So you’ve put together your DIY guitar pedal but things aren’t quite working as planned. This troubleshooting guide will provide you with some tips and things to check in order to help get your guitar pedal working as it should. If you’re still having trouble after having read the suggestions below, post a thread on our community site with clear pictures of your build and an explanation of the issue.
Table of Contents
Your LED Light Turns On But No Sound Comes Out
In many cases, this is related to your input or output jack’s wiring. Both the input and output jacks have three lugs, a sleeve, tip, and ring.
Ensure that you are connecting each lug to the proper part of the PCB or DC jack. Remember, the Ring lug is only used for the input jack to provide power to the pedal, you don’t need to use the Ring lug for the output jack.
Your Pedal Doesn’t Sound Like It’s Suppose To
Double check each component against the PCB’s silk screen and make sure that the right components are placed where they should be. Additionally, you should check the orientation of components such as electrolytic capacitors, diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits. The direction in which these components should be placed in the PCB are shown on the silk screen and you can reference your pedal’s build document to get a clearer picture of what each component should look like.
Your LED Doesn’t Turn On And You Have No Sound When the Pedal Is Active
This is likely due to a power supply issue. Check that your DC jack’s lugs are properly connected to the designated slots on the PCB. Reference the image below to see what each lug on the DC jack should connect to.
This is likely due to a short. In many cases, this is caused by both LED leads touching. When all of your wires and components are inserted into the enclosure it can cause certain components to touch which otherwise shouldn’t. If you find your LED leads are causing this issue, simply bend them in opposite directions before inserting the PCB into the enclosure. Furthermore, you can wrap each lead with a bit of electrical tape to prevent this from happening.
Power Or Sound is Intermittently Cutting In and Out
Again, you likely have a short somewhere or one of your components isn’t soldered properly. Remove your PCB from the enclosure, if you haven’t already, and double check all of your soldered components. Maybe you have too much solder, too little solder, or the solder simply wasn’t properly applied. Reference the diagram below to see how your solder mounds should look.