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#26 2011-06-02 08:35:49

Steelyman
VIP
From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

Jay42....I've been advised that we aren't going to sell just the bare etch, just kits that you assemble and install in your amp.

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#27 2011-06-02 15:19:00

jay42
Member
Registered: 2011-05-02
Posts: 34

Re: eliminating campactron ?

Steelyman wrote:

Jay42....I've been advised that we aren't going to sell just the bare etch, just kits that you assemble and install in your amp.

I understand.  I don't need one...it was just going to be something to keep in reserve, in case the evil day comes.

Fwiw, I think someone could sell some amps (not getting rich) if they created a slighly updated V series that only used 12ax7, 12au7, 6L6GC and incorporated power scaling.

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#28 2011-06-03 05:32:01

Steelyman
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From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

jay42..that is certainly possible to do. The reverb circuit could be eliminated OR redesigned to use a 12AU7 driver instead of the 6CG7. The 12AU7 has similar amplification factor and current spec as the 6CG7 and might be a good candidate to use as the driver in an updated version of a V-series amp. Hmmm...now you got me thinking about another brd.

Last edited by Steelyman (2011-07-13 04:31:32)

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#29 2011-10-24 04:54:07

Steelyman
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From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

Nine Rev 1 Retrofit PCB kits to replace the small brd in V-series amps are ready to go, but it's been suggested that we patent the design because someone could just "steal it and produce their own". I found out it costs $2500 to apply for a patent. Yikes! I don't know how long the patent process takes if in fact I can get one for my PCB. Anyone here have any experience applying for a patent?

Last edited by Steelyman (2011-10-24 04:54:53)

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#30 2011-10-24 05:47:26

Liquids
Member
From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: eliminating campactron ?

I dunno what would be patented?

The circuit is known...

The layout - could you hide the traces somehow?

Layout / PCB is considered art so it's considered copyrighted.

I think you'd spend more money than you'll make, if you worry about it.

You could always sell the idea to someone like fliptops and tubesandmore.com though as a per-sale item, no?  They'd be able to take care of the 'clone' end of it maybe, if it worried you?

Just shooting from the hip here...


Matthew

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#31 2011-10-24 12:02:55

Steelyman
VIP
From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

My circuit is different cuz it uses a different tube and the artwork is not the same. I'm not sure anything is automatically copyrighted. Even if it was and I found someone violated my copyright or my patent, there are no patent police or copyright police to call. You have to be prepared to defend your intellectual property with your own money. Copyright and patent infringements are considered Civil infractions, not Criminal.

Example: Local jam-band from my area with a name that they registered and copyrighted so no one else can use it right?...wrong. A big record company signed an act with the same name that was going national. The local band talked to a lawyer and was told they needed beaucoup bucks to fight big corporate entity which they didn't have...so the big corporate entity not only stole their name, they issued a cease and desist order on the local band using that name.

TANGENT ALERT!!....

I work in an industry where corporations steal technology from each other all the time and are prepared to be sued. It's actually factored into the price of their product. If they don't get sued, it's just more profit for them. They never had to spend the big bucks on the R&D. If they are sued, they usually settle out-of-court for (sometimes huge) sums of money, licensing agreements, and a non-disclosure agreement....all behind closed doors of course. No corporation wants to go to court and be exposed as the thieves they are in newspapers and business journals. 20 yrs ago, one of the engineers in my group dissected competitors products looking for infringements. Another member of my group had both a Masters in electrical engineering and a law degree and knew how to use both. He was the guy my company sent to meet with the offending party. He let them know exactly what toes and where they were stepped on and how he was going to litigate the matter if it goes to court. They almost always pay up. He was a very busy guy and eventually left to work for a law firm that specialized in patent law.

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#32 2011-10-24 23:25:09

hangman
Banned
From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-03
Posts: 1848

Re: eliminating campactron ?

so you are worried that another person would pop up producing circuit boards for V4s using your layout?   

I can understand your worry here... but it seems like more worry than its worth.
someone could still design a board that used a similar concept with a different layout,  the R&D in this instance really isn't all that involved.  for an experienced Engineer,  to copy your board saves them a matter of 5-10 hours.   I mean no offense here.  but with CAD and some of the proprietary circuit board design software from various board manufacturers,  the circuit board design process is very quick.  especially for a circuit as simple as this one.

it also doesn't seem like a big money maker.   you can find V4s for $600 or less, so building your own V4 from new circuit boards doesn't seem like it would make them that much more affordable.
also 6K11s (while becoming scarce) are still cheaper than buying a circuit board.   I think you could start selling them,  and copyright them down the road if you start selling a bunch of them.    $2500 is a hefty sum of money.  how many boards would you have to sell to make up for the $ you spent there?   

this just seems like a rather small operation for such corporate mentality.

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#33 2011-10-25 05:26:30

Steelyman
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From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

hangman, you're right about the simplicity of the circuit and how easy it would be for someone else to produce a pcb that does the same thing as mine. Hell, if I did it...
Maybe I shouldn't worry about any of that patent stuff and just get on to selling the kits to see where it goes. I never expected this project to be a big money maker, but really just to offer an affordable option for those who want to keep their fave amps working into the foreseeable future. Many V-series amps are being scavanged for parts that aren't available. I know cuz I've purchased a few parts carcasses myself. Right now, I have standoffs for the V amps up on our favorite auction site. I had them made for us from an original part. I've had many amps come in with as many as half the standoffs broken. Not soon after I posted them, an online place put some up for sale on their site. Mine are aluminum like the originals and cheaper to boot. You see, it's already started in a way. But then, he could say the same thing huh? I will have more Ampeg repair parts available in the future that aren't offered anywhere else.

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#34 2011-10-25 05:30:15

Liquids
Member
From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: eliminating campactron ?

As a side note - economically, if you think of them as two tubes (which you'd need to replace it, despite the spare triode there), the price for a 6K11 still isn't bad if you can find one.

But actually, an aftermarket product available for techs, to easily eliminate a 6K11 may make the V-series go up in value, since I suspect that right now that's is a main limiting factor on their value...

When I got my V4 i was shy about doing amp work.  My tech friend is pretty fantastic, and mentioned that if I wanted to, we could eliminate the 6K11, but it would be a pain in the #labor$$$

This would make it easier and make most techs happy.  And easier for amateurs to gig with confidence.

Since I started looking I see more and more people jacking up the price on their V4s and plenty of them are in good condition.

Last edited by Liquids (2011-10-25 05:33:58)


Matthew

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#35 2011-10-25 06:56:22

Liquids
Member
From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: eliminating campactron ?

Steelyman wrote:

Right now, I have standoffs for the V amps up on our favorite auction site. I had them made for us from an original part. I've had many amps come in with as many as half the standoffs broken. Not soon after I posted them, an online place put some up for sale on their site. Mine are aluminum like the originals and cheaper to boot. Y

I see them now...that's awesome.

You're exactly right in what you say on your listing - I purchased replacement standoffs as a makeshift for some broken standoffs I had.  They were from Jameco I believe.  And of course, the thread length is shorter than ideal and taller than the originals, but they work.  I'm going to have to get these original replacement types I suspect anyway...

What do you do for the 'retaining nut' on the broken standoffs - the part that keeps the standoff threads from backing out of the hole without nut/plate in place?

I looked high and low without much luck for a comparable or affordable replacement...finally, I gave up and just got a pack of 'split lock washers."  I didn't even go so far as to open the package up and put them on, and I came across what looks to be a dead ringer for the original part at an old school sears hardware/appliance store for 5 cents a piece.  Hopefully that solves my problem....still, have you found a source, or an alternate solution?

Steelyman wrote:

I will have more Ampeg repair parts available in the future that aren't offered anywhere else.

Awesome!


Matthew

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#36 2011-10-25 11:21:54

Steelyman
VIP
From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

In regards to the standoff, I made a drawing with dimensions and sent it out for quotes. Then I placed an order and had them made for me. Every V amp has 10 of them, and I suspect most have the threaded part snapped off by using a screw gun to remove and/or replace the nuts. I've snapped them off with a nut driver cuz they're a bit corroded between the dissimilar metal which siezes them up. All the standoffs I've seen for sale have only a 1/4" long threaded part and the original is 3/8" long. I tried to reinstall a shield plate on my V4 with those and the threaded part wasn't long enough to get the nut on. I had to scavenge for standoffs. The threaded part on my standoff is 3/8" long...just like the originals. I don't recommend using a screw gun on any aluminum standoff. As for those retainer thingies, I haven't gotten to them yet, but I haven't forgotten. They're probably available online for like $1/million. Fact is, I don't even know what they're called. Anyone?

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#37 2011-10-25 23:09:18

hangman
Banned
From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-03
Posts: 1848

Re: eliminating campactron ?

they're called retaining washers.  you can probably find them at any well stocked hardware store.   

Honestly Steelyman,  I think its rad that you designed the board,  and although I know that I could build my own,  I'd probably just buy one from you.  mainly because I want to support guys that are shooting to extend the lifespan of the V4 by providing new replacement parts.   frankly I don't think anyone is going to start producing a new 6K11,  so eventually everyone will be needing a board from you.   but its not going to be a huge wave.  probably a trickle at first, and as the 6K11 gets harder and harder to find, and word gets around.  you'll be making more and more of them.

by that point people will go to you for them because you're "the guy".  Thats what I think. 

look at the Roland Juno-106.   the VCA/VCF chips go bad,  and right now there are 3 or 4 guys making reproduction chips for that synthesizer.   its rad.   I am always impressed when people refuse to give up on a cool old product and start reproducing parts for them.   

anyway.  props to you man!  I really think its great.

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#38 2011-10-26 07:06:08

Steelyman
VIP
From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

Thanks hangman

Not sure of the exact size needed yet, but will research it. According to the manufacturer, these retainers are not made for threaded studs, but Ampeg defies them...another reason to like Ampeg.

I'm sure there are a gazillion places online to get them...I found them here....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-1-8-Stud-Fl … 5d29878229

...and here...

http://www.clipsandfasteners.com/1_8_St … /a8863.htm

BTW, these little bastard are bee-atch to get back over the threads after they're on. Nearly dislocated my shoulder  pulling them off.

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#39 2011-10-28 03:07:57

Steelyman
VIP
From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 107

Re: eliminating campactron ?

Ok guys...The Orville Amp Tech Retrofit PCB kit is up on our website along with the standoffs. At present there are 9 Rev 1 kits available at a $10 discount. Rev 2 Kit is in the works and more of them will be available in the near future. Go here...

http://www.orvilleamptech.com/ and click on Ampeg at the top. It's actually cheaper if you buy it here than here...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ampeg-V2-V4-VT2 … 3f0f50020e

Last edited by Steelyman (2011-10-30 17:26:27)

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