Aion Refractor producing loud buzz, no sound from guitar

Started by alter718, February 11, 2021, 10:13:09 AM

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Hi all. I'm going to try and follow the debugging brief as closely as possible (with the exception of the voltage readings which I will do in full later today).

What is does: LED goes on, push switch appears to work but when powered up produces a loud hum which is further amplified by the amp. Guitar sound is almost non-existent.

Project: Aion Refractor (new version with clip leads) - schematics and directions here:

No modifications or substitutions to the circuit of any kind.

My first concern is whether my soldering holds up to scrutiny. I've done a fair bit of Arduino stuff in the past and never had any issues but after looking at some other folks circuits on this forum I've noticed some differences. I'm adding pics to show my soldering. My solder rarely penetrates through to the other side of the perf board, but that has never caused an issue before that I know of. At first glance does that seem to be an issue for my work?
As an example the LED pads on top have little to no solder that pushed through from the other side, but the LED works just fine. So does the soldering look OK?

For voltage readings I'm getting a lot of 0s at various points on the ICs. That's clearly wrong but I wonder if there is some sort of broad stroke mistake I might have made first.

I'm assuming more info will be required but I thought I'd start the conversation. Any thoughts?

eh la bas ma


I finished this build last week, it's still fresh in my mind.

I'd say there is too much solder on many pads. Soldering joints shouldn't look like a ball, but more like a cone.

You can easily correct that with a desoldering pump (it can get dirty, so you'll need to clean the board after with a clean hot iron, moving quickly). To get a good cone, you have to touch the component's leg with the iron, while you move it away from the pcb.

The loud hum can come from a wrong wiring on the audio jacks, a ground problem, or a short somewhere.

If there is still a problem once you have improved the soldering, you should post a picture of your circuits inside the enclosure, with everything in place, to help us spot the cause of your trouble.

Edit: you may have a short on the switchboard, on the pads located between the Led and the footswitch.
"One Cannot derogate, by particular conventions, from the Laws which relate to public Order and good Morals." Article 6 of the Civil Code.
"We must not confuse what we are and what society has made of us." Theodor W. Adorno.


Hi & Welcome..  :icon_wink:

You're very generous with solder resulting into solder bridges..

Red frames definately need reflow where Green are under suspicion..

"I'm getting older while being taught all the time" Solon the Athenian..
"I don't mind  being taught all the time but I do mind a lot getting old" Antonis the Thessalonian..


Thanks to both of you for your replies. In particular thanks antonis for taking the time to highlight suspect solder joints. Above and beyond!
I'll clean things up and see where I'm at.


i suspect solder bridges as well, but they could also be flux/rosin blobs. i suggest cleaning them off with an old toothbrush and a little spiritus/isopropyl alcohol, i used to use way to much flux/rosin when soldering:

cheers, Iain
friendly reminder: all holes are positive and have negative weight, despite not being there.