How old dogs code

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When we start a new product at PS Audio it almost always involves code to make it work – even simple things like turning the power light on or off – all get coded by one of our engineers. Years ago when none of our products had code, because there were no such things as low cost microprocessors, we turned the front panel lights on and off with old fashioned buttons and switches.

I think the fanciest thing I ever designed like this was a blinking LED on the front panel of our preamplifier to show it was warming up and the relays hadn’t yet engaged.

I can’t code or program anything with a microprocessor but I can still use the old fashioned coding method – connecting one part to another physically on a board – and make just about anything happen in the analog domain.

I suppose every designer has his or her pet project they work on and I am no different. I’ve been working steadily on a personal loudspeaker for a few years now, just tinkering and having a good time. The whole project started out of Terri’s desire to have something great sounding in our home that she can play music on that isn’t a gargantuan pair of loudspeakers. A speaker just for Terri so she can listen to music at home – the requirements are it has to be “cute”, small, easy to use and sound excellent – excellent enough that it fills the entire room with sound – and after all the years of living with this high end nut job, she’s pretty picky.

This single box speaker uses three coaxial drivers, six 30 watt power amps so I can biamp each of the three coaxial drivers, fully symmetrical subtractive phase perfect crossovers, a 150 watt external power supply (a Dell laptop supply to be exact) and an Apple Airport Express inside the box so she can stream from her phone or the home computer without any loss. I’ve EQ’d this puppy to sound awesome, fill the room and use some of my patent pending holophonic technology to do so. My son and I made the box out of solid walnut. It’s pretty cool looking, very retro.

Here’s a picture of how I built the circuitry for this – it’s on what we call a push board – which allows this old dog to “program” everything I want it to do with good old fashioned wires, chips, resistors and caps.

Just thought I’d share.