Carlson's Super Probe

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About: Hi, i'm electronic technician but it's my hobby too. I like to do and try many projects just for fun :)

Hi everyone, recently i made the "Carlson Super Probe" and i'd like to share with you how to do this!

First of all, listen Paul's video. You will see why you should build this probe, how sensitive that is. Also if you like electronic you should see Mr Carlson patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/MrCarlsonsLab and maybe support him.

So let's begins!

Step 1: Schematics

Here are the schematics. Those are exactly the same you saw in the Mr Carlson's lab video. If you find something different, just tell me.

Step 2: ​Doing the Probe

For the probe shell, i used copper. Go to hardware store and buy those pieces. The pipe size is 4/3 inches.

Step 3: Electronics Parts

You will need some specific part. This is the digikey part number.

The little switch:

CKN9559-ND OS102011MA1QN1

-----------------------------

Pot 100k

CT6EX104-ND CT6EX104

----------------------------

capacitor 1206 22uf

478-5798-1-ND

----------------------------

capacitor 4.7uf 0603

1276-1044-1-ND

----------------------------

capacitor 360pf 0603

490-1440-1-ND

----------------------------

diode

1N5711WS-FDICT-ND

----------------------------

Transistor 3904 sot23

MMBT3904LT3GOSCT-ND

----------------------------

Light bulb (optional) to put on supply vr. See Video 42:00 min

CM683-ND

----------------------------

Amplifier chip

LM4871MX/NOPBCT-ND

----------------------------

And for the resistor all are 0805 resistor.

Step 4: Probe PCB

To do the pcb, just print and etch the carlson probe.pdf. Refer to the component location to solder the part. You do not need to etch a double side pcb. The bottom side is ground, except for swtich, led and one pin of the pot. Refer to the probe bottom picture.

Step 5: Make Encavure

Make an encavure and solder the pcb right in the middle. Try and adjust the size of pcb to fit in the pipe.

Step 6: Install Wire

Here i'm using a mouse cable. You can use a headphone or mic cable if you like. Keep in mind that the probe will move very often. So use an appropriate cable. You will have 3 wire coming out from this Probe. Supply, Gnd and audio.

Step 7: Put the Probe in a Shell

For now i used black tape. But i'l probably put a little machine screw or a bit of solder.

Step 8: Probe Amplifier.

The pcb is single side. You can refer to the picture as per component location. Another picture is also available below in gerber section.

Step 9: Amplifier in a Box Plus Holder

Choose an appropriate box. I took an old power supply box and some paint.

Step 10: Conclusion

This is the whole project at the end. The speaker is where the psu fan was. The probe itself is very sensitive and a must to have it. I hope you will enjoy the project. See you!

Step 11: Gerber File.

In addition, these are gerber file. You can upload those files to a pcb manufacturer. You can see the future result here: https://gerber-viewer.easyeda.com/ by uploading the file.
Those picture can be use as component location.

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    63 Discussions

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    frustratedfool

    11 days ago

    Hi. Thanks for taking the time to do all this work. Can I just confirm the following (from all the comments): On the Probe, C5 should be 100uf, C10 should be .01uf and on the Amp, C1 should be 1uf and C5 is optional? Also, on the Probe PCB, the back has two separate ground planes, whereas you say the back is one entire plane. Are they separate for a reason? Should they be joined via the copper shell? Also on the front of the Probe PCB at the tip, there are two isolated square copper pads - what did you use these for? thanks.

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    Yannick99frustratedfool

    Reply 9 days ago

    Hi, the schematics are good. trust the schematic and pcb. No need to jump anything. The probe will be working fine. But at the end, Paul same to have replace C6 22uf by 100uf and c5 is now removed. He put a bulb lamp to protect the probe supply. In case of short circuit, the lamp will turn on. But yes it's optional.

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    frustratedfoolYannick99

    Reply 9 days ago

    Thanks for the swift reply. There are two isolated ground planes on the back of the Probe PCB - are they supposed to be kept separate or can they be linked (via the shell for example?)

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    Yannick99frustratedfool

    Reply 7 days ago

    There are only one gnd plate is on the back (the larger one) and yes this GND should be connected to the probe shell.

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    tbone8

    Question 17 days ago

    Hi, got the amp all assembled and in a box. I powered it up and connected it to a speaker. Nothing smoked or blew up thankfully. There is a tone that comes through the speaker that is fairly loud and doesn't sound good. Hoping this is normal without the probe connected to it? Thanks!

    4 answers
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    Yannick99tbone8

    Reply 17 days ago

    Not sure, i never try the Amp without the probe.

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    tbone8Yannick99

    Reply 16 days ago

    I breadboarded the amp and no noise so some smd component must be buggered on the danggum board. Cripes...

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    tbone8tbone8

    Reply 16 days ago

    I am such a dumbass! I had a power light LED wired in series to the damn +5V supply on the board. Kinda added that at the last minute and didn't pay attention to the hookup. ARRGghh!!! Works fine now...

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    Yannick99tbone8

    Reply 16 days ago

    haha :) at least now it's working. Good work!

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    tbone8

    22 days ago

    Got the boards back in record time all the way from the China. Soldered most of the components in. Bought one resistor the wrong size and forgot to get the 100uF cap. Wasn't sure if that trimmer would fit in the tube I plan to use so holding off on that. Will update the progress. ;)

    IMG_0470.JPG
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    Yannick99tbone8

    Reply 21 days ago

    Nice!! keep going good work :)

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    tbone8

    Question 24 days ago

    Hi, went through your amp schematic, you have C5 as 22μF and Carlson has it at 100μF. Also, Carlson's doesn't have a C5 4.7μF cap there for the probe supply. Thanks!

    5 answers
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    Yannick99tbone8

    Answer 24 days ago

    My schematic is good. Where did you see a 100uf on Paul's schematic ? Also, C5 is 4.7uf.

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    tbone8Yannick99

    Reply 24 days ago

    Hi, here is a pic with the two issues highlighted in red boxes, thanks!

    amp.png
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    tbone8Yannick99

    Reply 24 days ago

    You sir are correct! I don't think the 22 or 100 cap makes much difference but I wonder why he deleted or added that 4.7 one??? I think the original pic I posted is newer but can't be sure. Thanks!

    c amp.PNG
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    Yannick99tbone8

    Reply 24 days ago

    When i did my probe, the video was the only schematic available. But now i found another schematic on patreon and yes 22uf is now 100uf and 4,7 is removed. To me it's no big deal. Like you said i dont think that it's realy changing something. And the 4.7uf was a bypass filter, for noise. But with battery, the dc is pure, so it was probably unnecessary and he remove this. But it's also ok if the cap is there. It will not make any difference. On your side you can try both if you want, you will see. Let me know :)

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    tbone8

    Question 4 weeks ago on Step 3

    Hi, great job on the PCB board and schematics! I have one question, on Carlson's, C10 is .01uF and on your it's 360pF. Got the boards ordered and supplies, just wanna clear that up. Thanks!

    1 answer
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    Yannick99tbone8

    Answer 27 days ago

    It's suppose to be .01 It's because i did a copy paste of c9 :P Thank you i'll correct the schematic. Nothing will change on pcb so we are good.