I realized that I had not done anything with the Arduino relating to motors or servos so I decided to rectify that. I made a quick potentiometer controlled servo. Rotating the pot rotates the servo in a one-to-one fashion. Simple. Quick. Done.
This morning, I clipped the perf board from the connectors, resoldered a few loose connections, and reattached the audio jacks. I removed the push switch entirely since I didn't wire it up correctly to start it. I had it in an on/off configuration instead of an on/bypass. After all this, the pedal magically worked! There must have been a loose connection somewhere, or I had wired the switched so poorly that I was unknowingly shorting the circuit.
I am posting the promised video. This one is shot by a 5 year old. My apologies, but it was either that or hearing "What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?" throughout the duration of the video. The video is short and sonically unknind, but it demonstrates that the pedal works. I am also including a short audio clip of a few short riffs showing the range of the pedal. I'm sure you can hear my kids talking in the background. Also, I got distracted at the end and you can hear why.
Next step it so make some more effects and put them all in the same case with a selector switch of some sort. Exciting!
Today, I attempted to make a prototype of my little fuzzbox from before. I figured that if I put it in some shielded box, that might cut out some of the radio noise. Also, when I fired the fuzzbox up today, the interference wasn't nearly as bad and the distortion was much louder. I had resoldered some of the connections so perhaps that was the issue.
I purchased a project box, a push switch, and a handful of NPN transistors from Radio Shack on the way home from working at the library. I swapped out the transistors and replaced the diodes with different sorts of LEDs but the fuzz box sounded pretty much the same no matter what I did. I like the sound. It only really makes a difference through the middle pickup on my Fender Highway One Stratocaster and even then, it is most noticeable on the low notes. It is a very limited pedal.
I decided to go ahead and transfer my circuit to a perf board. After drilling out the project box, soldering the perf board, and wiring up the jacks and the switch, the pedal does not work. I spent over an hour troubleshooting and found some mistakes, but after fixing them, the pedal still does not work. I think I will just start again from scratch as I have all the parts. Anyway, I thought I would share some photos from the adventure. When I have a working pedal, I will make a video.
Also, I'm not a fan of soldering.
Today, I put about an hour of effort into creating a guitar effect pedal. I figured I would start small and aimed to reproduce Mike Hayworth's simple distortion pedal since I had most of the parts already. I picked up some diodes, the mono jacks, and the NPN transistor from the Radio Shack down the street.
The first thing I learned when putting the circuit together is that soldering copper wire to the mono jacks is a pain. I could not get the solder to stick to the jack for the life of me. I must be missing some Soldering 101 skills.
After assembling the circuit, I did some minor troubleshooting (including realizing I neglected the k at the end of the resistor values--hot transistor is hot) and plugged it in between my guitar and amp to find a very pleasant fuzz effect. I would include a video, but there are two things I would like to troubleshoot. The first is that the pedal is not very loud so I need to figure out how to boost the outgoing signal. The second and most important problem is that the pedal is a fantastic radio receiver for a local station. It was very hard to her the pedal over the obnoxious radio broadcast that was being amplified through my tube amp. Once I resolve those two problems, I will permanently solder the project into a perf board and make a video. My overall goal is to make several different pedals and to be able to select though them, possibly with an Arduino interface. Below is a photo of the project so far (note, the 9V batter is not attached). Pretty simple, no?