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Switchable Volume and Expression Pedal

Here’s a quick video of a 2 in 1 Volume and Expression pedal. Like a wah it has a footswitch built in that lets you switch between volume mode and expression mode without switching cables. I modified a bespeco weeper wah to build this which is a switchable volume/wah.
– It had a dual pot which meant I only needed a 3PDT switch, but I had a 4PDT, so I could add an LED in the future.
– If you only have a single pot, you need a 4PDT to do the switching.
– Mine is a buffered volume pedal, with true bypass switching, in case something fails I can bypass everything.
– You could easily modify it to be buffered bypass so that tone stays consistent between switching
– If you had a 500K pot you could probably get away with no buffer, although in expression mode it would then be 500K, and most expression inputs specify for 10K to 100K. It should work, but might not work in every circumstance.

I haven’t had time to do a schematic, so the pictures will have to do:

Fender Medium Jumbo Frets (.103 x .046)

Been doing a little bit of research for a partscaster I’m building, and found some of the forums have mixed information about what is truly Fender’s medium jumbo frets. Anyway found that the fret wire they sell as medium jumbo is .103″ (2.62mm) wide and.046″ (1.17mm) tall according to this link on fender.com:

http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/guitar-bass-parts/misc-parts/standard-guitar-frets-medium-jumbo24/

This makes it pretty much spot on with dunlop 6150 fret wire unlike this post which is one of the top results on Google:

http://www.tdpri.com/threads/fret-wire-help.513926/

Cleartone vs. D’Addario NYXL

I recently swapped my the strings on my guitar from Cleartones to D’Addario NYXL. Here are a quick few thoughts comparing the two:

– Cleartone strings definitely lasted a long time with showing much corrosion
– Cleartone were definitely louder, I was surprised how noticeable this was
– Cleartone were louder in the fundamental, but NYXL had more harmonics
– Cleartone were much higher tension for the same string gauge and required a new setup in order to have correct intonation. The high tension also made it harder to play and felt like I was playing a higher string gauge.

Overall I think NYXL sound much more like conventional nickel strings, because of the balance between the fundamental note and harmonic content. I understand that for some styles of music, some might prefer the sound of Cleartone strings, but for me, I’ll definitely be sticking with the NYXLs.

Enable Social Media Links on YouTube (2016)

YouTube recently changed the default settings for channels (including those that already had links enabled) so that social media links don’t show up on your channel banner. To enable these, here’s what you have to do.

1) Click the gear link under your channel banner

enablelinks1

2) Enable “Customize the layout of your channel”

enablelinks2

3) Add social media/website links as per before

2 Channel Guitar Amp In A Pedal

I’ve been experimenting with some of the cheap class d amplifier boards available on eBay from china. This is the PAM8610 board with a Wampler Euphoria clone as a preamp. I added a footswitch that footswitches between clean and overdrive. It switches between two separate gain pots for clean and overdrive, removes the clipping diodes for clean, and adds a lead master in overdrive mode. I did some tests with this setup in separate enclosures, and there was very little hum, but as you can see from the video, there is tons when in the same enclosure. Maybe I have something poorly soldered, or maybe things are just too close together. Still it would be cool if a real manufacturer did something like this and sorted out all the issues because it doesn’t sound bad other than the hum. I might get another one of the boards and put it by itself in it’s own box. I’m powering it with a Mooer 2000mA power supply, but a one spot or anything over 1000mA should work, and it should take anything up to 12V.

Here’s some pics of the project. Notice I had to cut some of the plastic housing from the input jack, as well as bend the legs to make it all fit. The chassis is grounded, but the speaker output is isolated from the chassis. I kind of wish I’d used the deeper 1590BS instead of a 1590B so that there was a little more room.

List of DIY Guitar Pedal PCB Manufacturers

After building a 2 in 1 overdrive, I’ve got interested in building more pedals, so here’s a few of the PCBs manufacturers I’ve found. Please let me know if you have more to add.

Title Description
BYOC The classic kit shop
Aion Electronics Large selection of PCBs with detailed analysis and history
Fuzz Dog UK based, large selection of PCBs and kits
Delyk PCBs Unique selection of PCBs including an effects tester
General Guitar Gadgets Huge number of PCBs
Musik Ding German based site
Arcadia Electronics Good selection of PCBs with board mounted jacks and footswitch
Muzique A few boost/drive PCBs
Jeds Peds Another UK based company
MadBean Pedals Another great site
Tayda Electronics
Rully Wow
GuitarPCB.com
MusicPCB.com
JMK PCBs
1776 Effets
Pedal Parts and Kits
Lectric FX

Mid Boost/Cut Overdrive

I had the idea that it might be more useful to have an overdrive with a contour control rather than a traditional tone control on it. I found this mid boost/cut circuit and added an overdrive section to it. It’s no the best sounding overdrive in the world, but here’s the schematic and a quick demo.

Mid-Drive

Volume Pedal Ideas

Just a couple of volume pedal ideas I had; To modify something like the Hotone volume/wah, and instead of having it manually switchable between a wah and volume, to use the built in footswitch to determine what mode its in.

1) The first idea I had was to have a volume pedal with a built in footswitch (like a wah). When you use the volume pedal normally its between 0 and unity gain. When you click the footswitch a boost is engaged.

2) The second idea I had was to have a volume pedal/expression pedal in one. It would have in/out jacks for the signal, then and additional TRS jack for expression. When you click the footswitch the pedal changes to become an expression pedal (and the audio signal just goes straight through).

9V 5-10W DIY Guitar Amp (PAM8610 Class D Amplifier Board)

I’ve been wondering about tinkering with a guitar amplifier that runs of a 9V power supply for a while now. I tired a Diago Little Smasher which was loud and great for distorted tones, but not quite loud enough, or enough bass for clean. There are some cheap preassembled boards on eBay using the PAM8610 chip, they rated 10W, but this is probably only at 12V into 4ohm. I got a couple and these are the results:

Summary:
Red board:
– More expensive
– More bass
– Treble roll off
– Quieter (but can be as loud with a boost/preamp before it)
– Smallest enclosure probably a 1590LB

Black board
– Cheaper
– More hum
– Less bass
– More Treble
– Louder (without preamp)
– Smaller, would fit in 1590H enclosure to make a tiny but loud amp!

Overall I think I liked the tone of the red board more, but I’ll probably put both in some projects.