Building The BYOC TriBooster: Part Two – Populating the Circuit Board

ChopshopOK, so we’ve got all of our laid out, and we’re ready to actually start building the .

Populating the circuit board is easily the most time-consuming part of this whole project, so while I think you’ll enjoy the process––don’t expect it to be quick work. This section of the build took me a few hours to finish (it’ll go quicker next time.)

Installing The Diodes & Resistors BYOC has done a very commendable job making the instructions easy to follow, but there were a few times that I found myself a bit confused as to the parts I was looking for.

In Step 1 of the instructions you’ll be soldering two diodes to the printed circuit board (PCB,) but unfortunately there is little identifying info provided. Luckily we’ve got deductive reasoning on our side 😉

Byoc Diodes-1Ultimately, in my kit the 9.1v zener ended up being a small black cylinder-shaped diode with a gray bar on one end, and the 1N4001 is the tiny orange & black diode in the center of this photo (right.)

When you place them on the board make sure you solder them with the striped end of the diode matching the striped end on the PCB’s diagram.

In Step 2 however, the many various resistors turned out to be much easier to decipher (you can see three of these in the photo,) though you’ll need to have your Parts Checklist handy for identification. They aren’t polarized, so you can solder them in either direction. There are 14 in all, so expect to spend some time on this step.

Installing The Trimpot & Jumper Moving on to Step 3 of BYOC’s official instructions, we’re now going to add the 100k trimpot, and also a small jumper.

Tri-Booster Circuit Board 2The trimpot installation is pretty straight forward, but you’ll want to note that it’s a circular unit, in spite of the PCB’s square diagram (see photo to the right.)

With the trimpot installed, flip the board over to the un-printed side to create the jumper.

Don’t know what a jumper is? You just need to create a solid connection between the two spots marked with yellow in Step 4 of the instructional PDF. You can use a piece of discarded lead from the resistors you’ve already installed. Just cut it to the correct length, bend it in the appropriate places, and solder it down.

Installing The Transistor Socket & Capacitors In Step 5 we’ll be soldering the transistor socket to the PCB. Once again, being a complete newbie to this sort of thing I had no real idea what I was looking for, and BYOC’s instructions don’t really give you a clue, but suffice it to say that  the transistor socket is the circular black piece shown here.Transistor For Tri Booster Pedal

Luckily, you really can’t screw this one up, because it will only fit into the board in one direction. Whatever you do, don’t go digging up the transistor itself––this is not the time to be soldering the actual transistor into this socket.

Step 6, adding the “47 micro” aluminum capacitors, is pretty straight forward. The capacitors are round and black, with one long lead and one shorter lead. The longer lead is the positive side, and it goes into the square soldering pad.

Solder these four pieces in and then take yourself a nice long break… go down to the corner cafe for an iced Mocha, take your dog for a walk, or hey––pick up your guitar!

In the next step we’ll finish populating the circuit board (you mean there’s more?) and we’ll start installing hardware into the chassis. Ciao!