The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks)

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The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks)

Postby Timpanogos Slim » 22 Aug 2017, 18:11

I've been building electronics for more than 20 years but only recently got into this guitar stuff.

late last year i bought a kit on either ebay or aliexpress (I forget) to build a DS-1 alike dstortion pedal, the "TTone Dragon" from some chinese vendor.

It was a horrible, unsatisfying experience that inspired me to finish streamlining my pcb etching process, finish construction of a miniature drill press for drilling PCBs, etc.

What i got was a pretty enclosure, some pots, some knobs, a 3pdt stomp switch with wire lugs, and a single-sided board that was clearly designed for a board-mounted dpdt stomp. A bag of board-level parts and a meter or so of red wire. Really nice jacks though.

The included instructions just gave the positions on the board for the components and a list of positions on the board that are unused or should be jumpered. No schematic, no wiring diagram for the off-board components.

The board itself is, uh, terrible. single-sided with really thin copper and pads that like to pop off the board. It's not my iron temperature or technique - I've been at this for more than 20 years and i religiously use a Weller TC series iron with a 700f conical tip. It's just a really cheaply made board.

Ultimately i begged the seller for more information and got a series of photos of a partially and fully assembled unit and a pdf showing a different board with a similar circuit with a wiring diagram and errors and nonsensical stuff in the schematic.

I only just got it working yesterday after realizing that some of the photos of the complete unit show what are in retrospect mistakes in the assembly. On their side - there is no possibility that the unit they took pictures of worked the way they photographed it.

And all the photos showed it with the component side facing down, but you cannot close the case that way because there isn't room. have to flip it over with components facing the pots, and better hope you had enough wire going to the pots to do that.

In the time between buying that kit and finishing it, I built, with hand-etched-and-drilled boards and totally completed with enclosure, hmm, lemme see,

Idiot Box Blowerbox clone w/ selectable clipping section

Mid-fi Clari(not) clone (working fine but needs a more sensitive LDR, on it's way)

Nocentelli's MMR Fuzz

A green russian BMP w/ mids control

A germanium fuzz face, pnp with negative ground

Freppo's Raygun Youth and Eagle Claw pedals

In partial state of build i've got,

Mid-fi Deluxe Pitch Pirate

Nocentelli's King Dubby

Freppo's lm311 fuzz (wired up, tested (sounds real good!) ran out of foot switches and 1590A enclosures)

Tychobrahe Octavia (with the transformer)

Tiny tube screamer

One-knob fat fuzz

MXR Script Phase 90

And there are half a dozen boards that i haven't started filling yet, like the tonepad a-gua, bassweet, gemini II, tails looper and other stuff i want to enclose with the king dubby . . . .


So, thanks. Big thanks to storyboardist and the rest of you guys designing, tracing, etc.
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Jan1966 » 22 Aug 2017, 20:25

Don't buy that shit if you are perfectly capable at etching and building your own boards. At least you can can examine the project as you are going and resolve any errors if any.
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Timpanogos Slim » 22 Aug 2017, 20:37

Yeah. At the time i was insecure in my ability to etch and drill boards.

I finished my 3d printed drill press and discovered the joy of dirt cheap chinese twist bits (vs brittle-as-glass carbide pcb bits). I bought a miniature table saw and diamond blades because I have a big stack of heavy duty FR4 with 4oz copper foil on it. The saw is cool - I store it in a drawer. Bought and modified (for slower roll and higher heat) a GBC hot laminator and honed my toner transfer technique.

That HP presentation paper in the packet with the guitar on the label is the she-it. I run the board through the laminator a few times, let it cool, and peel it right off.

This stuff:

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Premium-Prese ... ref=sr_1_2

I have built a lot of stuff on perfboard in the past, but I learned how to use KiCad and don't know that I'll ever bother with it again for more than maybe 3 components.

When i get around to it i am going to make a better drill press. The one i have works ok but is mildly disappointing.

I can rework my own boards 4-5 times (hey we all make mistakes) and the pads and traces don't lift off. It's very gratifying.

Edit: oh yeah - i have a DBA Robot mostly finished based on storyboardist's schematic and transfer. I'm not 100% convinced that it works properly.
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Dirk_Hendrik » 23 Aug 2017, 09:40

Thanks for the read.

It would be great if you could do some more research on your seller of this kit and help others to avoid this junk.
And no, it's not your soldering iron indeed. I've been over Chinese boards that exactly fit your description. Impossible to work on....
Sorry. Plain out of planes.

http://www.dirk-hendrik.com
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby deltafred » 23 Aug 2017, 10:23

I bought a kit from a Chinese Ebay seller (a PT2399 echo) and while the PCB quality was ok and the board worked first time it took some fitting it into the box, and once I got it in it didn't work.

The problems I had were -
1. There was no way to get the PCB to fit in the box without flipping it over and moving the jack sockets into the battery space and ditching the battery.
2. One of the jack sockets was faulty and the other was the wrong type so I had to change both.

This kit was totally unsuitable for a beginner. I have been messing with (and worked with) all things electronic for the last 50 years and it took me a while to get it in the box and working. Building the board up was easy because it was a direct copy of a well known echo pedal, can't remember which one, and the instructions for that were available on the net.

On the plus side I would have struggled to buy the parts for the price of the kit and I got a nicely sprayed box and a reasonable quality PCB.
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Timpanogos Slim » 23 Aug 2017, 17:02

Here we go, it was this kit:

https://goo.gl/evv9QL
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Dirk_Hendrik » 24 Aug 2017, 09:32

Thanks!!
Sorry. Plain out of planes.

http://www.dirk-hendrik.com
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Fender3D » 24 Aug 2017, 09:59

Timpanogos Slim wrote:Here we go, it was this kit:
https://goo.gl/evv9QL


Who tells it to Ricardo?
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Ice-9 » 24 Aug 2017, 19:29

I understand your problems with this kit but in all honesty you likely could not have bought the parts and etched a pcb yourself for the price charged. The painted, drilled and screen printed enclosure alone would cost you more. Buy this type of stuff, expect a little work/mods to get it working or make it all yourself.
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: The first and last time i bought a pedal kit (and thanks

Postby Timpanogos Slim » 25 Aug 2017, 00:01

Ice-9 wrote:I understand your problems with this kit but in all honesty you likely could not have bought the parts and etched a pcb yourself for the price charged. The painted, drilled and screen printed enclosure alone would cost you more. Buy this type of stuff, expect a little work/mods to get it working or make it all yourself.


yeah the only parts I found truly reasonable were the enclosure, knobs, pots, switch, jacks, and most of the board level components.

The board is excrement and i would be embarrassed to sell it. The provided documentation is a hinderance to success.

The seller should be ashamed.
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