Carlson's Super Probe

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Introduction: Carlson's Super Probe

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 3/4 inches.

Step 3: Electronics Parts

You will need some specific part. This are the digikey part number. All capacitors and resistors are normal 0805 except for C2 and C5. those one are tantalum 1206.

I did a downloadable cart. To using it, go to digikey, cart and upload the csv file.

Probe Parts:

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The little switch:

CKN9559-ND OS102011MA1QN1 x1

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Pot 100k

CT6EX104-ND CT6EX104 x1

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capacitor 1206 22uf x 3

‎TAJA226K010RNJ

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

capacitor 4.7uf 0805 x 2

1276-1065-1-ND

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

capacitor 360pf 0805 x 1

‎C0805C361J5GACTU

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

diode x1

1N5711WS-FDICT-ND

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Transistor 3904 sot23 x 6

MMBT3904LT3GOSCT-ND

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

CM683-ND x 1

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

.01uf 50v 0805 x 3

‎CL21B103KBANNNC

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

.1uf 50v 0805 x 2

‎CL21B104KBCNNNC

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

Led LED BLUE 2.9mm x 1 Note: any led can do

‎VAOL-3LSBY2

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Resistor 3.3M 0805 x 5

‎ERJ-6GEYJ335V

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Resistor 1k 0805 x 4

‎RNCP0805FTD1K00

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

Resistor 15k 0805 x3

‎CRGCQ0805F15K

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

Resistor 2.7k 0805 x 1

‎CRGCQ0805F2K7

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Resistor 330k 0805 x 1

‎CRGCQ0805F330K

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Resistor 10k 0805 x 1

‎CRGCQ0805F

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

Amplifier Parts:

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1uf 0805 x 1

1276-1066-1-ND

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capacitor 1206 22uf x 2

‎TAJA226K010RNJ

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capacitor .01uf x1

‎CL21B104KBCNNNC

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capacitor 4.7uf 0805 x 2
1276-1065-1-ND

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

Here are pot without switch. It's very cheaper.

Pot 4.7k x1 (i choose 5k)

987-1736-ND

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

Pot 2k x1

987-1727-ND

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resistor 22k x3

311-22.0KCRCT-ND

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Resistor 1k 0805 x 1

‎RNCP0805FTD1K00

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

resistor 68k x1
A126382CT-ND

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

resistor 100 0805 x1

311-100CRCT-ND

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

Transistor 3904 sot23 x 1
MMBT3904LT3GOSCT-ND

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

Amplifier chip x 1
LM4871MX/NOPBCT-ND

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

toggle switch on/off

EG2350-ND

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

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: Online viewer by uploading the file.

Those picture can be use as component location.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnKLPDy3pII_wAXRihO7x7XPzxT9?e...

4 People Made This Project!

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136 Comments

0
Roger24
Roger24

7 months ago on Step 11

Yannick thank you for sharing your project, as well as, supplying the Gerber files and the associated parts BOM. That was a great help in taking the initial steps on my project.
Best regards, Roger

0
mcolan
mcolan

9 months ago

The Gerber files are missing. Where can I get them?

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 9 months ago

Fixed, clic on link on step 11

0
mcolan
mcolan

Reply 9 months ago

How about the Gerbers for the amplifier board?

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 9 months ago

Both are under the same link, amp and probe.

0
mcolan
mcolan

Reply 9 months ago

Yes they are. Thanks very much for your prompt attention!

0
kelldc
kelldc

10 months ago

hoping for a little advice on this.... relative newbie here... built everything as shown but did not notice the alkaline battery comment and powered up amp to find C2 smoked. Would an over-voltage cause C2 to burn out or might something else be up there?

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 10 months ago

Hi, C2 is an tantalum capacitor. You have probably install this one up side down. look the picture. Also be sure the capacitor voltage is higher than 5v. 10v like the part list is ok. Make sense ?

1216-tantalum-capacitors-image-2[1].jpg
0
kelldc
kelldc

Reply 9 months ago

well, I am still having a tough time ... the probe is clearly working, as I see the led change as I approach a source of noise. I just have no audio. I tested continuity between the probe +,-, audio and amp which all seems fine. I get nothing at the speaker. I tested chip output across 7 and 8 and it seems there is a signal there. Walking through the components trying to figure out where the problem is. I wonder if the C2 issue, now fixed, caused something else. Any advice in troubleshooting the audio? I wonder if the C2 orientation originally caused a failure on the amp chip. note ... I do not have R16 installed as I believe that is for operating the probe without this amp...

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 9 months ago

Me too, look the picture, I didn't install R16 either. Look at the chip input pin 4. Do you have something. If yes the chip is maybe defective.

0
kelldc
kelldc

Reply 9 months ago

that was it... replaced the chip and all is working well! Thanks

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 9 months ago

Welcome, enjoy :)

0
kelldc
kelldc

Reply 10 months ago

thanks so much! I made a bad assumption as this is my first project with SMD. I assumed the mark was negative ... I had my tantalum caps all backward. ugh :) thanks again!

0
CRTagg55
CRTagg55

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi, Thanks for the great files on this project, I just received my pcb's and started soldering the components. I'm having a great time with this but I have a couple questions. I'm a beginner, so your help is greatly appreciated. 1) Your first picture shows 2 cables coming out of the probe. And the photo of Paul Carlson's probe (on the youtube video) shows two cables, one is a chassis ground with an alligator clip on it. My question, should the probe have a grounding clip? 2nd question, I'm unclear about the amp on/off lamp. Your BOM shows a 5v incandescent lamp. I don't see it on the schematic and the lamp in your photo has a resistor in line. do I need the resistor with a 5V lamp? And how is it wired in the on/off circuit.

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Answer 1 year ago

Yes the cable is just a gnd. Install an aligator clip and cable to the gnd of the probe.
The bulb is an option if the input is shorted to gnd. So install this in serie of output of probe supply. No resistor here.
Bye

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 1 year ago

I can’t sorry. Don’t have time to do this.

0
labjr
labjr

Question 1 year ago on Step 11

Hello, I'm new here. Great looking project! I'd like to build this probe but I'm wondering if I'm able to work with SMD parts? Has anyone has laid out a PCB for a thru hole version? I'm assuming at this point that all the corrections been made to the PCB and parts list? BTW, Paul claims this is good for IF stage tracing but I don't see a germanium detector? Will this probe demodulate RF? Thanks for any info. Cheers!

0
brucebuck1010
brucebuck1010

1 year ago

Yannick, two questions: 1) do you use a ground connection to the device under test, in addition to the probe? 2) In some of the pictures above I see one lead coming from your probe, and in other pictures, I see two leads coming from the probe. Can you explain? Thanks for what you've done here!!

0
Yannick99
Yannick99

Reply 1 year ago

Yes i use it. On some picture the gnd wire wasn't installed yet. But on the first picture, the black wire is gnd. I took the gnd inside the probe but pretty sure you can use the case itself if the gnd is good.
Yannick