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Author Topic: DIY Pedalboard Tips?  (Read 3521 times)
Steve Mavronis
Posts: 1340


Neo-Classic FX (non-commercial)


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DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« on: November 17, 2010, 09:03:09 PM »

What must haves should a basic DIY pedalboard include, besides your effects pedals of choice? What should you do about a power supply, wire routing, basic construction, etc? I'm thinking about building myself a modest pedalboard about 24"x12" or less in size for home practice use.
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smccusker
Posts: 247


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 09:20:58 PM »

My friend and I are going to build some for ourselves tomorrow. I am going to mount a powerboard to mine which will provide power to my regulated power supply (which i will also mount to the board) and my mains powered pedals. We're also building lids for protection during transportation to gigs etc.
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jkokura
Posts: 1167

Jacob Kokura


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2010, 12:10:20 AM »

At the price of the supplies, the time and effort spent, and the tools to do it, I recommend buying a Pedaltrain. I think the PT-2 is 24x12.5 inches, comes with mounting brackets for a power supply of your choice underneath, a carrying case, and a whack of Velcro for the board and the pedals. I really love the two pedaltrains I own, and would buy more.

Jacob
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spargo
Posts: 324


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 03:06:29 AM »

I can second the pedaltrain.  I have the PT-2 and I'd probably never buy a different board (except a bigger pedaltrain).  Smiley

If you played in live situations and transported the board around, I'd recommend getting a Pedal Power 2+ to give you clean power for each pedal (it can be mounted underneath), and I'd route the power cables with some little self adhesive cable holders ($3 for 10 at radio shack).  For audio wiring, route straight lines between everything - the shortest path whenever possible to keep the amount of wire your signal travels through to a minimum.  With the pedaltrain you can route them under the board for neatness.

BUT...since you mentioned you're doing this for practice at home, I probably wouldn't worry about much of that.  I'd just throw it together.  I wouldn't care near as much about hiss from the pedals or how neat my board was if I wasn't playing for everyone else to hear and transporting the board around a lot...Honestly, if I only played at home I'd probably buy a plain wooden plank and stick the pedals on it to be cheap.
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Steve Mavronis
Posts: 1340


Neo-Classic FX (non-commercial)


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Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 06:44:48 AM »

That's interesting, I had forgotten about the small Pedaltrain pedal board. If the cost is about the same as building one it may make more sense. Also I saw a page about the AMZ power supply. They offer a small PCB and the complete schematic is online. Looks fairly simple and about 1590B sized. As far as home playing, I don't want anything sloppy looking on the living room floor so my wife doesn't kill me. Wink
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petemoore
Posts: 18787


As Yet Unrated


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 10:21:36 AM »

  different appraoaches ?
  Eliminate all but the 1rst box input and last box output[s...jacks.
  This creates a handful of patch cables you also won't need for the pedalboard.
  Often seen as a waste to the 1per-box pedal circuit boxes, they are used to help determine pedal chain order and circuit content...
  Something I would consider...down the line...built a couple and..
  And frees up lots of PB space, but never was match for the 1-per-box chains: 1 patch 2 patch 3..etc..method.
  Excellent result seems intractably related to how much ''polish and preponderance'' or ''bums rush vibe'' one has devoted to a project, my individual boxes recieved more polish and tweeking via testboards, the all-in-one was never afforded the attention, nor was the power supply ever peeled sufficiently.
  After taking an "overkill kills all possibility of a ground loop conection" approach [ie Spyder at GEO], all my PS grounds were lifted, the regulated/filtered ripple free DC very much like that of a battery.
  All the circuits have BFC to filter at the end of the supply line, at the board. Right next to the chip if it's a spikey-current-drawing thing, possibly an R added to before the cap, 100ohm or so.
  Otherwise, the Spyder power supply does a fine PS-onion peeling job.
  I still use the ''extra'' patch cables and 1-circuit-per-box effects.
  I haven't seen need to resort to input grounding when in bypass.
  >Overkill again? input to high gain circuits...recent builds get the grounded-shield input wire treatment [..only because I have easy-prepare shield wire here], allowing circuit output, box output and switch located near each other [short travels from output, Example: output volume pot>Switch>output jack].
  V+ wire on especially consumptive chip also gets the "short-wire-is-away from input, and crosses sensative wires only when there's no other way" treatment...doesn't run parallel to wire = inductor.
  V+ of course is the highest potential, often closely followed by output [which one is 'spikey-er'?]...keep these away from what is by comparison [when adding gain]sensative input wires.
 
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jacobyjd
Posts: 2215


Josh-Warsaw, IN


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 10:51:47 AM »

I spent around $180 to make 2 36" x 24" pedalboards, with a riser attachment and 6" high cover. The base is made from 3/4" plywood, and the cover is made from 1/2" plywood, all pretty high-quality stuff.

In the end, I'd say it was worth it, simply because it's lasted me over 4 years with fairly heavy use, and no need for repairs yet. Its only downside is that it's very large, so for serious gigs only. I'm working on a smaller board for jamming and smaller gigs (I'm using an overdrive + reverb + amp in one of my projects now).

As power supplies go, I'd highly recommend the Voodoo Lab PPII+. Mine has been going strong for years now. Also, keep in mind that you can daisy-chain each output. Nobody seems to understand that...you'll never need another power supply. EVER.

You can also DIY a power supply, but I don't necessarily recommend it, unless you have the knowledge and skill to pull it off. Otherwise, you'll either hurt yourself, or you'll end up spending an equivalent amount of time/money to a nice store-bought supply, and it's unlikely that you'll end up with a smaller or more versatile package in the end.
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petemoore
Posts: 18787


As Yet Unrated


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »

 Yupp, and also use/have PPII, works alike to Spyder.
  Spyder article explains these power supplies/ground loops etc.
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Convention creates following, following creates convention.
jefe
Posts: 876


Jeff A. - Connecticut


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 11:14:51 AM »

+1 on the Voodoo Lab PPII+. For the board itself, a plain old piece of plywood works just fine.
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Barcode80
Posts: 2250


Patrick Johnson


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 02:03:48 PM »

You can also DIY a power supply, but I don't necessarily recommend it, unless you have the knowledge and skill to pull it off. Otherwise, you'll either hurt yourself, or you'll end up spending an equivalent amount of time/money to a nice store-bought supply, and it's unlikely that you'll end up with a smaller or more versatile package in the end.
smaller? probably not. more versatile/cheaper? you can DEFINITELY diy a great power supply at a fraction of the cost with isolation, inverted voltages, sag, etc. The spider transformer for power supplies from smallbear is $25, comes with 8 11v/300mA outputs and a 9v/3A output. a few regulators and a couple of max1044 chips, and you have a massively cheap, versatile, clean, and isolated power supply. The transformer is a bit larger, and there's the actual building of the thing, but the rewards far outweigh the benefits of the pre-made power supply.

However, +1 on the voodoo supply mentioned if you aren't going to DIY. It's about the best storebought supply you can find.
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jacobyjd
Posts: 2215


Josh-Warsaw, IN


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 02:13:06 PM »

You can also DIY a power supply, but I don't necessarily recommend it, unless you have the knowledge and skill to pull it off. Otherwise, you'll either hurt yourself, or you'll end up spending an equivalent amount of time/money to a nice store-bought supply, and it's unlikely that you'll end up with a smaller or more versatile package in the end.
smaller? probably not. more versatile/cheaper? you can DEFINITELY diy a great power supply at a fraction of the cost with isolation, inverted voltages, sag, etc. The spider transformer for power supplies from smallbear is $25, comes with 8 11v/300mA outputs and a 9v/3A output. a few regulators and a couple of max1044 chips, and you have a massively cheap, versatile, clean, and isolated power supply. The transformer is a bit larger, and there's the actual building of the thing, but the rewards far outweigh the benefits of the pre-made power supply.

However, +1 on the voodoo supply mentioned if you aren't going to DIY. It's about the best storebought supply you can find.

I suppose that's true--last time I checked, the available DIY designs were a bit more expensive to pull off. The main tradeoff for me is size, though, since board space is a tight commodity Smiley
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Warsaw, Indiana's poetic love rock band: http://www.bellwethermusic.net
Barcode80
Posts: 2250


Patrick Johnson


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 02:16:00 PM »

Well, now, that all depends on how many pedals one insists on cramming onto the board, now doesn't it?  Smiley
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jcwillow777
Posts: 73


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 02:24:28 PM »

I bought a Tonebone Boneyard a few years ago, and then I made one like it. It's was angled and I could hide all of my wiring under the board.
that being said, I just bought a Pedaltrain Pro with ATA case. Not cheap, but well worth it.

I use a BBE Supa-Charger with my PT Pro. $20 cheaper than the Voodo Lab charger and it works great. It mounts the same as the Voodo Lab would underneath board using the same mounting brackets. I power up 14 pedals with it.
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jkokura
Posts: 1167

Jacob Kokura


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 03:43:47 PM »

I have the BBE on my PTJr, and the Voodoo Labs on me PT-2. Functionally the same. The same price when I bought them too.

Jacob
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Krallum
Posts: 38


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 05:47:40 PM »

Didn't read all the replies but build a box with an input / output jack and connections for any fx loop type cables for easy setting up. I just connect all my cables in that one box so there's almost no mess. Isolate the jacks so there's no potential for ground loops
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blooze_man
Posts: 371

Adrien - Anchorage, Alaska


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 07:17:13 PM »

Great ideas for pedalboards can also be found in the pedalboards thread
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BRingoC
Posts: 100


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2010, 07:38:53 PM »

I mounted all of my pedals to painters palettes I got from Dick Blick art supplies.  They were like $8 a palette and are like 12"x18".  I fit 6 pedals with plenty of room on it to hook up straight 1/4" plugs to the pedals.
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Gordo
Posts: 170


WWW
Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2010, 03:12:17 PM »

Also I saw a page about the AMZ power supply. They offer a small PCB and the complete schematic is online. Looks fairly simple and about 1590B sized.

I built a rip off of the big LYT board and am pleased with it but ended up buying the bag from them.  The dimensions were exact so I knew it would fit. In the end it would probably have been cheaper just to buy the board and bag from them. Where's the challenge there?

I'm having great results with the AMZ supply. I used the Jameco transformer that they recommend and the nice part is that it keeps all AC off the board. 
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Steve Mavronis
Posts: 1340


Neo-Classic FX (non-commercial)


WWW
Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2010, 06:55:23 AM »

I'm having great results with the AMZ supply. I used the Jameco transformer that they recommend and the nice part is that it keeps all AC off the board. 

What size enclosure is in their photo? The AMZ board is only 3" x 1.5". I'd like to possibly make something based off of that idea. I was showing their schematic to my dad and he has some ideas for improvements. If the board size is kept small I wonder if it would fit into a 1590B with a bank of 9V DC jacks down one side. Keeping the AC external to the unit lets everything be compact.
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kungpow79
Posts: 136


Bjorn Turoque


Re: DIY Pedalboard Tips?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2010, 02:12:03 AM »

For a super cheap, easy but nonetheless awesome diy board check out the ikea gorm shelf.  Google it.  I've made 2 and they're great.  Esp for the home player.  I use a 1 Spot.
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