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DIY Electronics

Last Modified: March 28, 2012

Must Have Sites and Books | Projects | Soldering and Assembly | Resistors, Transistors, PCBs, Capacitors | Vacuum Tubes | Fundamentals of Electronics and Oscilloscopes | Data Sheets | References | Schematics, Circuits, Veroboards, and Breadboards | Guitar Effects Links | Electronics Parts | Vintage Stuff Links | Guitar Amplifier and Speaker Links | Non-Categorized Guitar Effects Links | Guitar Parts Suppliers


Do It Yourself (DIY) electronics is a great way to expand your gear. Below is a collection of links that I have compiled in teaching myself about electronics. The first detailed section is Getting Started, where you can learn about the basics of electronics. You are then provided with section on: references, schematics, circuits, veroboards, transistors, soldering, using an oscilloscope, and some lessons in Electrical Engineering. The purpose is to provide you with the most fundamental material as well as more advanced material for those who desire it. After this there are several links to DIY guitar sites, and then an extensive synthesizer section. I will be updating it, giving all of the links pertinent titles, and creating an index of anchors for all of the sections. The links below may be marked in one of several ways: PDF links to external PDF, TEWM PDF links to a PDF on our server, TEWM is a TEWM HTML page, and the majority of the remaing links are to external sites. Links to external sites will open in a new tab.

BeavisAudio is a great place to start. Learn the basics and get the ball rolling.

If it is Audiophile and/or Computer Audiophile you want, then try the Audio Index for DIY audio and recording.

DIY Electronics is for the beginner as well as the advanced DIYer. Here is where you will learn how to solder not only basic circuits, but also SMD's and IC's. Almost all aspects of DIY electronics are covered, as well as the audiophile components and construction.
DIY Audio Here we address only audio. Almost all pages here are original TEWM pages.
DIY Guitar A lot of links and some original TEWM pages.
Fundamentals of Audio The nuts-and-bolts of audio. A total of 38 pages, with a lot of great illustrations.
DIY Audiophile Links This is the most comprehensive link index for DIY audiophile kits, instructions, schematics, computer audiophiles, and more.
DIY Synthesizers A lot of links and some original TEWM pages.
DIY Recording To help keep things organized I had to break the recording from the audio index.
Links Home Recording
Multimedia Articles a list of PDFs that will familiarize you on codecs for audio and video, XML, multimedia coding standards, etc.
Acoustics, Music, and Science an extensive list of PDFs that address the research on modern acoustics, music, or the physics of music.

Optimize Your Existing Mac for Audio
Build an Affordable Music/Audio Server with the all NEW NM24 Tube DAC

Must Have DIY Sites
Technical Books Online This is a great site for downloading free books.
All About Circuits Be sure to check out their "Volumes" for a great introduction to electronics.
Officially Licensed Circuits
Mouser Electronic Parts...can be overwhelming, but they will send you a 1500 page catalog for free
PedalParts Pedal board parts. Great service
Small Bear Great Selection
Headwize A great resource site in many ways...as long as it deals with headphones.
Music From Outer Space Take a guess.
Gallery This is phenomenal site with man electrical layouts

Technical Books Online This is a great site for downloading free books. If you want to learn electronics, then this is the site and it is all free.

iPod, MP3, and iPhone DIY:
iPhone v1.1.1 Jailbreak & AppTapp Installation Guide
Build a MP3-decoder!


Technical Books Online This is a great site for downloading free books. If you want to learn electronics, then this is the site and it is all free.
DIY Audio Modifications
Pre-amps, Amps, Speakers, etc.
Working with the SPDIF Connection
Understanding AC/DC, Series/Parallel, Resistance and Impedance
Impedance 101



This is a new section that will help you master your electronics skills. We will begin with the building of very simple projects, and with time these will become more difficult. The primary objective for me is to create projects and match them to the schematic. The reason for doing it this way is that I have just started working with electrical schematics and have had a very difficult time in going from schematic to a real live circuit. So...in teaching myself, I will also be teaching. I have created a list of projects that a friend, who happens to be very talented with electroinics, has agreed to help me build and photograph. We will be posting these as they become available. Before beginning, make sure you know how to solder.

Improve Your Existing Audio System with These Free Tips
Optimize an Existing PC for Audio

Build an Audio HDD Server
Make Your Own Patch Cords/Cables

Capacitor Guide
Circuit Schematic Symbols
Putting the Stomp Box Together

Electronics for the DIYer

Soldering and Assembly

From Schematic to Reality
Practice Soldering
SMD Soldering Practice Kit
Better Soldering PDF
Solder Like a Pro PDF
Soldering Guide PDF
PCB Soldering PDF
Recommended Soldering Techniques PDF
Lead Free Wave Soldering PDF
Soldering PDF
SMD (Surface Mount Device) Soldering Guide
Through-Hole Soldering General Requirements
Getting Started With Soldering external link
How to Solder external link
Tools You Will Need external link


What is a Capacitor Wikipedia
Tantalum Capacitor Wikipedia
Electrolytic Capacitor Wikipedia
High-End Capacitors, Inductors, and Resistors
Working With Electrolytic Capacitors
Replacing Passive Components to Improve Sound Quality
Strategies for Replacing Old Electrolytic Capacitors Deals primarily with replacing old capacitors in older equipment NEW
Replacing a SMD Electrolytic Capacitor
How to Pick an Audio Capacitor
Capacitor Distortion Mechanisms
How To Test A Capacitor

Coming Soon:
Replacing Capacitors on an Amp Board (a Quad 303 in this case)DEAD Link NEW_AAA_DIY_Replace_Caps_On_Amp_Board.htm
How to Test a CapacitorDEAD Link NEW_DIY_AAA_Test_Capacitors.htm
Capacitor Testing and Discharge DEAD Link

Parts Connection Great selection of audiophile grade capacitors
hi-fi Collective More audiophile grade
Octave Electronics Yet another supplier of caps
Dedicated Audio Some caps, but not near as many as PC above
Hi-end Capacitors Get the skinny on what the high-price is all about
V-Cap Capacitors They make some hi-quality caps Octave Electronics
Avondale Audo
Soundlabs Group A great resource for parts

Resistors, Transistors, PCBs, Capacitors, etc.

Resistor Color Code Guide TEWM
Resistor Color Code Table TEWM
Capacitor Guide TEWM
4 Band Resistor Color Code Calculator
5 Band Resistor Color Code Calculator
6 Band Resistor Color Code Calculator
Resistor Color Code Calculator
Building Simple Resistor Circuits
101 Transistor
Photo Etching Printed Circuit Boards
Easy Printed Circuit Boards
Picking Capacitors
Some Transistor Data Sheets
Designing JFET Preamps
Engineering Applications: Printed Circuit Boards
Building series-parallel resistor circuits
Power Supplies and Voltage Regulators


Vacuum Tubes

How Vacuum Tubes Work
Theory of and Types of Vacuum Tubes
How Vacuum Tubes in Linears Work
Vaccum Tube Amplifiers
Vacuum Tubes Vs. Transistors
Vacuum Tubes Vs Transistors in Electric Guitar Amplifiers
Vacuum Tubes: Buying
Audio Tube Maintenance
Amplification Primer: The Sound of Vacuum Tubes


The Fundamentals of Electronics and Oscilloscopes

Fundamentals of Digital Electronics TEWM PDF For educational use only
Intro to Oscilloscopes TEWM PDF
Index for: XYXZs of Oscilloscopes TEWM PDF An excellent resource from Tektronix
The Significance of Oscilloscope Signal Integrity TEWM PDF
MyScope TDS5000B DPO Series TEWM PDF Functionality of Oscilloscope
Below are numerous PowerPoint lectures in the specified topic that have been converted to PDFs.
Thanks to: Clarkson University School of Engineering

Oscilloscopes TEWM PDF
Oscilloscopes and Comparators TEWM PDF
DC and AC measurements TEWM PDF
Amps Lab TEWM PDF A very simple/short piece
Aliasing and Pulse Measurements TEWM PDF
Transient Analysis TEWM PDF
Sequential Logic TEWM PDF
AC Circuits Sampling TEWM PDF
A/D Converters TEWM PDF
VLSI Design Intro TEWM PDF
Circuits & Layout TEWM PDF
Logical Effort TEWM PDF
Combinational Circuits TEWM PDF
Circuit Families TEWM PDF
Sequential Circuits TEWM PDF
Design for Testability TEWM PDF
CMOS Transistor Theory TEWM PDF
Nonideal Transistors TEWM PDF
Transient Response TEWM PDF

If you just need an introduction to electronics, here are some links that can help.
Although this FAQ was written with stompboxes/pedals in mind, it has a tremendous amount of information about basic electronics and especially electronic components and parts.
A Complete Course in Electronics
Here is a series of YouTube videos covering the basics of electornics. This course has you build circuits using a breadboard and various electronic components.
All About Circuits
A multi volume series on electricity and electronics. Volumes include DC electronics, AC electronics, Semiconductors, and Digital Electronics. These books are a work in progress, so you might come across some missing information.

Data Sheets

Philips 8-bit multiplying D/A converter TEWM PDF
Motorola Quad 2-Input Exclusive OR Gate TEWM PDF
Motorola Dual JK Positive Edge-Triggered Flip-Flop TEWM PDF
Motorola Quad Flip-Flop TEWM PDF
Motorola Presettable BCD/DECADE Up/Down Counters Presettable 4-Bit Binary Up/Down Counters TEWM PDF


Electronic References

The Encyclopedia of Electronics
FreeUK: Studying Electronics Index A great resource and place to begin
A great resource site in many ways...as long as it deals with headphones.
Schematic to Vero Board This is as close as it gets for me in my quest.
BeavisAudio For me this is where is began.
SatCure Great electronics tutorials
Delabs A great resource site.
Practical Electronics Nice overview
School of Electronics: Get Help A great place that shows how to transform a schematic to a working project
Electronic Symbols
Electronics 101
Get help with Electronics
Electronics Project Design References and Tips
Electricity and Magnetism Here is an entire book that you can download by pages as PDFs.
Build Your Own Electronics Workshop Build Your Own Electronics Workshop Book

Schematics, Circuits, Veroboards, and Breadboards

Learn Schematics
Read Schematics
Circuit Schematic Symbols TEWM
Electronics Articles  Small selection
How to Read Simple Schematics
First Steps in Radio: How to Read a Schematic Diagram PDF Every little bit helps.
Micro Controller Projects: How to Read Schematics
Midnight Science: How to Read Schematics Very short but good relation to peg board
Embedded Systems: How to Read a Schematic
Breadboard Interface Circuit Good example
Another Breadboard Example
RobotRoom Schematics Some cool stuff and nicely done schematics for the novice
Electronic Breadboards PDF A nice Physics Lab.
Prototyping Circuits with Veroboard
Another Example of Schematic in Use
PCB Comparisons to Schematic See if you can figure things out...self-test
FreeUK: Circuit Diagrams
Circuit Diagram
Data Sheets site
Delabs Electronic Circuits and Projects
Electronic Circuits and Electronics Projects
A small collection of electronic circuits for the hobbyist or student
Physical Computing most of the book can be read here. Some great stuff on Building Circuits, etc.
RobotRoom Some cool stuff and nicely done schematics for the novice
Any Circuits a great resource site.
How to Read Schematics some nice diagrams...scroll down past the ads.
The Process Diagram: Rationale and Definition Time for a different look at circuits.
Schematics and Manuals
Schematics and Components
Building Your First Board
Eletronic Schematic Diagrams A lot of potential, but a difficult site to navigate


Do-It-Yourself Guitar Effects Links

Some of the below sites may be repeats of what is below, but we have categorized them.

Analogman New and boutique pedals, as well as modified commercial pedals
Aron's Stompbox Page A wealth of stompbox info, schematics, sound clips, and forums
Barber Electronics Check out their "Tweaks" page for some very cool mod info
BYOC Popular stompbox kits -- nice designs and great prices!
CMAT Mods Modified commercial pedals and mod info
Common Sound Pedal kits and DIY info
DIY Guitarist
Effects Connections Stompbox and effects pedal parts
General Guitar Gadgets Ready-to-solder pc boards for a number of pedals, as well as project info and schematics. Highly recommended
GEOFex Great resource for DIY effects info. The "Technology of ..." articles are required reading
Keeley Electronics Home of the Boss DS-1 "Seeing Eye" mod
Pedal Parts Plus Stompbox and effects pedal parts
Red Teletronix Nobody can beat this selection of hard-to-find custom effects pedals. Highly recommended
Runoff Groove PC boards and stompbox projects, plus sound samples; nice site
Small Bear Electronics One-stop shopping for stompbox parts. Highly recommended
Tonepad PC boards, lots of stompbox projects, detailed photo essays; great site
Wah-Wah UK Wah modifications, repairs, and circuit board upgrades
Mark Hammer's Articles Long Lost Do-It-Yourself articles, a very good resource.
SingleCoil.com Some great DIY information for guitarists.
Ampage Sound Sample sLots of home-built effects pedal sound samples.
Tonepad.com Stompbox layouts here
Runoff Groove
Fuzz Central
DIY Guitarist
Moosapotamus Great stompbox building mods and information.
Homebrew Tweaks PEDALS!
Doug's Do-It-Yourself Guitar Effects Page Some more modification information
The Tone God Some good stuff here.
Commonsound.org Kits Here's the kits and DIY information!
Robin Tomtlund's Effects
Stellan Lehrberg's Effects
gaussmarkov: diy fx
Jim Radmer DIY Page
Guitar Related Circuits
Greene House Effects
Analog Guitar and Bass Music Effect Clones
Fx Page Some information about effects.
HeadWize Listed again...but this site kicks it!
LXH2 Website Some amp simulators, etc.
Mutron Biphase Clone
Guitar Amp and Effects Projects
John HollisAssorted Circuit Designs
Stombox StuffE.G. Hensel
Pedro Freitas Stompbox Internet Stuff


Other Do-It-Yourself Links

Pickup Winder Build your own Pickup Winder and wind your own guitar pickups!
ESP Projects Page
Articles by Don Tillman

Do-It-Yourself Stompbox Commercial Site Links

Some very good stuff for sale here to help you build some great stomp boxes.

AMZ Analog Music ZoneSome free stuff too.
PAiA Great site for kits, etc.
Quasar Electronics Located in UK. Lots of kits, look carefully through the list for guitar effects etc.

Electronics Parts Links

Stompbox Parts suppliers.

All Electronics Corporation
New Sensor Corporation
Mouser Electronics
Jupiter Condenser Co
Keystone Electronics
Electronix Express
Circuit Specialists
Radio Shack
Cheap Surplus Parts
Micro-Mark The Small Tool Specialists


Non-Categorized Guitar Effects Links

Some of these are commercial sites, no endorsements but they might give you some ideas for your own Do-It-Yourself en devours.

Lava CableNot effects, but excellent guitar cables
4ms pedals
Guitar Geek Look at the setups of the Big Stars
zvex Effects
Rane Corporation They have lots of schematics online!
Tone Frenzy Home of some good sound samples.
jacques stompoxes Some nice pictures.
Melbourne Music CenterVintage Articles Click the Vintage button along the top part of the page.
Real McCoy Custom Wah wahs of course.
AnalogMan Lots of good information.
Fulltone Custom Effects
Roger Mayer USA
GuitarFX.com Maybe it'll get better in time. There a few sound samples here.
Morley Pedals Hey, they got some schematics of their effects here!
mode zero
Foxrox Electronics
Blackbox Do-It-Yourself Page
GM Arts Overdrive explaination.
The Official Redtelectronix Custom Effects Website
OK GuitarRobert Keeley
Stompin-ground.com Pedal Boards, etc.
Pedalboard.com Pricey pedal boards, etc.
Loop Master Loopers and Pedal board Accessories


Vintage Stuff Links

The Unofficial Ampeg Page
Vintage Echo Units from the 1960's
Rat Versions

Guitar Amplifier and Speaker Links

Ceria Tone Amplification Guitar amp kits, schematics, etc.
Brown Note
Weber Amp Kits One of my favorite for guitar amps
Doberman Music Products Quality amp building at affordable prices
TubeDepot Tubes, guitar amp kits, audio kits, etc.
Tube Amp Building and use Safety
First and foremost- BE SAFE
AmpageLots of stuff here, great forums!
The Fender Amp Field Guide
Weber Vintage Sound Technology
Celestion Professional Products
Angela Intruments
DIY Tube Guitar Amp Page
Triode Electronics Electron Tubes & Tube Amplifier Parts, and DIY Tube Amp Kits
Grill Cloth Replacement Instructions
Tolex Tutorials
Transcendent Sound DIY Specialist in Vacuum Tube OTL Amplifiers
Triodes Electronics Online
Building Speaker Cabinets
Aiken Amplification
Obsolete Electronics
Hoffman Tube Amplifiers
Summit Amps
ssguitar.comSolid State Amps Forum
STF Electronics
Pharaoh Amplifiers
London Power
M&G Amplification
Unearthing the Mysteries of the Leslie Cabinet
The Unofficial Ampeg Page
Tone Lounge
Steve's DIY Guitar Amps Page
Adam's Amplifiers
PDR's Tube Amps (and other guitar stuff)
Vintone Circuits



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