Home » Audio » Craftsmen » Where do you look for ideas?
Where do you look for ideas? [message #89989] Wed, 03 April 2019 01:31 Go to next message
Augustus is currently offline  Augustus
Messages: 47
Registered: April 2019
Baron
Where do you look for ideas and inspiration when it comes to DIYing audio/video gear? I think Hackaday's website is a great resource for inspiration and Instructables' website offers the easiest to follow advice. Of course, since both of those sites contain community content, some of the projects are hit-or-miss depending on the content creator. However, I find it's easy to filter out the duds based on the submission's popularity or just through reading the comments.
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90009 is a reply to message #89989] Fri, 05 April 2019 09:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Madison is currently offline  Madison
Messages: 182
Registered: June 2017
Master
Lifehacker is good for easy stuff. I found my first DIY project there which was making sound panels. I've found tons of useful, easy to manage projects on Makezine. The site also has some simple audio/visual projects for kids that we've tried with good results. I think most of the Hackaday projects are too difficult to recreate, but I love checking out that website just to see what's possible.
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90859 is a reply to message #90009] Sat, 14 September 2019 08:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
musicluvr is currently offline  musicluvr
Messages: 60
Registered: December 2018
Viscount
I have no DIY experience, but it sounds like a fun hobby to get into. Where do you recommend looking for instructions and inspiration for new beginners?
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90862 is a reply to message #90859] Sat, 14 September 2019 10:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17804
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

I would never DIY if I could find what I was looking for commercially. It is always more efficient to do research and design for an optimized product, and then to create tooling to make the product in whatever quantities are expected. So companies making commercial products have a head-start.

There are two criteria that I've found push me towards DIY. One is price and the other is quality. Sometimes commercial offerings tend to favor the middle of the road, and so I can find no low-cost optimizations nor any high-quality optimizations.

Or sometimes, available market offerings are good in many aspects, but not the ones I'm looking for. Like for example, a high-end speaker that looks great as furniture but that doesn't measure well. Or one that measures well in one direction but not over a range of directions. Those are qualitative requirements that maybe even the best high-end speakers don't provide. Or maybe I want one or two requirements to be satisfied, but at a good price. So like an inexpensive speaker that measures well but doesn't have an expensive wood finish to raise cost.

Those are the things that drive me into DIY. I have this experience in cars as well as audio. I have a couple classic cars, and when I first got into the hobby, I wanted a shop to build a high-performance engine, install a new transmission and differential, suspension parts and brakes. What I got from the shop was not reliable, so I ended up studying the specialized requirements of the parts I would need to satisfy my automotive performance requirements, and I built the engine myself. It took me several iterations, learing as I went, before I had an engine that would do what I wanted it to do.

I suppose I could have continued to look for shops that might do the work for me, and in some cases, I did that. I built relationships with various machine shops and restorers and paint/body shops. I job out work where I can. But some things just aren't really in the wheelhouse of any of these shops.

Even engine builders tend to specialize, and so while one guy can build a great quarter-mile engine and knows how to setup a car for the quarter mile, he will not necessarily have any experience in SCCA/IMSA because handling requirements are quite different. Likewise NASCAR is pretty much a longevity thing - Gotta run high-RPM for hours at a time, not just seconds. And handling requirements are different here too. So each has different optimizations. Street cars have some aspects that can benefit from NASCAR optimizations and some that would favor SCCA/IMSA optimizations. And of course, every street racer wants to be the quickest car too, so some quarter-mile optimizations are useful too.

Of course, there are commercial offerings that might satisfy my desires in a car. There are Porsches and Lamborghinis that would probably satisfy my performance requirements. But I wanted a classic American muscle car, and those manufacturers don't make 'em. So I could find a high-end car shop to buy one from. But some of the best ones are priced in the stratosphere. And even of those, some use crate motors that may or may not suffice for me.

So it's the same situation for me in cars as it is in audio. I DIY because I have specific needs that just really can't be satisfied commercially, either at all or at my price point.
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90876 is a reply to message #89989] Tue, 17 September 2019 16:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
johnnycamp5 is currently offline  johnnycamp5
Messages: 272
Registered: June 2015
Location: NJ
Grand Master
I search the web for ideas.
Punch in exactly what your looking for and add the word "diy" or "kit" or both.

I agree with Wayne.
Sometimes you must diy to get things exactly how you want.

I built a kit replica of a 1965 Shelby cobra years ago. This kit was like a blank easel....just a great starting point.
It was designed with a few things that I would not compromise on- exact 90" wheelbase (not stretched)- round tube ladder frame like the originals (although 4"D instead of 3"D and 1.20 wall thickness instead of .90) also a very accurate body laser measured from an original.
The accuracy of the body was not exactly important to me, since even the originals varied quite a bit being hand made panels.

There was no way I was able to afford an original, or even a continuation series Shelby.
Even the high end kits or replicas are way out of my price range. So diy kit it was!

A 427 side oiler was unobtanium for me, not to mention pretty much UN drivable,
so I went the cheap route with a mustang (1990) donor car, using the motor and trans, front control arms and brakes. Obviously purists cried foul-
It must have a big block side oiler!, it must be carburated!

What a blast that car was, cat on carpet handling and could scare the pants off of almost any passenger if they asked for it LOL.

It only weighed 2,300lbs after all..
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90877 is a reply to message #90876] Tue, 17 September 2019 16:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17804
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Dude, I love the AC Cobras. And many of the kit Cobras are awesome. Yours must've been an incredible ride.

I'm with you on the engine choices too. I know the original Cobras had either 289 or 427 powerplants. Both were fine engines. But I've always thought a 351 Cleveland or a 429 would be great choices for a Cobra kit car. And your computerized and injected 302 must've been great too: Handling like the 289 Cobra with the finesse of modern injection and computerization. I like it!

Kits are nice because you can DIY and customize to give things personalization but at the same time gain the benefits of the R&D from the designer.
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90878 is a reply to message #89989] Tue, 17 September 2019 18:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
johnnycamp5 is currently offline  johnnycamp5
Messages: 272
Registered: June 2015
Location: NJ
Grand Master
"Handling like the 289 Cobra with the finesse of modern injection and computerization. I like it!"

Exactly!

Attached is a link to the kit I built, but there are many others, although most are already assembled, at the least as a rolling chassis....

https://www.factoryfive.com/roadster/
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90889 is a reply to message #90878] Wed, 18 September 2019 09:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17804
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Very cool!

I like how they call their kits Mk4 too. Cool

MkI - Original with 260 or 289
MkII - Rack & Pinion + 289
MkIII - New chassis + 427
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90914 is a reply to message #90889] Mon, 23 September 2019 08:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
musicluvr is currently offline  musicluvr
Messages: 60
Registered: December 2018
Viscount
Ah, I see Wayne. DIYing this stuff isn't really a hobby, but more of a means to an end. I was just looking for something to do in retirement and I'm not into crafts or anything like that. I usually work on and off because not keeping busy eventually gets to me, but if I earn too much that'll push me into a higher tax bracket and cause issues with retirement.
Re: Where do you look for ideas? [message #90915 is a reply to message #90914] Mon, 23 September 2019 09:37 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17804
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

You're right that for me it's a means to an end. And I think that's true for most people: They DIY something because it's cheaper or faster or better for them to repair it or build it themselves than to have a service provider do it for them.

But there's the "fiddle factor" too. I think some people are driven by curiosity and/or boredom to do things they could have paid someone else to do. Just for the sheer "fiddle factor" of it.

I think I'm kind of in both camps. Smile
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