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October 05, 2022, 09:35:59 PM

Author Topic: More than a little intimidated  (Read 832 times)

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Offline CORedhawk

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More than a little intimidated
« on: March 09, 2022, 04:36:11 PM »
Ordered the Crackatwoa today and after reading the instructions I am fearful I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Really no experience with this, but I am a quick learner. You may be getting lots of questions! Thanks in advance!

Offline Mucker

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2022, 05:12:18 PM »
You can do it! Do not be in a hurry is my best advice .. the "do it nice or do it twice" mentality goes a long way ...  :-*

Offline Larpy

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2022, 07:59:30 AM »
What makes Bottlehead instructions intimidating to a first-timer is how detailed they are: page after page after page of "do this" and "do that."  But once you start building, all that detail makes the process easier, not harder.

Just go slow and check off each step as you complete it so that you don't inadvertently miss a step.

My first build was a tube-based guitar amp that came with parts, a schematic, and a layout (of components).  No instructions.  I figured it out, though there were many missteps along the way. I think my next build was a BH Foreplay III, which was a breeze by comparison.
Larry

Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2022, 08:42:28 AM »
You can do it! Do not be in a hurry is my best advice .. the "do it nice or do it twice" mentality goes a long way ...  :-*

Thanks - I plan to  take it slow as you suggest!

Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2022, 08:43:58 AM »
What makes Bottlehead instructions intimidating to a first-timer is how detailed they are: page after page after page of "do this" and "do that."  But once you start building, all that detail makes the process easier, not harder.

Just go slow and check off each step as you complete it so that you don't inadvertently miss a step.

My first build was a tube-based guitar amp that came with parts, a schematic, and a layout (of components).  No instructions.  I figured it out, though there were many missteps along the way. I think my next build was a BH Foreplay III, which was a breeze by comparison.

Good point! I think the instructions are something like 70 pages and that was a bikt overwhelming. Checking off each step is a good idea. Thanks.

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2022, 09:04:58 AM »
If you do the build in two hour chunks each evening and really focus on making your build look exactly like what's in the manual, that tends to help a lot.

If things don't work out, the repair service is also available provided the kit is built stock.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2022, 11:26:08 AM »
If you do the build in two hour chunks each evening and really focus on making your build look exactly like what's in the manual, that tends to help a lot.

If things don't work out, the repair service is also available provided the kit is built stock.

I'll plan on doing that. Thanks!

Offline Mucker

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2022, 04:46:26 PM »
I built an S3X recently and was meticulous but still missed soldering a couple points. It seemed like there were a couple hundred things to do in the lengthy instruction set. Usually 198 of 200 is pretty good by any standard .... EXCEPT ... 200 of 200 is required for a working amp  :-*

Well worth it!

Offline kgoss

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2022, 04:19:25 AM »
Be sure to watch all the how to videos on the forum.  Those take a lot of the intimidation away and build confidence,  They are great visual examples of how to build any Bottlehead kit correctly.
Ken Goss

Offline oguinn

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2022, 05:25:12 AM »
It helped me tremendously to organize all the parts in advance and work on a page or so at a time. Still messed some stuff up but it was better than it could've been.
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Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2022, 05:43:16 AM »
I built an S3X recently and was meticulous but still missed soldering a couple points. It seemed like there were a couple hundred things to do in the lengthy instruction set. Usually 198 of 200 is pretty good by any standard .... EXCEPT ... 200 of 200 is required for a working amp  :-*

Well worth it!

Very true :-D

Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2022, 05:44:15 AM »
Be sure to watch all the how to videos on the forum.  Those take a lot of the intimidation away and build confidence,  They are great visual examples of how to build any Bottlehead kit correctly.

I've been doing that in prep. No idea when to expect the kit, so I have some time to watch a few times. Thanks.

Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2022, 05:45:21 AM »
It helped me tremendously to organize all the parts in advance and work on a page or so at a time. Still messed some stuff up but it was better than it could've been.

How did you organize things?

Offline Mucker

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2022, 08:54:26 AM »
Another important thing for me was making sure to use the correct gauge when wire stripping. You want to avoid nicking the wire. I'd recommend using a high quality stripper .... cheap one's will be a real headache especially with a lengthy build.

This Hakko stripper is a good affordable one: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00FZPHMUG/ctmakerupdate-20/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=ctmakerupdate-20&linkId=bb05b0f554aacb90a7847d422a5e582c&language=en_US&th=1

I had a bad wire strip that caused a tube not to glow and troubleshooting it was difficult. I had conductivity everywhere but apparently the barely together nicked wire wasn't allowing enough juice through. After enough poking around, the wire finally broke off and I knew I found the problem.

After soldering a wire and letting it cool I use a pair of tweezers and give it a good tug making sure it's a rock solid connection. But I obviously missed that one. Practicing wire stripping beforehand could make it easier for you.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2022, 09:06:25 AM by Mucker »

Offline CORedhawk

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Re: More than a little intimidated
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2022, 09:58:29 AM »
Another important thing for me was making sure to use the correct gauge when wire stripping. You want to avoid nicking the wire. I'd recommend using a high quality stripper .... cheap one's will be a real headache especially with a lengthy build.

This Hakko stripper is a good affordable one: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00FZPHMUG/ctmakerupdate-20/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=ctmakerupdate-20&linkId=bb05b0f554aacb90a7847d422a5e582c&language=en_US&th=1

I had a bad wire strip that caused a tube not to glow and troubleshooting it was difficult. I had conductivity everywhere but apparently the barely together nicked wire wasn't allowing enough juice through. After enough poking around, the wire finally broke off and I knew I found the problem.

After soldering a wire and letting it cool I use a pair of tweezers and give it a good tug making sure it's a rock solid connection. But I obviously missed that one. Practicing wire stripping beforehand could make it easier for you.

Coincidentally, I just ordered a good wire stripper. I've done enough of that in other applications to know I needed something better. Thanks for the suggestion of testing the connection with tweezers!

Appreciate all the tips I'm getting from everyone!