Step 1: Equipment Needed:
Soldering Iron with a small tip.
Blank copper PCB board
Iron (preferably an older one, as it might get a bit dirty and scratched)
etchant (I used Ammoniumpersufate)
Drill with a 1.0 or smaller head (I used a Column Drill of some old east german fashion to prevent breaking to many heads, it might be good to see if it's possible to gain acces to a similar drill.)
Acces to a laser printer
Glossy photo paper.
Some plastic or glass trays to perform the etching ceremony in. (do not use any metal object during the etching process, the etching fluid burns through any sort of metal.)
One stereo and one mono jack input
A 3DPT footswitch button, it is advised to get one of these, even though they're expensive, they save you from making a millenium bypass or something similar, unless ofcourse, you can't stand a good true bypass)
A case to put the end result in.
The specific parts you need to depend on what pedal you want to make. D'OH
In this case I decided to make a two in one pedal. One side is a clone of the EHX Pulsar tremolo pedal. The other side is an octave up pedal, based on the Octavia. I got both the schematics, layouts and directly printable PCB etching drawing from www.tonepad.com. This is a very helpfull site, tons of layouts and schematics and some helpfull tutorials. Other good sites to check are: www.diystompboxes.com and (...)
Lots of components can be gotten from electronics shops, but most shops don'st stock the more effect pedal specific parts, so it is advised to buy everything online. I used the store www.newtone-online.com, but it's based in holland, americans and other could use smallbearelectronics and the like.
Step 2: How to Get Started:
If everything went well the circuit should be on the copperboard, without any gaps in the copper leads. If this is not the case, use some aceton or nail polish remover to clean the copperboard and start again. If the transfer of the toner went well, it's time to get to the etching.
Step 3: The Etching:
Be patient and careful during this step. Not to scare you off, but you're working with aggressive fluids here, and messing things up can really cost you.
Step 4: Drilling the Holes:
Most people use 0.8 mm drills, but I advise using a 1.0 mm drill. The 0.8 mm might be a bit small for some components.
Step 5: Soldering the Components
Step 6: Offboard Wiring:
When the on board soldering is ready, it's time for the offboard part, the stompswitch and inputs. In my optimism of almost being done with a project I really have to be carefull not to make mistakes near the end, it's easy to get so anxious to try your project that it's not unlikely that you'll make a little wiring mistake, and spend hours of troubleshooting. Tonepad has really good offboard wiring layouts, and once you get the principle it's easy to think them out yourself. If you start soldering wires onto the 3DPT switch, remember to start with the middle connection, that saves you a lot of forking solder through small spaces etc. Various schematics can be found on Tonepad.com.
Step 7: Casing the Thing
If you're ready to put it in the case, find some drills that match the width of the pot shafts, and stompswitch. If you have installed status LED's get some LED holders, and another right sized drill.
Step 8: TroubleShooting:
Check your offboard wiring, sometimes it's easy to mix input and ground. If that happens, you will hear some noise out of your amp when the pedal is engaged, but no guitar signal coming through.
If all the wiring is correct, check for bad solder joints, both in the offboard wiring and on the board. The solder joints should be clean and silvery.
Next thing is checking if there's any current coming through. Get a multimeter, and check if the circuit is complete, and if heat sensitive parts like transistors and op-amps aren't fried.