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Topics - wgc

Open Discussion / traffic
August 30, 2016, 03:06:24 PM
I was stuck in traffic this morning and thought, "Gee, I can't wait for everyone to have self driving cars." 

It would be so great to be able to use the time I sat doing nothing for something constructive instead.  Like another tube screamer layout. 

And no more aggressive drivers. I just think "but why did they do that?" They must watch nascar or something. 
Its like, "No way is some MF going to cut in front of me to get to their exit. I've got a line on an original Klon in a rumage sale."

Instead of, "I'll give this lady a break and let her in; she's probably not used to expressway driving and might be on her way to visit someone in the hospital or buy cat treats." I try, maybe someone else will PIF too.

We'd actually not even need to own a car, it could be like a netflix subscription instead. No parking lots, no maintenance costs, no drunk drivers, no gas/charging station visits, etc. Possibly even less cars on the road, just more efficient use of resources already in existence. Uber.

All these self driving cars talking to each other on the IOT, planning the most efficient route for each car to get to where they are going.

It'd be truly enlightened! I had a split second of giddy hope.

Then, sadness. The future of driving will be autoroute.

And I briefly held out hope for self-driving flying cars, because 3D brings more opportunity for efficient routing.  Like multilayers and buried vias. ;) No more roads, construction delays, etc!  And I could ride my flying bike for fun, short trips.

But easy to see that's temporary too. Hope you all like taking the scenic route.  Here there and everywhere.

Then I was optimistic for VR or even the transporter in Star Trek. Because its coming too. Beam me up!

But eventually, sooner than you think- same issue, only at the atomic level. Maybe we'll be complaining about the extra millisecond delay it will take to get from Mars to Titan via autoroute.

Autoroute rules all. I sure hope the AI computers borg come up with better algorithms than we can. I have a layout to finish, at home.
Something I've been saying I would do for a while now...

solder and align 0805 sized passives

0805 passives part 2

solder and align an ic

It was a little awkward for me to see what I was doing based on the placement of my phone, which also didn't help my typically mumbly voice any.    :-\

Anyway, hope it helps!
Tech Help - Projects Page / sharkfin voltages?
April 28, 2015, 05:22:07 AM
hi all

just built up my sharkfin pcb from 2014, but she no work.  Rough guess at the moment is a bad 1044.

Anyone have voltages they are willing to post?

Build Reports / Fuzz Transformer (Harmonic Xformer)
April 17, 2015, 04:44:24 AM
One more today.

This is a DBA Harmonic Transformer circuit I did an smd layout for as a collaborative effort between myself and Dan Minner.

I did the pcb layout and soldering, he did the killer graphics and etches.  Great guy to work with, I really enjoyed breaking things up a little from my normal approaches.  Love the collaborative approach he started.

Going to the PO tomorrow, so he should have it next week.  I probably wouldn't have known about the circuit if Dan hadn't suggested it.  Its pretty fun. 

I'm still not really a fuzz guy, but this has some interesting qualitites and a crap load of fuzzy, sustainy goodness.  Gets a little splatty if you turn down the volume at the guitar, which can be cool in small doses.  The switches actually make a big difference too.

Not quite as crazy as a fuzz factory, but probably a bit more musical/practical.

Thanks for looking!
This my smd layout of jok3rx's engl preamp circuit based on AMZ ENGL MOD2.  I had a bunch of trouble getting it biased properly,
still not quite there but close.  I may do a version 2 using mosfets.  Because gain.

Love it!  Spent a while on this one.  Had a lot of irons in the fire but getting some of these completed is great.

Wasn't plagued with all the squealing issues I had with the Uberschall build, though I do get a little at extreme settings of
the volume pot.  Very interesting that both preamps actually do have many of the characteristics of the brands they're based on. 
Hard to believe but I think I actually prefer it to the uberschall.

I powdercoated the box white, used a laser printed water slide, which was then sprayed with clear powder coat 24 hours later. 

Always liked Red Sonja...

Thanks for looking!
Build Reports / Fuzz U (fuzz factory)
April 17, 2015, 03:43:09 AM
Here we have an smd fuzz factory layout I did, dubbed "fuzz u". 

The word cloud is "you told me that you loved me." 
Not autobiographical, just inspired by a prince video I saw a while ago and pinched the crying figure from.

Wish I'd spaced the pots a little farther apart so I could get some regular knobs on them.  I have a few ideas but haven't implemented yet.

The power jack was a royal pain in the drawers.  I'm going to replace it in the near future but a little distressed from the install.

The led is filed into the shape of a heart, and the sides filled in with black sharpie.

Real germs.

I did the powdercoat in gunmetal grey sparkle, with some dormant red sprinkled on by hand, which was then coated in clear
powder.  Laser etched the graphics and filled in outline with colored pencils so that it didn't look like a puddle of blood.

Fun circuit!

Thanks for looking!
Build Reports / MB egghead build
February 19, 2015, 12:20:34 AM

been a while since I posted a build, especially one that's not smd. ;-)

Here's an egghead that I built for a friend.  He liked mine, (even without the knobs), and I had an extra pcb that I bought a while back.  Thought I'd build it up and give it to him as a surprise.

Finished it last month, just got around to putting pix together.

Powder coat, graphics, and laser etch by me.

Great circuit!  The new layout looks even better.

Open Discussion / Sony Bravia LCD TV dying?
November 18, 2014, 01:14:06 PM

I've got a 7 yo Bravia LCD TV that is developing a green vertical line at 1/3 from the right side.  It has gotten bigger over the last week. I don't watch that much tv, but when I do, I don't want that kind of distraction. At the rate it seems to be growing, I figure there's a few weeks before it becomes unwatchable even for the kids.

Anyway, is this something that can be fixed diy, or is it simply dying and not worth the trouble?  It was a really nice tv when we bought it. New stuff is better/cheaper now, but I hate the idea of disposing of things if I can fix them with a little effort.

Just looking for opinions and ideas of things to check.
Build Reports / Octave LB
September 27, 2014, 09:27:44 PM
Me again. 

So this is something I've been working towards for a few months now.  Still very much a work in process.

The idea is to have very small boxes that are mostly set and forget, maybe one or two knobs, and allow for a modular fast swap approach to a pedal board.  And to minimize the number of cables. 

Why?  Because I realized I could.  And I'm silly like that.  I'm not sure if its patent-able, or if there's any demand, but its something I want very much but have never been able to buy outside of the multi-units, etc.

Anyway, this is a green ringer octave in smd.  No wires. For real y'all.  Except the custom ones coming in from the back.

And I'm stoked.  The green ringer is what it is, ymmv.  But the modular swap idea works.  I did 2 other circuits in this manner, which will have one knob each, but unfortunately, I screwed up not one but two op amp pinouts in my schematic/layout and those boards don't work, not yet anyway.

My goal is to have about 10, and be able to pick and choose to get the 5-6 I would use at any given time quickly and easily without undoing a mess of cables or having all those jacks.

This may not be the final connector, only there for proof of concept right now. I have some friends that work in the cable industry and I may have them do something overmolded for me.

The box is something new for me on several levels.  One, the size.  1590lb.  Two, its swirled.  Powder coated white, swirled, and then powder coated clear by me.  I really love this process, this was my first swirled box.  And three, no laser etch.  Not yet.  And last but not least, no wires.

You might notice some extra holes.  This box was intended to be for one of the other circuits that doesn't work.  I also made the cutout for the connector in the back a little too big.  Drilled a hole and filed it square, but while doing so, I thought I needed clearance on the outside for the mating connector, but it turns out the fit is to the inside and I can make the next holes smaller.

Thanks for looking!  Have a great weekend everyone!
Build Reports / Vicious (jok3rx Blacker Forest)
September 27, 2014, 09:23:27 PM
Hey all

here's a layout I did of jok3rx's blacker forest, which is a jfet version of the bogner uberschall.

Yes, I spelled vicous wrong.  No, I didn't intend to.  I was just so excited to be laser etching. 

I also etched the tone stack knobs in backwards order.  Ah well.

Mispelling and graphic layout were the least of my challenges on this one.

I did the box ages ago, when I first saw Jim's post elsewhere about the jfet uberschall.  I intended to build it using an etch for through hole parts, but I just never got a good etch.  Time marched on. 

I started doing other things, and recently felt confident enough in my layouts to do an smd version of  his circuit. While I was at it, I decided to combine the boost and the mids mods into one switch so they would come on at the same time for leads.  Went pretty well over all.

Got the pcbs made, and populated, and then it didn't work.  Turns out  that during my layout shenanigans I used a bad pinout on the jfets, but  fortunately, I could just rotate them mismatched to the pads. 

Then it fired up!  And sounded amazing!! 

But the squeal...  dear lord, the squeal, it was heart rending.

I tried all kinds of things.  Shielded cable, cap changes, resistor changes, buffers, etc.  A few things helped but nothing fixed it.  I thought, "maybe I routed those traces too close. Maybe I shouldn't have used a ground plane.  Maybe the ground plane should have only been on one side of the pcb."  All kinds of things went through my head, on multiple nights, at 2am. Or later.

Then while I was in there swapping out caps, I realized I put the treble pot where the bass pot should be.  So I decided to move it and boom.  There it was.

I made this layout to match the box (almost), which I had previously stuffed with pots and a footswitch.  But I never checked the values of the pots once they were in.  Turns out they're from an earlier version of the schematic, not the one I used to do my layout.  Damn it! 

Changed them to match the schem I used for my layout and now most of the oscillation is gone. I still get some at the extremes of vol settings but its so much better...

I might update this pcb (and the box) when I get a chance since there's a few things I'd change now that I'm older and very little wiser, but overall I'm pretty happy with it! 

Awesome job, Jim, love this one!  It sounds killer with a tube screamer at low settings in front of it.

Thanks for looking, have a great weekend...!
Build Reports / Incognito (midwayfair bearhug)
September 14, 2014, 10:57:36 PM
Hi all

here's an smd version of Jon Patton's (midwayfair) Bearhug that he was kind enough to grant me permission to do.

I've tried a bunch of compressors in the past and never really bonded with them. 

This one, has changed my mind.  Compressors are good.  In fact, it might just be the always on box for me; it sounds fantastic! 

Highly recommend building one of these,1776 is offering pcbs (

Still have to clean the flux off.  I always get lint all over them when I do, and I usually don't see it until after I take pictures and upload them.  Time for bifocals...  :(   Either that or I'm just so excited to be typing.

Also going to fill in the solder on the 3pdt.  Doesn't need it but old habit from the mil spec/med days.  And yes, I'm going to tuck that blue wire a little better too.

Thanks for looking~!

Build Reports / Inconsolable Wah (weener)
July 24, 2014, 03:44:20 AM
Hi all

I know you've been waiting patiently to see my weener, and today's the day.  ;)

Built the board about a month ago, decided to include boost and extra caps but not use switches.  The boost is not in the circuit, and I hard wired the cap selection to my fave. 

I used Joe Gagen's terrible inductor and pot, with an old crybaby shell.  Thanks Joe!  Highly recommended...!

Stripped the shell, and powdercoated it with illusion black.  These colors are hard to photograph and do them justice, but the color shifts a bit when you change the angle.  I figured that would be cool on a wah.

I don't like the tread plate on these shells to begin with, but it really didn't work with the new finish at all.  Took me a while, but I finally settled on grip tape for the tread.  Works really nice, though I don't know how it will hold up.

The name plate is a piece of black acyrlic, laser etched & cut, and held in place with double stick carpet tape.

This is a slightly dark, but very throaty wah, love it!

That little yellow mess is urethane glue, to hold the blue led in place.  I didn't realize how thin the wall was in that area...

Thanks for looking!
Build Reports / Bohemian Boost
July 22, 2014, 03:46:48 AM
hi all

Started working on a different build over the weekend, but discovered I needed a 2W resistor and a few odds and ends.

So, built up the treble booster on Rully's compact layout which I've had kicking about for a while.  Cool little circuit, sounds great.

I'm not going to win any wiring awards on this one!  Still a keeper and overall a really quick/easy build.

Powder coat by me, in dormant tempest blue, with clear powder coat over the top.  Graphic borrowed via google search with my text.  Laser etched the box today, a few little surprises here and there but the queen image worked better than I expected.

Thanks for looking!

Build Reports / Crvnchy
July 11, 2014, 03:15:08 PM
Hi there

I made a crunchbox layout using SMD.  There's a number of passives on the backside, kept the space a little less crowded.

I had an empty box that was drilled for four pots, so I stripped it and recoated. 

I'm kind of wishing I had started with a new box and kept all but two of the knobs as internal trim pots.  Would've made the wiring less bulky, and I'm going to rethink using the tayda ribbon for future stuff.  (I will probably just toss what's left.)  The amphenol stuff is much nicer, just wish that it came in other colors.

I know that a lot of people would probably like the ability to switch out various diode configurations, but whenever I've done that in the past, I pretty much just find my favorite one and leave it there. 

So I used leds, I used oversized pads to allow swapping out for other diodes. It might be possible to do something asymmetric by stacking diodes, etc, but really I'm trying to simplify things towards what I regularly use.

Decent distortion circuit, so far it sounds cool.  I might just build another with no knobs.  Because simple.

Box is powdercoated by me, laser etched graphics backfilled with black acrylic paint.  The text was maybe a little too detailed to etch as clearly as I'd like at this size, but still fun.

That's Mr. Diablo to you..!

Thanks for looking!
This is a little angel chorus, bday edition, etched, from about a year ago.  Probably my fourth 1590a build I think.

Still hadn't figured out about the low pro caps, there's a greenie in there (bought a bunch of them), but cool to look back on where I was at the time. 

I had a list of builds I wanted to do with the goal of making them all in 1590a.  (I find this form factor really appealing for a few reasons.)

Anyway, at the time, I was much less interested in the inner details as much as wanting to do the next one as soon as I finished the current one.

This one was powdercoated white by me, graphics laser etched.  Not an angel, but close enough since my little girls are really interested in fairies.

Thanks for looking!
Build Reports / Deadpool (Madbean non fabbed)
June 20, 2014, 04:19:11 AM
Here's my second (I think) 1590a build from 18 months ago or so.  Its a madbean deadpool, etched pcb version.

Kind of a unique fuzz, don't actually use it much but really depends on the guitar, amp, and pickup settings.

You can see I wasn't yet aware that you could buy caps in a lower profile height.  The wires are a bit long since I expected to be doing a bit of rework.  I also didn't know about enclosed jacks yet either, so the pcb is  upside down and I was pretty lucky to get this to fit at all.  Live and learn! 

Really though, a big thank you to all of you who make this stuff look easy, and for sharing your info.

The box is powdercoated red by me, with a laserprint waterslide, which was then powdercoated clear. 

Thanks for looking!
Open Discussion / Happy Fathers Day
June 15, 2014, 03:20:29 PM
To all the dads out there, hope your day is a good one!
General Questions / Flanger w/ pt2399?
June 14, 2014, 03:20:27 PM
Hi all

Anyone know of a flanger circuit not based on hard to find/ obsolete chips?

I was thinking it might be doable with pt2399 but perhaps the delay time is too long?
The last pickdropper pcb I had to build, its a sonic screwdriver fuzz, SMD.

Easy build, sounds really good-  this might be the one that makes me into a fuzz player!  Can't wait to hook it into a warm tube amp.

Crazy times getting all those pots in there, and I finally ordered enough to complete this one.  I need to do something with the knobs on the side, they're a bit too long...

Germanium tranny from Chromosphere, thanks much!

I had the box done a while back, and actually this is probably my first powder coated box. Basic gloss black, nothing fancy but I think I used a little more powder on it than necessary, its a little wavy.  Graphic is stock clip art that I edited a bit and then laser etched.

Keep up the great work Dave!

Build Reports / 4kR (madbean runt)
May 31, 2014, 05:22:44 PM
Last one today-  sorry to assault your eyeballs so.  :)

Madbean Runt build, one of my first 1590a builds.  I did the ruetz mod to it, cool mod.  Leds for diodes.  Did this one a while ago too, but just found the pix on my camera.  Messy wiring, gratis.

Had one in the early 90s, still love the Rat!

Great layout by Brian, as we all expect and hopefully don't take for granted. 

You can see though that I had a bit of trouble with the caps fitting into the enclosure, so I had to do some surgery to the lid.  Never know from the outside though, so no harm, just some doing.

Powder coat by me, wrinkle black finish, laser etched google rat skully image to bare metal.

Thanks Brian, have a great weekend everyone!