Saturday, 29 July 2017

On building kits

Building kits is an easy way to learn to solder.  Especially guitar pedal kits.  They are easily available and usually very simple.

Das Musikding Das Plus overdive kit

There are a lot of ready to solder kits out there.
I made several from the German web store Das Musikding.
They are well documented and the store also offers all necessary electronic components for DIY guitar pedals, and more.  So it's easy to order not only your kit, but your enclosure, knobs, switch and other parts.  Banzai Music is another of such site.

Assembled Der Muff kit

These kits are not expensive, easy to understand, easy to solder.  But there is a drawback.  As they are inexpensive, PCBs are sometimes built with lower quality features..
On the first kits i got, holes were not metallised.  It means the metal of the solder pads is located to one side only and doesn't extend to the other side of the PCB, via the hole.   Solder tends to stay on one side to the PCB and if you heat the pad long enough it might peel off.  With metallised holes, the solder easily go upwards to the other side.  Your solder is then neat and easy.

The arrow indicate a burnt solder joint.
Solder pad literally peeled off.
Fortunately the pin of the IC was not used.
At the time, I didn't know better, so I found these kits top notch.
Nowadays, the latest versions of the kits I received offer a PCB of higher quality.  The form factor helps the integration on smaller enclosures.  Holes are now metallised.  They are a breeze to make.

PCB of Das Musikding The Angel chorus kit v2

And in case you'd like to learn about it, here is my favourite way to cable a 3PDT footswitch. 

My favourite way to cable a 3PDT footswitch

Inputs on on side, outputs on the other side, ground on the middle column.  FX input to the ground when in bypass mode.  As the pins form a 3x3 square, pay attention of their orientation.  Test first to make sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment