Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?



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Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:30 pm

I want to rehouse 3 chinese mini pedals at a time into sideways 1590BB enclosures. I have taken the guts out of some of my Mosky and Tomsline pedals to examine, and it seems like it should be a simple enough job, but there are some things that need to be done, like getting all 3 sets of guts running off one power input, removing the extra jacks and wiring the audio through, and making sure there are no volume or noise issues. I could also be a complete troll and just skip the audio part, by including a couple of patch cables inside the build to connect the extra jacks. :idk: I am ready to go beyond the magic and start learning the science, and this seems like it might be a fun thing to start on.
The chinese minis are so damn cheap, it's hard to resist the temptation to shell them like peanuts to put in a more complex recipie. If it's easy enough to do then the combination possibilities will be endless, and it may become a regular practice for a lot of DIYers & benders. Gate> Distortion> Cabsim, Boost> Fuzz > OD, Delay> Reverb> Chorus, Bitcrushers all in the mix now, etc etc. Crazy possibilities, and these things suddenly look like the ultimate shortcut, with their pots and switches all mounted and ready. There will also be leftover mini enclosures, which I will want to gently remove the ink from and not the whole finish, so as to keep them usable for other projects. No waste but the four leftover jacks, if I even need to remove them.

So as a complete noob I have to ask, how easy or hard can this be? I think I can do it if someone who knows their stuff guides me, and I can provide pics as needed. Let's do this? :animal:
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby goroth » Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:26 am

Have you opened one of them? Those things are stuffed tight, and they're smd. I wouldn't do it.
But I'm a total hack with a soldering iron so your mileage may vary.
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:40 pm

Yeah, they're tight as hell and look pretty tricky to remove parts from, but it seems like it should just be a quick few steps of a procedure? I would be leaving the pots and switches mounted, and only messing with the power and the audio path. Shopping around for kits and seeing finished minipedals for half the price got me thinking about circuit bending some more. Bending and pedal hacks and stuff like that have always seemed like really cool things to get into, but I've always been reluctant to fuck with my precious gear. Now that there is a surplus of decidedly unprecious gear, I won't care too much about messing some of it up if I make a mistake. I feel like disposable pedals are meant to be put to this kind of use, in a way. Like fresh bodies for the labs of mad scientists. So now I'm looking into the science, as much as my attention span will allow...and my brain just shuts down every time I start getting into the technical jargon. I'm only interested in this operation if it's an easy hack that can be explained to me in babyspeak. Otherwise I'll probably just start on a fuzzface kit to see if I'm interested in working my way up from there.
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Sat Sep 04, 2021 6:22 pm

In keeping with the internal patch cables idea, I suppose the obvious dummy hack for the power is to include a daisy chain cable or even a mini iso brick inside the enclosure, making it a complete and literal pedalboard in a box. :lol: Velcro anyone?

Bigger enclosures, more and more possibilities...and no need to limit it to cheapo crap that way either. Turns out there is no procedure necessary. If you can drill enclosures you can now make your own ghetto boutique pedals. :idk:

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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby goroth » Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:18 am

Curtis will probably come in and shut me down here, and bearing in mind I haven't seen the guts of these pedals at all... but with that said, most dc jacks have two lugs for the hot signal. So you should be able to daisy chain them that way without too much effort. I'd be more worried if you have to desolder shit. I tried to repair a switch on a TC pedal (and destroyed the pedal in the process, but the switch was fucked anyway so it wouldn't turn on, so no loss) and trying to get the heat right to melt the solder without melting everything else was a nightmare.

But anyway, I'm gonna shut up until someone smart turns up.
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:58 am

Magpie vids are partially to blame for this too. I bet he could do this in a snap, but it's so low-tech I think it would be beneath him.
No soldering or desoldering is looking like the safest way forward until I see a good instructional video or something.
The shortcuts are basic as hell, but equally effective...and I'm sure it won't be hard to find uses for these PCBs that are more creative (and less obvious) than stuff like this:
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby crochambeau » Mon Sep 06, 2021 12:14 am

goroth wrote:Curtis will probably come in and shut me down here, and bearing in mind I haven't seen the guts of these pedals at all... but with that said, most dc jacks have two lugs for the hot signal. So you should be able to daisy chain them that way without too much effort. I'd be more worried if you have to desolder shit.


:lol:

No, no shutting down. You're the voice of reason.

I have not seen these first hand either, but...

Warpsmasher wrote:In keeping with the internal patch cables idea, I suppose the obvious dummy hack for the power is to include a daisy chain cable or even a mini iso brick inside the enclosure, making it a complete and literal pedalboard in a box.


..and please forgive me if I'm being too literal minded here, but how fucking big are these enclosures again? The notion of stuffing three naked pedals, at least two patch cables, a power supply and power supply daisy chain into another enclosure sounds like a unique form of torture.

I would love to see it done though.

With respect to powering multiple things on one power cable, you want each of the circuits to have some sort of filtering/decoupling on board, to soften the suck and blow from one unit from tickling the unit next door. I think most self respecting designs include this, but the term "disposable" has been tossed around, so, maybe figure something like 100 ohms from V+ (supply) to each circuit followed by some cap from V+ to ground. I usually grab something like 1-10 uf for circuits that are not power hungry.

I feel like I'm steering the plane into a storm here, and nothing I say will matter anyway because the plane will be crashing into a mountain...

Audio connectors, if they are deemed sacrificial, can be opened up with solid wire cutters. If you're careful you might be able to peel back the plastic shroud and get at the conductors of the connectors - and just connect directly via wire wrap or solder (I like solder, but (again, forgive me here as I've not been paying close attention) if your intent is to learn soldering I suggest a project that will make soldering enjoyable, so you keep doing it).

It's also possible to leave the circuits alone and fly wires in for signal and power and solder them to points on the PCB, but as the SMD parts get smaller this option becomes more and more of a finesse thing.

Shouting advice from the sidelines is not the most effective or fool-proof, but I'd be happy to toss whatever I happen to think at the time into the ring.

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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Mon Sep 06, 2021 4:40 pm

Here's an EQD double jobber with an enclosure by MSL : https://reverb.com/item/24949931-earthq ... -enclosure

Needs two power inputs though, so meh. Stuff like that gets me thinking about the possibilities, and the solutions, how I'd have done it, or why even at all...
crochambeau wrote:It's also possible to leave the circuits alone and fly wires in for signal and power and solder them to points on the PCB, but as the SMD parts get smaller this option becomes more and more of a finesse thing.
This is what I am hoping will be the easy procedure that someone will know how to do and guide me through, that is of course preferable to patch cables.
The idea for the internal daisy chain cable is for the female end that connects to the onespot to be secured as the pedal's power input jack, with the male ends connected to the 3 internal circuitboards, which each take 20ma tops if it's all dirt. I don't think it's too big to cram in, but it will definitely look messy.
Enclosure size would definitely to have to go up (and maybe angled) if a power brick is installed, but what that opens up is vast. The pedal power supplies are made small and cheap enough now to be used in this way, as an internal power buffer/distributor for the multiple circuitboards. The noise/synth boxes that could be made alone, so many nice possibilities there. Even a simple oscillator circuit in front of a few choice mini fx pcbs could be quite a capable little toy. The 1-2-3 pedal is just one I'm hoping will be an easy success to get me started. I have a 1590BB arriving today, and am shopping for some bigger enclosures in a few different styles now, as well as some beginner fuzz and point to point overdrive kits. I do want to learn circuits and practice soldering, so that I can make my own tabletop units and pedals, but am under no illusions that I'll become any kind of wizard at it. The biggest advantage I see of the SMD stuff being so small is that it's so easy to install and replace. Too much of a bitch to work on sure, but to just drop the entire innards into something bigger seems a piece of cake.
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:22 am

This one is a bit more inspiring, and makes me want to learn how: https://reverb.com/item/41541142-rco-pe ... giant-knob
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby crochambeau » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:22 am

Warpsmasher wrote:makes me want to learn how


Learn how to what?

Reduce/refine controls?
Install two circuits in one enclosure?
Assemble & solder a PCB?

I like helping, but I don't have the wherewithal to compose a document on such a wide subject. I think the answer lies in the path you've outlined though. A lot of the uncertainties will resolve themselves once you have an actual puzzle in front of you.
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Re: Circuit Centipedes - rehousing 3 minis into one 1590BB?

Postby Warpsmasher » Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:34 am

Sometimes I feel like I need to learn everything, all of the above and everything else. Long roads I've never even begun to travel, that are still a bit intimidating to look down...
Working with these pre-assembled SMD parts basically sidesteps all that learning, and is just mix and match, to create something out of cannibalized parts. It's enough to get me started, but I want to learn how to install joysticks and stuff eventually too.
I am still auditioning new mini pedals and enclosures for the final cut. The 1590BB is just wide enough for 3 if there's no space between them, so it looks like some snipping and soldering will be necessary to make 3 fit in there. Two would be an easy fit vertically or horizontally, but I feel like it's not worth the effort for less than 3. Anything larger than a 1590 should be very easy to get 3 into though, and have room for solder-dodging accessories. I'll also be placing an EHX order for some of their current bigger boxes.

This tiny little power supply: https://www.amazon.com/OTraki-Circuit-P ... -2-catcorr
When removed from the shell, the PCB is 1.5" x 3" and has a little foam pad underneath, to stick down to the bottom piece of the enclosure, and one cap is the only part that sticks up higher than the jacks. The input jack on the back can flush up against the opening in the enclosure, as can the 15V out, to power another unit. This is perfect for tabletop boxes, and gets me thinking about how to use the 12v, which expands the transplanting opportunities way beyond just pedals.
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