Author Topic: RTS it really that easy?  (Read 2780 times)

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RTS it really that easy?
« on: April 08, 2005, 01:37:06 PM »
I am the definition of NOOB, so any advice would be appreciated. I've been looking at sites like Small Bear and Tonepad and I see they sell RTS PCB boards for effects projects. What I'm trying to find out is what is the benefit of the RTS board? Is it really just that you solder the components and thats it, or do you still have to solder the connections between the components with tinned lead wire?

Thanks for the help...

Jordy A


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 03:34:25 PM »
Ready to solder, just stick the components in, solder and clip off the excess lead.

You still must connect the board to the other parts like the jacks and potentiometers and battery snap.



RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 06:40:58 PM »
wham, bam,
thank U  TP , SB
almost, kinda  "plug & play"...
more like, "solder & play".
less prone 2 mistakes...
of course,
mistakes *can* B made...
but, they are  DIY mistakes :)
TONE to the BONE says:  If youTHINK you got a GOOD deal:  you DID!


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 06:11:34 PM »
I like people to learn with perfboard for several reasons:

1: You learn to read a schematic (hopefully).
2: You wire up the circuit yourself hand hopefully see how the circuit reflects the schematic.
3: Because you wired it up, hopefully it's easier to debug and see where you made a mistake.

In any case I will certainly admit that a RTS board is quick and relatively painless and necessary if you are making more than one board.


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2005, 06:54:52 PM »
Thanks for the great info. Another question has using perfboard better/worse than using the PCB that you have to etch and prepare? (I hope I'm using the correct terms...)


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2005, 08:44:43 AM »
No, not at all. It's just that I wish most people would build on perfboard at least once. I think you would learn a lot in that one build.


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2005, 03:55:30 PM »
RTS is awesome for difficult builds; however, I get more satisfaction out of point to point on perfboard because it feels more "DIY", and don't forget the "mojofactor"  :wink:


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2005, 05:26:12 PM »
I like the flexibility of perfboard - I can substitute different parts that might not fit on/into someone elses PCB layout.
I acquire more skills and knowledge and get greater satisfaction using perfboard than a RTS PCB, but, if all you want is the end result - a nice pedal - than the RTS PCB is a good way to go.


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2005, 07:37:18 PM »
thanks guys for all the information. I cant wait to get started on my first project. However, yet another question has arisen...

I noticed that on the forum that people have posted layouts and schematics for many different types of pedals. The schematics do not have a layout with them, and the layouts do not have a schematic with them. for the projects that show a detailed color picture layout, how do I know which components to connect to which under the perfboard? Do I have to find the schematic and try to follow it?

Here is the project that I am specifically talking about...   "Colorsound One Knob Fuzz Build Tutorial" Its posted on and is under DragonFly FX. On his tutorial, he mounts the components and solders them to the board, but I dont see that he connects the components together underneath the perfboard, like Aron did in his beginner project tutorial.

Am I missing something?

Thanks again for the help and advice...

Jordy A.


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2005, 07:05:34 PM »
That layout is for stripboard - which is not the same thing as perfboard.
Stripboard has copper strips spanning the length of the board that  electrically connect all component leads that share a strip. Sometimes you will need to make a break in a strip with a drill bit or some other means. On stripboard layouts, the little red and white squares designate the location of the breaks.
Aron sells stripboard - check his "store" link if you want to go that route.
I'd probably just find the schematic and make up a perfboard layout from it. (I think) has perfboard templates you can print out for drawing your layout on.
Maybe you can find a finished perfboard layout of that pedal around somewhere too?
Good luck.


RTS it really that easy?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2005, 09:39:51 AM »
He could do the stripboard layout with perfboard. Just use the leads to make the "strips" It might be hard because he would have to be quite careful with his strips but its possible. Or he could etch a copper PCB with the same strips as the stripboard layout has.