The following information is for Tortuga Audio preamps based on the ePot.V3 preamp controller, both Mini and Max versions, and with or without the OLED display.
The Apple remote has only the 7 controls buttons as shown below. These are adequate for common control actions like turning on, muting, adjusting volume etc. More complex control actions require menu driven interaction between the remote and the visual OLED display.
The OLED display is a 256×64 bit high contrast white-on-black graphical display. It works interactively with the Apple remote to allow more complex controls than are possible with the Apple remote alone. Being a graphic display, the OLED can display a wide range of text, numbers, lines, and images. These capabilities are used to good effect to enable the user to easily configure and control the V3 based preamps.
Detailed documentation on the OLED Display is available here in its own product document found in the highlighted link.
Both the ePot.V3 Mini and Max can be operated without the OLED display albeit with a reduced set of control features and no ability to change controller settings/options.
The controls available without an OLED display include on/off, raise/lower volume, muting/unmuting, left/right channel balance adjustment, and in the case of the ePot.V3 Max, input switching. A detailed description of the V3 controls without the OLED display are provided below. Where there are differences between the Mini and Max, these are noted.
The controls information below assumes the following:
When no OLED display is used, we highly recommend the use of status LED as a simple alternative. The Status LED provides a minimal level of operational feedback and status information as follows:
Powering up: Blinks briefly while the unit boots up and then turns off indicating unit is in standby and ready to be turned on.
Turning on: Blinks briefly as unit turns on and then stops blinking once the volume un-mutes and ramps up to setpoint. Stays on indicating the unit is on and operational.
Turning off: Starts blinking as volume ramps down and mutes. Continues to blink while a brief turnoff process completes. When turnoff is complete, it turns off indicating the unit is off and in standby ready to be turned on.
Control response flash: Will quickly flash off/on once in response to most control inputs from either the remote or the encoder. Will flash repeatedly while generating a repeat command such as when a button is held down on the remote or when turning the encoder quickly.
Blinking while muted: Will blink slowly while the volume remains muted. Stops blinking and stays on once volume is subsequently un-muted.
Balance control neutral blink: Will blink off for 1 second each time the volume balance control is reset to neutral.
The V3 can be turned on 2 different ways as follows:
Remote Turn On:
Encoder Turn On:
When the V3 turns on the LED will blink briefly until the V3 unmutes after which the LED will remain on and the volume will ramp to its previous level when it was last on.
The V3 can be turned off two different ways as follows:
During the turn-off process the volume will ramp down to zero while the the LED blinks. Upon reaching zero volume the controller/LED will turn off.
Volume is adjustable 2 ways in the V3:
You can mute/unmute the V3 with either the remote control or the encoder.
Max vs Mini Muting:
Please be aware that whereas the Max uses various switches when muted to minimize volume, the Mini does not have any ability to disconnect the audio signal or shunt the signal to ground while muted and so the “muted” volume level for the Mini, especially with the discrete attenuator module, may simply be the same as as the minimum Step 1 volume.
Balance control is available with the Remote (both Mini and Max) and the Encoder (Mini only)
Encoder (Mini only):
Input switching is only available with the Max. Input switching is possible via both the remote and the encoder.
The ePot.V3 Mini and Max are both designed to operate optimally with an OLED display. The OLED display provides context and feedback wherein the user is presented with a full set of menu driven controls plus the ability to change controller settings/options to suit.
The controls described below relate to both the ePot.V3 Mini and Max operating under the following conditions only:
The OLED control menu navigation “rules” are the same for both and are summarized as follows:
The control menus for the Mini is essentially a subset of control menu for the Max. Both control menus are shown below.
The control menus for the Max has all the same elements as the Mini plus additional elements that are mostly related to input switching and the ability of the Max to adjust its input impedance and to calibrate the LDR module.
The following describes all the V3 controls in detail. Some of the control topics listed do not correspond to a specific OLED menu item. The controls that do correspond to an OLED control menu item are marked (menu).
The V3 can be turned on either via the remote or the encoder as follow:
Turning on the preamp
After Turn On:
The controller can be turned off with either the remote or the encoder as described below. Off is the topmost menu item in the menu tree.
Turn off the preamp:
The volume control view is the default display and control view. Wherever you are in the OLED menu tree, pressing the Menu button again will eventually return you to the default volume control view.
This display will show the volume numerically and also with a horizontal volume bar. Channel balance is shown by a number either to the right or left of the volume which indicates the number of balance adjustment steps right/left of neutral. In the Max only, the upper left corner will indicate the current selected input # plus the input label (“1 Input1” indicates input 1 plus the default unedited label). The upper right corner will indicate “Mono” when the unit is in monaural mode (Max only).
Selecting this menu item activates the default volume control action/view which is where you will spend 99+% of your time when using the V3 with OLED display.
From the volume control action/view it’s possible to adjust volume, adjust channel balance, switch input, toggle between stereo/mono modes, and mute/unmute the volume.
Input switching (Max only):
Remote Mono/Stereo mode switching (Max only):
This menu item is for switching from one input to another. Only the ePot.V3 Max switches inputs. The Mini has no input switching.
There’s quite a bit going on here with input switching so we encourage you to review this info carefully.
Remote control – fast switching mode:
Remote control – slow switching mode:
Encoder – fast switching only:
Selecting the Balance menu item takes you to the balance adjustment control action/view which allow you to adjust the left/right channel balance.
By default, adjusting channel balance is possible through the default volume control view without having to jump out and navigate to this menu item. In which case the Balance menu item is redundant and can be ignored.
The Balance menu item is for users who have elected to change the default volume control/view behavior to input switching instead of channel balance adjusting. In which case this where you have to go to adjust channel balance.
The internal balance adjustment logic attempts to maintain a constant volume while balance is adjusted. The way this works is every other balance adjustment step increase actually decreases a step in the opposite channel. For example, a +1 to the right increases the right channel volume +1 step. A +2 to the right increases the right channel +1 step and decreases the left channel -1 step. This mechanism is hidden. All you see is the 2 on the right side of the display (if one is present).
Encoder (Mini only):
The Display control provides for both display brightness adjustment and display timeout adjustment from a single control action/view.
The brightness control allows the user to adjust the display brightness between 1 and 14.
The timeout setting allows the user to set a timeout period in seconds after which the display will turn off. Pressing an key on the remote or turning the encoder will “wake up” the display again. The minimum setting is 5 seconds and the maximum is 120 seconds (2 minutes).
The Imped/Cal (impedance/calibration) control allows for adjusting input impedance and initiating calibration of the LDRs; two very interrelated aspects of the V3 design and LDR attenuation.
The topics of adjustable impedance and LDR calibration are outside the scope of this section but you are strongly encouraged to read up on these topics as they are unique to Tortuga Audio and are an essential part of how the V3 functions with LDR attenuation.
About “Locked” Impedance:
Running calibration after a Reset:
Cal Auto is a feature that allows LDR calibration to be run automatically based on a timer set up by the user.
Automatic calibration will only run when the unit is turned off and never when the unit is turned on and operating. If calibration is running and the user wishes to turn on the preamp, the calibration process will immediately terminate and allow the preamp to be turned on.
The user can adjust the timer based on either the number of hours, days or months between between each calibration run.
Cal Auto is enabled by default and set to auto calibrate once a month.
The #Inputs (number of inputs) feature allows the user to adjust the total number of inputs that the preamp can switch between. Every V3 Max has input switching installed for 6 inputs even if fewer than 6 are actually connected to the board. Inputs are numbered sequentially 1-6 so if say 3 inputs are allowed via this control then the preamp will only be able to switch between inputs 1, 2 and 3 regardless of how many inputs may actually be connected to the board.
# input adjustment:
The Vol Control feature allows the user to choose between balance adjustment, input switching or a combination input/phase reversal as a secondary control within the default volume control action/view. These 3 options are explained below:
Option #1 – Balance (default):
Option #2 – Input:
Option #3 – Input & Phase Reversal:
Changing the Vol Control option:
The Vol Units control allows the user to view the volume level shown in the default volume control action/view as either a step number (default) or in units of dB (decibels) of attenuation.
Changing the volume units:
The Vol Max control is an equipment protection feature that allows the user to adjust the maximum allowable initial volume associated with any of the following events:
For example, let’s say the preamp had been set on input #2 when last turned on and the volume had been on step 80 when the preamp was turned off. Let’s also assume that the Vol Max setting is set at 60 (default). When the preamp is next turned on, the preamp will first recover the saved volume setting of 80 associated with input #2 but will reset it to 60 before the actual preamp volume level command is transmitted to the attenuation circuit.
Changing the max allowable initial volume:
Version provides information only. There is no control action per se associated with this menu item, only information to view.
To view version info:
Cal Reset control allows the user to erase all impedance and calibration data of the currently installed LDR attenuation module in an ePot.V3 Max. Cal Reset is a convenience feature in the event the user wishes to clear out and start over with setting up calibration for an LDR module. Cal Reset is not a panacea or “go to” remedy for resolving problems with your preamp.
After running Cal Reset, you MUST run calibration (twice) to rebuild the attenuation tables for the default #1 impedance setting.
To run Cal Reset:
Remote pairing is a procedure to pair your V25 based preamp with a a specific Apple remote. Each Apple remote has an internal ID number between 0 and 255 (256 possible IDs) that it transmits with every command it sends. The V25 will only respond to commands from the one remote/ID number it is paired with. The pairing process teaches your V25 the ID number of your remote. It will then ignore the 255 other Apple remotes with a different ID number.
The Apple remote ID numbering scheme allows you to own multiple Apple products each responding to a different Apple remote in order to avoid conflicts. For this to work each product must be deliberately paired with a remote with a unique ID number. The Tortuga Audio V25 is no exception.
Remote pairing procedure:
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