Hollow Earth

DIY For Beginners Series - Introduction

alex | 05 October, 2012 14:00

I'm starting a new post series which is meant to provide some information on building DIY effects for people who have never built one before, but are considering to do so or for people who have already started and want to do the next step.

Although I'm going to link all related posts below, you may also show all posts of this category by clicking the category on the "categories" section - maybe I forget to link a new, mind blasting post ;-)

I'm going to update the posts in this category every time I think I got new, useful information. I'm not an electronics expert, but I've built already several effects and like to share some of the knowledge I gathered since I started.

You may use the information on your own risk! If you find any errors, please leave a comment in the appropriate post! You may also suggests new topics you're interested in by leaving a comment below in this post.

OK, got it. But how to start?


Best way in my opinion is to buy a kit. Start with a simple one - few electronical parts, few wiring. Ensure that the delivered documentation is well done - most kit selling shops provide the documentation for download, so you can take a look at it before buying anything. For example, check out the kits sold on www.tonepad.com (english) or www.uk-electronic.de (german). Often the kits are labelled like "Beginner", "Advanced", "Hero" or similar.

Once you obtained a kit start RTFM! (for those who don't know the abbreviation: Read-The-Fucking-Manual!) Yes, Do It. Take a look at the PCB mounting and wiring images. Make sure you understand the mounting directions of every electronic component - especially diodes, transistors, elcos and ICs.

Then you can start soldering. Don't hurry. Think before placing an element, there's nothing worse than having to unsolder misplaced components. Don't overheat the components, some are sensitive to heat and may be damaged, e.g. elcos, transistors. Always start with the lowest components - usually diodes and resistors - and get on with the next higher components - long elcos and transistors at the end. Last thing you solder to the PCB are the wires.

After finishing the PCB, fit the electromechanical components into the case and do the wiring of the pots, switches, etc. Again: Think! before soldering. Check the polarity of the power source components - a few circuits may not be safe to wrong polarity.

All this may or may not prevent you from making mistakes. If your stombox does not work, don't panic! First, check the wiring again, then the components on the PCB. About 90% percent of the errors I made have been located in the wiring.

And my last advice for today: Keep cool & have fun! 


Here are the other posts from "DIY For Beginners":



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