Capacitor FAQ

Frequently asked questions on capacitor types, ratings, brands, use and abuse.

Postby madbean » 18 Jan 2008, 16:26

If you can carefully cut away that green plastic around the trannys you could get a heatsink on the leads. So long as you are using a properly tinned iron and a desoldering braid you should be fine. Just get in and out quick!
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Postby KHELSTROM » 18 Jan 2008, 18:05

I've only ever uses a solder sucker to free up components. Does a braid work better?
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Postby supro » 18 Jan 2008, 18:24

Can anyone respond to the cap question, I wont bother if they are electrolytics...
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Postby NickS » 18 Jan 2008, 18:51

supro wrote:Can anyone respond to the cap question, I wont bother if they are electrolytics...
No, they're not electrolytics, so salvage them.
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Postby Bernardduur » 18 Jan 2008, 19:22

BC 140's are silicon transistors. I use em all the time for low Hfe silicon transistors, BC 160's for the PNP version
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Postby madbean » 18 Jan 2008, 20:05

KHELSTROM wrote:I've only ever uses a solder sucker to free up components. Does a braid work better?


IMO, 100% yes. Braids are simple to use and can be put into tight spots, as well as bent around for desoldering at funky angles. It's essential.
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Postby soulsonic » 18 Jan 2008, 21:42

Be sure and pull the ganged selector switches out. Those are useful to have because when you want 'em you can never find them for sale anywhere.
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Postby supro » 19 Jan 2008, 00:35

soulsonic wrote:Be sure and pull the ganged selector switches out. Those are useful to have because when you want 'em you can never find them for sale anywhere.


Well I thought of that, the thing is, there are like 62 pins to desolder......
so what would you use them for ?, switching input caps? :roll:
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Postby soulsonic » 19 Jan 2008, 04:42

supro wrote:
soulsonic wrote:Be sure and pull the ganged selector switches out. Those are useful to have because when you want 'em you can never find them for sale anywhere.


Well I thought of that, the thing is, there are like 62 pins to desolder......
so what would you use them for ?, switching input caps? :roll:


You could set up a very complex tone selector arrangement with those. I was looking at the A/DA Microcab schematic yesterday and was thinking about how nice it would be to have the correct swtichbank to use for it. When you need it, you'll wish you had it. Besides, it's good desoldering practice. I desolder stuff all the time, just for kicks.
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Postby Brian M » 11 Feb 2008, 02:58

the board doesnt appear to be through plated. I'd just use a solder sucker to unseat those trannys.
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Postby bajaman » 11 Feb 2008, 04:59

I use braid a lot for desoldering - never had much luck with solder suckers - always jamming or chisalling gouges in the board etc.
There are many different makes of braid though - some work good - others are so so :wink:
i use Soderwick (not a spelling mistake) - I have found this to be the most efficient type of braid available - this new rohs compliant stuff is shit to desolder though. :wink:
cheers
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Choosing Capacitors

Postby boxnix » 05 Apr 2008, 05:45

Is there any such thing as a quick tutorial on choosing a capacitor type? My first and only project was a Monte Allums mod on a Boss CS-3, the capacitor upgrades seemed to help a lot. Now I am building a pedal from scratch and I need to choose some capacitors based on a capacitance rating alone. How do I know which type to use?

My current project is an overdrive pedal calling for the following values:

47uF
10uF
.047uF
.22uF
.15uF

If that helps at all.

Thanks!
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Re: Choosing Capacitors

Postby alteredsounds » 06 Apr 2008, 21:30

Those are pretty popular sizes, but it depends what u are building?

edit, i re-read and u say an overdrive, which one? not sure of ur question really?
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Why use tantalum capacitors?

Postby dap9 » 07 Apr 2008, 17:35

It seems like Tant caps pop up every now and then in schematics. What sizes do y'all recommend to have a stock of in the ol' workshop?
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Re: Tantalum caps?

Postby soulsonic » 08 Apr 2008, 08:06

1uF, 2.2uF, 4.7uF, 10uF, 22uF, and 47uF are good values to have on hand.

If you want to try some fancy ones, look for the Sprague 150D.
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Re: Tantalum caps?

Postby dap9 » 08 Apr 2008, 21:36

soulsonic wrote:1uF, 2.2uF, 4.7uF, 10uF, 22uF, and 47uF are good values to have on hand.

If you want to try some fancy ones, look for the Sprague 150D.


Awesome, thanks. That's kinda what I figured. So why Tants? Is b/c of their size? I mean, they're polarized like Electrolytics so why not use electrolytics (or is it b/c of the size thing)?

Thanks again.
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Re: Choosing Capacitors

Postby Guest » 11 Apr 2008, 21:15

sounds like a few film caps and and 2 electrolytics...
If you are copying a commercial fx try to get a gut
shot picture somewhere and see what they used....

Everyone uses different caps and resistors to get the "sound"....

It's sometimes not the "best" quality either....

I saw a pricey dirt box with lots of monolithic ceramic caps....


P
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Bigger input/output cap = more bass always?

Postby kriista » 14 Apr 2008, 22:32

I've seen mentioned in a couple fuzzfactory threads that changing the input/output caps to larger values gives you more bass.

I don't own a fuzzfactory, but I'm curious if this is an across the board thing. And does it work 'logically', like the input cap controls how much bass goes into the circuit, and the output cap how much comes out of the circuit?

Does the in/out cap only limit the bass, or does it add bass? Like, can you go too big? Or after a certain point does it not matter? Can you leave it out completely?


On a more practical note, I have a 4ms NoiseSwash that's pretty thin on the bass(on most settings), in looking at the schematic I notice that it has 1uf in/out caps. Can I swap those out for larger values to have a chunkier pedal?

Are there circumstances where you would use a larger value for the in or out?

Again, on a practical note. My 4ms NoctoLoco (yes I love the 4ms stuff) has a 0.1uf input cap, and a 1uf output cap. The tone of your guitar has little to no effect on what comes out (its a synthy/jumpy octave pedal), but will the 1uf cap have an impact on how much bass comes out of the pedal?

Lastly, does the material of the in/out caps have an effect on the tone? It seems they're generally electrolytics.
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Re: Bigger input/output cap = more bass always?

Postby kriista » 16 Apr 2008, 10:33

After doing some reading up (on diystompboxes) I read that it does effect the bass, but on that page they mention that anything over 0.1uf can be increased for bass.

From the Ffactory reading the change was from 10uf to 22uf, and my swash has 1uf. Can you go too big?

On the Nocto Loco (1uf output cap) I'll probably just experiment a bit with it (unfortunately I don't have any sockets), but the noiseswash board is going to be very difficult to take out/mod, so I'd like to know all I can before going into it.
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Re: Bigger input/output cap = more bass always?

Postby mojah63 » 16 Apr 2008, 17:02

The bigger input cap would let more bass into the circuit.
But a lot of times there is more going on than just more
bass in = more bass out. There are lots of places for tone shaping.
Feedback loops of opamps are a common place. What generally
speaking is being done is r/c filtering. Kinda like a crossover
network for a car or home speaker where you have a resistance (Speaker)
and a capacitance (or inductance) value to get a frequency filter. These
values of components can be mathematically computated. You'll need
to poke around here, get a book on opamps, or google for that. Some people
just poke and change things willy nilly too and get results.....

Good Luck

Paul
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