More findings ahoy! And learning, plenty of learning.
Okey dokey then, first off, it is of course important to me that what I produce is good quality. I’m not interested in making cheap crap, I’m not interested in cutting corners or costs if it means that I end up with something inferior. finding better ways of doing things is important, and that challenge is really half the fun. So… I got my hands on some isopropyl alcohol from CVS and went back to the claggy side of the PCB, I used some cotton buds and got to work, and check this out.
Much better! I can definitely live with that.
Next I measured everything up, marked my grid paper and taped it to the enclosure. I made my guide points with the very tip of the drill. Then I took the paper off and finished the holes as you’d expect. I didn’t drill thehole for the DC until last because I wanted to check how everything else looked before deciding where to put it. I ended up putting DC jack right next to the first footswitch as you can see in the picture at the top. It all fits really snuggly, which made me feel all smug and giggly. I could put the DC jack there because I’m using a slightly deeper enclosure from Small Bear. This one I do believe. I wouldn’t have been able to fit it in if I’d used a 1590BB.
Next up was soldering the pots and switch. Here’s a wee tip for making sure everything lines up nicely before you commit them to solder. Put the pots and switch in the board, then put them through the top of the enclosure (this will work for symmetrical layouts), so it’s sitting nice and flat like this:
Put something under the other side of the board to make sure it’s level, have a quick check, and if it’s ok get soldering. I also did this for another reason. I was concerned that the level of the switch was lower than the pots, which I found out to be true. Obviously we want all controls to be level, so they are flush with the inside of the enclosure. I just put a small nut on and adjusted it to the right height. Why!? Coz when we tighten up the nuts on the top, we might over tighten that one and damage the solder joint! That’s why!
So I got it in the box, and then, cos I couldn’t use my favourite knobs, I thought I’d go for comically small knobs. These are the smallest I have
So then I got to the heartbreaking stage of actually having to try it out, and guess what? It works! Only the pots work backwards. haha! Never mind, turns out it’s only half my fault. I can easily fix this by wiring up the pots backwards offboard using some of that hook and loop stuff I mentioned.
So back to KiCAD, yup, it turns out the pads on the footprint, whilst numbered 1, 2 and 3, don’t match up to the leg numbering of pots.
I have no idea why, but it happened. I should really have checked where the connections were going on the PCB, but now I know for next time. I’m still only taking half the blame.
Before I drilled the enclosure I messed around with the layout for my second attempt on the drill template.
I decided to put the switch vertical so there’s more space for the pots. Here’s the original PCB layout compared with the new one. Can you spot the differences?
I’ve already ordered the second batch. I actually went back to Seeed Studio, for one very simple reason. When I went to Dirty PCBs it noticed that my PCB is actually 103mm wide, which pushes it into the next price bracket, Seeed didn’t notice, so they came out cheaper. So next time when I have a smaller board, I’ll go to Dirty PCBs. I promise.
So what next? Well. you’ll see…
… when I get round to it.