Making the Pedal Permanent

I’m finally at the stage where I can solder my pedal together and have everything assembled. All the planning has been done and the enclosure is ready so lets finish the effect.

As I mentioned before, there are different options here. I could get a PCB online (one option worth mentioning is on amzfx site a multipurpose board, with one option for LPB-1). Benefit of this is that I would get a tried and tested board (as long as it is from a reputable source), and I find PCBs way easier to use than protoboards.

Another option is to design it myself, and I might do that later. But this involves sending this to a PCB fabricator, getting it made, shipped etc.

The simple option, especially for a simple circuit like this, is using a protoboard. There are some that pretty much the same configuration as breadboard that I used before.

The first step is to create a plan how to solder everything. PCB board made for this particular task would be great, it would involve way less planning and thinking. Everything would be laid out in front of me, I would just need to place components correctly – and they are all identified on silkscreen on the PCB. With protoboard I need to figure all that out myself, and there’s no silkscreen on it with component designators to guide me when I’m assembling it.

Planning the Protoboard

For planning the protoboard, I use DIY Layout Creator. It has all components commonly used in DIY guitar effect creation. It is very intuitive and the result looks pretty good:

LPB-1 wiring diagram. First version.
LPB-1 Wiring Diagram

I would not trust it 100% with dimensions, and it does not have all exact components that I’m using, but it is still very very close and very very good.

For example, enclosed body jacks that I have are slightly different – mine have all pins at the bottom. For stomp switch I had to use toggle switch – it’s the same thing really, I just chose 3PDT and that was it. It does not have my protoboard, but I combined two different ones and got pretty close. So with components that it did contain I could get everything very close to what I have.

Turns out I had a smaller protoboard lying around, or rather a scrap piece of a protoboard. I had to cut the original one some time ago. I just quickly changed the layout like this:

LPB-1 wiring diagram, version 2
Alternative LPB-1 Wiring Diagram

Soldering

On to the soldering part. Normally, I do any jumper wires first and for them I use solid core wire, but in this case, there are only 3 needed and I can easily bend long resistor leads and use them instead. After jumper wires go resistors, and then hookup wires (using stranded wire). I find it easier that way, roughly starting with lowest height components towards the bigger components.

Next are coupling capacitors (C1 & C2) and then electrolytic one (C3). Finally the transistor. I laid out components roughly where they’ll go next to the box, and when I decided where the board is going to be inside the box I soldered LED.

The LED is going to be showing on the top of the box, so ideally I can place the board at the exact position where I need it. I had to bend its leads slightly but I got it where I wanted it. Another option is to solder it with hookup wires and use LED holder for it, but I didn’t need to do it here.

Testing 1

Once I have everything wired up except the stomp switch, it really is good time to test that everything is working correctly. I use alligator leads to hook up everything and do a quick check playing a few notes.

Wire up the Switch

Finally, I’m wiring up the switch. I mounted it to the box and soldered the hookup wires.

Final Result

That’s it, here’s the final result:

Taking it for a Spin

I tried out the pedal in the video below. I ran the pedal on its own and also before DS-1 distortion to have two flavours of the distortion – slight distortion without the boost and then push the distortion hard with the boost. Plus some added chorus, just to get a bit fuller sound.

Trying it out

And what do you know, orange-red LED is actually just red:

Photo of LPB-1 in action with illuminated red LED
LPB-1 in action – the LED is RED!

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