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Topics - madbean

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Open Discussion / Giving thanks.
« on: November 27, 2019, 07:54:13 PM »
Well, maybe it is cliched but nonetheless.

This thread is not about seeking praise. It's about giving it to those who deserve it - the ones that have helped you be who you are. It's an opportunity for you to give thanks to people that are special in your life. I will start.

Thanks to you. For being here, participating and making this community what it is. My job is to provide the framework, but you are the ones that make the community and make it special. I get so much inspiration from you guys it's kind of ridiculous. It makes me tear up a bit, even. Keep doing you, always.

Thanks to two of my mentors:
Terry Mattem: my guitar techer from 15-17 y.o. He taught me to play and even wrote a recommendation letter that helped me get into Berklee. I will always be indebted to him for his patience, inspiration and just being an awesome guy.
Faye Moskowitz: My middle school English teacher and counselor. She taught me that I needed to accept my own sense of self-worth but that did not entitle me to be an asshole. IOW, she taught me humility. It's been 35 years and I am still living that lesson.

My own family: whom always supported me even when I did not want to do so for myself.

Please contribute your own thanks if you feel the need. Trust me - it feels good to do it.

VFE Projects / SwitchingBoard v3 coming
« on: November 21, 2019, 10:00:24 PM »
I've got a new version of the VFE switch board which will be available next month. This one is (of course) the same circuitry but set up the way I prefer to build: no board mounted jacks and no battery option. It will fit snugly at the very bottom of a 1590B. I still have quite a few of the v2 boards so I should be able to offer a choice between v2 and v3 for a bit. After that, I expect I will just be offering the v3.

Open Discussion / I'll say this for 2019...
« on: November 13, 2019, 07:40:27 PM »
...I cannot say I didn't put forth the effort, even if I don't finish all this before 2020!

So, Phaser Month, which was supposed to be Oct., then Nov. is now Dec. This damn Polytrog project is cursed. My original proto runs smoothly. My botched production board has encountered multiple issues and is down to one I have not been able to solve. I can't wait any longer on getting it fixed so it's got to go to next month. Sorry guys. Hopefully I'll have several phasers in December including the P-Trog. Several new overdrive projects will also come in December.

All the current planned November releases are on the Projects page and includes a bunch of new 1590A projects, 4 of the overdrive re-designs, the re-designed ABDX and there may be one more release in that batch. The Flunkee giveaway will start when these boards are released (should be the last week of the month).

In the meantime, I've reduced the remaining stock of the Slow Loris and Mudbunny boards by 50%. So, if you want to get some cheap PCBs, there are a few of those left :)

Errata, Corrections, Revisions / Man O War DX modulation fix
« on: November 05, 2019, 07:31:22 PM »
Problem: When the modulation switch is set to the center position to turn modulation off, the rate LED continues to blink for a while before fading out. This also means the LED/LDR combo is active until the LED goes dark.

Cause: The IC pin attached to the center lug of the On/Off/On switch was left floating in the off position. This means any current sitting on that switch continues to drive the LEDs attached to it. Because there is a path to ground through the resistors that current will drain off but can takes several seconds.

Solution: Put a 2M2 resistor from IC7 pin3 to ground. When the switch is in the off position, this has the effect of nearly instantaneously draining that pin and making the LEDs go dark equally as fast.

Why the mistake happened: Most likely because when I originally prototyped the MoW I used an AQB MOD PCB for the modulation and no switch (rather I used a resistor in line with the LDR so the modulation essentially turned off when the depth was turned all the way down). Even though I went further and built both the MoW and MoWDX production boards in addition to my prototype I did not catch the design mistake. Most likely because those pesky LEDs stay lit in sync with the peaks of modulation. IOW, if the LED is fully lit and you put the switch to center, you have the staying lit problem. If the switch is put to off when the LED is in the fully dark part of its swing, it stays dark.

So, my apologies for the mistake. It was pretty noobish on my part and once someone reported the problem I pretty much knew right away why it was happening. Finding the easiest solution actually came from forum member Cybercow. Thank you so much for figuring this out, Mark!

Two images below:
Put a 2M2 between the pin in the orange box and one of the two ground points in the purple boxes. The lower one is a ground via and even though it is very small it is possible to solder to it if you are careful.
Second image is the fix on my build.

Build Reports / Big Cheese Ball
« on: November 05, 2019, 09:32:00 AM »
I needed a bit of distraction the last few days so I allowed myself to do something fun and just for me. Hence, the Sacred Cow - a Big Cheese/Cheeseball fuzzorama.

This thing sounds pretty wicked. First time building one. I made two mistakes on the design. 1) The rotary switch was supposed to attach via straight pin headers but I put the pins about 1mm or so too close so I had to wire it. 2) I forgot to connect the C & E pins of the 2n3904 for the weirdo clipping this thing has. Both were easy fixes. Overall it sounds delicious. Lots of fuzz to wall of fuzz. Too much output, so I think I will swap the volume pot for 100kA to get a little more in-line resistance and tame it. Otherwise definitely a worthy build.

I won't be selling these. But, don't be surprised if this shows up as a future giveaway board.

I will give away two of the spares I have right now. If you are in the US, post here and I will send you one. Just two to give away for now, though. So don't keep posting after the two are gone asking for another one, haha. I know you guys will anyway, though, so it's all good.

Kudos to Dan Coggins on his most excellent fuzzball.

Open Discussion / Tragedy at home
« on: November 03, 2019, 07:05:50 AM »
Last night our elderly dog, Buckley, fell in our pool and drowned. He was in pretty bad shape already and had a seizure yesterday morning. My wife kept him near all day but he kept stumbling around and falling down steps, etc. We gave him his meds and he seemed okay otherwise. But, in a brief moment of neglect he must have stumbled out the back door and fell in the pool. I cannot even begin to deal with the horror of finding my dog drowned. We've lost lots of animals over the years but never to an accident. And, we had him for 15 years. I'm just thankful that I'm the one that found him to spare my wife and daughter of that image.

Anyway, hug your pets for me today. If you have a moment, post your favorite pic of your pets. It'll make me feel better!

Open Discussion / Call for sponsors - 2019 BOTY contests
« on: November 01, 2019, 10:14:39 AM »
The BOTY contest will officially launch the weekend of Thanksgiving so I'm putting out a call for anyone/shop that wants to sponsor a prize. This year there will be THREE contests! You do not need to sponsor all three, is quite sufficient. And, don't break the bank. For PCB shops, etc, usually a small gift certificate or store credit of $10-25 is plenty alright. I'll be putting in prizes for all three, of course  ;D I'll also be hitting up a couple DIY vendors for sponsorship, too.

The contests will be Single Pedal Builds, Multi-Pedal Builds and Non-Pedal (but music related) DIY builds.

If you want to sponsor please feel free to post here, PM me or email me. If you want your prize to go in a specific contest let me know that as well. I only ask that your prize be specific - like an actual GC dollar amount or specific items you will give away, etc. That's important when it comes to winners selecting which prize they want. And, you are free to enter any or all of the contests even if you sponsor a prize.

Open Discussion / Let's do a live Q&A but how?
« on: October 24, 2019, 10:55:02 AM »
I'd really like to do a live QA session at some point with youse guys. Just an open discussion with members about DIY, and not specifically about mbp (although that can certainly be part of it). With FFX, we used Skype which is fine but I don't know how many live video callers you can do with it simultaneously. Is there a preferred format for live video chat someone can recommend? Does anyone even like this idea? I've mentioned it before but also I can be very lazy about follow-through.

Softie: this is the Function F(x) relay bypass adapated for DIY builds. There are two versions: Softie1 is for 125b and 125BB. Softie2 is for 1590B and 1590BB. This first batch is a FULL KIT (minus LED) for a pretty nutty price of $12.50, and it even comes in its own box. I have 50 kits available. Once they are gone I will be selling the remainder of the boards kit-less (PIC still included and maybe an option for the relay). I may do more full kits next year.

Bypass boards: All the bypass boards have their own category now.
3PDT-01: standard bypass for 1590B and up
3PDT-02: for 1590A builds
3PDT-03: for 1590B and up. Features a soft turn on/off for the bypass LED.
3PDT-04: for 1590B and up. Features a trimmer for LED brightness.
3PDT-05: this is the 3PRR. I won't have these until next month.

Hipster2019: A few fun tweaks to the 1590A NPN Fuzz project.

"Breadbuddies": A new category of helpful utility PCBs for building and breadboarding. I will be adding more of these in the coming months.

I never want to type another project doc for the rest of my life at this moment.

Open Discussion / Work table resurface
« on: October 07, 2019, 06:08:46 PM »
This weekend I did my annual deep clean of my office which entails taking everything out, searching and removing unseen dustbunnies and little bits of wire and parts that have escaped my not so regular cleaning. Plus dusting dusting dusting.

The old worktable was looking pretty gnarly after 10 years of constant use so I put a new surface on it. It's just stick on linoleum type flooring from Home Depot. About $25 bucks for a box and a few left over. So, if a ruin one I can just remove it and replace it. Was easy to do except for the part where I decided to remove the old vinyl from the table. That ended up taking quite a while!

Build Reports / Snack Shack
« on: October 05, 2019, 06:16:41 PM »
I built this for my buddy Sean Michael Dargan. He's a singer/songwriter I used to play bass for back in the 90's. Been meaning to send him a pedal for the longest time so I was overdue.

Built totally stock in a 1550p enclosure (I did not have any 1590a). This build turned out to be rather costly and a pain in the ass. Costly because I accidentally broke my $60 Erem wire cutters while making it (I LOVE that cutter) and a PITA because I ended up having to file down part of the lip in the lid to fit a full sized 3pdt. But it sounds totally awesome! I stewed about the wire cutters for about 3 hours though.

The 3pdt uses a board I plan on releasing (I think next week). It uses a transistor with a resistor/cap combo for a soft turn on and off of the LED. So, rather than instant on, it comes up to full brightness over a second or two. It just looks cool when you see it. The 1550p is like less than a 1" high so I had to put the parts on the bottom. In a 1590B they will fit on top (low profile electrolytic required for that).

Artwork done on standard black PCB material. 2 layers of light clear coat then sanded back a bit to take off the shine. Sean has been sporting goddam bowties for 30 years on stage so I incorporated that in the artwork.

Global Annoucements / More PorkBarrel, HarbingerTwo and Snarkdoodles
« on: October 03, 2019, 02:40:22 PM »
The Pork Barrel and HarbingerTwo are back in stock. I also got some more Snarkdoodle giveaways. Everyone who has placed an order since Sept. 21st has or will get one (except for three people who told me they did not want to wait for the extra doodles). This batch should last a few more days at least. After the giveaways run out I will be putting the last 10 Snarkdoodles in the store for purchase to help fund the next giveaway.

The Softie (relay bypass) may be released next week.
There will be another massive release before the end of October including another giveaway (this time it will be an envelope filter)! There may be as many as 5 or 6 new projects. October is phaser month!

Global Annoucements / Snarkdoodle giveaway update
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:23:36 PM »
If you received shipping notification then your order includes the Snarkdoodle PCB. I underestimated the needed giveaway boards by exactly 8 as of today (hey that's pretty good!) I will be contacting those 8 customers to give them the option of waiting a bit (maybe a week) for me to ship their orders with Snarkdoodles since I have more coming.

Note: Paypal is sometimes bad about sending email notifications on shipments. You can log in to your Paypal account and view the transaction to see if has been updated with shipping info if you are unsure. I will be sending out emails to the remaining 8 customers tomorrow.

From here on out I an just going to order what I think I need plus 20% more. I can always offer the remaining for sale or as PIF later on so there is no reason not to.

Global Annoucements / New Projects Are Up!
« on: September 21, 2019, 09:07:06 AM »
The VFE Bumblebee, Harbinger 1.5, Man O' War and Man O' War DLX are now available. The Snarkdoodle giveaway is also in effect until I run out. The Polytrog has to be pushed back to Oct. due to a very stupid error I made on the PCB which will re-quire them to be re-run. Very sorry about that!

Stupid Polytrog story:

I verified my final prototype quite a while back. I discovered a minor error in how I had two diodes connected. No big deal, fixed that on the PCB and had them made. I decided I better build up a production board once I had them since it is such a complicated project and there were also a couple value changes I forgot to include in my prototype. So, I build the board, test it out. No dice. Not getting the right voltages off the charge pump. I think and think and think. Then I realize I drew the charge pump circuit wrong. When I built the prototype, I just powered it off 18v to start since I did not know what the final current draw was going to be. After I verified it I thought...well, I did not put the parts on for the charge pump so I better check that out. Rather than solder the parts on the PCB, I quickly breadboarded it and verified it worked with the total circuit. Big mistake (thinking I left nothing to chance...other than the possibility that I did the circuit wrong on the PCB). I've drawn that charge pump hundreds of times why would I make a mistake?

Goes to show - never leave even the smallest detail to chance when you are designing PCBs.

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