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Topics - madbean

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Global Annoucements / Health update and also a sale
« on: May 31, 2018, 05:38:59 PM »
I want to say thanks again for all the well wishes over the past week or so. It's meant a lot to know so many people took the time out to write messages. I am feeling a lot better than I did a month ago when this started. Blood pressure is mostly under control and the bad head pressure has improved (although it does continue to be a problem). Anyway, I'm about 80% back to normal which is enough to get back to regular activity level.

The store has been re-stocked. It will still be a few more days before the Uber Tuber is released, though. I hope to have it available on Monday or Tuesday.

The following items are on sale: Deathklaw, Dirtbaby, Total Recall and Collosalus.
Blowout sale (deep discounts) on BaconBits, DigDug2, Sharkfin and Tapanator Bundle. The blowout sale items are not going to be carried regularly once they are gone so this is the last chance to get those for a good while.

Lastly a change to the RoadRage: it is now sold as a single board rather than two together. However, there is an option to purchase a panel of 6 for a 20% discount. The panel requires you to break them apart but it's easy to do (it's v-Scored).

Global Annoucements / health vs. mbp
« on: May 21, 2018, 11:44:25 AM »
Some may (or not) have noticed I've barely been around the last few weeks on the forum except for a couple of scattered posts. About three weeks ago I ended up in the ER with a blood pressure well north of "exploding heart" territory (take the highest numbers you see on the scale, add 30 and that's about where I was). Luckily, with medication it's being managed down to just under "hypertension 1". Unfortunately, there are still some issues that are making everyday life difficult: I cannot be upright and doing normal things without an enormous pressure developing in the my head. So far, my doctor has not been able to find a reason for the pressure and I don't know how long it will be before I am back to just regular abnormal.

Point is, things are at a crawl right now. I am shipping orders when I can but that's about it. I can be up for about 30 minutes or so before I have to lay down to make the pressure subside (it sucks). So, don't expect too much to be happening in the next few weeks. The exception is that I did order the UberTuber boards as well as some re-stocks and a few new prototypes. Those should be here in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, this post is not a sympathy grab...but since it is having such a big impact on my life it's important for everyone to know I have not abandoned mbp. I just need some time to get better. That's happening, but very very slowly.

Global Annoucements / VFE Blueprint available (limited release)
« on: April 10, 2018, 06:15:13 PM »
The Blueprint is now available in the store. This is a limited release for now (only 15 units) until I order some more micro-controllers. Turns out I really underestimated the pick-up sales with the last batch of releases. But, that's a good problem to have and since those sales are dying down let's just run this thing aground! If these sell out quickly I will have more in a couple of weeks (all the sales form the Blueprint are going toward purchasing an even larger batch micro-controllers).

VFE Projects / Blueprint build
« on: April 06, 2018, 06:57:54 PM »
I'm pushing through trying to get the remaining VFE projects built and ready to release. Got the Blueprint all finished up an documented. I think I will end up needing more switching micro-controllers before releasing it, though.

All in all a great delay. There are a couple non-typical elements to the circuit design that I like and never thought of. Modulation seems just right, too. Not over the top but musical.

VFE Projects / Klein Bottle!
« on: April 03, 2018, 02:22:48 PM »
My Kickstarter Klein Bottle PCB and pots arrived today. I recognize some of the library parts used in this layout  :)

This will be a fun build, I hope.

Global Annoucements / 3 New VFE projects released today
« on: April 03, 2018, 02:09:53 PM »
The Triplet: Compressor, Octave and Distortion in one
The Scream: Tricked out TS-style OD
Mobius Strip: Dual Delay

All documentation is up, too.

I'm happy to announce that there are more options for all non-USA customers. Starting today you can pay between $5-6 shipping for orders under $30. This is a substantial reduction from the recent increase we had in January due to the new USPS policies.

- Under $30 orders now ship much cheaper. These orders are sent through a special USPS processing center so they will take a few extra days but hopefully you won't mind since the postage is around 50-60% less.

- I've re-instated the shipping adjusted prices for the VFE projects that ship with 16mm pots (these require regular 1st Class shipping) but they are lower than before. In some cases I'll eat a few dollars on the shipping which is fine. In other cases, your shipping might work out higher than needed. I will automatically refund any excess shipping that is $1 or more (this is something I've always done anyway).

Thanks for your patience while this was worked out. I've already refunded shipping on all the orders I did today where it was needed.

Global Annoucements / VFE back in stock
« on: March 20, 2018, 02:55:31 PM »
All the current VFE projects are back in stock.

I'll have an announcement on the next batch of MBP/VFE projects probably this weekend.

Open Discussion / 8,000 posts
« on: March 09, 2018, 07:22:32 PM »
No other reason to make this other than to say this is my 8,000th post on the forum. Here is a picture of me looking confused and lost during a recording session in 2005. Why? Because I found it on my HD. Also the last time I had a ponytail (instead of no hair). Not really sure why it looks like I have only one arm.

Actually, funny story about this. The more I look at the pic I recognize the terror I was feeling. Thirty minutes before I left to drive to Dallas from Austin to do a week of recording my wife told me we were going to have a baby. We were not married at the time and it was unplanned. Obviously, everything worked out because we are happily married for 12 years now and have an incredible and talented 11 yo daughter. But, man was I scared then. During that week we recorded basic tracks for two albums and played a show. I didn't tell anyone what was going on with me. I was so exhausted by the show I drank 3 Red Bulls to get through it. Sadly, that was the last live performance we ever did.

It's funny to reflect on things. If, at 27yo, I had not been feeling lonely and desperate because I had not been able to find a girlfriend (even though I was playing a rock band!) I would have never posted a total joke of an personal ad online. I would have never met my wife, had my daughter and most likely madbeanpedals would not exist. Sometimes lifelong experiences can be reduced to a single moment in time. I don't mean that in a melancholy way...just that we all have these experiences but don't always recognize them.

Okay, enough internet today.

Open Discussion / Does anyone have one of these dual pots?
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:50:16 AM »
Anyone have one of these dual concentric 9mm pots? I need some measurements from it: spacing between the two rows of pins and length/width of the green casing (area where the pins are, don't need the height of the casing). In mm, if you can.


How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / How to instantly improve your soldering
« on: February 03, 2018, 07:52:34 PM »
I put off getting one of these for a long time, but I received it as a gift for Christmas and I have to say it has proved to be a tremendous help in soldering. I wear glasses for working at the computer and for soldering and the addition of a magnified light has made a huge difference for me. I'm getting better joints with less solder. And, I can actually see what I'm doing a lot better!

There are probably cheaper ones out there, but this is what I have:

I found that the color temperature on the stock bulb was way too cool for me, so I replaced it with this:

The replacement bulb is much better on my eyes!

(of course, I am not shilling for this equipment)

Global Annoucements / Triumvirate and Blues King released
« on: February 01, 2018, 01:38:04 PM »
The VFE Blues King and Triumvirate are now available for order in the store. Documentation was uploaded a couple of days ago.

Unfortunately, the Dark Horse is cancelled for now. There's just something I don't get about the circuit and I have not been able to properly diagnose the problem. I verified the issue over two separate builds. Frankly, I've spent too much time on it now and I need to move on (I was hoping to release all three projects at once). I'm sorry if this disappoints anyone. I might pick up on it again later but for now I need to get to the next thing.

Open Discussion / Need two volunteers - free PCB!
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:01:57 PM »
I need two international volunteers to check out shipping methods.

- Free PCB of your choice (anything I have in stock under $10 - sorry no VFE)
- One must be in the UK. Second can be anywhere else in the world but Canada or Mexico (I am excluding Mexico because delivery can be very spotty there and Canada because I already have a test case).
- All I need from you is to let me know the date it arrives and send me a pic of the envelope/printed postage when you get it.

If you want to participate, post your location and the PCB you want. Just two people, please. I will verify your shipping address privately.

VFE Projects / VFE site down
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:11:15 PM »
The old VFE site appears to be gone, including the pages with all the discontinued stuff ( is still running). Therefore all the links I have in the VFE project docs to the old site are no longer working. FYI. Not sure if this is a temporary or permanent change. I'll contact Peter to see what I can find out.

Global Annoucements / 2018 Shipping prices start today
« on: January 21, 2018, 12:25:52 PM »
If you've been following this thread you know that USPS has made a major change in international shipping. The cheap "Flats" option which I used to ship orders (under $40) is no longer available for anything other than "documents" - which definitely does not cover PCBs. Consequently, all non-USA shipments will now require 1st Class International postage which is a significant price increase over Flats. Priority International has increased up to 30% from 2017 and will no longer be required for international orders over $100. Domestic Priority has also increased and I will no longer be able to offer free Priority on USA orders of $100 and over. So, the following shipping rates go into effect today:

1st Class Shipping (only option)
USA - $3.00 for orders under $75, and free for $75 and over
Canada - $9.50
Mexico - $11.70
Everywhere else - $13.30


(1) Supposedly, there may be an option to continue to use Flats through some mail services by sending it to a separate "processing center" where they re-label shipments for a fee. This might be a way to lower the new shipping costs eventually but I don't know enough about this yet to use it (and it appears it may not be an option with the Dazzle software I use for international postage ((I have a support ticket submitted))). So, until I know something different or better this is how it is.

(2) I'm really sorry for the impact it will have on all customers and especially the international ones. I'm also worried about how it will impact MBP since nearly half my business is from outside the US. I guess time will tell.

(3) One positive footnote - since all shipments will require 1st Class all the VFE projects are now priced exactly the same whether or not they include custom pots. No more "shipping adjusted prices" to deal with.

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