Monday, 5 March 2012

Bearfoot Honey Bee

I thought I'd include the Bearfoot version of the Honey Bee, because I've heard quite a few people say they prefer it to the original.  Unfortunately you can't just change a few values using my BJF Honey Bee layout because there is an added resistor that needed cramming in.  Still you can just build both and the MP Sweet Honey as well and then you've got the set! :o)

Info from the maker:

The Honey Bee sounds and reacts like  small vintage combos with nicely worn tubes and speakers.

The Volume control controls the overall volume without changing the distortion.

The Drive control varies the distortion complexity and saturation.

The middle control adjusts the 'nature' of the EQ - begin with this control at  straight up 'noon'  ~  to the right there is a subtle adjust ment to the upper frequencies with the most treble at full clockwise.

... turning this control counterclockwise from noon  adds in lows and changes the distortion saturation interactively with the Drive knob ~ and at full counterclockwise the Honey Bee is fully bloated  and saturated like a small combo pushed to its limits.

Contrary to what you can see in the layout or what you may assume because of the BJF Honey Bee, the Bearfoot Honey uses red LEDs.  I'd strongly suggest socketing these LEDs though, the red ones will give more distortion and compression which will suit some people, but others may prefer the response given by the greens like in the original BJF pedal.




Geiri's demo of his build:



65 comments:

  1. Just wondering in general, what the purpose of LED's are in the circuit? and does it matter what kind? colour/size etc?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The LEDs act as diodes and clip the signal, creating distortion. Size probably won't matter (particularly from the same manufacturer) but different colours will make a difference. It's all dependent on the forward voltage of the LED. A red LED may have a forward voltage of around 1.8V, green may be 2.2V, blue may be 4V, and they will clip everything above their own forward voltage. So if you compared a red and blue LED you should find more distortion and compression from the red.

      Delete
  2. Hmmmm, interesting. Thanks :o)

    ReplyDelete
  3. just wondering... the capacitor at the anode side of D4 is marked as 22n, but it is drawn like the other pico capacitor, not like the nanos. is that a pF value? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a 22nF. I use that symbol for nF values that only span 2 rows because using my usual maroon cap symbol obscures the value text. For nF values that only require a 2.5mm pitch like this, I tend to use box caps with one of the legs bent in and then back out again to create the appropriate 2.5mm gap. That keeps things neat as it all ends up covered by the box.

      Delete
  4. that makes perfect sense. thanks for the quick reply. great site, by the way. i stumbled across it a few weeks ago, and have been ordering parts ever since. i hadn't built anything in a while, but now i've got a list of things! hardest part is trying to decide which to build, theres so many here. thanks for all your hard work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell me about it. Unfortunately I can do layouts quicker than I can build them, so my list is pretty long too! :o)

      Delete
  5. i finally got around to finishing this one up, and it sounds fantastic! so you can consider this one verified, if its not already. the build went smooth and it fired right up, no issues at all. now... what to build next?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, you are indeed the first so thanks for verifying

      Delete
    2. How would this stack with say a model h?

      Delete
    3. No idea mate because I haven't tried the Model H. I love the Honey Bee though (I've built the BJF version, not Bearfoot). I'm more of a humbucker guy, and when I'm using my strat it can really thicken things up.

      Delete
  6. Hmmm that may work for me. The model h is very punchy yet still really articulate. Kind of like a blink 182 tone. Close to a pushed vox. I've been stacking it with my Klon clone but something is wrong with my build (the Klon). It's really bass heavy, to the point I have to eq out the lowest frequencies when it's on. And turning down the gain to use it as a clean boost it just gets really muddy like neck pup with the tone knob all the way down. No idea why. Thinking about just replacing it with the honey bee althought I'd really like to get it to work

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Mark,

    I've just finished building this. Just to chime in, the JFET symbol in the layout is not correct (mirrored horizontally) if you're using 2N5952 take a look at the datasheet:
    http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/datasheet2/5/0wjrjuy5japqdyozok7fjea7ttwy.pdf
    (I had to flip it to make it sound okay)
    Actually it surprises me atomicwombat verified this and not noticed. Perhaps he used different type of JFET.

    Thanks for the layout btw, it's quality work as usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up, I'll alter the layout.

      Delete
  8. I was doing some research on the pedal earlier and I came across this site with pictures of the pedal and the guts and board on dirt box.net. It had red LEDs instead of green. What do you make of that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doesn't surprise me, I made exactly the same mistake with the SHOD! :o) I've automatically assumed green in both cases because of the Honey Bee, but I'd definitely suggest socketing them and seeing what you like best. There will be more distortion and compression with the red LEDs, and so the green may suit some people better.

      Delete
    2. Well I already have my model h for the higher gain. I'm just using this to stack and as a mild od. Keepin it green! Thanks buddy.

      Delete
  9. Heres the finshed honey bee: http://instagr.am/p/K13hY8g44S/

    ReplyDelete
  10. my bad, mixed up a letter: http://inagr.am/p/KI3hY844S/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still nothing there mate.

      Hee hee :o)

      Delete
    2. -__- this one will work dammnit haha http://instagr.am/p/KI3hY8g44S/ sorry brother

      Delete
    3. Yay, awesome job mate. Looks just like an original to me.

      Delete
    4. Oh and let us know how it stacks with the Model H please.

      Delete
  11. will do, only got to test it for a minute or two before work and I used my tele with a seymour duncan hot rails in the bridge. that pickup is a little too fat for this pedal. ill hook it up to my hagstrom swede with p-rails and see how it sounds.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ok so got to play a little more with the honey bee today. Such a smooth overdrive. Sounds great...by itself. I tried stacking it with the model h today and it's a no go. But let me explain a little bit. The model h is a very responsive percussive cranked Hiwatt kind of sound. The honey bee is a cranked supro or something from what I remember. I have my model h set with the volume between 9 and 10 o'clock, nature between 1 and 2 o'clock and the gain between 2 and 3 o'clock. By itself it sounds fantastic through my VHT standard 36. The honey bee is before the model h right now. And no matter what I could do I could get them both to sound good individually and together at the same time. It seems like the honey bee kind of overloads the model h even with the output and gain rolled down. I did use the honey bee with volume maxed and gain at 7 o'clock and nature maxed and it acted like a nice clean boost similar to a Klon but without the mid boost. However I don't really need the honey bee for that. Maybe I'm just trying to get the best of both worlds and that's not how it works. However, I feel like I may have messed up. Maybe the honey bee will sound better after the model h. I'll do a test of that soon. As of now with both pedals sounding good individually, they don't work well together in my present configuration. The honey bee just takes all the crispness and response out of the model h. But more experimenting is still required I feel.

    ReplyDelete
  13. UPDATE: rearranged the two pedals. The model h is now before the honey bee. And all I can say now is wow. The honey bee totally fattens up and smooths out the model h's raw percussive overdrive while still retaining the responsiveness and clarity of both pedals. It really does sound like running two amps together. Haven't had a chance to play them in a band situation yet but I know that it's definitely going to push through the mix well. What a pair these two are. Heres how I'm running them: Http://instagr.am/p/KNcS5AA49f/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, it's always good to know the good stackers. You want to try a Timmy too, the best stacker I've used.

      Delete
  14. I've heard this. Might be the next build.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I accidentally ordered polar 1uf caps for this instead of nonpolar. I should still be able to use them, as long as I put them in the right way, correct? Which brings me to my next question; which way would that be?

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi!

    a litte question: is it right the value of the resistor of 2K61?

    All the best!

    Ago

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Bjorn uses weird E96 resistor values sometimes but don't worry about using an alternative of a similar value. 2K7 is a common value and is within 3.5% of the 2K61, so there would be no problem whatsoever using that instead.

      Delete
  19. Hi,
    is a 2n5457 a good substitute for the 2N5952....? hard to get my hands on those...

    tia
    Heiko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that should be ok, just rotate it 180 degrees so the pinout matches

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. so, finally built the BJFE honeybee;-). Sounds great, a little darker than my SHOD but even fatter. Could anybody please tell me something about the difference in sound between the BJFE and the bearfoot insect...? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Is there a bill of materials or preferred online store to get most of the components in one order? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha. You can get everything you need from Tayda - taydaelectronics.com

      That's probably the cheapest, but for better quality on jacks, you could check out Musikding and Banzai.

      (Didn't think they had 2N5952s, but they do)
      +m

      Delete
    2. I tend to do these layouts in the way that makes them easier for me to use, and as I've got a big stock of all resistor and cap values I find it easier to look at the layout and see straight away which values go in which locations so I can just open the appropriate drawer and stuff the board on the fly. It would take me longer if the component was identified with a number which I then had to cross reference with a table.

      Admittedly this isn't quite as ideal for someone who is placing a parts order for the specific components, but it should only take you 5 minutes to compile a list. I'll give you a head start with this one though.

      Group Quantity Name
      Capacitors 1 100u
      Capacitors 1 1u
      Capacitors 1 1u
      Capacitors 1 220n
      Capacitors 1 220n
      Capacitors 1 22n
      Capacitors 1 22n
      Capacitors 1 22u
      Capacitors 1 2u2
      Capacitors 1 47n
      Capacitors 1 4n7
      Capacitors 1 4n7
      Diodes 1 1N4001
      Diodes 1 1N4001
      Diodes 1 1N4001
      Diodes 1 3mm green LED
      Diodes 1 3mm green LED
      Resistors 1 10K
      Resistors 1 14K7
      Resistors 1 150K
      Resistors 1 1K
      Resistors 1 1K
      Resistors 1 1M
      Resistors 1 1M
      Resistors 1 27K
      Resistors 1 2K61
      Resistors 1 360K
      Resistors 1 3K
      Resistors 1 47K
      Resistors 1 47K
      Resistors 1 47K
      Resistors 1 47R
      Resistors 1 4K7
      Resistors 1 5K6
      Transistors 1 2N5952

      Delete
    3. Mark! You forgot the 100pF cap! :)
      +m

      Delete
    4. Weird, that was an export from DIY Layout Creator!

      Delete
  23. Thanks Mirosol, I'm a total NEWB & trying to find my way around these layouts can get tricky. This site has been a MAJOR help.

    One more question:

    Take the 100uF cap for example...there are ones w/ 10V, 60V, 16V, 35V etc, is there a way to tell exactly which to use from the vero layouts? Or does it matter much? Or polyester film, cermaic, etc...there's so many options, I'm unsure which to choose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So cool! First time i get to point someone to my writings :)
      If you have time to kill:
      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.fi/p/component-guide.html

      Well.. In your place, i would have sourced these:
      1x 100u 35V elec.
      2x 1u plastic box
      2x 220n plastic box (too big in mylar)
      2x 22n Mylar
      1x 22u 50V elec.
      1x 2u2 35V elec.
      1x 47n Mylar
      2x 4n7 Mylar
      1x 100p Ceramic

      To begin with electrolytics, you'll want at least 16V, 'cause the circuit runs with 9V. Always over 16V. If the price and size is the same, then it's best to get the highest. 220n and 1u may feel a bit expensive in plastic boxes, but 220n in mylar is huge. Tayda doesn't have anything else in 100pF but those ceramics.. In this case, i would go with those.
      +m

      Delete
  24. Hi there,

    having some issues. Don't get any output in non bypass. I left Drive 3 unconnected and accidently ordered 640V film caps. Wired the 3pt using the input-to-ground-on-bypass layout you posted on here.

    On first try I missed some left over solder on my board so counting from the bottom up row 3 and 4 were shorted on the very left side - did I fry the IC?

    I already verified:
    - cuts
    - diode orientation
    - LED, IC and transistor sockets
    - switch wiring
    - pot wiring (besides Drive 3)

    Currently going over the circuit again... any hints?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really need to test the boards before wiring up the switch or else your giving yourself something else which needs to be testing, whereas if you know the board works then you know any problem thereafter is related to the switch.

      Measure the voltages you're getting at all the IC and JFET pins. That should give us some good clues as to where the problem may lie

      Delete
    2. Sbout 7mV at pin 8. Nothing at the others nor at the transistor.

      Delete
    3. Well that's where your problem is then, you should have the full supply voltage on pin 7, close to 9V. Check the voltage where the 9V supply wire connects, check the orientation of the diode from the 9V supply wire, and check the soldering for the diode and the following 47R resistor to pin 7. Check the resistor value is correct, check they're all connected at the correct rows.

      Delete
    4. Thank you, Mark. I messed up the power supply connection - got some output now. However it sounds like a shitty lo-fi fuzz and is pretty low volume, too.

      IC
      0.07
      4.1
      3.95
      0
      0.07
      4.1
      8.2
      4.3

      Transistor
      G 0
      S 1.6
      D 4.85

      Delete
    5. The voltages don't look too far away to me, check your soldering for any suspect joints. One dubious joint could cause this problem and so it's worth reflowing them all to make sure you have a strong connection.

      Delete
    6. Redid all solder joints and looked for bridges again. Sadly still no difference.
      If it is any help for guesses: with the Volume on 10 and the Drive on 0 it has dramatically low - although clean - output; the Drive adds fuzz. Nature appears to work.
      I will remove the switch and probably swap out all wires in the next days to see if it makes any difference. Besides I don't really trust the LED sockets, could probably try hard wiring the LEDs.

      Delete
  25. So I have weird problem. Mine is self oscillating when the nature is counter clockwise and the drive is set pretty high. Any guesses?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm getting weird, pulsing and squealing with the drive turned up, like a fuzz factory on an extreme setting. I also found that the transistor needed orientating 180 to get any volume out of it.

      Delete
    2. Did you use the 2N5952? And you definitely shouldn't be getting any squealing out of a relatively low gain circuit like this. It already has a number of measure included to try to avoid any noise, such as the limiting resistor in series with the supply, but there are physical things that can cause noise. Are your wires long? Try to shift them about a bit to see if you can notice any change in the noise levels. If the noise is RF then another thing you could try is putting a low value capacitor such as 47-100p from the input wire to ground. You can do this on the stomp switch if you don't have any room on the board. That may help.

      Delete
    3. It seems that the squealing and clicking is caused by the LEDs. I built it from the BitsBox kit - long story but I had to use a few parts from my own supply because of wrong values and missing bits. The trannie is 2N5458 - I didn't check that until now!

      The pedal works fine without any LEDs - Green ones cause the ticking sound, red ones cause a high pitched whine when the drive pot is maxed (backing off stops it). There is hardly any noticeable difference in the sound with/without red LEDs. The LEDs light up when playing.

      Delete
    4. I've found some 2N5952's - so it has the correct trannie now. Having tried a range of LEDs it seems that larger (5mm) ones are more "stable" than the smaller (3mm) ones. Green causes choppy, pulsing, gated, fuzzy distortion, blue causes it to go into faster, self-oscillating, gated fuzz - the signal is barely audible (quite cool in a way) and the smaller red ones start to squeal much earlier.

      I'll try another IC from a different supplier (my first from Bitsbox was DOA, this is #2), otherwise I can use it as-is as long as I keep the gain under maximum....possibly a dodgy pot too?...hmm....

      Delete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. err...yeah....don't forget the 100pf cap (facepalm)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey IvIark, you said you've built the BJF version, not Bearfoot. What´s the difference to the Bearfoot (the vero you have on your site). Only different values/parts? Or do you have to make a new vero for the BJF? :-)
    Great site, thank you.

    ReplyDelete