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.

Sincerely,

 

David Miles

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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Announcing Our New mklec mk-vb26 Veroboards

We’re excited to announce a new product we now carry: the mklec mk-vb26 veroboard.  We had these manufactured based on our specs and they look awesome.  Since the price of veroboards tend to be high and there are very limited sizes to choose from as far as the smaller boards are concerned, we decided to have some custom made to suit many of our veroboard layouts.  Not only that, we’re able to offer them at a great price that is sure to please.

mklec mk-vb26 veroboard
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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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