Martin Delta 4050 Capacitor Crossover Upgrade

It’s been about 15 years since I’ve done any electronic work, let alone wield a soldering iron. After a lot of research into the audiophile world and slowly gathering ideas for projects, it was time to finally get back into the swing of things with a simple project, and upgrading the capacitors in my Martin speakers seemed like a great project to do so!

Since electrolytic capacitors degrade over time, some research showed that a Polypropylene replacement would best be suitable. The price range abounds on these, and I settled on Dayton’s PMPC line, purchased from Parts Express. I was not only impressed with the 1% tolerance rating they have, but they also came in the closest ratings I needed. I didn’t want to have to piggy-back capacitors as much as I needed to.

The Martin 4050′s use the following three capacitors:

48uF 50WV
5uF 50V
12uF 50V

Overall the project was a success! Nothing exploded or caught on fire! This is good news! I am starting out with just one speaker and will give the capacitors burn-in time for comparison to see if this upgrade really does deliver a sound difference.

So let’s start with the first speaker.

The first Martin Dayton 4050 to get the upgrade

The first Martin Dayton 4050 to get the upgrade

The crossover lies behind the top woofer.

The crossover lies behind the top woofer.

The crossover, all snug in its bed.

The crossover, all snug in its bed.

The design of these 4050′s has a seperation between the upper and lower woofer. The top woofer needs to be removed to get access to the crossover. From there, three screws hold it in place.

The exposed crossover with original capacitors.

The exposed crossover with original capacitors.

Since all the connections for the various drivers & connections are soldered onto the board, I decided to to the replacement with the board in place. If you remove the lower driver, you can push the wires underneath up through the wax molding to get a bit more slack to angle the PCB into a position suitable for the procedure.

Desoldering the capacitors.

Desoldering the capacitors.

After 15 years or so, it seems my de-soldering skills are still quite good! Of course this is due to a lot of reading up on the process and watching YouTube videos. I spread a bit of flux using a toothpick onto the connection before applying the de-soldering strip and iron. Temperature of the iron was set at 700F.

Capacitors removed

Capacitors removed

Now that the old capacitors are removed, it’s time to size up the newer, larger ones and create a battle plan.

The old and the new size comparison.

The old and the new size comparison.

I’m not sure if Polypropylene capacitors are naturally larger than Electrolytic ones or not, but regardless, there’s an obvious challenge of dealing with the size difference.

I placed each of the new capacitor onto the board, planning out how to bend the wires to ensure none of them would touch anything. It wasn’t too difficult, about 10 minutes of work. Thankfully it was possible.

Piggy-backing two Dayton's for a combined 48uf

Piggy-backing two Dayton’s for a combined 48uf

I pre-assembled a 47uf and 1uf Dayton capacitor after configuring the wire on the larger 47uf capacitor by wrapping the wire and soldering it in place. Seems to hold well. I placed a sticky felt pad between the two to prevent the top smaller one from vibrating around.

The new capacitors in place

The new capacitors in place

Here’s what the final installation looks like with the new capacitors. The angle of the photo is somewhat misleading, none of the cables are touching anything and have a good clearance between themselves and the inductors.

Placing the PCB back in the case took some work

Placing the PCB back in the case took some work

Because I had positioned the 12uf capacitor you see on the far right to lay off the PCB somewhat to create room for the larger 47uf capacitor, it meant that the PCB no longer would align tot he existing screw holes. Having pushed some of the cabling up through the wax hole on the board, I got enough movement to reposition the board as needed.

Some of the sound-proofing material also had to be cut because the 47uf capacitor needed all the room it could get to fit next to the board running down the center of the casing.

First test hooked up to the amplifier

First test hooked up to the amplifier

After testing the PCB connections, and speaker input with a multimeter, it was time for a test on the stereo. Success! Nothing exploded, smoked, smelled or caught fire!

And now some additional information and photos.

Testing an original 5uf capacitor

Testing an original 5uf capacitor

This guy held up impressively well for being 40 some years old!

Here’s some additional close-up photos of the components found on the crossover as well as the driver used,  a Seas 25F-EWX 8hm driver.

Seas 25F-EWX 8ohm Driver

Seas 25F-EWX 8ohm Driver

48uf

48uf

2r2 5% 5W resistor

2r2 5% 5W resistor

martin takeapart 05

5uf

5uf

12uf

12uf

Closeup of the crossover

Closeup of the crossover

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Scotch Whiskey

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Scotch Whiskey

This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.

I’m slowly enjoying the taste of better Scotch Whiskeys. I think this will continue even more so with my recent discovery of the Smoke flavoring found in many of them.

I found the Caol Ila at a local liquor shop that I hadn’t been to before. A larger than normal store with a great wine selection, they had a row of Caol Ila products with tagged descriptions, and this one reading Smokey and Dry sounded like a worthwhile purchase.

Score another win for discovery!

Open the bottle, and a very noticeable smoke scent fills the air. A light sweetness, and a note of alcohol are also present. It’s not at all harsh on the nose.

Upon taste, the lack of an instant alcoholic-burn is pleasing. Instead, that treasured smoke essence fills the mouth and envelopes the tongue, akin to a favored smoke-grilled meat. Quickly, a sweetness plays out, melting enjoyably around the tongue. Swallowing does not result in a harsh, alcoholic burn either. That experience only occurs after savouring the Scotch a few moments afterwards, where it creeps up on the sides and back of the tongue. Hooray! The throat is spared the usual burn of cheaper, low-quality alcohol.

The taste isn’t all smoke, some hints of fruit and citrus can be found, maybe an apple? Perhaps an orange? In any case, it’s rewarding to look for.

Caol Ila is now my current favorite brand of Scotch Whiskey, and I’ll be making an effort to try what the store has to offer, while keeping a nice stock of this particular 12 year on hand.

Call of Duty 2 Dedicated Linux Server on a modern Debian Server

This is my modern experience take on setting up a Call of Duty 2 server on a basic Debian server. This Call of Duty 2 server uses a mod to allow all weapons available. You don’t need this; it can be removed with a simple command.

My server runs without a GUI; so Gnome 3 was removed, running Debian GNU/Linux 7.

Booting without a GUI to a command line
To disable booting into Gnome 3, you need to edit the grub loader like this:
cd /etc/default
nano grub

Find the value GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT early in the file and replace its value with text
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"

Your Debian system will now boot to command-line only.

TMUX
Use the app-installer and install TMUX. TMUX is a modern Screen program that allows programs to multi-task.
This is a great tutorial on TMUX: TMUX The Terminal Multiplexer

Create a User

Create a Start Script
I created a simple script to run COD2 with its parameters, and named it start
nano start

Here is the contents, note the ./ to start off the command:
tmux new-session -d -s cod2server "./cod2_lnxded +set net_port 28961 +map_rotate +sv_punkbuster 0 +set dedicated 2 +set fs_game zzz_allweapons_v1.4 +exec server.cfg +map_rotate"

To run, simply type:
./start

This command starts a TMUX session with the name cod2server and executes the startup command line for COD2 and puts it in the background. If you log in to your server, you can bring up the TMUX session with:
tmux attach -t cod2server

MOD NOTE
I am running an All Weapons Mod. You don’t need this; you can run your own mod. Simple replace +set fs_game zzz_allweapons_v1.4 with the mod you want.

MOD Notes
All mods really need to be placed into the main folder.
All mods in this folder will get loaded. In the case of my mod, I had to remove all over mods like PAM because of conflicts.

Execute the start script on bootup
I found an excellent article on how to create a script to execute on boot-up.

Using the template found on that site, I went to the folder /etc/init.d/ and created the file cod4server with the following contents

### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: cod2server
# Required-Start: $local_fs $network
# Required-Stop: $local_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: cod2server
# Description: Inits Call of Duty 2 Server under TMUX
### END INIT INFO

su --login cod2server --command "/home/cod2server/start"

Then, I made it executable with chmod 755 /etc/init.d/cod2server

Finally, it needs to be recognized as part of the boot. Do this by typing update-rc.d cod2server defaults

Atwater Brewery - Voodoo Vater

Atwater Brewery – Voodoo Vater

Doppelbock, 9.50% ABV

The beer smells strong with the alcohol and malt scent. A hint of vanilla exists in there somewhere surrounded by a soury tinge on the nose.

A crisp, bitter sting hits the mouth with each taste, and remains for a while in the aftertaste as does the mild-to-strong carbonation. Strong in the malts with a light mix of vanilla, very dry in a woody-sense. Overall, it tastes like a mild IPA with more malts and a hint of vanilla. It’s not overly exciting, but decent to drink nonetheless.

Clown Shoes - Blaecorn Unidragon

Clown Shoes’s Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout

A 12.5% ABV powerhouse stout that definitely deserves sipping, but well worth the time spent!

This beer greets you with a punch in the face with the smell of malty, boozy alcoholic splednor, quickly followed up with a double-deuce of smokiness, sweet chocolate and laether(!). A slight tang in the background, a hint of fruit over there. But it’s all in your face.

Each sip brings a quick tinge to the tongue with a touch of bitterness and mild on the seltzer. A malty, rich, dark chocolate but in a dry-cocoa powdery taste engulfs the mouth, but not a Hershey-bar sense. Hoppy bitterness takes residence on the sides of the mouth, leaving the tongue to dry with a fruity presence. There’s plenty to savor in the aftertaste from the devastation this brew delivers.

A 22Oz of mass destruction brought upon your mouth by a Blaecorn Unidragon…from Russia. I think someone at Clown Shoe’s has been playing too much World of Warcraft for this title. But whatever, this is a mighty brew that delivers a rewarding cache of taste.

Lancaster Brewing Winter Warmer

Lancaster Brewing’s Winter Warmer Ale

Our classic Olde Ale redefines the term “full-bodied” with its deliverance of complex and firm malt flavor. A fine blend of British and American hops provides an even bitterness as this beer, true to its name, finishes with a warming alcohol flavor.

With a whopping 8% ABV, each sip truly delivers an impact, beginning with a wafting aroma of caramel, molasses (very notable!) and some gingerbread and spice to make everything so nice. This sweet, dark scent preludes the taste, consisting of a quick malty bitterness to the mouth, which quickly succumbs to a sweet, sweet, vanilla and caramel taste followed by a quick, strong ale-malt with a little fruit when savored. The taste melts to reveal a wider spectrum of fruits, dark coffee and nutmeg, among other tastes, while keeping a distinct beer like bitterness on the tongue and around the mouth.

Overall this is an enjoyable ale leaning more towards a stronger ale and malty taste with a rich, dark sweetness. There’s some fun in savoring the aftertaste where the beer really delivers its palette.

Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout

Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout

Preconceived notions are the blinders on the road to enlightenment. Udderly delightful.

A rich, sweet stout with a minimum of seltzery-ness that quickly delivers a sweet vanilla cream, but the sweetness isn’t overpowering the malts. There’s a light bitterness that plays out on the tongue in in the aftertaste. A light smokey taste lingers afterwards, as does the sugary-sweetness, complimented by a melting mocha.

The aroma wafts a sugary-sweet ale with very distinct hops to the nose carried by a heavy caramel underlayer. There’s a scent of something else present that escapes me at the time of this writing, but it’s good!

Overall, this stout is surprisingly well balanced and not heavy in body or taste despite being labeled a full-bodied beer. The 6% ABV is just enough to enjoy a round or two without feeling knocked out. A great wintry beer that won’t leave you feeling bloated and ready for a cold-nights coma.

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012

A cigar recommended to me by the curator of Delaware Cigars.

We wanted to follow up on the success of 2011 with something new to our portfolio. The cigar is the strongest cigar to date that we have released. There is a lot of power and kick to the cigar, but a tremendous amount of flavor.

And by all means I agree! This starts out with the first 1/3rd as a strong, peppery smoke with a warm meaty taste that’s dry to the mouth, leaving behind a smokey wood in the mouth and a light pepper in the throat. It’s not unbearable, but quite stirring.

Retrohaling this cigar is an achievement, I could not hold it more more than a second once it hit the nose. The pepper explodes, making it quite difficult to enjoy. However, the meaty taste cooks and melts nicely in the mouth, not completely in a creamy sense but revealing some sweetness. An earthy, dry taste still lingers afterward.

The aroma is a rewarding experience delivering a rich earthy tobacco quality similar to some of my favorite My Father smokes. Warm and toasty with notes of cocoa powder, pepper & sugar with a subtle layer of herbal notes. The room note mellows out to reveal a sugary-sweet richness and a smoked wood.

The cigar does mellow out with the pepper after the first 1/3rd, but still remains a challenge to retrohale.
While full of peppery sharpness, it’s not overbearing and delivers a rich palette to savour. This is a slow-smoking cigar to to be enjoyed on a nice cool evening, and I love it.

Tosa

Tosa

Tosa (Dominican) [Toro];

I discovered Tosa‘s cigars on Twitter, after the company followed me on there. Right away, I jumped to their website and ordered a 3-sized sampler. That marketing tool worked!

Right out of the wrapper, this cigar emits a powerful, rich tobacco smell with an oily leather note. It lights up very easily with a match, but right off the bat I notice the draw is a bit tight.

The smoke draws cool, gently laying a lush smokey taste throughout in the mouth. A light citrusy bitterness remains on the tongue. The taste of smoked meat and dry wood melts in the mouth with a touch of a dry tobacco resting in the throat.

The aroma is rich and thick with a warm tobacco quality accompanied by layers of sugar and a light caramel. The room note warms up to reveal a heavenly rich tobacco with a sweet cooked quality to it with a more noticeable sugary quality.

Retrohaling is enjoyably smooth with only a mild sense of pepper through the nose. A pronounced dry, smoked wood taste remains in the mouth, melting away to a caramel sweetness.

This is a very nice smoking cigar, it reminds me of some of My Father’s other cigar offerings with its rich smoked tobacco quality. Can’t wait to taste the other sizes and compare how they dish out the flavour.

Green Flash Double Stout Oak Aged

Green Flash Double Stout Oak Aged

A heavy, thick head wielding a powerful spicy taste. This stout delivers a sweet but immediately spicy nip of pepper. Continual sipping heightens the pepper, with nutmeg and butter melting in the aftertaste. I felt the peppery-spice was overpowering, keeping the enjoyment from the other tastes at bay, and while enjoyable, not something I’d want again.