It’s been a few weeks with a lot going on, not the least of which are some neat Halloween electronics projects.
But as many know I’ve been working on my own start-to-finish build of a high gain overdrive guitar pedal with a graphic EQ section called “sausage factory”. Some folks have told me I should probably call it something different, but for the record the idea did come to me while enjoying a bratwurst with sauerkraut, and it occurred to me a high gain pedal is a bit like a meat grinder… hence the name.
Anyway, a few friends emailed me after my first blog about the project and requested a sound demo. I didn’t have the actual boards from the fab at the time, let alone the assembled prototypes, but now thanks to Altium’s corporate management I have a small lab space, and I’ve been able to get together the parts and do this!
In my last blog post I showed part of the assembly process – using a laser cut solder paste stencil and hand pick-and-place actually didn’t take too long.
In the process however I discovered I had one incorrect footprint – so I did have to cut a couple of traces around the 9V DC input jack and rewire those.
I also found one design flaw (a very minor but nonethelese important one) in the EQ circuit which I have since been able to easily fix with the addition of a single resistor.
In this process I discovered the neat “Notes and Issues” feature in Upverter (CircuitMaker has something very similar called “Comments”) where I can basically highlight a part of the schematic or PCB and write a task, assigned to a specific user, with a description of the change needed. These all go into the issues list and as I address those for the final design revision I check them off:
This was developed for team collaboration on designs, but it is equally useful for an individual designer like me, just to keep a list of changes I need to make when I have time to get back to the next rev. Also, this is useful because I’ll keep the notes and the design as-is while assembling the first 5 prototypes, which I’ll hand modify like the first so as not to waste the PCBs and paste stencil. Once those are together I’ll go ahead and modify the design and check off the issues as done.
Watch this video for the initial sound test, and discovery of the EQ section bug.
Please subscribe, like, share and comment on this video! I need your support to make this better and make more project and technical walk-throughs like this.
I’d like to even do this with you! If you have a cool design and want to share and do a video interview, please email me and we’ll arrange it!
ben dot jordan at altium dot com.
And final PostScript: Here’s a track I was working on after a few more small mods to the Sausage Factory – my take on a classic 80’s pop song: