Simple Timer — part 1: Requirements

I have been thinking of building a couple of portable electronic timers for a while now. Sure, an iPhone or whatever can do it, but there is something more satisfying about a purpose-built, stand-alone device with big display and physical button. Also, it is easy enough to add a jack to trigger an external device (e.g., camera, light for PCB exposure, etc.).

Continue reading Simple Timer — part 1: Requirements

Simple High Impedance Guitar Buffer / Line Driver

While “true bypass” is all the rage in guitar effects pedals these days, there are downsides. Namely that the input impedance on many effects pedals is too low and, combined with long cabling, tone suffers — especially high notes and overtones so important for leads. By using a high-impedance buffer close to the instrument, it will be unconcerned by switching pedals on and off and the tone’s full potential can live on. (of course the guitarist must do his or her part too!). Continue reading Simple High Impedance Guitar Buffer / Line Driver

Sardine-can Guitar Amp

sardine-can-amp-1I’ve been wanting a battery-powered headphone amp for practicing guitar, so… Yesterday I decided to put one together from a few components I had around and an empty sardine can. Based on a cheap LM386-1, I think it came out pretty well. The sound is decent, but nothing like my tube amp, of course. Snazzy case, though.