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Topics - Leevibe

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I've been on the forum for a short while now and have gained a wealth of insight from this community already. Thanks all!

Before joining here, I had never heard of Tayda. I keep thinking I will give them a try but I keep running into posts referencing their sketchiness. For example, Paul's picture of the one-legged tropical fish cap (epcos thread). I kind of suspect that the higher percentage of what they sell isn't going to cut it for me, but maybe there are a few gems.

I have a pretty distinct division in my mind about parts that are OK to use for my own personal builds vs. pedals I sell or build for good friends. Stuff for myself tends to be experimental / exploratory so if a part is less than reliable or has a fit/finish problem, I may use it anyway because I'm confident I can fix it if it fails. I feel completely different about stuff I intend to sell or give away. I tend to want that stuff to be bulletproof.

Given that sentiment, what items does Tayda sell that you would consider:

1. Rock-solid, kick it down a flight of stairs, sounds/looks/feels good? Ship it!

2. Useable for your own builds and experiments but doesn't cut it when your reputation is on the line

3. The jury is out. Seems like they could be good parts but we need more time/experience with them

4. Total junk! Not worth the baggies they came in

I would love to know your thoughts on this! So far, here is the little bit I've gathered:

1. (rock solid) LED's

2. (personal builds) switches, certain IC's, enclosures, caps & resistors, molex connectors

3. (time will tell) alpha pots

4. (utter crap) too much to list

If I were to put in an order today, I would feel safe buying LED's and molex connectors. What should be added (or subtracted) from my shopping list?

Open Discussion / 17% off Tenma gear at MCM
« on: March 17, 2014, 07:21:12 AM »
Using coupon code:  EMC373

The only Tenma stuff I've bought are iron tips but I have a friend who has a Tenma iron and he likes it. They make lots of cool soldering and test equipment.

Open Discussion / Epcos box caps?
« on: March 13, 2014, 06:06:55 PM »
I'm considering going to all box style caps for films in the stuff I sell. It's really less about quality and more about aesthetics and possibly perceived quality. I'm definitely a sucker for the wimas. The 50v 1uFs are very compact. The problem with wimas is price. I've also used topmays, BC components and some white ones of unknown make.

I'm seriously considering going with all wimas because I really love the way they look, the quality is unquestioned, and I love that 50v 1uF. BUT I'm intrigued by the Epcos blue box caps. I don't know anything about Epcos and haven't done a price comparison. Just fishing for opinions.

I'd also be interested in recommendations of other brands too. Does anyone know who makes the white ones? I was recently inside a recent-issue Timmy and it was all white boxes in there. I've also seen cool looking yellow box caps but don't know where to get them, if they're any good, or if I could get that elusive compactness in the 1uF. (the wimas I got were something like 8H x 7L x 3.5W).

I enjoyed reading this. I trust it will be less provocative than the Bill Finnegan article!

Open Discussion / Sourcing short lever PCB pin toggles
« on: March 04, 2014, 01:33:38 AM »
I'm pretty partial to short lever toggle switches. I like the way they look and I think they're practical for pedals because they're less likely to get snapped by a lead singer's boot heel.

I've always used the "Taiway" marked switches from SB for spdts and I think I remember buying some short lever dpdts from mammoth once.

Now I'm needing to board mount my switches but realized that SB only carries the short levers in solder lug version and I need PCB pin. Nuts! I found that BLMS has them but I bought a few and just didn't like the look and feel as much as the ones I'm used to even though they may be just fine.

I realize that I could go to a bigger pad size, but my design requires two switches to be butted end to end and that makes the pads overlap. I don't want to have to alter my silkscreen graphics if I can help it.

Is anyone else using short lever, PCB pin toggles? If so, where are you sourcing them?

Open Discussion / Essential Reading
« on: February 19, 2014, 12:02:19 AM »
I'm so excited! I got this book as a birthday present from my sister. Borrowing this book from a friend five years ago sparked my interest in building guitar electronics. Now I have my own copy! I can't wait to read it through now that I have some knowledge and experience. If you haven't read it, you should! He wrote a follow up book about effects, which is great, but in my opinion the amp book is the better one.

Come to think of it, I'd be interested to know if there are any other guitar electronics books I should read.

Open Discussion / Workbench Cleverness
« on: February 15, 2014, 01:04:46 AM »
I'm always trying to come up with new ways to make pedal building easier.  Sometimes I do the dumbest things out of habit, sometimes because it hasn't dawned on me that there's a better way.  I only recently saw Chromesphere's video on the use of blue tak and am realizing all of the reasons I need a ball of that stuff on my bench.  I hadn't thought of any solution like that before.

I thought it would be good to get your ideas.  What genius things have you come up with that make the process easier?  It would be great to see pictures of your inventions.  Or just let me know your way of doing whatever it is that you have figured out.

I've got a few.  One of them centers around the fact that I'm a bit color blind.  Enough that I can't reliably read resistor codes, so I test them.  I came up with this little rig because I got tired of trying to pin resistors down on my bench using the DMM probes or having to hold it all together in my fingers.  This way I just grab a resistor and set it down in the little notches.  I have the clips soldered slightly open, so they're not actually pinching the leads, but they're closed enough to get good contact.  There's enough continuity coming through the machine screws that I get good readings.  I like it because it's one handed and fast.  If I need to measure something with the probes, I just pop the leads off the spade connectors and pop the probes on.

What are your little tricks and tips?  I would love to get some new ideas.

Open Discussion / Spyder PS questions
« on: February 09, 2014, 12:05:29 PM »
I recently built RG Keen's Spyder power supply using the Weber 120vac pedal transformer.  Aside from some heat-sinking stuff to work out, I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  All 9v taps are measuring at between 9.02 & 9.08 volts.  At 300mA each, it's loads of power. 

My first question has to do with isolation.  With my DMM, it's simple to verify that each filter/regulator circuit is completely isolated UNTIL I interconnect effects with instrument cables.  I hadn't really thought about it before, but as soon as pedals share a common ground connection through the signal cable, their power grounds also have continuity.  Again, this is easily proven by touching the metal tabs on the regulators with my DMM probes.  With this being the case, what advantage do I have in having isolated power?  I'm no longer isolated.  I know there's something I'm missing, but I can't wrap my brain around it.

My second question has to do with fuses.  I'm using two separate fuses, one for the PS circuitry and one for the courtesy outlet.  Right now I have a .6 amp fuse on the PS and 2 amp on the outlet.  I just guessed at those values.  Any recommendations?


Spyder circuit:
Weber transformer:

Open Discussion / Which Iron?
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:37:16 PM »
Which iron:

- did you use on your first pedal build?  First circuit?

- is your current workhorse?

- are you hoping to get next?

OK, here's mine:

- 1st iron:  RS cheapie - GGG TS808
- Current workhorse:  Xytronic 379
- Want to get:  Xytronic 168-3CD

Open Discussion / Radio Shack love?
« on: January 29, 2014, 01:19:16 AM »
I'm almost embarrassed to ask this, but does anybody else have any items they only buy from Radio Shack?  I love the 62/36/2 .022" solder.  I also use their 5mm snap in LED bezels a lot.  They look like the ones I've bought at SB but they're actually better.  No joke!

Those are pretty much my only non-emergency buys there.

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