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Get your kicks out of these automotive hobby projects

02 Mar 2016  | Cabe Atwell

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OPA! AMP

OPA! AMP

Figure 9: (Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/the-opa-amp-ipod-amp-for-aux-in/)

I love this next project. Dubbed the Opa! Amp by its creator "Gadget Gangster" is a pre-amplifier for mp3 players and cell phones. Gadget Gangster was tired of having to crank his cell phone volume up all the way when he plugged it into his stereo aux jack. Cranking it up all the way just distorted whatever he was trying to listen to. He did some research and discovered that the cell phone's headphone jack maxed out at 300mV. Head units and amps everywhere are expecting to see to see an input of about 1V RMS. So he made this handy little USB powered accessory. He presumably named the project the Opa! Amp because it because the key element of the design is the Texas Instruments OPA2227 operational amplifier. After an LM386 based first design that still distorted the sound, GG started over and made another version with theOPA2227. A close look at the datasheets revealed that the LM386 has about one per cent distortion at 20kHz and the OPA2227 has, get this, 0.0001 per cent. I think one of these would be very useful to have around. I'm gonna build one soon.

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