#1
Summer vacation's about to end but I'd like to continue improving my hand at modding/building my own equipment.

I am pretty much a beginner at electronics and don't really have a firm grasp on soldering yet. What would GB&C recommend for me to improve what I listed above?

1.) Building very basic gear-related pedals/amps/etc?
or
2.) Modding basic pedals?

Sorry if my post is a bit confusing. I'll summarize it here:
-I want to improve my grasp on electronics and soldering. Where should I start and what materials should I have?
#2
I would start with modding pedals, like a crybaby wah (like I did to begin). Then, as you are more comfortable working with them and soldering, then go on to making your own pedals.

When making a pedal from scratch, I recommend testing the circuit on a breadboard before actually soldering.
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#3
Modding and building your own stuff is good. If you wanna know more about electronics, you should try to learn some theory(yeah it's like guitar). If you don't know anything, learn ohm's law, the terminology, what components/tools are. Do not tackle more advanced stuff like transistors/FETS/tubes, audio, etc unless you have a good grasp of ohm's law and basic stuff. Google is your friend I'd say.

A soldering iron(25w will do), solder, unsoldering braid/pump(braid is usually prefered, pumps can end up burning the traces) is the very basic. You could want to get a multimeter too, if you wanna try repairing stuff. There are costier devices like scopes that are very very useful, but if you're just a beginner a multimeter is enough. You can get a relativly good one for 50$ or so. I can help you with the minimum specs you should be looking for.

For enclosures, you're gonna need a drill, a press-drill preferably. If you wanna do amps, you need stuff to do wood too. I haven't worked with those a lot so far(have none of the said machines).

If you wanna improve at soldering, the key is practice. Get an empty pcb at a local electronics store and buy a bunch of resistors, and some wires. And practice. Solder wires together, and solder resistors on the pcb. Read a guide on google that shows you the basic. That's pretty much all there is to it. Depending on the person, it shouldn't take more then a few hours to be good at it.
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a girl on the interwebz?

You have 2 options.

1. Tits.
2. GTFO.

#5
Thanks Spike I'll look into everything in a bit of detail within the next day.

I think I'll start with just basic soldering practice right now and the materials that go with it. My physics class last year did a couple chapters on electronics and Ohm's Law that helped, even though that was the lowest grade I got all year (favorite subject too, ha!)

I'll look into possibly some "x for Dummies" books if there are any and some guides on Google too.
#6
Quote by polishedbullet
Thanks Spike I'll look into everything in a bit of detail within the next day.

I think I'll start with just basic soldering practice right now and the materials that go with it. My physics class last year did a couple chapters on electronics and Ohm's Law that helped, even though that was the lowest grade I got all year (favorite subject too, ha!)

I'll look into possibly some "x for Dummies" books if there are any and some guides on Google too.


A book is a good idea. A good one with some exercises definatly helps. I used one that I love for school, unfortunatly it's only in french. Altho I'm pretty sure you can learn a lot just from google.

Just thought I'd add, some people are more technical then "scientific". There's loads of formulas that you don't really need to know. Some are more useful depending on the device(audio, video, etc), but a technician(or casual "electronician") don't need to know everything.

Try to avoid wikipedia, it usually has loads of formula's that you just won't understand.
Quote by MH400
a girl on the interwebz?

You have 2 options.

1. Tits.
2. GTFO.

#7
I think I'll ask my local guitar/AV/everything tech on what he used to brush up his technique and knowledge.

I know he went to college, so that's out of the question. But the man knows his stuff. Maybe I'll ask if I can shadow him for a week or something..
#8
Quote by polishedbullet
I think I'll ask my local guitar/AV/everything tech on what he used to brush up his technique and knowledge.

I know he went to college, so that's out of the question. But the man knows his stuff. Maybe I'll ask if I can shadow him for a week or something..


Seems like a good idea, but maybe he won't like having someone spying on him while he works. But who knows, you can always ask.

The way I see it, there are really two aspects to learning electronics;

-The theory(at least the bases).
-Experience(the most important imo). The best way I think is to have a basic knowledge, and to try and spot malfunctions/defect components in a device. You can also take some of your stuff, open it and just look at it, "studying". Like, open up a guitar amp, and try to spot the power supply section, try to spot the power amp section, etc.

And I think, theory, you can buy it. You can pay for college, etc. Experience on the other hand is priceless.

EDIT: Dunno about how school works in the US, but here in Quebec Canada we have technical schools. I'm taking a class in electronics troubleshooting/repairing, it cost me like 100$ for two years, and it's really worth it. If such schools exist in the US you could probably find a decent program that doesn't cost too much and doesn't require 10 years of studies.
Quote by MH400
a girl on the interwebz?

You have 2 options.

1. Tits.
2. GTFO.

Last edited by Spike6sic6 at Aug 4, 2010,