Garage1217 Project Sunrise III DIY Kit


I have a Project Sunrise III kit on the way. My plan is to put it together and record as much of the process as I can. Unfortunately, I am limited in my ability to actually perform decent recordings.

I basically have a cell phone and a point-and-shoot camera. My phone limits videos to something like 10-20 minutes, then I’ll have to transfer it to my PC and wipe it. The camera I have is pretty terrible for anything other than waterproof shots.

If you were watching someone put together an amp, what would you most want to see?

Here are my quick thoughts for the segments:

  • Preamble: I’ll probably record this after I’m done separately with a description of what the amp is. Something quick with links to G1217.
  • Guidelines: Perhaps some guidelines for folks in general like how to solder, being grounded, what type of tip and solder you can use, cleaning the board, that sort of thing. This would be paired with shots of the things I’m using. Polarized components would probably be worth mentioning.
  • Process: Maybe some clips of me starting the process, noting that I’ll be starting with the smallest components first and working my way up in size. I’ll show how to clean the board (before and after), show how to properly assemble the heat sinks, attaching a wire to the vol pot, that sort of thing.

The Process section will be the most significant. I’m thinking I’ll just record any of the important points, then skip ahead. For example, I’ll solder in the first resistor or two on video, cut, then show them all in.

I’ll voice it over after the fact. I don’t want to try to get a decent audio recording with a cell phone.

Any thoughts or advice? I’ve never put together an instructional video like this, but I’ve watched quite a few.


If you have a pretty girl handing you the parts you might become a youtube viral sensation.


Perhaps you could limit it to pictures at the various stages of build. With a well written narrative this would be more than adequate. Intact I prefer this method. This way you make it easier to follow as you build.


Welp… almost done.

Unfortunately, the 24V relay wasn’t in the box. (Edit: Jeremy has one on the way Monday morning).

I can pop up some teaser photos anyway. I like looking at this sort of thing, so I’m sure some of you do as well.

All of the parts laid out. They come in individual baggies for every component type and rating. The labels on the PCB are also included on the little stickers on each bag, so it’s super easy to figure out where everything goes since they correlate.

Some things we’ll surely need. The flux isn’t strictly necessary, but I used it when mounting the one SMD part (a little RGB LED that goes beneath the tube). Isopropyl alcohol for board cleanup before doing anything. I stay grounded at all times with a hacked up power cable and keep it on my ankle. I soldered once without safety glasses and nearly got molten solder in my eyeball, so never again.

Here I’m drinking coffee and sorting the resistors and diodes by size. Start with the smallest components and build up to the largest. Do NOT keep a drink near your stuff after you start soldering. I use the ubiquitous Hakko FX-888D and its stock 1.8mm chisel tip (even with the small, tight components). I had a decent one from Circuit Specialists for a while but replaced it after realizing how often I soldered.

Most of the small components have been populated in this shot. I can’t unsee the crooked parts… I might have to fix those later. The most finicky small part is the SMD RGB dead center. I recorded a little video of how to do that and will upload it later on. The main thing to pay attention to during this step is the polarized diodes. The LEDs are slightly less clear. The short lead with the flat side goes toward the flat side of the PCB (negative/cathode). I’ll try to make that clear in the video(s).

And now we have the medium size parts populated. Some of the parts didn’t really have much in the way of legs. For those, I basically just flipped the board up, stuck/tacked one pin with solder, then soldered all of the other legs before going back to the first. I have a video of one of these attempts and kept using the technique. And don’t forget to ground the volume pot! There’s a via hole next to the pot (and instructions in the PDF manual).

All done! Except for U1. That relay was missing from my kit so I’ve contacted Jeremy (Edit: Part now on the way). That was a sad realization because I was ready to listen tonight. I cleaned up the board with distilled water and a toothbrush. I screwed up in this last stage. I had 6 components left and 5 minutes before we had to leave. In my rush, I put the FG capacitors in the wrong spot, then had to fiddle with them for a while after we got home to get them out. Don’t rush!


Wow what a great run through. You make it seem a lot easier than I’m sure it actually is. Nice pictures too. Thanks.


I love G1217! I got a Project Polaris years ago, but definitely wasn’t brave enough to order the DIY kit. If I had been able to see other people doing it at the time, maybe I would have.


There are definitely a few fiddly bits and tight quarters. Unless you specifically want a soldering project, you should stick with letting them build it for you. It’s not that much more expensive and it’s masterfully done (better than I am capable of).


For sure. I could never attempt something so fiddly. I will leave it to the experts every time.:grin:


The final piece is here! And it works!

In the background of the last shot you can see an atomicbob Noise Nuke that really helps bring this amp to the next level.

The video is coming along well. If I have spare cycles this weekend I might be able to get it all buttoned up.

I was able to get the piano gloss shine back into the board. I used some flux and isopropyl alcohol/acetone didn’t get it fully shiny. I decided to try ArctiClean that I use on processors and it shined right up. You can see a reflection of the beautiful Garage1217 website photo on my board now.


If it’s worth doing…

Why not pop in a NOS Sylvania 6SN7 with the G1217 adapter, use the Phase Reversal Trick, and power the Project Sunrise III with a Power Designs Model 5015D linear power supply?

I remembered I had a 5670 to 6DJ8 adapter and decided to try a GE 5670 triple mica. This one is heavenly and is probably the tube I’ll use for a while. It requires you to bypass the input capacitors (simple jumper swap) to be able to bias it, but it works great.