To recap, the capacitor break in box is a small project I made to help break in, or burn in, capacitors for use in guitar amplifiers and other projects. This can be a very helpful tool if you’re building guitar amplifiers.
Capacitor Break In
Some brands need break in more than others. For example, SoZo Caps say on their website that their caps need about 100 hours of break in time. When I build with their caps, I want the amp to sound as good as possible from the start; first impressions are everything, right?
My break in box (or BiB) usually works great for me, but on the amp I’m working on now, there’s too many caps to use the BiB reliably. So I decided it was time for an upgrade, while still keeping most of the same parts.
Instead of the improvised metal bar clamps, I’m using a PCB with screw terminals:
I wasn’t able to find good PCBs with the vias already connected the way I want, and I didn’t want to use cheap breadboards. To help with the connection, I’m using 18AWG bus wire and solder to connect the terminals across:
Insulate the bottom of the board:
Mount the board on the block with plastic standoffs:
And here’s the finished product with some caps ready to burn in:
As you can see, I have a lot more room for holding caps in the capacitor break in box. This set didn’t fit the way I used to have the box setup. Now I have room to spare.
I may eventually find a better box to build a new capacitor break in box. If Radio Shack still existed it would be a lot easier. If you’re going to make a capacitor break in box for yourself, I would suggest trying to find a decent quality PCB with power rails connecting the vias along the length of the board. That would save some effort and give a nice finished product. I could only find them either too small, or not very good quality. This PCB and screw terminal set is pretty tough, and I have enough left over to make a few more boxes.