FACE THE FUZZ PCB MOUNT VERSION
Hello, and thank you for purchasing the Face the Fuzz PCB Mount DIY Kit! This page will walk you through how to build your kit and fit it into a Hammond style 1590B case.
Resistors and Diode
First up are the resistors and Diode. Insert the resistors into their proper places according to the BOM. Then insert the Diode into place with the stripe on the diode facing the same way as the stripe on the board. Diodes are polarized components and will not work if installed improperly. Afterwards, flip your project over carefully onto a flat surface and solder everything in place. Then clip your leads.
Machine Pin Headers
Next up are the 3 Pin machine headers. Insert these into the spot where the pot legs are going to be, then flip over onto a flat surface and solder. If you are having trouble flipping the project over with the headers in, you can use a small piece of tape to temporarily hold them while soldering, and then remove it after.
Now we can populate the capacitors into the board according to the BOM. Electrolytic capacitors are polarized, so make sure when placing them, that the stripe on the capacitor goes into the hole opposite from the one marked with a ‘+’ symbol. The 1000uF capacitor needs to be laid on its side, as in the photo above for it to fit inside the case. It is easiest to insert it into the holes, then push it over on its side at a diagonal so that it fits under where the potentiometer will be. Once you have populated all the capacitors, flip the board over and solder them, clipping the leads afterwards.
The next things to populate are the transistors. While the Germanium AC128 transistors are the default transistor for this kit, there is also a silicon option, using the BC558 transistor. The picture above shows the proper orientation of the transistors, with the flat side facing the notch in the silkscreen. The picture below shows the proper orientation of the Germanium AC128 transistors, with the notch in the casing lined up with the notch on the silkscreen. When placing the Germanium transistors, place the one with the Black top (lower gain of the two) into Q1, and the other one into Q2. If this is not done, the pedal WILL NOT bias properly.
Next up is the trimmer potentiometer. Insert it into the designated spot on the silkscreen, with the two legs that are closer together towards the side of the board with the stomp switch. Now you can flip the board over, solder and clip the leads (if necessary)
Now the DC jack may be soldered to the board. There isn’t a really easy way to do this, but the easiest method found so far is to pre-fill one of the holes with solder, and then re-heat the solder and push the DC jack (gently) through the hole. Once that is done, the other two legs of the DC jack may be soldered.
Input and Output Jacks
Insert the Mono jack into the spot with only four holes in the board, and the stereo jack into the other side, with six holes. Then flip your project over and solder them in place.
The potentiometers have the potential to be the trickiest part of this build, due to the way they must be installed. The best way to do it so far is to solder one leg first, then re-heat and make sure its straight, and finally solder the other two legs. Please see below for a detailed walk-through on this process.
The first step is to clip the chassis mount leads off of the pots, otherwise they will get in the way of the components below them. Now would also be a good time to clip any ‘nubs’ that are on the mating surface of the pots. (see below)
The next step is to put just a little bit of solder in the middle hole of the machine pin headers. This can be tricky, but you only want to put enough in there so that there is still a little ‘dent’ in the top of the solder. This makes setting the pot leg on top of it much easier.
While gently holding the potentiometer’s middle leg to the solder you just put in, re-heat the solder and lightly push the potentiometer into place, making sure that it is straight and level.
Once you have done this for both potentiometers, you can go ahead and solder the remaining legs on all the potentiometers.
3PDT Stomp Switch
Next up is the stomp switch. Insert it into the designated spot, with the flat sides of the switch facing the ‘front’ and ‘back’ of the board, as shown in the picture above. Then flip over onto a flat surface and solder in place. I would recommend only soldering one leg of the switch at first, then checking alignment before finishing the soldering, as de-soldering one of these is VERY difficult without damage to the board.
9V Battery Clip
Insert the battery clip’s positive lead into the stress relief hole marked ‘+’, and then down into the solder pad next to it. repeat this with the negative lead, and then solder the wires in place. If there is any slack left in the wire between the stress relief and the solder pad, you can gently pull on the lead to remove this slack.
Installing the LED Bezel
The first thing you want to do with your case is to insert the LED bezel through the hole like the picture above, and then tighten it down from the other side with a socket or other tool.
LED and Test Fit
Now we are ready to test fit the pedal into the case.
Insert the LED through the holes in the PCB, with the cathode (shorter leg) facing towards the flat side of the silkscreen. (The side of the board with the stereo jack on it) DO NOT SOLDER IT IN YET. We need to set the length of the LED so that it goes into the LED mount fully when the pedal is in the case.
Insert your project into the enclosure, like the picture above, and push the LED into place from the bottom. Then you can bend the leads on the LED so that it doesn’t move anymore.
Insert the nuts for the input and output jacks and hand tighten them to hold the pedal in while you are soldering the LED.
Now Solder the leads for the LED, and clip them, making sure the clippings don’t fall into the enclosure.
Unscrew the nuts for the input and output jacks and pull the board out of the case.
For the Fuzz Face circuit to be optimally biased, the collector of Q2 needs to be at 4.5 volts. (When connecting the Arbiter Fuzz Face Clone circuit to your multimeter as shown in the photos below your meter will read -4.5v) The 20K trim pot is used to dial in this value. You will need a multi-meter that reads DC voltage to accomplish this, which can be found very inexpensively at places like Harbor Freight Tools. All you need to do is connect your leads to a ground on the PCB and the collector of Q2 to get this reading. (Pedal must be powered on)
Potentiometer and Stomp switch Nuts and Washers
Place the board back in the case, lining up the LED into the LED bezel. Insert the nuts for the input and output jacks and hand tighten them.
Now place the washers and nuts onto the potentiometers and stomp switch and hand tighten. Once everything is hand tight and lined up, you can lightly go back and tighten them with a tool.
You have successfully built a Face The Fuzz Pedal! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Trouble with your build? Take a look at our Troubleshooting Guide, it has lots of useful info in there that can help you get your build working right.