While going through some of my old haggard electronics I found a once glorious Boss Blues Driver guitar pedal which applies an overdrive affect to your guitar tone. I remember it was having power issues so it was swept aside with an, “I’ll fix it one day!” notion. After being swept aside for several years I finally deemed it a worthy of my time to take a crack at my analog electronics and mediocre soldering skills!
First it had to be tested. After plugging it into a power supply, amplifier and guitar I was able to determine that the pedal would only power on if the cable was jammed into at a certain angle, which brought me back to younger times experiencing similar issues with CD players. My first few initial guesses were a bad DC jack , loose wiring, or bad soldering joints on the DC jack. In order to make a more accurate assumption I opened the pedal. Boss made guitar pedals are quick and easy to open, especially single stomp boxes. There were four screws on the bottom plate and boom it was open! The PCB board was hard to pull out of the case and the wire length didn’t give me much sight or wiggle room. After scanning the board the solder joints seemed good and the tracks were surprisingly clean. Next I looked over the capacitors verifying there were none that visibly seemed blown. It all looked in rather good condition so why wasn’t it powering on correctly!
repairing the pedal
At this point I was scratching my head trying to decide if I borrow a multi-meter from a friend to test capacitors and resistors or if I should just “go for broke” and replace the DC jack. Based on my friend taking awhile to respond and my itchy trigger finger, I went with the latter! I found a replacement power jack at an affordable price on Mammoth Electronic’s site. After ordering the replacement, I immediately used that all so handy desoldering pump mentioned in other post to swiftly remove the suspect DC jack and per usual waited patiently for the part to arrive a few days later!
It was now time to once again test my soldering skills. I tore the package open, started heating my soldering iron and reluctantly noticed I had damaged one of the soldering pads when removing the old jack. At this point, I was left with two options either try to etch the board in an attempt to hard wire the pins or flux it up and flood it with solder, while praying it has enough to make contact. I again chose the latter. I inserted the new part and used a vice to hold it in place while I soldered the pins to the two good pads. Now the tricky part! I applied a generous amount of flux and flooded the pin with solder. Boom! It appeared to have a good connection to the board which meant it was time to test it.
I added this pedal to my pedal chain, powered on the amps and fearfully stomped on the pedal. Delight flooded my body as the little blue LED light shined brightly and the tone of my guitar changed. Strumming a few chords while wiggling the power adapter I thought to myself, “I did it! Why did I wait so long?”. Feelings of achievement and accomplishment set in! It always feels good to finish a project no matter the difficulty or time and this one was no different!