Archive for 2006

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Resistors 6: Mods

Having talked about pots and variable resistors, let’s put them in parallel and in series with a fixed resistor and see how these can be useful mods. First we’ll look at variable resistors and then at pots. There’s more to say than you might expect. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Resistors | 1 Comment »

 

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Resistors 5: Pots

PotentiometerPotentiometers, or pots, give control over tone, distortion, volume, and many other stompbox characteristics. Despite the huge variety of effects, pots only directly change resistances in a circuit so we can leverage our previous discussion of resistors into a complete explanation of these important components. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Resistors | 11 Comments »

 

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Resistors 4: In Series

Resistors in SeriesResistors can be combined in parallel and in series to create new resistances. Resistors in series are pictured in this LTspice schematic. In combination, these resistors act like a single resistor … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Resistors | 1 Comment »

 

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Resistors 3: In Parallel

Resistors in Parallel

Resistors in Parallel Resistors can be combined in parallel and in series to create new resistances. Two resistors are connected in parallel in this LTspice figure. In this combination these two resistors … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Resistors | 2 Comments »

 

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Resistors 2: Limiting Current

Ohm’s Law

Resistance appears in the simplest form of a fundamental electronic relationship called Ohm’s law:

V = I ⋅ R

where V is the potential difference or voltage drop measured in volts, I is the current in amperes (or amps), and R is the resistance in ohms. Ohm’s law says that voltage and current vary proportionally, where the constant of proportionality is the value of a resistor. … more …

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Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Resistors 1: Description

Appearance

resistor photo The fixed resistors commonly used in DIY stompboxes look like small cylinders with leads (or wires) coming out of each end. Such components are called axial leaded. Resistors can be soldered onto a circuit board oriented either way; the leads are interchangeable. The leads are bent so that they can stick into holes on the circuit board. As a result, this type of resistor is also called through-hole. These resistors have a fixed value and … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Resistors | 15 Comments »

 

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

expresspcb CAD

expresspcb A popular alternative to Eagle is expresspcb’s free CAD Software. I hope to be able to support users of this software also, either with links to other sites or with articles and files here written by others. For example, Charlie (moosapotamus.net) has some cool stuff that he listed on Aron’s forum in this post.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Software | 1 Comment »

 

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

LTSpice/SwitcherCAD III

LTSpice/SwitcherCAD III Simulating circuits on your computer is a good learning tool and there is a range of software for doing this using Spice, a circuit analysis program. Linear Technology has one of the easier versions that I have tried called LTspice/SwitcherCad III. You can download a free copy from their website here.

For a general description of Spice check out the Spice Home Page.

For an introductory tutorial, go to An LTSpice Tutorial. I give a demonstration of some useful calculations in LTSpice Analysis and the DOD Overdrive 250 and LTSpice AC Analysis with the BMP Tone Stack.

You will also find LTSpice examples throughout the Parts section of this site.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Software | 1 Comment »

 

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Soldering Iron

Temperature-Controlled Solder IronI bought my first soldering iron at the hardware store and it was a total mistake. My second came from a local electronics store and it was alright. Finally, I bought a temperature-controlled iron recommended by Peter Snowberg and that’s what I wish I had bought in the first place.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Hardware | Comments Off on Soldering Iron

 

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Digital Multimeter

DMMThe digital multimeter (or DMM) is a must-have. You can buy inexpensive ones from Radio Shack to get started but eventually you will want one with greater ranges and more features. For example, this BK Tool Kit 2704B measures capacitors and transistor HFE. It can measure resistors up to 20M.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Hardware | Comments Off on Digital Multimeter

 

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Fuzzy Logic

Fuzzy Logic Layoiut

Following the leads of many others, here is a schematic and layout designed for fuzz face experiments using sockets for changing components.

Some of the fuzzes you can make after building this layout are the Basic Fuzz Face (with R.G. Keen Mods, Roger Mayer Mods, Fuller Mods), the Vox Tone Bender 5/67, runoffgroove.com‘s Sili-Faces, fuzzcentral.com‘s Axis Face Germanium and Silicon, Joe Gagan’s Easy Face, Aron Nelson’s Hornet, the Gus Fuzz Face, Tim Escobedo’s Many Faces, the Boutique Fuzz, and the Miss Piggy. All of the schematic sources, and contrasts between fuzzes, are in this ms excel spreadsheet.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 11 Comments »

 

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

B. Blender

B. Blender Layout

Sean MacLennan designed this one. You can find the schematic on his site at seanm.ca. This is one of the first circuits that I built. It blends the input with the input through an effects loop. You can also use it as a straight boost.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 5 Comments »

 

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Big Muff Pi (Triangle Version)

Big Muff Pi (Triangle Version)

This is an NPN Triangle Big Muff Pi circuit that I started working on because Dragonfly was looking for verification help with his own layout. I was trying to make something that would fit in a 1590B. It may not be possible, with the three pots and all. 😉 I took the schematic from diystompboxes.com.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 42 Comments »

 

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Setting All Pad Sizes

If you would like to change the pad sizes for a board layout that you are going to etch, here is a brief description of how to do that. You must open your layout in the board layout editor to follow this procedure. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 3 Comments »

 

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Brown Sound in a Box II (BSIAB2)

Brown Sound in a Box 2 Layout

Ed Guidry designed this one and I took his schematic from GeneralGuitarGadgets.com. The BSIAB 2 is apparently one of the most popular distortion circuits on Aron’s forum. tungngruv on diystompboxes.com kindly wrote to say that he built the circuit successfully with this layout.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 22 Comments »

 

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Setting All Drill Sizes

If you would like to change the drill sizes for your board layouts, here is a brief description of how to do that. This procedure is carried out in the library editor and you must change each library that you use. As a result, it is the sort of thing that you do as little as possible. Maybe once, because you do not like the 0.7 mm drill size in my libraries. 😉 … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 1 Comment »

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Eagle 5: Components

At first use, adding components to a schematic is often frustrating. The libraries available on this site are organized to make this easier for DIY pedal makers. This page describes the organization as it appears in Eagle in more detail. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 12 Comments »

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Eagle 4: Schematics

In Eagle, one usually creates a schematic first and then, based upon the schematic, a layout. Files for each, the schematic and the layout, are saved in a project folder. In this post, we will show how to create a new project folder in Eagle’s Control Panel and how to create a new schematic file within that project. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 4 Comments »

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Eagle 3: Setup

In order to setup new libraries in Eagle, we will walk through

… more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 4 Comments »

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Eagle 2: Libraries

Finding the appropriate components can be frustrating in the default Eagle setup. Component libraries for CadSoft’s Eagle Layout Editor and diy pedals are available in the zip file linked here: gm-lbr.zip. These libraries gather many of the common components used by diy pedal builders, grouping components by type and indicating values associated with each package size. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 63 Comments »

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Eagle 1: Description

To design my circuit boards, I use the freeware version of the Eagle Layout Editor by CadSoft Computer GmbH. The software is located in the download area of their site. On this site, I describe the software and offer component libraries and circuit examples. The libraries are organized for diy pedal circuit design and the examples are popular pedal circuits. … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Eagle CAD | 22 Comments »

 

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Third Hand

Third HandI have a love-hate relationship with the third hand tool. I find it awkward and the darn thing always seems to slip and flop down at inconvenient moments. I have found peace with it by using the third hand in combination with a DIY vice.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Hardware | 2 Comments »

 

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Eagle CAD

Cadsoft Eagle LogoTo design my circuit boards, I use the freeware version of the Eagle Layout Editor by CadSoft Computer GmbH. The software is located in the download area of their site.

I give an introduction to Eagle under the category Eagle CAD. For convenience, here is a list of the posts:

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Software | 20 Comments »

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Vice

ViceThis simple vice is based on a suggestion by Paul Perry (Frostwave). It is two pieces of 2 by 4 and two carriage bolts with washers and wing nuts. The circuit board is by held two grooves cut with a hand saw.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Hardware | 1 Comment »

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Red Llama

Red Llama Layout

The Red Llama is one of my favourites. MartyB introduced me to this great circuit. The schematic source was Steve Cerutti at diystompboxes.com.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 53 Comments »

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

About Parts

One way to understand the basic diy pedal project is in terms of parts and how they fit together. This section describes electronic components, sections of circuits, and pieces of stompboxes. I will also explain what I know about how all these things can be made to work together (for example, fitting a circuit into an enclosure).

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Parts | Comments Off on About Parts

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Tubescreamer

Tubescreamer Layout

Here is the classic tubescreamer, including an optional asymmetric clipping. My source is GeneralGuitarGadgets.com.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 31 Comments »

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

About Tools

“The right tool for the job” is often the key to enjoyment and success. Here are some descriptions of tools for building pedals that I have learned to appreciate. For example, it took me a while to understand the pleasures of breadboards and temperature-controlled soldering irons. 😉

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Tools | Comments Off on About Tools

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

About Thoughts

Ideas, thoughts, … Every site needs a place to hold odds and ends.

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Thoughts | Comments Off on About Thoughts

 

Friday, March 31st, 2006

About Circuits

Circuits contains schematics and layouts for circuits related to stompboxes. Most are effects that have been designed by others, including replications of such classic stompboxes as the tubescreamer. Each circuit post comes with a set of files … more …

Posted by gaussmarkov | Filed in Circuits | 11 Comments »