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DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II
Old 1st August 2016
  #1
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DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II

Hello everyone!
First, I hope I'm in the correct section. Second, I'm Italian so excuse me for some English mistakes.
Few weeks ago, tidying up the studio where I work, I found two Valley People Gain Brain II compression modules. They are in perfect condition and we want to use these modules by building a box wit I/Os and power supply. Searching on internet and in this forum, I didn't found something that helped me.
The only thing I have is the Gain Brain user manual, where there's the pinout of the circuit board.
So, following the manual, I connected the +15 V DC, the audio I/O and the ground to make fast connections and try the modules with an audio source. But actually nothing is working.
The modules doesn't turn on (the red light near the "0" in the gain reduction should be turned on when the module is feeded with +15, but actually it's not) and if I connect the audio I/O to an audio source, I can hear the sound passing at a very low volume, with a lot of noise and, of course, with no compression at all. Acting with the pots, nothing changes. Disconnecting +15, the sound doesn't pass at all.

Now, I don't want to know if I done something wrong because I understand that the way I explain isn't very clear. So the real question is: any of you can help me to make the right connections and build a box for these modules? There's a guide or something like that? What are the basics for doing right connection in this case (ground loops, enclosures, balanced power supply, ecc ecc...)?

If it can help, I'm not very good with electronics, but I'm good with the soldering station.

I can send photos, if requested.

Thank you in advance and I hope you can help me!!

Cheers
Old 1st August 2016
  #2
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12ax7's Avatar
 

.
You might have some luck over at the 'GeekSlutz' sub-forum:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/geekslutz-forum/
That's where all the "nuts & bolts" folks hang out.
.
Old 2nd August 2016
  #3
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Hi
I am fairly sure you need plus 15 and minus 15 volt supply rails. I can't think of anything that uses ONLY 15 Volts. Many use 24 only but I don't think these are like it.
Matt S
Old 3rd August 2016
  #4
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SP2016's Avatar
The first GAIN BRAIN was transistorized and needed a +24VDC power supply.

The GAIN BRAIN II is, as far as I remember, an IC version.
And that will need a +15VDC and -15VDC power supply.
Send us a photograph of the pc board if you cannot see you have the transistorized or IC version.

You probably had the pin out for the +24V GAIN BRAIN and therefore missed the -15VDC connection for the GAIN BRAIN II and only connected the +15VDC.
That explains the effects you experienced.
Hope that all IC's are still O.K and not damaged by this action !!
Old 15th August 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
I am fairly sure you need plus 15 and minus 15 volt supply rails. I can't think of anything that uses ONLY 15 Volts. Many use 24 only but I don't think these are like it.
Matt S

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
The first GAIN BRAIN was transistorized and needed a +24VDC power supply.

The GAIN BRAIN II is, as far as I remember, an IC version.
And that will need a +15VDC and -15VDC power supply.
Send us a photograph of the pc board if you cannot see you have the transistorized or IC version.

You probably had the pin out for the +24V GAIN BRAIN and therefore missed the -15VDC connection for the GAIN BRAIN II and only connected the +15VDC.
That explains the effects you experienced.
Hope that all IC's are still O.K and not damaged by this action !!
I believe I can answer at both of you if I say that, when I talk about 15V, I mean + and -. Maybe I didn't explain myself very well in my request... sorry!

As said by SP2016, this version of Gain Brain (the II) needs +/-15VDC and not +24V.
For all the connections, I followed the pinout in the Gain Brain's II user manual, where there are a pin for +15 and a pin for -15, that I BELIEVE I've soldered in the right way.

The ICs seems to be fine.

I attach photos of PCB, of the fast connections I made (balanced audio in, unbalanced audio out and +/-15VDC) and a screenshot of the pinout from Gain Brain's manual.
So you can tell me if I made something wrong or something is missing.................... thank you!
Attached Thumbnails
DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-2016-08-12-21.29.27.jpg   DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-20160812_212420.jpg   DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-20160812_212509.jpg   DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-pinout-gain-brain.jpg  
Old 15th August 2016
  #6
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SP2016's Avatar
As far as I can see you now have a wire to the +15VDC and another wire to the -15V.
Your power supply connector only has two wires.
For bipolar power supply you need three wires, so you seem to miss a ground of both power supply rails to go to pins 25/27

So from the power supply you have to connect +15VDC, 0VDC, -15VDC.
________
power |------------+15VDC
supply |--------- 0VDC
_unit____|------------ -15VDC

What power supply unit are you using ? Photograph or type/model.

Three wires.....!! So you did something wrong: You are missing one wire.

Have fun !

Last edited by SP2016; 15th August 2016 at 06:44 PM..
Old 15th August 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
As far as I can see you now have a wire to the +15VDC and another wire to the -15V.
Your power supply connector only has two wires.
For bipolar power supply you need three wires, so you seem to miss a ground of both power supply rails to go to pins 25/27

So from the power supply you have to connect +15VDC, 0VDC, -15VDC.

------------+15VDC
--------- 0VDC
------------ -15VDC

What power supply unit are you using ? Photograph or type/model.

Three wires.....!! So you did something wrong: You are missing one wire.

Have fun !
Ok... now it's all clear!! I had thought that something was missing... and so it was!

The power supply I use is a common 2-ways switchable power supply. Like the one used for feeding stompoxes, for example, with 6mm connector... nothing professional. I thought that was enough for feeding the Gain Brain and try it, but now I know that I need a 3-way power supply.

So +15 and -15 must be in pins 29/31 (where are now) and the ground of the power supply will be soldered to the pins 25/27, right?

Thank you again!!!!!!!!!
Old 15th August 2016
  #8
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SP2016's Avatar
Again: You need a power supply with a +15VDC output, a 0 VDC connection and a -15VDC output.
As I tried to draw a box with three connections.

So you cannot use a simple power supply unit, but a real bipolar power supply

The wires you used for + and - 15VDC are correct.
You have to add the 0 VDC connection to the power supply unit.

Another free advice: Use thinner wire to solder to the blue connector.
With the wiring you soldered now it is quite likely that the tiny gold pins of the connector will break.
I've been there !

Last edited by SP2016; 15th August 2016 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: addition+correct typo
Old 16th August 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
Again: You need a power supply with a +15VDC output, a 0 VDC connection and a -15VDC output.
As I tried to draw a box with three connections.

So you cannot use a simple power supply unit, but a real bipolar power supply

The wires you used for + and - 15VDC are correct.
You have to add the 0 VDC connection to the power supply unit.

Another free advice: Use thinner wire to solder to the blue connector.
With the wiring you soldered now it is quite likely that the tiny gold pins of the connector will break.
I've been there !
Yes, I understand what you said in your previous post, I only wanted a confirmation if I understood right.

I've only to add the 0VDC.

I will try and let you know. I'll post more photos when I have fixed the connections (hoping that all will work).

Thank you again for helping me and... for your advices. :D

See ya soon!
Old 26th August 2016
  #10
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I must do double post because I've to insert attachments... Excuse me if I'm wrong.

I bought a 3-way power supply (I attach the model's photo below). But... the modules still doesn't work (the "0" in GR doesn't turns on). I post two photo of the connections (the white cable is the ground). Where am I wrong? Are the connections right? Is something missing? I don't wanna think that the modules may be broken...

I know that I'm becoming annoying, but these modules have their cost so I want to solve this question... xD

Thank you again for all the support! I appreciate it!
Attached Thumbnails
DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-20160826_104618.jpg   DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-_1.jpg  
Old 26th August 2016
  #11
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SP2016's Avatar
I hate to say it, but I think you bought the wrong type of power supply unit.
The wire you think is the 0 volt connection looks to me like the ground wire of the AC input, as the symbol is the symbol for ground and not for 0 VDC.
In the module I see a green/yellow wire which is AC ground and NOT 0VDC.
And that means that the required 0V connection is still missing and your module will not function, as you again power the module with a + and - VDC.

Again: On the AC side you may have L(ine), N(eutral) and G(round).
Instead of G it also may show the ground symbol as on your photograph.
On the dc side you must have +, - and 0, so THREE DC connections.

Could you send the brand and model of the supply you have now ?
Or a photograph of the label on the power supply ?

The power supply you need looks like attached photograph.
Look at the connections !! "GND" at the output connector is here the 0VDC you missed so long.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-schermafbeelding-2016-08-26-om-18.40.53.jpg  

Last edited by SP2016; 26th August 2016 at 05:45 PM.. Reason: explanation added
Old 27th August 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
I hate to say it, but I think you bought the wrong type of power supply unit.
The wire you think is the 0 volt connection looks to me like the ground wire of the AC input, as the symbol is the symbol for ground and not for 0 VDC.
In the module I see a green/yellow wire which is AC ground and NOT 0VDC.
And that means that the required 0V connection is still missing and your module will not function, as you again power the module with a + and - VDC.

Again: On the AC side you may have L(ine), N(eutral) and G(round).
Instead of G it also may show the ground symbol as on your photograph.
On the dc side you must have +, - and 0, so THREE DC connections.

Could you send the brand and model of the supply you have now ?
Or a photograph of the label on the power supply ?

The power supply you need looks like attached photograph.
Look at the connections !! "GND" at the output connector is here the 0VDC you missed so long.
.......oh.
Yes... you're right. (Obviously)
Your explanation is clear...
When I bought mine, I saw the ground symbol and I thought was referred at +/-15V.

Nevermind, I can ship back the wrong power supply.

Searching around, I found some power supply that have a COM connection (as in the attached image). Is the same thing of 0VDC? Or is something else? Can I buy the same type of the one in the image?

I think it's the last thing for me to know before the final test! XD

As you requested, I attach the photo of the label on the power supply I bought.

Attached Thumbnails
DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-2016-08-27-02.06.44.png   DIY box for Valley People Gain Brain II-20160827_021107.jpg  
Old 27th August 2016
  #13
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SP2016's Avatar
You are getting closer now....
However the photograph you now added is a switched power supply with three (!) +VDC outputs. And only +VDC: +V1, +V2 and a V3.
That unit is not usable for your Gainbrains.
Again: You need +15VDC, -15VDC and 0VDC/COM.
I also wonder why you select switched power supply modules for your modules.
There are simple linear bipolar power supplies available for less money.

The power supply you bought and of which you have sent a photograph of the label is of no use for your Gainbrains.
It is just a +15VDC power supply.

I hope your experiments have not damaged your Gainbrains in the meantime.

Last edited by SP2016; 28th August 2016 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: addition
Old 29th August 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
You are getting closer now....
However the photograph you now added is a switched power supply with three (!) +VDC outputs. And only +VDC: +V1, +V2 and a V3.
That unit is not usable for your Gainbrains.
Again: You need +15VDC, -15VDC and 0VDC/COM.
I also wonder why you select switched power supply modules for your modules.
There are simple linear bipolar power supplies available for less money.

The power supply you bought and of which you have sent a photograph of the label is of no use for your Gainbrains.
It is just a +15VDC power supply.

I hope your experiments have not damaged your Gainbrains in the meantime.
The fact is that, when I search on the internet using key words like "15 V power supply" "linear power supply 15 V" and so on, all the results drive me to this kind of power supplies... And, for the precision, are almost all switching and with multiple outputs.
Obviously, I looked for the ones that have +15 and -15 in their outputs.
This means that I've to search better, now that I know exactly what I need.

The picture I attached was only to know if COM is the same thing of 0VDC and you basically confirmed that.

Yes, the one I bought was only +15VDC...

Now I have all clear. I have to search a linear bipolar power supply with +/-15VDC and 0VDC/COM. Nothing else.

THANK YOU AGAIN!!! I let you know how it goes...
Old 29th August 2016
  #15
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A linear power supply is definitely preferable to a cheap switch-mode.
Old 29th August 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowmat View Post
A linear power supply is definitely preferable to a cheap switch-mode.
Exactly !!
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