808 Compact Overdrive: The Inner-core of the Tube Screamer

If you get rid of the input buffer, output buffer and tone control of a Tube Screamer, you will still have a great sounding overdrive circuit. That’s what I did making the 808 Compact Overdrive. The overdrive only contains the inner-core of the Tube Screamer using only a single operational amplifier. I had added some passive filtering at the end with a 10N capacitor after the 1K resistor that leads to the output. The frequency cutoff is the same as the Distortion Plus.

My version with a flames graphic.

741 Distortion

Here is a layout I use for the Distortion Plus. I call it the 741 Distortion because it uses a UA741 or LM741 single OpAmp. The only difference it has than the Distortion Plus is the 82p capacitor in the non-inverting feedback gain stage, connecting pin 6 to pin 2. It works great! It can really can scream! This is my favorite distortion pedal by far.

This is the finished pedal in a 1590a enclosure with a pink leopard skin graphic. Ready to Rock!

Big Muff Pi V2 1973 #3 Vero Layout

Recently, I had been reading about the development and history behind the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi to research building my own BMP. It is, most likely, the most historic guitar distortion effects pedal. I recommend reading Kit’s Secret Guitar Page’s Big Muff history and The Big Muff Pi Page’s Evolution of the Big Muff Pi Circuit if you are interested in guitar effects pedals.

The schematic I had based my Vero build on was found on the Evolution page is the “V2 “73” RAMS HEAD BIG MUFF PI – First Circle Face version.” This version uses 10K collector resistors and limiting resistors. The V2
1973 #3 also uses 0.1uF (100N) Mylar film capacitors instead of polarized electrolytic capacitors. The Mylar film capacitors and 10K resistors do not effect the pedals gain at all. Using film capacitors is actually an advantage over electrolytic capacitors.

Big Muff Pi V2 1973 #3 Schematic found on the Big Muff Page

The final result is a great sounding distortion pedal. I recommend giving the build a try.

The Easy Way to Make a Matte Black Pickguard

I needed a matte black pickguard with a single humbucker and fit for a Floyd Rose tremolo. The only option I had was to special order one. Instead I saved $20 by ordering a standard black pickguard and used a white super fine Scotch Brite pad to make the finish matte. In order to get the finish to look right, I only scoured lengthwise. Scouring in one direction gives the plastic the best finish. Do not swirl. 👍🎸

How to Delete Records and Reclaim Space from an Oracle Database

oracle-dbI had inherited an Oracle database at work which Operations uses for different tasks. The database grows by thousands of records everyday from collecting network data. One day the system stopped working. I had performed an investigation and discovered there was no more space available in the tablespace because several tables were full of network data. The only choice was to delete the old records. After deleting records, I realized the tables’ sizes were not shrinking. So I did a Google search online to find out why. I found there are three extra steps which are needed to be performed after deleting records. Here they are:


That’s it. That is what you need to do to keep a healthy and tidy Oracle database.





Improved ERPTC’s Server by Tuning MySQL

logo-mysqlERPTC’s server performance had been terrible because I had never spent time to tune MySQL. Well, today I had taken care of tuning MySQL.  Now the site loads in just over a second. Here are the results from Pingdom Tools:

Tested Load Time Page Size Requests Page Speed
April 2 17:55:46 1.52 s 3.0 MB 157 84
April 2 14:26:11 1.18 s 3.0 MB 157 84
April 2 14:25:56 7.73 s 3.0 MB 157 79
April 2 14:04:00 1.38 s 3.0 MB 157 84
April 2 14:01:43 1.16 s 3.0 MB 157 84
April 2 14:01:26 1.29 s 3.0 MB 157 84
April 2 14:01:13 1.19 s 3.0 MB 157 84
April 2 14:00:59 7.35 s 3.0 MB 157 79
April 2 13:56:37 2.70 s 3.0 MB 163 83
April 2 13:56:19 2.63 s 3.0 MB 163 83
April 2 13:56:04 6.91 s 3.0 MB 163 79
April 2 13:32:56 2.60 s 3.0 MB 162 83
April 2 13:32:41 6.30 s 3.0 MB 163 83
April 2 13:32:23 2.66 s 3.0 MB 163 83
April 2 13:32:07 8.82 s 3.0 MB 162 79
April 2 13:20:10 2.91 s 3.0 MB 163 83
April 2 13:18:25 9.05 s 3.0 MB 162 79
April 2 13:07:21 12.97 s 3.0 MB 163 79
April 2 13:06:20 10.25 s 3.0 MB 163 79

ERPTC is Now Using Mail Chimp

mailchimp-logoI was having a huge problem with sending mailing list emails from ERPTC‘s WordPress server. Every time I would send out the club’s weekly newsletter, the majority of the emails would go unread because they were winding up in the recipient’s spam folder. This is the problem with sending emails using your own server like ERPTC does. It’s a problem that is very difficult to fix, if it ever could be fixed.

As a remedy, I have decided to try out MailChimp for managing the club’s email list. I understand nothing is foolproof, but using MailChimp will have to be better than the current situation.

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