I got bit by a dumb idea earlier and I realize now that I will persue until it is complete.

I want a display at the maker space that says "We made this"

The display is a nice shelf, a good custom cabinet, with a turntable sitting on it, running in to an amplifier, and some speakers. There is a record on the turntable.

We make the shelf, the cabinet, the turntable, amplifier, and the speakers, we cut the record, we record the music.

Under that is a sign that says "all of it."

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So I have a basic turntable design. I have a motor on the way. I have built several amplifiers, and I have parts for another one waiting on me.

I don't have the parts for a phono pre-amp, but I can probably find a design for one and scrounge some parts together.

I'll use an off the shelf phono cartridge, and a really simple tone arm. We'll supply some basic friction based antiskate. At some point I might try and get fancy and do my own cartridge, but that's a level of precision that I'm really really bad at.

We record music in our recording studio on a regular basis, I have a recording lathe for cutting records. I can probably do the cabinet on the laser cutter too, but Ryan's got a full woodshop in the basement of the other building.

I dunno if I'll have it ready to go by the time we're ready to open, but I guess I could.

Of course I'll probably have to iterate through a bunch of different designs for the platter/motor mount/pulley system.

I'm not good at super high precision fabrication, and I frequently make silly mistakes when I'm doing math by hand, so I probably have my ratios wrong, and I'll have to tweak them.

I have a backup, if I'm unable to get a turntable built from scratch.

We have a couple of broken tables, one of which was built in, like, 1948 or so. I can repair that and use it instead if it comes to it. I'm better at repair than at new fab.

Alright! I have adequate some serious progress on my turntable design.

Turns out, I get real foggy when I don't eat or drink anything between 9pm and 2pm.

Thankfully @CaptainUnderpants and @djsundog were able to help me sort out some measurements.

Once I was no longer foggy, I started laying out the components in cad and working on the laser files.

I'm learning cad for the first time, so this is slow going.

I know which parts I need. I have the motor and belts in transit. I will laser cut the platter out of acrylic and make the plinth in wood.

I'm using an off the shelf bearing assembly for now, but I may alter that in the future.

I will add acoustic isolation to the motor and other things of that nature if it becomes a requirement, but I'm starting simple.

Tone arm will likely be solid wood on a simple 3d printed gimbal/hinge. Grease it all up well enough and even plastic will perform well.

I'm starting with an off the shelf phonograph stage, and a home made amp. I'll probably build a phono stage at some point.

I think I'll vacuum form the amp housing and do it up like an old radio.

I'll do up a universal mount headshell to mount to our wooden tone arm. That should be fine.

Add some big chunky toggles and switches and we should be set. I probably won't win any awards for quality, but it'll function.

@ajroach42
There was an audiophile website I found a few years back that had a design for a homemade record player pickup arm that was apparently better than any you could buy. They also had a thing on how the smoothest way to power the turntable was by a belt connected to a servo(?) motor connected to a CD player playing a recording of a sine wave and a cosine wave (left and right channels). I wish I could find the website again but it's probably long gone and the bookmark is probably on my old XP laptop...

@DHeadshot I read that the first time I went down this road in 2012 or so. Probably a fine table. Mine should have fewer potential points of failure.

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