Do you do anything related to electronics in your spare time?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi,
I think that anyone with some programming skills can create apps/games and sell it but what about Electrical/electronics engineers is there anything like this: Projects that one can work on during spare time that do not need sophisticated equipments and that one can sell other than KITS??

Regards,
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
turbo
Gold Member
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I made a pretty good second income from restoring/repairing tube amplifiers. I often had a Fender torn down in the kitchen table in the evening. My wife was a saint in this regard, and she even got used to having Harley carburetors torn down on the kitchen table. If it was something I liked to do (even if the monetary reward was minimal at times), she'd give me a lot of leeway.
 
  • #3
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I design guitar amps as hobby when I was working. I am current still designing electronics for musical instruments. In fact I have been working pretty much full time in pursuing a patent( really cross my finger!!!:bugeye:) in some guitar electronics.

Don't know about money making, but designing guitar amp was what got me started 30 years ago, so I am going in full circle.
 
  • #4
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
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I design guitar amps as hobby when I was working. I am current still designing electronics for musical instruments. In fact I have been working pretty much full time in pursuing a patent( really cross my finger!!!:bugeye:) in some guitar electronics.

Don't know about money making, but designing guitar amp was what got me started 30 years ago, so I am going in full circle.
Go,Yung! You might not get rich, but you might make musicians' lives richer.
 
  • #5
4,261
44
I made a pretty good second income from restoring/repairing tube amplifiers. I often had a Fender torn down in the kitchen table in the evening. My wife was a saint in this regard, and she even got used to having Harley carburetors torn down on the kitchen table. If it was something I liked to do (even if the monetary reward was minimal at times), she'd give me a lot of leeway.
Oh yeh, the good old vintage Fender. I used to be able to draw out most of the Fender amp schematics. My wife don't look at it this kindly. She is very neat and can't stand mess.

I actually put a variac on the power stage of a Twin in 1978, before people even start talking any about this. Now they have books about this. I put the variac only on the differential stage and the power tube and make the fix bias proportion to the main voltage. I left the filament and preamp alone with full voltage. At the time, the idea of shutting down a pair of tube is not very public as Mesa just came out around 73. I just pull two of the tube out. It sounded so good even when I cranked it down. During the process of working on the Twin, I got so into electronics that I actually quit music all together and end up having a full career in electronics. Now I am going back in full circle and playing with musical electronics lately.
 
  • #6
Thank you all for the replies :)

Do you know any good stories about people who actually designed new products using their knowledge in EENG? it would be great if these stories are recent enough because I am reading all over the internet that the time of electronics Hobbyists is gone which made me sad since I want to be able to use my knowledge to create new products and be able to sell them for good income as a Hobby.
 
  • #7
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
Oh yeh, the good old vintage Fender. I used to be able to draw out most of the Fender amp schematics. My wife don't look at it this kindly. She is very neat and can't stand mess.

I actually put a variac on the power stage of a Twin in 1978, before people even start talking any about this. Now they have books about this. I put the variac only on the differential stage and the power tube and make the fix bias proportion to the main voltage. I left the filament and preamp alone with full voltage. At the time, the idea of shutting down a pair of tube is not very public as Mesa just came out around 73. I just pull two of the tube out. It sounded so good even when I cranked it down. During the process of working on the Twin, I got so into electronics that I actually quit music all together and end up having a full career in electronics. Now I am going back in full circle and playing with musical electronics lately.
Pulling tubes and half/powering these old amps could be a great way to get good tone. Twins were a popular target, because they had solid-state power-supply that wouldn't sag like earlier Fenders. I loved the old tweeds because their tube rectifiers would sag like hell when you hit them with a big input signal.
 
  • #8
4,261
44
Pulling tubes and half/powering these old amps could be a great way to get good tone. Twins were a popular target, because they had solid-state power-supply that wouldn't sag like earlier Fenders. I loved the old tweeds because their tube rectifiers would sag like hell when you hit them with a big input signal.
My next one will be cathode bias with resistor. I already have a platform used to be KMC or something with a Celetion Vintage 30 speaker. It kind of like the design of a Musicman amp. But I already ripped everything out and just use the two transformers and the filter caps. I modified a Bassman 100, but it does not give me the sound I want, I think it's because the two transformer is just way too big, you don't get the compression from core saturation. AND it's so heavy. I think I would buy two smaller transformer if I were to use that again.

Problem is those old Fenders are very expensive particularly only use it as a platform. I could have kick myself that I through out a black face Deluxe and a Bassman 100 in 1986.........in the garbage!!!!! I used to have a Vibrolux when I was in Hong Kong long time ago, I so wish I still has it.
 
  • #9
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
My next one will be cathode bias with resistor. I already have a platform used to be KMC or something with a Celetion Vintage 30 speaker. It kind of like the design of a Musicman amp. But I already ripped everything out and just use the two transformers and the filter caps. I modified a Bassman 100, but it does not give me the sound I want, I think it's because the two transformer is just way too big, you don't get the compression from core saturation. AND it's so heavy. I think I would buy two smaller transformer if I were to use that again.

Problem is those old Fenders are very expensive particularly only use it as a platform. I could have kick myself that I through out a black face Deluxe and a Bassman 100 in 1986.........in the garbage!!!!! I used to have a Vibrolux when I was in Hong Kong long time ago, I so wish I still has it.
Ooh! Bad! Nobody ever throw out an old Fender!!!! They are the most repairable/rebuildable amps of all time. I will pay shipping.

I have a few "tube rectifiers" that I made, using a rectifier tube base, wired with diodes so that if a rectifier tube crapped out while I was performing, I could switch that out. I never had to use one. Those old rectifier tubes were bulletproof!
 
  • #10
4,261
44
Ooh! Bad! Nobody ever throw out an old Fender!!!! They are the most repairable/rebuildable amps of all time. I will pay shipping.

I have a few "tube rectifiers" that I made, using a rectifier tube base, wired with diodes so that if a rectifier tube crapped out while I was performing, I could switch that out. I never had to use one. Those old rectifier tubes were bulletproof!
I know, I really kick myself. At the time, my career had nothing to do with music, in fact I never work on music electronics in the 30 years.

You still performing, what kind of music? I quit in 1979, I used to play those classic rock and funk that was very popular in those days. I don't even like playing anymore. Now it's all about electronics, I just use my experience to test and try. One thought is buying a Vibrolux transformer set so I get the floating filament secondary to do the tube rectifier. The old Fenders really have good clean sound.

I am absolutely surprised when I come back to music electronics, that they really have not move very far since the day I left. I think that's because there is no money in the field. Takes a lot of effort to build an amp and you can only sell it for less than $1500..........That is if you have a name and you have people even willing to look at it. And that is at the retail end, I doubt you can sell for half to the retailers. At that, you'll be lucky to sell 100 a year. That is slave labor after paying for the parts, labor. The enclosure can be very expensive as so is the speaker. I don't think people are making money unless you are Fender, Marshall etc.
 

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