madbeanpedals::forum

Projects => Build Reports => Topic started by: mark123 on July 07, 2018, 01:57:25 PM

Title: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: mark123 on July 07, 2018, 01:57:25 PM
I guess I'm venting.  It costs a lot of time and money to build a pedal and it just seems so wasteful.  So far I've built a VFE Tractor Beam, a Wumpus and a Dig Dug 2.

The Tractor Beam (I got the early version with the original VFE switching board) works and I'm happy with the sound.  The Wumpus worked for a while and then crapped out.  I haven't had the gumption to tear into it to figure it out, mostly because I wasn't happy with it's limitations.  I know it's not a production pedal and was a freebie board when I bought the Dig Dug 2 so I wasn't too frustrated with it and I just shelved it.

Today, I finally got the parts for the Dig Dug 2 today and put it together.  I even made an engraved enclosure for it.  It's a pretty neat pedal and I was having fun playing with it but in the same manner as the Wumpus it quit after a few minute of use.  :o  I imagine it's the expensive photocoupler parts.

I guess I'm just disappointed and I'm going to give up on putting together designs that aren't my own.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: pickdropper on July 07, 2018, 02:09:05 PM
If you have a chance to take a few photos and upload them, perhaps there's an issue that folks here could help troubleshoot.  It's a bit out of the ordinary that you've had multiple builds work, then suddenly fail.  Maybe a second (or third or fourth) set of eyes could help. 
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: midwayfair on July 07, 2018, 03:00:00 PM
What are you using for power?

This is not typical for pedals, production or otherwise.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: Rockhorst on July 07, 2018, 04:20:40 PM
1) I think this is most suited for another sub forum (Tech Help comes to mind)
2) I'm a 100% convinced that the issue is not with the projects themselves. Something else is going on here. Brian puts a lot of work in these things and only releases them after long prototyping stages.
3) If you want help, post pictures and measure voltages. Show us your work and you'll probably start enjoying the hobby more.

All in all, I feel your vent is a little premature. It's very easy to shift blame away from yourself and onto the projects. However, browsing the forums here proves there's no real big issue with them (where are all the reports about non functioning pedals?) Just saying.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: cooder on July 07, 2018, 04:47:54 PM
I understand the frustration that gets you when something is just coming together nicely and then craps out.
You gotta wonder who's at fault while your circling the floorboards... doesn't help though.
My suspicion would be from an outside perspective that it's neither your 'fault' nor the Madbean pcbs 'fault', there's something strange going on when stuff fails repeatedly like this and it would be good to persist and find that as that gremlin will likely strike again.
What are you using for power?

This is not typical for pedals, production or otherwise.
This sounds like a great pointer.
I recently had a local muso mate come over and he did only have production pedals on his board, his power supply played up in the most unusual way and that sent the stuff in a spin on power up. Intermittently as well which made it harder to pinpoint.
Get a techhelp thread started and keep at it. MBP projects are great, well documented and not a waste of money in my experience.
However, pedal building (and all sorts of building) can throw challenges at ya, that's for sure, and they are worth to see through, in my experience.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: Matmosphere on July 07, 2018, 05:08:44 PM
I think Patton is on the right track as well. The other thing you could check is voltage regulators. I got a bag of faulty 78L05’s and it caused me endless grief. Similar problems to what you’re talking about.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: Jakes Dad on July 08, 2018, 08:04:44 AM
I'll second Metasphere's post and add that I've had a number of recent failures caused by bad electrolytic capacitors - especially the small versions.

Chuck
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: Matmosphere on July 08, 2018, 08:24:13 AM
Yeah, I had some bad electro’s a while back that was a pain as well. I had stopped buying the ones on tayda until they recently got higher quality ones.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: lars on July 08, 2018, 11:30:48 AM
Check your ground points, and if in doubt, resolder them or sand them. Sand out the drill holes of your input and output jacks so the sleeves get good contact. I've fixed a few dead effects simply by doing those steps. (nice when that's all you have to do to fix something you got for cheap because it didn't work.)
The other thing to check is when the opposite happens...parts you don't want to conduct are conducting. All it takes is a stray tiny speck of solder, tiny wire strand, or the bottom plate of the enclosure touching a part you didn't expect it to touch. The board may have shifted after a few stomps, and now a trace/component/terminal is touching a ground point.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: madbean on July 09, 2018, 08:41:22 AM
Like Jon said, this is a very atypical problem - pedals generally don't just quit working after a successful fire-up. It could be a power or parts problem as mentioned. Another possibility is a missed solder joint (or bad one). I've had quite a few builds work intermittently due to a missed solder joint (just last week, in fact).

I can relate to your frustration, though. Hell, at least 1/2 of what I build doesn't work the first time. But, it's usually a design mistake I've made on prototype boards. The more time you spend now trying to figure out what's gone wrong will pay off later with future builds (no matter who's project you are building).
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: stringsthings on July 09, 2018, 10:07:55 AM
FWIW, I've never had an issue with a Madbean board.  And I've built many of them.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: fair.child on July 09, 2018, 12:29:42 PM
You're paying tuition for learning, my friend. I build the pedals for fun, even though its failed I still enjoy the learning process. If you always get a success for the the first try, you ruin the fun of it.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: brucer on July 09, 2018, 07:49:34 PM
FWIW, I've never had an issue with a Madbean board.  And I've built many of them.

Me too.  Well, at least no issues that didn't trace back to me ...
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: Martan on July 09, 2018, 10:39:42 PM
I hope you figure it out. I can relate to the frustration you must be feeling. It is a ton of work, especially when you are new to building. I also hope that it is something easy to fix. I had several projects I built early on work for a while and then quit. For me, it was because I was too aggressive on stripping wires, and I would find them barely hanging on by one little strand right at a joint. Remaking those joints fixed them up nice.

Good luck
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: mark123 on February 27, 2019, 05:13:18 PM
Hey guys, I'm not blaming anyone. I was just frustrated and didn't have the gumption to poke through and attempt repairs.

I've built pedals before this with my own PCBs and with my own designs submitted to oshpark. I just find it much easier to troubleshoot my own stuff as I'm familiar with it.

Frustration did get me feeling pretty gruff though.

Carry on.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: chris weaver on March 14, 2019, 03:07:27 PM
I've only had trouble with the HEADTRIP, and I'm sure it's either builder oriented or possibly a bad fv-1, Bean's stuff is the best.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: selfdestroyer on March 25, 2019, 11:11:44 AM
A few years back I had nothing but failed builds for 3 months straight. I was SO frustrated. I ended up taking the advice of Timbo and measuring all my parts with a DMM as I built (I was one of those guys that bought everything from Mouser and relied on their quality control) and low and behold, I had 2 resistors and 1 film caps that were in the wrong bin. Either Mouser miss labeled or I binned them wrong. Once i figured this out I went back and replaced the values on all the failed builds. I ended up having a bunch builds that were now working and needed to be boxed up.

Lesson learned. If you seem to be having a huge loosing streak, double check your parts for inconsistencies.

I know this might not be your exact problem mark123, but I thought I would mention it.

-Cody
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: impycat1 on March 25, 2019, 02:07:00 PM
I agree. Measure every component before you install and solder it in place.
Title: Re: Lots of issues with madbean projects.
Post by: Leevibe on March 25, 2019, 02:39:15 PM
I agree. Measure every component before you install and solder it in place.

+1