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Help With My Sustainer

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Well i'll start this off with some excuses: i hardly know anything about electronics, that's why i'll be asking quite basic questions.

Firstly: i'm planning on building the following sustainer system: http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=16984

i'll probably be able to make the circuit, because i have someone to help me, but its the wiring up to the guitar, pickups, driver, and amps that i don't quite understand. I have a theory of how it might be, but i want to be sure i know what to do, before i start building.

My theory:

- the vibrating strings start the signal in the pickups

- the signal from the guitar pickups is simply split into 2

- one of the signals goes to the amps, the other to the sustainer circuits input (SC)

- the SC amps it up, and it goes through the output of the SC to the driver

- the driver makes the strings vibrate, wich causes the signal to continue through the pickups

- and there it is once again split into 2

- etc...

- etc...

please tell me if i'm wrong, (realising that i'm a real beginner with electronics, so using plain english please :D)

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Hi, I thought I'd post here since this thread is about help with sustainers. Right now I have my winder bobbin made and just waiting to wrap wire. I'm working on building the Fetzer-Ruby circuit but I only have electrolytic caps for it (well all except the 22nF). Now my question is will it work with the caps I have, as long as I keep the polarity correct or do I need ceramic caps for the other non-polarized caps in the circuit?

I have circled the ones in question, red for the ones for which I only have polarized electrolytic caps.

frcircledcaps.gif

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I'd say just go buy some, they're really cheap, you'd probably get them all together under a dollar/puond/euro/whatever.

Also, when you're done with that, i'd like to ask: Does the coil on your bobbin start wildly vibrating and buzzing once you turn the volume up past a certain point? Theoretically i think i should have used glue when winding, but i'm using a bobbin from an old pickup, and i didn't want to ruin it any more than it already is. Can i maybe use wax for fixing the vibrating problem?

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Well the thing is its hard for me to make time to go to the stores here for them. I checked the source(radio shack) for ceramic capacitors. They have a variety pack but I didnt see the values I need. On top of that it was $8. I think I can make time between school and work tomorrow. I havent actually built the circuit yet. I tried it on breadboard but didnt get anything happening. Maybe I need to connect the ground from the guitar or something. Will be building it on perfboard so wanted to make sure about the caps. I guess I'll wind the driver tonight, and yes I bought wood glue to pot it. I'm thinking of hooking it up to an mp3 player or my amplug to test it if it dries tonight. Hope to be posting some pictures soon.

About your potting question, I think wax is fine but I believe you need to use paraffin wax and it should be the same process as potting a pickup. Dump it in the wax and wait till the bubbles stop or maybe you can just squeeze some glue into it now. I've never done a pickup so I wouldnt know. Other more knowledgeable people here can probably answer this better than me.

This is my first attempt at building a sustainer. If I'm successful I might try winding my own pickups, the stock ones I use arent very good.

Edited by dark_1

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How do you have your pickups and sustainer wired in your guitar? I think I have a pretty good grasp on how to do it but will never know until I try. Can you draw up a simple schematic of your wiring?

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Well to be honest it's not IN my guitar yet, i have (at the moment) the amplifier circuit with pots and whatnot in an old sweet tin, with jack out and inputs, and i gave the buzzy driver wound around the old bobbin seperately, with a male jack plug wired to it, so i can connect it all up. also, i'm planning to bave the option of using the driver coil as a low quality pickup when not "driving", and adding a sort of casing seperately to the side of the guitar(thereby eliminating the need to drill holes for the pots and switches) all i'll need is a slightly modified packplate cut out from a paint bucket lid. I still don't know how i'll wire it when i finally get it to work, but i'm working on it. I'll post it here once i get it done. Here are some pics of what i have so far:

Here's the tin with all the wires, pots, and everything:

http://www.myimg.de/?img=SANY0292480c0.jpg

In and output jacks:

http://www.myimg.de/?img=SANY0293bce4d.jpg

The first replacement backplate, quite easy to make, i used a box cutter to shape it, and just forced the screws through. So far it only has a simple toggle switch, but i'll be making another one, probably with a DPDT switch:

http://www.myimg.de/?img=SANY0295ec83d.jpg

Here's the driver in an old pickup casing, with the jack:

http://www.myimg.de/?img=SANY029870e39.jpg

Here's the bobbin with the wire around it. Strangely, it had the usual rods, but also a bar magnet on the bottom. Since everyone uses bar magnets for drivers(i don't know why, but there must be a reason) i only wound around the bar magnet half of the bobbin. You can also see that the wire is just simply wound around there, and so when it is connected to the amplifier, it buzzez wildly when i turn the volume up over a certain point. any ideas to stop this?

http://www.myimg.de/?img=SANY029992092.jpg

Here you can see the rods, and how badly i damaged the bobbin when forcing it out of the pickup casing:

http://www.myimg.de/?img=SANY03009d1ce.jpg

That's all for now. If i can make up some sort of wiring schematic, i'll post it here.

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Also i'd suggest finding a smaller shop for components, because there they'll help you find exactly what you need. I don't know if you need ceramic caps, i'm not an electronics guy really. I had someone to help me build the circuit itsself. Thanks for the wax advice, i'll try that.

For the wiring, basically you want the signal going to your guitars output jack split into 2. 1 of these goes on to the jack plug, the other goes to the amplifier circuit, then from there to the driver. You might want to install a DPDT switch between the amp and the driver, so you can switch the signal direction, thereby switching between normal and harmonic mode(at least that's the theory, i haven't got it working yet)

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Nice pics. Seeing your driver, you might just be able to squeeze some wood glue on it and sort of compress the windings down. Once it dries stretch some electrical tape over it really tight. That should help. As for how I want to wire it, I will be using a 4pdt switch(on order from ebay). 2 of the common terminals(middle) will connect neck hot and ground so I can totally disconnect the pickup when not in use. One will switch bridge hot sustainer and also split it there to continue to volume pot or go direct to volume pot. The last set of terminals will be on/off for the circuit. I'll try and post a schematic later. I also have some push/pull pots coming that I'll be using to switch between the harmonic mode. I ordered a 100k pot so I can use it for volume of the driver as well. My guitar has 2 vol and one tone right now. I'm going to take out the tone and put the push/pull there and reduce the other 2 vol pots so I have 1 vol and 1 tone. This way I only need to drill one hole for the 4pdt switch. One thing I'm not sure on is how do I connect the ground from the circuit to the ground from my guitar. Is it as simple as just connecting a wire from the guitar ground to the circuit ground? Or is there something I'm missing.

Now my driver that I tried to wind last night. Well ran into some problems with shorts. Tonight I will just wind about 150 turns or so and then check. Also last night I had the wire break on me. Since it was a test coil I tried soldering it back together and got some nail enamel to coat the wire with to stop it from shorting. PSW stated in some thread that the glue will be fine to protect from shorts but didnt work so well for me. I also got some more capacitors for the circuit. I'm still waiting on some tiny rare earth mags I ordered but i have a big ceramic bar to test with and some other rare earth disc magnets. I'm trying to make a very slim driver and squeeze it in between the neck and neck pickup. I measured about 7mm space there, can probably squeeze about 8mm.

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Hi, I thought I'd post here since this thread is about help with sustainers. Right now I have my winder bobbin made and just waiting to wrap wire. I'm working on building the Fetzer-Ruby circuit but I only have electrolytic caps for it (well all except the 22nF). Now my question is will it work with the caps I have, as long as I keep the polarity correct or do I need ceramic caps for the other non-polarized caps in the circuit?

I have circled the ones in question, red for the ones for which I only have polarized electrolytic caps.

frcircledcaps.gif

The smaller capacitors will be non electrolytic. The ones labeled (n) which is nano farads. You won't find any electrolytic capacitors that small. Even the one labeled .5 uf (.5 micofarads) will be non electrolytic. The capacitor symbol with the two straight plates indicates non electrolytic capacitors.

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Hi, I thought I'd post here since this thread is about help with sustainers. Right now I have my winder bobbin made and just waiting to wrap wire. I'm working on building the Fetzer-Ruby circuit but I only have electrolytic caps for it (well all except the 22nF). Now my question is will it work with the caps I have, as long as I keep the polarity correct or do I need ceramic caps for the other non-polarized caps in the circuit?

I have circled the ones in question, red for the ones for which I only have polarized electrolytic caps.

frcircledcaps.gif

The smaller capacitors will be non electrolytic. The ones labeled (n) which is nano farads. You won't find any electrolytic capacitors that small. Even the one labeled .5 uf (.5 micofarads) will be non electrolytic. The capacitor symbol with the two straight palates indicates non electrolytic capacitors.

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Yea well actually I found .5 and .1 uf electrolytics. I think theyre electrolytic, they look like the rest of the electrolytics I have and were polarized. I did however go back and find some that arent polarized and look to be ceramic so I'm hoping my circuit will work when I build it. Still having problems with my driver coil. I should have about 10 ohms worth of wire wrapped around but I only checked once I wrapped it. Now I get a reading of about .7ohm. Could it be that I need to tape or coat the metal bar I'm wrapping the wire around? After the first failed attempt, I unwrapped the wire and the metal bar had some rust on it that wasnt there before. I'm thinking It's either the wood glue or wire somehow reacting. I used epoxy to glue plastic pieces on the top and bottom but there was no rust for the two days before I started wrapping wire around it. Maybe if I cant fix my coil today I will just tape the metal bar before putting top and bottom plastic pieces on and coil the wire without glue. I have a wax pot at work but I dont think it uses paraffin wax. Maybe I can just dunk it in there for a few to counter the vibrations.

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Does anyone know what actually causes these vibrations? I plugged a small 8 ohm speaker into the amp, and with or without an input signal, when i turned the volume/gain up to a certain point, it started buzzing the same as my unpotted driver coil. What causes the vibration? Will simply securing the coil with wax, or glue or similar fix it? It just seems too simple to be true

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Well built the fetzer ruby circuit. It works but I'm having some volume issues. Maybe my pickups are very weak but I tried switching the 68k resistor for a ~30k and no noticeable improvement. Maybe the speaker I'm testing with just needs some more power. Amplifying my guitar through my boss gt-8 gave me enough volume and the signal from my guitar was clearly audible. As for the driver, the wire I ordered came in spools of 100 or 200 ft, don't remember which it was. Anyways, the wire is just coiled and held together with some sort of glue, not on a physical spool of any sort. I'm now thinking that this glue is causing the enamel coating to come off as I unwind the wire to wind onto my 'bobbin'. I tried winding with the last bit of wire I had left without using any glue and when I was done it only read 1ohm. Before winding it read 5... Could it be that I need significantly more wire because the resistance goes down when wrapped around my bobbin? I wouldn't think so, but I'm no expert. I have ordered more wire from a different source which seems to be on an actual spool. Hope its not glued on.

Anyways I stuck a big bar ceramic magnet onto the 1ohm coil and was able to get some sustain while holding it in front of the strings. Nothing really from the thin strings (b and e) but I could hear it sustain from the others and even go into harmonics eventually or when I switched the wires around.

So anyway to boost the signal from the fetzer/ruby or should I not really be able to hear much when I connect a speaker. The speaker I used is an 8ohm speaker I bought for $1. Its got a metal casing and about 1.5 inches in diameter. I don't know anything else about it since the only markings on the speaker are 8ohm and +, - for the terminals.

Some help or input would really be appreciated.

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I've been reluctant to 'help' too much with these projects as already there has been so much information, these posts are in an 'unusual reference section of the forum, and I can be contacted directly if there are specific questions.

I would refer people directly to things like the pickup/driver winding tutorial in this section as well as this is really very succinct with plenty of pictures...psw's pickup driver tutorial

An alternative is this tutorial...http://diy-fever.com/misc/diy-sustainer/

Most people have problems because they misunderstand or don't appreciate the importance of the details, don't follow the specifications or construction requirements and/or can't build to the quality required.

That means, glue potting is a requirement of the project and a vital part of it...why is this...

Does anyone know what actually causes these vibrations? I plugged a small 8 ohm speaker into the amp, and with or without an input signal, when i turned the volume/gain up to a certain point, it started buzzing the same as my unpotted driver coil. What causes the vibration? Will simply securing the coil with wax, or glue or similar fix it? It just seems too simple to be true

You need a coil with as close to zero internal vibrations. Why are their vibrations? Because when there is an AC current going through the windings of the coil they all become magnetic and alternate at the frequencies or frequencies of the signal driving them. In addition there are resonances of the coil structure itself plus, if the windings can vibrate, they will and create still further signals!

PCV wood glue is recommended for a reason, not only is it safe, but able to be pulled apart if you want to have another go and wont stick so well to the plastic bobbin parts, provides gap filling properties and lets face it, drys effectively to a kind of PVC tape, so a fantastic 'liquid insulation'. Obviously you want to wind it with as few 'gaps' in there in the first place and bound up tightly while it dries. Wax potting after winding is not really suitable, and there definitely is no need to make a winding machine, you are only winding about 160 odd winds around a 3mm form. Also, super glues are very bad idea for many reasons and so to just about any epoxies that you would find in say a hardwarestore. There are reasons for this, yes they have been tried, yes they have generally failed!

If using a steel core, yes it will rust...but it should be shaped (the ends rounded so as not to cut into the wire) and perhaps protected with PVC tape over or a coating of 'varnish' such as super glue or perhaps nail varnish which will give it a plastic coating in short order. All these things are well illustrated in the step by step photos I would have thought.

As for the circuits, there are specifications and suggested modifications and somethings such as the required 0.2mm wire are crucial and can't be bought of a store shelf easily. This requires that you seek out and learn what is required to make these things successfully. In general, I have found a 100uF output cap on the circuit to have a better 'response' from these kinds of drivers and is typical of the kind i use.

As for wiring the device into the guitar, this can vary greatly with the setup of the guitar, primarily if there are any other pickups in there other than the bridge Pup. With one pickup, all is required is to turn the power on (a dpdt provides the harmonic function)...if any other pickups exist, these must be completely removed from the guitars circuitry...both the grounds and hots of all other pickups, not just "not selected' where the grounds may still be connected.

As I say, this depends on each persons guitar, but generally a 4pdt switch is required for any multipickup guitar...two poles to take out all the selection and pickups, another to connect the bridge pickup alone, and another to turn on the power.

However, before modifying anything or getting to carried away with such things...

build the/a circuit and test it as an amplifier with small speaker to ensure it works in this manner. It is not going to sound HI-FI but you don't want it sounding like a fuzz box and should aquaint yourself with the gain structure (pins 1&8 of the LM386 adjusts gain from 20x-200x amplification) so that your pickups and preamp are not overdriving the amp into saturation.

Build a solid 3mm, 0.2mm solid vibration free driver glue potted while being wound to around 8 ohms, give or take 0.5 ohms...run this from the bridge pickup and test the driver by holding it and it's leads (which are an extension of the driver coil)...and make sure all leads are reasonably short...then hold the driver above the strings well away from all pickups (over the neck) and test that you are getting proper clean sustain on all strings. Use only the bridge pickup for testing the device and take the signal directly from the bridge pickup to the circuit in addition to the guitars controls and amplifier system.

Then think about how you might integrate the system into your guitar with the requirements listed above for bypassing other pickups.

Do all tests with a decent 9volt battery power supply, do not use a power supply as these tend to add noise and are impractical anyway...

...

The heart of the project is the driver and the design, that is what will allow it to work with any number of suitable (buffered-power-amp) very simple amplification circuits. You need to be aware that it is very simple, but a precise electronic component. In essence you are actually building a type of electric "motor" to move the strings...

You are not building a pickup though similar, but a quite powerful tuned electromagnet that is putting out quite a signal to move the strings as you wish and as such it is designed to produce rapid electromagnetic fluctuations and create vibrations...this is the point.

As every single winding once power is applied becomes it's own magnet and vibrating, of course they will attempt to oscillate against themselves, this has to be restricted or eliminated...hence the glue...so that all the force is applied to vibrating the strings themselves and no other 'signals' or 'noise' is created by internal vibrations or interference by other nearby coils (such as other pickups), grounded areas, excessive leads (the leads from the driver coil in particular are simply extensions of the driver coil itself and put out a lot of EMI and can cause interference, etc.

Also be aware, we are talking about Electromagnetic Interference with this thing EMI...not radio interference for which copper shielding or humbucking pickups are dealing with..."shielding" such as this will have no effect (often it can actually cause problems as currents can be induced in such places) on EMI. The best defense is to create a di8stance between the source (bridge pickup) and the driver...too close or too much power and you will get squeal.

More power only creates more problems as well, you need efficiency and just enough power to run squeal and distortion free as possible. If not efficient enough ask yourself, is this driver vibration free built to spec and up to the task...have i got the circuit working properly, have I followed the testing procedures. So more power = more problems, rarely solutions!

...

Ok, well been a long time and of course this has been repeated ad-infinitum, I hope it has helped a bit and all I can offer is good luck and attend to the details, don't cut corners and enjoy. As I say, for specific problems, I can be contacted by email but bear in mind this is a DIY project and 'finding bits and pieces' in your part of the world is going to be radically different than it is for me in my tiny island at the bottom of the world...pete

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okay, i've given up with the original bobbin, i got the magnet, and made a sort of bobbin around it out of an old paint bucket lid, wound it, while using a tremendous amount of wood glue to pot it. Drying now. if it works, then basically my driver is done, and all that's left is the looks and putting it in a housing.

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Let us know how it turns out. My amp circuit seems to be working ok. Waiting for the new wire I ordered to arrive so I can try winding the driver again. In the meantime I think I'll redo my bobbin. Last attempt I taped the core but didn't have enough wire left to do a full 8. Funny enough It reads 3 ohms now. Hoping the new wire gets here soon so I can wind the required 8 ohms.

This is the glue I was using. Is it ok?

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/8404/20101004003.jpg

I had ordered some very tiny magnets. They turned out smaller than I anticipated and don't seem very strong but have plenty of them. Since I don't have the tools to cut a ceramic magnet to size, I'm thinking of using these other ones I have. They are rare earth and pretty strong. I can fit the four of them across the length of my driver but with the 4th in place I need to hold them in place or the 4th mag usually flies off or flips and sticks to one of the others. This is what they look like..

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/7830/20101004008.jpg

Any suggestions/comments? I'm pretty much stuck right now since I have no wire..

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Paint tin lid ... I hope this material is non-magnetic or even metal

Magnet inside the core + not usually a very good idea ... a magnet is N/S and this coil thin (3mm deep) so you will have the coil wrapped around half of one and half the other potentially neutralizing out quite a bit of effect.

Also ... internal magnets are hard to find with a suitable sized core and difficult to shape without damage to them.

Rare Earth Magnets ... also generally not a good idea for this design. These things are generally very powerful but their field very condensed around them, they are most strongly attracted to themselves and while powerful have a short sphere of influence.

(note that the MikeG tutorial has some flaws and the device was not as successful as it could have been. One glaring one was he used two rare earth magnets on the ends of his core, not a good plan nor the design. Wrong gauge wire affected high string response and the SS core material was probably not ideal for this purpose.

"white glue" seems ok ... there are always variations, a blurry pic is not the best information however, if it says it is made of PVA then that is what it is you know, very common stuff.

...

The design is fairly specific, while you can try any number of variations and some may work to some degree, the big sustainer thread covers most of these experiences if one wants to go their own way.

You may have seen my Telecaster from a few years back which uses essentially the original design with a more advanced construction method and being see through, you can see exactly what you need to be aiming for...

SMparts6.jpg

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...leful&st=15

I used 4 craft ceramic magnets on a 3mm ordinary steel core sitting above it. The coil was wound with 0.2mm to 8 ohms ensuring that the sides are pushed in tight and the whole thing kept neat...and is of course as solid as a rock!

All these materials were found cheaply and locally, steel can be found at a hardware store or around the house and can be shaped (unlike magnets), I suspect that these magnets were used for making fridge magnet kind of thing and was found in a pack of 10 of $2...bobbin material that has proven successful includes plastic from old folders or packaging!

No, it is not practical for the beginner to attempt to build exactly this, but the only difference between this and one with a bobbin (as shown in the one in the tutorial built on top of a pickup) and wood glue is that it is self supporting in construction, otherwise this is exactly what you should be aiming for...the core steel was even cut from the same piece!

...

The easiest way is to simply convert an existing pickup bobbin...the tutorial I linked to shows very clearly how this can be done...

winding_done.jpg

This does use the wood glue and shows a neat coil wound around a 3mm space made to the top half of an old single coil pickup stripped of it's windings, magnets are included in the device, once taped and the cover put on it looks exactly like a pickup and has been a successful technique many, many times to build this device. Notice how similar it looks to the coil on the tele or in fact an of the successful projects built on this design, again...what you need to be aiming for!

...

If you can build something that is essentially this device, then you can expect to get good results, but it is somewhat sensitive and is an "electronic component" with specific characteristics that you are trying to create. It does not have to look pretty, but it does have to function at the best efficiency you can make for it.

You will also see a lot of the installation requirements for this particular guitar and the complications of wiring a sustainer into a guitar in that thread.

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I thought I might need to find better magnets. Well once I get the driver going I will see how they work, if not I'll find some ceramic magnets. I'm in Canada and when I asked around for PVA glue they were clueless, so I got some basic wood glue. They were all the same. Sorry about the blurry picture, I didn't check camera settings. The bottle says its white glue for wood, paper, cardboard, etc..

I'

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okay, luckily i built the bobbin, so the magnet can easily be removed, and replaced with just about anything i want. If i put an iron or steel "blade" in there, and put the bar magnet on the bottom (with the right poles and everything) will it theoretically work?

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Well guys, i am proud to announce, that i have achieved sustain on the D string my potted driver is still buzzing, but much less than before, so maybe i'll get it right the second time, or i might be able to fix it even. i'll need a proper blade, and some stronger magnets. Thanks to PSW for the tip about the magnet being outside the coil.

Now can anyone tell me: does the thickness of the blade matter? i know it should be as wide as to go through the coil, and not much more. the length is given, but how thick should it be?(the one i'm using is way too wide, i'll need to cut/find another one)

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The design is fairly specific, while you can try any number of variations and some may work to some degree, the big sustainer thread covers most of these experiences if one wants to go their own way.

You may have seen my Telecaster from a few years back which uses essentially the original design with a more advanced construction method and being see through, you can see exactly what you need to be aiming for...

SMparts6.jpg

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...leful&st=15

I used 4 craft ceramic magnets on a 3mm ordinary steel core sitting above it. The coil was wound with 0.2mm to 8 ohms ensuring that the sides are pushed in tight and the whole thing kept neat...and is of course as solid as a rock!

All these materials were found cheaply and locally, steel can be found at a hardware store or around the house and can be shaped (unlike magnets), I suspect that these magnets were used for making fridge magnet kind of thing and was found in a pack of 10 of $2...bobbin material that has proven successful includes plastic from old folders or packaging!

No, it is not practical for the beginner to attempt to build exactly this, but the only difference between this and one with a bobbin (as shown in the one in the tutorial built on top of a pickup) and wood glue is that it is self supporting in construction, otherwise this is exactly what you should be aiming for...the core steel was even cut from the same piece!

...

The easiest way is to simply convert an existing pickup bobbin...the tutorial I linked to shows very clearly how this can be done...

winding_done.jpg

This does use the wood glue and shows a neat coil wound around a 3mm space made to the top half of an old single coil pickup stripped of it's windings, magnets are included in the device, once taped and the cover put on it looks exactly like a pickup and has been a successful technique many, many times to build this device. Notice how similar it looks to the coil on the tele or in fact an of the successful projects built on this design, again...what you need to be aiming for!

...

If you can build something that is essentially this device, then you can expect to get good results, but it is somewhat sensitive and is an "electronic component" with specific characteristics that you are trying to create. It does not have to look pretty, but it does have to function at the best efficiency you can make for it.

You will also see a lot of the installation requirements for this particular guitar and the complications of wiring a sustainer into a guitar in that thread.

The design is fairly specific even if it does tolerate a fair amount of variation...

I've found consistently that a 3mm steel core cut and filled to size works well, however seperate poles as on a full sized SC pickup conversion works too.

So, in mine the thickness is 3mm as this is the stock, the depth of the coil 3mm, plus the thickness of any bobbins, plus the magnets under it.

As for magnet strength, like power, this makes things worse, you need just enough no more...pretty much the kind of power you would find in a pickup. A very strong magnet will actually make it difficult for a string to vibrate freely in the magnetic field and may even pull the strings out of tune!

The "hollowed out" coil sounds like a bad idea...like the coil, the blade and the coil need to all be close and rock solid...if it is removable the blade inside will be the first thing that will try to vibrate, yes?

...

I think you have the very broadest idea about the concept but not considered the details of what you are trying to achieve and this is leading you to think that just about anything will work!

Broadly, you are taking a signal from the guitar, amplifying it so you get an alternating voltage and current, then putting it through a coil (with the appropriate dimensions and qualities) to create an alternating magnetic signal N,S,N,S,N,S as fast as the frequency of a sting, many thousands of times per second for some frequencies, certainly very fast! There is a tuned metal string directly above it, so of course this will vibrate, etc...

You seem to have the vague concept down, but to build one, especially if you are going to design variations into things....you do need to understand the details better...

Any metal or magnetic thing near the device is going to be affected...so if you have a lose fitting metal core or magnet....this will of course be the first thing to try and vibrate and buzz, create inefficiency and mechanically can not vibrate as fast as a string and has it's own resonances or "tuning"...that can't be good. Similarly, when powered, every single bit of wire will be come electro-magnetic...and of course want to vibrate, hence if it isn't solid, buzz city.

And...you have pickup coils in there, these are designed to pickup the tiniest variations in magnetic fields...such as the vibration of a string in a weak magnetic field above it...these coils will pickup the magnetic signal as well and create noise and squeal if too close by inducing quite large currents in it...consider how a transformer works, same thing!

It is a balancing game, you need enough distance and isolation for any coils or other components that would allow the signals of the sustainer to get into them. This is done by distance, or by reducing power most effectively. You need just enough permanent magnet, not too much...etc

It is probably not worth going over all this again and again...

...

However, the easiest, cheapest and most successful way to build a driver is to make it out of any old cheap pickup as per the instructions aiming for the quality shown in the picture above and takes about 10 minutes! This provides a bobbin, magnets, neatness, cheapness and a way of mounting and adjusting height as well...as long as it is super solid, wound tight with glue all the way through as you wind it (and as shown!), pushed in tight and taped up so there is zero vibration...you will have achieved your aim and the minimum requirements of the project to get any kind of real success. It certainly is a place to start before creating massive variations without understanding the deeper principles or working with materials that perhaps you don't have the skills to do an adequate job of constructing with.

So, you know...good luck as always...be aware that the mistakes you have been making are exactly the same as countless others and explained again and again and draws the project into disrepute. It does work, as described, it characteristically doesn't work through poor workmanship, wrong specs and naive variations and a 'it'll do' kind of approach. It is not "hard" but the details are there for a reason!

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By a removable blade i meant it can be removed fairly easily, but it fits tightly in the bobbin and doesn't move at all. When i manage to get a diferent blade, i'll either make a new coil similar to this, or just fill out the gaps with more paint bucket lid. The bucket is not metal, it's plastic, and good plastic at that, because it can easily be cut with a box cutter, or even scissors.

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Plastic is good...however...

There is a lot of tension in a coil and the closer the winds are around the blade or core the better, the windings are electromagnetizing the core so any gap will effect efficiency is my concern.

good luck

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so have you guys done it yet?

well,congrats for wherever you're at now....anyway,glad to see sustainer thing come back....me also beginner at this thing too and have found that sustainer is very addictive to play...as everyone would said.

i did it on a strat copy with bobbinless driver and Ruby and distortion circuit in front of it,put the driver on scalloped 24th fret with preset drive setting and just phase switch.

and psw,i have some several questions about my build,and some stuff regarded to it...just cant figured out the answers.

1.with my build i have found that i couldn't get fundamental sustain,especially on high notes,when i reversed the lead (harmonic mode) it worked great,but fortunately on higher fret it turns to fundamental sustain...kind of mix mode on commercial sustain...and also i have found that feedback content could be manipulated with the pedal being used...mostly with high gain pedal,high notes mostly fundamentals.

2.sustainiac manuals said that harmonic mode is occured when connecting half of the power supply to one point,are they manipulating some voltage biasing or something?...so my thought is that my sustainer don't work by reversing the driver lead,i have tried reversing pickup lead with no success.... is this possible to find the error there?...or just need to find another circuit?...driver certainly fine i can assure that...been builded with the "law" highly pronounced here.

3.sustain intensity can be contolled by volume knob,rotated clockwise sustain become weaker,with some pedals no sustain,anti clockwise sustain become more intense...finally when no signal supplied to amp,max drive... is this normal or the sustain circuit suck tone?

thanx for any reply.

peace!!!

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