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Topics - Justus

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1
General Questions / Problem with powder clear over decal...
« on: February 25, 2015, 02:16:04 PM »
It looks like my clear coat picked up some of the base coat, and I lost all the color detail in my decal. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so here goes:

Before clear coat:


After:



I'm using Columbia coatings dormant sparkle red as the base coat in those pictures, followed by Columbia coatings gloss clear as the clear coat.  I did a full cure on the base coat, 15 minutes at 375, then apply the decal and let it dry overnight. Then I applied the clear coat, and did another full cure, 15 minutes at 375. I have no idea what went wrong. Any suggestions?

2
How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Stability for soldering switches to PCB?
« on: February 17, 2015, 03:18:08 PM »
I'm building a testing rig, and have found that it's somewhat difficult to solder the DPDT switches to the PCB while making sure that everything is (and stays) square.  I use a lump of bluetack for everything else and generally don't have any problems, but the switches are so oddly shaped on top that it's difficult.  As of right now, my Osc/Guitar switch is a little cockeyed, as it apparently shifted to one side after I pressed it into the bluetack and before I soldered the lugs.

What methods do you use to make sure those switches stay nice and flat against the PCB after you flip it over to solder in place?

3
I got in some Papilio waterslide decal paper since my eBay pack seems to be pretty cheap (won't stick to the enclosures).  My first run, I used the "plain paper" setting for my printer, an HP CP1525 color laserjet, just like the instructions said, and I got two smeared streaks down the paper looking like the printer was too hot or something.

Anyone using the Papilio waterslide decal paper (or anything similar) what are your printer settings for good results?

4
Tech Help - Projects Page / JFET matcher pcb... what's wrong?
« on: January 30, 2015, 11:23:07 PM »
I have populated the JFET matcher pcb from the NomNom and want to start taking some readings.  However, my DMM auto ranges to mV and the reading seems to jump around alot (-68.0 down to -63.0 and up, never stopping).  When I turn off auto range and set it to V with 2 decimal places I always get the reading of -.03V on every one.  Granted this is the first time I have done anything like this but it doesn't seem like it should be too hard.

Pics of my pcb attached.  Did I screw something up?

5
Open Discussion / Smallbear Security Certificate problem?
« on: January 28, 2015, 09:50:44 AM »
Anyone else getting an expired Security Certificate warning when visiting Smallbear's store?  My Chrome browser isn't liking it.

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Tech Help - Projects Page / Snarkdoodle C2 substitution?
« on: January 15, 2015, 09:32:25 PM »
I think this is a no brainer, but I thought I should ask anyway...

I'm building a couple Snarkdoodle boards, and I notice that I don't seem to have any 51pf caps for C2 (Red Llama build).  All I seem to have is a small bag of 50pf.  That will work okay, right?

7
Open Discussion / Favorite pedalboard power supplies?
« on: January 13, 2015, 03:10:41 PM »
So when it comes to pedalboard power supplies, it seems to be Voodoo Labs and everyone else.  Sure I see the occasional Fuel Tank and One-Spot (though the One-Spot being pure daisy-chain I'm not sure it really belongs in the discussion), but the Pedal Power 2 seems to dominate.  There's got to be other options...  other favorites.

So what's your favorite power supply?  Most coveted features?  I only have a One Spot right now but am looking for options for when I finish my full board.  It seems like compare/contrast articles out there are thin on information and thick on advertising/marketing.

Or...  would you strongly consider a DIY option?  I've read that the limiting factor seems to be power transformers and keeping a DIY project feature-packed within a small enclosure.  So maybe it's not even feasible to go DIY on a project like this and come close to something premanufactured.

8
General Questions / Waterslide decal problems...
« on: January 11, 2015, 02:32:20 PM »
I've tried putting a waterslide decal on a box a couple of times now.  Here's my process:

1. Box is drilled and powder coated flat black with powder from Harbor Freight.
2. I printed a black decal on white waterslide decal paper (entire top of the enclosure) with light-colored lettering.  I got the paper from eBay, here: Waterslide Decal eBay auction
3. Cut out the decal, submerged in lukewarm water with a splash of distilled white vinegar (decal softener) for 30 seconds, and then slid the decal off onto the box.  Smoothed it out, and let dry overnight.

The first time I did this, after it was dry, I pressed lightly on one of the drilled holes to see where I'd need to cut the decal, and the decal moved.  Then it very easily peeled off the box, like there was nothing making it stick at all.  Take two, I let it dry longer without touching it.  Then I sprayed a coat of gloss clearcoat paint on them (Valspar brand from Lowe's) and the decal started looking like it was bubbling up a bit.  When I touched it, it was very loose, and then it peeled right off the box just like before.

Anyone have any ideas what I'm doing wrong, or what I can do to get better results?  I thought once you put on a waterslide decal and it dried, the thing would be STUCK.  I'm at a loss here.

9
Open Discussion / Question on Morley volume in loop
« on: November 04, 2014, 11:23:38 AM »
So I've been looking at volume pedals.  I like the features of the Morley PVO+ (volume plus) but have read that it is not meant to go in an effects loop like the Little Alligator volume pedal, but instead is supposed to go in front of the amp.  I don't understand that.  What would make it that way?


I'd like a volume pedal after all my OD/preamp and before mod/delay, so I thought early in the effects loop would be a perfect place.

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Open Discussion / Best pedal board features?
« on: October 10, 2014, 12:56:41 PM »
I'm thinking I'm going to end up making my own pedal board, and have been looking at some of the better DIY boards and commercial boards for some of the best features available.  I'm even thinking about trying to make a curved or angled board, so it doesn't look like a small tray table in front of me, but rather somewhat wraps around where I'm standing.  I'm still looking for ideas at this point, though, because I'm still building all the pedals that will go on the board first.  (like anyone here is ever done with that stage, lol!) 

What are some of your favorite features that you have used or seen in a pedal board?  Anything...  even basic "don't forget this" things will help.

List for reference:
  • Slots for routing all cables below the board
  • Hidden power supply below the board
  • Side jacks for input, FX loop, and AC power built in
  • Built-in input and output buffer circuits
  • Rise between rows of pedals
  • Built-in light (led?) to see pedal settings in dark area
  • Container/drawer to hold picks and capos
  • Threaded hole to double as music/mic stand base
  • Jacks to connect to more than one board (multiple modular boards)
  • Handles & rubber feet for better overall quality

11
Okay, so I've read a lot about cleaning and tinning a soldering iron, and even tried to watch some youtube vids (most just fly through that step).  I'm currently using MG Chemicals 63/37 no-clean solder with my Hakko FX-888D.  The solder has been working okay, but I feel like I'm using a lot trying to get my iron tip properly tinned.  In fact, I've pretty much abandoned using the brass mesh to wipe the tip and I'm now unsure if I ever knew how to properly use it.  (now using the wet sponge almost exclusively)  It seems my mesh is just filled with solder now, to the point that it's nearly unusable.  I've only had that mesh a short amount of time, as I bought my soldering station sometime in late May.

So can anyone give some step-by-step tips on proper technique for cleaning and tinning a soldering iron tip?  Pictures would be very helpful as I'm a visual learner.  It seems that every time I try to tin my iron tip, I get a blob of solder on the end instead of a thin coating on the entire tip.  (Even tried with a brand new tip, same results).  I'm even beginning to wonder if the solder is the problem.  It seems like the flux kind of goes to the outside of the solder blob and then turns brown.

12
General Questions / Green Bean drive pot in 2014 change?
« on: September 05, 2014, 09:53:53 AM »
Looking at the Green Bean docs, apparently I bought parts using the BOM from before 2014.  That was when I expected to etch my own board.  But I went ahead and bought a 2014 Bean board and now I'm seeing that the Drive pot is changed from a 500kB to a 500kA.  Significance?  I'm trying to learn and understand why, unless one was just a typo.

13
General Questions / Smoothie single-sided layout for etching?
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:08:27 PM »
I saw that the Smoothie is in the Etcher's Paradise thread, and I've been searching for an older version of the board to etch in the meantime.  But I can't find one.  Was there ever a single-sided version, or is the Etcher's Paradise the first time that's going to happen?  The "search" button leads me to a lot of build reports, understandably.  I've been able to find older versions of a lot of the other projects for etching, though, so I'm wondering if I'm just overlooking this one.

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How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Trim legs on DIP sockets?
« on: July 29, 2014, 08:19:49 AM »
I've populated (nearly) my first board and noticed during the process that my DIP sockets have legs that protrude out the other end of the board farther than my other components which have had the leads trimmed after soldering.  Should I trim those legs or leave them alone?  They're like little needles!

15
General Questions / First try using PnP Blue... too hot?
« on: July 15, 2014, 09:28:21 PM »
Here's the result of my second try at using the PnP Blue paper for toner transfer.  The first try was identical.  Is this happening because I'm getting it too hot?

My iron is old.  Using an IR thermometer, on the highest setting I'm hitting 350+ F.  There's not a lot of info on ideal settings and/or how to use the PnP Blue paper, but I thought I read somewhere you want the iron between 250 and 300 F.  So on my second go-round I turned it down from setting 6/7 (cotton/linens) to setting 4 (cotton blends).  Should I set it even cooler for this paper?

Pic:

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