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Topics - greysun

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Build Reports / Self-etched Cavedweller and Bass BB
« on: April 15, 2018, 03:22:05 PM »
I already posted a couple pics of the Cavedweller in general questions, so Iíll do the bass bb first...

I could never find a good bass distortion or overdrive. A Chicago band I liked called Oh My God used an old Rat pedal, but that wasnít working for me. I always thought dinosaur jr did a great job with bass OD, and I finally saw that Lou was using a bass BB. Done.

I had almost all the parts on-hand, and used a schematic I found online to get a board into Eagle (its the same one that a British company uses to make their own clone board). This was a HARD circuit to layout. I ended up using 1 jumper, but figured out while soldering I probably could have avoided it by making the board maybe 1/8Ē longer. Oh well. AND, if Iíd really wanted, I could have board mounted 9mm pots in the current design, but didnít have them in the right specs, so thisíll do. I also used up 2 very large .1u caps Iím desperately trying to use that wouldnít be used otherwise.

Not my cleanest switch wiring, but it works, so Iím good.

As for the Cavedweller, I wanted to make something my voice/guitar mentor could use in his classes - he teaches Floyd, Radiohead, rockabilly, so it made sense. (He loved it, btw, and was touched - goal achieved). I etched this one because, as I said earlier, these .1u caps need to go and the only way is to make my own boards. I also wanted practice using press-n-peel for a switch circuit I designed.

As for press-n-peel: it works, but itís not foolproof. Patience, a good printer, the ability to course correct and a good permanent marker are key factors to success. I think the etched boards turned out pretty good, and this was way easier for me than the photo-resist method. Once the boards were ironed on, I just filled in the blank spots with 2 layers of permanent marker, then etched with ferric chloride (I had this from when I etched some boards in 2013. I didnít think it would last this long, but etching only took about 6min).

Of course, etching boards isnít something Iím super into, so hopefully I only do it for my switch, run out of materials, and never worry about it again, hehe. Hereís the boards:

There you have it! Good times.

General Questions / Cavedweller dirt in repeats...
« on: April 08, 2018, 11:42:32 AM »
hey there!

I finally just built a cave dweller. Full disclosure: I etched a custom version because I have a bunch of .1uf poly caps that are 7 through holes wide (aka, HUGE) and needed to use them up. I also wanted something to test out the press-n-peel method of etching before I make a custom switch. This will go into a 1590B. (an aside: I hate etching boards, so it's rare, but this went well. The vast majority of my pedal board is madbean fabricated, though, hehe).

So it's built - it functions - it's pretty cool, actually, BUT... The initial swipe of the guitar is pretty clean, but the repeats seem to have a little dirt or something in them, especially when the delay is longer. I got Q1 drain to 6.24V with a maxed out trimmer. I'm using a green diffused LED with the PT2399. I swapped the PT2399 already just to be sure. Pins 3 and 4 are both connected to ground per the schematic (initially I only had pin 3 connected to the LED, but then connected it also to pin 4).

I read that it has "dark tones" in some reviews, and I know it's supposed to be a more lo-fi delay per the schematic. It's pretty neat either way, and this is a gift for my voice instructor to use while teaching, so it will work fine in that regard, but am curious if there's something I can do to clean it up a bit.

If anyone has any thoughts, or if this should be in another area of the forum, let me know. And, as always, thanks in advance for any help!

General Questions / PCB manufacturing
« on: January 15, 2018, 10:16:43 AM »
hey everyone!

I need to get a couple somewhat large PCBs made: approx 2.1" x 16.65". Looking through reviews, it seems like itead and seeed are the best options - though seeed allows for a custom size, and itead won't let me put in my custom dimensions. The online tool said that 10 of them would be $37.

Is seeed good quality? If so, are there any notes for setup for someone ordering the first time and wanting it go smoothly? Pad size? trace size? additions that just can't be lived without?

The reason why I'm asking? Well... Aside from most of my pedalboard consisting of madbean-based projects, this one is actually related to a switch to control them...

I got a pedalsync9 system working, but it didn't function quite how I wanted. It only allowed for one loop at a time, and wasn't programmable. I could get parts/new boards to update it, but that was pricy. It also mutes the audio signal during the switch (to avoid a pop noise, as is common with relays), but it's too long and not adjustable.

I liked the higher quality parts from the pedalsync, however, which I can reuse, and the idea behind it. Some sleuthing led me to an Arduino project online, which was programmable and much more flexible. So I combined the good aspects of the pedalsync (the photofet muting, quality relay, etc), added an LCD screen and coded an ArduinoMega to program, store and recall any combination of 9 loops (each with 9 effects, in order - doesn't rearrange) in 11 banks (so 99 different combinations of 9 effects... Why you'd need 99, I don't know, but the code let me do it, so it does it). All true bypass, LCD display, customizable mute length (so it actually is inaudible), more options for LEDs and relatively easy to build, all things considered.

Breadboarding went well using LEDs and pushbuttons. Great in theory, but I'm waiting on some parts to see how the sound works out (the opto module, some transistors, etc.). The pedalsync had a lot of hum/buzz in it, and that's been a complaint from some (not all) of the original Arduino system from which I based this project, as well. I'm hopeful that with the higher quality parts and an effort to keep the audio signal truly separate from the digital signal, I can make this work, and it never hurts to try something new, right?

I designed a single sided PCB, which has a couple jumpers, but with a 2-sided, it would only need one. Obviously not final, as I'm waiting on some parts to breadboard, but just getting a head start.

If there are other, better options for PCB manufacture, I'd love to hear them. :-) And if anyone has built something similar, I'd love to see it!

As always, thank you in advance!

General Questions / Multi-pedal / All-in-One question...
« on: January 03, 2018, 08:52:37 AM »
Happy new year, everyone!

I've been taking some voice lessons with a great teacher the last few months, and wanted to say thanks with a gift of sorts. I figure a pedal is apt, but can't figure out which one...

Then I had the idea to maybe put 3 baby boards horizontally into a 1590BB and give him something he can have/leave in his teaching room that has some useful effects.

I can swear I've seen someone do this, but can't find it.

I'm thinking a cavedweller, rabbit hole and egghead would cover quite a bit of sonic territory, but would love to hear any thoughts on a better combo? Would love a tremolo w/ tap in there, but I don't think a baby board exists with such functionality...

I'm also not sure how to wire it up just yet. I'd like to be able to switch the effects on/off. Maybe a main stomp on the right, and an A/B/Y on the left? Might just have to use some toggles up above, which is simple enough.

Any thoughts/advice would be great! As always, thank you in advance!

General Questions / cave dweller and the 50k trimpot...
« on: December 17, 2017, 05:47:05 PM »
I've decided to figure out how to use up all my excess parts collecting dust. I'll build up some stuff I didn't think I wanted, but hear good things about... up first: CAVEDWELLER!

I have everything but the 50k trimpot. I have a 20k trimpot, a few 10k trimpots, and a 2m trimpot.

I know you can extend a pots value, but that seems iffy to me since this is to get the voltages right into the pt2399.

Thoughts on a remedy?

one thought I had: I have all kinds of resistor values, and could just socket the trimpot and see which resistor works best, but that might be excessive.

any thoughts or guidance here? Hoping I can make it work... :-)

as always: thank you in advance!

Hey everyone! Since the majority of my pedal board is Madbean-based, I thought I'd cheat a bit and see if I could get some advice on a NON-madbead project...

I found this tutorial online:

I like this because it can go up to 21 loops (which means I could, theoretically, control 2 guitars/effects-strings with one controller - e.g. loops 1-10 are guitar 1, loops 11-20 are guitar 2, and program them accordingly).

Of course, I have reservations: 1) many of the comments talk about how it needs a buffer in order to not make noise - I find buffers don't always play nice with my fuzz pedals. 2) They also say the relays are cheap and not audio quality. 3) I'd like to avoid any kind of pop noise upon switching if possible.

I saw a few people on this thread have dabbled in creating an arduino looper/switch, but didn't see an apples-to-apples application. I simply want to hit button 1 and have effects 2, 5, and 7 active; then hit button 2 and have effects 1 and 8 active, etc. I don't need any expression or amp switching, nor do I need to mess with the order of the pedals - just straight-up these effects are on, i press a button, now these effects are on and those effects are off.

Does anyone have experience here? Is there a parts list and schematic of the X5 2 relay arduino unit such that I could just manually build it with better relays and avoid the buffer? How can I avoid the pop noise? OR...

Is there a better system that I can DIY?

For a little history: a few years ago, I bought the PedalSync9 switching system - I bought all the relay modules, had an enclosure custom build - It was a pricy undertaking for something with not much documentation, but I emailed with the creator and felt confident enough. He said I could modify it to control 2 guitar signals (aka, 18 loops, not just 9). Then I moved and it sat in a box unfinished UNTIL NOW! Well, it works as advertised-ish, BUT there's a few issues with it: 1) It currently has a master control board and the pedal sync board to control the relays - but in order for this to work like a looping pedal (button 1 for effects 3, 5, 9; button 2 for effects 2, 4, etc.), I have to get a new master controller and manually create a third daughter board to connect to it, as well as rewire all my switches. 2) Every time you hit a loop/switch, you then have to hit another switch for it to start/activate, which kind of defeats the purpose of just hitting the loop button for your effects to change. 3) To avoid a pop when hitting the switch, the system cuts out the signal for a split second - but that split second is a little too long and is quite noticeable when playing. 4) They aren't being super responsive at the moment when I email them, which could be timing or maybe they're moving on - who knows. Either way, in this case, there's more issues than fixes and I think it's time to cut my losses and move on...

I'm hoping I can find a new system to get this going again - Would love to have my pedalboard finally just DONE after all these years.

Thanks in advance for all your help!

Build Reports / First 2 baby pedals... RUNTS! With Ruetz Mod!
« on: March 11, 2017, 06:34:19 PM »
Felt pretty good about these builds, so thought I'd share...

I have a slow loris that I use for bass fuzz and "color" in combo with a micro-pog, but was needing something smaller for my pedal board. Didn't know if I could live without the mods, but found that I really liked the sweep/Ruetz and could probably live without the rest.

So how to get 4 pots into one of these enclosures? Well, I had to cut up the pots board - and if you do it, remember to label which part of the board is for which pot on the other side, as they aren't interchangeable - and make another small board with a resistor behind it.

I also knew that, for me, height was a bigger issue on my board than width, so I went with my old school plugs and moved it to the side. It was tight, but everything fit really well in the end.

The diamond pattern for the knobs is interesting, I suppose - but it was easier to fit them all in this way, so I'm glad I don't hate it, hehe. They are a little close together, but I'm a "set it, forget it" type - if you aren't and you've got fat fingers, this mod may not be for you, hehe.

The LED is 5mm because I wanted both these pedals to match somewhat and couldn't find a 3mm pink LED. Personally, I like 5mm better than 3mm when I don't have room for a bezel anyway.

Because I don't trust my soldering skills with ICs, I took madbeans advice in the baby board guide and got those low profile jacks as close to the top of the enclosure as they could physically go... this posed problems when wires couldn't fit under them anymore, LOL, so while the wiring is solid, it's a little haphazard looking. I've also never wired a 3pdt manually - always had small boards for them - so that was new.

Anywho - I'm happy with it and they sound great. I've got a couple cherrybombs and pig butts coming soon, as well, so while I build those, the rest of you build happy!

Tech Help - Projects Page / Runt LED Setup...
« on: March 08, 2017, 10:43:28 AM »
Hi there! It's been a few years, but I'm finally finishing some builds and finalizing a switch to get my pedal board DONE! As such, the Slow Loris pedal I got is too big, so I've procured some RUNT boards. When I originally built madbean pedals in 2012/2013, batteries were still accounted for and LEDs were not part of the boards.

It looks like the baby board guide is using the older boards from the previous era, as well.

For the current version of the RUNT, I'm seeing a pad for the LED, and a 4k7 resistor in r11. My assumption is that the negative of the LED connects to the 3PDT stomp (same as the baby board guide), but the positive goes to the LED pad and I don't need to mess with a resistor (as it will already be on the board).

Can anyone verify?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I built a pigbutt and a cherrybomb yesterday using the new boards and setup... Not only is it much easier to deal with, but I've never had builds look so clean. Welcome improvements!

General Questions / Building an octa-switch... Need to talk buffer...
« on: March 30, 2014, 03:29:54 PM »
Okay, I know I know... Buffer is normally something that gets rocks thrown at people on these boards, BUT.... I've built an all analog pedal board and everything is true bypass. 70% of it are madbean pedals. :-)

I'm building a pedalsync 9 board (it's basically an octa switch, but I can customize it a bit better).

Of course, these switches have a lot of parts, and they add distance between your guitar and your amp with all the patch send and return, the small traces on the boards, etc. I don't wanna lose too much high end.

If I added a switchable buffer at the input (just like the octa switch does), would this help? I shy away from buffered pedals, even if they sound good, because they tend to make my true bypass fuzz pedals really noisy when I'm not playing.

Would the fat pants be a bit much for this? I really want to just put in a board and a toggle to turn it on and off and have it built into the switch itself.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!

I built a couple eggheads last year cause 1) I had stuff to etch them and 2) I had the parts and wanted a simple overdrive.

The problem is that it's not quite living up the way I'd like it to. The presence is tough to hone in, and the sound is a little thin compared to clean tone.

Is there any way to beef up the sound a bit? I've read somewhere that C1 and C5 to 1uf could make a difference.

I'm not really looking for more distortion. I did use a slow loris in overdrive mode through the LED clip and it sounds good, but that has the opposite effect - too much bass.

Anyone have any advice on how I might be able to beef the tone up a bit on these Eggheads?

Build Reports / I must really like madbean's pedals...
« on: February 02, 2014, 02:31:36 PM »
...Cause 70% of my pedal board will be made up of his designs!

I've been putting these guitar pedals together for the last year and a half... I built 2 of every pedal. My guitar has 2 output jacks (bridge/neck to one, middle to the other) so I can run 2 amps from one guitar without using a buffer or splitter. This allows me better tone control over my heavier distortions (one amp can carry the bass and treble, while the other can handle mids, for example), as well as varying mix/match with other pedals. I'm an analog freak, so this is my creative way of going about that.

I'll be building a switch that controls all of these so I can seamlessly go from one to the other without turning one off and the other on... And that will also be all analog.

Anywho, left to right top:
- micro pog (I didn't build that, obviously),
- proco rat with clean blend and reutz mod (Slow Loris),
- reverb (1776 rub-a-dub),
- tape delay with modulation (1776 multiplex - just did a build report on this),
- fuzz factory (stubbi - I etched one board, and perfed the other)
- big muff (modified mudbunny Mayo with mids mod)
- big muff (modified violet rams head with mids mod and clean blend),
- Clark gainster overdrive (etched egghead)

Left to right bottom:
- Tap tempo tremolo (one LFO controls 2 audio lines, so both signals are always matched - has 8 different waves and tap tempo - I designed and etched this one myself),
- reverb (same as top)
- tape delay (same as top)
- fuzz factory (same as top)
- big muff (mayo same as top)
- big muff (violet rams head same as top)
- Clark gainster (same as top)

Again - I never label them as I'm lazy, I know what the knobs do and which pedals are which, and I like the visual simplicity and toy-like quality with all the colors and whatnot.

If you want more info on any of them, just let me know. I'm happy to share! :-)

Build Reports / Multiplex with modulation...
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:07:27 PM »
I wanted a multiplex, I wanted modulation in it, and I didn't want a horizontal pedal, SOOOO... I took the circuit for the 1776 modulation board and went to town with some perf board and 9mm pots to make it as SMALL as possible. I added a DPDT on-off-on toggle with LEDs so I can switch the modulation between delay 1 and delay 2. As you can see below, it worked and I was able to sneak a daughter board under the main board and not affect the pedal orientation!

I never label my pedals cause I'm lazy and I kind of like when they look like fancy kids toys. I know what the knobs do, I'll never sell them, so that's all I care about. Anyway. 

Knobs are purple. I'll eventually replace the 3way switch with something more appropriate. This works for now.

Works and sounds great. I built 2 identical ones (the other one is red sparkle with black knobs). This is about as good as it gets for a delay. :-)

Thanks for designing this thing!

General Questions / PCB etching adventure...
« on: February 17, 2013, 06:47:41 PM »
Hey guys - posted this over at BYOC too. Let me know if it's in the wrong forum, but I have my adventure in the first go-around of PCB etching. Here's what I wrote:

So I had a few boards that I wanted to etch because, frankly, I'm sick of doing perf board for complex circuits and I think I can fit more into a smaller space when I can design it.

So i ordered all the etching supplies from Jameco after looking through (BYOC) forum and watching this video: ... Wnfnt2rNO0

Keeping in mind that the only thing I had to start were 2 tubs to hold the chemical compounds, the pricing comes out to about $175-$185 for everything. That will buy you 3 PCB's (including the 2 in the developer/etchant kit), the developer/etchant kit, the drill/bit/stand kit (which I'm now realizing the stand would have held my dremel, so that's money down the drain), the lamp and light, the tinit kit (for tinning the board when you're done) and miscellaneous small items (gloves, red light bulb, nail polish remove, etc.).

SO... The video (sponsored by Jameco) says a 13watt CFL bulb for 8 minutes on the image over the PCB in a photo frame is good, but the instructions say 100watt incandescent for 10 minutes, or 14 minutes for bigger boards. The instructions in one PCB said 1:10 ratio for developer/water - and in the other they said 1:3. So there are instruction continuity problems already...

I went ahead and did everything per the video since that worked for him with these specific parts. The first board developed okay (but I couldn't use half the smaller boards on it once etched). The second board did absolutely nothing in the developer for 15 minutes. I placed the tub into a hot bath (keep in mind, the developer wasn't cold at this point), and then it started doing something, but VERY slowly - I added a little more developer, but it still took almost 2 hours to "fully" develop (quotes used because it never actually fully developed - there was green ghosting all over as I found during the etching process).

So the etching process worked, but the developer part threw me obviously - cause it was just not working very well. I would say I have 50% of my boards are useable - not very pretty by any means, but useable so far as I can see.

This method was touted all over a few boards - I found some that said they had issues with the photoresist boards not developing quickly sometimes. I still have one 3x4 board that I could etch 4 smaller boards out of, but...

The other method is the toner tranfer method, I think it's blue pcb transfer paper or something? I'm considering that since this method was kind of a dud for me. I don't plan on doing a lot of these - the boards i'm etching are my own designs and/or boards that aren't available anymore but have single-sided etch art. I'd like to not spend much more money on these things.

Any advise, pointers, etc?

Hey everyone - was playing around on my mudbunny pedal yesterday and the knobs got all our whack from being moved around. Played with the settings and found something (possibly) odd...

when I turn the tone all the way down, I get no volume at all. The volume works properly, as does the sustain and the mids pot mod to R18 (I have the 2012 mudbunny version).

Should the volume drop completely when the tone is all the way down? The pedal screams otherwise, and the volume seems fine when the tone gets to like 30% and higher.

If this is not normal, what could be the culprit?

Tech Help - Projects Page / Zombii AC128 question...
« on: September 11, 2012, 09:10:06 AM »
Hey guys - I'm building a zombii using perf and I put it together last night. The problem is the GE transistors.

i was able to procure some AC128's for Q2 and Q3. HOWEVER...

1) I don't know how to tell which lead goes to which socket (I can sort of see a triangle shape to the leads, so I can assume the middle one of the triangle is the center, but I don't want to just assume - these were like $5 a piece, and I don't want to mess them up)

2) How can I test them with a multimeter to ensure they work before installing them?

3) Do I need to do some sort of voltage regulation for these? I assume that the circuit has this built in, and that both of them can handle the ranges that the circuit feeds them. But again, I don't want to just assume things here...

let me know if you get a chance! Thanks in advance!

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