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” (http://mklec.com/checkout/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

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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Building the MXR Phase 45 Clone Kit

We added the MXR Phase 45 clone kit today, but before we did, I built one to test it.  I was concerned with making sure the phase shifts as it is designed to do and we didn’t want to start selling them until we were sure it worked.  What I discovered was one of my favorite kits so far.  This kit sounds AMAZING!  I went ahead and tested all of the 2N5952 pairs for the kits to make sure the phasing works correctly with them and they all passed.
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Building the Dyna Red Distortion Clone Kit

The Dyna Red Distortion Clone Kit was one requested by one of our customers and it’s a great sounding distortion pedal.  It’s “lighter” than the Devi Ever Hyperion Clone Kit and slightly more complex to build, but it’s still a pretty easy build and one that doesn’t disappoint.
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How To Fix Logitech Trackman Trackball Mouse Button

I’m a fan of the Logitech Trackman mice and have been for years. These have been the most sensible solution to cluttered or limited spaces where moving a mouse around just isn’t practical. But after heavy/long-term use, it seems inevitable the index finger button will start malfunctioning. It seems to start randomly double-clicking when single clicking or begin to work in other similarly strange ways. The unfortunate thing is these aren’t the cheapest mice either, usually starting at around $30 – $40 each.

Logitech Trackman Trackball Mouse
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Guitar Effects Pedal Building – Offboard Wiring Demystified

Probably the most complicated thing to grasp for first time builders is in regards to the offboard wiring.  Mark at tagboardeffects has a great explanation in his Offboard wiring page, but sometimes the generic board just isn’t enough.  After all, “Where do the potentiometers go?”, “How do I wire the ground wires?”, etc. just isn’t shown in the diagrams.  So I decided I would make a practical application showing a kit completely wired (minus the jacks) so you can see how it works.
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Building The BJFE Pale Green Compressor Kit

One of our newest kits is the BJFE Pale Green Compressor Kit, which mimics the original pedal.  This is a LDR optocoupler build, relying on the Silonex NSL-32 LDR optocoupler.  Since I also chose to include a 7.5mm 1oonF Cornell Dubilier polybox capacitor in place of one of the regular poly film ones, I figured I would build this kit out and photograph it to help those who might get stumped on component placement.

Beginning The Build

The first steps I like to take is to drill the holes, then solder the jumpers onto the board.  To drill the holes, I discovered a 3/32″ Drill Bit is just the right size.
For jumper wire, I use CAT5E Cable due to it’s low-profile and thin insulation.  1 foot is plenty enough for this project.

Why drill the holes?

If you’re curious why drilling the holes might be better than just cutting the strips, here’s a few reasons I do it:

  1. Because it’s easy to see where the cuts are at on both sides of the board.
  2. It makes it less possible for solder to wick between the cuts and provides better separation.

BJFE Pale Green Compessor Kit Build - Veroboard Preparation

NOTE: The top right hole is off by 1 space.  I accidentally got this hole wrong, but it doesn’t effect the circuit so it wasn’t an issue.

Adding the resistors and diodes

The next phase I perform is adding the resistors and the diodes.  It doesn’t matter which direction the resistors go, but I took the time to align them so the values are read from bottom-to-top of the board.  For the stand-up resistors, I try and place the exposed lead of the resistor away from the leads of other components, which in this case is a capacitor and a transistor.  This is just to prevent accidental shorting between components.

For the diodes, you MUST make sure they are facing the correct direction, otherwise it won’t work.

BJFE Pale Green Compessor Kit Build - Veroboard Resistors and Diodes

Adding the voltage regulator, transistors, and capacitors

The next phase is usually the capacitors, then the transistors/voltage regulator.  I didn’t create separate photographs for them.  Be sure you pay close attention to the direction you install your electrolytic capacitors!  The polarity matters and you should double-check them before soldering them into place.  The direction of the ceramic/poly capacitors do not matter.

Pay close attention to where the 100nF Polybox capacitor (white) goes.  If you solder one of the poly film capacitors in it’s place, the leads will be too short to install them in their proper place.

Socketing the Transistors

Some people like installing sockets for the transistors so they can test other transistors and/or for other reasons.  Our header pins are great for this.  Simply trim them to the desired length and solder them in place of the transistors, then insert your transistor into them.

BJFE Pale Green Compessor Kit Build - Veroboard Capacitors

Installing the Optocoupler and NE5534 Op Amp

The Optocoupler has two sets of leads:

  1. The Long Leads – These are for the LDR (light dependent resistor).  They are not polarized.
  2. The Short Leads – These are for the LED.  They ARE polarized and the negative (-) lead is indicated by the white dot on the size of the case.  This lead should be installed closest to the 1uF electrolytic capacitor.

I took the time to carefully bend the leads and install it with aesthetic appeal taken into consideration.

I chose not to use a DIP-8 IC socket for the NE5534 Op Amp.  I recommend using the sockets since it helps prevent overheating/damaging the IC chip during soldering and makes swapping them out much easier should you need to do so.

BJFE Pale Green Compessor Kit Build - Veroboard Complete

Finishing up the build

The rest is pretty simple, so there isn’t a need to write about it at this time.  Ok, actually I haven’t finished it yet and therefore cannot write any further, but still, I think the rest is pretty simple.  I’ll post the rest once I finish building it.  If you get stumped, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to help however I can.

Building the Deep Blue Delay Kit

I want to first say we’ve got some of the best customers anyone could possibly have.  I have really enjoyed working to serve and help each of you so far and I hope this only continues to be true as we look ahead.
One of our customers was having trouble getting their Deep Blue Delay Kit to work, so I decided the best way to help is to build one out and photograph the build to give reference photos for anyone wanting to build our kits themselves and want to know exactly what it should look like.  It was fun to take a break and pull out the soldering iron.  Here’s a few notes regarding my approach to the build.
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