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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:24 am 
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Hey gang

so this is only my 3rd pedal build.

initially, all packed up it seemed to short out sometimes, so i took it out of its enclosure, and now its sounding better, but the sustain is about 8 times longer on my relatively new, run of the mill E-H big muff pi.

here are some soundclips
in enclosure
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... 0NBbzZSUlU

unpacked
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... llwTWh3R2c

unpacked all at 10
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... G5HRzVhb0k

whatchyall think? Am i right that something isnt working correctly?
Figured I'd check before making my first attempt at checking all the voltages!

Attachment:
2CEEB512-B01F-42A9-8BA4-9034CACEA961.jpg
2CEEB512-B01F-42A9-8BA4-9034CACEA961.jpg [ 537.24 KiB | Viewed 1033 times ]


Last edited by joe overton on Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Definitely something seriously wrong there--that doesn't sound remotely like a BMP circuit should. Double-check all of your resistors, particularly the ones that share the first two digits--its very easy, for example, to switch a 4.7K resistor with a 470K. I can't see any resistor errors, but there are many resistors whose banding I can't make out, and a few that are completely hidden from view.

If that doesn't turn up anything, my next suggestion is this: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52188

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:06 pm 
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okay, well I've double checked all the resistors, they're looking good, and i re-flowed all the connections. the connections on the sustain pot we're looking a little thin, so i added some more solder.

the sustain has improved a good bit, but its still not nearly as long as my modern EH big muff pi. When i put the two next to each other knobs at noon, I'm getting very little volume and fuzz out of my lil beaver comparatively. I could post some more clips if that'd be helpful, but but in comparing the two it really seems like something is still wrong.

Is checking and posting all the voltages the next step? Is there a good beginners guide for this somewhere?

here's another round of photos in case that's helpful.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... kVlNGFQd3M
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... XQtRlNoTTQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... FZPbWZKZTQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B44zg ... HNEUnRhUUk


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Can you check these values please?


Attachments:
ramsbeaverQ.jpg
ramsbeaverQ.jpg [ 518.14 KiB | Viewed 1002 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:30 pm 
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hey there Nwkenning!

thanks for your help! are we talking resistance values?

If that's correct then they are as follows--
top to bottom left to right

the 272 resistor slot is reading 2.698k
the 474 is reading 133k*
the 474 is reading 139.7k*
the 433 is reading 40k
the 474 is reading 110.2k*

the * indicates that the value keeps getting higher in increments of .1k the longer I have the probes connected, i just waited a few seconds and recorded that value.

I'm taking these readings on the face of the board you have reposted the picture of if that makes any difference.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Depending upon what a given resistor is connected to in the circuit, it is very often the case that you cannot get an accurate reading of its resistance once it's installed. This happens because of the frequent presence of parallel circuit paths. When this happens, the reading that you get will always be lower than the actual resistance--often substantially lower.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:38 pm 
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duhvoodooman

i was assuming that was why those 474s weren't reading anywhere near their normal value. should i pull then off the board and check them that way? based on the color banding, which i know you cant see in that photo, they are definitely the right ones.

here are photos where you can see the resistors
Attachment:
474resistors 1.jpeg
474resistors 1.jpeg [ 295.26 KiB | Viewed 993 times ]

Attachment:
474resistors 12.jpeg
474resistors 12.jpeg [ 113.92 KiB | Viewed 993 times ]


Last edited by joe overton on Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Nah, just wanted to be sure that they were close to the right values because the color bands looked a bit off, I figured it was simply an issue with the color of the pictures, but wanted to be sure.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:16 pm 
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At this point, you'd probably be best off buying or making yourself a signal tester and use it to trace the signal path until you find where the signal is heading south.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:42 am 
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so, i made a signal tester and started trying to figure it out, and somewhere in the process the sustain issue just magically went away (not a particularly satisfying place to leave it).
So i made this video comparing the build at its current state with my run-of-the-mill EH big muff pi.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7eVmFxkvS0
https://youtu.be/pQWrLeSKOM4 - this is a second video with more playing on each individual pedal
If you hear around 20 seconds how the signal pops and sputters as its dying out, it had been doing after about 8 seconds before the magic.

so now i'm just wondering if the tone if close to where its supposed to be.
its being played with a jazzmaster, through my pedal steel amp, a solid state peavey nashville 400.


Last edited by joe overton on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:09 pm 
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joe overton wrote:
...so now i'm just wondering if the tone if close to where its supposed to be.

Can't tell from that. Would be much more useful if you would play a little bit through both pedals, so that we can hear the note attack & sustain, as well as its tonal character.

Not a good thing that the problem "just magically went away." Such solutions tend to disappear as magically as they came. Sounds to me like a funky connection somewhere.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:10 pm 
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https://youtu.be/pQWrLeSKOM4 here's a second video that's hopefully better!

I'm gonna try adding heat shrink tubing to a bunch of the connections to maybe prevent a relapse!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:32 am 
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I'm having the exact same issue on the same pedal! Very sputtery, and the sustain cuts out very quickly. This is my first build, so I suppose what I need to do is build that signal tester and pull it all out.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:47 pm 
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If the problem cuts in and out, that's an indication that there's probably a cold solder joint somewhere, or maybe something got bent too much when you stuffed the guts in the enclosure. Do you still have this problem with the guts outside of the enclosure?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:53 pm 
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I'm also have this same issue. I've built many BYOC pedals, and this is the first time I've had one not work when I fired it up. First time for everything. :)

The symptoms seem the same as those described above. It sputters and the tails of fuzzed notes die off, almost like the sound of a limiter coming in. Definitely not what my Large Beaver sounds like.

I was extremely careful with the resistors, measuring each one twice before they went in. I've re-wired the board to the pots. I've reflowed most of the connections. I've looked for stray solder shorts, component to component shorts.

The only thing that I did different from my previous builds, was how I removed the tab on the mini-pots. I found it impossible to break these off with pliers, so I used a Dremel tool and ground them off. Could that have overheated and damaged the traces in the pots? The other symptom I noticed was that the Tone and Volume pots make a swishing sound when they are rotated. I've never heard this before and am pretty sure it isn't normal.

Any thoughts, anyone?

Travis


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:34 am 
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Metal dust inside the pots from grinding the tabs off maybe?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:14 pm 
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On the schematic it looks like C8 is shown with the polarity backwards.

Anyway, the particular sound of these circuits has a lot to do with the diodes and capacitors connected between the base and collectors of a couple of the transistors, Q2 and Q3. If the capacitors, diodes, or transistors are intermittent you might see some problems people have been describing. Perhaps running a signal through the pedal while tapping or wiggling some of the parts a little could help find if there is some mechanical issue. This is of course assuming everything has already been carefully checked visually, and the solder joints and wiring is all good, but there is still reason to suspect something is intermittent.

Beyond the usual stuff, its a good investment to have a basic oscilloscope for troubleshooting circuit problems. There are some on ebay at less than $30. For that you don't get much, but it's a little better than an audio circuit tracer. You can see what the waveforms look like and measure DC levels at the same time.

To look at AC waveforms only, the BYOC signal tracer cable can be fed into the line input of a computer sound card and displayed using freeware sound card oscilloscope programs. The line inputs are good for signal levels not more than around a volt or so, so if needed a resistive voltage divider can be used to get the signal level down within the proper range.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:10 pm 
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With regard to the metal dust theory, that had occurred to me, so I unwired the pots and check their resistance on both sides of the wiper. They all seem fine.

I thought about buying a new set of transistors, but that would be an extra $20.00 or so, so I don't know if I want to go there, in case it didn't fix the problem.

Maybe I'll try the suggestion of sending a signal through it and wiggling the components. The signal tester idea seems good too, though I've never done that before.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Cirlot wrote:
....The other symptom I noticed was that the Tone and Volume pots make a swishing sound when they are rotated. I've never heard this before and am pretty sure it isn't normal.

Electrical noise present when you turn a pot is generally an indication of DC voltage getting through the signal chain. Shouldn't be happening, though, since there are coupling caps present in the circuit to prevent this, though I guess a bad cap is a possibility.

You mentioned that you had re-flowed "most" of the components. I would suggest re-flowing them ALL, including all the wire connections.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:16 pm 
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The schematic shows something of a DC path through the tone pot. There is DC on the collector of Q3, which passes through R17 to the tone pot and then though R18 to ground. There is no DC current through the wiper, but there still could be some noise from DC through the resistance element. There other pots look good.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:42 pm 
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I re-flowed all the solder joints, but the problem remains. I tried, but found it all but impossible to interpret the color codes on the resistors. Maybe I'm color blind.

I don't relish the idea of having unsolder the resistors to test each one. Given the symptoms described, could anyone point me in a general direction of which resistor might be wrong, so I don't have to do them all?

I wonder if there's a bad, or improperly installed, component that's causing the bias to be off on one of the transistors. I've got other pedals with adjustable bias, and I think they make a similar sound when the bias is too low.

I did go ahead and order a signal tester, some replacement pots, and a solder sucker. I'm determined to get this thing up and going, at least until I spend more than it cost in the first place. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:03 pm 
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I think it’s time to create your own thread and post photos of your build. We try to avoid piggybacking on top of threads posted by others whenever we can.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:19 pm 
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Resistor color codes can be harder to read with some light sources, such as LED lights. Natural sunlight has a full spectrum and is best. A magnifying glass can help. If need be, only one end of a resistor needs to be disconnected to measure it, and that can be done by clipping the middle of the lead on top of the circuit board (no need to unsolder). Then after measurement, solder the cut lead back together. If done carefully, it works fine (and less wear and tear on the PCB from repeated soldering). And, agreed starting a new thread would be good.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Stephen wrote:
I think it’s time to create your own thread and post photos of your build. We try to avoid piggybacking on top of threads posted by others whenever we can.

Exactly. Please start a new thread and include a good set of photos, i.e. LARGE, well-lit, well focused shots of both sides of the PCB and all of your jack and switch wiring. We have several people here who are good at reading resistor color codes and can probably determine if that's your problem. I would definitely try this before starting to clip resistor leads....

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:59 pm 
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Sorry about that. I'll start a new thread. Thanks.


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