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Edited the above post a little.

Reasearch into producing circuitboards in small numbers disapointing. Took out the soldering iron to see what I can do with some stuff I got the other day. Looks promising.

I'm in the process of scaling back my more grandiose schemes and settling on the core project...got a bit carried away there.

I'm making a little progress but it's hard going when you're learning as you go. Iam having trouble troubleshooting the completed circuit...I'm not sure why as it should be pretty much identical to the original one.

Tested the new driver with the 5 LED's...checks out fine...however it is a little high. Those LED's and the wiring of them take up a little too much room. I hope you guys dont mind red...I've got some real small SMD LED's and I maybe able to get a whole lot more from this surplus place I found, really cheap. Only red or yellow available in packs of a hundred...do I want to commit myself. I got a pack of 10 the other day so may make the red line driver that onelastgoodbye illustrated a page or so back.

I tested Tim's speedo idea and, yes I can do that, It has the advantage of protecting the switches too. I got these beautiful chrome surrounded LED's in read. Tried it out shining from behind the vol control on a strat and it gives a beautiful glow across the whole picguare and under the strings. Theier very bright but directional...perhaps this would be enough....well see

I'll see if I can do a bit of a sketch of the strat thing. I can see how Tim's speedow controls could be used in this application, equally well...very classy!

Got to run


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Hello again...just looking in after moving to my island...getting a bit chilly down here! Good to see the thread continues the tradition of long threads! Still...the computer didn't survive the mov

Excellent... This will be great, and I hadn't thought about that but the 4 ohm coils would take half the time and be easier to wind....alowing the use of quick epoxy like this...hope you wore rubbe

Hi guys, been away for two days and just had to read all from page 35 to 37. Its a hell of a lot. Damn you psw for writing posts that could give the book of genesis a run for its money in length :D . Anyway, I'm amazed by the graphics and amazed by the progress. Seeing that driver for real is amazing. Since first starting to follow this from around page 6 it may have been, i cant remember, I must say that this is the most exciting time so far!!! Its nearing its final stages and its all finally comming together. I'm really happy for you psw.

I'm going to stick by my advice given a few pages back and say that although the idea of extra effects and stuff is cool, you really should concentrate on getting this thing finished. Maybe even forget about ideas for getting this thing into the world market and all this patent nonsences etc. Just get it finished, then prehaps see what people at music shops think. Then consider your options for getting it out in the open. Since there are a lot of options open to you in this field, I think it is something you should consider after you have the working prototype.

Keep up the awsome work!!!

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Your absolutely right Bio, it's exciting...and I get carried away...more progress, bit by bit. I'm really putting the effort in at the moment as I wont have time later. I really want to see this thing through this stage.

Here's a bit of an idea of what I was thinking on strat style guitars. The whole thin, Knobs and all would be no higher than the controls already on the guitar and wouldn't look that out of place.

I can't wait till I can get this thing functioning on a moreplayable instrument, maybe a better player to to demonstrate it!


If that image doesn't work out I'll have to fix it later

see ya


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Anyway, yeah it's pretty cool...a little dificult in parts. I take it it is the present circuit but with the switches closer to the knobs, or is the battery actually on top of the circuit making it a lot higher. (I'm guessing it is as is now, yes?)

I've included a pic of how the components are layed out:


first off, I want to emphasize that it's ONE box, it looks like two stacked boxes, but on the inside it's one open space. The circuit and battery are sitting next to eachother (not stacked). The added height is there simply because of the sloping design.

I'd probably want the whole thing to open up to adjust those trimmers, although they could possibly be relocated...every extra length of cable adds to the oscillations that need to be controlled...technical problem you see!

The black part is actually wider than the battery (shown in brown) so it actually extends a bit over the circuit (overlap indicated in red). there's at least 10 mm there, so if the trimpots are relocated right up against the battery, you can adjust them from above ( I notice there's already 2 trimpots located there on the prototype circuit, so it should be feasible). This of course implies that the black part can be removed or hinged as a whole. I actually figured the controls would be "chassis"mounted, with flying leads to the circuit board. The flying leads might be vulnerable though.

I see the floating effect was caused by the chrome reflections. I'll stand by my first impressions and say that overlaping that silver part and making the base of it a black cast plastic may be easier to do.  Give me some time to live with it.

I know what you mean... it would be pretty difficult to cast. Although...if it were 2 separate casts I can see it work. I'll get back to that tomorrow (new idea B) )

I'm also working on a feasable way of casting in the logo. that'll be the biggest problem in making the box. Forget about engraving that manually. it's a long shot, but I think I can solve it.

3 a.m. here :D ,this stuff is waaay too addictive

the story continues,


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I don't really like the layout of that.. the switches seem to far away and the whammy bar could make the knob hard to get to. The knob will be the same height as the Strat controls, but it's behind the whammy bar and far from the strings.

It's a good idea, but I'd rather have the controls mounted to a pickguard.

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What if the buttons were placed right infront of the regular volume knob. that way if the player can press it with the side of his hand while strumming down, making it harder to notice he switched it on when playing fast. It will be a little infront of the trem, but below the strings.If space is the issue, it can protrude like a box. That would make the design actually better because that way the player can slide his hand down to turn up the knob without his hands hitting the strings.

Well my two cents. I think the LEDs will make this pickup infinate sustainer project look and sound awsome. Do you have any new sound clips. Havent herd any new ones because you only posted 4. Keep up good work. Learned a lot. I have been readding a page by page about every other day i come on starting from the begining. I think someone should start a new thread explaing this thread. New members i know will not like to read this long thing. Thats how i used to be.

Keep up the nice work.



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Monkey, I'll have to consider your post a little 'cause I'm in a rush...(cooking dinner). Good to see your still with us though....g'day there!

Stevie V...yours will be sold, sans box at a reduced price...but you gotta work out how to get it in there....OK!

Tim, it is amazingly addictive for both those doing the stuff and those looking on. It's really trying on my family's nerves I can tell you. Ms. M (my 10 y.o.) says how come you spend so much time chatting about and not in the back room and finish it! She may be right....hmmm "shut up and play your guitar is her attitude" but then she rarely plays guitar, much to dads disappointment, (pretty handy with a violin though, she's got 4 now!)

Well my strat thing went down like a lead balloon it seems...I was sold. Actually it clears the trem and is in reach of your fingers...not a good pic though.

I just came on to make an urgent update. I got a message from Emre/transient on what he's cooking up. Wanted to know about dimensions and alternative circuit arrangements. I got the message just as I was about to assemble my third of the original design. This time I have changed the component layout on the board, separated it in two parts (I know that's cheating) and layered the actual boards together. It's heaps smaller and of course higher, but what It enables me to do is form the circuitry into a wedge shape.

I'll comment more on the research I was doing at the internet caf another time. But it may have an influence on the way I proceed on production (nothing like a fast computer is there).

I think in the end, I will decide what kinds of features from these ideas I will include, but it's really opened the door to some amazing possibilities and ideas. I have devised a way (I think) of making it not only smaller, but better and be adaptable to both right and left, behind the bridge, under the bridge or like stevie V, in the guitar (if you must). Their are certainly some great looks to include in the package.

Now sound clips. It's frustrating me...it's the sound that's what it's all about. Those sound bytes were only intended to show that my miniture CPx technology actually produced an infinite sustain effect. I hope that when this thing is boxed up to do something ASAP for you all.

My test guitar has little solder burns on it and only 5 strings. The sustainer isn't permanently fixed to anything so it's a little difficult to play. You'll have to trust me on this...it does work.

With that, I've got to save dinner



Edited by psw
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Hey there fellow addicts! Still running at a hundred or so visits a day...more amazing is the number of contributions...fantastic!

I mentioned patents. If an idea is stolen or too close to an idea, not only may there be a financial and legal cost, but the idea could be kept from development:

Here's a patent, just on sustainer controls....

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?...er+AND+controls]Sustainer control patent

This describes a switch on a pot (push/pull, etc). Now my idea is different but you can see that, with sufficeint $$ you can patent just about anything and effectively stop anyone else using it...even if you dont use it yourself!

I have a number of features to the core function that I'm keeping to myself BTW for this reason. I was addicted to the USPTO site at one point while researching this thing.

Now, I've made a third version of the original circuit (faster than trouble shooting the last one). I've used three boards and so have two main ones...35mmx45mm and 25mmx45mm plus the control board, then there are the controls and battery. If I wer to locate the battery somewhere in the guitar, we're looking at something really small before we get anywhere near SMD technology.

The boards are lower...9mm highest, but by flipping one and aranging the components just so I've been able to sandwhich them to make a wedge, the area of the bigger board 15mm on one edge (the longer) tapering to 8mm on the other. I'm thinking of encapsulating this into a module of black epoxy which could be a part of the box or mounted inside with the othere stuff for an internal mounting application.

I've got a few new ideas on the design but am looking forward to seeing what emre's got up his sleeve. Perhaps you guys visiting might like to give a thumbs up to some of the looks been presented here that you like.

The other thing I've done is place an order for something that will make the driver light thing look really good (red lights only but others at considerably extra cost)and some other ideas on how to make it.

I'd really appreciate some input on how to fix and adjust the height of the driver array under the strings. I can put screws on the ends, could use shims and tape or perhaps some kind of screws from below and a thumb wheel like thne-o-matics...I'm a little stuck here.

Also that cost thing. I'd like some feedback on that. It's highly likely that this will end up being a speciallist, high quality, custom made item. That means it will take hours to make (hand soldering, etc) so will have to be costed accordingly. What kind of price point should I be aiming for? Should I simply aim to slightly better the others or should I make it more...or use cheap components (I'm using very high quality) to bring it down a little (most of the cost is in time I imagine).

Every day a little closer...may be a way for a few days so this will give you guys something to work with

see ya :D


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in terms of cost, yet again, this is something you have to think about independently so I still think you should focus on finishing this product before worrying about costs. Costs is a side thought on how you get the product out into the public and therefore you shouldn't lightly think about this. Trust me, I want this thing to suceed for you :D

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here's my take on the height adjustment: heightadj.jpg

It's just two folded pieces of metal, glued or taped to the driver and body. You can press down or pull up the driver et voila! heigt adjusted. I'm a bit reluctant of anything that would involve screwing directly into the body, especially since the driver is most likely to be retrofitted. Double-sided stick tape should be just as durable (i've got some 3tm stuff here, super thin, and damn, it STICKS) if used correctly; plus there's this real slick look to the driver without the screws. You wouldn't have to drill holes into the driver, so that's 2 minutes less fabrication time :D .

Anyway I wouldn't put too much thought in it as it's mainly a set-and-forget thing. So anything that can be used a couple of times without breaking 'll do. screws + springs, shims, a wad of tape, magnetic levitation B) . pick something that's easy for you to build.

About the cost, one thing I've learned in my marketing classes (not much really) is that a low price is not a good USP (unique selling proposition) on a long-term basis. You sell something cheap, then the competiton builds something cheaper...

Basically the way you market it should be dictated by the price (or should I say production cost); not vice versa. Take a realistic look at material cost, work hours, add a nice profit margin (and don't cut yourself short here) and when it comes out expensive, so be it. you'll just have to convince people that this is not just your ordinary sustainer. if the quality is right, if the features are right, if the service is right, if it looks good, people will pay what it costs.

you just make the thing as cheap as possible, but not any cheaper. Meaning you set certain quality standards for yourself, you set a certain profit for yourself, and then make it as cheap as possible without altering those standards.

And please remember, don't ever ever tell anyone what it costs you to produce it; people 'll just use it against you. There's months of R & D in this, time you should have spent with your family, the cost of that can't be calculated.

Though I think you already know most of this, maybe it can be useful to others reading this thread.

Now, realistically speaking, I'd pay something between € 150 and € 300-350; which translates too... 250 AUD to 500 -575 AUD. Anything cheaper than 250 AUD would be putting yourself and the product short ( you have to respect the product and the unique things it does). 575 AUD is pretty steep so you'd have to really convince me...

All IMO of course. I'm a bit of a gearfreak who'd rather put 5K into a rack than into a car (right now i have neither..student life)

Happy readings,


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That's really good advice Tim. I ran a bookbinding business from home for a few years. Dealing with paper and glue...material cost low...but the hours it takes. I was constantly surprised how often people gave me more money than I charged them, they were so happy with the results.

BTW, thats were I get the skills to do thoses fiddly little bits and pieces. I actually enjoy the craft and the art of making these types of things! I'm a chronic perfectionist with an obsessive personality (you've probably noticed). That means I'll stick at it with as much as I've got to do something. Unfortunately, it means it takes a bit to finish anything cause it's never quite good enough. I tend to under charge (as I always think it's not quite perfect) as well...very bad for business. I really appreciate those on this forum who have encouraged me to keep on track...it's a useful trait, if you whats something really special though!

Tim....good idea and I've been using DS tape up till now. One problem, the thing is trying to vibrate the string. If it's loose (like on springs, foam) it will spend as much energy trying to vibrate itself as it will the stings!

Now here's the format of the new device:


This uses the new small footprint. The single 9 volt battery is to be hidden within the guitar, but accesable (trem spring area, control cavity, etc) as this thing will eat batteries if used continuously (hence the recharging option and low battery feature.

BTW I've 1000's of ideas and drawings like these....I never go anywhere without a notebook!

My side of things, their still moving along, but I'll be away a few days so I'll give it a rest till then


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Glad to post again. Well i can get the patent site you sent. I wish i could add more becuase ithought of a cool way to place the knobs earlier at school, but i forgot from being overloaded with robotics work. Well just wanted to say i cant get the link. Whats the patent number?

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Tim....good idea and I've been using DS tape up till now. One problem, the thing is trying to vibrate the string. If it's loose (like on springs, foam) it will spend as much energy trying to vibrate itself as it will the stings!
That's the thinking behind direct mounting pickups, that the springs will absorb some of the energy, just to a lesser extent.

I can think of any better way to mount it, other than springs, rubber tubing, or shims. Maybe brass tubing? That's not one size fits all anymore though..

I'll think about this some more.

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How 'bout using the double-sided tape on a thumbwheel-adjusted base, like a TOM bridge? It would only take adding a tab on each end of the driver array with a hole in it, and a base with two threaded rods and thumbwheels. You could recess the driver body so it was almost invisible.

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Wow, onelastgoodbye thats an incredible post, very interesting too. Nice job there :D

psw, I could have guessed you'd be that perfectionist guy, i'm sort of the same with some things.

I'm not suprised you always carry a notebook either, you probably have ideas comming out of your head as if it were a production line. You gotta store them somewhere!

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:D Hi...I'm Back...

Direct from a little place called Violet Town (home of the band, Killing Hiedi, BTW). A friends made a sea change up there. My daughter had a B'day party to go near there as it happened and I had five hours to kill. Drove out down a dust bowl road (telegraph road, as it happens) just outside of Seymour and hung around with my notebook and pens. I've really kind of worked this thing out...just got to get some time to do it.

One of the big pluses was the time to really think out the jigs required to easily produce multiples of the drivers. The driver/s are the key to this whole thing and is really the "invention", although the box and controls are starting to come together in a unique way. I just got a new improveded knob switch devised before I left...this one will be sturdier and easier to make and to use.

I also got together some sketches of the "box", baring any more contributions, (you still there emre?) that takes elements of all of the designs shown and a few more twists of my own. Got a bit of an aeronautical look going. The design will be more flexible to peoples wants and will be easier to install internally, if you must, but you'll need the router and I think people will find this incarnation better anyway.

I also am starting to look at in a broader sense but, to the relief of LK and Bio i'm sure, extentions to the system will be modular. I'll be working on the sustainer module, but have an extension module to it that you can add later, or separately, which I think will be real cool. The idea is batter than trying to put all the bells and whistles into one package.

I'm going ahead with the present circuit, but I road in the back seat for the first hour and a half driving and worked out some circuitry that should enable me to make it, if not smaller, then at least less crowded and remove the complexity of wires (check out that photo!!!) and easier to do. That will require a cusom circuit board. I'll prototype it, then explore the options later...I have this version going first, then soundclips.

Did a bit more on costing and supply. Looks like for most things, 25 seems to be the best comprimise for lots. That means making 25 at a time. I recently ordered some stuff on special that will enable me to have the parts for the new look driver. That's another thing that was finalized while I was away.

Got quite a bit of domestic stuff to attend to so I may slow down on the project, but I really, really want to get this going so I'll try not to get diverted. One of those things is to clean up the room I've dedicated to this project (and side projects, and side, side projects...and that other project that's not finished yet) and get organised. If this goes as I expect it, and I end up gearing up a mini production line, I'll need space and organisation, so nows the time.

Anyway, good to be back, was glad to get away...

check you later, good to see you carrying on without me


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I finally got the new circuit working...needs a little tweak and the battery indicator thingo isn't in...but it's working.

I got some great effects in testing and it occured to me that the sustainer should perhaps be explained a little more....so:

Basically I've come up with a devious means of magnetically moving the strings. The driver is the real core of the invention. The ideas where working on now is to package it in a functional and acceptable format. This is important...well at least to me. Here's why...

Currently, guitarists seem to look at devices like these as an effect. I don't. This thing enables a whole new range of sounds and techniques, just like a violin bow. I want my device to seemlessly blend with any player's sound and technique. That's why I've taken care on things like where the device should, or could be located, how it can be placed without comprimising pickup selection (or choice as with present systems).

An example of this is this momentary switch (a bugger to make by the way!!) knob idea. LK pointed out, and quite rightly in respect to some of my theories of putting effects in the drive chain, that the sustainer removes the strings decay, in that it doesn't stop. Well yess...and yet...no! I got some beautiful effects where the natural note decayed to practically nothing in a natural way, only for it to fade back an octave higher and buid to a very loud crescendo. Now you could stop the string but, if you turn the device off, the string would decay as normal for the instrument, the note would simply be longer.

The whole system is touch sensitive, just put a finger on a fret is enough to create this fade/backwards sound. A hammer-on comes out loud and clear. A sustained note allows your right hand to roam up and lightly touch the strings creating kind of harmonic arpegios (well if you know where your harmonics are like a Jeff Beck).

My system also has a few interesting twists (besides lights in the driver!). The ability to switch pickups creates two distinct sounds...The induction drive sound is a new kind of fizzy distortion that I've not heard before and has an interesting quality to chords. It's not quite hex distortion but it's halfway there but it's not your typical overdriven sound either.

Anyway, hopefully the system will be ready soon to start working together on refining these effects. There's still a few wierd noises from time to time. BTW for those new comers, I have a few cheapo strats that I use for this stuff. One is dedicated to a new bridge design (on hold while I do this, ok) one is in pieces (I'll make a show pony for this thing from it eventually) and then there's this hippy kinda hollowbody strat which has become the test instrument. The significance is that these are truely bad pickups. I figure if I can get results with these it'll work great with a good instrument. I'll eventually test it out on my genuine Les Paul (out of action too from another project) but I don't want to spray solder around like I do, near this beauty.

Anyway, other stuff to do

see ya


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Wow, excellent stuff!

Well, good to see you back psw.

I think the modular idea of adding effects onto this thing etc, is a great idea, it certainly could be a good thing in the selling side of things too. But just in terms of actually building it and with practicality, it is still very cool sounding.

Nice to see you've sorted out and finalised some things while you've been away. I think it shows that if you take a break from something, but still give an hour or so independent thinking, you can clear up any confusion in your head and completely focus and get results.

Basically, welcome back and good luck with what i'm sure are the final stages of this project. Are these parts you've ordered in to re-make the driver just so you can make a better model, or is this for the new devious way of magnetically moving the strings?

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Thanks Bio...got another year older while I was away...must be the different time zones :D

The circuitry/system still seems to work well...then work not work so well!

The thing is fragile,so...it's on with the box. Ive ogt this great software...plastecene modeling clay and it's morning here so I've already started on a model. it's really great seeing the look of something emerge from under your fingers.

I've pretty much settled on a design. I know emre/transient is working up some very different looks, but for now I've got something that takes elements of all of the designs and vibe of what these two artists have come up with and a few of my own to make something attractive, versitile, functional and practical to make.

Anyway, back to it...hopefully I'll have something to show and tell.


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Today's update...

Although sandwiching the boards seemed like a good idea at the time... I'm not sure, but I suspect having the signal inputs and high current outputs literally pushed together is such a good idea...too much noise. Additionally, in order to do it I have to lie the cap's on their side to save space/height. The result is that the legs are longer and act as little antenna for EMI (electro magnetic Interferance).

You'll remember that the sustainers on the market don't allow you to use pickups other than the one furtherist from the driver (the bridge). This is to avoid the oscillation problems caused by EMI. I'm attempting to get around this with small physical size, the rotating magnetic field theory of mine, and other means to control EMI. One of the problems that may occur with a DIY internal installation is that the close proximity of the driving circuitry to the internal wiring may take special measures to address.

I have made a preliminary physical model of my box idea. I've also just seen transient/emre's latest design...he'll post it when he's finished but I quite like it, it's certainly different again to the designs already posted. Keep looking in.

By the way, If you have any "off the record" ideas questions or enquiries about the project, and other stuff I've got in mind after this, feel free to email me.

Because of the circuitry problems above, I thought I'd work on something Lovekraft (aka LK) has sent me from time to time. I've adapted it to my needs and...finger's crossed...this should be the basis of the final circuitry design. I now have 4 circuits plus a lot of failed attempts. I went out and overspent at the electronics store...this things costing quite a bit...but I think it's getting there.

I've also got the battery indicator circuit up and running. This evolution...once any bugs are ironed out should form the basis of things to come, size and function wise for the thing. I've managed to replace all the power section capacitors with SMD's (not easy to solder), built a two stage buffer/preamp with a bit of added spice care of LK.

I am able to make the push knob momentary thing but it takes a lot of work. I cant find an affordable push button little DPDT switch either. I'll keep the idea but for this new one I have got a hold of a centre off, momentary one side, latched the other toggle (in small but not mini size) that is a more reliable unit and would save me a lot of time. Shame about that.

This raises the question of compromise. At this point, with a view to production, I need to work out not just will get the thing going, but go in a manner that's easy to reproduce. For instance, I love the little cowls around the switches that Tim/onelastgoodbye thought up. I even made some and the light efffect is great...but. In order to do this I have to hacksaw and file down tiny bits of aluminium tube...am I prepared to do this for every one I make?....and are you guys prepared to pay for it? Well I like the idea so much that I'll probably incorporate the feature, or something like it, moulded into the actual box cast.

Now lights. I know everybody loves lights but...it's not the cost of them so much but the amount of power they use up. Those blue ones all tend to be high brightness and use up a bit of power. Then, I have to have a master on/off switch at the back as well. I have a stock of 300 tiny SMD LED's (similar to those in mobile phones) which will be used for the drivers, but they're all red! Then the battery indicator shines green, then goes red when low. I've wired another red as a standby indicator, so the switches will light red and green. (if both red that means it's recharge time!) I might have to see if another switch isn't needed to have a lights out feature, just to save on power!

One last thing...I'm also making a model of the first of my additional "modules" that I'm proposing for this. That is a new jack plate for strat type guitars that will allow the battery and all connections to be housed in that hole where the jack was for easy accessability. I'm hoping to have a few little features in there like a switch jack to activate the power as an alternative to having to remember to turn the thing off with a rear switch...of course, if you're a loungeroom hero like me, you probably don't unplug the guitar so you'll still want that switch wont you!

Anyway, dinner time, got to fly


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Well, here's my design, finally B)



I probably will do some more improvements, but this is the basic shape. I may post more shots of it in the next few hours...

The leds are red, as psw wanted (though they look a bit orange-ish). For the box color, i wanted to try something different than black and silver, so here it is. I can paint it in some other color if you have suggestions.

About the size, i've not paid much attention to psw's circuit-board dimensions as this thing is circular shaped. So i don't know if the circuitry would fit in it, or if the box is too big. I can adjust the size at psw's request though. (by the way, i haven't modeled the guitar by measuring its original dimensions, so it probably isn't right either :D )



Edited by transient
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