First Time Build - No Sound

Ok, you got your soldering iron and nothing is going to hold you back, but you have no clue where to start or what to build. There were others before you with the same questions... read them first.

Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 14 Oct 2012, 12:38

Lucifer wrote:A good solder joint should be nice and shiny, with just enough solder to flow smoothly between the two parts being joined. Bad joints are usually dull looking, but you can also have a bad joint under a big blob of solder.

You should be able to detect an open joint with your meter, but if it's an intermittent joint, you may just catch it when it's behaving.

If you have a solder sucker or solder wick, you could 'unsolder' a joint that you're not sure about, then re-make it.

Can I just make a left-turn at the traffic lights here and ask you, do the jack plugs, when inserted, foul the footswitch (as I mentioned was a possibility in one of my earlier replies) ? If one or other jack plug hits the switch, it may not be going all the way into the socket, which is one possible solution to the problem of not getting a signal in bypass mode.


They don't seem to, although every time I've tested it lately the jacks have been out of the enclosure, making sure they are not touching any metal. I will definitely need to get a bigger enclosure. Just don't have the $10 to drop on it right now.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 14 Oct 2012, 13:37

Well, seeing as you need a bigger box (sometime when you can afford it), there's no harm in you driling extra holes in the existing box, right ?

So, you could re-position the jacks away from the footswitch (or just move the footswitch away from the jacks), and then see if you can get a bypassed signal.

It's better to get your circuit working now, and then transfer it to your new box when you get it, rather than putting a faulty circuit into a new box and then throwing it against the wall in frustration.

Don't give up hope - the signal is in there, somewhere, just trying to get out. You'll find it eventually, then you'll be partying all night in celebration. :thumbsup
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 14 Oct 2012, 14:37

Lucifer wrote:Well, seeing as you need a bigger box (sometime when you can afford it), there's no harm in you driling extra holes in the existing box, right ?

So, you could re-position the jacks away from the footswitch (or just move the footswitch away from the jacks), and then see if you can get a bypassed signal.

It's better to get your circuit working now, and then transfer it to your new box when you get it, rather than putting a faulty circuit into a new box and then throwing it against the wall in frustration.

Don't give up hope - the signal is in there, somewhere, just trying to get out. You'll find it eventually, then you'll be partying all night in celebration. :thumbsup


I absolutely will :)

I do agree with you, but before I waste a good box, would a 6 lug switch be small enough to let the jacks clear, or do they take up the same real estate?
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 14 Oct 2012, 16:00

A six-lug switch should be smaller (the ones I've got are definitely smaller), so it may give you a bit of extra clearance - but will it be enough ? I guess you'll find out.

One drawback is that you won't have a spare set of lugs for your LED.

But it might be worth trying anyway, to see if you can get the bypassed signal working.

Once again, good luck.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 14 Oct 2012, 21:35

I'm not concerned with an LED or power. Just wanted my first to be as simple a build as possible. I just got some unexpected money today (Thank you God!) :applause: , so maybe I can get an enclosure and a switch. I'd like to keep the current enclosure and maybe try a treble booster or something for my next project - that is if the smaller switch will leave enough room for the jacks :).

Thanks again for all your help. Will update when I have something.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 20 Oct 2012, 04:21

Ordered a larger enclosure, smaller switch (at least I thought it would be) and 5 feet of 4 different colors of wire from PedalPartsPlus and got it today. I love that place! I ordered the "Translucent Gold" color and it is just gorgeous!

I drilled out the enclosure tonight and put in all the hardware. There's definitely plenty of space! Everything looks so comfortable :D . The box is only 1/8" deeper, but none of the jack lugs are touching the enclosure anymore . I'm surprised such a small amount made such a big difference! Maybe they weren't touching before, but they certainly looked like they were.

Tomorrow I hope to undo all of the wiring and rewire it all into the new box.

Once I've successfully finished this, I'm considering using my old enclosure for a new project - something with a much smaller board. Thinking of breadboarding then perfboarding an MXR Dist+ clone - start it right this time. Looks like all of the parts would be less than $10 8) .

More pics (hope I'm not filling up all the servers with this one thread).
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 20 Oct 2012, 11:15

Wow, that's a really nice looking box. Not much chance of things shorting together with all that room.

Your switch is a big one - but a good one. I have some smaller ones, but they are probably not as reliable as the one you've got.

The large spacing between the switch contacts should make it really easy to see where every single wire goes, so (hopefully) you should have a working pedal in no time.

Thanks for the update. :thumbsup Keep us posted.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby DrNomis » 20 Oct 2012, 17:19

Once you've got everything wired-up in the new enclosure, you should use your multimeter to check the voltages on the transistors, Q1 (the one with it's base connected to the 2u2 input capacitor) should have about -.5V on it's collector with respect to ground, Q2 ( the one with it's emitter connected to the 1k Fuzz pot) should have from about -4V to about -6V on it's collector, if you do get these voltages that means the transistors are working properly, make sure you've got an instrument lead plugged into the input socket before you make the measurments, and make sure you've got the red probe of the multimeter touching the circuit ground..... :thumbsup


If your collector voltage readings are significantly different then it indicates that one or both of the transistors are bad and need replacing..... :thumbsup
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 21 Oct 2012, 02:36

DrNomis wrote:Once you've got everything wired-up in the new enclosure, you should use your multimeter to check the voltages on the transistors, Q1 (the one with it's base connected to the 2u2 input capacitor) should have about -.5V on it's collector with respect to ground, Q2 ( the one with it's emitter connected to the 1k Fuzz pot) should have from about -4V to about -6V on it's collector, if you do get these voltages that means the transistors are working properly, make sure you've got an instrument lead plugged into the input socket before you make the measurments, and make sure you've got the red probe of the multimeter touching the circuit ground..... :thumbsup


If your collector voltage readings are significantly different then it indicates that one or both of the transistors are bad and need replacing..... :thumbsup


Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely do that!

I bought a 25k trimpot too, and I may put that in to bias transistor 2 (?) if I'm not happy with the sound. Someone on another forum recommended I do that.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 21 Oct 2012, 11:49

The biasing trimpot is a good idea.

Denis Cornell uses one in the Cornell First Fuzz. If I remember correctly, he uses a 5k, but you should be OK with your 25k one - the best tones will probably all be down one end, and the adjustment wll be a bit coarse, but hopefully you'll be able to get it to sound just great with a bit of patience.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 30 Oct 2012, 17:35

Quick question: Can the transistor legs touch each other? The pinout is funky and I have to bend the base over the collector to make it fit, and they are touching.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 30 Oct 2012, 17:47

Quick answer - NO !

If the transistor legs are touching, then it can no longer act as a transistor. :twisted:
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 30 Oct 2012, 18:15

Can I slip some wire shielding over one of the legs or is there a better way?
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Nocentelli » 30 Oct 2012, 19:09

Yes, wire insulation is probably the simplest/easiest/best way.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 04 Nov 2012, 13:36

Yesterday I got everything wired into the enclosure, realized the polarized capacitors were backwards, fixed that, plugged everything in and still nothing when the fuzz is engaged. I have a perfect bypass signal though.

I tested the continuity into the board to the output and there's nothing. When testing along the paths on the board I get continuity along the paths, but if I test from one end of a resistor to another most of them give no beep. One of them did. I don't know if that's just because you can't measure some components (like capacitors and resistors) for continuity, or because I've got a wire crossed somewhere else (?).

I'm thinking another possibility is that I've wired something wrong into/out of the board. None of the holes on the board are marked, and I used my novice schematic reading skills to determine which hole goes to what.

I have to admit I did go to another forum to look for help. I really wanted to get this working last night. They required some voltages and here's what I got:

With the input cable inserted and battery plugged in:
Black lead at board - 8.31v
Red lead at ground - 0v

Q1:
C - .44
B - .14
E - 0

Q2:
C - 8.24
B - .44
E - .22
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 04 Nov 2012, 13:41

FYI, if you're looking at the picture of the underside of the board here's how I've wired it (holes on the right of picture, top to bottom):
1 - input
2/3 - ground to ring of input jack
4 - lug 2 fuzz
5 - 9v black in
6 - lug 3 fuzz
7 - lug 3 volume
:)
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 05 Nov 2012, 19:16

I hope I didn't breach some forum etiquette by going somewhere else. I certainly appreciate all of the help I've received here. I wouldn't have been able to get this far without you guys.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 06 Nov 2012, 12:39

Hi roncq

Firstly, congratulations on getting a bypass signal. That's a lot better than you had before.

Secondly, putting your electrolytic caps in the wrong way round is something most of us have done at some time or other. In extreme cases, they can explode - so be doubly careful in future.

Thirdly, let's talk about 'continuity'. As you've discovered, you can test for continuity along the tracks ('traces' in the US). Continuity means what it says - a continuous path for electrons to flow down. You may get a reading/beep through a small resistor, but you won't get a reading (or beep) through most values, as not enough current can flow to operate the beeper (that's why they are called resistors - they resist the flow of current). Capacitors are open-circuit as far as direct current (DC) is concerned, so you can't get a continuity reading/beep across a cap (though it's possible to get a brief beep across a large electrolytic as it charges up and current flows - but you won't get a continuous beep - unless the cap is faulty or shorted). As your fuzz circuit has an input cap and an output cap, you can't expect to get a reading (or beep) from input to output (except through the true-bypass circuitry).

Fourthly, I don't think you've broken any laws by seeking help from another forum. Just worry about getting your circuit going.

Finally, to the board. I would need to study your pictures again to see where all the wires go. Same for the components on the board. However, the board looked pretty OK in previous discussions, so, unless you've re-built it, the problems are either A) in your wiring or B) in the transistors (possibly heat damaged, possibly in the wrong way round). I'm not a fuzz person myself, so I don't know what voltages are expected in this type of circuit. Maybe someone more experienced with fuzzes than me can help out.

Meanwhile, why don't you check out your wiring against the circuit diagram. It's quite easy to mix up your input and output wires, for instance. If it all checks out OK, then it looks like the fault is on the board. Gradually you eliminate the possibilities until you finally find the problem.

Good luck.
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby roncg41677 » 06 Nov 2012, 15:50

Thanks so much for explaining continuity to me. Knowing that helps a lot :)

Before I re-installed the transistors because I realized the pinout was wrong I tested them in the hfe sockets in my multimeter and got a good reading from both. Does that mean they are both good? Or could I still get an hfe reading if something else in the transistor was bad?

I think I've got the board wired correctly. The only reference I have is the actual schematic. Being that the DA Fuzz is so ubiquitous I was hoping I'd find a diagram of "This wire goes here" or something, but no such luck :| . The only thing I'm wondering about is the 2nd/3rd hole I just soldered together and ran one wire to ground, so there are 6 wires coming out of my board, but when I look at images of other DA fuzzes there are 7, with wires coming out of the 2nd and 3rd holes. So those are suspect to me. I also found a solder "bridge" on the board that I proceeded to scratch away, until I realized there was a track underneath, so I soldered those resistors together as well. You can see it on the image of the board. There are 2 areas that have holes soldered together.

On "the other board" they are asking me to test resistor values to try to find a bad resistor, and it looks like the values to my Q2 are way off on the collector, as noted before.

And yes, I played through the bypass signal for about 10 minutes just smiling. It feels good to get something working :D

In case the images above didn't work, here's another image of the board and where the wires on the right are going:
FYI, if you're looking at the picture of the underside of the board here's how I've wired it (holes on the right of picture, top to bottom):
1 - input
2/3 - ground to ring of input jack
4 - lug 2 fuzz
5 - 9v black in
6 - lug 3 fuzz
7 - lug 3 volume

Image
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Re: First Time Build - No Sound

Postby Lucifer » 06 Nov 2012, 21:20

Hi roncq,

I've had a chance to study the photos and your wiring list.

Everything looks OK - though I can't see the pot wiring. You've got two white wires going to the Fuzz pot, but even if they were the wrong way round, you should still get something.

It worries me that you have a black wire for the negative and a . . . black wire for the positive - but they seem to be in the correct holes on the board.

I'm glad to see you've got the two big caps in the correct way now.

So - assuming all the joints are OK, which they appear to be - then the problem would seem to lie in the transistors.

I can't tell from the photos which way round the transistors are. And we can't see if they've been damaged by constant use of the soldering iron. Germanium is VERY sensitive to heat, and the transistors could very easily be destroyed internally.

Your battery voltage looks a bit low at 8.31v and there may not be enough to bias Q1 properly (normally you would expect 0.2 - 0.3v difference between Base and Emitter. It looks a bit low on Q1.

Try a fresh battery first. If it's still no-go, then you may have to change the transistors. Sorry if that turns out to be the case.

Good luck.
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