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Project Complexity

Started by jcuempire, April 29, 2011, 10:51:56 PM

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I was wondering what determined a "Cowboy" project versus a "Noob" one.  Is there a part amount threshold that gets breached or is it a judgement call based on how it's set up?  Or something else?  And what is that NOOB graphic?  I can't stop looking at it.



haha the noob face is the "fffffuuuuu" face

it's a 4chan thing


Wow.  I had to ask.  Thanks for clearing that up.


Good question. 

I just about have a Zygote finished up, and even though it's considered a noob build, I found it more troublesome than the Yellow Shark.  The Yellow Shark is a "cowboy" build, but the amount of off board wiring on the Zygote really upped the difficulty, IMO. 

I think it's probably just a judgment call  The great thing is that all the projects have such awesome documentation, it makes it fairly easy to read through and decide for yourself if you're ready to tackle it or not.


I can't truly speak for Brian, but yes part count can influence the difficulty rating. I don't think there's a magic number of parts, it's an approximate value.

Other factors like offboard wiring, complexity of circuits and traces, size of the board and average success rate might influence the rating.

Really, there's not much to differentiate 'noob' or beginner from 'cowboy' or intermediate. It will likely involve more parts, and a more complex circuit. It will really play out in the 'not working' sort of state. A cowboy project is more difficult to debug. I have some super insane projects that wouldn't even be rated here at Madbean on my table not working. I can debug with the best of them, but there is one that's testing me bad these days...

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Yea I believe they do get harder but if you take your time and really double check everything you should be fine. I just took apart the dunlop univibe and building one of those would be madness. There's at least 100 resistors on this circuit board alone!
Owner and operator of Magic Pedals


The 3 levels of difficulty are a bit deceptive--maybe a 10 point scale like Tonepad or something like the Homeland Security Advisory System  ::) would be more descriptive. Your basic boosts and fuzzes are generally easier than ODs. I'd say the Sunking is an easier "genius" than the Aqua Boy...but then again, I'm still workin' on mine. Wiring was the real @#$%


Thanks.  I assumed as much.  It just so happens that the one Cowboy project I have is the only one I can't get to work.  It will work one day!  Thanks