DIY Guitar Effects Pedal Kit Build Tutorial – Part 1

I’m working on rolling out a series of pedal kit build tutorials that walks you through building one of our tagboardeffects DIY guitar effects pedal kits and here’s the first part of that series.  One of the goals I’ve had for a while now is to try and make it as easy as possible for people new to building electronic circuits to do so and our guitar effects pedal kits are a great way to dive in.  So I am creating a complete walk-through of building a kit, showing you step-by-step how to do it and explaining it well enough that you should be able to build your first kit with minimal problems.

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Mklec Rotary Encoder PCB Tutorial

I’ve recently added our new rotary encoder PCB for use with most standard 5-pin rotary encoders.  I think these stand out from other similar products because multi-application was one of the key concepts in the design of the PCB.  I’ve also added 100nF capacitors to cut the debounce problem associated with rotary encoders, so there’s no need to add additional off-board components for this reason.  I’ve also added 10K resistors for the purpose of limiting current and as pull up resistors.  If you’d like your PCB(s) without these components pre-installed, contact me.

You can get these at

mklec rotary encoder pcb
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How much does it cost to ship to my country?

We get asked this question a lot, so I’ve decided to create this brief tutorial explaining how to get a shipping quote for your order.

  1. Add the desired products to your shopping cart.
  2. Go to “View Cart” (
  3. Under the section “What Would You Like To Do Next?”, choose “Estimate Shipping & Taxes”:
    Estimate Shipping

  4. You should see the following options appear.  Simply enter your information and click “Get Quote” and you’ll get the different shipping rates available for your location.

    Estimate Shipping Info

GreatScott! LED Color Organ PCB Kit

Following the success of our partnership with GreatScott! and the launch of the GreatScott! LED Color Organ Kit, we’re happy to introduce the new PCB version of this kit.  With some careful thought and consideration, we’ve come up with a version that is more practical, easier to build,  visually appealing, and flexible in how you choose to use it. GreatScott! LED Color Organ PCB v1.0 Read more

TRRS and TRS Plugs and Sockets Explained

This tutorial will explain the differences between 3-pole (TRS) and 4-pole (TRRS) plugs and sockets.
If you’ve ever tried connecting a headset/microphone designed for one particular manufacturer’s phone to another and it didn’t work, it may be because the pinout was wrong.
I ran into this recently with the Movo PM10 Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and trying to use it with other devices, such as a camcorder, etc.
We sell the different parts to do your own prototyping and make your own custom cables/devices, however it doesn’t do much good if you don’t understand the pinout as it relates to your device.  So hopefully this article will help you better understand these pinouts.

For this article, I will be focusing on standard 3.5mm (1/8″) TRS and TRRS plugs and sockets.
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How To Use IIC/I2C Serial Interface Module For 1602 LCD Display

This tutorial demonstrates how to use our FC-113 IIC/I2C Serial Interface Adapter Module For 1602 LCD Display.  These serial interface modules simplifies connecting an Arduino to a 1602 Liquid Crystal display using only 4 wires.  This module uses the PCF8574T IC chip.

IIC/I2C Serial Interface Adapter Module For 1602 LCD Display tutorial
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New Changes To Kits In 2015

Here we are, 2015.  As the new year dawns, I’ve been thinking of ways to improve our guitar effects kits.  You all have been very helpful by giving us your feedback and we’ve taken all of those things into consideration.  Here’s what’s changing with the kits as of January 1, 2015:

DIP Sockets & Header Pins Included

We are going to include our female header pins and DIP sockets necessary for the transistors and IC chips in the kits.  Even though they’re optional, we highly recommend them and so we’re going to include them in the kits.  Not only do they help prevent damaging the parts with overheating, but they also allow you to experiment with other transistors and IC chips if you’re willing to tinker in hopes of finding a new tone.

Changing Included DC Chassis Socket

Many of our customers have no need for a “switched” socket since they don’t want to put a battery in their pedal and the extra terminal does more to confuse people than to help.  So all kits purchased this year will include the smaller, non-switched DC Plastic Power Socket that we think you’ll appreciate.  If you would rather have the Switched DC Chassis Socket that we’ve included in the kits in the past, simply mention it when you purchase your kit(s) and we’ll gladly change it out for you.

Color Veroboard Layout

Some of you have already seen these since we made this changeover in early December.  We’ve added a color laser printer and now print the veroboard layouts that come with the kits in color.  They’re prettier!

Enclosure LED Resistor

We’re adding a 2.2K Ohm Carbon Film resistor to the kits for the enclosure LED.  We realized there was nothing indicating the need for this and so we’ll add one in for convenience.  A lower value resistor can be used if you desire a brighter LED, but we’ve chosen the 2.2K since it’s safe for a larger range of input voltages and will dim the LED a little bit so it’s not glaring bright in darker settings.

What’s next?

We will continue to work on making improvements to the kits if we think they’ll make them more helpful and easier to you.  It’s important that you send us your questions and/or concerns because this helps us to know what’s lacking and how we can make it better.

We’ll be working on a series of instructional material to better help people new to effects pedal kit building.  Based on feedback, we realize that such a resource would be very helpful and so we’re going to try and get that done in the near future.  Until then, keep the tagboardeffects’ Greeny’s Vero Build Guide in mind for beginner how-to and then the Fault Finding a Build guide in mind for troubleshooting techniques.  They also have a Forum where you can ask questions and find answers from other very knowledgeable builders.

Thanks for making 2014 a great year and we hope 2015 is an even better year.

Merry Christmas from mklec

Merry Christmas from mklec inc

Christmas time is upon us.  While we are celebrating this time and reflecting upon the year as it’s nearing it’s end, I can’t help but feel a great sense of thankfulness for all of the wonderful people we’ve had a privilege of serving in 2014.  I’ve had a lot of fun and have lost a lot of sleep in the process, but it has been great.  I know we’re looking forward to serving you all and many more new customers in the year 2015 and I certainly hope it’s even better than this one has been.

But aside from all of this, we are looking forward to having some time visiting our families and enjoying some much needed downtime near the end of this month.  So from December 20th – 28th, we are going to be out of the office and therefore closed, although our online store will still be open and we’ll try to respond to any emails you send us.  You will still be able to place orders, but they will not be shipped until we return on the 28th.  Our eBay store will be closed during this time and will reopen around that same time.  We apologize if this causes anyone any inconvenience and we’ll do our best to get your order shipped out ASAP upon our return.

We want to sincerely thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for being such excellent customers and we hope you enjoy this holiday season with your family and friends and have yourselves a very Merry Christmas.



David Miles