madbeanpedals::forum

Projects => Build Reports => Topic started by: EBK on January 07, 2018, 10:20:25 AM

Title: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on January 07, 2018, 10:20:25 AM
If you kind and extremely patient folks will indulge me again, I find it very self-motivating to report on what I build while I'm still building it.   :)

I recently received an Aquaboy Deluxe board as a generous PIF from Brian.  I'm having a lot of fun putting this thing together.

Here's what I have so far, the completed main board and a 15V charge pump board:
(http://i.imgur.com/M3mZ5rKl.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/LC90m9zm.jpg)

I've opted to use Xvive Audio MN3005 reproductions for the BBDs, a MN3101 clock, and an NE570 compander.

For the enclosure, I can't bring myself to mount the input and output jacks on opposite sides of a 1590BB (just a personal quirk, not a negative judgment), so instead, I'm working on a landscape orientation with offboard pots (even though it will pretty much take up the exact same width on a pedalboard).  Here's a rough idea of what I have come up with so far (I love Inkscape):

(http://i.imgur.com/3bpd4Kel.jpg)

Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: chordball on January 07, 2018, 10:44:57 AM
Looking good! I dig that layout a lot. Any reason for an smd NE570 other than that it's probably what you already had?

Also, what vactrol is that? It's the same one that's used in the new micro-tron. I've been curious what it was but could never find it anywhere.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on January 07, 2018, 11:05:10 AM
Thanks!

Through-hole NE570s are no longer in production, so the SMD version is far easier to procure, and I need to keep sharpening my SMD skills to be ready for the future.  ;) I don't actually have a solid reasoning other  than that (a Coolaudio v571d would have worked instead). No cost savings here, as the adapter board cost as much as the chip.  ;D

The vactrol came from Smallbear:
http://www.smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/photocoupler-coolaudio-vtl5c3/
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: somnif on January 07, 2018, 01:11:07 PM
For future reference you can get many adapter boards a bit cheaper through OSHpark rather than the proto-advantage stuff.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on January 07, 2018, 01:38:43 PM
For future reference you can get many adapter boards a bit cheaper through OSHpark rather than the proto-advantage stuff.
I did look at OSHpark first.  One problem is that this is a 300-mil wide chip, and I wanted to adapt it to a 300 mil DIP.  Most adapters create a much wider DIP footprint.  The Proto-Advantage board has pads for surface mount headers on the bottom to keep the pins narrow.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: chordball on January 07, 2018, 11:21:13 PM
Thanks!

Through-hole NE570s are no longer in production, so the SMD version is far easier to procure, and I need to keep sharpening my SMD skills to be ready for the future.  ;) I don't actually have a solid reasoning other  than that (a Coolaudio v571d would have worked instead). No cost savings here, as the adapter board cost as much as the chip.  ;D

The vactrol came from Smallbear:
http://www.smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/photocoupler-coolaudio-vtl5c3/

Ah, thanks for that. I thought only xvive did a "real" VTL5C3. Interesting.

Looking forward to seeing your completed build. If I'm lucky maybe I'll get mine built before 2019!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 05, 2019, 03:56:05 AM
I'm blowing the dust off of this long-neglected project of mine. I still don't think I'll finish it soon, but some progress is better than no progress, right?

Anyway, I've finished tweaking my graphics design (I think).

(http://i.imgur.com/lhkiAS4l.jpg)

Now I just need to figure out how I am going to actually make this real (I could always give PPP a bajillion dollars to make it.).  :P

Here is the internal arrangement from my fit test:
(https://i.imgur.com/ttEZTdsl.jpg)
I'm 80% confident this will work in this configuration.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: alanp on August 05, 2019, 07:26:06 AM
Trivia for the day: the male symbol comes from the Roman god, Mars (it's supposed to be a shield and spear.) The Romans were heavily into Mars as a god.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 05, 2019, 07:54:23 AM
That symbol is in a layer named "Mars" in my Inkscape file.  8)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 05, 2019, 11:29:49 AM
Enclosure has been drilled.
(https://i.imgur.com/WRJ8prrm.jpg)
Next, I plan to polish this up and give it some sort of candy blue coating.  I've been experimenting with dyed Polycrylic, which shows some promise.
(http://i.imgur.com/Cepc8b3l.jpg)

Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: dawson on August 05, 2019, 10:41:12 PM
Wow- that is a clean layout, indeed.  Well done sir, I'm looking forward to seeing how that finish turns out.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: cooder on August 06, 2019, 01:27:15 AM
Looking like a sweeeeet thing coming there...! Tasty. Dig the graphics too. Noice.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: Boba7 on August 06, 2019, 02:41:46 PM
Looks awesome, I cant wait to see more pics!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 07, 2019, 08:39:43 AM
The most important thing that science produces is data, even when the result is a failure.  I got a ton of clumping in the Polycrylic when I tried to dye it darker.  Trying one more time.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: alanp on August 07, 2019, 08:48:43 AM
Maybe clear, tinted epoxy, sanded back to a mirror finish?
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 07, 2019, 09:13:09 AM
Maybe clear, tinted epoxy, sanded back to a mirror finish?
Seriously thinking about that or paying someone to powder coat this.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 07, 2019, 09:15:43 AM
[accidental dupe post.  Will modify into something useful later.... ]

Do you think I should use smaller knobs?
(https://i.imgur.com/G0r7CQFl.jpg)

(That's one skim coat of my translucent blue, but that's not inportant right now.  :P)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: Boba7 on August 07, 2019, 05:19:55 PM
You may need to put a buffer at the input, with the delay pot so close to the jack you might get a bit of noise. I had some in my build, that got fixed with a klone buffer.

Looks like the way huge delay that never got released, canít remember the name, the big blue 500ms and modulation aqua puss
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 07, 2019, 06:27:03 PM
Perhaps I will box it up now instead of fussing with paint.  If I get noise, I will try some copper tape shielding.  Maybe it will work.  If it doesn't work, then I'll try something else, I suppose.  ;)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 08, 2019, 04:03:55 PM
A couple more knob choices:
(https://i.imgur.com/M1GA1oSl.jpg)

I kind of feel that this should have white knobs though.

(Again, ignore the blue color in this pic.  ;))
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 10, 2019, 07:27:33 AM
Long long wires for the delay knob.  I hope that doesn't cause any problems when I eventually fire it up.  I will shield it if necessary.
(https://i.imgur.com/t5YBivdl.jpg)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 12, 2019, 07:18:09 PM
Well, I thought I was going to stop my translucent blue experiment, but then I found some proper food dye that doesn't cause the Polycrylic to clump, so I will add a layer per day to this for a while and see what happens.
(https://i.imgur.com/TFniSsml.jpg)

I'm using a small soft bristled paintbrush and short brush strokes.  That way, I can gently apply new layers without risking peeling of the finish as I apply it (and also to avoid bubbles that my foam brush was creating). Plus, the short brush strokes will probably contribute a bit of texture to the final result.

The working time of this stuff is short, so you have to resist the urge to keep brushing it to try to smooth it out.  The cure time, by contrast, is long (about 24 hours until it can be safely handled).
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: Boba7 on August 13, 2019, 07:39:39 AM
Hope the long delay wire wont introduce noise

Love the blue color, and yes definitelt white knobs! :)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 13, 2019, 08:04:38 AM
Hope the long delay wire wont introduce noise
That wire is long enough that I will probably go ahead and shield it.  It is far enough from everything else that I can probably just use copper tape and a ground wire around what I already have.

Quote
Love the blue color, and yes definitelt white knobs! :)
Thanks for the feedback!  For the rest, I am thinking I will attempt to silkscreen it.  Of course, I've only silkscreen printed once before, back in high school, which effectively means I have no idea how.  :P
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 21, 2019, 03:51:36 PM
I decided that the lid to this enclosure should be white.
(https://i.imgur.com/VyvNLWel.jpg)
I'm still adding blue layers (and some clear layers) to the main enclosure and working to smooth out the surface so I can eventually attempt to silkscreen it.  It's really hard to convey what this translucent blue really looks like with a photo.

Update:  I showed this to my wife.  Her response? "What are you making, and why?"  ::)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: nzCdog on August 24, 2019, 02:28:30 PM
Cool thread!  Looking forward to the progress :)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on August 24, 2019, 04:47:16 PM
Thanks!  It is a multi-year project, with possibly more than a year to go, so progress will be slow.

I think I make these threads for three main reasons:
1.  It keeps me methodical and motivated.  Accountability?
2.  To help people realize that pedal building is always a learning process, mistakes will happen, and success can take a long time to achieve.  Encouragement?
3.  To nudge people to try new things.  Inspiration?

It all comes at a cost.  I feel like I waste quite a bit of community bandwidth updating threads for projects that don't move very fast. (I'm not even sure how many loose ends I've created at this point.)  I hope it balances out.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 09, 2019, 08:18:28 AM
I've decided that I'm going to use Polycrylic to decoupage labels onto this enclosure rather than attempt to silkscreen it.
This is just a crude mock-up.  The control labels will each be separate rather than a single ribbon, and I want to bump up the font size a bit.  I've coated both sides of the paper with Polycrylic to make sure it doesn't have a blotchy "soaked paper" look to it and to check the coloration as part of my test (Polycrylic is slightly yellow when cured).
(https://i.imgur.com/9M1f3eDl.jpg)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 09, 2019, 09:59:44 AM
I've decided that I'm going to use Polycrylic to decoupage labels onto this enclosure rather than attempt to silkscreen it.
This is just a crude mock-up.  The control labels will each be separate rather than a single ribbon, and I want to bump up the font size a bit.  I've coated both sides of the paper with Polycrylic to make sure it doesn't have a blotchy "soaked paper" look to it and to check the coloration as part of my test (Polycrylic is slightly yellow when cured).
(https://i.imgur.com/9M1f3eDl.jpg)

Polycrylic should dry clear. Polyurethane will definitely yellow, though.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 09, 2019, 10:06:22 AM
It dries close enough to clear to be called clear, but if you apply it thick, it is very slightly yellow.  That's why my blue coating starts off sky blue but cures as teal/aqua.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 09, 2019, 10:10:14 AM
It dries close enough to clear to be called clear, but if you apply it thick, it is very slightly yellow.  That's why my blue coating starts off sky blue but cures as teal/aqua.

Ah gotcha. I suppose I usually use it on a darker substrate without whites so it's never been much of an issue. Polyurethane will yellow like mad, though. Artist friends of mine have unfortunately destroyed pieces with that stuff.

Have you considered envirotex or similar as a finish after you've decoupaged the labeling? That would be a way to avoid yellowing at all.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 09, 2019, 10:16:40 AM
Epoxy won't work over acrylics, in general (it might work on cast acrylic, i.e., plexiglass).


I could be wrong, but I'm not going to chance it.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 09, 2019, 11:02:51 AM
Epoxy won't work over acrylics, in general (it might work on cast acrylic, i.e., plexiglass).


I could be wrong, but I'm not going to chance it.

That's certainly a good point. I've gotten away with using envirotex on top of inkjet waterslides set with an acrylic spray varnish (https://www.montana-cans.com/en/spray-cans/montana-tech-sprays/varnish-400ml/montana-varnish-400ml), but that's maybe testing safe practices of material sciences and not the best way to go about things.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 10, 2019, 10:00:49 AM
Any opinions on whether the jack labels should radiate from the same center as everything else (as illustrated below)?
(https://i.imgur.com/P6MhHBul.jpg)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 10, 2019, 10:23:56 AM
Iíd add some concentric lines along the text path center and maybe some between the knobs as well to tie it together. It doesnít necessarily look unified if that makes sense. Barring that, Iíd probably try aligning them with the top edge.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 10, 2019, 10:58:29 AM
You mean like the spokes here (I've made some of my guides visible--the spokes are a bit faint)?
(https://i.imgur.com/dT64oC0l.jpg)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 10, 2019, 01:59:14 PM
Yeah w/r/t the circles. Actually gives it a cool planetary/solar system feel. Iíd adjust the lines so they arenít just in-line with the text...just there so that thereís something holding the arc patterns together when it spreads further away from the knobs. Am I making sense? What do you think?
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 10, 2019, 03:46:21 PM
I may end up doing the paper labels as complete rings.  Here is my plan, which will require a bit of experimenting first to see if it is feasible:
1.  I will print a mirror image of the full set of graphics as a layout template.  I will also print out a non-mirrored copy and cut it into rings.
2.  I will attempt to lay a sheet of cling wrap (not sure if this has a different name in other parts of the world) over top of the template.
3. I will use Polycrylic to "glue" the graphic rings to the cling wrap in the corresponding locations.
4. I will apply a coating of Polycrylic to the enclosure and attempt to glue it to the back of the graphic elements.
5.  I will successfully* peel off the cling wrap and apply some more Polycrylic over top of everything.


*This is the part I have to verify through science first.  ;)

Edit: Cling wrap wasn't used.  I carefully cut out the drill holes on the "controls ring" and "innermost ring", and glued those rings to the enclosure first (aligning them to the already drilled holes).  They formed a sufficient guide for the remaining ring pieces.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 12, 2019, 08:29:14 AM
Playing around with graphics a bit more.

The white rings and center circle represent cutouts where the enclosure would show.

I would need to fix the 9V/INPUT ring, and I think I will try breaking the innermost ring a bit, but it is showing some promise.

(https://i.imgur.com/h8EwZsLl.jpg)

Now, I am thinking of making the innermost ring wider instead of breaking it into multiple partial rings.  I might make it the same width as the stomp switch washer.  Thinking a white plastic washer might actually look good here (am I crazy?).

Will probably at least try to make the Mars symbol a cutout too.

Sneaking this update in quietly in order to reduce my forum noise (shh!):
(https://i.imgur.com/ImVBZnLl.jpg) 
(https://i.imgur.com/fpyeO4Xl.jpg)

Nearly done!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: alanp on October 12, 2019, 03:34:03 PM
... this is just my opinion, but you are really overthinking this, I reckon :)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 12, 2019, 03:38:04 PM
Probably.  I'll put it down and build something else for a while.

(Updated above.)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 12, 2019, 04:01:59 PM
For what itís worth, I dig the direction youíre taking it!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 23, 2019, 06:26:16 AM
Progress!  Finialized the design, printed it, coated both sides of the paper with Polycrylic, pressed the paper flat inside a textbook once the Polycrylic was dry, cut out the rings, and glued them to the enclosure with more Polycrylic.  I'm going to keep adding layers of Polycrylic to level the surface a bit more.
Made a video to show how the subsurface reflection looks with this translucent finish.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: JoeR3155 on October 23, 2019, 07:28:58 AM
Looks awesome!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: Boba7 on October 23, 2019, 11:29:56 AM
Wow that looks awesome!

I honestly can't wait to see it finished, it will be so great!
Great job, really great. :)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: dawson on October 23, 2019, 08:39:37 PM
That's truly mesmerizing.  It almost pains me to think that you'll be putting it on the ground and stepping on it!

Great idea, and great execution.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on October 23, 2019, 08:43:48 PM
Nailing it! The circles ended up coming out great! Howíre you liking it?
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on October 23, 2019, 09:18:32 PM
Thanks, everyone!  Your support means a lot! 

I've added a few more coats to the finish since I posted that video clip, and it is looking even better.  I'm quite pleased with how these experiments are turning out (both the translucent blue and the paper labels were uncharted territory for me).

Nailing it! The circles ended up coming out great! Howíre you liking it?
Thank you for steering me toward the rings!  I agree that it really does tie the elements together well.

I have at least one experiment to go before this is done: combining the "on" and "rate" LED indications into a single RGB LED in a way that matches the overall color scheme. I believe my rings and the background are fairly close to the same hue, so I may end up matching that and varying the brightness with the aid of a transistor or two.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: nzCdog on October 24, 2019, 02:14:36 AM
Wow! Looking great, really catches the light beautifully.   8)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on November 03, 2019, 02:37:17 PM
Ready to finish my build now.  I'm declaring the enclosure done.


A preview of the end (still have to connect lots of wires inside):
(https://i.imgur.com/UdeKvfql.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/xqvBX8jl.jpg)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: Boba7 on November 05, 2019, 06:15:44 PM
Stunning ! I love it. Cant wait to see it finished. Great job as usual!!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on November 06, 2019, 10:48:23 AM
Looks killer! How're you digging it?
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on November 06, 2019, 11:57:45 AM
Thanks!


How're you digging it?
Not done yet, but I am very pleased with the enclosure.

Just finished soldering the stomp switch and a long shielded wire for the output jack.  Next, I'll attach the charge pump board.  I'll need to fire this up outside of the enclosure in order to adjust all of the trimmers (in order to fit this board in a logical way for the connections, I had to turn it upside down, so the trimmers will be inaccessible when it is done).  Still tons of work to do before I even know if this thing works.

I'm hoping to be completely done with this pedal by the end of the year.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on November 06, 2019, 05:27:53 PM
Oh yeah I knew you had a lot more to do on the inside, I was wondering about the enclosure. You put a lot into that and should be proud!
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on November 09, 2019, 10:02:12 AM
Some progress.
(https://i.imgur.com/HOsjC7tl.jpg)
It powers up correctly, the LFO runs, and I've figured out how I want to do the LED indications.  I'm using the blue element of an RGB LED for bypass indicator and green for LFO rate, which means (after some trial and error resistor selection) my LED oscillates between blue and cyan when the effect is on.  The LED is off when the effect is bypassed.

Next, I will figure out which way my wave toggle switch gets wired (I have a weird preference for always putting the keyways on threaded bushings upward).

Then, I will work on all those trimmer settings.
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: benny_profane on November 09, 2019, 10:05:03 AM
I have a weird preference for always putting the keyways on threaded bushings upward.

I do the same thing.

Are you getting any LFO noise or problems with the LEDs?
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on November 09, 2019, 10:15:28 AM
Are you getting any LFO noise or problems with the LEDs?
You are several steps ahead of me.   ;)
I haven't listened to anything yet.  Still working on basic connections.


Minor sneak update:
Thought I should show these pot insulators/spacers before they get permanently hidden from sight.  They're made from scraps of ancient relic perfboard from Radio Shack and attached with CA gel glue.
(https://i.imgur.com/reNoALrl.jpg)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on November 16, 2019, 07:01:40 AM
I have started to do some calibration and testing outside of the box.  There are all sorts of squeals and whistles, but the BBDs appear to be BBing.  I imagine long wires, lack of shielding, my breadboard, and the fact that my test signal is coming from my $20 oscilloscope that is also sitting unshielded on the breadboard next to the circuit are contributing to the symphony.  Too early in the process to worry about anything though, so I'm calling it a positive test so far.  I'll press forward and get it all working, then I will tackle the whistles.  ;)
Title: Re: ABDX-PIF build
Post by: EBK on November 25, 2019, 10:57:04 PM
Just reporting this for completeness.

The squeals and whistles are largely gone when using a guitar for my test signal.  I'm definitely getting delayed signals out of both BBDs.  But, my circuit output appears to be simply my clean input.  There were a lot of options in the build docs (jumpers, component omissions and substitutions, etc.).  I'm going to double check to make sure I have properly implemented the configuration that I have chosen:

MN3005 BBDs
MN3101 clock
True bypass