before starting Today, we’re going to build together the 3rd FX Teacher pedal, the Spinner kit ! This is a new kind of expression pedal. We just released it during the Winter NAMM 2020.It is a nice project to start in DIY, there are few components to solder and the canning is ultra simplified ! If this is your first FX Teacher kit, I advise you to check out the blog and discover our methods, I consider in the rest of the article that all this will be largely acquired ! the essential tutorials If you have already made a dozen of kits and a simple BOM is enough for you, we also thought of you, skip the pedago/theoretical part and download directly the doc ! the spinner kit doc Whether you’ve already soldered a dozen of pedals or not, a bit of theory never hurts, you will find all your satisfaction in our latest article on tremolo ! a tremolo, how does it work ? Disclaimer : If you’re in trouble with a step or you don’t understand something, we will be happy to help you. For this, leave a comment with your request on this blog post. This project is even so DIY, so it is up to you to make your own decisions and responsibilities, and to check what you are doing before going ahead. You will be answered as soon as possible and this answer will allow other readers to go forward. Don’t be surprised if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, we have to validate it to avoid spam from certain robots. To recap, no emails, no chat, no calls regarding DIY, only requests on comments section please. Otherwise, it’s unmanageable for us considering the number of apprentice solderers we’re inviting to join the project right now !Please also check that your request has not been treated and that you have followed all the steps described in the article. If you feel that you need to be coached, you can join one of our masterclasses, they are made for you ! 😉 plan the spinner kit and how it workscircuit board assemblycanning the spinner kit and how it works communication protocol the rs-232 As a reminder, the Spinner is an expression pedal, so it doesn’t generate any effect. However, it is programmed to indicate to your effect that you are interacting with it ! To communicate, the effect and the Spinner kit use a simple stereo jack which is included in your kit. We have developed our own communication protocol that uses a very old technology, the serial protocol, RS-232 !It’s not the sexiest, but it was well within our specifications, so why complicate it ?So in your jack, you will find 3 wires, the +5V, the GND and the data (Tx). Basically, when you rotate the propeller of the Spinner kit, it sends data on the Tx to the pedal that is connected. Then, this data is processed by the effect in order to interpret it and react appropriately. In this protocol, which is quite simple but not easy to program, we decided to send the rotation speed, and the indication of on and off switching. Then the chosen mode with the switch on the back. Trust me, we have enough to create a lot of crazy functions… And besides… SPOILER ALERT :You made the right decision to invest in a Spinner because at the next NAMM we will release a new Spinner compatible pedal ! Then if one day we’re blocked and we need to upgrade the code, anyway it’s just Arduino, you can update it yourself at home by removing the chip. Or, we can send you a new chip, with the new firmware, it doesn’t cost a lot nowadays… integrated power supply ! Another little trick that makes us always think about you, the +5V that goes into the jack comes from the pedal, it powers the Spinner. So, you don’t need to plug a power supply into your Spinner ! And we know how frustrating it is to reach the end of the outputs from your power supply…On the other hand, we will just ask you to avoid making short circuits and therefore to follow the following protocol : I unplug the power supply from my effect pedal, before connecting the Spinner kit to the pedal using the mini jack. Then I can power it again. the sensor and its processing the sensor So in terms of sensors, we have been testing a lot of things… But we are lucky that Damien is on the team, he spent some time in internship at Vishay and they just specialized in that ! He therefore very quickly proposed the use of a Hall sensor. a nice video to understand how a hall sensor works. We tested both types of sensors, analog and digital, finally the fact of having a “range” was not interesting.Starting with the digital sensor, we just have a logic level that goes to 1 when a magnet passes in front of it and then goes back to 0. magnets and sensors Okay, but then ? We actually had a lot of fun on this project, a friend from Nice (Joffrey Legouet), who mills his guitars out of aluminium (yeah, just that !), made us some nice propellers made from aluminium blocks ! This allowed us to properly incorporate our magnets. Magnet inserted in propellers. When the magnet passes in front of the circle labeled “SENSOR” on the Spinner kit enclosure, the Hall sensor goes to 1 ! Once it leaves it goes back to 0. The Spinner seen from the top and the sensor circle. For once, it’s great to work with digital ! When you see the schematic you will laugh ! In fact all the job has been in the code and I can guarantee you that Damien has spent a few nights on it 😀 the electronics Simplified diagram with the sensor and data processing. Basically with this, you can make a simplified version of the Spinner… The 5V comes stable from your pedal because we did the best on the power supplies. Then the sensor is powered and sends the data directly to the microcontroller. This one processes the data and sends it back to the Tx, towards the effect pedal ! But, well, you will see right after that we go a little further… otherwise it’s not even funny ! the features of the spinner on the enclosure As I mentioned, the Spinner is full of features : next to the jack there is a 3 position switch that allows to select 3 operating modes. for example with the ages, the top position accelerates the tremolo while the middle position activates a strange kill switch that alternates between bass and treble ! each pedal has its own modes.and the cherry on the cake… the magnets ! you must have noticed there are three extra magnets on your propeller ! on your pedal there is a “sensor” area but also a “magnet” one. actually, we hide a magnet underneath. each time a propeller passes in front of it will be slowed down by this magnet ! you can choose to keep the 3 extra magnets to make it brake quicker or remove them to make the rotation smoother. like a velocity setting ! Sensor and magnet. inside the pedal Inside there are 3 trimpots (the famous ones !), they are read by the microcontroller and act on the code directly : the first one is the impact, it allows to adjust if the rotation has a big or small impact on the effect. so in the case of an acceleration, we accelerate a little or a lot the tremolo effect.the next 2 are for the thresholds. the idea is that you can accidentally move the propeller of the spinner kit by activating another pedal and you don’t want the spinner to turn on at that moment. this gives you the possibility to set the minimum speed for the effect to activate as well as the minimum speed for it to stay activated. useful, isn’t it ? We will let you make all these adjustments once the beast is mounted, but it’s great to know what you are doing before you start ! the circuit board of the spinner kit Kit contents. Since the Trémolo kit, we’ve adopted the habit of separating the bags into two parts, the components that go in the Top and those for the Bottom. It avoids the terrible mistake of soldering the components on the wrong side and not knowing how to put them back in the right place 🙂 1st bag BOM BOM 1st bag. step 1 Contents of bag 1. I sincerely think that in terms of components we have never done as simple as for this kit, and we will have difficulties to compete afterwards… You should ALL be able to solder it easily ! We’re going to start with resistors, film capacitors and trimpots, it’s as usual except that all the values are the same ! So all you have to do is insert and solder. It’s even easier than usual, actually. If you have never followed our tutorials, this article will be useful, and also this one. I advise you to read them before starting ! We continue without measurements and test point because the schematic is very simple, we will see in time if it was a good idea to not follow the usual method and to make an exception here ! step 2 Then we are going to put the microcontroller on its socket. As I’ve already seen some of you put it upside down, we will detail this step. Here, on the board, the indicator is a very small dot. I don’t know why the library we use made something so small but once the PCB was made it was too late to fix it. So the indicator is at the top of the board.As usual, we solder the socket and then insert the chip. step 3 Come on, we are reaching the end, there is only the 3 position switch to solder.Of course, if you solder it straight, it’s always better. Thus, it is preferable to place it, to put a slight angle on the rotative holder so that he can stand alone. Then, you just have to solder it on the top, while holding it for the first 2 solders. Be careful it heats, use pliers ! I hope everything went really well, don’t hesitate to check your solders, they need to be beautiful ! Then we move on to bag 2… 2nd bag There are few components but they are quite special, so take your time to read everything carefully and avoid mistakes ! I will explain everything. BOM BOM 2nd bag. hall sensor For a correct result, the sensor should be as close as possible to the enclosure ! For this purpose, the sensor should be soldered with as many legs length as possible. here is the expected result, the legs exceed the maximum at the bottom. at the top, there is only pewter and you can’t see the legs of the component. We also want to be sure to solder the sensor in the right direction ! Otherwise it will be upside down. There is a flat side and a side with angles, it’s the shape of the component and it is drawn on the board, just follow this example. Correct way to insert the sensor. You may be wondering how to solder the sensor with a maximum length ? Here’s a little trick but you can do it in any way you want. put pewter in one of the three holes. i chose the middle one on the picture but it will be easier with one of the 2 others because they are not connected to the ground plan.hold the sensor with pliers.heat this filled hole until the pewter melts again.insert the sensor correctly with the pliers and soldering iron.remove the soldering iron when the sensor is correctly positioned.you can finally do the other two solders without moving.then redo the first solder cleanly. Covered hole. jack socket It’s a pretty easy step if you already know how to wire, otherwise check this article.Damien made us a beautiful drawing of the mounting of the mini jack on the pads of the board : The mini jack viewed from his legs. But I guess that doesn’t necessarily speak to you… Then let me explain.As this jack is a bit sensitive, we preferred to solder it for you so you wouldn’t see it melt in your hands… As our soldering stations are ultra precise in temperature and that with time we are a little familiar with them, it’s better this way !So we took the opportunity to wire it with 3 symbolic colors : the red one for +9vthe black for ground or gndthe green for the data or tx. if you see tx’ it is the same as tx, that is in case you want to add a jack and control 2 pedals at the same time ! Finally, last step before canning, you have a 470uF capa left that we will solder directly to the power supply wires. Be careful with the polarity, the longest leg goes on +5V, and the other on GND. The capa is soldered directly on the wires. And… We’re done with the soldering iron ! Direction canning ! canning the spinner kit Nothing very difficult, you just have to take the hand and do everything to ensure that the sensor is correctly positioned ! Not easy to present in pictures but I’ll explain everything and a live stream is planned for Saturday, April 11th. I’ll put it at the beginning of this article ! adhesive pads Nothing could be simpler, it clips directly into the PCB. However, you will only put 2 of them even though there are 3 holes. We had planned it in case it fits inside the enclosure, but it was too large for the sensor to pass through, so we’re staying with 2.Don’t remove the adhesive protection right now, there is a step before… screw the mini jack Screw the mini jack to the enclosure. The best is to have pliers with teeth. This is often the case with stripping pliers ! You just have to screw it on ! tilt the sensor Carefully, with a needle nose pliers, we will tilt the sensor towards the magnet.For the moment no stress, we do it quickly, blindly and I show you in a next step how to align it precisely…You will notice it’s the flat side that is up in the picture. My bending was not fantastic, don’t hesitate to do better and, to go close to the sensor body. stick the pads We remove the small pieces of paper that protect the pads and stick the PCB into the box.You must first insert the switch in its hole and then try to put it as straight as possible in the box. sensor alignment Let’s get this sensor over with !We want the sensor to be in front of our magnet ? Well, we’re going to make it appear in the enclosure ! take one of the three extra magnets and remove it from the propeller.put it into the enclosure, in the plexiglass hole, the one where there is no more aluminium. (no need to remove the board like i did, it was just for picture 1)move the propeller so that this magnet is as close as possible to the sensor.use a needle nose pliers to bend it slowly, until it is even closer to the magnet, almost to touch it (picture 2).turn the propeller and the magnet will go off by itself. pick it up and put it back where it was. now you only have to test it ! Just one more test, connect the Spinner and then the power supply.Set the threshold trimpots to 1/4 and the impact trimpot to the middle.Then verdict, does the tremolo speed up when you spin !? I hope you liked this tutorial and learned a lot ! If you have any questions or even feedback, don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments section. Then, if you want to help the project, share your experience with people you know who might be interested ! See you soon,Alex.