Accessories: Pioneer DT-530 Audio Digital Timer

September 2, 2008

I bought this timer from a car boot sale for the princely sum of fifteen pounds. The purchase intention was to automate recordings from FM radio, as all my recording decks could be set to auto-start in record mode from power-on.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly as a second-hand item it didn’t have promising reliability.

I found several dry solder joints in the filament connections for the electro-fluorescent display, they caused flicker.

Later some low resistance conductivity (approx 20Kohm) ‘appeared’ between contacts of the main rotary mode selection switch where they should have been isolated. That caused the all-in-one ‘clock’ IC, constructed around pulse sensitive high impedance CMOS circuitry, to randomly set the time to strange values rather than keeping it!

I’ve now fixed all that and until the next breakdown occurs the unit operates as a convenient main power switch to the various ‘wall-wart’ adaptors that power my turntable and it’s preamplifier, the Technics tuner, and the MiniDisc recorder. For nowadays timer recording from the radio is a thing of the past now that the same programmes are also available on the Internet.

BTW If you are trying to fix one of these, my scribbled notes and pinout details for the MN6076 are here.


Amplifier: Musical Fidelity X-LP Vinyl Preamp

May 9, 2008

Amplifies small signals from the turntable cartridge by absorbing them through the Moving Magnet input (or Moving Coil if that’s your fancy), applying some RIAA defined boost and flatness and outputting the goodness of the music at a similar “line level” volume to other HiFi components. Nicely presented in an extruded military style aluminium tubular case for protection presumably against bullets!!

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You might think a box this large would include the power supply – but no, there’s a standard wall wart type for that!

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Performance? Well, it does the job, faultlessly. I needed a vinyl preamp as my Cyrus Amp didn’t come with one fitted, a trend understandably common amongst similar component amplifiers nowadays.