Building the Dumbloid Special Clone Kit

The Dumbloid Special Clone Kit is a great overdrive effects pedal kit.  In an effort to assist a customer with their build, I decided to build this kit out and see if I ran into any problems.  Here’s the story of that build.

Prerequisites

First, there’s a few things you’ll need and a few optional parts I chose to use.

 

Getting Started

First, cut your board to size.  Double/Tripple check your count before cutting because if you cut it too small, there’s no undoing it.  Use a Sharpie/permanent marker to mark where you’re going to cut it.   There’s a number of ways to cut your veroboard, here’s a few:

  • Miter/Chop Saw (My favorite)
  • Bandsaw
  • Dremel with Cutoff Wheel

Next, map out where to make your strip cuts.  Be sure to mark them on the back side of the board and not on the copper/strip side since this will give you a backwards layout.  Once again, use a permanent marker to mark them and double-check them.  For drilling them, I use a 1/8″ drill bit.

Then solder your jumper wires onto the board.  I like using CAT5 Ethernet Cable for jumper wires since it’s inexpensive, it has thin insulation that cuts down on bulkiness, and it goes a long ways.  Some people use 0 ohm wire, either will do.  I usually follow this step with soldering the resistors onto the board.

Your board should look something like this at this point.

Dumbloid Special Kit Build

Notice my jumper with the red arrow is in the wrong hole.  This took a while to troubleshoot later, but it shows how a simple mistake at this point can make a huge difference.

Next I continue by adding the diodes, polybox capacitors, ceramic disc and the polyester film capacitors.  I then add the sockets and usually save the electrolytic capacitors for last.  The order is more of a matter of preference, I usually do it based on clearance space to add the components and the rigidness of the parts.

 

Sockets For Your IC and Transistors

As I mentioned earlier, these are optional, but highly recommended.  Not only do they prevent accidental overheating of your parts, but they make changing out these parts very simple.  But why would you change them out?  Well, if they ever are faulty or if you decide to experiment with other parts, you’ll appreciate this.  Different transistors will yield different characteristics and will affect the circuit’s performance differently.  Since transistors are very inexpensive, it can be fun to experiment with a few to see what the results are.  Same goes with the op amp IC.  At the very least, I almost always socket the IC chips and JFETs.

Your build will probably look something like this at this point.  I’m missing the 1uF capacitor here.

Dumbloid Special Kit Build

Finishing Up The Board

The last steps I take are to solder the wires for the off-board wiring and then install the IC chip and transistors.  If you notice in the following picture, the LED is now a green one instead of a red one.  I changed it while troubleshooting the circuit.  I used a green one simply because it was the most convenient one at the moment.  Whether it’s green or red won’t matter, I just didn’t re-install the red one.  The problem of course was the misplaced jumper wire and you can see it’s corrected in this picture.

Dumbloid Special Kit Build - Finished

Final Thoughts

This pedal sounds great and has a pretty dynamic range of adjustment.  I will try and add an off-board wiring tutorial soon and will base it off of this build since the potentiometers can be a little confusing.  This one also has a toggle switch, so it makes a great candidate for demonstrating how to do your off-board wiring.

Why doesn’t the LED on the board light up?

It appears it wasn’t designed to do so in this circuit.  Instead, it’s being used for it’s properties as a diode and not for it’s light-emitting capabilities.  So don’t worry or consider it defective if it doesn’t light up.

Leave a Reply