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Topics - greysun

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Hi everyone! Forgive if this is the wrong spot for this (and I'm happy to move it), but hopefully someone can help...

Because I made so many madbean pedals (not joking - like 80%+ of my board originated here in some fashion), I needed a switcher... 9 years after starting, I'm finally finishing it up.

I just got through (with the help of the Arduino Forum) coding and breadboarding this monster 16 effect, 9-bank pedal loop/switcher. Here's a demo off the breadboard: (please excuse the messy practice area, hehe)

It functions great, but there's definitely some digital noise bleeding into the signal. I put the LEDs (neopixels) onto their own 5v supply, and the audio doesn't share a ground or anything with the Arduino or other 5v supply needs... but I also have no filtering on the audio signal at all. Not sure if that's what's needed, and if so, what that looks like? Would love some advice...

My next step is getting a few PCBs made for it, so I have my work cut out for me...

I'll add tap tempo, tuner and master bypass to it once I get it into the enclosure. Overall, I'm seeing a finish line, but just need to fix that pesky high pitch noise!

General Questions / Relay meets Optocoupler Question
« on: January 06, 2024, 01:12:00 PM »
Hi everyone!

Feel free to tell me where this post should go. I'm pulling my hair out...

I'm building an effects switcher with an Arduino - have had the parts for years, finally doing it. I tested everything using LEDs and it worked great.

for some reason, now that I've got the relays on here, I am unable to get my relays to actually switch - this is a problem, hehe. I've got a TQ2-L-5V relay, pc817 opto and S8050 transistor.

I would assume maybe I didn't code things correctly, which is still plausible, but I have a reset for all relays on power-up to switch on and off - none work, but it did work when it was just LEDs.

Here's my diagram (attached) - can someone tell me what I'm missing? (happy to share code from Arduino, too, if anyone is up to speed there, but again - in testing, it worked - I think it's something with my opto that's just not flipping the voltage between 1 and 10 so it actually toggles the switch).

Thanks in advance, as always! :-)

General Questions / 555 timer pulses in audio signal
« on: April 21, 2023, 08:25:42 AM »
Hi everyone!

For my latest project, I'm converting an old enclosure that was drilled for a battery to one that has the foot switch down at the bottom. I retrofitted the old hole with a jewel lens and a 555 timer LED circuit with 2 LEDs flashing (think old pinball or carnival display).


The problem: I can hear the timer pulses in the audio signal.

My assumption is that possibly a cap at the power source might help (or maybe even at the ground), but I have no idea how to think of values and all that...

The timer circuit is below (I’ll admit it’s a bit sloppy - definitely would make changes next time, but trying to work with what I’ve got here) - 9v is directly to the power supply, ground is to the LED lug of the typical 3pdt foot switch.

I could always just throw a standard LED in there, but I'm trying to have a little fun here, hehe... each pin with any power has 100u cap on it, and the rest are 1k resistors (I have so many, so I just ran them in parallel to get the values I wanted).

Any thoughts?

General Questions / Mudbunny Mids Mod - back to 2012 for a second...
« on: April 17, 2023, 05:13:59 PM »
Hi everyone!

I have 2 old mudbunnies that are to Mayo specs (ish) - I did the mids mod: 4k7 across lugs 1 and 2 of a 25kb pot with lugs 1 and 3 soldered to R18.

I was smart enough to put a toggle in so I could have the stock 33k on one side, the mids on the other. (most other specs for triangle/rams head/etc. are around 39k)

I'd like to get rid of the toggle, but be able to dial in somewhat near stock. This means a 50kb pot, I assume, but I need my math reviewed here:

The 25kb pot with 4k7 across lugs 1 and 2 gives me about 3.85 on one side, 21ish on the other.

If I do the same with a 50kb pot and around a 10k resistor across lugs 1 and 2, that would get me somewhere between 8.5 on one side and 42 on the other. stock is 33k.

Obviously, this would change the character of the mids pot, but I never turn it all the way down.

Can someone help me figure out how to do this right? LOL...

As always - thank you in advance!

General Questions / Husky Boy 18v question, re: C10 (10uf) cap...
« on: April 16, 2023, 06:53:09 PM »
Hi everyone!

I built a husky boy - but one of the 10uf caps (c10) was a tant cap with 16v rating (realized after the fact it was only 16v - I just wanted to use up my supply of tants).

When running on a 9v supply, I measured with a multimeter the voltage for that cap, which was around 4.2ish.

Would it be safe to run this on 18v given that particular cap is only running at half the volts, or is there something that happens on power-up or down or whatever that might make it risky?

Really, I just have (2) unused 18v outs on my MXR power supply, and I need an extra supply and there aren't any other pedals I can use on them, hehe...

Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

Build Reports / Chicago RAT!
« on: April 14, 2023, 11:46:00 AM »
Inspired by the recent conversation I’d started about the possibility of an all-transistor RAT to get some different sounds, I went the route of a certain mr. Jimilee and made a RAT with 8 different clipping options on a rotary switch.

I call it the Chicago RAT! (But really, it’s should be called the jimilee rat ripoff extravaganza - but that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite right, hehe).

I’ll make a video in the coming days of the varied sounds, but the clipping options are all pretty unique and there isn’t one that I don’t like. I never used the ruetz mod on the slow loris pedals I built long ago, so I didn’t include that, but I did add the FAT switch, which is great for bridge pickups, but kinda muddy for neck. I feel like hum buckers would be straight mud with the fat setting.

Clippers are: 4148/bs170 - 4001/bat41/bat41 - red led/red led - 4001/4001 - 2n7000/2n7000 - 1n34a/1n34a - 4148/4148 - no clipping (op amp only).

The filter pot is reversed for me - not sure how that happened, but it might be that I’m just not that good at Eagle. It works, so I don’t care what direction it goes.

I’ve had the enclosure drilled for another pedal like 10 years ago, but I rehoused that one - I just never found knobs that worked with this enclosure’s color, but once I had some metallic gold knobs for another build, it became my mission to salvage this one (always thinking sustainably!). Filled the holes with JB weld, the did my best to re-drill. Not exact. But close enough.

The foot switch was originally drilled to fit a 9v battery, but I don’t use those, so I got a jewel lens cover. I wanted to use a 555 timer to flash lights inside, but it’s too tight in the enclosure, so I’ll have to save that for other pedals I convert later. This just gets an added LED.

Pro-tip (or, well… greysun tip, lol): I had gotten solder lug pots when I thought I was etching this myself, so to convert them to board mounted, I just twisted some excess leads together - little solder, little trimming, and we’re good to go.

I have one more to make… wish me luck!

Build Reports / EQ pedal…
« on: April 09, 2023, 06:35:15 PM »
Next up - EQ!

I also designed this board, hoping to do a single sided etch, but wound up ordering from JLC. Being able to board mount all the pots made this a VERY easy build (aside from the LED - some of my past yellows are reversed pos/neg and I thought I’d used them all up… PITA!). You can still see all the jumper holes throughout the board, hehe. I wanted an EQ to add some frequencies to (or maybe better manage?) my big muff (mudbunny), and I think this will work great.

This was based on the schematic from the EXCELLENT DIY guitar pedals “Rock Bottom 5-band EQ” project. I ordered 2 of their boards (if anyone wants to buy one, I’ve got 2, hehe), but after they shipped noticed that one of the op-amps wasn’t used - and one thing led to another while I had covid, so I wound up creating a 6-band EQ plus volume and I do not regret it - but I also would never do it again, hehe. Order theirs - it’s a cleaner design, and will fit in a 1590b

This board is great because you can choose your own frequencies - I had a TON of parts, so it was inexpensive, and I wanted to have fun with the enclosure color (the gold and purple make me happy). I went with a 125b enclosure, which is bigger than I normally like, but I wanted to use the Davies knobs.

Can’t wait to get it running with the others!

Build Reports / “Husky boy” builds…
« on: April 07, 2023, 03:49:33 PM »
Hey all! I did some builds - more to come, but here’s a couple of “husky boy” pedals. Why in quotes? WELL…

I’ll start with this: they sound SO GOOD! It feels more like amp distortion than my overdrives - amplifies my guitar’s tone, but doesn’t affect it like overdrives can. I wired the bass/treble in reverse so it felt more natural turning them up or down - call me old fashioned, hehe.

The long version: I wasn’t 100% happy with my overdrives. I had A LOT of excess parts and a bunch of etching materials, so I was going to etch a single-sided version of the husky boy and put it into a 1590b. The madbean board would’ve required some small parts orders, which I was trying to avoid.

By the time I got finished designing the board, I had decided to use a Gorva 1590a and had JLC manufacture the boards - I just didn’t wanna deal with etching when JLC is not expensive and can do multi-layer PCBs (no jumpers!).

The Gorva 1590a is fantastic… If you’re in 1590a pedals, hehe… I hate making pedals in 1590a enclosures for varied reasons, mainly it’s just too tight on space. The Gorva 1590a is about as tall as a 1590b, slightly wider and slightly longer than a 1590a, and the bottom is seamless with the mounting screw holes only at the bottom, so there’s more room everywhere inside. As I try to use up my weirder parts (like the giant caps), I was able to use those and normal parts. I was also able to use a mixture of 16mm and 9mm pots to use up some stock there.

The j201s are SMDs on small adapter boards - not pretty, but do the job - I hope I never have to deal with SMD ever again, but j201s are just not around anymore.

Recommended build (but buy it from Brian - his is cleaner, hehe. I’ll be shooting some dollars to his PayPal in the coming days for the excellent doc and schematic, tho).

After doing this for enough years, I’ve found that I need to be more organized than ever… RadioShack is no longer a potential quick lifeline for a forgotten part, nor does micro center have a lot on hand specific to pedals like these…

So what’s your organization process to ensure you have all the parts and they’re easily accessible? Let’s start a thread!!!

Mine is basically the attached image - I have jewelry organizers that I bought at Michael’s for my varied parts (only showing the resistor box, which is now overflowing, heheh), and for every project, I use a strip of painters tape to put the parts onto and list them out so they’re 1) easy to grab, and 2) makes clear what parts I need to order. I usually separate diodes/resistors from caps as I do the resistors first typically. I then fold the strip over in half to keep everything in place until I’m ready to build.

I put any jacks/pots/foot switches/led bezels into the empty enclosures.

This takes a bit of extra time, yes… but I also rarely have to order extra parts and can build start to finish quickly. I can also weed out odd parts or used parts to put into something and work through my oddities I’ve acquired over the years.

What are your organization hacks?

General Questions / 4002 sub in Slow Loris / RAT - will 4004 work?
« on: March 01, 2023, 02:50:45 PM »
hey there!

wondering if a 4004 would do the trick for this circuit - the data sheet just shows the 4004 having a higher voltage rank, but want to know before I just make the assumption.

The situation - I have a ton of 4004, but no 4002... before I put the order in, just want to see what's what.

Let me know! Thank you!

General Questions / Jewel Lens for enclosures…
« on: February 28, 2023, 08:30:46 AM »
Hey y’all!

Currently in the throes of Covid (mild so far, fingers crossed to stay that way) so my mind is wandering a bit… which means I had an idea…

For the madbean projects I did when we were still accounting for 9v batteries (so the foot switch isn’t at the bottom), I’m hitting switches and knobs too much. But I also don’t want to be wasteful or figure out how to get the same powdercoat colors (which aren’t available anymore). Then I looked at my amp and said “JEWEL LENS!”

If I moved the foot switch down, and replaced the current foot switch hole with a jewel lens, 1) is that a bad idea, 2) if not, how would an LED be mounted inside?

I suppose I could just not put anything in the jewel lens and it would be decorative, but that’s no fun!

Anyone have thoughts? Or even different ideas?

Okay, okay, okay - but hear me out... lol...

As I get my pedal board narrowed and finessed a bit (I've built over 3 dozen pedals at this point), I'm finding that of the muffs I've built, I prefer the 4 transistor versions (mudbunnies) over the op-amp versions (pig butt, and an actual EH big muff). Part of it is that Brian's docs encouraged experimentation and I was able to make something that sounded a bit fatter and louder than the IC ones with a bit more character...

Then I started looking at my slow loris - I have what I think is the 2012 version, which I had to dig for the documentation on - the new version has switching to different clipping diodes (mine is a board-mounted switch, no clipping center, LEDs up, diodes down - I almost always use the LEDs up). It's a great pedal, but can be finicky in the mix. I also built 2 Runts, but they don't have the same feel of the Slow Loris.

Then I thought: ya know - this uses an op-amp (lm308, I think?)... can one make a transistor version that might have different characteristics? So I went to the internet, and found more articles about how nobody knows the original circuits or conflicting information and blah blah blah... nothing specific enough for my question.

So I come to you, madbean forum, to see if anyone's tried it - I don't know enough about circuits to know where the op-amp sits in terms of affecting the character of the pedal, but in the spirit of experimentation, why not?

Any info is appreciated. :-)

Hi everyone!

I’m etching a few boards as I gear up to finally finish a pretty complex ardiuno-based pedal switcher I’ve been working on forever - I’m rusty, so need the practice.

One of them is based on the DIYGP Rock Bottom EQ ( ), which I based on their schematic. I bought 2 from them, but they ran out and I needed a 3rd - which actually works out because I can add a 6th EQ band with the unused op-amp circuit in the schematic. Its tight, adds more jumpers than I typically like, and a single knob on its own row for volume, but that’s okay by me.

I used board-mounted pots for everything. But then wondered if that’s a no-no with a single-sided etch. I can solder the pots on the same side without issue, but is the possibility of pulling up copper or breaking the signal paths something to worry about?

Any help is appreciated! Thank you all so much. :-)

General Questions / Boost question - husky boy adjacent...
« on: February 04, 2023, 08:28:06 AM »
Hi everyone!

Noting that I'm using all madbean stuff out of the gate... Been trying to figure out a boost scenario with my big muff (e.g. pig butt and mudbunny) pedals - I have 3 versions: pig butt (the quietest of them), mudbunny (modded with bc550 and a mid pot) and another mudbunny (modded with mid pot and JMK clean blend). They have all the usual trappings: not enough clarity, loses notes in chords, etc., and I LOVE that sound, but am just not writing for that sound - wanting fuzz, wanting some note clarity, trying to work with what I've got.

I've tried running several overdrives in front of em, overdrives after em, amp tweaks left and right (I have both an Allen accomplice (deluxe reverb) and a mojotone jtm45 clone, and my overdrives are the green bean (ts9), egghead (clark gainster), cherry bomb (coloursound overdriver)).

As such, I've been tapping into my rats (e.g. slow loris) which can sound amazing, but also a bit quiet. I also have a mudbunny with a jmk clean blend circuit, so trying to play with that a bit, but again - too quiet.

I breadboarded up a husky boy to test it out, but only had 2n5457s on-hand (from what I've read, it's essentially a lower gain j201)... that circuit definitely helps with the volume, but also colors the fuzz tone into something more gritty than I'm wanting (running the fuzz into the boost to get the volume bump) and not letting me control the tone using the muff much. Wondering if the 5457s are the culprit, or if that's just how a boost will behave with a fuzz.

Open to suggestions, easily impressionable, and have lots of parts on-hand, hehe... Let me know if you have any suggestions, and as always, thank you in advance!

Build Reports / Sludgehammer - a “make it work” story!
« on: January 27, 2023, 09:57:35 AM »
Hello hello hello!

Upon realizing the usefulness of my on-loan sansamp bass driver DI (programmable version, see pic), I decided I needed one of my own - then I saw that Brian created a board - then I saw that I had more than 90% of the parts on-hand to make it, including an enclosure and knobs. So... I made it.

It works and sounds great - even a little better than the original! The balanced output volume is low - is that normal? Don't plan to use that feature much, but curious. Interestingly, I think the programmable one has an audio pot for the Drive - I can get to the same sound, but at very different points on the pots. Used with a bassBB for distortion, it rips… I plan to have a buddy use his cricut to make some knob labels for me and then I'll call it done.

ALL THAT BEING SAID... Let's dig into some of the more questionable looking aspects of the actual board:

First questionable item: "Wow, there are some big caps in there!" - first off, thank you for noticing! (hehe) WAY BACK when I started building pedals, I ordered a bunch of 47n and 100n film caps without knowing they would be enormous, and I have been trying to use them up since (only 5 left after this one!). As there was space opportunities on this board, I got creative with bending leads and heatshrink (see pro-tip after question section).

Second questionable item: "Those are some funky looking ceramic caps in C3, C6 and C13. And what’s up with that resistor in r19?" Again - going WAY back to when I started, I ordered far too many 470pf caps and found that running 2 of them in series got me almost right on the money at 220pf (measuring tolerances of them all, yada yada) for C3 and C6. C13 is the same deal - I had excess of a couple values and got right at 1.2n. R19 is some resistors in series cause I forgot to order a part. A little creative bending, soldering and heat shrink (again, see pro-tip after question section) and everything just kinda worked out.

Third questionable item: "what's up with the jacks? why didn't you use the enclosed ones like you did for the balanced out?" Now THAT is a great question - I ordered enclosed jacks, but the drilling template put them right at the bottom edge, which made it so I couldn't close the thing. I had some smaller jacks for a 1590a project I was working on and an extra open jack, so I got creative and made it work. I’m not hearing noise, so I’ll call it a “make it work” win!

Fourth questionable item: "dude - your LED leads aren't cut. Are you TRYING to piss off the volcano?!" WELL... fun story - I soldered that last. I try and use bevels always (just a note that a 5mm bezel won't fit next to the switch for this build, so use a 3mm bezel if you go that route), so for the LED, I needed to get it boxed up to get the height just right for the LED to stick into the bezel direct from the board. Instead of just marking it, pulling everything out and soldering it like a normal person, I just soldered it right there, and my tools are no longer sharp enough to chop leads. (note to self, get better tools and don't take shortcuts). Truth is that they aren't going anywhere or touching anything, so I'm not worried about it.

My heat shrink pro-tip that everyone probably knows - I used a bit on the larger caps to cover up exposed leads that might touch other components or pads (I did this for the 1/2w resistor, and 4 of the 100n large caps I used). I ALSO slid a bit of heat shrink up one of the leads for my series caps/resistors so I could seal around the connection. It looks better(ish) and made then more of a single solid unit.

All in all, a fun build and very useful pedal for me. I’m recording a bit this weekend and will maybe post some video clips. Maybe… hehe.


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