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Messages - Cybercow

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General Questions / Softie Box Kit
« on: July 25, 2020, 11:28:50 AM »
I got a few of the Softie box kits while they were available and still have one left. (The ones I built are gone and I don't recall exactly how they behaved.) The question I have is: Is it JUST a bypass switch, or can it also be quickly double-tapped to go into non-lathing mode - like a momentary stomp. And then quickly double-tapped again to go back to regular latching mode? TIA

Build Reports / Re: VFE Bumblebee
« on: July 19, 2020, 10:11:21 AM »
JimiLee - so glad you finally got it working. Looks great!
Thank you. You gotta have the right 5457. It was affecting the voltage and I dont'know why. It was a bear, that's for sure.

JimiLee - FETs are a fickle device. Kinda like NOS germanium trannies in that the specs can be all over the map for any given part number. When ever applying FETs, I always socket them because it can be a crap shoot selecting them. Even with a Peak Atlas DCA75 to pre-test (measure) them, they can be fickle. Still, happy to see this done.

How do you like it? Is the swell dramatic or  . . . . . ?????

Build Reports / Re: VFE Bumblebee
« on: July 19, 2020, 09:39:54 AM »
JimiLee - so glad you finally got it working. Looks great!

Thank you for the photo essay. That’s looks fantastic, and that soldering iron. I spent 12.00 on one just like it. It was supposed to be temporary if I liked the hobby. I used it for 8 years. It still works great, I just replaced it because I wanted a nicer one. I still use it from time to time.

Thanks JimiLee. I've had that cheap little soldering iron for 4 years now and had to replace the wand a couple month ago. It's quite inexpensive, as you've noted, and has a number of tips to change out. The replacement wand was only 4 zorkmids.

Very professional build and detailed process. The part that interested me the most is that tiny and perfectly executed LED indicator next to the Intensity control. It's so flush and unobtrusive you almost don't see it (which is the point). Well done.

Thanks!  I'll admit that I took a little extra time on the rate LED. I intentionally drilled the hole too small, then slowly with a hand-reamer kept digging at it, bit-by-bit to get it just right so just the dome was peeking thru the top. Then I used fine-mill file to flatten the LED till it sat flush in the tight hole.

Beautiful build!  Top shelf. The solder joints on the resistors are perfect.  Do you flow through the bottom just right, or touch up on the top?

Thanks! I start soldering from the bottom and touch-up on top after inspection reveals a need.

Build Reports / Re: Tourbillion Phaser
« on: July 18, 2020, 02:48:28 PM »
Great etching work Jimilee!

This is photo-journal of building MadBean’s “Harbinger 1.5” Uni-Vibe circuit PCB, done up in a 1590BB enclosure. (It’s a long read, so you might want to get a cuppa before digging in. WARNING: Circuit Porn.) It can be built in either a standard 9v DC center negative construct, or the builder can opt for the 18v DC supply version. The details are in the build docs for this project.

I always start by first reading the build document a couple of times. (Familiarity is helpful.) Next, I ensure I already possess all the components as defined in the BOM; cross-checking with the ‘shopping list’ and examining the schematic. This takes a little more time, but ensures the build will go smoothly. Then I check the enclosure, PCB, and other hardware to see how easily things will fit once the guts are assembled. By loosely placing the PCB and hardware bits into the box in proximity of where they will most likely sit when finished, I then know I can proceed with the build with what I have.

To ensure the PCB mounted pots will wind up where they are supposed to go, I like to lay the PCB down into the enclosure and use a mechanical pencil to mark the borders. I’ll also extend the lead of the mechanical pencil so I can mark where the center leg of each pot, switch and any LEDs will go. With the inside of the enclosure pencil-marked. I will then measure the distance of the pot legs to the pot center and add that distance to identify where the pot shaft and other holes should be drilled. I drill the pilot holes from inside the enclosure and afterwards, drill them to their respective proper sizes for hardware mounting. At this point, the enclosure is committed to the build.

Populating the PCB is the next step and I prefer to start with the lowest laying components first - the resistors. I place, solder and clip about a dozen resistors at a time. This minimizes the number of protruding leads than can interfere with soldering a PCB that has too many leg extensions sticking out here & there.

Next to populate are the larger, close-to-the-ground components like diodes, sockets and trimmers. Then onto film & ceramic caps and transistors. (In some cases, depending on the build, I socket transistors. But in this build, I’m a confident solderer and know the trannies being used are sturdy.) I populate electrolytic caps and special components last. In this case, the lamp, LDRs and shroud cap retaining legs are last. At this point, it’s a good idea to flip the PCB over and apply a good bit of isopropyl alcohol and rub vigorously with an old toothbrush to clean off any excess flux.

With the PCB fully populated, I will the do a stuffing test by mounting the pots, LEDs and other hardware into the enclosure and squirreling the PCB onto the pot, switch & toggle legs. In so doing, I take careful note of how the PCB sits in the enclosure to see if it is higher on any one side than the other. Such un-even-ness often occurs on builds where there are both pots and toggle switches mounted to the PCB. Sometimes one is higher than the other. To get the PCB to rest level, I will use one of the toggle switch nuts to set the height (length) of the threads that will protrude thru the enclosure. Then I’ll use a straightedge to check the level compared with the pots. Once the toggle switch adjustment nuts are set to the right depth, I hit them with a dab of nail polish to hold them in place for the duration of the build.

Knowing that everything fits properly, sits evenly and I’ve not burned any fingers or toes in the soldering process, I’ll then commit the pots and toggle switches to solder on the PCB while the pots and toggles are fixed to the enclosure. Then, since everything is in place where it will sit when the build is complete, I start preparing the wiring by carefully measuring and place-testing each length of wire before cutting and stripping the ends. I then pre-bend each piece of wire re-test-fit it for loose precision.

Once all the wires have cut, stripped and bent to shape, I remove the guts and either replace them onto a cardboard version of the enclosure top or just wing it and start soldering the wires in small groups. On this build I started with the stompswitch because it has the largest ‘group’ of wires in one location. Then I went on to add the jack wiring. Here was a good spot to conduct a quick test to ensure the stompswitch and LEDs work, so I tack-soldered the DC jack on and fired it up to see if the worked properly. (This is that bit where you may or may not have heard to “rock it before you box it.”) Yay! It works!

Meanwhile, during solder breaks or other interruptions, I would conjure up some artwork with Photoshop and get some waterslide decals printed out, clear-coated and dried.

After everything is wired, (except the DC jack, because it is soldered last after stuffing), the pedal gets another stuff-test and the DC jack gets soldered to the DC supply lines for the initial in-box test. Yay! It still works! But now, I have to remove the guts again so the enclosure can be finished. Heat up the soldering iron again, remove the DC jack, remove the guts and LED bezel and clean the enclosure with an 800 grit sand paper. Washed the enclosure with Dawn dish soap, rinsed thoroughly and let dry. (I used a blow dryer cuz my decals were ready to get laid.)

Final steps: apply the water slide, let dry a day, another half-dozen coats of clear, a dozen light coats of MinWax, re-stuff the guts and solder the DC jack, ensure everything is tight, fire up, test, adjust the offset and gain trimmers to taste, sign the bottom plate of the enclosure and close it up. Voila! It’s a Vibe!

It’s not even a neat or organized workspace. But it gets the job done. Thanks for reading.

Looks like a Pork Barrel (CE-2 circuit) build is on the horizon. Happy building!

General Questions / Any Current Lover Mods?
« on: July 15, 2020, 03:06:24 PM »
About to embark on a Current Lover build. (Waiting for the new version.) Are there any known LFO mods for it? How slow can the Current Lover sweep go? When the new schematic is released, I'll have no problems identifying the LFO section. I'm just wondering if there is any experience with Current Lover mods anyone is willing to share. TIA

General Questions / Re: ManOWar Power Supply
« on: June 07, 2020, 10:22:48 AM »
Did you build your Man-O-War for 9v or 12v operation? Either way, both power supplies are negative center.

General Questions / DirtBag Deluxe and the X-Vive MN3005
« on: June 07, 2020, 10:18:05 AM »
With the now available release of X-Vive's MN3005, will the DirtBag Deluxe be considered for putting back on the available for purchase list?

VFE Projects / Re: Bumble bee ain’t swellin. Help me Mr. Bean :D
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:27:53 PM »
I feel like R17 and the resistor below it are swapped the build doc, am I wrong? The schematic and your numbering of the boardhas r17  4.7k below the 1n cap the silkscreen has the 39k there.

JimiLee - Wow! Great catch! That does look like they are swapped between the schematic, the parts ID image and the silkscreen. R17 (4K7 in the schematic & BOM) does indeed go to the emitter of Q5 (2N3904) - according to the red & blue trace image. And R20 (39K) is supposed to feed the base of Q5 (2N3904). But the silkscreen has those two resistors R17 (4K7) and R20 (39K) interchanged. That would certainly foul the swell. If there's a 39K resistor on the emitter of Q5 and a 4K7 resistor on the collector of Q5, the whole detection circuit is out of balance.

The 39K resistor should be above the 4K7 resistor where the part ID image says R17 & R20. Still, the silkscreen on the PCB is correct - with the 4K7 resistor going to the emitter. So I would not put that much stock in the part ID image. I think the Part ID image may off for those two resistors.

What value do you have on top position (referring to those two resistors)?

VFE Projects / Re: Triumvirate bass mods with guitar
« on: May 28, 2020, 11:51:55 AM »
While I've not considered the bass mods for the Triumvirate, I have built one in "stock" fashion with no mods. I started with ALL of the trimpots centered and as have as yet to discover any need to change any of the trimmers. This thing sounds great with my Strat thru either a solid state amp or a tube amp.

And yes, them's  LOT of trimpots!

VFE Projects / Re: Bumble bee ain’t swellin. Help me Mr. Bean :D
« on: May 28, 2020, 11:47:07 AM »
Have you been able to accrue any progress on this pedal? Anything new to report?

VFE Projects / Re: Bumble bee ain’t swellin. Help me Mr. Bean :D
« on: May 27, 2020, 01:16:00 PM »
JimiLee - no. The 0.68µF cap will DC isolate whether it is polarized or not.

If you did the setup thing, then, (IMO) the only thing(s) left to look at is the original postulation I made where "matching" those specific components in the sensor trigger section are crucial.

As a recap, those specific components to match are:
• R17 & R32 (4K7 Ω)
• C20 & C21 (1µF)
• D3 & D4 (1N914)
• R33 & R34 (100k Ω)
• Q6 & Q7 (2N3904)

I'll keep my eye on this thread just see what else you might discover. I have little else to offer at this point.

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