#1
I have a pedal that is PCB based. It was working for a few years and then suddenly it stopped working.

It wouldn't activate or deactivate, but bypass works (not true bypass pedal).

I had to yank the input in/out many times to activate the pedal. Was about to throw it away (it's SMT can't solder much) until I decided to finally try to repair it myself (Have some background in this stuff)

Opened up the tact switch (hobby knife cut out the seal on all 4 corners), cleaned it up inside then reseal with tape, tested with the multimeter, just the tact switch legs. They work fine (continuity test using multimeter), but pedal still won't activate.

Left it alone for a few weeks, then decided to have a go one last time.

I used the multimeter to trace the tactile switch leg to the nearest SMT resistor's leg. Aha... no connection. So I have 2 solutions.

1. Jumper it with a thin copper cable direct to the resistor.
2. Find the actual broken trace on the pcb board.

I went for 2 because it's more challenging and fun. Eventually found the microscopic break under some epoxy/glue/gunk they used on this pedal (which probably is too acidic and ate through the board and corroded the trace)

Dripped some solder coated copper wire on the broken trace and seal with hot glue.

Finally my pedal can activate/deactivate it's function. I was going to throw this surface mounted pedal away but it's too much of a waste.

Then I was thinking, with so many of these PCB/SMT based pedals out there, would it not be a matter of time the copper trace (some copper traces are so thin, needle thin) corrode eventually from age or react with other stuff they used on it like the glue/epoxy they used to hold down battery leads?

I believe hand wired pedals should not have this problem, what do you think ? They should last for multiple decades compared to PCB pedals, especially those using surface mounted chips, since squeezing components together in a very tight and thin trace line can actually let corrosion cause more damage eventually.

This experience tells me, maybe handwired amps/pedals are probably worth it for exactly this sort of problem.
#2
If the question is between properly designed/implemented handwired and properly designed/implemented PCB, there's no difference.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#3
cheap pcb/smt isn't made to last very long. you get what you pay for. industrial grade surface mount should last forever.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#4
Quote by sfx
This experience tells me, maybe handwired amps/pedals are probably worth it for exactly this sort of problem.
Handwired amps/pedals nowadays are one of the marketing divisions' idea - a good quality PCB will outlive you.
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#7
Quote by sfx
This experience tells me, maybe handwired amps/pedals are probably worth it for exactly this sort of problem.


A hand wired pedal costs tens to hundreds of dollars more than a comparable PCB pedal. If you have a lot of pedals that can add up to thousands of dollars you spent on the off chance that you have a problem with a PCB out of warranty. Or you can just buy the PCB pedals, replace a pedal that craps out, and still come out ahead.
#8
As for the reliability of SMT/SMD, NASA has been using SMD since at least the late 80's.
And they're kinda picky when it comes to reliability.
#9
Quote by CodeMonk
As for the reliability of SMT/SMD, NASA has been using SMD since at least the late 80's.
And they're kinda picky when it comes to reliability.


Challenger, DART, Helios, Hubble, MPL etc etc. all tend to disagree with that statement...

Don't misunderstand, I'm a NASA fan, and think they are woefully underfunded, but they aren't the group I would use as the touchstone for reliability.

If I had to pick a contender, I'd look at Honda and the Accord, one of the most reliable electromechanical pieces of equipment ever built, although I suspect the Toyota Hilux is in the running somewhere.

FWIW, both of them currently use SMD's...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#10
Nothing I worked on while I was there failed.
Although Galileo vaporized, but Jupiter is a c**t.

Edit:
And something like 20 or so parts out of 20 billion is a far lower failure rate than any musical or other equipment manufacturer.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jun 9, 2015,
#12
Quote by CodeMonk
Nothing I worked on while I was there failed.
Although Galileo vaporized, but Jupiter is a c**t.

Edit:
And something like 20 or so parts out of 20 billion is a far lower failure rate than any musical or other equipment manufacturer.


Clearly they should have kept you around!!
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#13
You glued the bridge in place? No, not how it's done. Solder the wire into place, don't glue it.
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#14
Quote by Cathbard
You glued the bridge in place? No, not how it's done. Solder the wire into place, don't glue it.


I soldered it, then coat it up with hot glue to prevent oxidation and rust/corrosion in future.
#15
Quote by Arby911
Clearly they should have kept you around!!

Actually, i quit.
While I really really liked working there, they were waiting for congress to allocate more money to NASA to for the next projects. And congress isn't known for doing things quickly.
I sat in a clean room, with all the clean room gear on for 4 months doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (Well, except for doing shit like cleaning my fingernail under a microscope).
I drove me nuts.
Picture the scene: sitting in a chair, staring out a window, with nothing to do for 4 months.
Sure, I got paid to do it, but I'm the type, where if I'm at work, I need to be active.
Books aren't allowed in the clean room. Hell, even the paper work had to be kept in anti static bags.
#16
Quote by jpnyc
A hand wired pedal costs tens to hundreds of dollars more than a comparable PCB pedal. If you have a lot of pedals that can add up to thousands of dollars you spent on the off chance that you have a problem with a PCB out of warranty. Or you can just buy the PCB pedals, replace a pedal that craps out, and still come out ahead.


dude. what? why?
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#17
Quote by jpnyc
A hand wired pedal costs tens to hundreds of dollars more than a comparable PCB pedal. If you have a lot of pedals that can add up to thousands of dollars you spent on the off chance that you have a problem with a PCB out of warranty. Or you can just buy the PCB pedals, replace a pedal that craps out, and still come out ahead.


I'm with trashedlostfdup on this "dude. what? why?"
The difference in assembly time between a pedal where all the hardware (jack, switches, pots) is mounted on a PCB and one where all those parts are connected via wires is maybe 20 - 30 minutes at most.
The increase in price is just marketing BS.

Actually assembly time differences with PTP or turret board versus PCB is minimal and would be dependent on design.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jun 11, 2015,