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Thread: Mod for Way Huge Swollen Pickle Mk II

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Mod for Way Huge Swollen Pickle Mk II

    I haven't been a big fan of fuzz boxes since the early 70's (remember "American Woman"?) but the Way Huge Swollen Pickle Mk II is pretty darn slick. I had just one complaint with it: the Crunch control on the top panel goes from Too Much Bass to Way Too Much Bass. (The WHSP is Jeorge Tripp's version of the EHX Big Muff.)

    Searching the message boards I found a few mods for the original Swollen Pickle design which I applied to the reissue. Capacitors C1 & C2 are 1uf 50v electrolytics which I replaced with 0.47uf 50v e-caps. This should raise the existing high pass filter in the circuit up an octave, increasing the cut by 12dB.

    Perfect! The Crunch control set fully CCW cuts the bass but turning it up to 9:00 is perfect for me when using a neck humbucker... very smooth! And I can turn it up higher for the stock WHSP crunch. Definitely win-win, at least for me.





    The Jim Dunlop Way Huge pedals are fairly easy to work on with multi-pin mini plugs connecting the 3 boards. I first disconnect the foot switch board (the thick nylon bushing goes inside the metal enclosure with the two lock washers on either side of the metal.) You might want to note the angle at which the board was mounted. The nut appears to be 9/16" but I used a crescent wrench on it.

    Unplug the battery and pull the lead out of the battery compartment before removing the power supply jack board held in place by the two metal jack inserts which I removed with a 7/16th nutdriver. (Make sure not to cross-thread the inserts when reassembling the pedal because the black plastic is fairly soft... IMO the only weak point in the very excellent Way Huge pedal mechanical design.)

    To remove the main board you just need to remove the three nuts securing the big pots to the enclosure (I use a 10mm nutdriver.) The LED has to come out of the grommet.

    C1 & C2 are the two electrolytic caps closest to the LED. I haven't worked on many of the modern FX pedal pcbs and it was kinda tricky removing the caps and clearing the holes for the new caps. The first thing I do with lead-free solder is heat it up and add 60/40 to lower the melting point. I then inserted an angled soldering pick between the cap and the board and heated up the two pads while prying up on the cap. I clipped hemostats on the small caps and applied heat to the pads until I could wiggle them out. (I suppose I could have used small needlenose Vice Grips to add weight to the equation but I didn't think of it at the time.)

    With the caps removed I still had a ways to go in removing the solder from the tiny copper pads. On guitar amp pcbs I might use a tiny gauge drill bit in a pin vice to clear or enlarge the hole but I did not want to take any chances damaging the vias on the double-sided board.

    I ended up using a cheap Radio Shack iron (#64-2060A) with a hollow solder tip connected to a red plastic bulb through a metal tube. What worked was not sucking the solder but blowing the solder since the tiny copper pads did not retain heat very well - by the time you get your desolder tool (pump or bulb) in place the solder has already cooled down. What I will try next time will be heating the pad with my solder station and blowing the solder away with a can of compressed air.

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    Steve Ahola

    P.S. Here are two schematics of the original Swollen Pickles from the 90's...





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    Last edited by Steve A.; 07-19-2016 at 01:57 AM.

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    Nice extraction Dr. Steve! Good to see you tinkering!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    With the caps removed I still had a ways to go in removing the solder from the tiny copper pads. On guitar amp pcbs I might use a tiny gauge drill bit in a pin vice to clear or enlarge the hole but I did not want to take any chances damaging the vias on the double-sided board.
    I use de-solder braid and a no-clean flux pen. Apply the flux to both sides of the braid and the pad, place the braid over the pad then apply the flat of the iron to the braid. It works great. It's good for cleaning up surface mount pads too.

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    I use de-solder braid and a no-clean flux pen. Apply the flux to both sides of the braid and the pad, place the braid over the pad then apply the flat of the iron to the braid. It works great. It's good for cleaning up surface mount pads too.
    Thanks for the tip!

    Back in the days of 60/40 the de-solder braid I used had flux on it to help remove the solder... it would suck it right up. My good stuff is packed away somewhere and what I was using on Sunday doesn't seem to have anything on it.



    Do you use a Kester 186 or Kester 951 no-clean flux pen? I guess I'd need the 186 because I still use 60/40 for new joints...

    I used to love to do plumbing with 60/40 solder and had a really bad experience with 95/5. I was soldering a fitting up near the ceiling and rather than getting sucked into the joint like 60/40, the 95/5 solder ran down the torch tip and handle until it hit a gold ring on my hand which sucked it in greedily... OUCH!

    Shortly after that I left the home warranty repair business to work for HVAC firms which still used 60/40 for copper drain pipes, etc. For low temperature low pressure refrigerant lines I used Stay Brite 8 silver-bearing soft solder and Stay-Clean liquid fluid. That stuff was even more fun to use than 60/40 and you had a bright shiny joint when you were done. (It is great for copper supply lines, too... best no-lead solder around!)



    https://www.amazon.com/Ha-Sta-brite-.../dp/B001HWDPS4

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    Steve Ahola

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    Last edited by Steve A.; 07-19-2016 at 09:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    Back in the days of 60/40 the de-solder braid I used had flux on it to help remove the solder... it would suck it right up. My good stuff is packed away somewhere and what I was using on Sunday doesn't seem to have anything on it.

    Do you use a Kester 186 or Kester 951 no-clean flux pen? I guess I'd need the 186 because I still use 60/40 for new joints...
    I started using flux on the braid because the braid we had at work was useless without. It was probably too old because the new braid I have at home is fine but I still use a wipe of the pen on it to be sure. The braid I have 2mm wide.

    I use this - flux pen
    It works fine on 60/40 or lead free.

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  6. #6
    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    I started using flux on the braid because the braid we had at work was useless without. It was probably too old because the new braid I have at home is fine but I still use a wipe of the pen on it to be sure. The braid I have 2mm wide.


    I use this - flux pen
    It works fine on 60/40 or lead free.
    I went Fry's to get some desoldering stuff and picked up some MG 426-LF No-Clean desolder braid:

    https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-.../dp/B008O9WBO2

    They didn't have any flux pens but I got the MG 8341-10ml flux syringe:

    https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-.../dp/B00425FUW2

    The 426-LF worked pretty good by itself but when supercharged with extra flux it was absolutely killer. I was able to pull out two 1uF rectangular box capacitors but managed to remove 2 copper pads in the process. Ouch! The first soldered up okay but I lost continuity on the second. However, I was able to solder the lead to two adjacent resistor leads (thank God I had the schematic!) I guess I was a little too aggressive with the heat (800°F) or amount of flux...

    I ended up replacing C4, C23, C24 & C25 (1uF caps) with 220nF caps along with C37, replacing the 100nF cap with 10nF. (BTW C4 was electrolytic, the others were mylar.) Still a lot of bass but much more manageable. In comparing the clean channels in the Pork Loin and the Saucy Box they are pretty close now which was my goal.

    I was wondering whether any of the caps in the actual preamp circuit would affect the bass response besides the coupling caps. Would C13 & C26 have an effect or do they only serve to stabilize the B+ going to the transistors? I can't even begin to imagine the effect of C1 & C32...

    Steve Ahola

    P.S. The best deal I found on Amazon for Kester 186 flux pens was this (1 for $7.63, 2 for $11.30, 3 for $14.98, 4 for $18.65!)

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EWLA24C/

    If you buy one for $3.50 the shipping charge is $4.13. If you get 4 the shipping charge is $4.65 which I think is very fair.

    Their price for the Kester 951 No-Clean flux pen is 20 cents more per tube. Probably better to get this one which works on leaded and no-lead solder (actually they both do.)

    https://www.amazon.com/Kester-Solder...dp/B00EWLIK5A/

    [I ended up ordering 1 each for $11.51.]

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    Which schematic should I be looking at Steve? I can't find C23,C24,C25

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    Which schematic should I be looking at Steve? I can't find C23,C24,C25
    Sorry! I should have mentioned that I was working on my Way Huge Pork Loin (the Swollen Pickle mods are done.)




    Steve Ahola

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    I ended up replacing C4, C23, C24 & C25 (1uF caps) with 220nF caps along with C37, replacing the 100nF cap with 10nF. (BTW C4 was electrolytic, the others were mylar.) Still a lot of bass but much more manageable. In comparing the clean channels in the Pork Loin and the Saucy Box they are pretty close now which was my goal.

    I was wondering whether any of the caps in the actual preamp circuit would affect the bass response besides the coupling caps. Would C13 & C26 have an effect or do they only serve to stabilize the B+ going to the transistors? I can't even begin to imagine the effect of C1 & C32...
    I should have realized it was the Pork Loin. The thread title must have confused me

    I don't know why they have C23 and C24. They are in series so they could be replaced by a single cap of half the value. I wouldn't change C13 or C26. They are power supply decoupling caps. I think C1 and C32 are for RF interference suppression.

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    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    I have a question for you if you don't mind Steve. How do you post those in-line images?

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Nick,
    Steve PM'd me a while back with a link to a thread here with instructions. I just looked and my PM is gone. Like an idiot, I must have inadvertently deleted it. I was just searching for the thread and, for the life of me, can't find it.

    Steve,
    If you read this, may I suggest you sticky that thread? I think there are many of us who would like your instructions on how to do this. Thanks in advance.

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Nick,
    Steve PM'd me a while back with a link to a thread here with instructions. I just looked and my PM is gone. Like an idiot, I must have inadvertently deleted it. I was just searching for the thread and, for the life of me, can't find it.

    Steve,
    If you read this, may I suggest you sticky that thread? I think there are many of us who would like your instructions on how to do this. Thanks in advance.
    Since I sticky'd it in the Lobby lots of people here have been posting images in-line rather than just attaching them. I believe that you still need to leave the attachment in your post or it will eventually be deleted by the software here. Here is the post:

    http://music-electronics-forum.com/t41874/

    I do 99% of my browsing with a Samsung tablet so a lot of the desktop dialog boxes do not work too well. The Samsung stores up to 10 keyboard macros available from some but not all text boxes.

    Once you have an URL for an image ending in JPG, GIF or whatever you can the [IMG] and [/IMG] tags at the beginning to insert it in-line.

    Here is one text string I use to insert YouTube videos in their own player (limit one per post.) Desktop users can just paste the URL into the Add Video dialog box but it can't be in the youtu.be format. I will copy the actual 11 digit video # and paste it into the following code, replacing XYZ:

    Code:
    To see that text try clicking on Reply with Quote...

    Steve Ahola

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Well, shizz. I didn't think to look in the lobby.

    Thanks, Steve!

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    A post from Pork Loin thread....

    There is a part of the circuit I ignored because I was just using it as a treble cut control. The Filter internal trim pot also boosts the bass when turned further clockwise... D'oh!

    R9(10k) and C3(47nf) in series to ground boost the bass as the Filter control is turned CW. What values would lessen the bass boost? At 30% the bass is full and by 50% it is too much for me. I guess that replacing R9 with something like a 27k or 33k resistor would make the trim pot more usable for me.

    BTW with the Filter control set fully CCW the sound is thin, but without much brilliance. Could replacing C18 or R3 help in that regard?

    I've including the gut shot showing the rectangular mylar cap C3 right next to the transistor... any suggestions on removing it? I've been clipping a hemostat on them and wiggling them as I heat up the copper pad. Unfortunately I have damaged a few copper pads doing that, perhaps from using too high of tip temperature. What is a good setting for RoHS lead-free solder? I guess once I have lifted the cap enough I should clip the lead and then work on the other terminal?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated! (The pedal is almost there... just a little fine tuning is left.)





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    Steve Ahola

    P.S. Not exactly a cross-post because I edited schematic snippet!
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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    I don't know why they have C23 and C24. They are in series so they could be replaced by a single cap of half the value.
    I suspect that Jeorge Tripp had them added to the design for one reason or another and once etched on the pcb had to use them... ("Oh, crap, I forgot to erase that!")

    BTW Mr. Tripp is a well-respected designer who worked for Line 6 and MXR between the two incarnations of Way Huge, one boutique and the other a division of Jim Dunlop.

    Steve Ahola

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