Now that I have a working prototype the next step is building a production model. I have actually been working on this for about 4 days now. I don't like to think about this stage like prototyping, but it kind of is in a way. First step was plotting out the layout of the front and back panel components. The front panel controls needed to make sense in their layout, but also had to make sense with respect to the internal wiring. Shorter wires are always a plus, but not always the answer. The back panel layout has all the sensitive electronics; tubes, transformers, in/out connections. By sensitive I specifically mean in regards to susceptibility to electromagnetic interference and the transmission of such fields between channels. The back panel components had to be laid out in such a way as to minimize the effects of EMI to the greatest degree. After getting everything plotted I machined out the first production chassis and power supply. This stage of the game is where looks really matter. I wanted to go with a color scheme that reflected the Lightning Boy logo. Unfortunately, I was unable to find Lightning Boy yellow in my normal brand of paint. I did, however, find it in a different brand. Big freaking mistake. I painted the power supply and etched it. Looks great - no problems. Clear coated it and baked it. Done. Moving on... I painted the chassis, but when I started to etch it the paint began to flake away. WTF? Okay, maybe I messed up something when I painted it. Stripped it and tried again. Continued etching. Paint flaked off again and looks terrible. Its that damn paint! The chassis is not even salvageable. The paint was not adhering to the steel chassis, but strangely it adhered to the aluminum power supply. Ok, chalk this up as a loss and a learning experience. Back to machine work. I machined out a second chassis, but this time I found Lightning Boy yellow in the brand of paint I normally use! Yes! Had to do some serious hunting, but I have a source now. Got her painted and its currently drying. I'll etch it on Monday. I'm expecting it to work out really well. This paint brand has never failed me. More to come...
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.