How I will probably electrocute and kill myself (1 Viewer)


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Building this awesome 6 watt clone of an old 60s Fender Champ:



Provided by my favorite stomp box parts purveyor, Build Your Own Clone. I've built some great pedals using their kits, but none of those were potentially fatal, making this a much more exciting build.

It will be going into this cool old cabinet I found at a yard sale many years ago:


At the moment the Melody has a shitty Fender Squier transistor amp inside of it. I will rip that out and replace it with 6 watts of cool hot tube grooviness.

So if I disappear unexpectedly at some time in the near future, assume that the 400+ DC volts coming off that transformer or one of those big capacitors did me in. And know I'm in a better place with Guitar Jesus and Eddie Cochran.

Hand-wired DIY! FTW!
As long as is running I'm fine.
Hank Solo and hooch have access to the keys to the kingdom. We have implemented a nuclear-failsafe plan in the event that California should disappear under a mushroom cloud. can't be killed.

I like how the volume dial goes to 12 here. One louder than 11....
I hadn't noticed that. It's good to have those two notches over 10. That's what really takes you to the surface of the moon, you know.
Anything with tubes is worth dying for. I'm so old, I remember using a tube tester at the grocery store when our tv went on the fritz. Good luck, mjp. Better to die building a great amp than like I almost did, disconnecting my electric stove. As I'm sure I mentioned elsewhere, I partly melted the tip of my screwdriver. How's that for a near death experience?
Wow - I remember those tube testers too ! They were in hardware stores also, right ?

And that Melody cabinet is SWEET !
Yes! That's how it looks. I still use that screwdriver. I assume it was intensely hot electric current that caused the melting, and I'm pleased it went through the screwdriver and not my body.
The current isn't hot, in and of itself. Electricity generates heat when it meets resistance. In order to melt metal you would have to have a very non-cunductive metal and a very high voltage (the more conductive the material, the less heat electricity generates). But the spark/arc caused by shorting the live wires with your nicely conductive screwdriver or bridging the live wires together in some other way - now that's hot.
I figured it was something counter-intuitive like that. Right: resistance. I remember reading about that stuff. For a while I thought I might like to tinker with old electronic devices, until I learned that a radio or tv THAT ISN'T EVEN PLUGGED IN can give you a hell of a shock, maybe even kill you, if you touch the wrong part, at the wrong time. That's when I lost interest in tinkering with old electronics. Good luck, mjp. Don't you be the resistance.
Did it sound as good as you'd hoped??
I have not built the deadly amp yet. Forces have conspired to continually eat up the "free" time needed for it.

I see that my original post made it sound as if I was in the process of building it. How I meant for that to read is like so: "How I will probably electrocute and kill myself: building this awesome 6 watt clone of an old 60s Fender Champ."

Sometimes I don't communicate so good.
I learned that a radio or tv THAT ISN'T EVEN PLUGGED IN can give you a hell of a shock, maybe even kill you...
Those parts are capacitors. Their function in a circuit is to temporarily store energy. And wait patiently to kill you with it. Though usually they store very tiny amounts of electricity, in a high voltage circuit like this thing or an old CRT TV, they can hold on to quite a bit of voltage until they are told to release it. Under the wrong circumstances your fingers can be the "release!" instruction.
I like how the volume dial goes to 12 here. One louder than 11....
I've learned that the volume dial on the Original Fender Champ back in the 60s went to 12, so all the clones of it also go to 12. No Spinal Tap tie in here, unfortunately.
12 is louder than 11 except in Hebrew, where they read from right-to-left.

And in all cases, ONE is still the loneliest number.
An option for cowards like me is to only tinker with battery operated electronic devices. You might get a buzz from a capacitor, but you probably won't kill yourself. Or, am I wrong again and there are lethal battery operated devices?
...there are lethal battery operated devices?
Didn't a wise-ass adult or teenager ever ask you to hold the metal part of a spark plug wire while they turned the car over? ;)

depends on the size of the battery I suppose.
No...guess I was lucky. It's surprising I never had that trick played on me. I went to a bad junior high and was constantly harassed by thugs. They favored knives and fists, once in a while a zip gun.
Oh, have a couple years passed already?

Well, about a year ago when I finally had time to build the amp, they had stopped making the kit. There are a lot of amp kits out there, but I kind of had my heart set on building the little Champ clone.

So I did the next best thing and bought this instead:


I was playing it all day today, just me and the dog doing a wah pedal concert for the termites and the neighbors. I've had it for six or seven weeks and played it here and there, but today was the first day I spent a lot of time with it and put it through its paces. All of that reminded me of this thread, so there you go.

Great little amp, by the way. Get one for every room!
Favourite Spinal Tap quotes:

Marty DiBergi: "Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?"

Marty DiBergi: "This pretentious ponderous collection of religious rock psalms is enough to prompt the question, 'What day did the Lord create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day too?'"

Marty Dibergi: "This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry."
Nigel Tufnel: "That's just nitpicking, isn't it?"

David St Hubbins: "Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported."

Couldn't resist posting this, a whole list of quotes from Spinal Tap, just makes me laugh so much:
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