it back. 

The photo below shows the breadboard, nearly complete according to the instructions.  The two momentary, normally open push-button switches are for the two filters. The coil is not shown--110ft of 20 gauge hook-up wire, which I had to unwind./rewind to get access to both ends. I used two 22uf electrolytic capacitors, back-to-back, instead of the 10uf NP cap Charles had in the schematic.  I could not find .15uf caps, so I used .22uf. I took the speaker out of an old Sony Trinitron TV before I took it to the dump (also got some pots and other useful stuff). Since I'm totally ignorant, I wasn't following Charles' instructions for connecting audio, so I bought some plugs to fit into the adapter. Once I took the plug apart and saw the connections, I understood what he meant. Since I spent the money (US$4.99 for eight at Radio Shack), I'll use it. Besides, it gives me an excuse to solder. The box for the speaker is a US$1.99 pencil box from K-Mart.  I use them for project boxes, but this seemed like a good application.

Breadboard almost ready, speaker taken from an old TV set, RCA adapter from Radio Shack, and a pencil box from K-Mart

The next photo is the speaker box after I drilled holes. Not the tidiest of jobs, but I think it will work.

Pencil box ready to be a speaker enclosure

Next step, hook up the filters and the music (I'll plug the adapter into my cell phone and play something on Pandora).

The idea is to bring mono input into the amplifier chip. The output goes through either a high-pass (caps) or low-pass filter (coil) to the speaker. I used the RCA adapter to get sound from my cell phone, plugged into one of the jacks in that adapter, and wired the plug to ground and to the 33K resistor/amp input.

Everything hooked up as expected. There is a big difference with and without the coil, not so much with and without the caps. The coil provided more difference after I removed the 33K resistor (also less noise). I will try using smaller caps. In the next post I will add the 555 timer and pots.  I'll add video there too.

This was another simple, but informative experiment.  I love this book. See you in part 2.