Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tremolo blues...

I honestly didn't think an optical type tremolo would be that hard to control.
You set this bias, control the rate, whats so hard about that?
Lots, apparently.
You see, it's drifting.. and not just one thing.. Everything.
The thing about transistors is, TO-18 metal can transistors to be specific, they are so
very sensitive to temperature, voltage differences, humidity, barometric pressure, colors of the rainbow, etc.. etc..
Once I have dialed in exactly what I want, something happens.
the voltage drops a tiny bit because not only are the 4 transistors, there's an LED that's constantly
flashing and that draws power from the battery.
Ok, so use a power supply. I did, and that caused it to fluctuate as well due to the voltage difference.
I don't like creating circuits that I have the intention of selling while using a power supply.
Not everyone is going to have a power supply to use so if I can get the best possible result using only battery power, I know that a power supply is only going to solidify what I've created with only battery power.
Except this time, it doesn't look like that's going to be the case, unless I create some sort of on-board
power regulation that will keep the power supplied to the circuit at a constant voltage.
The best result I had with the circuit was at around 8.5v. anything above 9.5 was crap.
Anything below 8 was crap as well.
So, my next thing may be to create some sort of voltage regulator along with the tremolo circuit to keep
the exact voltage I need at a steady value no matter the source.
That's the only way I'm going to get this circuit to work with what I want to do.
Trying to keep the LED brightness bright enough to get a sharp enough attack, while letting it die out completely is going to be a challenge.
I've got the speed variation I want to use, I just have to make sure that speed variation stays within those
parameters no matter what is connected to it.
if you want to put 5 pedals before it, or after, or have it right in the middle, or use it as the only one in the chain, it's GOT to perform perfectly. If not, then I'll ditch it and go with a chip... but then that'd be the easy way, wouldn't it?

I'll post an update as soon as I tame this beast.
I already like what I'm hearing.. it sounds awesome.