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badperson
Posts: 33


buiding beginner project this weekend
« on: October 13, 2004, 09:28:38 AM »

Okay, I'm going to take a stab at building this project this weekend. I'm going to get:



a good soldering station (home depot)
some solder (home depot)
multimeter (home depot)


One .1uF (Film if possible) (radio shack)
Three Electrolytics 10uF, 22uF and 47uF  (radio shack)
Two 10K resistors  (radio shack)
One 47K resistor  (radio shack)
Two 100K resistors  (radio shack)
One NPN transistor 2N5088, 2N2222 etc....  (radio shack)
One 5K linear pot.  (radio shack)

stereo input jack,  (radio shack)
mono output jack,  (radio shack)
perfboard,  (radio shack)
either a transistor socket or DIP8 IC socket  (radio shack)

I would like to build this with a switch and led, but can omit those if it will be too complicated. I am most concerned with building a working circuit, getting some experience testing, and having a working project under my belt. I see some people have housed theirs in an altoids box, I'll probably do that.

what kind of multimeter should I get? Any special brand? Are the stores I've listed good places to go? I figure anything I can't get at radio shack I'll get at small bear.

Is there a difference in sound for different manufacturer's in resistors/caps and diodes? Anything I should consider buying in bulk?

Thanks!

bp

I have pliers, strippers, and little hand tools.
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lchyi
Posts: 37


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2004, 11:18:56 AM »

Yea, me too, except I would limit the amount of components you get from radio shack. Get this... 200 10k resistors, $1.80 at mouser.com... Radio shack is .99 for 5... not that it's horrible because you're probably not going to use up 200 resistors, but still... (all the resistors are actually that price so I got 600 resistors, 200 each (10k, 47k, 100k)). So, in short, buy resistors in bulk, it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

As for the multimeter, I bought the 19.99 one from RS, it works, you should get that from Radio Shack.

The soldering iron I'm curious also. I bought the 9.00 one from radio shack and I hope it doesn't incur any hiccups. I'm just going to use a sponge from my sink to clean it probably.

Good luck, I'm going to build this weekend and probably make an extra one with a couple of diodes to change the tone a little. good luck!
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Marcos - Munky
Posts: 2676

Marcos Paulo Baliscei - Brazil


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2004, 11:31:27 AM »

Here are some tips. Ceramic caps are cheaper, and mini pots are cheaper than the common pots. A BC549 transistor is a cheap and good NPN. You can buy the multimeter now, but I believe that you won't need it now. To get a LED in a easy way, buy a 330K resistor and a NPN transistor, and send me a e-mail for a schematic. Get a DPDT switch too, if you will put it in the ground you need a stomp switch, and if you will put it in your belt, get a toggle switch.
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aron
Administrator
Posts: 10203

Aron Nelson


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2004, 12:40:07 PM »

Nothing wrong with starting out small. Radio Shack stuff is ok. About the only consideration is get film caps whenever possible. Find a local electronics store if you have one and ask questions. Most people are glad to help and really happy that people are interested in electronics.

Let us know how it goes. I bought a ton of stuff from Radio Shack at the beginning.
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lchyi
Posts: 37


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2004, 02:46:32 PM »

Buying in bulk will just save you money if you're a freak like me. If I got everything from radio shack, I would have spent like 30 bucks on parts alone. So instead, I went to mouser and bought like 5x the stuff for about 45 with 2nd day (it was really just next day hehe, go UPS) shipping. Good stuff IMO. So I guess I can actually start tonight. Thanks ahead of time Aron, your forum and site are pretty awesome.
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niftydog
Posts: 2006


Hey you're a dog, a BIG dog, a nifty-keen-type dog


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2004, 05:42:50 PM »

with cheap stuff, it's worth grabbing more than you need. Like some transistors cost like 90 cents... if you only need one, why not grab a few and save yourself going back to the store should you blow one up!

Quote
what kind of multimeter should I get?


depends how serious you are about this hobby. If you are in for the long run then it's well worth getting a half decent one right off the bat. If you're likely to get half way through the project and toss it in the bin, the get a cheapo one.

Be aware that some cheap meters are more hassle than they are worth. Ensure that the meter you buy has an input impedance in the region of 2-10Mohms.

Quote
Is there a difference in sound for different manufacturer's in resistors/caps and diodes?


resistors, no way, caps, maybe, diodes, probably not. Especially not between manufacturers. Different TYPES of parts will produce a different sound. But, all of this is subjective and what one person likes you might hate! Experiment!

Quote from: lchyi
I bought the 9.00 one from radio shack and I hope it doesn't incur any hiccups. I'm just going to use a sponge from my sink to clean it probably.


Your first hiccup, (especially with such a cheap iron) will be when your tip corrodes and dies from all the yucky gunk on your sink sponge! Dude, a sponge is cheap, dedicate one to your iron and be done with it. PS; I'm sure you realise that once you've used a sponge for your iron, you can't safely use it back in the kitchen sink!

Quote from: Munky
You can buy the multimeter now, but I believe that you won't need it now.


but the second your project needs debugging, it's the first tool you're gonna want to have!
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niftydog
Shrimp down the pants!!!
“It also sounded something like the movement of furniture, which He
hadn't even created yet, and He was not so pleased.” God (aka Tony Levin)
Marcos - Munky
Posts: 2676

Marcos Paulo Baliscei - Brazil


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2004, 07:36:47 PM »

I believe that a audio probe will be more useful as a first tool, because you will knowing what you're doing and will find the problem easier, and with a multimeter, you will only collect voltages. For big projects, a multimeter is really a big help, but to start, a audio probe do the job.
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badperson
Posts: 33


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2004, 08:53:13 PM »

dumb question;

what's the difference between an audio probe and multi meter? Also, in buying parts from mouser, do you need to set up an account with them, give them a balance and then draw from it? Or is there a minimum? You can't just buy a few pots, can you?

bp
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niftydog
Posts: 2006


Hey you're a dog, a BIG dog, a nifty-keen-type dog


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2004, 08:53:17 PM »

that's true. But there seems to be a few people here chasing their tales around with an audio probe when they haven't yet checked supply voltages and transistor biasing!

For all of my stuff, first step is to hook up a multimeter and turn on the supply. If the supply is bogged down or incorrect, you can turn off immediately. So I guess what I'm saying is that supply voltage checks are fundamental - they must come before any audio testing.

Best solution; have both

cheap solution; build a probe
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niftydog
Shrimp down the pants!!!
“It also sounded something like the movement of furniture, which He
hadn't even created yet, and He was not so pleased.” God (aka Tony Levin)
badperson
Posts: 33


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2004, 08:55:00 PM »

that sounds like good advice.

One more thing, is a pcb better than perfboard?

thanks.
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niftydog
Posts: 2006


Hey you're a dog, a BIG dog, a nifty-keen-type dog


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2004, 08:57:58 PM »

I am not a Mousketeer, sorry!

An audio probe is a simple tool that allows you to trace the audio signal through a circuit. If you get to a point where there SHOULD be audio, but there ISN'T, then you know there's a problem. The audio probe can be found on this page, along with a bunch of other useful stuff.

A multimeter is a number of tools in one. It measures voltage, current and resistance at a minimum. More sophisticated units measure forward voltage drop on diodes, transistor hfe, capacitance, frequency etc etc.
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niftydog
Shrimp down the pants!!!
“It also sounded something like the movement of furniture, which He
hadn't even created yet, and He was not so pleased.” God (aka Tony Levin)
niftydog
Posts: 2006


Hey you're a dog, a BIG dog, a nifty-keen-type dog


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2004, 08:59:34 PM »

pcb is better than perf... provided it's done correctly.

pcb is also a LOT more work and is not really suited to beginners.

Stick with perf for your first few builds until you get some stuff working.
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niftydog
Shrimp down the pants!!!
“It also sounded something like the movement of furniture, which He
hadn't even created yet, and He was not so pleased.” God (aka Tony Levin)
GuitarLord5000
Posts: 228


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2004, 11:06:17 PM »

I know there are some people who wouldnt agree, but I bought the little butane fueled soldering iron from radio shack quite some time ago, and absolutely LOVE it.  It's quite a bit smaller than my first clunky cheapo iron, it doesnt have a cord attached to it which is GREAT for me (the first time a soldering iron hits the carpet because the weight of the cord pulls it off the table, you'll understand my dillema) and I have run for upwards of two hours on a single fillup on a low setting.  It's prolly not good for someone who uses an iron for more than a five or six hours a week, but for me, it works out great.  It heats up much faster than my last iron, it fits my hand better which works out better on the perfboard/pcb and it has a torch attachment included, which I've used (again, set low) to easily remove parts from a pcb that I'm scavenging parts from.

I think a multimeter is a good purchase early on to get the hang of using it for when you really need it.  Also, it's really good for a beginner (and pro even) to test resistors that arent in a labeled package.  Some of the resistor colors can look similar to others.  Especially when you've been soldering small parts for an hour or two.  I've never used the audio probe, but can see it's usefulness.  However, I've debugged many a project with the little cheapo radio shack multimeter I've got.  It'll be well worth the investment the first time you spend a few hours laying out a perfboard only to find problems after it's all done (the rule, rather than the exception for me).

I hope the project goes well for you.  The beginner project is an absolutely wonderful build.  Mine is boxed up and gets a fair share of usage.  I would definately use a switch and LED.  If you get a 3pdt stomp switch, it is supremely simple to wire in the LED.  If you use a DPDT stomp switch, it is somewhat more difficult, as you'll need to build the millenium bypass.  For your first build, I'd definately get the 3PDT.  Its MUCH easier.
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Life is like a box of chocolates.  You give it to your girlfriend and she eats up the best pieces and throws the rest away.
KORGULL
Posts: 1006


WWW
buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2004, 11:59:52 PM »

I'm about 3/4 done the project(would have finished 5 days ago if I would stay out of this forum). Just need to wire all the pot/switch/jack connections to the board and paint enclosure. Added a socketed LED and power jack. Using a DPDT switch w/millennium bypass circuit.
badperson wrote:
Quote
I see some people have housed theirs in an altoids box, I'll probably do that.

While you are at home depot you might want to check out the small electrical junction boxes they have to house your project. Costs less than $2 and worked for me. Just use a small drill bit to make pilot holes and then step up to the larger size you need for pot/jacks etc.. or get a unibit ($17 home Depot). they work great and you don't need to keep changing bits.
  Just search around on this site - everything you need to know to add a switch, LED, power jack, and finish an enclosure is right here.
  I definitely recommend you get a breadboard and some solid core wire that fits it at radio shack also. You will be able to put your circuit together and know all of the components are working correctly, and you'll know if you are reading the schematic right. I breadboard pretty much everything first. If you screw something up it is alot easier to switch around before everything is soldered.
   If you plan to do anything more in electronics beyond this one pedal- get a multimeter. Radio Shack usually has one on sale. This is one item that seems to be a pretty good value there.
   Radio Shack is convenient but you'll be kicking yourself later if you buy too much from them. Maybe get what you need for this project and start ordering stuff somewhere else as soon as possible for the future.
   If you only plan to build fx, smallbear is probably better for someone just starting out to deal with than mouser- if only because everything smallbear sells is geared towards fx building. He'll have everything you need and you won't be confused by too many options.
  For soldering stations and other tools I like this place:http://www.elexp.com They are cheaper than mouser for soldering tools, multimeters, and many other things. They have very fast service too.
badperson wrote:
Quote
some solder(home depot)

Oh yeah, I just saw that Home Depot is selling lead free solder. If that is what you buy, it will probably need a higher temp. to melt it and may be harder to use (but better for your health) than the solder at radio shack.
   Good Luck with everything, it only takes one successful project and you are hooked :!:
   :arrow:  Get a real stand for your iron those cheap little holders that come with radio shack irons are a hazard in my opinion.
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lchyi
Posts: 37


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2004, 11:31:23 AM »

Ya'll are absolutely right. Radio Shack soldering iron = "you get what you pay for". Fortunately it was only 8.99 or something. Perhaps I will order a nicer one online or go over to home depot. You know it's bad when it takes you 3 minutes to get some heat over to the contact and finally get the solder flowin'.

I'm using rosin-core solder from Radio Shack, is that okay? It's standard grade.
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aron
Administrator
Posts: 10203

Aron Nelson


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2004, 01:23:17 PM »

Well, that little Radio Shack iron, is good enough for the beginning provided you have the one with the small tip. I used it for a bunch of projects. That being said, yes it sure makes a difference when you get a better iron, but for starting out, the price can't be beat and it works.
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badperson
Posts: 33


buiding beginner project this weekend
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2004, 12:49:12 PM »

I finally put in an order at small bear; radio shack was missing a bunch of things so I thought I'd just get everything in one shot.

I got single sided perfboard; is that ok? I also got a breadboard, so I can test the circuit before I put it together.
That should help.

thanks.

bp
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