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Messages - bcalla

Open Discussion / NSSHBD
November 21, 2020, 02:18:11 PM
New Short-Scale Headless Bass Day!

I have had surgery on both hands, and I suffer from neck & shoulder pain. I can only play standard basses for a short time before something starts to hurt.  The bass I have been using most is a Hofner Verythin.  I've had it for a few years and it's great - it has great tone, 30.5" scale, looks stunning, and weighs 5.5 lbs. (I have 2 other basses that weigh north of 10 lbs.).  However, it has the standard Hofner bridge, which means tuning / intonation is always a compromise.  So I have been on the lookout for a bass that matched a particular set of requirements:

1. Light
2. Short scale
3. 24 frets
4. Intonatable bridge
5. Relatively inexpensive

A couple weeks ago I picked up a Hondo Alien.  It's a headless bass, very similar to the Kramer Duke.  My best guess is that it was made in the 80s, but I wasn't able to find a way to confirm that.  It has an aluminum neck and comes in at 6.25 lbs., slightly more than my Hofner.  It sounds great and is very easy on my hands with a 31" scale.  And, while weird, I think it looks kinda cool.   8)

Open Discussion / Re: Go******t not Sean Connery!!!!
October 31, 2020, 03:06:15 PM
My favorite movie of his is The Man Who Would Be King.
Open Discussion / Re: Congrats to Jimi
May 28, 2020, 10:49:26 PM
I have to agree. I look at etched enclosures in build reports with envy, but I have never worked up the nerve to try it.  Years ago I etched 2 PCBs: one came out perfect and the other was a disaster.  I never tried again.
NP, I didn't take it as harsh.  I didn't mention that I scoured the web before making this post.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll check them out.

Regarding the link, I've searched the web & couldn't find one.  The LED strip has "Acuity Brands" printed on it, and various numbers.  I tried every combination and got nothing.  Electronic Goldmine sells a lot of electronic salvage / overstocks.  As far as I can tell, Acuity Brands sells only finished commercial lighting, not component parts, so this was likely an overstock.

BTW, Electronic Goldmine sells lots of cool things.  They send out emails 2-3 times a week with clearance deals and new inventory.  They're worth checking out & getting on their mailing list.
A while ago I bought a couple inexpensive LED strips from Electronic Goldmine that I intended to use to build a light fixture over my workspace.  They are 22" long with 14 SMD LEDs and +/- terminal connectors at one end.  The catch was that the ran on 40v DC, but I figured I'd come up with a way to power them later.  Well, I just got lucky and picked up a 42v wall wart that was intended to power a battery recharger for power tools.

I tested the power supply with one of the LED strips and it worked great.  Too great.  The light is blinding.  I was thinking that I might add a toggle switch to select either or both strips; and either a resistor to set the correct level of brightness, or dimmer (either a trimmer or pot).

So I hooked up a 100k pot to see how much I could dim it.  While turning the pot, I heard it pop & saw it spark.  After tossing the pot in the trash, it occurred to me that the components I buy for building 9 - 18 volt pedals may not be able to handle 42v.

Since my electronics knowledge is pretty much limited to following a build doc, I'm reaching out to see if someone here can guide me.

Should pedal components - specifically pots, trimmers, resistors & toggle switches - be able to handle this?

If not, what do I need to look for?

General Questions / Re: Fun Waterslide Question
May 10, 2020, 03:34:26 PM
I have done this once or twice and it worked out pretty good.  Sorry in advance for photobucket watermarks.  I need to find a new hosting site.

On these two I just did the sides, not the tops / bottoms.

On this thread you can see a couple more where I wrapped the sides only.  However, on "The Screamer" I used one decal to cover the top & all four sides.  I pulled it off with a single attempt - I figured I'd wind up going through 4-5 decals before I got it right.
Are these boards available?  I looked on the Dead End FX site & didn't see them.
I haven't finished a pedal in over a year, but I want to build one of these.  Are the boards available anywhere?
I have some advice regarding drilling that series of Hammond enclosures.  They're relatively expensive and I've learned the hard way...

The aluminum top is very thin and flexible.  If you don't secure and brace the top properly on your drill press, it will flex, which in some cases will affect the location and size/shape of the holes.  Drilling on the back for jacks and power is most challenging.  It works best if you clamp the surface you're drilling to a scrap block of wood.  But because of the way the edges are rolled this is not always possible.
Open Discussion / Re: Another one bites the dust
June 19, 2019, 02:45:41 PM
Hey Mike -
I wondered why I haven't seen any posts from you lately.

Sad to hear this, but I get it.  A handful of other things have risen higher than building on my priority list.  I haven't finished a pedal in about a year.  I have done a couple non-pedal projects and I still check in here pretty much every day.  I also have 4-5 half-finished pedals that I will finish, and tons of PCBs that I still think I will get to some day.

I didn't realize you were a Columbia Gas victim.  How long were you without heat?
My niece lives in Chicago and we did a family trip there about 7 - 8 years ago.

There is a terrific architecture tour in Chicago.  It's a boat ride on the Chicago River through the heart of the city and the guide describes the history of the city through the architecture as you ride past.  You can read about it here.

You would probably also like the Museum of Science and Industry.  When we were there the lower level was dedicated to an HO scale model train layout that replicated a section of downtown Chicago.  I think that exhibit is still there, but you should check.

Also, if you spend any time in Chicago, you have to go to Chicago Music Exchange.  Visit their website, you'll agree.  I made 6 people with no interest in musical instruments hang out there for an hour or two while I went room-to-room gawking at everything.  I even got to play a $27k Strat.
OK, I'm one more person that's not going to be helpful.   :)

This topic has piqued my curiosity.  I perform in a duo with a friend of mine.  We play once a month in a restaurant doing covers - 60s through now.  For many songs we record backing tracks.  My buddy Al has a nice recording set-up at his house, so we can record various guitar and keyboard parts there.  If drums are needed, I program them.  I started out using my drum machine, but programming is difficult and there are many limitations.  As a long time GuitarPro user I eventually realized that I can write a drum chart in GP7 and get pretty good results, with more variation and realism than I can get from my drum machine.  GP has dozens of drum kits, and I can vary the velocity of each hit to ad some "human-ness" to the track (though AFAIK there is now way to vary the timing of the hit relative to the beat like a real drummer).  While I'm reasonably happy with the results, I've always thought there must be a better way. 

Since EZDrummer is sample based I have to assume that it has a more realistic feel right out of the box.  It looks like you can build parts measure by measure from their libraries.  However, since we do covers, sometimes it is important to have very specific cuts, kicks, accents, etc.  Is it possible to program beat-by-beat?  If you find a groove from one / some of their samples, can you edit them?  Or change the kit used to create them?

(While I was typing this some new posts came in, confusing me even more)    ???

So it has samples AND midi???  Can you edit both or just the midi?  Can you match the midi sounds to the drum set in the samples?

I'm afraid to count my backlog.  And I haven't finished a build in months.