The Esteli: an LM386N-based cigar box amp

The Esteli: Cigar Box instrument LM386N-based Amp from abram on Vimeo.

Here’s the latest in general purpose amplifiers made from reused parts. The enclosure is an old cigar box for which i have quite an affection as an enclosure. I really do love the sound of wood in both the recording process and amplifiers. In the video, you can really get an idea of how it treats the sound when i open the top.

As opposed to the LightBox, the Esteli has two knobs. The top is for volume and the bottom a 10k pot in the gain look between pins 1 and 8 on the IC. I’d probably recommend a 50k in this configuration, but it does make the amp really loud which i think is better for the instrument side of things. The gain of the amp then floats around 100-200 depending on where the gain is set. For more information, see the LM386 Datasheet.

Typical Alkaline Battery Ratings

Also posted on the 8088 Networks site. I was using this to create a small external power supply for my Yeasu VX-3R. I used a 9v battery initially and realized that I should use a voltage drop to improve the battery life. Without any sort of voltage drop, the battery was dead in a little over an hour due to the fact that a full 500mA was flowing into the radio.

Battery Type Capacity
(mAh)
Typical Drain
(mA)
D 12000 200
C 6000 100
AA 2000 50
AAA 1000 10
N 650 10
9 Volt 500 15
6 Volt
Lantern
11000 300