Author Topic: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)  (Read 3263 times)

maysink

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Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« on: September 12, 2010, 08:54:46 PM »
So I've been building pedals for nearly 2 years and this is the first time I've ever done this...

I finally got around to wiring up my Poindexter build. Everything had been verified on the breakout/breadboard rig so it was just a matter of throwing the board in the enclosure and finalizing the wiring.

I hook up the guitar and amp and NOTHING!! Not even bypass. So I whip out the DMM and am baffled when there's continuity between the input & output jacks' tips with the pedal in bypass. Many hours later I go back to the noise room only to instantly slap my forehead as I set the pedal down exactly where it was this morning...

I had the guitar plugged into the output and the amp plugged into the input of the pedal. Ugh.
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Rich_S

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 09:09:37 PM »
Yup... when it's upside down on the bench with its guts hanging out, the input's on the left.

Me?  My first try usually fails because I forgot to put the op amp in its socket. ::)
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Haberdasher

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 10:13:28 PM »
When I built the faultline it was the first time I ever ignored the advice about breadboarding first.  I hooked it up in the box, plugged in, and same thing.  Nothing.  About ten minutes later I realized I hadn't put the transistors in.  All 8 of 'em. Awesome.   8)
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maysink

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2010, 11:01:35 PM »
You guys. I knew this was 'AA' for pedal addicts!

Rich_S: yep on the 'no-opamp-in-socket' d'oh! My BYOC rat clone begat this lesson. (BTW, the BYOC mighty mouse [rat clone] is THE SHIT!)

Habi: nice!

My first pedal-build boner was freaking out when a pedal did f*ck-all when I forgot to plug in an input cable... Experience is a better teacher than theory. Period.

Anyone got an idiot move to share? Brian? You're the guru around here--encourage the noobs!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 11:17:33 PM by maysink »
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jkokura

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 11:45:36 PM »
One of my favourites was an early Tubescreamer build. I couldn't get why I was getting really quiet output. The pedal seemed to work, just at 1/10th the volume it should. I left it alone for weeks, then months.

Anyway, I finally came back to it, and examined the Schem and used an Audio Probe. Using the Audio Probe, I traced the circuit from the input all the way almost to the end. It sounded great, then all of the sudden, right after this one resistor, the volume cut down. Turns out, the output resistor was 100K. I looked at the schem, it was supposed to be 100ohm. When I had read the BOM for the pedal, I just figured the guy who made it had forgotten to put the 'K' behind the 100. I had bought and installed a 100k resistor instead of the 100ohm resistor it needed.

I did the same on a Small Stone which had been giving me grief also. Put the right resistors in, and everything worked fine.

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madbean

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 09:17:16 PM »
I've done lots of idiotic things in building, mostly due to poor planning and rushing. There's a certain plateau that you reach after a couple of years where you aren't in a hurry to get to the finished product as much as wanting to enjoy the entire process. So, I take things pretty slow now, and luckily that minimizes the mistakes I make. But, I've done everything: forget to put in parts, wire things backward, input/outputs reversed. One time I stored some steel wool with some 9v batteries. I'm lucky I didn't burn the house down!

My worst was about 4 years ago when I was trying to build a TS with boost switch into a 1590B. I had two switches, too. I got so frustrated with that thing not working, I took it out to the back yard and chucked it 30ft. into the back fence. Luckily, I calmed down and went back to it a couple of days later and fixed it. That's the point where I started testing EVERYTHING before boxing it up. It's saved me many hours of frustration. Now, when things don't work, if I can't figure it out in 15 minutes it goes on the shelf for another time. Honestly, I do my best debugging by just thinking things through. It's the same with writing music: I do my best writing when I just sit in a quiet place without any instrument. Not because I'm such a goddam music genius (I'm not), but because it offers the least distraction :)

CRBMoA

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 02:27:27 PM »
Boners.........................so many to choose from. So I'll go with the latest two.

BYOC Analog Delay. Customer build. I was METICULOUS! Did NOT fire up on the first go. List of problems:

1) LED & bypass not working

-solution- With the help of a wonderful mod, walked through a troubleshoot and found out I had a bad tranny in the Millenium Bypass portion of the circuit.

2) No effected signal out - after much reflowing and tracing and continuity checking, finally replaced a dodgy trimpot. I have been building for 2 years, and never had 2 bad components in one build.

3) When setting the trimpots and cleaning up the clock noise, switched from a 555 based sound generator I built (kinda hard to set repeats with a box that goes 'tic-tic-tic-tic'). And the signal is GONE. Whip out the DMM, trace the whole dang pedal, and a half hour later, give up and go to bed.

-solution- In the morning, realize I plugged my guitar into the 'Dry Out' jack. This won't work. LOL!

And lastly, picked up a populated ColorSound SupaSustain. Built on perf. Traced it out, added the offboard pots and jacks, breadboarded it - Success.

Boxed it up, plugged it in, created the most annoying high-pitched squeal ever to deafen a human ear. Glad I got child bearing out of the way, because I am surely sterile after that sonic assault.

--------------Solder bridge between Vol 1 & 2 on the perf. Blind builders should NEVER box a perf build without checking for strands of solder too small to see bridging traces. Never. I meant don't do it!

eniacmike

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Re: Bone head move (vague poindexter content)
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 08:09:09 AM »
I try to be super anal about putting heat shrink tubing on everything because too many times Ive boxed my effect up only to find out my volume pot turned and the output is shorting to the case. or my led wire is touching something, etc.

So most of my bonehead moves involve off board wiring. Including one time I wired a 9v adapter snap to a dc jack and the red wire was going through the hole in the enclosure, the black wire was going outside.

the first enclosure I drilled by myself I copied the template from an mxr phase 90 and I couldn't fit the battery in beneath the jack, then I realized that the mxr had a DPDT instead of a 3PDT.

Last week I burned up two leds before I realized I forgot to put the led resistor on. I was doing a new layout and things weren't in their usual spaces.