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BYOC Mouse built

Discussion in 'DIY Effects Forum' started by Wayne, May 8, 2019.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Strat-Talker

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    I just finished building a BYOC mouse. Had some trouble because of a backwards electrolytic capacitor, but worked through it.

    It's BYOC's take on the Fat Rat distortion. Sounds good!

    Check it out:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. MrNeutron

    MrNeutron Strat-Talker

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    Pretty cool! :cool: :thumb:

    I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions here......

    Was this fairly easy to build? Would someone who can solder pots, pickups, and output jacks be capable of doing one of these? Is the quality of the kit (components, instructions, & etc.) decent? And does it pretty much do what you like it to do?

    I've been nosing around on byoc's website, looking at their copy of an Ibanez Tube Screamer called The Classic Overdrive. I can't seem to find any bargains on used overdrives, and do have the time to build one..........
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Strat-Talker

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    Hi Mr. Neutron. In terms of difficulty, I would call this one intermediate. Soldering-wise, I found it about as hard as doing an output jack. Populating the circuit board was really not too bad. I have a nice Weller soldering station. The tricky part was getting it all into the box and then pulling it apart and troubleshooting when I screwed up.

    Quality of components is ok, I suppose. I'm no expert on boutique resisters or capacitors. The stuff looked and felt ok to solder. The board was thick and sort of withstood my abuse when I pried out the capacitor I screwed up. Well the traces around it broke but the board itself didn't crack.

    I was a little disappointed in the instructions. They're laid out across like 20 pages with huge pictures. But a lot of stuff is copied and pasted and some of it was not up to date, like the bit about the covers on the pots. And even now that they fixed it, I prefer my way of leaving the covers on and cutting out a small bit to theirs of removing the covers and then having to worry about insulating or spacing them from the back of the PCB. There were some little things like how they told you to use a clipping from the resistor on the footswitch. I used a clipping from something else because the resistor clippings looked thin and frail.

    The enclosure is small for the amount of stuff that goes in it. Nice if you need space on your pedalboard but as a beginner it was hard for me. I could not get four pots plus a switch plus an LED to line up easily. It looks to me like many of their designs prioritize space efficiency over ease of assembly.

    I would have liked a painted enclosure option for the mouse.

    The knobs rub if inserted all the way onto the posts. I had to back off a fraction of an inch and they work fine.

    The germanium diodes are not clearly marked as to polarity and stressed me out quite a bit. I had to consult the forum and sit on that step overnight.

    The BYOC forum is excellent. Quick help and they are some patient dudes. Downside is they kind of insist you send them a pic. And there seem to be a lot of guys there who know nothing except to tell you you probably have a cold solder joint. So I ended up having to learn how to troubleshoot with a multimeter on my own, which was really useful because it got me focused in where I found the problem. I'm not complaining, just letting you know. If you need everything spelled out for you exactly, this is not the hobby you want to be in. There's so much crap that you have to figure out, I don't think any company could anticipate everything you need to know. It is rewarding in retrospect to develop those soft skills but was kind of frustrating at the time.

    All in all it was fun and I will probably do another BYOC someday. I also have my eye on a Mammoth kit and some cheap chinese kits on Ebay.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  4. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

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    I have read good reviews about BYOC. I had an itch for a fuzz pedal a few years back and decided to go another route because of price, but mostly because they were out of stock for what I wanted. I went with https://guitarpcb.com/ instead. They sell just PCBs with good instructions. They also have a forum and will email you back if you have a question. I sourced most of my parts at Fry's, which is a big box electronics store, including the metal box. I think the build was a lot less than BYOC, but TBH stuff adds up and I wasn't really too worried about cost. But it was a lot of fun and I was happy with the result. I'll do it again sometime. Probably took a good 2-3 weeks of spare time, but if you were organized and had everything you needed, it could be done in a weekend. In my case I had to go back to the store a few times and order some stuff online. Either way building your own pedal is a great experience.
     
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  5. MrNeutron

    MrNeutron Strat-Talker

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    Wayne,

    Thank you SO MUCH for a really great, detailed answer! That is a tremendous help, and is very much appreciated. Again, thanks for taking the time to "pull out the Really Big Crayons" and help me out here!

    I guess, since the price isn't too awfully bad, and it seems like help is around, I might try one of their kits. The instructions I looked at for their Classic Overdive seemed pretty decent, but having no past experience or knowledge, I really have nothing to compare with. The amount of knowledge I have about electronics (especially guitar related) could easily slide up a Fea's butt, I suppose...... The only thing is I did find a Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive for a price close to the Build You Own Clone kit. Maybe at my skill level, it might be a better way to go; I dunno. I'm on the fence, I guess.....

    Added in EDIT: One thing I am a tiny bit concerned about is wadding all that stuff up into the small box they have in the Kit's little project box. And that's with one less pot than you have on yours. I normally don't fare well on tinier projects like that.....

    Stratomatt,
    Thank you for your input as well. Now, you pretty much "rolled your own", mostly, on your build? You have my utmost respect here, Sir! :thumb:

    Thanks for lettin' me know about Fry's selling components like resistors & such. I had no idea they sold that sorta stuff. I usually only go there for weird cables I need for our tv and stuff like that. Seems like all the Radio Shack stores and places I used to buy resistors at for modding a Powerstroke diesel have all closed around here. There's a Fry's within about a 45 min. drive from my home.... And Stratomatt, as an old "motocross-racer-turned-Trials-rider", your avatar is a hoot! :D
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  6. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast Strat-Talk Supporter

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  7. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    I have also done several BYOC pedals and they are really nice kits. Their quality is among the best I have dealt with in terms of prepackaged kits go. I have used them for both mod platforms as well as leaving them stock. Most of their products are pretty close to what they are emulating. I have built several Silver Pony pedals that are Klones, a heavily modded envelope filter/fixed wah that is also now a light actuated wah pedal and an Analog Chorus pedal (older model that is not a CE2 clone). All of them were really solid and work well. I still have two of them on my board after several years of use. The others were sold to fund other projects. I really like BYOC products.
     
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