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Stereo D/A Converter

This is my first “real” electronics project. I was first thinking about making a sound card for my computer, since a good one is hard to come by, especially that works well with linux. Then I thought: “why not just make a DAC?”. That way I can use the digital output of the regular sound card built into the mainboard, as well as connect my dvd player, cd player and future digital tv set top box, and hopefully get decent sound from all of them.

After looking around a bit on the Internet, I got the feeling that it wouldn’t be that difficult to build one. I will be basing it on three chips: the Crystal CS8416 digital receiver, the Analog Devices AD1896 asynchronous sample rate converter and the Analog Devices AD1955 D/A converter.

I will be trying to follow some sort of structured development model to the extent that its possible. This is just practice for myself to organise something according to a plan and follow it through. It might also be a consequence of all the strange project courses I’ve been attending at university lately. I suppose that is a good thing though.

First up would be to make a general specification of the system; what requirements there are and some basic description of the system as a whole (maybe a block diagram; simulation would be nice too).

General Requirements

There are some general requirements that I have drawn up for the whole system. I will try to give more specific requirements later in each sub-system part. These are not in a priority order, although given a stricter standard, they probably should be. Perhaps this will change later on.

  • The system should be composed from independent sub-systems (modules) as far as possible, or at least to a certain degree. This is to simplify redesign and substitution of such systems, should I find a better way to implement them.
  • It should be easy to change the mains voltage and frequency that the unit is operating from, in case it will be used in another country.
  • I will as far as possible try to use components available at a normal electronics supplier. In Sweden - where I live - that would be Elfa. Of course this is not always possible, at least not for some of the more high-end parts and many ICs.