That ugly board I posted in my first installment was supposed to be a high-end vintage-design compressor, but a few things went wrong along the way. First, I ordered audiophile resistors. For some reason, I decided that expensive resistors would make a big sound difference. I have no idea what put this into my head, but I was determined to use Roderstein resistors. I ordered the resitors online and they got shipped with my big order. When the parts arrived, it turned out that they were over twice as fat as regular resistors. When I was assembling the board, it was like stuffing hot dogs into a pencil case. Not pretty.
My second mistake was in making the actual board. To make my board, I downloaded a PDF and printed it to transparency paper. I put this on top of a photo-etch board under my UV lamp, then etched it in two chemical baths. I drilled hundreds of holes and started installing parts. You start with resistors because they’re small (except in my case, see above) and then work up to the big parts. When I installed the IC sockets they seemed too big, i drilled another hole and figured I was using a different brand than the designer or something. When I finally got to installing the transformers I realised my giant error: the board was too small. Apparently the printer settings were set to “scale to page” when I printed my board (which was from Sweden and probably laid out on A4 paper). By now I had close to 50 hours into the project, maybe more, so I pressed on. I drilled more holes and ran jumpers, but it was too late. Between my giant parts and my tiny board, there were probably shorts all over the place.
I won’t even go into the FIRST project I tried to build, a mic preamp on a board I designed myself from a schematic and Analog Devices application notes. Lots of rub-on transfers and sharpie marks to create the board traces. Lets just say that one was even less successful. Or the last power supply I attempted that didn’t work before I swore off DIY for a few years.
So now here I am, several failed projects in my wake, about to invest hundreds into building a modular synth. Hopefully the last few projects have prepared me for these kits.
Even though none of them ever actually worked.