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Topics - madbean

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Global Annoucements / International orders are delayed
« on: September 12, 2017, 06:05:42 AM »
It looks like most of the international orders I've dropped off at USPS in the last 7 days are not being updated through the USPS tracking system (they show as 'awaiting receipt'). This is likely due to Hurricane Irma. Virtually all international orders go from Nashville to Miami before departing to their destination. And, I expect Miami hasn't been productive these last several days. But all packages have been dropped off here in Nashville so they do have them.

Anyway, if you received shipping notification in the last week and USPS is not updating your package, don't panic. It's just a matter of waiting for normal operations to resume which will hopefully be soon.

Open Discussion / Bertrand is out to play
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:33:16 AM »
Bertrand the bass is finally out of his case after many months. No reason to post this other than it's awesome. He's been with me since '99.

(sorry for the office is due for a top down cleaning)

VFE Projects / Patreon Support
« on: September 02, 2017, 08:09:18 AM »
If you are a member of the VFE Patreon group support is also available here on the forum for the Patreon effects builds. Please feel free to ask questions and receive help on your builds. I'm not quite up to speed on the new designs yet but I will be building a Dragon up next week. I'll do my best to help with any basic build questions, etc. Specific questions about rewards, shipping, etc should still be directed to Peter through Patreon.

Peter has also posted a video on building the Patreon effects. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet but that is another resource of information at your disposal.

Global Annoucements / Pale Horse, Alpha Dog in stock
« on: September 01, 2017, 06:46:33 AM »
Pale Horse and Alpha Dog are now back in stock. I'm still working on the Tractor Beam - got a bug in my build to figure out. I expect the TB will go up for sale sometime next week.

Open Discussion / Into the RetroPie rabbit hole?
« on: August 12, 2017, 07:00:58 PM »
I think this is probably not terribly legal. Honestly, I don't know. But, oh lord, it looks like fun.

VFE Projects / Tractor Beam update
« on: August 12, 2017, 06:15:01 PM »
Progress has been made on the Tractor Beam (phaser) and is on schedule for release probably in 7-10 days. I got the audio board populated after waiting on a couple parts from Mouser. The Tractor Beam was originally called the Enterprise and is built on the same board. There are a few value tweaks from the Enterprise so the pot values here are not all accurate.

This will be a difficult build, but if you have done one of the VFE already it shouldn't be too bad. There is on electro that has to be soldered in parallel with a Zener (top right). There are three resistor networks (two 10k and one 22k). It also requires four matched 2n5952 FETs. I actually had a set I previously matched for a different project and was no longer using. The doc will have instructions on how to match FETs (I think I may have already covered this in the Phase 90 doc). The "B10k" is actually 1k now, and only having 2k on-hand I soldered in another 2k resistor in parallel with it.

Also, I have a FET matching board I may just put up on OSH Park. It was supposed to be part of a small batch of utility boards I was going to offer for sale but I never got around to it.

Anyway, to do: build the switching board and test it out. My prototypes for the re-designs of the VFE switching board will be here in a few days so I think I will wait and test one of those out with this build.

VFE Projects / Merman build
« on: August 09, 2017, 04:44:03 PM »
I ran into a couple issues on this build.

- When I first tested the built board I had lots of sputter. It sounded misbiased. A quick voltage check confirmed that the VB rail was reading 260mV. I knew my soldering was good so I suspected a dodgy component. I took out the first 47k on the VB voltage divider and started testing. Turns out there was continuity between things that there should not be. So, I was faced with the prospect of doing some desoldering or building a new board. I decided to desolder the 16mm pots and check my work.

After studying the PCB traces on the Eagle brd file I made a guess to where the problem might be - a little via next to pins 3 and 4 of IC1. And, I guessed lucky cause that was the problem - there was a micro bridge somewhere in that area. After running an Xacto carefully around that via I was able to get my VB voltage where it was supposed to be. All in all, it was a couple hours worth of debugging.

(PS not to worry - it's not a board fault as far as I can tell. I checked all the other Merman PCBs with my continuity checker after this and they all came back clean. Pretty sure it was a little hair of steel wool).

- Second issue was I apparently over-sprayed the shit out of the clear coat on my faceplate. So, it's got some texture. But, I kinda like the way it looks.

- Also, I decided to try non-mounted jacks on this build. It turned out to be pretty easy, actually.

I like the Merman - I think splitting the clean and drive pots was a fun idea and useful as well. Mostly, I prefer the Klon for clean settings and the Bottom control really makes the clean boost setting sound huge.

Global Annoucements / VFE Merman now available
« on: August 09, 2017, 10:49:50 AM »
Get your mecha-Klone on with the Merman! I got a partial shipment of micro-controllers last week so I have 45 available.

Also, I added a note in the doc - smallbear does not have reverse-audio plastic shaft pots and the Merman uses a 10kC. There is a link in the doc to Tayda which does have them. You can use 10kB (it's what I used) though it does bunch up the control at the end. If I have time today, I'm going to try a 2kB instead and see if that improves the bunching. The reverse audio taper won't have that problem.

VFE Projects / BOM values vs. silk-screen values
« on: August 08, 2017, 05:38:29 PM »
One thing I did not explicitly state in the build docs is that the component values of a lot of the VFE products changed over time. You should always use the BOM values (which are duplicated on the build image on the first page over every doc). Ignore the values printed on the silk-screen of the actual PCBs. Much of the time they are the same, but to avoid confusion follow the values shown on the build image.

I will update all the docs with this info.

Errata, Corrections, Revisions / Mandroid doc update 8.8
« on: August 08, 2017, 09:53:08 AM »
Two things -

1) I fixed the transposed voltages on the HT8950 and indicated to set the Mode switch to position 8 for comparison.
2) I previously stated to set the tab on the Mode switch to pin7 normally and pin8 when doing the up/down mod. This is incorrect. The pin should ALWAYS be set to 8. The 8th step is where you also get the arpeggiator! My mistake...I thought that setting was duplicated in another position and never noticed.

VFE Projects / VFE Switch Board doc update 8.7
« on: August 07, 2017, 07:17:58 AM »
I noticed that the 47uF low-ESR caps in the Mouser Project linked in the Switching Board doc are no longer in stock. So, I have added two alternates; a 10uF and 22uF. Both are low-profile and low-ESR. You can use either one but you don't need to order both values. The 47uF is still listed in the Mouser Project in case it does come back in stock anytime soon.

VFE Projects / Poll: Alternate VFE switching board
« on: August 04, 2017, 06:46:05 AM »
I'll probably run out of switching boards in October, so that presents an opportunity to change up the design a bit. I would like to have a board that does not require any hardware mounting of the jacks (my personal preference). Here's a possible way that could be done (pic below). It would require using Lumberg style 1/4" and DC jacks and there would be no battery option. The momentary switch can be wired directly to the PCB using bus wire to keep it secure. This design would also make it easier to put the projects in a 125B (and maybe the 1590BS) with top mounted jacks, if you want.

What do you guys think? Is this something you would like? Would it be better to do it this way, or have the option both styles (board mounted and non-board mounted)?

Global Annoucements / More Choral Reef coming today
« on: August 02, 2017, 07:11:04 AM »
There seems to be some frustration with the Choral Reef release and I can understand that. So, I'm going to put off releasing the Merman for a couple more weeks until I can get more micro-controllers and make more of the CR available now instead. I am sorry that these releases have been in small batches that go a large degree this is beyond my control due to limited stock of needed parts, not PCBs. But, I'll do my best to please everyone when I can :)

I'll update this thread once they are available in the store plus make an announcement on Facebook and Twitter. It should be between 11am-12pm CST.

Global Annoucements / Choral Reef/Alpha Dog/Pale Horse in stock.
« on: July 31, 2017, 11:13:29 AM »
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I am out of W1MC pots used in the Alpha Dog and Pale Horse and will not be getting any more in the foreseeable future. A 1MB should be used as a substitute. I have updated those build docs to include this information and provided a link to the 1MB pot at smallbear.

The Choral Reef has no special pots included so the shipping price for Canada and International are just the regular postage cost ($3 and $4 resp.) I only have 30 Choral Reef available right now. There will be more coming, however, I am starting to run low on micro-controllers and I need to hold some back for the Merman (and the small batch of AD and PH I put back in stock).

I'll have a Choral Reef demo done this week.

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