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Messages - CodeMonk

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Open Discussion / Re: Star Wars trailer
« on: April 17, 2015, 02:33:43 AM »
Looking forward to it.

Hope it doesn't suck (IMO) like the prequels though.
I'm a little bit of a Star Wars geek.
Not geeky enough to have the dolls (Sorry, "Action Figures"), and stuff, but I was geeky enough to ask my (then) girlfriend for ALL the movies (1 - 6) for my birthday one year.
And she was geeky enough to know what I was talking about and to buy the right versions for me (She's also an EE).

How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Re: Solid vs Stranded?
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:05:50 AM »
Thanks flanagan0718
Being "in the business" for much of the last 30+ years, you learn all sorts of tips and tricks over the years.
Theres a lot of good ideas in this skull of mine.
Theres also a lot of crap.
The useless probably out numbers the useful by 1000:1 (One of my GF's, during team Trivial Pursuit games, called me "My own personal database of useless knowledge  :P  ).

One more specific one with the stranded wire and heatshrink I use going from DC jack to PCB...
1. Use twisted pair.
2. Terminate only at one end.
3. Cover the whole thing with a single piece of shrink sleeving.
4. Bend to taste.
5. Shrink.

Edit: I should specify that I only do that with top mounted jacks (DC jack included) with the board (or the power connection) near the other end of the enclosure).

I tend to be pretty generous with shrink sleeving since I picked up a 300Ft roll for $33 at an electronic parts surplus store in Sun Valley, Ca. ( Apex Electronics for anyone in that area. Man, I REALLY miss that place).
Even if you don't live down there, they have an ebay store, but you will get MUCH better prices in the brick and mortar store.

How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Re: Solid vs Stranded?
« on: April 16, 2015, 07:28:22 AM »
Here are my experiences with the stranded vs solid wire
      Solid                            |                     Stranded
1. Stays put                        |             1. Dosen't brake easy
2. Looks good                     |              2. Easier to manuver
3. Can be used as               |              3. Readily available
    PCB mount substitute      |              4. Easier to fit in tight spots (under and over jacks)
4. Easier to solder to board  |              5. Easier to Tin or buy pre-bonded
5. Can be used for
    Bread Board Jumpers

       Solid                                              Stranded
1. Breaks very easily           |            1. If not tinned correctly can cause "cold solder joints"
2. Once bent harder            |            2. Can look very messy if not zip tied or bent into place
    straighten out
3. Makes me swear A LOT!!

Nice looking work there.

There is a simple way around your #2 "cons" issue with stranded.
Its a bit more work, but not much once you get a system down, and can look quite nice with the right colors.
But only works with with 2 or more wires (so signal and +V wires together, I would not recommend).
Shrink Sleeving.
1. Cut wires to the proper finished length.
2. Cut pieces of shrink sleeving, about 0.5mm* or 1.0mm* in length.
3. Place pieces of shrink sleeving about an 20mm - 30mm* or so (but evenly) apart.
4. Route wires and shrink the sleeving. Or you can shrink the sleeving, route the wires and re-heat.
("Yeah and whats this with a damn 'Murican; using metric?'
ALL my pedal measurements are in metric. It just makes so much more sense to me.

*Adjust length as needed depending on finished wire length.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures but it can actually look very nice.

There are tools available for cutting lots of shrink sleeving, all to the same length

I used to use a tool just like this A LOT when I worked in the industry.
They work very well.
And I'm sure you can probably find them for less.

I've even made DIY cutters for this modeled after a typical arm type paper cutter.
Uses an easily changeable razor blade to cut. (If you build one, be VERY careful, unless you think you can be the next Tony Iommi  ;D).
I'll see if I can get a pic up in the next day or two of it if anyone is interested.

If nothing else, its a useful tool for all your shrink sleeving cutting needs (geez, I sound like a door to door salesman).

Open Discussion / Re: What does PIF stand for?
« on: April 16, 2015, 04:37:05 AM »
OK, makes sense.

Open Discussion / What does PIF stand for?
« on: April 16, 2015, 04:35:44 AM »
Looked but didn't find an answer. Or maybe I just got lazy :)
The only PIF i've ever been familiar with is "Program Information File" from the days when MS Windows ran on top of DOS.
Whatever it is, it sounds interesting and as soon as I have something to offer up.
Probably be a pedal build or something. I dunno.

Open Discussion / Re: Mains Power Conditioner?
« on: April 14, 2015, 07:31:23 PM »
Furman is THE name to go for when it comes to good power conditioning.
Before I knew much about the litigious ways of Monster Cable, I bought one of these:
Its worked well for me over the years.
I live in an area with dirty and sometime unpredictable power.
We usually have a power transformer blow about once a year during heavy snow or wind during the winter (It looks like the 4th of July when one of those things blows and night turns to day, etc.)

And an additional FYI, I would have no problem buying used stuff, but NOT power conditioners.

Open Discussion / Re: Boss DD2 original pcb layout??
« on: April 14, 2015, 07:20:30 PM »
I've repaired broken PCB's just with jumper wire many times.
YMMV however. Depends on where it is broken and how small the traces are.
Clear pics of both side would tell us a lot.

Open Discussion / Re: Deadastronaut's Enclosure Etching Tutorial
« on: April 10, 2015, 01:18:48 PM »
I tried photopaper and it was horrible. It got that plastic covering that melted itself to the enclosure and was a pain to get off. But i guess there are various types

My recent success was with regular glossy paper. Don't know the brand.
Cody's (selfdestroyer) tutorial names a specific one. I've also seen people use magazine paper

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I've used HP Glossy Presentation paper with good success.
Plus its about 1/3 the price of photo paper.

I've tried magazine paper.
The thing I didn't like about that was I couldn't see the trace very well on the paper with all the print on it.

Open Discussion / Re: Deadastronaut's Enclosure Etching Tutorial
« on: April 09, 2015, 10:28:23 PM »
I've always used press n peel for this. Is he using str8 paper?
At the beginning of the video, it says photo paper.

Open Discussion / Re: Deadastronaut's Enclosure Etching Tutorial
« on: April 09, 2015, 08:58:25 PM »
Great tutorial!
I'm gonna have to give that another try.
Tried once, but my mistake in doing it (probably one of many) was using the same chemicals I use to etch boards, Muriatic Acid/Hydrogen Peroxide.
Bad choice there.
It boiled violently, smoked, and got VERY, VERY hot.
Not a mixture I would recommend.

Introductions / Re: Hello from Northern Nevada
« on: April 08, 2015, 06:19:33 PM »
You should consider trying the bubbling part of that.
While you do have to keep a close eye on things, it really speeds up the process regardless of what chemicals you use.

Open Discussion / Re: Stay away from Futurlec!
« on: April 08, 2015, 06:17:42 PM »

My "Holy Trinity"  :)

I have tried a couple other places and got burned one way or the other so I exclusively use the above for all things pedals. I guess I understand ordering from these overseas discount places if mass-quantity is needed and a penny on the dollar matters but (fortunately) I am not there in my "pedal career".

I'll add Digikey in there only because they have the lowest price on the 1590X.
I've ordered a few other things from Digikey and have not had any problems with them.

I've ordered once from Futurelec.
It took something like 6 weeks for delivery.
While I got all the parts I ordered, I was not pleased.
I'm never ordering from them again.

Introductions / Re: Hello from Northern Nevada
« on: April 07, 2015, 07:10:09 AM »
Welcome to the board Code. I'm one of the people that is stuck here in Fresno. Small world for sure.


Noticed in your sig you did a PCB tutorial.
I did one myself a few years ago.
I've posted it on a few forums.
Heres a dropbox link to a PDF of it if you are interested:

Theres an updated version here:
5th post has a picture of an updated etching "tank".

How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Re: IC Insertion
« on: April 05, 2015, 05:08:38 PM »
Last I checked (Tuesday), we still had one Radioshack store open.
I gotta go into town on Friday.
I guess I should check, if they are still there, for some extra tips for that then.

Love your sig :)
Layout design is probably my favorite part of pedal building.

How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Re: IC Insertion
« on: April 05, 2015, 03:53:51 PM »
I got one of these:
On the right side obviously.
It was only about $5 I think.
If you hurry, you might still be able to get one.

Amazon has a selection:

Off topic, but on the left is a cap tester I built from a kit:

Does the IC solder pump works well?

I also have built one of those capacitance meter a while ago, works quite well, much usefull with tropical caps...
Do you mean this thing? :

Yeah, that works quite well.
Word of caution though...
Leave it unplugged.
When you need to use it...
Plug it in.
Let it heat up.
Use it,
Unplug it.
If you leave it plugged in for hours at a time, the tip deteriorates rather quickly.
Not a bad tool for only about $10.
IMO, works much better than those plunger types.


Off topic, but here is my DIY enclosure for the cap tester.
Just applied some heat with a heat gun to a piece of lexan (Plexiglass sucks). Kinda overdid it a bit with the heat gun though.
I also really need to get around to raising that socket up a little higher.

I made the enclosure large enough so that I can fit a 9 volt battery underneath it too.

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