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Thursday 27 June 2019

Fait Qubo 2012 MPV I.C.E Sound System Upgrade: Speakers, HeadUnit, Sub

Thought i should document my efforts.

Ordered: from ebay or which ever was cheaper.

considered to order headunit and qubo fascia from but looking and the trustpiolet reviews and the pain to get a refund, if they give one put me off. would have been a few £ cheaper to order from them but decided to not risk and pain.

trust of they have mixed reviews, of concern but higher chance of getting money back or most of it. Emailed them previously asking about what size of speaker they thought was right for qubo. they found it odd too. the speaker mount adaptor says 12cm . they thought 10cm speakers.

Speakers: Not sure about speaker size, thinking of trying 10cm/4inch. ordered front adaptors so i can check them i accidental got rear adaptors a little cheaper 2rd hand ages ago, was going to cut them up but decided to just order the right ones and sell them on again...

Headunit: Just ordered the Sony MEX-GS820BT. seams to be the newer rms rated version of specs look the same but for a 2rd usb port on the back and 5w rms extra per channel.

These few sony headunits are the only ones with Class-D amps in them. so real 45w rms @ 1%thd :D. so i hopeful wont need to buy a external amp :). The specs are very similar to the Alpine CDE-193BT and Pioneer MVH-X580DAB.

They all have +/-6dB 10 or upto 13 band equalizers. The alpine and pioneer have time aliment set via input the distances wheres the sony is bit + or - a bit for speaker speaker. no distances.

Head units I Considered:

Speaker Search Tab dump links:

Monday 26 March 2018

What Tone Boards to get?


LM1038 boards Noisy monsters. Avoid!



Not to bad noise wise but i prefer opa2604. Large capacitance load. causes amp to pop speaker cones fully on power up! not good but it does have good noise floor from what i can hear :).


opa2604 tone board centre front view Easy to power, I use a 15v linear regulator connected to amps power supply, if amp is powered by 24v like tpa3116. When i had it powered directly from battery i had ground loop noise problems :(.

Some noise floor is heard on better speakers, for the hmm last 1/4 of volume. Snags are on power down gives a pop to amp which then makes loud pop sound from speakers :(. It’s other wise the best, most compact, single dc powered tone board that i could find. Took many days or weeks of searching! My favourite features is that is has mid tone control. when most tone boards have bass, treble, bal, vol. Having mid tone control makes a huge difference!

There is also a ne5532 version of this board but i prefer this opa2604 version :)

My Favourite tone board! :D Very quite, practically doesn’t add noise. Snags are it needs a DUEL ± +/- DC (or ac) power supply. I found dc-dc ± buck and boost converters from china on ebay and aliexpress but ive blow them all up due to wired deep tech issures i don’t understand when i powered them from amps power supply :( :(. Or from the large capacitive load from the large 1000uf input capacitors!

So i have ordered large Isolated dc-dc ± converters from instead. that can take the capacitative load i hopeful. its rated at 1000uf load for each power line. so i hope that works. I chose isolated as that, means i won’t have ground loop problems because the power for the tone board is disconnected from the input power/batt of the setup.

I have been told that i can use a NTC inrush current limiter to limit the current spike as the caps charge up or a inductor or a more efficient curiect. I have got some ntc limiters that i think i wlll do, to try out. A helpful ntc inrush limiter calculator:

updates pending when i get my ordered bits :)

Buying Stuff From China, Inc Amp boards

I by my stuff from china, because its where i can get lots of different and unique electrics from and its cheap :). china sellers tend to be good about what they mark customs as ;). I use china escrow sites:

  • Aliexpress
    • largest choice, good feedback system.
  • Evil Bay
    • sometimes cheaper then aliexpress. somethings that are hard to find or not on aliexpress.

I recently had a bad experience with aliexpress where the shipping was "handled by aliexpress" they marked full value, which resulted in a huge customs fee as its vat + £8 fee. which made it more expensive than buying from the uk! :( So never ever buy "handled by aliexpress" items!. It’s a new service that they are doing. I use aliexpress the most. i prefer them over ebay as they have per product feedback. which helps you to know if something is junk. where on ebay and amazon your shopping blind.

Do not click the i received my item -or worded something like that- button because you then end purchase protection! let it time out as that is your warrenty. sellers wont help you after they got your money! just as bad as ebay. When something is faulty. Take pictures and demo showing the problem or demoing that it is faulty.

An example is when you get a bad boost dc-dc convert power supply, connect to bench power supply and show that it is taking constant current in a photo. edit the photo with a circle highlighting the readings, problem, etc.

Chinese people tend to only know simplified english. so try really hard to not use those english phrases or ways of saying things, we like to use. Like cock up, blow up, etc.

Another options is china shops. when you don’t want to pick between 400 sellers of the same thing. Here you just focus on picking the items you want. Cons are: less choice and more expensive. For things like touches, you can get coupons which bandgood and gearbest post in there own forum threads. check out for some good torch/flashlight deals!

Good China Audio Manufacturers:

  • Hifi Me Diy
  • Yuan Jing
  • SMSL Audio
    • not bought anything from them but for another make of ready made amps in finished box, they look good.
  • 3e Audio
    • My favourite amp maker. New manufacturer from 2017.
    • In some parts of the world there website seams to be blocked. IDK if this a china firewall thing or a web server config error or service provider problem. I use Tor Browser to view it. Which is a free software (libre), anonymous, cool, innovative, proxy :). Which wikileaks and snowden use btw. I think its the easiest proxy to use. I love it :)
    • There amp boards are currently using the most cutting edge amp ICs made by TI.

So Ya Wana Make DIY Battery Powered Sound System Setups?

For the last few years i have been putting together diy battery powered amps to go with ready made speakers. I wanted tone control, Treble, Mid, Bass and Balance. Light weight lithium battery power and low voltage protection, and i clear idea of time remaining. Cheaper than car amps was also another attraction. LED lighting too but thats for another post :)

Its been hard as a newbie, i have leant more than i knew before i started. It’s taken a few years to get this far. So i hope any posts i make on this blog, making a recorded of my journey is of help to you and speeds up the time it takes for you to get a better setup by helping you to find the better things than the first search results point you to.

I think ive been around 3years or maybe more!

It started. at peakcamp, which was a home ed informal camp and meetup in the peak district in the uk. There was a little cave rave, which was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the dancing and social a lot but i could see there was room for improvement on the sound system. It was a car batt + inverter + old home hmm mid-largeish portable home stereo + laptop. it was noisy due to inverter foo-fa.

I had always been interested as a kid in speakers and audio but now i had a goal to aim for each year. So i got busy researching china amp boards and modules.

By now i feel tired and want to more on. My conclusions are: While car amps are more expensive, they are ready made, which saves a lot of effort and large amounts of time. This year i see the high end class-d car camps have gotten a lot cheaper than i remember them being around hmm 2014 was it? There now under £400. When i think high end ones used to be £700~ :/. For around £200 i can make a cutting edge tpa3255 amp + dc power supply setup. with tone control, in 2rd hand peli case.

One of the things that annoys me about car amps is the lack of doc. even with high end products. There is little tech detail. I’ve been buying amp boards, which are just the amplifier to drive the speakers. They are sold by which amp chip/IC they use. This means you can look up the datasheet of the amp IC and read about its pros and cons. fine technical details and study and compare graphs. which makes it a lot easier to have an idea of which amp IC is better than others and so your able to narrow down your choices when searching for which amp board to buy.

In my builds, i like features like control board, amp board, power supply, volt meter, audio isolator, vu meter, usb power supply for gadgets. How to fit or put them together?

If you want to have a all in one build with everthing in one box and want it compact, its a lot of work. working out where and how to fit things into a small space. a oversized box would be easier but then a lot more bulky and heavy. which for portable use is unwanted.

Another option is to put each function (tone, vu meter, power supply, etc) into it’s own little box for each thing. Then strap each little module box together into the configuration you want. which is what i first did. Snags are: wires poking out loose, bulk potential, less sturdy. quicker to get something working but external wiring complications the more features you add, like having to wire together tone board and maybe even a vu meter. all those jack or phone connections get messy/bulky and if jacks then delicate to bashes and impacts.

I feel tired of doing all this. So in future i think i will just buy a ready made amp in box. Get a boost converter to power it and put it into a box. Strap the two parts together. For the pre-amp: nice little ready headphone amp, That’s portable with built-in battery and with tone control.

Else maybe a diy separate tone + vu meter box with wiring and power for the bits inside it. as i already have those bits but if i was starting for first time/from scratch. i would just get and use the portable headphone amp.

Hope this helps. See other posts for "what to buy?" info.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Uploaded Some Scripts At Last!

Used my gitlab account to share my fancy countdown script i wrote for my nano note years ago. taken be ages to get around to it!

My account: