The design goal of the Alien DAC project is to create a simple USB DAC based on Texas Instruments PCM2702 chip. You may consider this project if you are looking to build your own USB soundcard to upgrade your onboard sound. The project is also a good introduction to DIY SMD soldering and DACs.

The main features are:


Current Status

Alien DAC v1.1 PCB Group Buy at head-fi.org is now open. Read the group buy rules carefully before ordering the boards.


The initial design specs were to supply power from a small, light battery pack consisting of 2 x NiMH cells fed through a small switching DC-DC converter to provide an unregulated 5.3V output (Maxim MAX1722). This output was regulated to the +5V and +3.3V required by the PCM2702 using two LDO Texas Instruments REG102 fixed output regulators.

Revision A brought a few improvements:

Revision B started as a simple modification of the board. A few days later it turned into a 6 week re-design spree. The following list reflects some of changes worth mentioning:

Alien DAC v1.0 introduces a few changes following the Revision B feedback:

Alien DAC v1.1 is a cosmetic update following the Alien DAC v1.0 feedback: