The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 8

Ok, so mechanically all should be connected and soldered properly, but for some reason I’m not getting anything but farting noises out of the effect signal. The clean, bypassed signal sounds great (at least the footswitch and status LED seems to be working :) ).

Given the simplicity of the circuit that leaves only two suspects.

Either the diode is fried, or the transistor has given up its ghost.

Thus, today I removed the diode and tested it with the multimeter, only to confirm that there was no problems with it. I tested a new one and soldered it into the circuit, confirming that there are no shorts.

So, back to square 2. Tomorrow I will test the transistor as well. If you have any tips on how to remove a soldered in transistor please share :)

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The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 7

After essentially hitting the wall and running out of ideas yesterday, my good friend Nicklas pointed out that I had a suspicious solder joint in the lower left side of this photo:

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And of course he was right. If ever there was a cold joint :). A quick resolder took care of that, now the signal is at least stable.

Lesson learned: Always check, check and check your solder joints again. A bad solder won’t always come loose right away, but can let go while you are fiddling around with your contraption.

Rechecking all the other joints revealed nothing out of the ordinary…

The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 6

The short is gone.

But!

I’m still not getting the signal I expect. The clean is coming through nicely, but the effected signal sounds extremely muddy and gritty. To the point where its really unusable.

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A bit unsure where to go from here to be honest.

On the bright side, I’ve added the status LED to the circuit, and it lights up just fine :)

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The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 5

Less DIY’ing over the coming days… right…

So I dug into the soldering of the components for the pedal, but couldn’t find any errors in the placement or polarity. Then Nicklas give me the suggestion to look for shorts between the copper rails on the board itself, and low and behold:

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That’s a full .5mm of solder right their poking over on the neighbouring rail. And from the +V nonetheless! A quick check with the multimeter confirmed that there was indeed a connection.

Fortunately it was easily fixed:

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And with this the circuit now seems ok from a mechanical perspective.

I’ll check the functionality again tomorrow when I don’t risk waking up the whole building…

The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 1

I’ve always been fascinated by DIY electronics, and I always wished I knew more about how to solder and build your own musical effects.

After reducing my music gear to the very basic minimum I found myself wanting to experiment with some interesting sounds for my guitar, and what better chance to roll your own?

Finding veroboard pedal layouts online was easy, so I picked out a simple distortion circuit as a starting point.

Below is the schematic I made from the board:

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This is actually my first schematic ever so bear with me :).

Based on this schematic I breadboarded the design:

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This is working. Sort of. The signal comes through and sounds somewhat distorted, but the difference compared to the clean signal is very small.

Next step will be to figure out if I need a different capacitor configuration or a different transistor in order to drive more distortion…

If you have any thoughts please share them :).