I thought i`d start a thread for general hints and tips, stuff you might do all the time and think everybody else knows about and does. Tonight i had my nephew and his mate over ( both pedal builders) while i was finishing off a pedal and they were surprised with 1 small aspect of my build. A while ago i noticed that i was taking a lot of care over my builds but i tiny thing was really annoying me, on some builds the knobs were turning off centre, nothing massive but to me it was really annoying. While surfing around i came across the solution. The knobs were running off centre cos i use split shaft pots and the grub screws on some knobs crushed the shafts together and the knobs ran off. The solution, when fitting the pots take the little stay pin that you have to snap off ( cos nobody drills a hole for them do they?) and it fits perfectly into the split in the shaft, bingo, no more off centre knobs. Neither of them knew about this so i thought i would share in case some of you guys were unaware of this too. Then again not everyone will be as anally retentive as i am about something as small as this :-)
If it wasn't for this website I would definitely have a life.
In any IC-based circuit, I do the section closest to the IC first. It's really frustrating to have to drop components around the socket.
My general order for building is: Cuts, links, continuity test, signal diodes, resistors, power diodes, IC socket if applicable, nonpolarized caps, and finishing with electrolytics. I also use 0 ohm resistors in lots of builds. Saves time when it comes to bending links, especially with double links.
Get good with using Layers in Gimp/Photoshop and use it to model the whole design, not just to do the graphics.
I use four layers: hardware/top, graphics, guts, drilling template.
I do the drilling template first, which is just x's where you want the holes to be. Then I do the guts. And all I do is take vector pedal art for pots and jacks and switches and put them where I want, just to make sure there's room for everything in the layout. Then I do the "hardware/top" layer, just like I do the guts layer. I just move knobs and switches over the X's from the drill template. Then you can design your graphics because you know where everything is going to be already.
It takes a while the first time you get do it to get used to it. But now I can put together a pedal with labels in 15 minutes and everything always lines up in terms of the labels and the knobs and the guts perfectly. It's even made my offboard wiring halfway respectable.
Sometimes I want to put a purty picture on the pedal so I'll mess around with the graphics layer for hours but that's optional.
I saved the URL, but it isn't actually listed in the Parts and Supplies for Sale section any more though so if anyone wants to buy it may be worth emailing them first to make sure they're still available.
If you can get them for €2 then post up a link, I'm sure everyone would be happy with that price
I get these locally at around 1.5-2EUR
It's not a webshop but if anyone is interested (hard to believe they can't be found on ebay ) I can get it and ship it pretty much anywhere.
EDIT: I forgot the fact that I think is great about this tool and it's vero building application. Unlike the other red tool, there are only five raster sizes but they correspond perfectly to vero row dimensions (7,5 / 10 / 12,5 / 15 / 17,5mm) - spanning 2/3/4/5 rows not counting the actual lead holes. Very handy.