new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Frequent questions about dead or faulty pedals. Whether you repair, mod or build pedals, debugging is important. Threads about general debugging problems irrespective of the circuit involved...

new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby turmoil » 20 Apr 2010, 22:34

Hey everyone! this is my first post on the forum, but i've been browsing off and on for the past few weeks and finally decided to join.
i'm in the process of soldering up an FX pedal i designed and i just placed all the components into a temporary housing for testing (before i go punching holes on the real box) and on test one...it sorta works. :lol: let me explain my problem.

when i bypass the 3PDT switch -- for the pure, bypassed clean signal -- i get this motor-boat, machine gun type sound coming through the test amp.

when i engage the 3PDT switch -- for the wet signal -- it's coming through wet and all the knobs work, but there's some weird clipping going on. When i hit the strings harder i get a louder popping or clipping that isn't supposed to be there.

Also, the LED flicks on when i engage the 3PDT switch, but it doesn't stay on.

Here's where i think the problem is:
When i wired up the 3PDT switch one of the lugs got a little loose because i think i put too much heat on it!
Now, the lug doesn't fall out of the switch or anything, but it can be wiggled easily. I'm wondering if this could cause the problem or if it might be something different?

I double checked all the wiring on the jacks, power supply, and pots and they "look" correct.
My other thought is that since, with the pedal engaged, i'm getting the exact signal i expected to hear (minus the weird clipping), i think the wiring on the board is correct...otherwise i might not have any signal coming through at all.

So, since the LED isn't really lighting up and the bypassed signal is doing this "motor boating" thing, my guess is that i fried part of the 3PDT switch.
What do you guys think??
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby rocklander » 20 Apr 2010, 22:54

ignore the LED and disconnect from the switch to test the effect .. just use alligator clips to test it.. once you've confirmed the effect is working correctly on 'effect only' then look at the switch.
do you have the switch orientated the right way? you 'may' experience these kinds of issues if you've rotated it 90º.
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby turmoil » 20 Apr 2010, 22:58

rocklander wrote:ignore the LED and disconnect from the switch to test the effect .. just use alligator clips to test it.. once you've confirmed the effect is working correctly on 'effect only' then look at the switch.
do you have the switch orientated the right way? you 'may' experience these kinds of issues if you've rotated it 90º.


nice!! i really like that troubleshooting approach!! i'm going to give that a go.

I'm positive the switch is orientated correctly for my wiring. I've just about triple checked all the wiring on the switch hah
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby rocklander » 20 Apr 2010, 23:03

turmoil wrote: i really like that troubleshooting approach!!

the vast majority of the time when I build a pedal and it doesn't work, it's been the wiring relationship between the board, the switch and the I/O jacks...

testing the board unswitched and un 'jacked' is my first port of call these days.. I've just goofed it too many times in the past :oops:

I also like the gaussmarkov style of wiring.. there's a bunch of ways of doing it, but visually his makes 'sense' to me.. so it's easier to remember.

Image
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby turmoil » 20 Apr 2010, 23:06

that's a really cool write up! i like that picture and the link a lot.
my switch looks pretty much like that, but i'm going to try and go around the switch and run the signal straight into the board to make sure all my pcb wiring is working.
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby CRBMoA » 20 Apr 2010, 23:27

Rocklander,

That is a really cool link. Thanks for sharing.

cb :applause:
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby turmoil » 21 Apr 2010, 00:29

update!

I tried your method rocklander, and it worked perfectly!!

I took the 3PDT switch and LED out of the equation and wired the input directly into the board and then the output straight to the output jack.
I'm pretty certain the wiring on the 3PDT is correct, so is it safe to assume i may have just fried the switch?
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby rocklander » 21 Apr 2010, 00:33

stuffed switch is one assumption.
to prove it you could:
a) use another 3pdt
b) use a multimeter continuity test to see if the switch throws across both throws on each of the 3 poles.
c) something else I haven't thought of :lol:
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby turmoil » 21 Apr 2010, 00:35

i like b!! that's a great test.
you've got some real life savers here man! i sincerely appreciate the help :)
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby rocklander » 21 Apr 2010, 00:43

turmoil wrote:i like b!! that's a great test.
you've got some real life savers here man! i sincerely appreciate the help :)

no worries... the basics I can help with, anything that takes brain power, ask the gurus here heh heh.

if you're gonna test the continuity, don't be afraid to manhandle the lugs.. gotta be able to take gig punishment, so make sure you wiggle the lugs (not break, but you know, give them a bit of grief)... last thing you want is for it to get all lead singer temperamental on you and pack a sad at a gig. :wink:
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Re: new to the forum, need some help with a pedal build debug

Postby turmoil » 21 Apr 2010, 00:47

well, just continuity tested the switch....and it's working just fine :oops:

i guess my wiring must be incorrect since the circuit is working fine and the switch works.
time to do some re-wiring i suppose. thanks for your help man! i really appreciate it :)
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