Sunday, 28 July 2013

Red Llama with mods is being soldered

In my last post I kinda talked about how I was making a pedal for my friend. The pedal I'm making is the Way Huge Red Llama, a personal favourite of mine. But to change things up I made a mod, i'll get into that later. Over the 5 pedals I've made, I've developed some pretty sweet techniques to make life a whole lot easier! And I'll show you some of them in this post

The mod that I made to the circuit was a gain mod. If the 100k resistor that connects to the drive pot increases in value, like to 10M, then the pedal will have a higher gain. Since being able to switch between a stock red llama, which sounds fantastic, and a higher gain llama is very useful, I used a DPDT switch to switch between two resistors. 
Where the 100k resistor would be originally, I have two wires running from those holes to the switch
I used the twisty wire technique cause it looks sweet and takes up less space

I tried to bend the wires in a way that will stop the solder side of the board from touching the switch

For this build I used this trick that I put all the pots and switched on cardboard. This really helped me out so I can solder with more accuracy and I have more angles to work with. It was really simple to take off the the pots and transfer them over to the enclosure.

I enclosure I used is a 125B, so it's not the smallest but it has enough room to fit everything nice and neat
Another trick I learned is to pre solder the link on the 3PDT switch. The result is much cleaner
I have two unsoldered lug cause I need to solder other wire in them
Since I designed the pedal to have a battery, I used some foam to push the battery against the switch. I did this because a battery will move around if it's not secured. And if it moves it might damage the insides.
Now it can hold a battery totally upside-down without falling out. It also doesn't make any sound when you shake the pedal.
This is why I used the cardboard trick. When I take out the pots, I can simply plop it into the enclosure so the only things I need to do is solder a couple wires. It also holds its shape great!
One of the first offboard soldering joints I made was at the DC adapter. Since it is really hard to fit 2 wires into the one hole, I decided to get that out of the way. What I did was put the wire coming from the board into the hole, then I grabbed another wire, not attached to anything, and fit it in. It seamed to work out well.
So the second wire coming from the DC adapter, that was originally not soldered to anything, goes to the bottom sides and....
.... is soldered to LED. In my last couple of post I talk about using a small board to hold the resistor that connects to the LED. This makes sure that it is solid
Here is the finished product. The battery fits nicely

As you can see I used the twisty wire technique again, it looks cool
The upper half of the enclosure looks good, the board is floating pretty well
Usually on my other builds, the DC jack is one of my weak points. This time I think it turned out great!
There is the switch that toggles between low gain and high gain
Now that looks sexy
And the yellow LED to mach the gold Marshall knob just looks killer
I used my letter stamps to label the knobs, volume and drive. When the toggle switch is down it's in low gain
and when it's up it is high gain. Pretty simple, down=low gain, up=high gain
This is the best pedal I have made so far in terms of neat soldering. I'll try and get a build report up by the end of the day, I still need to push the limits of this monster!


  1. Dear,
    What is the name of the software to develop the stripboard in the first pic?

    1. Not to sure. I got the diagram from a different website:

  2. thanks, it should be diy-layout-creator

  3. Very nice build! Can you upload a video with the extra gain?