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Rare Buzz Effects

Rare Buzz Effects “Business Card Fuzz”

Welcome, buzzy friend – hopefully you’re excited to turn one of our business cards into a functional fuzz pedal. Please read through this page before you break out the tools. The BC Fuzz is not a difficult project to complete, just take your time and follow the steps laid out here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The BC Fuzz is designed to be built using primarily parts from Tayda Electronics (click here for the Tayda BOM with part numbers), but feel free to source your parts wherever you are comfortable. This project requires soldering, so if you have never soldered before consider a solder practice kit.

Bill of Materials:

  • C1, C2, C4 – 100nF MLCC or Film 5mm Lead Spacing
  • C3 – 220pF MLCC 5mm Lead Spacing
  • C5 – 3.3nF MLCC or Film 5mm lead spacing
  • C6 – 100uF Electrolytic 6.3mm Case
  • D1, D2 – 1N4148 or Similar
  • D3 – 1N5817 or Similar
  • LED – Any will work
  • Q1 – BC108B or Similar
  • Q2 – 2N3904 or Similar
  • Q3 – 2n3906 or Similar
  • R1 – 5.1M 1/8W
  • R2, R3, R5 – 10K 1/8W
  • R4 – 510K 1/8W
  • CLR – 1K – 10K 1/8W
  • GAIN Pot – 10K Linear 16mm Right Angle
  • TONE, LEVEL Pot – 100K Linear 16mm Right Angle

This circuit is very tolerant of MLCC capacitors – in fact, we prefer them for fuzzier tones. CLR should be adjusted to taste based on the color choice and should be jumpered if using a pre-wired LED with integral resistor. You will also need the standard off board components: 1590BB2 enclosure, audio and DC jacks, 3PDT stomp switch, knobs, and LED hardware. If you purchase the enclosure from Tayda, you can have them pre-drill it using this template. If you plan to drill your own, click here for the PDF drill template.

Build Order:

  1. Prepare your workspace and gather your parts and tools. Make sure you have everything you need before starting.
  2. Assemble the main circuit board (Business Card). Be mindful of the heights of various components – install diodes and resistors first, then shorter capacitors and transistors, and finally the taller electrolytic capacitor. Note: depending on your choice of LED, you may or may not use a resistor for “CLR.” If you use a pre-wired LED (like these, from Love My Switches), you will need to jumper this connection which can be done with a scrap lead or a small piece of hookup wire.
  3. Attach the wiring to the main circuit board – there should be six individual wires at the top for the audio and DC jacks, and the 6-pin cable at the bottom for the stomp switch daughter board. If you are not using the 3PDT Keyfob daughterboard, or if you did not receive a 6-pin cable, individual wires are fine here.
  4. Attach the three potentiometers to the board. Some brands of pots have a small tab on the knob side that will need to be cut or broken off.
  5. Install the main circuit board assembly in the drilled enclosure, installing the LED as you go. If you use one of the pre-wired LEDs linked above, we like to install them in the enclosure first, and trim the wires. Solder the LED wires first, then install the main circuit board assembly. This process may very with other LED choices.
  6. Install the 3PDT footswitch in the enclosure. Attach the 3PDT Keyfob daugterboard to the loose end of the 6-pin cable, being mindful of how it is oriented (the 6-pin cable and 3PDT footswitch are outlined on the PCB on the side they should mount to). Connect the daughterboard to the 3PDT footswitch. Note: 3PDT footswitches are sensative to heat. Don’t dawdle while soldering, and don’t be afraid to remove the heat and let everything cool down if you think you’re spending too much time on any one lug. If you did not use the daughterboard, see the notes below for hand wiring the footswitch.
  7. Install the DC jack. If you did this prior to this step, you probably figured out that the main circuit board assembly won’t go in with this in the way. Wire the jack to the DC input on the circuit board. The ground connection attaches to the lone perpendicular lug, and the power connects to the outermost parallel lug. This is a great time to test the LED and footswitch to make sure that they work.
  8. Attach the audio jacks to the loose wires on the main circuit board. Once they are attached, they can be installed in the enclosure. This is a great time to test the pedal itself before you seal it up.
  9. Assuming everything works correctly, install the lid on the enclosure and install your choice of knobs. Go rock out!
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