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My Biggest @#$%up

Started by jessenator, November 04, 2022, 03:27:56 AM

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Well, maybe biggest DIY project @#$%up   : P

So, back when I was first getting into DIY, I did the whole "go big or go home" thing pretty early on and thought I'd share that experience. Maybe it's therapeutic, or maybe it's a sign that I'm getting too ambitious again  :|  either way, here it is!

Quotetl;dr a phaser board project failed spectacularly and cost a lot of time and money

I decided that rather than do something simple, like etch a DOD250 or a Rat, nah, nah, let's do a @#$%ing 14-stage phaser even though you can't read a schematic or know hardly anything about electronics at all...

I sadly don't have any photos of the final result left over, but I did it all, big ol' copper board, cleaned up the creator's GIFs to something print-resolution (because I'm weird and obsessive like that, being a designer), found all of the components, sourced slider pots, went through multiple rounds of part purchases, the works. Got it all together and the damned thing didn't work at all.

I had messaged someone who had successfully made one and we exchanged emails for a time, and he even sent me a modified version of the board he'd done.

Poked a bit and bought a few replacement parts, even had an enclosure powder coated and milled, aaaaannnd it still didn't work. I think that's when I gave up DIY (until just recently).

Fast forward nearly 10 years, and I somehow thrifted my box of DIY bits along the way, including the completed, if faulty, board and the (now rather much more so) expensive NPN array chips. Decisions, am I right?

I still can't let this go, and more to just brute force this all into my brain, I'm starting to bring the late Jurgen Haible's schematic into Eagle and in looking for whatever was left on my old workstation, I found THIS. It was my non-Eagle attempt at scaling, aligning, labeling, and otherwise prepping for the next stage of this project that never happened...
I did this in Adobe Illustrator, and is by no means a proper layout, but it was better than a pixelated GIF I was working from. With the other person's help, I was able to get it here, but completely forgot I even had that goal to even ATTEMPT to make another one. Would've been a better jumping off point, but then I saw the price of those NPN arrays now...and that I had put the board in the donation box... yikes.

The redux of this is going to be a longer-term thing, as I'm a hack and will need to better understand how things are done. I'm looking to replace the array portions with a more affordable part, and I'm not expecting anything but an uphill battle :) but what the hell, I'll climb. I'm looking at this more as an exercise than a "HELL YEAH I'M GONNA MAKE ANOTHER ONE AND IT'S GONNA BE OUT IN A MONTH!" sort of avaricious declaration.

I'll have to learn, but I'm hoping this circuit can be done by scrapping the AC, leaning on 12VDC, which given my naivete and inexperience might turn out to be quite a job—IDEK if this thing can run without a -12V rail or not.

Anyhow, thought I'd share my most costly @#$%up in terms of money and time invested.


Wow, you're not even kidding, that's a pretty spendy looking layout.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.


It was late last night and I don't recall if I clarified: this was NOT my design, I just cleaned it up—and I kind of regret even deigning to put my monogram on there  :-[ . Jurgen Haible, rest in peace, put this together, but focused his later efforts on another phaser design and didn't have anything higher res for download, so I cleaned up the original GIFs. Here for reference:

Quote from: jimilee on November 04, 2022, 02:51:52 PM
Wow, you're not even kidding, that's a pretty spendy looking layout.

yeah...  I think at the time (2008? or perhaps a little later) I didn't quite pay the $9 / chip price of today, but it was around $3–4. The stupidest part of the whole experience (well, maybe right after not reclaiming those array chips) was getting the powder-coated Hammond enclosure and then having someone mill it, since I was going for that vertical slider ARP hardware motif, even though I wasn't aiming for the Quadra from which the circuit was taken (not a fan of the later ARP interface graphics myself)


Decided to dig more on an old hard drive covered in dust:

I had an even more stupider idea before the slider design (3d render):


I love this!  I've always been an ARP fan, even though I tried gigging full time with an Avatar.  It's likely the reason I have no hair but damn on the nights it worked (or I was able to work it) ABACAB never sounded better.
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?


Ha! Found a few photos of this hot mess