Building The BYOC TriBooster: Part Three – Fillin' Up the Chassis

ChopshopWell, with out of the way it’s time to finish populating the circuit board on our , and then get to filling up that chassis.

Installing The Transistors & Capacitors

If you check out Step 7 in the official PDF instructions you’ll see that our next move is to install two of our transistors (the BS170 MOSFET, and the 2N5088) into the PCB. All you have to do is follow the diagrams, and make sure you get the transistors in going the right direction––pretty basic stuff.

Tri Booster Circuit Board 3Step 8, installing the ceramic disc & film capacitors isn’t any more difficult, though it is considerably more time consuming. These babies aren’t polarized, so they can go in either direction. In my kit the ceramic disc capacitor was a tiny round orange unit (towards the upper right in the photo,) though the directions from BYOC state that this may very.

Either way, once you install this capacitor your board should look something like this photo… at this point we’ve invested a lot of time and effort into this very small piece of machinery––here’s hoping we did it right, eh?

Tri Booster Effects Pedal 4Installing The Rotary Switch Now’s where things get a bit more interesting. Before we install the rotary switch into the circuit board we need to set it so that it will only turn to three different positions.

Take the bolt and the first serrated washer off of the unit, and you will find a second washer with notch poking out of it. Just lift the washer a bit and you can turn it until the notch falls into the slot marked “3”––you’ve just successfully set the switch for three positions.

Tri Booster Circuit Board 5To actually install the rotary switch we need to flip the unit over. Line up the marked prongs on the back of the switch with the marked diagram on the PCB and insert the unit (top left)––double checking that you’ve got the prongs in the correct holes.

Now solder. Simple as that. At this point it should look something like the photo on the right.

Loading Up The Chassis Excellent––now we’re ready to move on to Step 10––installing our hardware into the chassis. This step is pretty much self-explanatory: we’re going to flip our chassis over so we can get to the insides, and then just start loading up and bolting on the various pieces of hardware listed in the diagram.

Caution: One thing I learned the hard way is that if you install the AC Adapter Jack in the exact manner suggested in the directions, you simply won’t have enough room in the chassis to fit a 9v battery. Grab yourself a battery, just for checking the fit, and you should find that you can rotate that AC Adapter Jack enough for the batter to easily fit. Now tighten the plastic bolt.

With the hardware installed we need to start wiring it all up. Take a good look at the diagram for Step 11. The easiest way to do this step is to just set your PCB into the chassis upside down exactly matching the diagram (you aren’t connecting it or anything––just set it in there gently,) and then cut three pieces of wire from the spool included in your kit and attach them as shown: from the A100K pot to the three connectors on the PCB.

With the PCB still sitting in the chassis, move to Step 12 by inserting the LED into its slot on the PCB, with the longest lead going into the hole marked “C.” DO NOT SOLDER just yet.

Installing The PCB For Step 13, loosely mount the small three-way toggle switch to the chassis, and then carefully flip the PCB over into its final position at the top of the enclosure. Take your time, and guide the toggle switch into its place on the PCB, while simultaneously fitting the LED into its hole on the chassis, and of course the rotary switch as well.Tribooster Chassis 2

This all sounds fairly difficult on paper, but in practice it’s actually pretty easy. To their credit, the PCBs from seem to be perfectly designed and sized, and you should find that everything fits together quite neatly.

With these pieces all mounted, finish tightening up the bolts on the toggle switch, and then flip the chassis back over and solder the LED and the toggle into their places on the PCB.

At this point your kit should look something like the photo on the right… woohoo, you rock!

It’s time for another break, so head down to the local pub, order yourself a fat pint of beer (I’ll take a Guinness Stout, thank you,) and get someone to pat you on the back for the hard work you’ve just finished.

We’re heading into the home stretch.