Parts shortages :(

Parts shortages are stressing me out! And threatening my business. :( I’m worried that the Central Semiconductor CMXSTB400 is about to go extinct. Mouser is the only supplier, with 371 in stock and none on order.

The only other stabistor that I’m aware of, is the Nexperia BAS17, a single stabistor diode in SOT23.


So I’ve added SOT23 footprints to the bottoms of my BFA-565 boards, so the boards can accept all three kinds; the original through-hole stabistors, the CMXSTB400 or the BAS17. It works out pretty well, and some people may find these SOT23 packages easier to solder than the SOT26.


Top-side accepts original through-hole stabistors, or SOT26 CMXSTB400.


Also LT1012’s and OP97’s in DIP-8 are currently nowhere to be found, and I’m running out of stock.
So I’ve added dual DIP-8/SO08 footprints.


I’m also starting to have trouble finding film and electrolytic capacitors, transistors… Even these little JST board connectors are getting hard to find! I had to order quantity 2000 from Utmel in China.


These JST connectors are far from obsolete; they’re used in everything!

Anyways, I’m trying to buy things in bulk so I’ll have them in the future. More work-arounds are in my future though.

New Product! Binding Post Adapters for 3/4″ binding posts.

The Problem:

You want to replace the binding posts in your amplifier, but the holes in the chassis are too large for most binding posts on the market, which are designed to fit chassis cut-outs of 10mm or 11.5mm in diameter.

The Solution:

Hoppe’s Brain Binding Post Adapter Plates.

Two fiberglass plates sandwich the sheet metal, and the binding posts fit into the plates, which are firmly attached with four M3 screws and locknuts. Simple, secure, and easy to install and service.

Get them here:

New product! Cable assemblies for GFA-585.

The board header connectors and cables inside GFA-585’s are often corroded, from leaked capacitor spittle and time. These types of “JST connectors” are meant to be machine-crimped, but they can be soldered manually, but that’s a real pain.

So I am offering a complete set of new cables and board headers for $40. They’ll be up in the store soon!

Cables for GFA-565 and GFA-555 MKII continue to be available.

Finally! I’ve written better documentation for the GFA-535 MK1 Power supply boards.

After much procrastination, here is is! Thorough, complete installation documentation with lots of pictures.

I’ll get to the GFA-535 MK2 and GFA-545 documentation soon, but it’s pretty much the same, so if you’re installing one of those model boards, this is for you too.

New and improved power supply kits for the GFA-555!

Hi everyone, I’m really proud of this new power supply for the GFA-555! It’s been months in the works.

Hoppe’s Brain BFA-555 Smart Soft-Start

This is a whole new take on the soft-start power supply for the GFA-555 MKI and MKII. This version features:

  • An intelligent soft-start circuit that monitors a number of electrical conditions before starting the amp.
  • Easier to install than the old version
  • Remote trigger power
  • Better heatsinking of the bridge rectifiers
  • Additional bypass capacitor options
  • For the GFA-555 MKII, an option to replace back-panel fuse holders with on-board fuse holders, eliminating many inches of 16ga wire.
Hoppe’s Brain BFA-555 Smart Soft-Start

Continue reading New and improved power supply kits for the GFA-555!

Hoppe’s Brain is no longer accepting repair or refurbishing clients. Sorry! It’s only DIY Circuit Board Kits from now on.

Hi everyone,

I’ve been procrastinating writing this, as many of you will be disappointed that I can’t work on your gear. And unfortunately, I can’t even take care of the people on my waiting list, some of whom have been waiting for years! Sorry. 🙁

I’m getting old, apparently. (Never thought it would happen to me.) I am developing physical issues that make it impossible for me to keep up with repairs and refurbishings. As they say…

“Welcome to your 40’s! If you have not developed a mystery ailment, one will be assigned to you shortly.” Doctors are unsure of what’s going on with me, but I suspect it might be Polymyalgia Rhumatica.

Continue reading Hoppe’s Brain is no longer accepting repair or refurbishing clients. Sorry! It’s only DIY Circuit Board Kits from now on.

Hoppe’s Brain Coronavirus Pandemic Statement.

Remain indoors.

Hoppe’s Brain is operating more or less normally at this point! I work from home, and am getting a lot done, actually. DIY kit sales are on the rise as people want projects during their social isolation! So far I am pretty fortunate.

I am stocking up on parts, in case suppliers like Digikey and Mouser are shut down. If I start to run out of critical parts, I might have to discontinue selling certain DIY circuit board kits. In some cases, people will have their own parts they can use, or good old parts can be recycled. We can work something out.

To keep my customers safe:

I have no symptoms or any reason to believe I have C-19, but as everyone is well aware, anyone can be a carrier and not know it.

There is a small—but non-zero—risk of transmission of coronavirus via packages in the mail, and by the surfaces of products. And so I am operating on the assumption that I am a carrier of coronavirus. I am washing my hands before I go to work at the bench, and before I touch anything in the lab. While I am working, I tend to use a lot of ethanol/methanol to clean things, and so that is another preventative measure. I am also washing my hands before handling any packing material, or packing up kits and equipment.

So chow down on a protein fudge, take whatever injections are recommended in your sector, and remain indoors!

New Product: “Capacitor Hats” for large screw-terminal electrolytic capacitors.

Another new product for amp builders!

These “Capacitor Hats” provide a neat way to make connections to the tops of large, screw-terminal electrolytic capacitors, while also providing a stable platform to mount components like bypass capacitors and drain resistors.

Component pads cover most of the surface, allowing a wide variety of components to be mounted. Wire pads along the edges connect multiple wires up to 12ga. Double-sided PCB with double-thick 2oz copper. Reversible.

Shown in the example above is a 50mm diameter capacitor, with a Capacitor Hat equipped with a 47µF electrolytic capacitor, a 0.1µF polypropylene bypass capacitor, a 4.7KΩ drain resistor, an LED resistor, and LED power wire.

*Components shown are not included. Bare circuit boards only. Sold as sets of four for $25.

Get them here. Capacitor Hats for Large Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors.