NoSo One FAQ
barry (Administrator) 11-16-2015 at 01:49 AM.
Post: #1
How long does the NoSo One take to build?
As little as an hour. It's a simple matter of identifying components, following the build guide for placement in the breadboard and then trimming them and pushing them into place. The only rule: measure twice, cut once! Smile
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barry (Administrator) 11-16-2015 at 01:57 AM.
Post: #2
What sort of cabinet should I make?
This is the fun part - you can use almost anything to house your NoSo One. The first prototype is contained in the cardboard box that I use to send the kit! Yes, really...

The good thing about building a 0.3W amplifier is that the amount of energy created is small enough that you can use materials that would not be suitable for a full-size amplifier. So you can build them 'ghetto' style into ... an old tin can ... cardboard box ... cigar box ... ammo tin ... etc.

Can I just leave it on the desktop, with no cabinet?
Well, yes, but you won't get the best sound quality. Even a small speaker benefits from an enclosure. Left sitting on a desktop, you'll get some sound output - at least for testing. But phase cancellations from back to front will compromise the sound.

   
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barry (Administrator) 11-16-2015 at 02:01 AM.
Post: #3
Can I add tone controls, reverb, FX loop, flashing lights?
Possibly, but don't ask me! The beauty of LM386-based amplifiers is that they are simple, and adding extras rather misses the point. Might sound great though, so good luck. Smile
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barry (Administrator) 11-16-2015 at 02:10 AM.
Post: #4
Is the NoSo One suitable for kids?
Most definitely* and one of the reasons that I'm excited about the NoSo One is that it's a great way to get boys and girls interested in electronics. There's something very satisfying about rocking out on something you've made yourself. If they are learning to play the electric guitar, it's a great companion project, and something to show their tutor.

There's no safety risk thanks to the low voltages used in the amplifier, and the construction is simple and straightforward. Just make sure that they know how to safely use the wirecutters to trim leads (and not their fingers!)

It's also a lot of fun to make the cabinet for the project. Help them find some fabric/vinyl/leather/etc to glue on. And if they've enjoyed that, don't miss the opportunity to inspire them further: why not find a local 'Makerspace' where you can use this as a step to bigger and brighter projects?

* Aside from smaller children who might be tempted to try to eat the bright red LED! Seriously, every amp builder needs to keep small components away from toddlers due to the risk of choking. Please bear this in mind.
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barry (Administrator) 11-16-2015 at 03:07 AM.
Post: #5
Do I have to use a battery?
You can use any source of 6V-15V DC power. I chose the 9V PP3 battery, as it's the most widely available and easiest to incorporate. It was also light in weight and therefore keeps postage costs down for such a low-cost amplifier.

   

You can use a rechargeable batteries, too. Even a 12V car battery, which would last for a very long time from a single charge. The added benefit from the slightly higher voltages is that you get slightly more clean volume. (Note that if you take this approach it is VERY important to add a sitable fuse between the 12V car battery and the amplifier board. This is not needed for the 9V PP3 battery.)

Another alternative is to use a mains-powered DC power 'brick'. You can find these online and at local electronics shops. But you will also need to find a suitable DC-input socket and make sure to get the positive/negative polarity right when hooking it up to the NoSo board.
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barry (Administrator) 11-16-2015 at 03:15 AM.
Post: #6
C'mon... Is this really a proper guitar amp?
Yes, because it sounds great. Just search Youtube for 'Smokey guitar amplifier' for video clips to get a basic idea. Now add in the extra tonal options provided by the Noso One Plus kit - bigger speaker, distortion and tone controls - and you've got a lot of tone from a tiny affordable package.

The only downside, is that as a no-soldering kit, it's not really rugged enough to carry around. The components and wires are held in place by the grip of the spring contacts in the breadboard, and with rough handling they might just come adrift. That's easy enough to fix, of course.
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