IBU2U low sound level

Postby Jay-Em » Tue May 15, 2018 4:54 pm

I got the IBU2ultimate, and hoped the on-board 10w would be enough to power a visaton 8ohm 10w speaker to some serious volume...

Well.. no. It’s even less volume than the standard henglong 3w controller on the same speaker. If I try to crank the volume up, the IBU’s amp starts to crackle with a somewhat digital character, not the speaker, the sure sign of too low power. The speaker isn’t the problem anyways, because it is loud as heck when used with a separate amplifier and battery. Connected the speaker to an older IBU2, and it’s pretty loud. So, there’s something not right with the IBU2U, me thinks.

What is going-on? I got the IBU’s remote volume working fine, but the volume is nothing to write home about. 10w? Hardly. More like 1,5 .. i even used an external volume-pot, to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with the remote.

The .ini has the volume set to 100, so that’s not the problem. I loaded several tank sound sets, and they are all vèry weak afa volume goes.

I’m at a loss here.

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Postby c.rainford73 » Tue May 15, 2018 6:09 pm

On my IBU2U setting overall volume in the inifiles causes distortion at 100%

Go into the card and set overall volume at 65-70% distortion gone and my js-2 cranks with the same speaker.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Tue May 15, 2018 6:09 pm

Before doing this I had the same problem crackling and very low sound. Worked on this with Ian and I tried it out. Works excellent now.
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Postby Jay-Em » Tue May 15, 2018 9:04 pm

With “cranks” You mean that it’s louder @ 65 to 70 than with the volume set at 100 in the .ini?

That sounds a bit counter-intuitive, to say the least. No harm in trying, but, well.. that would be odd.

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Postby midlife306 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:47 pm

Mine did the same thing.
The volume setting in the ini file is like the signal gain on a traditional car stereo amp, it’s the same method to set it, put your volume to full on your remote and start increasing your ini volume setting until you hear distortion, back the ini off a tad & your good to go
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Postby Jay-Em » Wed May 16, 2018 5:15 am

Well, the distortion disappears, when the ini is set to about 75%, true dat. However, as logic dictates, and I already surmised, the volume is just lower. Lower than f.i. The TK22, or the older IBU’s in my stable, who are about 3watts. The volume with the little round HengLong speaker on an RX18 is about the same. I don’t even want to know what kind of whispering tank I’ll get if I set the IBU2U to the advised 20% for a stock HengLong speaker.

So, 10- to 15watts of music power on the IBU2U ? I don’t think so. Maybe 10w RMS with 10% distortion. As stated, with a separate 12w Kemo amp on the older-gen IBU, pushing no more than about 5, maybe 6watts @ 4ohm on 7.4v, the volume is way louder on every small speaker that I have tested it with. Among them, an 8ohm 5w SBE laptopspeaker-type, a 10w 8ohm FRS7 Visaton, a 10w 4ohm FRS Visaton and the metal-domed “new” HengLong/Taigen speaker, and no distortionto to speak of.

So, in retrospect, I think the manufacturer of the IBU2U is a tad “optimistic” afa the music power of his controller goes. It’s no louder than its forefather, tbh.

Shame that I have no idea whatsoever how the pins of the external audio-header are arranged. I bet there’s a correctly galvanically divided/separated circuit for powering an external amp from the battery somewhere. But I’m not going to experiment with a €179.- costing piece of electronics, thankyouverymuch.. :P

Luckily it has enough other positive things going for it, the voice-assisted calibration is a breath of fresh air. The last firmware makes control eerily precise, the thing can make my T-90 crawl at an almost imperceptable pace, and stay fully controllable. The separate smoker heater- and fan drive works like a charm on my modded HL smoker with fan. And -though not as loud as I had hoped based on the rather optimistic specs- the possibility of balancing of the sounds in the ini itself is pretty nifty. No more turret motor that’s louder than the main gun, f.i. So, apart from the disappointing sound pressure, it’s a great tank controller. Rather expensive, though.

Only other tiiiny niggle : The machine gun sound doesn’t always trigger the LED, and lags a bit.

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Postby midlife306 » Wed May 16, 2018 7:56 am

Annnd relax lol
Volume is reduced the higher the ohm value of your speaker.
If your speaker was 4 ohm I think you would have less of a problem.
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Postby Raminator » Wed May 16, 2018 11:16 am

I'd assume the IBU2U is much the same as the IBU2 and has a 4 ohm impedance amplifier, so if you match it with a 4 ohm speaker you'll be a lot better off. There was a night and day difference between my IBU2 running through an 8 ohm and a 4 ohm speaker.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:34 am

Just to clarify, when output is described as music power, it is a measure of the peak power and is frequently used to make an amplifier seem more powerful than it is. RMS is somewhat more complicated, but in simple terms, it is peak power divided by the square root of 2. Thus an amplifier described as 10 watts music power, would roughly be 7 watts RMS. It is also meaningless unless the speaker resistance is specified. 7 watts RMS with an 8 ohm speaker would be 14 watts RMS with a 4 ohm speaker. One then has to consider perceived loudness from the the speaker. This is a whole different ball game and gets in to complicated maths. There is a long Wikipedia entry under Audio Power, if you wish to investigate further.
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Wed May 16, 2018 11:47 am

Yes, I once bought some headphones for a walkman many years ago, something like 8 ohm and they were ridiculously quiet, all was well when I used a pair that was 4 ohm, it may have been 16 and 8, but either way, the lower ohm headphones made a huge difference.

I was going to suggest trying a lower ohmage speaker, but was beaten to it by the above posters.

As for music power, yes, load of waffle, my old 120 watt "music power" stereo turned out to be 80 watt RMS, (per channel @) ).
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Postby Jay-Em » Wed May 16, 2018 3:41 pm

As stated, I tested a 4ohm 10w Visaton, and there was no difference. Still way too quiet. So, yes, I tested with 4ohm speakers as well (of course, otherwise the testing would be of no value)

I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’m smart enough to test with different impendances on same wattage speakers. :P

It is, apparently, what it is, so for now I’ve settled for the small round HengLong speaker. Until I get an external amp running, It’ll have to do.

(Tip: for a deeper sound, with a less ‘scratchy metallic over-tone” stick some dense foam to the hole on the underside. No idea why that hole is there. )
Last edited by Jay-Em on Wed May 16, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby minimivic » Wed May 16, 2018 6:17 pm

is the speaker in a box, this can have an effect on volumes and performance.
The bigger the box the better it will perform.

I too have an IBU2U and FR7 speaker and its not over loud, i'd like some more output.

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Postby Jay-Em » Wed May 16, 2018 8:33 pm

All the speakers are in a box. My older IBU’s have their visatons in a modified box in which some of my servo’s were sold. Airtight, and that type of box fits my bigger Leopard and Challenger.

Sadly the T-90 doesn’t have the space for a bigger speakerbox. Still, the same speakers that sound rather weak in the IBU2U equipped T-90 are plenty loud in the IBU2-pro and Clark TK equipped other tanks.

The only thing that can be said for the IBU2U, is that the sounds sound a bit more hi-fidelity. A little better definition in the highs, it seems.

EDIT :

Well, I sourced a couple of 5 x 5cm Visaton FRWS-5 -4 Ohm 5Watt with 10Watt peak- speakers, and built a speaker housing out of the hard plastic box my Sabertooth controller came in.

Turns out that little box fits EXACTLY between the battery housing and the IBU2Uin the mid-section of the T-90, and is also low enough to leave some space for the -now gutted- gun housing (took out the pea-shooter, to put a recoil system in it at a later date. Only has a LED-flash, for now.) A couple of minutes of drilling holes, fitting, glueing and soldering, and I got me a good sounding, nicely low growling little speaker. Still not as loud as the Clark, or the old IBU2’s, but loud enough for now.

Kept the IBU at 80%. That seems to be the golden ticket for the Visatons.

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