loading

The Endangered Audio Research AD4096 is a much-beloved delay of musicians and mixing artists all over the world. Now, with the AD4096 Delay Upgrade Kit, you can double your AD4096's delay time from 400ms to 800ms.

This Instructable walks you through the installation and calibration process, step-by-step.

The included videos give you all the information you need to know to complete the kit - however, it is worth your time to read through this guide all the way through before watching the videos and starting your build.

Step 1: Check Your Soldering Skill Level

If you don't get what's wrong in the picture above, then this kit might not be for you.

Although this kit is a very simple build, it requires excellent soldering skill and attention to detail. If you make an improper connection or a bad solder joint, the chances of damaging your kit or your AD4096 are high. Though it should go without saying, any AD4096 damaged in the process of a DIY upgrade will not be covered under your warranty.

If you have any doubt in your soldering skills or feel that this project is beyond your abilities, you have two options:

1) Send us your AD4096 and we will upgrade it in-house for you for the cost of the kit and a small service fee.

2) Give the kit and your AD4096 to a trusted local technician who can follow these instructions and do it for you.

Repairing a damaged AD4096 will cost you a lot more than the price of this upgrade kit.

So again: only undertake this project on your own if you are confident in your soldering skills!

Step 2: Required Materials

To complete this kit, you will need:

  • AD4096 BBD upgrade board (comes assembled)
  • 2 capacitors - 1 mica and 1 mylar (comes with kit)
  • Multimeter with continuity test
  • Soldering iron (broad tip is recommended)
  • Solder
  • Wire cutter
  • Razor blade or Exacto knife
  • Permanent marker
  • Eyeglasses screwdriver or pen tip (used to bend leads of the capacitors)
  • Excellent soldering skills
  • Attention to detail

Step 3: Open Up Your AD4096

Remove the 4 screws and set the bottom panel aside.

Step 4: Determine Which Board Revision You Have: V1 or V2

During the run of AD4096 pedals, we made two different board versions. You must identify which version you have and follow those set of instructions.

Version 1 has a cut off edge on the top right side of the board (see pictured).

Version 2 is clearly marked with a 2012 date at the bottom of the board (see pictured).

If you have a Version 1 board, continue to the next step.

If you have a Version 2 board, skip to step 29.

Step 5: Version 1 Pedal Instructions

If you've determined that you have a version 1 pedal, continue with these instructions, or watch the attached video. The instructions are the same.

Step 6: Locate Trace to Cut

Locate the trace to cut near the trim pot labeled BIAS. The trace to cut is circled in the second picture.

Step 7: Cut the Trace

Make two cuts with your razor 1-2mm apart across the trace. Once you've cut the trace, scrape it away between the two cuts with the razor. Be careful not to cut yourself! The traces should come up easy - no need to force it.

Step 8: Check That the Trace Is Broken

Use a meter in continuity mode to check that the trace is completely broken. If it is not, keep scraping. You should not have to go very deep into the board - the trace is very thin and the PCB layer above it is not very thick either.

If you do not have a meter with a continuity mode, then make sure you are extra thorough in this step. If this trace is not completely cut, your upgrade will not work!

Step 9: Locate and Mark the Area for the Mylar Capacitor

Locate pad R. To the right of it are two solder joints. Put a mark between these two pads - this is where you'll be soldering the mylar capacitor. The mylar capacitor looks like a piece of Chiclet candy.

Step 10: Cut the Mylar Capacitor's Leads and Solder It in Place

Cut the leads of the mylar capacitor so that about 5mm remains below the leads' kink. Tack one side of the capacitor in place and then solder the second lead. Resolder the first joint if necessary. Again - check that you are not creating any bridged connections.

Once you have soldered the mylar capacitor in place, bend it around your pointer and flush with the board as you did with the mica capacitor.

Step 11: Locate and Mark the Area for the Mica Capacitor

Locate pad G. Directly above it are two solder joints. Put a mark between these two pads - this is where you'll be soldering the mica capacitor. The mica capacitor is the small orange disc.

Step 12: Cut the Capacitor's Excess Leads

Cut the leads of the mica capacitor to within 5-10 millimeters of the capacitor. You want to leave enough to solder comfortably, but not enough that you might create an accidental bridge.

Step 13: Solder the Mica Capacitor

Tack one side of the mica capacitor to the left pin, then solder the other pin into place. Reheat and solder the first pin if necessary. Check for any bridging connections and make sure you do not have too much solder on your joints. You should not have to add very much.

Step 14: Bend the Capacitor's Leads

Now you must bend the mica capacitor back flush with the board without bridging a connection. You can do this with a pointer (e.g., an eyeglasses screwdriver, a tip of a pen), bending around and over it.

Step 15: Familiarize Yourself With the Wires on the BBD Kit

The wires on the BBD kit are labeled A-H, but they are not arranged left-to-right, top-to-bottom as A-H on the board. The A-H designation has to do with signal flow, not assembly.

DO NOT MIX THESE WIRES UP. Improperly connecting your kit can cause 3 problems:

  • The upgrade doesn't work, but is salvagable
  • The upgrade gets destroyed, but the pedal is unharmed
  • Your pedal and the upgrade get destroyed

If you destroy the BBD, you can order another one, but if you destroy your pedal, you will likely need to send it into us for what might prove to be an extensive and costly repair job. This is not to frighten you, but only to impress upon you the importance of double- and then triple-checking yourself at every step beyond this one.

Step 16: Prepare Wires by Tinning and Cutting Them

Before you start attaching wires, you want to first tin and cut them to length. "Tinning" just means applying a little solder to the end of each wire. This makes the end of the wire stiff and prevents fraying. If a wire frays, it can cause a bridged connection.

Once you have tinned the wires, cut them down to about 2-3mm. You want them to be very small so that you don't accidentally bridge a connection. Don't worry about possibly melting the wire on the plastic as you solder as long as you make a clean, solid connection.

A wire that has been soldered correctly should be able to be pulled on with some force and not snap off. Don't yank it while testing, but do give each wire a good tug. If they do not break off, the chances are that you've made a solid connection.

Step 17: Solder Wire D to Lower Trace Cut Solder Joint

Take wire D from the BBD upgrade kit, find the trace you cut, and solder it to the lower solder joint as seen in the picture.

Step 18: Solder Wire E to Upper Trace Cut Solder Joint

Take wire E from the BBD upgrade kit, find the trace you cut, and solder it to the upper solder joint as seen in the picture.

Step 19: Solder Wire H to the Solder Joint Directly Above and to the Right of the Bias Trimpot

Take wire H from the BBD upgrade kit, locate the Bias trimpot and find the joint that is above and to the right of it. This joint is circled in yellow in the second picture. Solder wire H to this point.

Step 20: Locate Pin 1 of the BBD and Mark It

The BBD chip is on the right of the Bias trimpot. The BBD chip has 8 pins, but it is housed in what is typically a 14-pin package. You can look at the BBD upgrade board to confirm this. Pin 1 of the BBD is in the lower left corner. Mark it with a permanent marker.

It is IMPERATIVE that you get this step correct, as you will be making many of your connections based off this reference point.

Step 21: Solder Wire a to Pin 5 of the BBD

Take wire A from the BBD upgrade kit, locate pin 5 (pictured) and solder the wire to the pin.

Step 22: Solder Wire G to Pin 6 of the BBD

Take wire G from the BBD upgrade kit and solder it to pin 6 of the BBD, which is just below pin 5.

Step 23: Solder Wire C to Pin 8 of the BBD

Take wire C from the BBD upgrade kit and solder it pin 8 of the BBD (pictured).

Step 24: Solder Wire F to Pin 2 of the BBD

Take wire F from the BBD upgrade kit and solder it to pin 2 of the BBD as shown.

Step 25: Solder Wire B to Pin 1

Take wire B from the BBD upgrade kit and solder it to the pin 1 of the BBD, which you marked in an earlier step.

Step 26: Check Your Work!

If you've been following the instructions correctly, you've been double and triple checking your connections as you've been making them. Good for you. Now double check them again. This is the last opportunity you have to find a mistake before powering up your pedal.

If you think it would help, get up and stretch and come back to it after a coffee so you can examine it with fresh eyes.

Step 27: Lay the BBD Upgrade Kit Flat on the Right Side of the Pedal

The BBD kit should fit flat, component-side-up, on the right side of the pedal. Make sure you pull wires D and E away (to the left) from the others to prevent unwanted noise.

Step 28: Replace the Pedal Cover and Fire It Up!

Time to screw the back of the pedal on and check your work.

When replacing the pedal cover, make sure that no wires are being pinched by the cover. The back cover will easily sit flush on the pedal with no force applied if no wires are being pinched.

If your mod does not sound like you think it should, DO NOT ADJUST THE TRIMPOTS. Contact mark@endangeredaudioresearch.com and we'll give you a troubleshooting regimen to follow. Include a close up high detailed photo of your pedal's guts with the BBD board facing up so we can trace the wires from the board to the pedal.

Step 29: Version 2 Pedal Instructions

If you've determined that you have a version 2 pedal, read through the steps and watch the attached video. The instructions are essentially the same, but understanding them completely is the key to a successful upgrade.

This should go without saying, but the soldering work should be done while the pedal is unpowered. You will only plug the pedal in and test it when you have completely finished the upgrade. If the pedal is turned on while you are working on it, there is a chance that you could harm your pedal.

Step 30: Locate Trace to Cut

Locate the trace to cut near the trim pot labeled NULL. The trace to cut is circled in the second picture.

Step 31: Cut the Trace

Make two cuts with your razor 1-2mm apart across the trace. Once you've cut the trace, scrape it away between the two cuts with the razor. Be careful not to cut yourself! The traces should come up easy - no need to force it.

Step 32: Check That the Trace Is Broken

Use a meter in continuity mode to check that the trace is completely broken. If it is not, keep scraping. You should not have to go very deep into the board - the trace is very thin and the PCB layer above it is not very thick either.

If you do not have a meter with a continuity mode, then make sure you are extra thorough in this step. If this trace is not completely cut, your upgrade will not work!

Step 33: Locate and Mark the Area for the Mica Capacitor

Locate pad F. Directly above it are two solder joints. Put a mark between these two pads - this is where you'll be soldering the mica capacitor. The mica capacitor is the small orange disc.

Step 34: Cut the Capacitor's Excess Leads

Cut the leads of the mica capacitor to within a few millimeters of the capacitor. You want to leave enough to solder comfortably, but not enough that you might create an accidental bridge.

Step 35: Solder the Mica Capacitor

Tack one side of the mica capacitor to the left pin, then solder the other pin into place. Reheat and solder the first pin if necessary. Check for any bridging connections and make sure you do not have too much solder on your joints. You should not have to add very much.

Step 36: Bend the Capacitor's Leads

Now you must bend the mica capacitor back flush with the board without bridging a connection. You can do this with a pointer (e.g., an eyeglasses screwdriver, a tip of a pen), bending around and over it.

Step 37: Locate and Mark the Area for the Mylar Capacitor

Look at the pictures and place a mark between the two pins as shown. This is where you will solder the mylar capacitor. The mylar capacitor looks like a piece of Chiclet candy.

Step 38: Cut the Mylar Capacitor's Leads and Solder It in Place

Cut the leads of the mylar capacitor so that about 5mm remains below the leads' kink. Tack one side of the capacitor in place and then solder the second lead. Resolder the first joint if necessary. Again - check that you are not creating any bridged connections.

Once you have soldered the mylar capacitor in place, bend it around your pointer and flush with the board as you did with the mica capacitor.

Step 39: Mark Pin 1 of the BBD

The yellow outline in the picture indicates perimeter of the BBD chip on the other side of the board. Remember: you are looking at the chip from the bottom now, not the top!

The BBD is contained in what is normally a long 14 pin dual in-line package, but it actually only has 8 pins.

Mark pin 1 as shown. It is below the BIAS TP (test point) pad in the bottom right of the yellow box.

It is IMPERATIVE that you get this step correct, as you will be making many of your connections based off this reference point.

Note that there is another chip to the right of the BIAS TP pad - do not get this confused with the BBD!

Step 40: Locate and Mark Pad H

Pad H is to the right of the BIAS trimpot at the end of the trace. It is also above and to the left of the BIAS TP pad. You can see it clearly marked by a yellow circle in the pictures above.

Make a mark next to the pad - this is where you will solder wire H.

Step 41: Familiarize Yourself With the Wires on the BBD Kit

The wires on the BBD kit are labeled A-H, but they are not arranged left-to-right, top-to-bottom as A-H on the board. The A-H designation has to do with signal flow, not assembly.

DO NOT MIX THESE WIRES UP. Improperly connecting your kit can cause 3 problems:

  • The upgrade doesn't work, but is salvagable
  • The upgrade gets destroyed, but the pedal is unharmed
  • Your pedal and the upgrade get destroyed

If you destroy the BBD, you can order another one, but if you destroy your pedal, you will likely need to send it into us for what might prove to be an extensive and costly repair job.

This is not to frighten you, but only to impress upon you the importance of double- and then triple-checking yourself at every step beyond this one.

Step 42: Prepare Wires by Tinning and Cutting Them

Before you start attaching wires, you want to first tin and cut them to length. "Tinning" just means applying a little solder to the end of each wire. This makes the end of the wire stiff and prevents fraying. If a wire frays, it can cause a bridged connection.

Once you have tinned the wires, cut them down to about 2-3mm. You want them to be very small so that you don't accidentally bridge a connection. Don't worry about possibly melting the wire on the plastic as you solder as long as you make a clean, solid connection.

A wire that has been soldered correctly should be able to be pulled on with some force and not snap off. Don't yank it while testing, but do give each wire a good tug. If they do not break off, the chances are that you've made a solid connection.

Step 43: Solder Wire E to the Upper Solder Joint of the Cut Trace

Take wire E from the upgrade kit and solder it to the point that is just above and to the left of the trace that you cut earlier.

Step 44: Solder Wire D to the NULL TP Pad

Take wire D from the upgrade kit and solder it to the NULL TP pad, which is on the other side of the trace you cut earlier.

Step 45: Solder Wire a to Pin 5 of the BBD

Take wire A from the upgrade kit and solder it to pin 5 of the BBD. Pin 5 is in the upper left of the BBD chip's pins. It is in-line with pin 8, not pin 1 (the pin you marked earlier). It is directly beneath the Bias trimpot.

Step 46: Solder Wire G to Pin 6 of the BBD

Take wire G from the upgrade kit and solder it to pin 6 of the BBD. Pin 6 is just to the right of pin 5 - the pin you soldered in the last step.

Step 47: Solder Wire C to Pin 8 of the BBD

Take wire C from the upgrade kit and solder it to pin 8 of the BBD on the board. Pin 8 is directly above pin 1 (which you marked earlier) and just below and to the left of the BIAS TP pad. Make sure you do not bridge the connection with excess solder between pin 8 and the BIAS TP pad.

Remember: less is more - do not apply more solder that you need to. Use the solder that is already there to help attach the wire and only apply a dab more.

Step 48: Solder Wire F to Pin 2 of the BBD

Take wire F from the upgrade kit and solder it to pin 2 of the BBD on the board. Pin 2 is to the left of pin 1.

Step 49: Solder Wire B to Pin 1 of the BBD

Take wire B from the upgrade kit and solder it to pin 1 of the BBD on the board. Pin 1 is the pin of the BBD that you marked earlier.

Step 50: Solder Wire H to the Bias Pad You Marked Earlier

Take wire H from the upgrade kit and solder it to the pad you marked earlier that is near the Bias trimpot and above the BIAS TP pad.

Step 51: Check Your Work!

If you've been following the instructions correctly, you've been double and triple checking your connections as you've been making them. Good for you. Now double check them again. This is the last opportunity you have to find a mistake before powering up your pedal.

If you think it would help, get up and stretch and come back to it after a coffee so you can examine it with fresh eyes.

Step 52: Place the BBD Upgrade Kit Between the Footswitches

The BBD kit should fit nicely between the two footswitches. Make sure you pull wires D and E away (to the left) from the others to prevent unwanted noise.

Step 53: Replace the Pedal Cover and Fire It Up!

Time to screw the back of the pedal on and check your work.

When replacing the pedal cover, make sure that no wires are being pinched by the cover. The back cover will easily sit flush on the pedal with no force applied if no wires are being pinched.

If your mod does not sound like you think it should, DO NOT ADJUST THE TRIMPOTS. Contact mark@endangeredaudioresearch.com and we'll give you a troubleshooting regimen to follow. Include a close up high detailed photo of your pedal's guts with the BBD board facing up so we can trace the wires from the board to the pedal.

About This Instructable

1,608views

7favorites

More by endangeredaudioresearch:AD4096 Delay 800ms BBD Upgrade DIY Kit Gristleizer Synthesizer Module Build Guide 
Add instructable to: