boxed my 4th complete effects unit – took an absurd amount of pictures detailing the process:
to start off, I have my complete and working clone (from |\/|ark’s layout) of the Earthquaker Devices Speaker Cranker - an overdrive. that’s the board for it there – it is damn tiny. perfect, I thought for a 1590A enclosure! commercial stompboxes are hardly ever seen in this size – maybe the idea is that bigger is louder?
all the tools for the job… i found it was good to sand the aluminum down a little bit. I also used some olive oil which…seemed to be good?? that bronze spike thing is a center punch, which reeeally helps to make holes in the correct places. the bits I use are:
½" for the switch and for the power jack
3/8" for the audio jacks
¼" for the 5mm LED and for the pot
here’s the thing with just the stomp switch in place. I found it was a really good idea to start by placing this so I could arrange the other hardware around it.
part of the fun of drilling without a vise: gouging your hand with a ½" bit. rad! jacks are in though, and a very unique cut for the 9v jack has been made.
a few holes for the LED and the single pot and we’re golden. I remove all the hardware I had placed and prime it with some auto primer I just bought. Just one coat does it - and honestly this greenish-gray would be pretty sweet by itself on a heavy-duty distortion, i.e Russian BMP. Someday…
then a few shots of this mini Krylon hobby paint – awesome yellow! I do something like 5 coats in all. Some bubbling and chipping occurs – oh well. Looks “old school”…
I hit it with several coats of Krylon clear and it’s good to go! shouldn’t chip and dries smooth and glossy – the thing’s color is not unlike the DOD 250 or Boss OD-1 – who decided yellow means overdrive exactly? Now to load up the box with all the good guts – fun!! I wire up the stomp switch using a new (to me) method from gaussmarkov. facing down on the switch lugs, with them oriented horizontally, it’s like this:
TO the circuit board | 2K2 resistor to LED | FROM the circuit board
IN jack tip lug | ground to OUT jack ring lug | OUT jack tip lug
bottom-right switch lug | top-left switch lug | bottom-left switch lug
..of course it’s explained better in gaussmarkov’s article.
aand the jacks. the ¼" patch cable is there to make sure nothing shorts when it’s plugged in on both sides… the pot is there too but its hard to see in this pic. PS the big huge 1uF input cap is out of its socket in this photo… obv I replaced it before closing everything up.
there’s everything! I had wanted to mount the circuit facing down (components visible with the enclosure bottom plate removed) but it ended up being too close to the 9v jack lugs. oh well! a small piece of double-sided mounting tape on the solder side of the board keeps it from shorting against the enclosure and…
that’s that. Yes that is an enormous stupid knob on it. how does it sound… with my badass 1972 Ibanez LP copy? killer. not as much volume boost as I had hoped but if I had read that writeup from Earthquaker at all before building it did say right there that it doesnt provide much boost. that’s not to say it isn’t loud, which it definitely is. loud and gritty, very nice. it won’t be replacing the glorious drive channel of my Marshall 15w which was the initial inspiration to build an overdrive anyways, but sweet sound nonetheless and of course I’m stoked to have made something that works.
Nexts for the drive project:
-I socketed the 2N3904 transistor on the board so, as usual I’ll try replacing it with something dumb-loud like a Darlington. Also maybe try rolling back the input cap value to something more regular and see how those changes sound.
-I’ve read a bit about the Red Llama from Way Huge providing a massive volume boost. Sounds good, I’ll try it in the future. I’m also working on debugging a Lovepedal Eternity board, which is the same as the famous TubeScreamer but minus the buffers. Lastly, since my real goal is to replicate the sound of the drive channel on my Marshall, I should just build Thor.