Pocket Amplifier

The C-Moy pocket amplifier that I built has a special place in my heart. This is what got me into the difficult yet rewarding and fun field of electrical engineering. In my freshman year of college, I did not know what I wanted to study. I took generic classes like math, English, chemistry, etc. I was a normal college student who studied and hung out with friends.

One time, I went to my friend’s dorm in Lander Hall and listened to music. We listened to .mp3 files, but they sounded much better than mine. I was using the same headphones too. The difference was that he was using an amplifier, a nice one at that, and I was not. Researching on the internet for an amplifier, I quickly discovered that these were quite expensive. Being the poor college student that I was, I could not afford one. However, as I was reading on a forum, I stumbled upon a schematic. It was of the C-Moy amplifier, and people were saying that it sounded decent. The caveat was that you had to build it yourself. Knowing that electronics parts were cheap, I took the schematic to my math teacher. He wasn’t much help, but he pointed me to the electrical engineering department. I searched the directory for a professor and met up with one. He taught me the basics of how it worked.

It took me the whole quarter to build it because I was taking a full load of classes and working part-time as a computer technician. But, I got it finished. It was noisy, having a bit of background hiss, but the music did sound better. From building this amplifier, I discovered I liked electrical engineering, in fact, so much that it was the only major I applied for. My friend knows that I work really hard and that EE takes a lot out of me. She asked me if I could do college over again, would I choose electrical engineering? The answer required no thought – definitely.