Beavis Board

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Beavis Board

Postby PedalPlayer » 21 May 2009, 02:32

Hi guys,
I'm looking to get into building and really understanding stompboxes, and I'm thinking of getting a beavis board. It seems like breadboarding would be a really good way for me to build and understand different pedals, and also maybe experiment with them a bit.
My question is, does anyone have the experience with the Beavis board? IF so, it would be great if you could share it. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby Scruffie » 21 May 2009, 02:35

Hi,

I don't have any experience with it in itself however I have experience with breadboard as do most DIYers, that board just makes for an easy way to start breading your own circuit and includes all the sort of components you'd find in begginer to intermediate projects and enough stuff to start designing your own circuits.

I think if your looking to design your own circuits or like to test and mess around with them it's a great tool with plenty of options and removes the hassle of wiring each circuit up for power and jacks etc so if you have the cash and are interested in it, I say go for it, great learning tool.

Just my $0.02

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Re: Beavis Board

Postby sgtdrpepper » 21 May 2009, 02:48

Hello
I was on the fence about this as well just a few days ago and almost pulled the trigger but decided against it. My thinking was why not just build the same type of setup myself which will be a nice project as well as go ahead and get me involved with part sourcing. Im sure that it would be a time saver and if you are in a hurry to get started and have just about everything handy then that looks like the way to go. Also i found this place if you have not already seen them http://www.futurlec.com/ValuePacks.shtml looks like it might be worth getting a few of these.

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Re: Beavis Board

Postby RnFR » 21 May 2009, 05:51

if you've got plenty of cash, it's a great way to get started, and is a very cool tool. but, i think with a little effort one can make the same sort of setup for much cheaper. the little breakout box is really cool though, and it's obvious dano has put a lot of hard work into the beavis board.

my setup is a large breadboard mounted on a heavy board with heavy duty double stick tape. then i got some right angle bracket from home depot which actually already has holes drilled in it that fit many jacks and pots. i cut the bracket to size and mounted it to the board with more heavy duty double stick tape. then installed jacks, pots and switches in the holes in the brackets, drilling some of them where needed. with some more double stick tape, i mounted a battery holder and some screw terminal strips. i ran the wires from the input and output jacks, ground, and the pots to the screw terminals, so now i can run wires from their corresponding terminals on the strips to the board, and there isn't any wear and tear on the places where the pots connect to the wires. this is more of insurance than anything else, not absolutely neccesary. but when breadboarding you use solid core wire, and too much bending can break the wires. i just used a toggle switch on mine, but i guess you could build a box like the beavis board and a stomp switch if you want to. i guess my point is that you can build something like this by yourself, and just buy the parts separate. especially if you don't have a lot of cash to burn.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby Greg » 21 May 2009, 07:09

My setup sounds very similar to yours RnFR.

I have the breadboard velcroed so I can work on it separately, and a piece of aluminum angle for pots..
it's wired similar to Beavis' board with a 3PDT.
One thing I changed was to feed the LED power from the power sag pot which makes it turn down with the power, and I used speaker style terminals that just clamp the wires.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby RnFR » 21 May 2009, 08:17

yup same here- speaker style screw terminal strips. running down the length of the the right angle bracket. i didn't bother with the box though, just put the jacks on the bracket.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby steelplayer » 21 May 2009, 17:15

I was inspired also by the Beavis Board and decided to build something based on that idea. Man, wish I would have built one of these when I first got started. :slap:

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Re: Beavis Board

Postby JiM » 21 May 2009, 18:56

Agreed, the Beavis board is a great way to get started, but it's quite expensive.
I think that the "sag" pot is not really necessary, a bracket for several pots (including the sag one if you want it) is the most useful addition. I did one with some dead CD-ROM drive enclosure, and the other one (compact w/ stomp switch) is pictured there : viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2530 along with the comments of Beavis himself.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby sfx » 21 May 2009, 21:02

Yep, I built mine like that using a enclosure turned over on its side. I also like using alligator clips instead of the terminal strip.

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Re: Beavis Board

Postby PedalPlayer » 22 May 2009, 00:45

Are the components that it comes with fairly high quality? By this, I mean are the resistors and stuff that it comes with good, or am I better to go somewhere else for parts? The thing that appeals to me about the Beavis board is that it comes with a lot of parts, so I wont have to order any new parts if I want to experiment with something.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby sgtdrpepper » 22 May 2009, 01:04

Based on what ive read about the guy im betting these are of good quality and will only be parts that will be useful in the building process not alot of junk in there.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby sfx » 22 May 2009, 04:00

PedalPlayer wrote:Are the components that it comes with fairly high quality? By this, I mean are the resistors and stuff that it comes with good, or am I better to go somewhere else for parts? The thing that appeals to me about the Beavis board is that it comes with a lot of parts, so I wont have to order any new parts if I want to experiment with something.


I wouldn't worry about that.
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby PedalPlayer » 22 May 2009, 12:52

Ok, thanks. I think I'm hopefully going to order this today or tommorrow. I'm excited to start building!
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby lolbou » 25 May 2009, 21:19

I'm about to build a beavis board too... But I thought I would use a ground plane between the breadboard and the wood board. Is it useless? Is it creating capacities with the breadboard terminals?

I also would like to have soldering on the breadboard terminals to get a definitive connection. Did anyone tried it?
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby beavis » 29 May 2009, 12:50

It is very exciting to see folks make their own beavis boards. It is not a brand new concept, I just made it easier to use.

Regarding the cost, it is pretty expensive to make in terms of labor, parts ordering, inventory, etc. My brother in law builds each one and the revenue is enough to keep him out of waiting tables :) Any left over money goes into ordering more parts for R&D. As for parts, they are all top quality, the same stuff you would get with good quality kits, don't think you'll have any problem there.

Of course, the cost part is irrelevant if you want to build your own. I really like the examples I've seen here and on some other forums. There is also a wiring diagram for the breakout box on my site.

Another key part of the beavis board is the projects.

I think I'm up to something like 30 projects and they are all freely downloadable. Also a quick shout out for the HowTo guide, (which has a lot of content that will apply to your home-brew beavis board) is also freely downloadable. Also if you are struggling with schematics, you can read "From Schematic to Reality", loads of good stuff there.

Finally, I've recently designed a PCB that closely mimics the breadboard itself. Should be in from the China boat in about 2 weeks. Those will be available in a while making it real easy to go from breadboard designs to an actual pedal.

Anyway, keep on hacking and thanks!
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby Dr Tony Balls » 02 Jun 2009, 14:49

Curious to the folks that put mounts for pots on their DIY testboards. Are they temporary slots that you're just dropping a pot into for each mockup, or are you leaving the pots on the test board permanently?

My thought is to make something similar, but have a box with say 10K, 50K, 100K, 250K, 500K and 1M pots (probably all linear just for test purposes) all wired to barrier strips.

I suppose the problem with that is needing multiple pots of the same value. I guess i could just make a MASSIVE test rig with like 20 pots..... hrmmm.....
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby beavis » 02 Jun 2009, 14:54

Dr Tony Balls wrote:Curious to the folks that put mounts for pots on their DIY testboards. Are they temporary slots that you're just dropping a pot into for each mockup, or are you leaving the pots on the test board permanently?

My thought is to make something similar, but have a box with say 10K, 50K, 100K, 250K, 500K and 1M pots (probably all linear just for test purposes) all wired to barrier strips.

I suppose the problem with that is needing multiple pots of the same value. I guess i could just make a MASSIVE test rig with like 20 pots..... hrmmm.....


You've pointed out one of the thorny problems of breadboarding: pots. I built a prototype with all the pots mounted to a piece of L bracket steel and then soldered them to barrier/terminal strips. The result was huge and expensive, so a no-go for a commercial product.

In the end, I found the best solution was to pre-solder all my pots to breadboard wires, twist them together at the pot for a bit of strain relief, and plug those into the breadboard as needed.

You are right, all the pot values you would want (and multiples: what if a circuit calls for 4 b100k pots?) would be huge.

Another thing I looked at was trimmers--I found a few models that were very breadboard friendly in terms of pin size. But there really aren't any log taper trim pots, so that idea died.

Let me know if you come up with a clever solution!
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby JiM » 02 Jun 2009, 22:04

beavis wrote:Let me know if you come up with a clever solution!

Hmm, sorry, i don't ! [smilie=a_hrm.gif]

I think that the best compromise is to have the pots wired with some leads (no change there), and mount them temporarily as required for each project on a L-bracket attached to the board.
If you like to keep a knob on the pot's shaft, it's better to have slots in the bracket instead of just holes, to slide it in easily and use a flat wrench to tighten the nut. Otherwise, just hand-tighten the nut and a hole is fine. I guess that 4 or 5 slots are enough for a stompbox breadboard (or a couple more as there is enough room for two concurrent projects on a Beavis Board). For synths you'd want more, of course. :mrgreen:

As my stomp-bread-board is quite small, i often use trimpots on another standalone breadboard. It's easy to plug, compact, self-contained ... and in some (rare) cases you can use a sharp pick to operate the trimpot instead of a screwdriver. Otherwise it's still a pain to operate with a guitar in hands. The absence of log trimpot is not an issue for me, as long as it's for experimentation.

The in-between solution is a couple of small pots that i salvaged from a VCR : http://www.alps.com/products/WebObjects ... 30A8G.html About the size of a (big) trimpot, bit with a plastic shaft, and 0.1" spaced terminals that fit nicely into the breadboard holes. The soldering tabs that did hold the pot to the PCB do fit in the center cradle of the breadboard.


As i suggested before, a pot-and-switch-friendly bracket like steelplayer's picture above, is a must-have for the Beavis Board ! :thumbsup And i almost forgot : a grounded post (for croco clip) and/or a banana plug to connect the COM wire of the multimeter would be soooo cool for one-handed operation !

Kudos to Beavis for keeping the great projects documentation freely downloadable for everyone ! :applause:
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby lolbou » 02 Jun 2009, 22:13

Still you can use this added-resistor trick to use a trimpot as a log pot... See here http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4820&hilit=log+pot...

But I'll also use a bracket in my beavis-inspired (cheers mate!) project to come...
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Re: Beavis Board

Postby sfx » 03 Jun 2009, 05:52

Dr Tony Balls wrote:Curious to the folks that put mounts for pots on their DIY testboards. Are they temporary slots that you're just dropping a pot into for each mockup, or are you leaving the pots on the test board permanently?

My thought is to make something similar, but have a box with say 10K, 50K, 100K, 250K, 500K and 1M pots (probably all linear just for test purposes) all wired to barrier strips.

I suppose the problem with that is needing multiple pots of the same value. I guess i could just make a MASSIVE test rig with like 20 pots..... hrmmm.....


I skipped the strips and just hook up the necessary pots for the circuit in question with small alligator clips, see my pic above.
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