Building pedals,... | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Building pedals,...

Discussion in 'Amp Building/Technical/Repair' started by Robert1950, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    Edmonton
  2. greco

    greco Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Looks great to me! Lots of good pics and diagrams.

    Hopefully, mhammer will comment.
     
  3. amagras

    amagras

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I've heard mhammer mentioning the pedal forum several times, sounds like a good place to start.
     
  4. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Joe Gore, the author, is awright in my books. For a guy who has played with some pretty high profile people, and been writing for guitar mags for years (formerly Guitar Player, now PG), I'm surprised he does as much building as he does. I was deeply honoured when I wrote to him to compliment him on something and he knew me by name.

    The document looks pretty good AFAIC. Brian Wampler sent me a copy of his first book on pedal building, some years back, for review. I made a few suggestions that he subsequently implemented. The book and the article have a lot of the same information in the same depth, although Brian's book has more drawings, plus lots of space for notes. The demonstration circuit, itself, is a standard recommendation for a first circuit. The circuit found here - https://revolutiondeux.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fred-briggs-64-vintage-vox-tones-galore.html - isn't a lot more complicated, but I've been really pleased with it as an overdrive pedal, in terms of what it can push 0ut of an amp (the diodes aren't absolutely critical - any Schottky type can be used).

    All of us who have been making pedals for awhile were raised on the Craig Anderton books, as well as Robert Penfold's and John Simonton's articles in Electronics Today and Radio Electronics.

    I cannot recommending highly enough becoming a member of the diystompbox forum ( https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?board=2.0 ), and consulting the profusely-illustrated build documents at Small Bear Electronics, the various guidance documents at GEOFEX ( https://www.geofex.com/ ) and AMZ ( https://www.muzique.com/ ) as well as consulting the veroboard layouts at tagboard effects ( https://tagboardeffects.blogspot.ca/ ). Personally, I prefer perfboard or PCB, but enough folks like veroboard that there must be some merit to it.

    Get to know Tayda Electronics in Thailand, dipmicro in Niagara Falls, and Small Bear in Brooklyn.

    Be patient. Accept that you will have some weeks when everything you touch is gold and other weeks when everything you touch turns to s**t. Accept that dysfunctionality will arise from the absolute dumbest and simplest of things, and that your trouble-shooting should not exclude any of them. And by all means, drop me a post here or a PM if you run into trouble.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
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  5. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    Edmonton
    The first thing I've to do inventory what tools I have and what I need.
     
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  6. greco

    greco Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Are you going to try a build?

    What about getting a kit from https://www.axeandyoushallreceive.com/brands/byoc-kits ??

    Sourcing parts can be a pain ...and expensive.
     
  7. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    Edmonton
    A simple overdrive, distortion or fuzz to start. I found the kit prices at AXE starting around $84 Cdn to be a bit pricey. I am retired and have the time to look for stuff.

     
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  8. sulphur

    sulphur

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Sudbury, Ontario
    Good for you, keep us posted on your progress.
    That's a cool step by step guide, I bookmarked that, thanks for the link.

    Not to put him on the spot, but keto may be able to help you out if there's local places to source parts.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. keto

    keto Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Robert I have all the supplies you need and then some just arrange to come to the west side
     
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  10. greco

    greco Gold Member

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    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Fair enough...especially when you have 'keto' to help with supplies and help you to source more if/when needed

    You are a good man, Mr. Keto!
     
  11. sulphur

    sulphur

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Sudbury, Ontario
    Boom! Over and above.
     
  12. knight_yyz

    knight_yyz Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    if you want a super simple OD/Fuzz pedal I would try the greer green giant.



    [​IMG]
     
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  13. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    While you were hoping to make stuff for lower cost, I have to say the build docs that BYOC produces are very good. They don't have the imagine-yourself-doing-THIS feel that Joe Gore's document does or that you can find in Small Bear's projects, they're still pretty decent.

    PAiA Electronics in Oklahoma were kind of the godfathers of DIY audio electronics. The late John Simonton (PAiA founder) had a great many project articles in all the popular electronics hobbyist magazines, and Craig Anderton's various effects projects in Guitar Player, Contemporary Keyboard, and Modern Recording magazines were generally released through PAiA. Though relying exclusively on line drawings, their build docs set the standard for what BYOC would eventually come to do. They have generously posted pretty much all of their back-catalog in the threads you can find in their in-house forums here: https://www.paia.com/talk/

    With the emergence of cheap and efficient methods for designing and fabricating PCBs, we've seen a number of providers emerge whose primary business line is providing professionally-made PCBs for resissues and modded clones of popular vintage effects, as well as entirely new designs. There are plenty more, but a beginner would be very happy with what they can get from Madbean, Tonepad, and General Guitar Gadgets. GGG sells entire kits, like BYOC does, but you can also get just the board, and provide the parts and box yourself. All the technical info is provided free on their sites.

    I typically make my own PCBs; something that has gotten ridiculously easy and cheap since I began this hobby in the late 70's. The pivotal factor has been the development of toner-transfer methods. "Toner-transfer" involves printing the PCB pattern with a laser printer (NO ink jet) onto a particular surface. The surface is some sort of emulsion, coating either a paper or acetate sheet. So this could be photo-paper, glossy magazine paper (save those National Geographics!), or specialized "press-and-peel" (PnP) sheets. The heart of the method is that the toner, when heated, wants to stick to the bare copper surface of the PCB board, more than the emulsion wants to stick to the backing sheet. Most folks will apply the sheet to the board with a clothes iron, but some folks get better results with laminator devices. Once you have an indication that the entire pattern has stuck to the copper, let the board cool down, then peel off the sheet. Done properly, only the pattern sticks to the board, and the peeled sheet has a sort of "negative" of where the pattern was printed onto the sheet. The board now has a layout of traces that will resist the etchant bath. Stick the board in the etchant, and in most instances, 15 minutes later you'll have an etched circuit board for the effect.

    You'll still need to drill the holes, tin the resulting board, and trim it to size yourself, which is why many folks prefer to simply buy a pre-made board from the folks listed above. If the board is double-sided (to minimize the size), you're probably better off ordering a board until you have enough etches under your belt. But once you get the hang of it, and have the tools and setup, a person can go from finding a circuit and accompanying layout, to having an etched, drilled and populated circuit board in 90 minutes; a far cry from what we had to do back in the day.

    So what's the added value of using PCBs, rather than veroboard or perfboard, and the layouts like the tagboard one for the Greer Green Giant? Memory. I don't know about other folks but keeping track of what has and hasn't been installed and connected/disconnected, when working with perf or vero, is the sort of thing that one should only attempt if blessed with lots of uninterrupted time. The nice thing about PCBs is that they "remember" the connections and missing parts for you. That can make a big difference in trouble-shooting (because only a fraction of what you build will work the first time you fire it up).
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
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  14. greco

    greco Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Thanks mhammer. As we have come to almost "expect", a very well-written, lengthy and helpful tutorial.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  15. keto

    keto Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I was on tablet, where I hate typing replies, last night. I sent Robert a pm and invitation.

    I forgot then, but I also have a fair sized library (on paper) of perf board layouts that I (or he) can copy. Mostly fuzzes and distortions, but some other things in there too. I'll give him a few, like my old favourite and quite simple, the Bosstone....man, I made a lot of those and everyone who got one loved it.

    I might not have some of the electrolytics but should have all the box caps and resistors and transistors and diodes he should ever need, as well as other stuff. And can point him to 2 decent local sources.
     

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