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Topics - madbean

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Open Discussion / And a Happy 2019 to you!
« on: January 01, 2019, 07:08:40 PM »
Hope everyone came out alive of their NYE celebrations. We had a bust! My daughter and I were sitting in the living room around 7pm last night when we both detected a weird and terrible smell. Couldn't tell if it was gas, a burned up TV component or what. It took hours to air out the place and the evening was spent searching inside and outside the house trying to figure out what was going on and if we were all in some kind of danger. The odor was so intense she got a headache and I got a little woozy at one point.

Finally today my wife figured it out: a female fox was marking her territory around and under our house. The little bugger had dug a hole under our HVAC unit and into the belly of the house. She was marking her space for spring pups. Anyway, I plugged up the tunnel so hopefully that is the last of it. It would be awesome to see little baby foxes but we have dogs so I don't want any four legged turf battles.

I'm sure we'll laugh about it next NYE. This time...not so much :)

Build Reports / Xmas builds
« on: December 21, 2018, 09:14:52 AM »
Couple PLR projects I built up to give to a buddy for Christmas. This is the original Mimeograph before I changed it to have 8 patches. This build just has the Dreamtime patch.

I thought I would be smart this time, and I taped the faceplates to the enclosures so I could drill them at the same time. Turns out my Hougen bit did not like that. The spring-loaded pin guide got pushed back into the bit and stuck with PCB material wedged inside. Took me 10 damn minutes to get it back out! Also, I placed my jack locations lower than I could have. Anyway, things always go wrong and you just gotta work around them.

Open Discussion / Me = Super Dumb
« on: December 08, 2018, 07:51:13 PM »
I've been putting my new prototyping rig together over the last week. Basically, bigger, better, faster. Since I had the room, I decided to add a little DS0138 O-Scope right on the board. I've been without a scope for a couple years now and figured this would be perfect since I don't have space to have a full sized scope set up all the the time. Having one on my breadboard would be super-convenient.

Anyway, bought the DSO138 off Amazon last week. I found one that was pre-built, was only a few dollars more, figured I'll save myself some time. Got it, didn't work. So, returned it and exchanged it for a kit version instead figuring "it'll work this time because I am the one building it". Built it, didn't work. Very frustrated I started probing and voltage testing. Found the problem: it's center tip positive 9v, not negative. I am dumb. Hooked it to a battery and it fired right up.

Always think before jumping to conclusions!

Open Discussion / New jacks
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:08:25 PM »
I was browsing Mouser the other day and noticed these jacks. I think I will order a few. I very much like the form factor. Might be good for 1590A or G.

Open Discussion / Light Ring
« on: December 07, 2018, 06:47:41 PM »
I posted this on Reddit so some might find it interesting. I might fab a few of these but with 7 LEDs instead of 3.

Here's the explanation from Reddit:

I made this to test out whether or not this was worth DIY. I think the answer is no, although I probably will have some fabricated to make the process easier.

Anyway, first I etched the PCB. Then I cut it into roughly a round shape as close to the final dimension as possible. I drilled a small hole in the center and mounted it to my Dremel while in its drill press stand. While turning the PCB I used sandpaper to shave the outer edge down into a smooth round shape. This part went really well, actually. The edges are super smooth. I could have cut it closer but this was only a test, after all.

From there it was just a matter of applying solder paste, placing the LEDs then heating the whole thing up until the solder melted. The hardest part was applying solder paste by hand and making sure it did not spill over to the ground pour. I got lucky.

Errata, Corrections, Revisions / FieryRedHorse BOM correction
« on: December 06, 2018, 07:20:39 PM »
The FRH had (2) 100n 2.5mm caps listed in the BOM when in fact there are (3) needed. Doc has been updated.

Build Reports / 2019 Prototyping board WIP
« on: December 04, 2018, 09:27:47 PM »
2019 is going to have lots of new areas for me to work on. Accordingly, a serious prototyping rig is going to be required. Here is step 1 - getting the basic layout worked up. I'd like to go even bigger and include a small 386 amp and speaker but I don't have enough room on my workstation!

Unfortunately, the DSO138 was DOA so I will be returning it in the hopes of getting a working one.

Global Annoucements / Holiday PIF Party is live and new VFE tomorrow.
« on: December 03, 2018, 07:28:40 PM »
The Holiday PIF party is now live on the forum:

Be sure to read the PIF'n guide. I'll be posting several PIF each week through the end of the month. Please consider offering your own PIFs, too.

Tomorrow the VFE Focus will be released. Also, I will have re-stock on the Fiery Red Horse, Springboard, Dragon, Standout, Pinball and Tractor Beam. The remaining VFE projects will go back in stock a little later than expected as I need to get some more switching boards. Finally, the Patreon bundle will be reduced from $35 to $33.

Tomorrow should also launch the two end of the year contests.

Global Annoucements / 2018 Wrap-Up and 2019 Plans
« on: November 30, 2018, 08:16:11 PM »
Time to wrap up the year and let you guys know what is happening in the coming year.


Personal notes (for anyone who cares):
2018 was a very hard year for my family. My wife's dad passed, I got really sick and couldn't work very much for almost two months, my daughter had a hard transition into a new school mid semester and I got really serious burnout at one point. But, everything kind of turned around in September. We got our bathroom remodeled and all the water damage repaired, I made a full recovery from my blood pressure issues, Justice got settled in her new school and has made many new friends and I got my mojo back. Seriously, I've been crazy creative over the last couple of months - the ideas come much faster than I can actually work them all out! Very happy about that.

MBP notes:
There is a pattern that has emerged over the last 2 or 3 years where mbp seems to get off to a really rough start for the first 6 months. Sales get sluggish, I get discouraged and think about giving it all up. But, then the switch flips: stuff gets released, sales pick up and I get very energized. 2018 was no exception. A lot of the VFE projects got out, some new mbp projects got released and I have a catalogue of ideas to work on. So, overall I'm happy with how mbp is developing. The forum is still strong although not as active as it was 5 or 6 years ago. Tastes change, and as new builders come on the scene they have different methods of community participation. And, forums are not a strong component of that. So, I am trying to be more active on social media and increase the "brand" (I hate that word) through other channels like Instagram, Facebook, etc.


2019 - what's coming:
There are several areas I plan to develop in 2019.

1) The PLR campaign. This is the "Premium Limited Run" which will be an entire series of new and old projects developed in a specific format: highest quality PCB fabrication, soft touch switching and consistent form factor. This is the bridge between DIY and more production oriented designs to give members a chance to build projects that are very competitive with some of the best commercial pedals out there. The early part of 2019 will have a Kickstarter campaign to launch this series with different reward levels that will not disappoint :)

2) Greater integration of mbp with existing parts suppliers. Two compnies I am looking at (and have reached out to) are some component kits with smallbear and some pre-drilled enclosures with PedalPartsPlus. Not much to say on this yet other than it is something I will be working on.

3) Synth shit. I've caught the bug! There will be some guitar pedal oriented synth projects coming in 2019 as well as some stand-alone synth (non-guitar) projects in 2019. These might be really popular or DOA. I don't care. I've been spending quite a bit of time researching simple synth ideas that I can develop into projects I think people will like and I'm just going to dive in.

4) Digital projects: There will be between 2 and 4 additional FV-1 projects in 2019. One of these will be a full stereo pedal which I am close to wrapping up now. The next phase will be diving into some Arduino stuff which I am also very interested in doing. Don't have much to say on this yet other than it's something that will definitely be happening.

5) Tubes! There will be a least a few more tube projects in 2019. One for sure will be a sub-mini amp. There are a few other pedal projects that are being worked on so I'll have more to say about that in the coming months.

6) Store. I keep saying it but for sure in 2019 there will be a new store format that is not Paypal oriented. Payments will still be done through PP, but I really need to get with the times and get a proper store front. This will allow more flash sales, quantity discounts and bundles and overall be more professional than what I have now. I do really like the vibe of the store page right now so ideally I'd like to find a good middle ground between the stylistic mbp vibe and a modern store front.

7) YouTube: I will be stepping up my game in 2019. I'd like to do more on the YT page than just the occasional demo. And by that I mean in-depth tutorials and musings. I'm not about to put myself out there as some kind of YT personality (honestly, I don't even want to show my face on video) but I do want to get some more engaging content for people to utilize and enjoy.

Anyway, that's it for now. This is a very long laundry list but I hope it re-assures you all that mbp will continue to try and push the envelope within the DIY community. I do think 2019 will be a great year for all of us!


PS: here is a preview of an upcoming synth project: the ThunderCloud!


Global Annoucements / Coming up: Holiday PIFs
« on: November 25, 2018, 05:41:17 PM »
Forgot to announce we'll also have a 2018 PIF. This will be a dedicated (temporary) place on the forum for "Pay It Forward" giveaways. This have been wildly popular in past years so look for it on Dec. 1st. I will no doubt have many PIFs to offer myself (and I have much to be thankful for this year). I hope many of you will offer giveaways, too.

Global Annoucements / Coming up: BOTY contest
« on: November 24, 2018, 08:43:48 PM »
As is tradition every year, we will be having a 2018 Build of the Year contest which will be launching on Dec. 1st. This will give everyone a chance to vote on their favorite build of 2018 from the mbp community and will include prizes for the winner and runners-up. I am also thinking of running a second contest in tandem for folks who would like to be in a contest but maybe are less confident about their actual build techniques. The second contest is not focused on actual builds but rather creative use of DIY pedals. Specifically, a contest that requires an audio submission of some kind of creative or unique use of pedals you have built (regardless of year completed). What do you guys think of this idea? I'm also thinking I could supply an optional audio file of just a simple bass/drums/keys sequence that could be used in the submission (although would not be required; a pre-existing performance or audio clip would also be fine).

In any case, I am putting in a request for any additional sponsors for runners up prizes if you are inclined. This could be in the form of a small gift certificate to a PCB shop or parts supplier or just something cool you would donate to a participant. If you would like to sponsor the contest, please PM or email me at madbean AT

I'll have the final details of the contest(s) up later this week!

Global Annoucements / UberTuber Deluxe and VFE update
« on: November 23, 2018, 06:24:19 PM »
I found some sturdy cardboard boxes that will fit in my padded envelopes so the UberTuber Deluxe (which includes a pre-tested 6111 tube) no longer requires Priority Shipping. The price has been lowered from $29 to $25. Also, I can now offer these to customers outside the USA. If you have a current order that has not shipped, you will be refunded the $4 difference at the time of shipping (probably tomorrow).

I have a small batch of left-over 6111 tubes that should be available to purchase individually in a few days, as well. I need to screen these first.

Lastly, the VFE sale pretty much wiped out my supply of MCU so many projects are sold out. I have an email out to Peter to get some more so hopefully everything will be back in stock soon. It looks like I will be able to get some more Dragon, Pinball and Standout PCBs, as well. The final VFE projects (Focus, DarkHorse and Bumblebee) should release before the end of the year, if all goes well.

Global Annoucements / New Projects day! Restock, mini-sale
« on: November 15, 2018, 03:29:56 PM »
New Projects! VFE Fiery Red Horse and the Springboard. Also, a 3PDT bypass board for 1590A projects.
Back in stock: 9mm pots panel, Headtrip and UberTuber (rev.1). UberTuber Deluxe with pre-tested 6111WA tube available in limited quantities (tube available in USA only).
Projects on sale! Cave Dweller, Bloviator, Glam and Runt.
Also: New, lower prices on Road Rage, 3PRR, AQB_MOD and TRXPN boards.


The UberTuber rev.1 board is the same circuit with 500k trimpots instead of fixed plate resistors. All is explained in the doc. I have 15 sets of the Deluxe w/ the 6111 tube. I may have more later but I ran out of time to screen any more than that.

I should be able to ship any orders that come through today by tomorrow. But, orders places Fri-Sunday won't ship until late Monday or early Tuesday.


Breakdown on UberTuber Deluxe in case you are wondering:
Boards/parts $15 as normal
Tube $11
Added shipping for Priority mail (padded envelope no bueno for these): $3

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