Working Prototype – 5 in 1 Guitar Effect, Fuzz

Here is prototype 1. This is what we have, so far:

Full Wiring Harness

  • True bypass switch.
  • Beautiful red LED.
  • Three contact input jack, wired to conserve battery power.
  • Since this one is s a prototype, everything is connectorized. Normally this isn’t necessary; the component wires could be directly soldered to the PCBA.
  • My instincts tell me that I should twist my wires, but this doesn’t seem to be a common practice.
  • Notice that there aren’t any tone or volume controls. Yet.
  • Oops! I need one more jumper on the PCB, in the battery circuit, to bypass the line power connector.

The "completed" effect. The two jumpers are missing.

Trouble Shooting and Observations

  • I performed some rudimentary continuity checks to ensure the integrity of the PCB, component insertion, and wiring.
  • Power up, wait for smoke. No smoke.
  • Connector to output jack is wired backwards. No big deal, I just flipped the connector around and plugged it back in.
  • I’d like more identifiers & nomenclature in silkscreen. Also to my tired eyes, some things could use bigger fonts.
  • My first functional check: Effect works in bypass mode.
  • Functional Check number 2: With battery plugged in, nothing smokes.
  • Functional Check number 3 Powered up, the LED works. ON when in effect mode. OFF when bypassed or input unplugged.
  • Functional Check number 4: Strum the guitar; no sound. Failure.
  • Upon closed inspection, I see that I forgot to put a jumper at position C4.
  • Stuffed a jumper wire into C4, plugged it in and lo & behold, something fuzzy is coming out of the guitar amp. Can it be this easy?
  • LED needs to be mounted before it is plugged into connector or soldered to the board. This is not always the case, but it is necessary for the Dialight 607 series LED I chose.
  • To my ears, the guitar effect adds no noise. I’ll have to check with a meter at a later date.


1)      Solder in the C4 Jumper wire and test the effect out at a higher volume.

2)      Determine how fuzzy is fuzzy enough.

3)      Do I need volume & tone controls?


~ by ratdad on April 24, 2011.

3 Responses to “Working Prototype – 5 in 1 Guitar Effect, Fuzz”

  1. Woohoo – it works!!

    When does the DIY community start?

    Thought – if you had a volume control, you could use it as a volume boost for leads….

    I’ve used two fuzz/overdrive, one for each amp channel and used a channel switcher with a B channel louder for lead breaks.

    Very cool!!

  2. Interesting stuff about making your box more attractive:

    • I revisited on the site there’s a great CAD file that goes with the story. The CAD file contains to-scale drawings of popular stomp boxes and effects components. I’ll be using some of these library parts for sure. Thanks for the link.

      For those of you without CAD, try this PDF version. With a Hammond 1590BB and a pair of scissors, you can do a nice job.

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