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lasermonkey

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Everything posted by lasermonkey

  1. Just bought some effect circuit boards. I usually make my own using stripboard, but certain effects, especially modulation types, are quite complex and end up being overly large. Printed circuit boards have a distinct advantage here. The guy was doing a special offer of £5 each including postage. I have built a few of his boards before and was impressed. The PCBs I bought are clones of three chorus pedals (Arion SCH-1, Boss CE-2 and EXH Small Clone) plus a flanger (EXH Electric Mistress). I had an Arion SCH-1 back in the 80s, but sold it to a friend. This was before they became popular and the price went through the roof! This particular clone doesn’t have the stereo output, but I will probably add one if there’s room. I have already built a CE-2 clone which has a stereo output and a couple of switches, but that needed to go in a larger enclosure. Having a smaller, simpler one may well come in useful. I never did have a Small Clone, so it seemed worth getting hold of. I expect I will build a stripboard version at some point and modify the living daylights out if it, but for now, this will suffice. I do have a vintage EHX Clone Theory pedal which a friend gave to me as it was broken. I managed to fix it quickly and he seemed particularly annoyed about that! The Electric Mistress is another pedal that I never got around to buying or building before. I have said before that the EM is a flanger for people that don’t like flangers. An unpopular opinion, but I’m full of those! My reasoning is that the delay time on the EM is on the higher end for a flanger, heading towards chorus territory. It’s no surprise then that the effect sounds like a very chorusy flanger! Compared to my favourite flanger pedal, the Boss BF-2, I don’t think you can get anywhere near the intense jet plane effect of the Boss pedal. That said, it is a distinctive sound and one I don’t currently have. Another trick it has is a switch to disable the LFO. This results in a hollow, resonant clanging sound that featured heavily on one of my favourite Cure songs (Siamese Twins). Now, you can get some incredibly cheap EM clones in mini pedal format, such as the Mooer Elec Lady, but I’m not keen on the mini pedal format and these cheap clones have reliability issues with their horrible SMD components and crappy lead-free solder (as opposed to good quality lead-free solder) which makes them prone to dry joints and general failures. Anyway, I thought twenty quid for four circuit boards was a bit of a bargain. I already have most of the components, as I build pedals for my business. I just need to get a few enclosures in.
  2. The eyed hawk moth. Pics aren’t great, as it was obscured by leaves. This was the best I could get.
  3. Yesterday afternoon saw a Hawker Cygnet repro fly over, presumably from Old Warden. That was a first. Also saw a Chipmunk and a couple of Spitfires. A walk later in the afternoon produced the first hummingbird hawk moth of the year, more small tortoiseshells than you could shake a stick at, meadow browns, large skippers and plenty of damselflies. Later that night I had an eyed hawk moth in the garden, this being the first time I have seen one. I managed to get a few snaps which I shall add later if possible. So far today there's been a Spitfire, which did a lap of the village.
  4. I'll try Hobby Photos. It was the only hosting site I have been able to use for some time due to my iMac, OS and browsers being incompatible with every other hosting site I have tried. Nope. That doesn't work either any more. I’ll try with my iPad: The Tonebender (SST or Super Silicon Tonebender) The Cinnabar, which is the 1979 V3 red/black Big Muff clone The Hornet Moth is a clone of the Jordan Creator Model 6000 from 1972 or thereabouts. The Red Admiral is a clone of the Red Army Overdrive, the first of the Russian-built Big Muffs. If this doesn’t work, I’m kinda stuffed!
  5. I’m getting the 500 error message a lot lately, with an unusual amount of failure to load more content. This is on both my elderly iMac and new iPad.
  6. It’s weird. They were there when I was typing. Two disappeared when I posted and now they’ve all gone. Probably because I’m using Google Photos. I don’t have any other means of hosting the photos, due to running an ancient iMac and it’s equally prehistoric OS. Not sure what else I can do, to be honest.
  7. Well, that sucks. I hate acrylics.
  8. Not strictly new, as I had built it ages ago, but it had issues and I have only just got it working again after sitting on my other shelf of doom for years. Anyway, this: It's a fuzz pedal and is a hybrid of the Tonebender Mk II Professional with a tweaked Mk III tonestack (and a buffer in between) , silicon transistors rather than germanium ones and some extra modifications. I had built a simpler version years ago and that was one of the very first pedals I made. That was a popular DIY design which apparently several people came up with independently, but didn't prevent them from accusing each other of stealing their designs. Awkward. I liked the pedal, but felt more could be had from the circuit. On the original, there was a Thin/Fat switch and this toggled between two input capacitors. Basically, the larger the value, the more low-end is let into the circuit. Rather than have an either/or, I now use a potentiometer to blend between the two. I also decreased the smaller of the two input caps from 10nF to 4.7nF, so it will now go from very thin and bright to huge amounts of low-end. The other mod was to add a potentiometer after the feedback resistor on the Darlington pair. As this is increased, you can get massive amounts of saturation, compression and "sag". Combined with the input cap filer (named sub-sonic on the pedal) you can get everything from tight, bright distortion to monstrous, squishy fuzz. It seems I wasn't the only one inspired by the original pedal, as the Basic Audio Scarab Deluxe is very similar indeed and has the same input cap blend as on mine, just going to show that two people really can come up with the same idea independently. His pedal has an adjustable bias rather than my saturation. I'm very pleased with how this one turned out. I also finished this one again. I say again, as when I originally built it, it didn't have the bit of the circuit for the toggle switch. It's a clone of a 1979 Version 3 Red/Black Big Muff. This was the first version to have the tone bypass switch (as it suggests, this disconnects the tone circuit, allowing the full frequency range through). It's the version favoured by Dinosaur Jr.* guitarist J. Mascis. It's possibly the version of the Big Muff with the most gain. It's pretty aggressive sounding, especially with the tone bypass This one was also finished to my satisfaction. It's a clone of the Jordan Creator Model 6000 which itself was a clone of the EHX Big Muff pedal from around 1972. The Model 6000 was not a dead-on copy, featuring low-gain transistors and a modified tonestack. I added my own usual mods, including the mids control (Big Muffs famously have varying amounts of "mid scoop" due to the nature of the tone circuit) to help cut through in a full-band situation and the treble pass capacitors which prevent treble loss when the volume and sustain controls are turned down. This is more of a distortion than a fuzz and has its own flavour. And another BM clone I finished recently, this time of the V7 Red Army Overdrive. This was the first version built in Russia after Electro Harmonix went belly-up in 1984. IIRC, Mike Matthew's new company was initially called Sovtek and they made several ex-Electro Harmonix pedals until production moved back to the USA and was rebranded as EHX. This version has the least amount of gain of all the EHX Muff variants and sounds closer to the JC6000 than any EHX BM. Not as much boomy bass as the second Russian-Made variant (the so-called Civil War and Green Russian Muffs). I think I have some eight different Big Muff clones now, but I'm far from finished, as there's a huge number of variants and sub-variants, all having different sounds.
  9. A Nerf gun, second-hand off eBay. It’s to scare off a neighbour’s pigeons which have suddenly decided to raid our garden and nick all the bird food. I love having wild birds in the garden (including a robin which will feed from my hand) but kinda resent paying to feed someone else’s pets. Especially when they’re not cats. A Nerf dart up the backside might make them reconsider.
  10. Very sad indeed. I have a huge number of his decal sheets plus some of his books. Back when I used to frequent Hyperscale Jerry was a regular poster and I learnt much about Fw 190Ds from him. Rest well, Jerry.
  11. It was the F-4B/N. The seller refunded me before i could start the returns process, so I guess he didn’t want the kit back. I have pored through the instructions from the various Hasegawa Phantom kits to see what is left over and I have managed to scrape together several parts which were missing. I can scratch the cockpit assembly, rear instrument panel and gear bay roof by copying the parts from one of my other kits. The fairing for the rear of the canopy will be a bit more tricky and I think I willl try to get a mould from another kit using oyumaru and cast with epoxy putty. The ejection seats should be easy to acquire. So maybe not such a bad result after all.
  12. I think there was a thread here a couple of weeks ago about Alclad UK. I believe they are going to rebrand themselves and are apparently updating the website. That does seem to have been going on for quite some time though, so maybe something else is going on.
  13. Damn. Her voice was a huge part of Twin Peaks’s atmosphere. R.I.P. Julee and thank you for the music.
  14. I see your point, but it doesn’t really work for me. I need a lot of kit for the money and the bit of me that is on the spectrum will not tolerate anything that doesn’t fit that. I can’t comprehend anyone spending £20+ on a single-engined WW2 fighter, for example. It just seems like madness to me, no matter how nice the kit may be. I’d just feel cheated. I know that to many, having the most accurate kit is the overriding factor, but to me the point of diminishing returns is rather lower than I suspect it is for everyone else. Anyway, whenever I have had a second hand kit arrive with bits missing, I have always been refunded. It’s just disappointing when it happens.
  15. They’re out if my price range, unfortunately. While I’m sure the service is great, you do pay the very top end of the going rate. Anyway, I got my refund and it seems he doesn’t want the kit back.
  16. For crying out loud. The Hasegawa Phantom has arrived and guess what? Loads of parts are missing. Pretty much all the cockpit bits, the ejection seats, forward wheel bay and gear doors. It took me all of ten seconds to see how much was missing from the frames. It'll be going back for a refund. The Academy A-10 that I bought from the same seller had been started, despite having been described as unstarted. However, it's just the engine nacelles and it was just a fiver (including postage), so I'll let that slide. I hate having to rely on cheap, second-hand kits, but that's the state of the hobby for me now. It's bloomin' depressing.
  17. My frequent stalking of eBay has paid off again. I managed to snag the Air Craft 1/72 RAF Washingtons decal sheet/ etched brass fret that I’ve been after for ages. The seller has a set in both 1/48 and 1/144, if you’re interested.
  18. A couple of bargains off eBay: first was a Revell 1/72 Mi-24V (the reboxed Zvezda kit) and the second was a Zvezda 1/72 Su-27UB. The Sukhoi will most certainly be finished as a Ukrainian machine and if possible, so will the Mi-24. edit: both second-hand, as I wouldn’t be buying Zvezda brand new right now.
  19. If you had told me that was 1/32 not only would I have believed you, I would have thought you’d done an outstanding job on it. This is simply exquisite.
  20. I’ve always thought that XF81 was a touch light for Dark Green, but it looks about right on the models here, IMO.
  21. Also an FS 595b fandeck. I already have a 595b ring binder, but the fandeck is that bit more portable. I’ve been after one for a while and the very few I have seen always gone for much more. This was fifteen quid. Result! A bid on a couple of perfect* germanium transistors was successful. These will be used for fuzz pedals. *The thing with fuzz pedals is that you can’t just whack a few transistors in there and expect it to work properly. Even with silicon transistors, you need to make sure the current gain (or hfe) is in the right range for the position in the circuit. With germanium you also have to factor in the leakage current. With certain fuzz pedals the circuit may rely on either leaky or non- leaky transistors, depending on the pedal. In the case of the Tonebender Mk III/IV and Buzzaround, the last transistor needs to be quite leaky (around 400uA-600uA) and have a gain of around 100-130 (130-150 for a Buzzaround) and finding one can be incredibly frustrating unless someone has already gone to the effort of measuring them for you! These two were perfect for a Buzzaround, one of my favourite fuzz pedals, so I’m very happy with that.
  22. An Academy A-10A and a Hasegawa (newer tool) F-4 off that eBay for fifteen quid the pair, posted. Both 1/72, obvs. I’ve bought from the seller before, so I have a certain optimism that everything will be ok. The version of F-4 wasn’t stated, but to be honest, for the money, I’m not really bothered. I mean, Phantoms are super, aren’t they?
  23. Sally B just flew right over my house, heading toward Duxford. I’m guessing it was around 2000ft or less.
  24. A few more old Airfix enamel paints for the collection. I need just three colours now (G12 Copper, M8 Duck Egg Blue and M16 Vellum) for a complete set.
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