Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Fuzzhugger Algal Bloom

Recently traced. So here it is. Very decent sounding thing, especially when we take into account that it is sort-of LPB to Hemmo's BazzFuss - with starve cotnrol. I personally have a strong dislike to pedals which have more than one knob (level/volume) that can kill the signal by dumping all of it to ground. Therefore, here's a slightly modded layout. My mods are just those two resistors labelled "2.2K*". To make it verbatim, just replace those two with links. Or check the schem at FSB and have your own way with it.

Oh. One more thing. As this one has heart warming, way better than usual, polarity protection method in use, i left it as it appears on the original.



Built one for myself and... The first one works as well as the "fixed" layout, but there are couple of things i wanted to address. First, the "starve" was in reverse. I wired it backwards in the first layout - as to me, starve means that you are limiting more of the current. Now it works in a way that makes more sense to a user, but way less sense if you know anything about electronics. (One should not call anti-starve a starve. Grrrrr.) And the 100K logarithmic wasn't very good to me, so i swapped it for 50K linear. Then. The 2K2s i suggested. Yes. They will make the sound travel through even when "bloom" and "gain" are fully CCW. However. Those values i pulled out of a hat do not perform very well. After careful measuring what value of resistance between pins 1&2 of those two pots works the best, i settled for 22K at "gain" and 12K at "bloom". With these values, the volume is somewhat close to unity when all pots are at CCW - except for volume. The sound is very pleasing. It ranges from overdrive tones to massive fuzz to Octavia-like weirdness at the "bloom" maxed. Very decent circuit. I'd personally call the controls "Water Temperature", "Air Temperature", "Length of Summer" and "Master Volume". That's how you'd make algae.


Either way. Call it verified.

68 comments:

  1. Verified but with a few temporary substitutions. I used a 3.3uF in place of the 2.2 and a BC109 and 2N2222A for the 2N5089s. I didn't realize how low on parts I was, as soon as my Tayda order arrives I'll put the correct parts in. Two BC109s were way too weak with too little volume. I also put D1 on a switch with a 1N914 on one side and a 1N34A on the other. Not too much difference but that may change with the rights transistors. I may go to my local shop tomorrow and get the right parts.

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  2. "As this one has heart warming, way better than usual, polarity protection method in use"

    Is that just sarcasm or am I missing something here? All I see is the usual paralel polarity protection diode - the one that might blow up when wrong polarity is applied.

    And as usual: thanks for the layout. I'm in a constant search for the perfect fuzz tone, so I'll definitely give this one a try.

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  3. Because Miro lurves to add polarity protection where others fear to tread. In this case he didnt need to.

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  4. :)

    Tagged. Cheers Jim!

    Csaba - there's a 100R resistor in series with the basic parallel protection. Sure - it *can* still blow up, but the current limiting resistor will make the diode last a way longer under the short, thus, making it more likely the circuit will survive the reverse polarity. Usual no-resistor method will make the diode blow up and fast. With one resistor, there is greater chance of user noticing his/her mistake before anything explodes. Since the resistor is present in the original, i wanted to leave it as it is.
    +m

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  5. Is this a tranny driven Durham Crazy Horse?

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  6. Oh by the way m. I am so glad you are back! Hope you are well.

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  7. Oh by the way m. I am so glad you are back! Hope you are well.

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  8. I got a little time to plug it into my amp. I guess it's due to the substitutions but it's pretty aggressive sounding with decent low end. Not in a bad way at all. I built the version that was posted on the forum, I guess with the addition of the 470pF and 47nF caps, it's much better sounding. I may leave it like this actually. Thanks Miro, good to see you posting layouts again.

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  9. Hehee :)

    I wasn't aware i was away :) Sure there's been a lot going on but i think i never left completely.

    One thing that's holding me back a bit is the missing OSX build of the DIYLCv3 that would work with current version. As my Focusrite works way better on proprietary OS, i've acquired a recording laptop - and trash belong to the trash bin, a windows laptop wasn't an option. Now i find that the macbook pro is with me way more than my old trusty linux laptop. And this also means that i'm not able to draw on the couch. Maybe i'll get another laptop and run proper OS on it.. Or some of you could fork the code from old google code page and pack it up as working build for El Capitan... :) Currently even the legacy mode won't run java code that old.

    Jeff - This has little to do with Crazy horse, so no. At least no in my opinion.

    Jim - the 47n is another power filter and it should not affect the tone at all - just clean more of the power supply ripple. The 470p however, that's a different story. It dumps quite a lot of highs to the ground all the way from input. This could translate into fatter overall feel.
    +m

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    1. Miro...I'm running the current version of DIYLC on my MBPr with El Capitan fine. I installed the OSX native build 3.28. You need to install Java legacy 6 for it to run. OSX will hide it behind a firewall until you go to Sys Pref > Security then allow install software this one time from untrusted developer (or something like that...not on Mac at the minute). It's running perfectly fine with me...still as buggy as every other version but fine none the less.

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    2. Nice.
      I was aware of the protection and recall trying that too back when i got this laptop. Just tried again and.. Nice...

      Looks way better on OSX java than on any other platform :) Guess i can get back to frawing on a couch :P
      +m

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    3. Oh! Since you're into apple land as well.. Tell me how to mount SFTP/SSH shares transparently in finder? I'd gladly pay for this option, but there doesn't seem to be one that would be even remotely user frindly. Or up to date. It's quite annoying to miss this option as even windows is able to mount SSH...
      +m

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    4. Welcome to Apple...where you can do half the stuff Windows can do in half the time, but you probably had to buy some really expensive adapter cable!!!

      No help here I'm afraid. Apple don't allow SFTP in Finder...it's "too confusing" for us users :P. Much like adding an attachment to an email AFTER you started it on an iPhone!!!!!

      Airdrop is the quick and easy way but its Mac to MAC. Chrome Remote Desktop maybe? You can set it all up on Terminal but unless you're happy with Unix (I'm not) I'd avoid.

      The best (although convoluted) solution would be to install Windows with VMware Fusion or Parallels. You can drag and drop between both systems AND set up the SFTP you're used to on Windows. I think you have to set aside 20Gb of disk space for this though.

      Say hi to your couch for us:P

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    5. When i remember needed paths, it's just scp at terminal. When i don't, then it's FileZilla. Which is extremely annoying and let's be honest, 1997. SSH confusing? That's the greatest excuse from Apple.. SMB shares work out of the box. "Hey let's support microsoft's completely unsecure file sharing protocol and disable Secure SHell extension from our file browser while our base system supports it!" I've read hours about this. Quite a few people struggle with the issue. Think of all the web designers who have their servers running *nix'es.. For a minute i was considering setting up a SMB on my main box running Debian Testing. Got it up, but then i realized i really don't want that system having SMB shares and disabled the service...

      If the visual side wasn't as polished and just plain good, i would never use OSX. It is just *nix with annoying restrictions. But like i said.. My Focusrite works with this...
      +m

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  10. What do I need to add to make it the doom bloom? Or is that way too drastic of a different pedal? It has a few more pots and I think moar diodes.

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    1. :)

      Trace the doom bloom and provide the schematic. I promise to draw it... :)
      +m

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  11. OK, so I swapped out the 3.3uF cap for the correct 2.2uF and replaced the diode switch I tried out with a fixed 1N914 and now I have little to no signal passing through. I'm not sure if I possibly fried something but I guess I'll have to wait until my parts order arrives.

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    1. I'd triple check for a microscopic short (knife it). Burning anything up isn't as common...
      +m

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  12. No bridges, just checked again. I also took the voltages down. The upper transistor is. 2N2222a and the lower is a 2N3904.

    2N2222a:
    C:8.75
    B: 2.84
    E: 0.0

    2N3904
    C:0.77
    B:0.56
    E: 0.0

    Turning the starve pot up drops the voltages on the 2N2222a but doesn't significant change the 2N3904.

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    1. Working voltages with 50K "starve pot" and all the pots maxed:
      Q1 (the top one)
      C:1,37
      B:0,75
      E:0

      Q2 (the lower one)
      C:0,46
      B:0,36
      E:0

      Which means that it's very likely your supply is bleeding to Q1 collector, the 47K is shorted or the transistor is dead. I'd investigate in that order.
      +m

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  13. I didn't think it'd be the transistors.. I swapped them and got the same readings so I put in a new 47. Works again, thanks Miro. I don't get much variation with the starve pot, it softens up the tone a bit but nothing too drastic, maybe when I get the 2N5089s in it'll be different. I'm using a 25k pot for now too. . I saw a two knob version demoed on YouTube with just the bloom and volume pots, maybe that would be a little more practical? Also I seemed to get more low end and gain with the 3.3uF, then again it was late when I tested out. I may play around with it.

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  14. I swapped in a set of 2N5089s to test the modded version out, what's difference. Much better than the 2N3904 and 2N22222A and the different resistors help with the volume loss when turned down. Thanks.

    Still, the starve pot does next to nothing. I'm using a B100k for it now.

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    1. Hmm. I'm still thinkin there's something wrong with yours.. Mine acts as in the demo and the Starve works almost ilke a third gain control.
      +m

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  15. Stupid question: The Starve to pin1....Does that mean the wire goes from the board to pin 1 of Starve, and then from there to the power jack 9V+ ?

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    1. Yes. Option 1: Take the supply wire to the board and take another wire from the board hole to Starve pot's lug 1.
      Or. Option 2: Take the supply wire to starve pot's lug 1 and then take another wire from the lug 1 to the board where it says Starve 1/+9V.

      Either way, the connection is the same.
      +m

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    2. OK, I did option 2 because that sounded the smarter one to me. Now I have to find out why my version is hissing like a broken radio and not having any fuzz doesn't help either :D

      https://soundcloud.com/thorsten-schneider-10/fuzzhugger-algal-bloom-wrong

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    3. Definitely a build issue... Your test rig ok?
      +m

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    4. Yup, the test rig is fine. The strange thing is that the second build sounds the same :/

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    5. Main problem solved, I had two! faulty pots :(

      The only thing left for me to get rid off is when all pots are maxed there is a high pitched hiss/whine. It's not too loud but it sounds like something is leaking somehwere.

      8.5V input from battery
      Q1
      C:1,27
      B:0,71
      E:0,15 <--- ?

      Q2
      C:0,50
      B:0,55
      E:0

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    6. All good and working. Once the whole thing was boxed up it worked like a charm. Usually it is the other way around :D

      I did the lug swap as per Jim Squires suggestion on the starve knob and I think it is a nice way to do it.

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

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  17. Ok, I figured the starve problem out. I swapped the wires back to the original version and it's good to go. Wouldn't you want to leave the Starve 2/9V wire as is and swap Starve lug 1 for lug 3 to have it work backwards? I could easily be wrong though. I know that's how I wired other starve control before.

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  18. The only problem i seem to have now is that it reaches unity gain but not much else. Is this just a lower output pedal?

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    1. Doesn't sound right. Mine is loud enough. Triple check? Voltages?
      +m

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    2. Everything still looks good regarding bridges and component placement. Voltages are:

      Q1:
      C: 1.33
      B: 0.69
      E: 0.17

      Q2:
      C: 0.73
      B: 0.53
      E: 0.00

      They're in the ballpark of your working voltages except for the emitter of Q1. It works and sounds good but it's pretty much a hair over unity gain with the volume maxed. I know when I built this with the previous layout it was fairly loud. The starve pot works perfectly now and I'm using 2N5089s for both transistors.

      Thanks Miro.

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    3. Also my supply voltage is 9.25v.

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    4. Only thing slightly off is the 0.17 at the Q1 emitter. Is the 1K really 1K?
      +m

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  19. I'll have to check it out tonight. I work second shift so the only time I get to really play is before work. I was messing around with it and realized that by itself, it's fine and the volume control works normally. With nothing behind it works normally. When I place it in front of other pedals, the volume drops considerably. Is it just my build or is this pedal really picky about where it wants to be placed? I noticed Thorston was getting similar voltage at the emitter of Q1. If it's a matter of there being voltage at Q1, I'll definitely have to check it out, if not, maybe an input or output buffer may be the fix?

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    1. "When I place it in front of other pedals, the volume drops considerably." I have this same issue. Reading up on impedance issues now to see if this can't be resolved.

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  20. I pulled and measured the resistor at the emitter of Q1, 1k on the nose. I switched the transistor from Q1 to Q2 and got the same readings as well and with a 2N3904. A 2N2222A gave me 0v at the emitter of Q1 though.

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    1. It could possibly be feature. Mine's not mean loud, but still way over unity.

      You could try to tweak the bias voltage by trying different values for 100K feeding the Q2 collector.
      +m

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  21. I rebuilt the board with the same results. It works fine but I guess it doesn't like being in the front of a chain. I wound up putting my buffer after and it's fine now. With or without the buffer in front made no difference if it was towards the front. Does yours react like that?

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    1. Have not noticed anything out of the ordinary...
      +m

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  22. Hiya - built the board this past weekend, with great success! I'm not the biggest fan of fuzz boxes, but I love this circuit! I am guessing this is based on the original Algal Bloom (v1) - is there any information known about the 'choke' mod (I think it switches in a germanium diode) or the changes in the current v2 model?

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    1. I have a buddy that bought the v2 version of the Algal Bloom, with choke and voicing switches. I was able to trace out the voicing switch (which is a nice addition), but not the choke (which I found far less useful). Anyone interested in a diagram?

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    2. hey man, post it in the forum under the requests section and i'll gladly take a look at it.

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    3. Just saw this right now - I thought you guys were ignoring me :)

      I'll put something together this weekend. I have to tell you, I really like this pedal, and the V2 voice mod is a really great addition!

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  23. Can anyone tell me why the 2.2uF cap has its negative side facing Q2 instead of its positive side?

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  25. Hi, this is going to be my first vero build, and I'm a little nervous but excited. I was just curious about how the layout says level 2 to output. Does that mean take the second lug of the level to the specified output lug on the footswitch? I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!

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    1. That's it yeah. Enjoy the hobby. Just remember...you're not in a race. Be slow, methodical, check...then recheck everything before you do it.

      Here's some great tips from the guys here

      http://guitar-fx-layouts.42897.x6.nabble.com/The-Library-f23985.html

      Good luck

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    2. Thanks for the reply! So after looking through some of these posts, I've noticed that some talk about the "circuit output", but I don't see that labeled for this particular layout.

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    3. Circuit output = level pot's lug 2.
      +m

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    4. Awesome! Thanks so much for the help and resources. I'll report back in the next week or so hopefully with my first finished build.

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  26. Just finished this up last night and it sounds FANTASTIC. It took me a little bit to get it working, as it turned out one of the transistors were bad, but after pulling and replacing it, this thing is awesome. This was a great experience and I'm definitely hooked on this hobby. Here's the finished product: http://imgur.com/a/MyLwI

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    1. Great job! Love mine, as well. I gotta get the voicing switch (from the 2nd Gen Algal Bloom) documented to see what you guys think.

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    2. Thanks! Yeah I'm really interested the voicing switch. Giving an already super versatile pedal even more options!

      Delete
  27. I just built this pedal, it is my first vero build and it doesn't seem to work.

    When I turn it on the LED comes on and I still get a signal passed, but the signal sounds exactly the same, just weaker/quieter. Twisting the volume knob seems to work, although its always quiet.

    Twisting the gain might do something, but its so slight I can't tell. Turning the starve all the way off cuts any volume - I'm guessing this might be right?

    Can't tell any difference with the bloom knob.

    The 2n5089s I tested seem pretty low hFE, none of them breaking 400. I am going to order some from a more reliable source either way, but could this be my problem? I would have thought I'd get some fuzz still.

    Any other ideas?

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    1. Maybe post a picture of your build? But I did have a similar problem that was fixed after replacing the transistors.

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    2. Thanks for your reply. I replaced the transistors and nothing has changed.

      I've taken some pictures of the build, here:

      http://imgur.com/a/bknza

      I know I used a LOT of wire, I was trying to make my first build as easy as possible.

      Thanks!

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    3. It looks like there might be a bridge like 3-4 rows up from the bottom towards the right side. Other than that I would double check your foot switch wiring and making sure all of the connections are solid everywhere else.

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    4. It does look like a bridge, must be a trick of the photo. I've tested for bridges and its fine in that regard (I doubled checked this one to make sure).

      Footswitch is also fine, did some testing with the multimeter.

      I might work on another easier pedal in the meantime to get experience and might return to this.

      Thanks for your help.

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    5. Either your camera flipped the photos or you built this in reverse looks like. Your cuts on the copper side match exactly where they are shown on the bare layout which it shouldn't. All cuts, links, components are shown on vero layouts from the bare (not copper) side of the vero. So... that top right cut would be marked on the top right of the component side...but when you turn the board around to actually cut the copper...it would be on the top left. Treat a vero layout as always the component side but with x ray vision to see the tracks underneath.

      Is this what happened here?

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    6. Top left cut sorry...I wish I could edit posts

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    7. Yeah I did it that way because I thought it would be easier (I was wrong) and I had no instruction as to the right way.

      That said, shouldn't a reversed layout function exactly the same?

      Also, your comment made me look at my layout (for the 100th time) and somehow I had managed to miss grounding the board, so I added that wire in and now no sound passes.

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    8. Yes it usually would but....did you use the specified transistors (2N5089)? Looks like you flipped them so the collector is now the bottom row.

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    9. You are right. I guess I swapped too much when I was mentally reversing things.

      So I fixed the transistors but it still doesn't pass a signal when engaged. Ill try do some more testing tomorrow but I just fixed that up quick before going to bed.

      Thanks

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  28. I buit this one and it's the best fuzz fuzz i ever played. A short demo: https://soundcloud.com/velouria-fx/velveteen-fuzz

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