Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bazz Fuss

The Bazz Fuss is an incredibly simple fuzz effect for bass (though can be used with guitar as well). It only uses a handful of parts and you can put it together on your breadboard in about a minute. I would have done this as another "episode" of It Came From Radio Shack!!! but there are a couple more things you can't get there (metal case and 3PDT switch), the actual components though, you can find at Radio Shack. I got mine there for just less than $20.

Parts List (* Not available at Radio Shacks)
2n3904 NPN Transistor
0.1uF Capacitor (Poly-Film)
4.7uF Capacitor (Electrolytic)
100kΩ Resistor
100kΩ Potentiometer
1N914 Diode
Rubber Feet
Metal Case*
3PDT True Bypass Footswitch*

All together, these things cost about $35.

I'm basing my build on this schematic from

The circuit is insanely easy to build and can be thrown on a breadboard in less than a minute. Here's what mine looks like on the breadboard.

I also added a 1MΩ resistor for a little voltage divider to get it to work on mine. If you have a problem with your circuit working, just try adding that.

After testing it out on the breadboard for a bit, it was time to solder it up. I decided to use sockets for the caps and transistor, since there are many substitutions for these parts that add their own flair to the circuit.

The finished circuit.
The original enclosure I was going to use was too small and I could not fit the battery in, so until I can get another one (I'll probably order it next week), I'm using a crappy little plastic box I grabbed at Radio Shack a little while back. Here's the final product all boxed up.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It Came From Radio Shack!!! #1 - Line Mixer

Welcome to my new portion of the blog, It Came From Radio Shack!!!. Being the paranoid type, I tend to not want to order parts online for my personal projects. So I occasionally (constantly actually) peruse the component bins at the Radio Shack in the mall. I've build many projects from the parts I get there, and I thought I'd share them with you.

As a circuit bender, I need a little mixer for recording and playing live, but I really don't need all the fancy shmancy functions of the one's I see online. So I found this schematic online and thought I'll modify it for the easily accessible parts I can find at Radio Shack. The modifications are replacing the TLO72 dual op-amp with a TLO82 dual op-amp (which are virtually the same IC), the 2.2uF cap at C7 is now a 10uF, and the 8.2kΩ resistor limiting the current to the LED is now a 220Ω.

Sorry this doesn't have a real step by step process. I finished the project before I thought of this ongoing article. For my next project (still figuring that one out) I'll take pictures of the entire project, from breadboarding to laying out the enclosure.

This mixer is perfect for mixing different bent devices, but if your bent device has an extremely hot (loud) output, put a volume lowering resistor in line with the jack. If the output is too loud it will bypass the volume control in the mixer and be very very loud. I learned about this from plugging my speak and spell into it and having it be louder than toys that were cranked up all the way even when the S&S was turned all the way down (on all tracks). If you want to know how to adjust the volume of your bent toys, check out this article by Casperelectronics.

Next time on It Came From Radio Shack!!!: Resistor Box