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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How to interact and keep up-to-date with mklec

One of the goals of mklec is to provide a place where community happens and also to keep our customers in the loop on what’s new.  This can be challenging since there are numerous options on how to go about this and at the same time avoid “spamming” you all.  We’ve decided the best option for us is to skip the old traditional “forums” and instead embrace Google Plus Communities.  Google Plus is a bit mysterious at first, but as we and many others have come to discover, it’s a really neat place to socialize and we feel it will best suit our needs.

So if you’re looking for where to stay in touch, interact, and share your thoughts and ideas, join our Google+ Community by visiting https://plus.google.com/b/103224811971762486908/communities/107357178167880744756.

And you can contact us directly if you need help or have questions: http://mklec.com/information/contact

Have a great weekend and thanks for being awesome!

Small 2-inch Empty Plastic Wire Spools / Solder Bobbins

A few weeks ago, I began searching for a source of small empty plastic wire spools and was amazed to find how difficult it was to locate a supplier for these.  If you only want a few spools, the challenge becomes even greater.  I noticed many people were looking for spools to wind loose hookup wire they had purchased onto and no answers were found.  Well we found a supplier that offers them at a great price and since we were eager to sell our hookup wire on spools, we bought hundreds of them.

3x2 small black plastic spools3x2 small black plastic spools

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