the wondrous tales of a software guy in hardwareland

Upcycling Like A Boss

This post is dedicated to the loving memory of a Studiomaster Series IV 12 channel mixer. May its components live on in new circuits!

As promised, some pictures of my upcycling (ok, let’s be honest and call it cannibalization) of the poor old mixer.


This was the beast before the slaughtering.


And this is pretty much what’s left of it. There is no single PCB, but rather 15 small “modules” (one per channel plus 3 additional for left/right/master).


Those are all reusable parts, already nicely ordered. I kept the screws (small plastic bag full of black thingies), the knobs (small bucket), bolts and washers for the potentiometers (bigger plastic bag). The faders, on the right, are nicely self-contained and have 3 pins connector already. Finally, there are 3 LED strips (the mixer’s VU-meters) each on its own PCB with driver chip.


Another nice touch: all chips were socketed, so those are basically as good as new. They are all op-amps (mostly NE5532, with some TL071/072), and one MC14066 quad switch.


Those are the potentiometers I desoldered from 2 modules (there are 100+ more!). They are big and bold and beautiful :-) Mostly 10k, with some 100k. And a cheerful mix of linear, logarithmic, mono and stereo.

Unfortunately the switches and jack plugs were not so easy to desolder… Too many pins, I guess. In particular the jack plugs are really stubborn.


And those are some assorted bits and pieces from 1 module. Some electrolytic condensators and some others funny ones. No idea which kind of condensator they are, will find out. There are also lots of transistors, but those are harder because they get damn hot when you apply the solder pen (I know, need to get me a good pair of gloves).

This covers the upcycling part. Regarding my project, I haven’t achieved much this week. Still busy with taking measures, double checking them, adjusting the SVG layout for the panel, etc.

But guess what? Back on Tuesday I received the Dupont connectors I ordered! Didn’t expect them so quick. 9 days elapsed from order to delivery. Amazing.


They look waaay better than my crappy “Buchsenleiste” (on the left). They also fit very very nicely the pin header (on the right). This is really good news. Now I only need to get my shit together, and this project will soon be finished :-)


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