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Thread: What diodes to stock for FX pedals?

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    What diodes to stock for FX pedals?

    While companies like Joe Knows put together great kits with resistors and capacitors I think I'll need to order the common diodes for FX pedals in bulk individually (20 to 100 each.) Any suggestions on what to buy and where to buy it? I've had great luck ordering parts from Jameco which buys up overstock from Silicon Valley firms. Plus Mouser and Digi-key... any others?
    BTW there is a trick I used to use when ordering parts for Pacific Stereo in the 70's: unless you are absolutely sure that everything will be labeled properly order different quantities of each item.

    Elenco has an 80 piece diode assortment for $16.99 at Amazon but it includes just 5 or less of each item. Good to have around but I'd need to bulk up on certain diodes. I think I already have 100 lots of 1N914 & 1N4148 but what other diodes should I buy in bulk?

    https://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Diode-.../dp/B007L4DX6Q

    Question: Specifically, which diodes are included in this kit? I am considering it, but there are a couple zener diodes I need.
    Answer: If there are specific components that you need I'd always suggest ordering a list of parts specific to your project. This kit is great to have on hand "just to have your bases covered" or to have components that will do in a pinch. That being said it does contain most common diodes you would need for everyday electronics. That list includes:
    Silicon:
    1N4001 x5
    1N4004 x5
    1N4007 x5
    1N5404 x5
    1N5408 x5
    6A01 x2
    6A08 x2
    ZENER:
    1N751 x5
    1N4733 x5
    1N4735 x5
    1N4742 x5
    Switch:
    1N4150 x5
    1N4148 x5
    1N914 x5
    Bridge Rec:
    W01 x2
    W02 x2
    Germanium:
    1N60 x5
    1N34A x3
    OTHER:
    Schottky and vara x2
    The selection of Zeners is pretty slim 5.1 Volt 1/2 watt, 5.1 1 watt,6.2 volt 1 watt,12 volt 1 watt as for the others1000 volt 1 A,1n5818 Schottky, 1n4004 100V 1A, 1n4150 75v Signal,W02 200v 1.5A,FV1043 Varactor,1n34a 65v 5ma ,1n5404 100v 3a,6a01 50v 6a,1n5408 1000v 3a, 1n60 50v 5 ma, about three to 5 of each also included 3 or 4 full wave bridge 100v
    I was also thinking of getting a $13.99 kit like this with 300 LEDs for clipping and for indicating status. Five colors, 40@ 3mm and 20@ 5mm plus 315 matching MF resistors:

    https://www.amazon.com/300Pcs-Assort...dp/B018NQ77HG/

    Thanks!

    Steve Ahola

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  2. #2
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    The most commonly-occurring diode for pedals would be a 1N914/1N4148 or equivalent. A less-frequently used diode would be a 1N4001 for power-related use, some 1N34a diode for distortion or envelope uses, and the occasional 9.1V and 5.1V zener for ZVex pedals and MXR phasers. Some BAT-type schottkys are nice for distortions too.

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    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    I have never liked the selections in most parts kits. The kit example above offers 5 each IN4001, IN4004 & 1N4007. For a small shop I would just stock the 1N4007 and use them everywhere that calls for a 1N400* series. Same thinking for the 1N914 & 1N4148. Maybe a pedal builder would believe that there is a reason to use one over the other but for my work they are the same. Ditto for the bridge rectifiers. Therefore, I would place an order for just the parts that you will initially use. The LED selection looks interesting but they seem to be no-name parts. I prefer to order parts that have an available data sheet and disclosed manufacturing source. Mouser or Digikey satisfy that requirement and they don't mind supplying small quantities of individual parts if you just want to try one type of part.
    Cheers,
    Tom

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    Last edited by Tom Phillips; 07-10-2016 at 03:59 AM.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Agree with Tom, I see no reason to stock any 1N400x other than 1N4007. And I have not ordered iN914 in decades, 1N4148 is functionally equivalent. Fender demands 1N4448 in their circuits, so in recent orders, I just stock those instead of the 1N4148.

    The higher current rectifiers like 3 amp 1N540x, no reason to stock any other than the 1N5408. Same with those 6 amp types, just stock the higher voltage ones if at all. I haven;t needed a 6A diode in ages.

    Differernt color LEDs have different forward voltages. SO if you are looking for clipping action, a selection of colors is good.

    Germaniums have about half the forward voltage as a silicon diode, at least basic rectifiers. I never saw one used for it, but are not Shottky diodes even lower in forward drop that germanium?

    Zeners? Maybe not a lot for pedals other than for powr input protection. But in my shop, the zeners I buy by the hundred are 15v, 1N4744. I guess some 9v or 10v zeners, like the one on a Boss that always tanks when the reverse polarity power adaptor is plugged into it.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Phillips View Post
    I have never liked the selections in most parts kits. The kit example above offers 5 each In4001, IN4004 & 1N4007. For a small shop I would just stock the 1N4007 and use them everywhere that calls for a 1N400* series.
    Are all of these diodes the same physical size with the same diameter leads? That could make a difference on an FX pedal circuit board. My parts stock has always been for tube amps... 1/2W resistors, 630v caps and huge diodes. Big sh*t!

    Having a kit in a small plastic box with dividers is a big plus for me (one less bin to buy- I already have more than a dozen.)

    Steve Ahola

    P.S. Joe Knows sells an LED kit that is probably better than the cheap one I posted...

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    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    Are all of these diodes the same physical size with the same diameter leads?...
    Yes. All the 1N400* diodes are the same size package and leads and the 1N914 /1N4148 are also the same. For any other parts the Mouser link to the data sheets will show the package size. I'll bet they are all the same price too.

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Mouser also has some great prices if you order 100 pieces. If you order 1-10 it's 15 cents each, order 100 it drops down to 5.3 cents each.

    Also, never order from Futurlec, unless you are a tortoise and plan on being around in 110 years.

    EDIT : price for 1n4007

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    Last edited by mozz; 07-10-2016 at 05:46 AM.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Fairchild 1N4148 are only $1.90 per hundred, under two cents each.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Since you are delving inpedals, qwhich require generic low power lowvoltage transistors, use thetried and true ELEKTOR mahgazine system

    Only 4 devices cover all your needs, *any* in each category covers the whole of it.

    Being Holland based suggestions are European (no big deal, Mouser carries all of themanyway) but our US friends can suggest equivalent American types:
    TUP, TUN, DUS, DUG

    FWIW all small signal devices I carry are

    BC547/557 to use almost anywhere

    1N4002 by the thousand, both as rectifier and clipper.

    T072 for use almost anywhere,

    also their poor cousins TL062 because they eat 1/5 the current and are designed for lower rail voltages so are useful in true battery powered stuff (think active instruments) .

    Wall wart powered stuff can use anything of course, but rub me the wrong way, if you know what I mean.

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Fairchild 1N4148 are only $1.90 per hundred, under two cents each.
    I'm pretty sure that I have 100-lot bags of 1N4148 & 1N914... it is the other diodes called for in on-line schematics that I am concerned about. Diodes and LEDs are often used in clipping circuits... I guess it is their forward voltage drop(?) that is critical...

    Steve A.

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  11. #11
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Since you are delving inpedals, qwhich require generic low power low voltage transistors, use the tried and true ELEKTOR magazine system

    Only 4 devices cover all your needs, *any** in each category covers the whole of it...
    While I was just asking about diodes perhaps it would be a good idea to put together a list of parts to have on hand for someone interested in building or modifying FX pedals. The Joe Knows 1/4W resistor kit is great with 1% MF resistors and their cap kit looks good, too.

    It looks like the $16 Joe Knows 100 piece LED assortment has 20 each of five colors, 5mm and very bright, with high ratings from customers. Would these work well for diode clipping?

    https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Knows-Ele.../dp/B0064SEBZC

    What would be good semiconductors to stock, like silicon, germanium and FET transistors and IC's?

    I have no immediate need for all of that information but I think it would be good to eventually put together a list for people getting into FX pedal circuits...

    Thanks!

    Steve Ahola

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  12. #12
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Most parts mentioned are generic, cheap and plentiful,so just stock on themnd call it a day.

    Only (big) can of worms is FETs: very expensive for what they are, but worst case: specs are all over the map, as in 5:1 spread being "normal" and the ones which can work properly at 9V levels are very very expensive or straight unavailable.

    Only sensible way to work with them is to first get access to some "good" ones and then buy 100 and hand measure and classify ... somewhat hard on the pocket when they cost around $5 each

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Senior Member jbltwin1's Avatar
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    I'm sure I have brought these guys up but I've bought a boatload of diodes, transistors and all the common stuff from Tayda Electronics. They have most of the common stuff at unbelievable prices and they have a warehouse in the US that MOST of my stuff has shipped from. I did a lot of pedal stuff for a while and that's where most of it comes from. Mike

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    It looks like the $16 Joe Knows 100 piece LED assortment has 20 each of five colors, 5mm and very bright, with high ratings from customers. Would these work well for diode clipping?
    For clipping purposes, red is generally best. At least if one assumes a +9VDC power supply. The thing is that forward voltage (and clipping threshold) varies with colour. Red has a forward voltage of around 1.5V, and other colours are higher. Applying a gain of 20x (which is fairly modest) to a guitar signal can exceed that forward voltage, but not for very long. The pick attack may be high amplitude, but the rest of the note falls well below threshold fairly quickly.

    You can keep the signal above threshold to achieve clipping by applying more gain. However:
    a) higher forward voltages will require more gain to achieve clipping, which may also result in amplified hiss,
    b) there are limits to how much gain you can aim for within the chip's voltage-swing capability.

    So the upshot is that red will work out for the best in clipping circuits. Once in a while, you may find a green one, but red offers optimal conditions.

    These days, I find super-bright LEDs of just about any colour I want, at less than 10 cents each, and often half that. $16 for 100 doesn't strike me as a particularly great deal, unless the assortment aspect is worth your time.

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    Really helped me out. Thanks for the great post. Thumbs up (Y)

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    I have also found this link quite interesting, if you are working on 1n751a:

    [Link reported as spam was removed.]

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    Last edited by Steve A.; 06-13-2018 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Link reported as spam was removed.

  17. #17
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Hi Robbie, long time no see


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    Last edited by J M Fahey; 06-13-2018 at 04:00 PM.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    I think that #16 was spam. Promotion of their own website.

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  19. #19
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Now that you mention, yes.
    "I FOUND a Link" .... which just by chance "happens" to be your own

    So checked his (do bots have sex?) other posts and yes, all look spammy.

    Even worse: checked the linked site and it looks like "Spam University"
    The very next page following the"diode technology contribution" is chock full of advice ; IŽll straight copy and paste, not making up any of this:
    SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of tips and tricks used to rank your blog higher on the search engines. This process will help you retain and gain number of visitors on your blog.
    SEO=creative spamming
    Search Engines come with intelligent bots which crawl and identify the pages .....
    These techniques include proper keyword research, link building, back linking, title and meta description that include focus keyword, SMO marketing, branding, producing quality content, keep uploading fresh content, tweaking already produced content that resonates with recent visitors and many more.
    Grey hat SEO includes link buying, duplicate content, purchasing old domains and many more.
    These techniques include keyword stuffing, doorway pages, hidden text, spam blog, unrelated keywords, fake link building.
    Take an active participation in the forums that are related to your blog. Build a connection, make a rapport with the visitors, answer their questions and queries. In this way, they will get a hint that you are pretty nifty about your skills and have an enough information about the topic they are discussing on the forum.
    Answering questions related to your blog is the best way to hijack number of visitors. You can join question and answer sites related to your blog
    Ring a bell?

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