We do appreciate a good audio setup here. But blasting some death metal on DIY speakers through a customized amp can sometime be a firestarter with people that share your everyday life… So after all, compromising can sometime be as simple as buying more audio devices \o/
So I got myself a Little Dot mk II, a cute little tube amp for headphones. A lovely toy of which the tubes seems to call for greasy fingers and blunt objects. So while waiting for replacement tubes, I had some time to think.
It needs something to protect the tubes while being hold in place, and the power supply block is a good candidate for that function. The volume is too big for 3D printing but I can think of a nice way to do that with laser cutting.
After an hour playing in Inkscape, the model is ready, the svg file uploaded to Sculpteo, and the order is passed.
And after only 4 days, it’s here!
The assembly is quite easy. For the bars of the cage, one can use 2 mm wood sticks from a model shop, but food picks works like a charm once you cut the sharp tip. For the driver tubes, longer, burger picks can do the trick.
First, the wood sticks are cut to the correct length. 40 mm for the preamp tubes and 65 mm for the driver ones is a good choice for the stocks. It’s important that the nice, smooth side of the laser-cut rings is facing up for best results. Starting by the center ring is the way to go, filling all 6 holes with centered-sticks, followed by the top ring. Finally, the assembled part is inserted into the main board. When pushing the pins inside the laser-cut parts, a flat tool is used, not finger nails, to avoid denting the wood.
And here’s the final result!
Considering how popular this little amp is, I’m sure I’m not alone in that case, so I wanted to make something easily available, affordable and adjustable, so it’s obviously licensed as OSHW (Open Source Hardware), and it’s available on the GitHub of the project: https://github.com/brimbellelab/littledot-tube-protect