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DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: mateusborges on June 07, 2021, 06:10:36 PM

Title: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 07, 2021, 06:10:36 PM
Hello again guys.
Sorry if this isn't the right place for this topic.

I want to say again thanks for all the info and help available in this forum, I have learned and evolved a lot thanks to it!

I need some light into designing a clipping switch for my projects, I already wired one and it seems to be ok, but everytime I look at it something tells me there's something wrong with it, so I here I am.

I made a simple draw of how I wired the switch for easier understanding and question is, does it works as it should selecting between pairs of diodes? Or I got something wrong?

(https://i.postimg.cc/TytzDr7d/Whats-App-Image-2021-06-07-at-18-58-42.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/TytzDr7d)

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on June 07, 2021, 06:19:09 PM
That is perfectly legit. Those of us who have experimented with diode clipping at some point hook up a rotary switch with some likely combos and switch back and forth until we find what sounds best with different circuits. It makes a handy tool, put it in a small can or something.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 07, 2021, 07:26:01 PM
That is perfectly legit. Those of us who have experimented with diode clipping at some point hook up a rotary switch with some likely combos and switch back and forth until we find what sounds best with different circuits. It makes a handy tool, put it in a small can or something.

Cool! Thanks! My doubt arose when I started asking myself if any of the other diodes wouldn't interact for being connected at the end, before going into the PCB.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: PRR on June 07, 2021, 09:41:25 PM
Maybe I mis-understand, but...

> other diodes wouldn't interact for being connected at the end

A wire, or a rope, has two ends. If it had only one end, or only one end is connected, it won't work.

Diodes (everything) need both ends.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 10, 2021, 03:57:15 PM
Ok, I know it's hard to believe but it have no shorts! \o/
And it's working!

(https://i.postimg.cc/Jyb28QXX/Whats-App-Image-2021-06-10-at-16-30-55.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/Jyb28QXX)
(https://i.postimg.cc/rK3ntHCW/Whats-App-Image-2021-06-10-at-16-30-55-1.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/rK3ntHCW)
(https://i.postimg.cc/8fs47d7t/Whats-App-Image-2021-06-10-at-16-29-55.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/8fs47d7t)
(https://i.postimg.cc/8FHmwXWZ/Whats-App-Image-2021-06-10-at-16-29-56.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/8FHmwXWZ)

So, what we have here it's supposed to be a 8-way clipping switch.
They're all in an asymmetrical setup.

Question, I'm trying to figure out a way of adding one switch to jumper the 3rd diode of each set to make a sym/asym toggle.
Something like this...
(https://i.postimg.cc/nC985B34/Whats-App-Image-2021-06-10-at-16-54-05.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/nC985B34)

It's really hard trying to explain.
Thanks for all the help!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: antonis on June 10, 2021, 04:51:20 PM
It's really hard trying to explain.

If so, it should be really harder to get an answer.. :icon_wink:
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on June 10, 2021, 06:09:03 PM
I think you need a four pole toggle. Or foot switch... 4p2t. You've got it.

The other choice is to just use more diodes on the rotary. symmetric and assymetric as different groups. Diodes are cheap....
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 10, 2021, 08:57:48 PM
It's really hard trying to explain.

If so, it should be really harder to get an answer.. :icon_wink:

Maybe something like this?

(https://i.postimg.cc/jwt0F4c8/Drawing.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/jwt0F4c8)
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on June 10, 2021, 10:03:30 PM
That last one won't work: the four diodes in question are now "always on" (before you short them out) and so the lowest forward voltage one will always be in the circuit. When you short them out it works though.

When your switch is open, the signal can "get around" the selected diode by taking the path of "least resistance" (lowest Vf) through another diode. The point "uphill" of all four diodes is always connected now, and the point "downhill" is too.

I think you need a four pole toggle or stomp switch, or just another four sets of diodes.

When you actually start experimenting and listening, you may find that adding a single asymmetric diode to all four sets gives you the sound you want. You may even find having nothing in one direction (opamp clipping?) sounds good.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 10, 2021, 11:15:35 PM
That last one won't work: the four diodes in question are now "always on" (before you short them out) and so the lowest forward voltage one will always be in the circuit. When you short them out it works though.

When your switch is open, the signal can "get around" the selected diode by taking the path of "least resistance" (lowest Vf) through another diode. The point "uphill" of all four diodes is always connected now, and the point "downhill" is too.

I think you need a four pole toggle or stomp switch, or just another four sets of diodes.

S2

Thanks a lot man! I think I can see it now, if I add such a switch I will be getting the asym clipping, but the "least resistance" diode will be the only one always selected, the other 3 will never be in the circuit, something like this?

If the switch is closed tho it would work for making clipping sym, right?

Quote
When you actually start experimenting and listening, you may find that adding a single asymmetric diode to all four sets gives you the sound you want. You may even find having nothing in one direction (opamp clipping?) sounds good.

Cool, gonna see what else I get to distort hehe
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on June 11, 2021, 12:13:13 AM
Quote
if I add such a switch I will be getting the asym clipping, but the "least resistance" diode will be the only one always selected, the other 3 will never be in the circuit,

That's it.

Quote
If the switch is closed tho it would work for making clipping sym, right?

If by "closed" you mean "open", then yes! :icon_lol:

When a switch is allowing signal to go through it is "closed" (the contacts are closed, they are touching) and when they connection is broken so nothing can get through they are "open." Kind of the opposite of a door to a house or restaurant. When those are closed, you stay outside!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 11, 2021, 04:31:17 PM
Not sure if someone could benefit of it but if so, feel free to do so.

(https://i.postimg.cc/mc3QHXsy/2p4t-clipping-switch.png) (https://postimg.cc/mc3QHXsy)

Link for switch I used: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32820022728.html

Thanks all for all the help!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: PRR on June 15, 2021, 07:41:02 PM
> closing the deal in wich ones

Not sure what you are looking for. In this thread you have a 4-position switch but in PM you said 8 position?

(https://i.postimg.cc/9DwT64yk/mateusborges-3-42.gif) (https://postimg.cc/9DwT64yk)
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on June 15, 2021, 11:21:39 PM
That last version I like... you found a way to do it: a 2p4t which spins through two sets of four options, and a SPDT that lets you choose which pole of the rotary you want to use. Clever. Because you want to be able to toggle between sim/assym for each type of diode.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 15, 2021, 11:25:43 PM
> closing the deal in wich ones
Not sure what you are looking for. In this thread you have a 4-position switch but in PM you said 8 position?

Heya Paul! Thanks for the reply.
Sorry about the confusion, what I'm trying to do it's exactly as you drawn, a SPDT for chosing between sym/asym and then the 2p4t board to select between four options, but since I still have no idea of all cool possible choices I was thinking about actually using a full board of sym options and a full board of asym options, having the SPDT to select between the sides of the board, and later in the actual pedal, reducing those 8 options to the 4 coolest sym and 4 coolest asym.

Any suggestions in wich combos I should check?

Thanks!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on June 15, 2021, 11:27:05 PM
That last version I like... you found a way to do it: a 2p4t which spins through two sets of four options, and a SPDT that lets you choose which pole of the rotary you want to use. Clever. Because you want to be able to toggle between sim/assym for each type of diode.

Thanks man! Thanks to you guys!

Any suggestion for wich combos I should check?
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: PRR on June 16, 2021, 01:26:53 PM
I'm not the clip-diode connoisseur.

8 choices is a LOT to compare. I would not get too committed. Get a hi-fi amp speaker terminal board, four push-lock terminals. Two pairs of diodes and an A/B switch.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/retired/11145
https://www.reichelt.com/de/en/speaker-terminal-4-way-clamp-connection-bkl-0205026-p235709.html
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on September 26, 2021, 11:39:05 PM
Heyas!!

I'm back with clipping and switches... Again... For 2 reasons:

1) to contribute something for all the help, info and knowledge I got from this community.
2) to make sure I got it right.

I've used the amazing VeroRoute (https://sourceforge.net/projects/veroroute/) for making myself an etchable 'clipping switch PCB' for my next Big Muff build.

(https://i.postimg.cc/jCwFDszg/2-nodes-6-way-switch-1.png) (https://postimg.cc/jCwFDszg)

Details:
a) it's a 2P6T switch.
b) the single diode positions (D1, D2, D3, D8, D9 and D10) will be used with each couple of diodes stacked, I need space.
c) diodes 6, 7, 13 and 14 will be ~0.3v Ge.
d) i'll be using 2N7000 MOSFETs.

Is everything correct with it?

Cheers!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on September 27, 2021, 12:39:34 PM
It took me a while to understand why it is 2 pole... because the bigmuff has two sets of clippers! It looks like a nice testing tool when trying out clippers in a circuit...

It looks correct.... but I think you will find:
1) 6 sets is too many for real life
2) many will sound similar
3) You haven't added any asymmetry (although obviously you could "populate" the board to achieve this, leaving out some, mismatching some pairs...)
4) or allowed that just maybe you'd like something different in the two stages.

I made a few muffs with assymetric MOSFETs, and flipped the second set so the asymmetry stays "the same way around" (since the stages are inverting.) I liked that.

The difference in volume as a practical consideration, the pedal "feels" very different to a player when they switch over to a louder set of clippers, making comparison hard. Volume is so overwhelming and easy to hear, and there is a "louder is better" bias to our hearing system (up to a point!) The differences make switching "on the fly" less practical. Some of us have experimented with multi-pole switches to also "pad" the output volume with a resistor so the louder setting is close to the quieter. This works sort of but not for all settings of the pedal's volume and gain.... But is worth checking out still.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on September 27, 2021, 05:08:01 PM
Heya Idy!

It took me a while to understand why it is 2 pole... because the bigmuff has two sets of clippers!
Hehe sorry.

Quote
It looks correct.... but I think you will find:
1) 6 sets is too many for real life
2) many will sound similar
3) You haven't added any asymmetry (although obviously you could "populate" the board to achieve this, leaving out some, mismatching some pairs...)
4) or allowed that just maybe you'd like something different in the two stages.
1) agree, but since I will be using it only at my studio I think that some more options would help me adjusting the effect to the different instruments/amps/musicians it will face. I tried quite a few combos in my 1st one and selected the 6 I liked the most for this one.
2) indeed they do.
3) that's the idea, populating the board with different stuff so I don't need a different board just for the assymetrical combos.
4) in fact my initial idea was using 2 of these boards, one for each stage and mix and match between those 'till I can get the ones I like the most and put those in a single board.

Quote
I made a few muffs with assymetric MOSFETs, and flipped the second set so the asymmetry stays "the same way around" (since the stages are inverting.) I liked that.
Cool! I liked that! Gonna try it!

Quote
The difference in volume as a practical consideration, the pedal "feels" very different to a player when they switch over to a louder set of clippers, making comparison hard. Volume is so overwhelming and easy to hear, and there is a "louder is better" bias to our hearing system (up to a point!) The differences make switching "on the fly" less practical. Some of us have experimented with multi-pole switches to also "pad" the output volume with a resistor so the louder setting is close to the quieter. This works sort of but not for all settings of the pedal's volume and gain.... But is worth checking out still.
That's a very nice idea! How could I implement that? Just add some resistance before each set hits ground?

Cheers!
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: idy on September 27, 2021, 05:41:10 PM
The volume workaround that I used is not that simple. You need an extra pole on the switch, and you add series resistance to the output before it hits a volume control. So the volume is always less for the louder diodes.

But if this "padding" is just right for volume maxed, it will be too much for volume at noon.

This leads to two different volume controls and a pedal that "looks and acts"  like a dual channel amp! Not for your project.

But adding resistors in series to the diodes, that's a whole 'other thing to investigate.
Title: Re: How to wire a clipping switch
Post by: mateusborges on September 27, 2021, 07:47:08 PM
Got it! Gonna keep studying and practicing and maybe for a future one.

Here's the image for the pcb btw.

(https://i.postimg.cc/3WbYtPpP/muff-switch.png) (https://postimg.cc/3WbYtPpP)

Cheers!