Saturday, 26 September 2015

EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander

Hi guys! Alex here and I'm very excited to join the tagboardeffects squad. Thanks to Mark and Miro for the opportunity, and thanks to Travis, Zach and Javi for joining along.
My first contribution to the main site is a great guitar synthesizer from EarthQuaker Devices.
I would like to thank Njokki for reverse-engineering his original pedal.

Info about the original:
The Bit Commander is a monophonic analog guitar synthesizer with four octaves of vintage square wave synth tones. Its no-nonsense interface makes it easy to add or subtract octaves to create a wide variety of sounds without having to dial in envelopes or oscillators. Ripping sub-octave thump, pulsing octave down, a lightly squared base tone and a swelling transformer based octave up all join together to make a single guitar sound like an army of olde tyme synths.

 


46 comments:

  1. Aleeeexxxxxxxxxxx welcome buddy!!!!

    We needed you out here!!

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  2. Just got the parts needed to build this in the mail.. can't wait to start up my iron and get this thing working! Thanks for taking the time to do this!
    -A

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  3. Thanks Travis!
    I've being slooowly moving to France for the past two months. Still haven't finished!
    Can't do new layouts at the moment but I can start moving some of them from the forum.
    Hope I'll be able to contribute a bit more soon!

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    1. yea bro. we're really glad your here with us. hope the move ends up going well. i still haven't been able to finish unpacking from my move last november. i really need to find the time to finish it before it's really a year later. haha

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  4. That is one interesting pedal!

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  5. I built one when it was posted in the forum and love it. My single octave down goes silent if I turn it up past 4:00. I'm not sure if it's my pot or not. I've not taken the time to sort it out yet. Besides that everything is perfect.

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    1. Hi man! Did you ever get around this problem? I'm personally curious. I'm asking because past 4:00 is almost at the maximum if u ask me. Thanks!

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  6. Base1->Sub1->Down1 etc...
    Does this mean they're all connected to ground?

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  7. This thing really sounds like a beast and very nice with a delay. Awesome that you keep up the business here!

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  8. Hey all, I can't find the tm011, what is that component?

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    1. Signal transformer. For example: http://www.musikding.de/Transformer-TM011
      +m

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  9. Where'd everyone get their 386Ds from? littlediode have some but I've had fakes from them before.

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  10. Great project! I'm interested in playing with this.

    I'm sure the answer is yes but confirmation would be nice for the community.
    -Would a TM022-R transformer work just as well? It's also a small center tapped transformer used for many popular octave fuzz projects.

    -What is the 386D IC? Do you know of any alternatives?

    More information on these components would be great!

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    1. Ehh I'll reply to my own comment. Quickly researching I believe the 386D is an audio amplifier? That makes the most sense but I personally haven't seen this used in a effects circuit. The 4024 is a counter IC and I'm sure there are many conventional alternatives to that one. I'll breadboard it with a TM022 transformer I have on hand. Perhaps mod a toggle between octaves high - low and both.

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  11. Just finished mine and it works great. I'm in the UK - got my transformer from Das Musikding.
    Also - I couldn't find a 386D, so I used a 386N I had around. No issues.

    Pics here.
    http://imgur.com/a/9wCJe

    Not the tidiest build I've ever done - and yes, I'm annoyed I missed that LED hole :-/

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    1. hey! is it working perfectly all round? I mean, I read here some people had problems with the octave up function, either not working OK or either cutting out after 4 o clock.
      Thanks a lot

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  12. hey all, just wandering if anyone else has had an issue with octave up not working? could it be down to a grounding issue?

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    1. and if i ground it back to output jack?

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  13. Hi guys, thank you for another great layout!
    I've got a question for you: do you think i could use a TL011 transformer instead of the TM011? It would be great because the TL is much smaller than the TM. The main difference between those two is the output power: 200mW for the TM, and 75mW for the TL.
    What do you think?
    Thank you in advance
    nic.

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    1. Edit: it seems I can't find the TL011 anywere... But the TL022 (wich is very similar) is available at my on-line store; do you think it'll do the job fine?
      Thanks again
      nic.

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  14. Since no one bothered to answer me and reading all the "up has problems
    "down has problems", I did it for someone, and it works perfectly. There are no issues whatsoever with the build, check your wiring/traces/THE CUTS! (it really bugs me that these newer versions done by Alex do not have the cut side alone, without the parts, and this projects has a LOT of cuts, it's easy to make a mistake, had to look 10 times more than I would on any other build...). Here is mine :D
    http://hgecontraptions.blogspot.ro/2015/11/earthquaker-devices-bit-commander-clone.html

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hey, never meant it to sound like that, you got me wrong :)
      I'm actually one of the big supporters here ;) and I really appreciate everything here (IVIark knows this)

      Thanks for everything! I am doing fine with these as they are, but I was saying what I said for others, who maybe would have trouble, hence their problems!
      No personal attack or anything like that, please understand

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    3. I've built over 70 projects from here, and apart from ONE that didn't work from all those,even if i rebuilt it(I think an IC was flawless,only had one), all were flawless, and people were very happy! So thank you big time guys \m/

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    4. I must have misunderstood your comment.
      No offence taken.
      If it makes it easier I'll add the cuts in the future! :)

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  16. HUI, great glitchy beast, almost worked at first shot (I put the protection diode in wrong first). Great Layout and no problems with the upper octave. Thanks for the Layout, I was waiting for that one.

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  17. Just posting here to say that I wrote a bit about using something else in place of the TM011,TM022 transformer, on freestompboxes with a vero of something that worked for me.

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  18. Easily the best craic I've had yet with a DIY pedal. Bonkers pedal!

    No issues at all regarding operation, although the Octave Up suffers a bit with hum buckers but is really strong with single coils. Think Purple Haze solo. I used the Muzikding TM011 and their 386's.

    The transformer is slightly bigger than the graphic above but Alex left plenty of space on the Primary side to shift the pins. My only concern is whether it may be too tall to fit in a 1590 box. I'll soon find out.

    The Base 1 to GND note is redundant as it's already grounded on the board connection.

    Cheers Alex for a great layout!

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  19. So has anyone tried this with TM022?? TM011 has a factory lead time of 20 weeks. I want to build this so bad!

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    1. *factory lead time on Mouser.

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    2. I reckon there's no harm in trying. The secondary impedance is slightly higher on the TM022 but eh you never know. That said, they are kinda exxy. You could try to source a 42TU011 instead? Smallbear have em.

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    3. Thanks man! Will give the TM022 a try, and update later. I should socket that, if it doesn't work swap that sucker out in 20 weeks, right?

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    4. Just a quick update! The TM022 works! First try, it fired right up! This pedal is awesome!

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  20. Follow up for anyone interested.

    Yes it fits, IF you mount it all component side down and push the jacks, switch and LED as close to the bottom as you can. I didn't so ended up making a spacer as the transformer stands so tall I couldn't get the lid on. A 125B would be a much better option here.

    Check out page 33 in the Show Your Pedal Guts thread on the forum.

    Cheers lads

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    1. Yup yup, 125B fits. If you tape the pots with electrical tape, you can have your components side up, and push the board all the way to bottom touching the pots without any short.

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    2. Not that it matters facing up or down. Just OCD.

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  21. im having a problem with the circuit. I get some crackling on the output when I strum hard. my voltages are:
    4024be:
    pin1-0
    2-0
    3-0
    4-0
    5-0
    6-0
    7-0
    8-0
    9-0
    10-0.23v
    11-0
    12-0
    13-0.5v
    14-9v

    lm386n:
    pin1-0.1v
    2-0
    3-0
    4-0
    5-0.1v
    6-0.5v
    7-0.1v
    8-0.1v

    tl072
    1-1v
    2-1v
    3-4.5v
    4-0
    5-4.5v
    6-4.5v
    7-1v
    8-0.5v

    anybody see anything wrong

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    1. First thing I can see, you should have +9V on LM386's pin 6 and TL072's pin 8 (now 0,5v on both). Try double checking those +9V links

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    2. i found why my ics werent getting +9. now the effect seems to be working but sort of fading in and out, getting louder then quieter. I salvaged the transformer and may have damaged it. I may have to rebuild. My updated voltages are:
      4024be:
      pin1 to pin9-0
      10-.25v
      11-0
      12-0
      13-0.25v
      14-9v

      lm386:
      1-1.3v
      2-0
      3-0
      4-0
      5-4.5v
      6-9v
      7-4.5v
      8-1.3v

      tl072:
      1-6.23v
      2-4.5v
      3-4.5v
      4-0v
      5-4.5v
      6-4.5v
      7-2.2v
      8-9v
      thanks for your help, I apologize for my inexperience

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  22. The second lead on the S side of the tm011 is in between two cuts and I am not seeing where or what it's attached too. The fuzz sounds are working but I am
    Not getting any synth octave up or down let me know if anyone could help

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  23. Hi!,
    it's ok if i use a c4024 instead of a 4024be?
    Thanks.

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