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Topics - gordo

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Open Discussion / Android 12...Windows11
« on: October 26, 2021, 04:56:24 PM »
Not anything to do with DIY but both highly recommended.  They fixed a lot of stuff that is truly annoying about Android 10 and the Windows bit is just a fine tune of Windows 10 but some nice tweaks.

I won't go into detail unless anyone wants an explanation.  It's made life easier in tiny increments so I'll consider it a WIN.

Build Reports / Dead End FX - TerraHawk
« on: September 09, 2021, 07:24:31 PM »
I just can't help myself.  Right about the time that I think I've built one of everything I find an effect I'd never heard of and also discover it was the core sound of one of my fave guitar players: Rory Gallagher.  I always knew he used a treble booster to get his Vox or Bassman to break up but didn't realize it was this obscure beast.  The pedal is a clone of the  Butcher Pistol Slapper, itself a variation on the S. Hawk Tonal Expander that Gallagher used.

The Hawk, and it's successor The Hawk II were only made for a couple of years (73 and 74) and were an 18v affair that was closer to a channel strip from a recording console than an effect.  It had no stomp switch and was intended to be used on any instrument or microphone.  It had sliders for Bass/Mid/Treble and an on-off switch, a treble boost switch, and a gain boost switch.  The cool part is that the tone controls are inductor based and the circuit has a ton of gain available (with 18v headroom).  The Pistol Slapper added a variable gain pot as well as an output level control.  It also made the Boost footswitched and added a 3 position switch to change the range and a boost level (Filter) control.  The TerraHawk has the same feature set.

Most Hawks were gooped and a major PITA to work on if they failed (18v from two nine volt batteries...what could go wrong?) so they're exceedingly rare in the wild and if you can find one it's stupid expensive.

Dead End's version is designed to be put in a 1590BBS chassis (deeper than a 1590BB) and I got a bit too aggressive with the jack placement and ended up having to lay down a couple of the film caps to clear it.  I'd blame it on having WAY too much room to work with.  A rare went to my head.

This is the Hammond deep red powdercoat and it's a really nice finish but thicker than I expected and I'd have turned up the power on the laser if I had a do-over.  Still, it's clean, if unimaginative and I'm happy with it.

This is a booster that eats all other boosters for dinner.  I'm REALLY loving this thing, and if there is to be such a thing as Rory-in-a-box...this is it.  He sat thru my band's last set of the evening in Worchester MA in a little bar.  This was in the early 80's and he was opening for Rush at the time, and I believe it was his last American tour.  He was all by himself at a table and bought a bottle of Jack Daniels at bar prices and a glass.  I walked by him and said Hi, and wanted to explain to him that he was the reason I played electric guitar and specifically a sunburst Stratocaster and chickened out.  I could hardly even breathe I was so in awe so I just kept going and left.  I regret that decision on a regular basis.

So all that sob story aside, here it is...The S. Hawk Tonal Expander...

Build Reports / Umm...did you just *bleep*?
« on: September 06, 2021, 02:40:47 PM »
Here's the Abacus.  This one was a blast to build and I've spent all kinds of time fiddling with it.  I finally got it boxed up in a grey powdercoat 1590D.

Build Reports / Rubber Band
« on: August 30, 2021, 06:45:30 PM »
I got a bit of spare time this weekend so I got this nice little comp together.  I'm on a "bare essentials" laser kick these days but I finally have some consistency and a feel for how much power powdercoat takes to cut so it's been a fairly productive learning curve.

This is a really nice compressor.  It's really not transparent by compressor standards but with the Function control set to midpoint it pretty much takes the parametric EQ out of the path and what's left is a very smooth compression that deviates a bit from the normal Dyna/Ross crowd.  Distortion really isn't and as Lectric FX mentions in the build doc it's much more of a Grit control and you're left to figure out what you'd like to use as a clipper.  I auditioned most of my stash once I got it boxed up and ended up going with a 1N695.  It struck a nice balance of grit and didn't take down the level too noticeably.  I wasn't crazy about adding another diode in the optional D2 slot but I reserve the right to keep trying.  The Gate function is very subtle but totally cool.

It looks like I tried to goop the board in front of the stomp switch but it's just light reflecting off the PCB.

Build Reports / Lovetone Love Fest
« on: August 25, 2021, 04:33:40 PM »
Lovetone pedals have always been a fascination, although sometimes a pretty too touch for live use.  Let alone the real estate they take up on a typical pedalboard.  Still...very cool stuff.  I already had a few builds from a few sources and a Dminner etched enclosure for one of them (previously posted) so I thought I'd add to the family with a few of Aion's new boards:

Spectron (Meatball).  I'd already built the Music PCB board but never really bonded with it.  This one nailed it and it's likely due to LDR/LED selection as well.  For whatever reason this is likely the best triggered filter I've made.  Close second is the Madbean Flunkee, due to it's dead simple operation, but good sound.  Laser'd powdercoat for the graphics.  I'll never remember what the jacks do on the back.  Didn't have room for front graphics, and if I ever need to get weird or expressive I'll just have to dig up the docs.

Next up is the Monolith (Big Cheeze) and the Obelisk (Brown Source).  I've never played either of these, which is strange considering I'm old as Moses.  Very nice pedals without being typical "out there" Lovetones.  Again, laser'd powdercoat.

And finally a few old builds with fresh knobs.  The Doppelganger and ?Flanger

I didn't want to screw up CultureJam's booster thread but this relates.  I'm finally getting a grip on the 30w NEJE laser and it's all good.  Just not with this pedal.  I shot a test on the back plate and then figured I could focus without moving the laser pak.  Bad move.  I'm not unhappy with this enclosure, I'm just bummed at what could have been.  Lesson learned.

In the meantime, great take on the old FZ-2.  Not my cup of tea but for my Fuzz freak buddies this one will be to die for.

The cool part of the LightBurn software is the ability to control the placement in the field.  So getting an enclosure dialed in still takes some patience, but it's much more precise.  That said, beam aiming is a bit weirder than with the smaller Mini and it burned me (pun easily intended) this time around.  The pics don't indicate as much difference as the real thing.  It's cut thru the powder down to the metal but the topside example was cooked with too wide a beam under too much power.

Open Discussion / RIP BJ Thomas
« on: May 30, 2021, 07:10:57 PM »
Probably off most people's radar but a really cool guy.  I had the pleasure of touring with him for a few weeks in Canada in the late 70's and during a stop in front of Mother's Music (if memory serves) in Edmonton I was able to trade a Les Paul goldtop deluxe for a Lado Falcon.  Still wish I had the deluxe but have never regretted the Falcon.

Open Discussion / PedalPCB forum down
« on: May 21, 2021, 06:37:34 PM »
Is it just me or is PPCB forum down?

Build Reports / Photon Boost w/Bio77 enclosure
« on: May 04, 2021, 08:26:03 AM »
I'd started the Tag Team builds thread to detail enclosures I've been lucky enough to obtain from other members.  This fits in nicely but I've never seen the 'filmless' decal process in person so wanted to showcase it.  It's mindblowing in terms of how it integrates onto the surface of the pedal and photos just don't do it justice.  I took the first couple of shots outside just to get the colors to be true.

First off, big thanks to Bio77 for his generous effort in getting my Photon build to be so top shelf.  Also big thanks to Kevin over at Aion for the project.  This is a great boost and features nearly unusable amounts of clean levels and really kicks the snot out of my little amp when needed.  About a third of the way up puts my amp in the 'zone', anything beyond that is bordering on amp abuse :-)

Bio77 included the massive LED and bezel as well as the knob and toggle switch nut so the pedal really has a theme going on.  I never usually put this much thought into getting an enclosure decked out, which is why his builds always look so top notch.  I had mounted the output jack slightly cocked to clear the enclosure but realized after the photos that it fits so it's been straightened out.  I'd also considered using a soft touch bypass on this project but Kevin does such a nice job on the bypass board that I kept it.  This thing will stay on full time in my newly outfitted loop switch board anyway.  The LED is slick in that it glows a not overly bright amber and looks just like an incandescent bulb, befitting it's size.

Build Reports / ChaosAgent and Fireaxe builds
« on: April 27, 2021, 01:45:43 PM »
I snagged a NEJE Master 2 Mini laser last week and although it's pretty slick and a good way to get my feet wet I'd hold out for something with a bit more power (and software compatibility) if I were to rethink it.

Still it is pretty cool and these are a couple of test shots on some powder coated 1590B enclosures:

I etched it and then backfilled the etched portion with gold alcohol ink.  It has kind of cool gold-leaf effect that doesn't translate well to the photo.  In hindsight the Fireaxe would have been more fitting of the gold-leaf on red fire engine theme.

The Fireaxe is just a straight up etch with the laser set a bit lighter and the remaining black is the remnants of the powder coat cleaned with a bit of alcohol.  It's quite deep.  The laser is not powerful enough to etch a raw enclosure but it seems to torch paint and powder pretty well.  I also need to figure out a better way to center it.

Build Reports / Tag team builds
« on: April 14, 2021, 03:16:29 PM »
One of the things that I love about this community is seeing other folks stuff.  It's not only inspiring to see the stuff, but to actually own it makes it that much more personal.  My stuff is my stuff but for some reason when someone else's work is involved it takes it to the next level.  It's sort of like a sandwich tasting better when someone makes it for you.

I have 3 builds that are a real honor to own and here's one of them:

I'd commented on one of jjjimi84's artwork, involving a rabbit, that it made me miss an old pet.  Nilla was the rabbit's name and although she's been gone for a long time now it's always insanely difficult to put a pet down at the end of their time.

I get a note saying "send me a picture and I'll paint you up an enclosure".  It's overly generous but I'm certainly not going pass up this opportunity.  I decide to put an Aion Naos (Yamaha OD-10MII) in the enclosure and off we go.

I just got this in the mail this afternoon and stuffed the guts into it and am thrilled to death:

Thanks again Dan!!

Antique Electronic  Supply is carrying synth, pedal, and Eurorack stuff these days.

Build Reports / New Pedal board based on Eoo3
« on: April 09, 2021, 03:03:43 PM »
Finally, I'm getting this beast wrapped up.  The Eoo3 has been finished for ages but I'd never built a board around it.  Wiring under the deck is a rats nest but once I get FX loop and amp switch cables in place I can tidy it up with a bit of velcro.

  • Amp switching - in this case Boost and Lead channels on my 6505mh
  • FX loop Send and Return for the MM4, Delay, and Reverb.  Delay and Reverb have tails enabled
  • 60 banks of 7 presets, which is massive overkill for my needs but more=better.
  • Top is held closed by magnets.
  • Effects that don't need to be interacted with are under the deck, so no knobs getting bumped.
  • MIDI in and out (although not implemented here).
  • The pedals under the deck default to powered on.
  • Tuner is always live but buffered and system has a Mute switch.

This has been a long time coming and I'm pretty happy with it.

Build Reports / Forum Vibe
« on: March 22, 2021, 06:58:45 PM »
This project goes back about 8-10 years I think.  In the spirit of everyone finishing up old projects I figure since I wrapped this up over the weekend I'd post it.

Brad Burt (aka Redhouse) posted this on diystompboxes a bazillion years ago and it was a Vibe project that was a culmination of input from a handful of people.  It was an etch only project to my knowledge and had a few variations within the project for some subtle variations.

This was back in a time when I was ambitious enough to etch my own boards and I put it together and it sort of worked but was wonky and went into a "someday" pile and has been there ever since.  A few months ago I dragged it out and thought I really should finish it.  I'd even talked to Bio77 about doing an enclosure for it but in the end it was such a weird size and such a seat-of-the-pants project that I decided just to finish it up with alcohol inks and a decal.

The worst decision on my part was to include a mode switch that is likely something I found in a junk pile from the 1940's.  It's a HUGE 4P3T.  I have no idea why I needed to use it but I did.  I made up a tagboard to assemble the voicing caps so it's capable of being a stock Vibe, a RedHouse vibe, and a Phase 90.  Because of the large switch I needed to stuff it in a 1590J enclosure.

It's damn ugly and I still need to make an 18v board for it, but powered by my Dunlop (capable of feeding it 18v) it sounds absolutely wonderful.  The RedHouse is a bit beefier sounding, the Phase 90 is fairly convincing, but the stock Vibe sounds about as close as I'm likely to get (minus the noise of the original).  In hindsight I should have listened to Bio and just put it in a tall 1590BB and left off the voice switch.

Here it is:

The board can accommodate a bunch of variations so there are a bunch of extra pads.  I've also made up some mounting posts that I'll install once the Road Rage board is installed.

I cleaned up the offboard wiring after this shot and added shielded cable on the input and output.  Nothing too crazy and it's dead quiet.

Even with the long cap leads this thing is quiet.  That rotary must be from a WWII tank or something.

I used a bit of saran wrap and ink on the sides to give it kind of a faux marble look.

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