Paul_C's 2019 builds (having fun!)



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Paul_C's 2019 builds (having fun!)

Postby Paul_C » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:06 am

Having lots of fun . . . and I haven't built anything yet !

I'm going to double check I've got all the bits I need for my first build later today (once I've finished entertaining my 5 year old daughter) and maybe make a start, but it's a bit like finding a new band you like who have been around for ages - there's so much to discover it's hard to know where to start !

I've made a first list of "things I'd like to build", I've started stockpiling components, I've even dug out some old pedals I made for simple tasks so I can reuse the enclosures, switches etc.

I've read a couple of "beginners start here" threads, both here and on another pedal building forum, and also followed links to dozens of other articles that describe basic things like resistors, capacitors etc. and their use in pedal building.

I'll readily admit I'm taking a rather scattergun approach right now, but I'm (fairly) sure I'll settle down once I get going.

I'm sure that eventually I'll start asking daft questions, or "why the hell is it making that noise?" or "why is it on fire?" so apologies in advance for that ;)

At least it keeps me off the street and from buying any more wildly expensive pedals (why buy one when the money could pay for six builds!) :)

It's nice to learn something new too, so it's all good.
Last edited by Paul_C on Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Having so much fun . . .

Postby eatyourguitar » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:46 pm

there is no harm in building your first project before reading everything. the more builds you make that require troubleshooting and analytical thinking, the more you develop a real understanding of how to fix it. if you know how to fix it then you also know how to build it. the more delicate questions you will have after a while is "why did I spend so much time building guitar pedals?", "why did I make all these shitty pedals that are not as good as off the shelf pedals I actually use?", "why did I spend so much money on a reflow oven, a pick n place, stencils, soldering iron, microscope, bench supply, oscilloscope, extra room in my house?". you might be the next jim dunlop, or you might be the next jim dumb flop. this could be heaven or this could be hell.

you don't need to worry about failing really. the only people that fail are the ones that give up. the ones who don't read. the ones who put in very little effort. or the ones who will mostly rely on others instead of being self reliant. but also don't be afraid to ask for help when you really have tried everything else. everyone loves to see you succeed when they see that you are the hardest working, most passionate and most deserving of your own success.
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Re: Having so much fun . . .

Postby Paul_C » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:01 pm

eatyourguitar wrote:there is no harm in building your first project before reading everything. the more builds you make that require troubleshooting and analytical thinking, the more you develop a real understanding of how to fix it. if you know how to fix it then you also know how to build it. the more delicate questions you will have after a while is "why did I spend so much time building guitar pedals?", "why did I make all these shitty pedals that are not as good as off the shelf pedals I actually use?", "why did I spend so much money on a reflow oven, a pick n place, stencils, soldering iron, microscope, bench supply, oscilloscope, extra room in my house?". you might be the next jim dunlop, or you might be the next jim dumb flop. this could be heaven or this could be hell.

you don't need to worry about failing really. the only people that fail are the ones that give up. the ones who don't read. the ones who put in very little effort. or the ones who will mostly rely on others instead of being self reliant. but also don't be afraid to ask for help when you really have tried everything else. everyone loves to see you succeed when they see that you are the hardest working, most passionate and most deserving of your own success.


I'm not planning to do anything other than amuse myself by building pedals - the weirder the better, so tinkering is part of my aim.

I don't expect to be spending money on ovens or oscilloscopes (never say never though ;) ) and I live alone with no plans to get into any more money-draining relationships (long story) so this is something to pass the time and add new pedals to the pile without spending $300+ on each one (£250 in my case).

The reason for reading up on caps, resistors etc. is because I like to understand why things do what they do. I'm old enough to know when it's better to ask than make things worse by not asking, but hopefully I'll reach a point where I'll have a better than average chance of working a problem out for myself.

So curiosity, passing the time and cheap, weird and wonderful pedals. That'll do for me :)
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Re: Having so much fun . . .

Postby garyg » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:53 am

Paul_C wrote:I'm not planning to do anything other than amuse myself by building pedals - the weirder the better, so tinkering is part of my aim ... So curiosity, passing the time and cheap, weird and wonderful pedals. That'll do for me :)


That's how I'm approaching this; I built a couple of pedals many years ago (early 90s...) that sounded awful so didn't bother, store bought ones sounded much better. Then I went totally digital, everything on the computer. Now I've found myself wanting to break back out to real physical pedals again. So, I built a fuzz with pretty much what I had laying around; works ok, sounds good sometimes but seems erratic and the tone controls don't seem very effective. *But* it was fun building it, thrashing out some of the obvious things I needed to get my head around (switch wiring etc). So i've now moved on to pedal #2 (voodoo lab overdrive inspired OD) and that works and sounds great, ready to box. Maybe I'll revisit the fuzz one day but currently want to think about something more out there, wobbly delays etc. And researching that is half the fun.
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Having so much fun, but. . .

Postby Paul_C » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:32 pm

So, I soldered everything to the board and attached all the externals (without putting it in the enclosure) and . . . it doesn't work.

With the switch off there is a signal passing through, and I checked the battery and the clip to make sure there is 9v reaching the board.

No time to look further, but next up I'm going to double-check that each component is in the right place and every wire is going where it should.

After that, I assume swapping transistors (I have spares) first ?

While it's disappointing it didn't work first time, I'm sure I'll learn quite a bit from troubleshooting this, so it's all good :)
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby BetterOffShred » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:44 pm

Eh post pics front and back of your board and off board wiring. It's usually something simple. Did you do the Hyperion 2 ground thing through the pot?
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby DADGBD » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:17 pm

I feel in fairness, there should be a thread, where builders post their graveyards.
When I started, I think seeing other people's dead things in a box would've helped me work through my own inadequacies and shame :lol:
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby Paul_C » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:32 pm

I decided to go with the OK in the end, because I didn't have enough 100k lin pots and didn't want to wait for another to arrive.

I'll sort out a picture or two if I don't spot a glaringly obvious mistake.
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby frodog » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:06 pm

DADGBD wrote:I feel in fairness, there should be a thread, where builders post their graveyards.
When I started, I think seeing other people's dead things in a box would've helped me work through my own inadequacies and shame :lol:


There is such a thread, it's called Unfinished Projects something... starting to get a few of those. The good thing is when you have half-finished enclosures as well, maybe with circuits you didn't like in 'em, you can put other boards inside and re-use some of the hardware too.
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby Paul_C » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:14 pm

Hmm.

I've checked the board vs the layout and it all lines up, so the only things I don't know for certain are:

Are all the components on the board working ?

Are the pots working ?

Does the switch work ?

The layout is marked as verified, and I've just checked it against a schematic which agrees with it.
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby frodog » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:19 pm

I would guess that the components are working, but a bad pot at least is not unheard of, it derailed a recent fuzz build for me.

I suppose next, if you haven't already and even so once more couldn't hurt - look at the underside of the board with a backlight and make sure there are no solder traces/metal particles across the tracks. Score the gaps again and brush if so. Then check all the off-board connections are as they should, power it up, poke at the components if you think something's loose. It could be anything, I've definitely been there man and it still happens.
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby fuzzonaut » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:31 am

Build an audio probe and follow that signal ....

audio_probe_.gif
audio_probe_.gif (7.42 KiB) Viewed 1114 times
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby Paul_C » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:39 am

I've got a multimeter with a bleep, which I've used to check all the earths are ok and to see if any strips are connected when they shouldn't be, still got a few more things to look at, which I'll try to do later.
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby Paul_C » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:21 pm

More checking this evening and nothing obvious found, so I decided that as I've got lots of parts I'd make another board, as the practice would do me good.

The only thing I changed was a 2N2222 for the 2N2907 (more out of curiosity than anything else) but to save time I wired it up to the existing off-board wiring.

Nothing.

So based on that I'm going to redo all the off-board stuff and see if that's where the problem is (as seems likely), sit tight for the update where I confess which foolish mistake I made :)
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Re: Having so much fun, but . . .

Postby BetterOffShred » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:57 pm

Yeah. I've built a shit load of stuff and bad components has been like under 1% of experienced difficulties ;)
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