Archive for Arcade/Gaming

Faxanadu Big Muff Pedal

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Faxanadu Guitar Pedal


Faxanadu NES Game

Mantras and Wingboots await.


I actually thought it was a first party Nintendo game way back in the day, there were some similarities to Zelda II the Adventure of Link and you had to look really hard to find “Hudson Soft” anywhere on the box or instruction manual (it does say it on the opening screen).

I remember weird quippy elves, cool weapon/armor upgrades and some wild bosses:

Faxanadu NES

I used a Big Muff (Mudbunny) pcb  kit for the guts and a 1590dd pedal enclosure.  Covering is high quality uv-resistant arcade style vinyl.

It’s the first in a series, when I’m finished my pedal board is gonna look like a display case in the electronics section of Bradlees (or Caldors, or Ames, or Sears… pick your poison) circa 1988.

  Categories : Arcade/Gaming, Guitars

Making Your Own Guitar Cables & Other News

Saturday, August 16th, 2014


Unlike HDMI or speaker cables ( in modest size runs) there’s actually an audible difference between different types of guitar cables.  I kept reading about these dudes making their own cables and it basically boils down to this: Mogami instrument cable is easily sourced, reasonably priced and sounds pretty damn good compared to other high-end cables. I bought some from this Redco joint they kept talking about.

Couple this with the fact that Orange County Speaker sells GLS plugs at good prices and free shipping and now I’m making up a ton of nice pedal cables.

GLS Pancake Plug

GLS Pancake Plug

The top lug is hot, bottom ground and the Mogami cable simply has a shielding wire (ground) and a black conductive PVC coated wire underneath ( the hot ). One thing to make sure of is to remove some of that black shielding from the top of the hot wire, leaving only the clear insulation near the solder tip like in this picture below.

DIY Guitar Cables

I used W2319 miniature cable for the small pedal cables. I will use W2524 or the Canare (it comes in colors too) next time when I make the regular long guitar cables. There are also non-solder type plugs out there too that I haven’t tried. I checked eBay and noticed many different vendors selling pre-made Canare/Mogami/Neutrik cables and the savings equals about ten dollars per cable doing it yourself. For example, a 20 foot Mogami cable with Neutrik jacks was about thirty dollars, where I could make one for twenty. I especially like being able to create custom size cables and the mini wire is great for pedal board chains.

In other guitar-ing news I tried something and I think it worked: T Shirt iron on transfers on a guitar neck.

Nuka Pinup

Nuka Cola – “Play Refreshed”

Here we have a pre-blast hottie sampling some Nuka Cola out of a real full size Nuka Cola machine. I will lightly spray over it with Tru Oil spray, then once that’s built up a few coats I’ll tru oil with a piece of T-shirt as normal. I do the same for waterslide decals on the headstock, tru oil spray is much more gentle than wiping it on.

Are pinup girls for dirty old men? I don’t think so. I like them and I’m not a dirty old man yet. I’m reminded of Kurt Vonnegut who said he never really experienced the culture or history of any place he ever visited until he was seventy-five. Up until then he was always too busy surveying the women he saw. I suppose I could have used a fully clothed model instead of this poor woman in lingerie… I mean who goes out at 11 o’clock at night with their skivvies on to backhanded catch a refreshing Nuka Break? Someone I’d like to meet I’d wager. I won’t hold it against her… plus I will never forget where the twelfth fret is with a big pair of jugs on them.

Oh yeah, as I’m making a clone of my Big Muff Pi I bought back in 1993 or so, I came across some “tropical fish” capacitors:

tropical fish capacitor

Check out my Chiclets

I love these retro out of print things, I will try and use them wherever I can in pedal builds. I ‘m also considering buying one or two of every type and housing them in a small aquarium. Who has time to clean up a bunch of algae and fish shit anyways? I clean up enough turd with Bunger Diddy around.

Bunger Diddy

Bunger Diddy, aging yet spry. Seen here contemplating the next cicada.

It’s nice that Timmy the Fox doesn’t need much looking after… however a strange “chicken of the woods” mushroom recently appeared near the Timmy log. It grew and grew, the picture is about when it was 3/4 size. Timmy and his girlfriend wouldn’t come to the log because of it. They would wait for me to throw them food instead, so I killed that poor mushroom. Can’t have it infringing on the Timmys.

chicken of the woods mushroom

KFC for Gnomes.

The Nuka Smoker – Weber Smokey Joe Mini

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
nuka cola smoker

The Nuka Smoker

The Nuka Smoker is a great little cooker for smaller cuts of meat and smoking cheese. It’s also a little known artifact from Fallout 3, I swear I saw it in a post-blast supermarket somewhere on the map. I happened upon this idea in the Smokey Joe Mini WSM Project forums. In fact I should go register to show my Nuka Smoker there soon. Sitting by the Nuka smoker with a fresh Nuka Cola is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things.

So far I’ve done a small turkey, a nuclear pork bomb, chicken wings and bone in chicken breasts on this thing and it works very similar to the 299 Weber smoker. On a much smaller scale mind you — filling the smaller charcoal ring to the brim, then pouring some hot coals in the middle (about 1/3 of the weber chimney) gets me about eight hours of cooking time. Maybe more if your coal grate is even larger, mine came out a little narrow. Also, the temperature fluctuates just a little more in the smaller version, for mine at least. I usually have to mess with the bottom dampers once or twice during a cook.  One of the biggest keys to this project in my opinion is the clay pot for a diffuser.  Your food is a short distance from the coals so you must diffuse that direct heat.

nuka smoker fallout

Ready to smoke a nuclear pork bomb — or bacon.

For “cold smoking” something like cheese I place about four charcoal nugs together in the bottom of the Nuka Smoker and just blast them with a blowtorch in the middle for a few seconds until they start to whiten on the inner edges. Next I put a piece of hardwood on top and it creates just enough heat to smoke without melting the cheese. Have to be careful on really hot days though, one to two hours usually does the trick.

All the information to build one starts here, here’s another good example I quickly found. I used the Vasconia pot. I was able to find two locally at Wally World. 24-29 bucks seems to be the regular price for these. It cut real easy with a jigsaw blade made specifically for metal. I used a little aluminum drawer pull for the top chimney and a long piece of stainless threaded rod with an acorn nut at the end for the bottom vent. I only did one rack on the top of mine, you can see where the nuts are on the sides of the graphics in the middle. High heat engine paint and custom vinyl stickers were used for the logos.

One last word of caution, if you’re going to paint it with high-temperature engine paints you may want to use this cooker as a smoker only. That’s what I’ve been doing and the high temp paint has only browned some on the bottom. I have another smokey joe griller for high temp grilling only. I love these little Weber grills, they’re only 29 bucks most places. I used the silver version, but the gold version works too, it just has different vents.

nuka bottle opener

A real Nuka bottle opener built in.

As someone who is accustomed to using gas grills, I really only use charcoal now. Not as simple, but better flavors.

Update: After a year of use: just the bottom where the charcoal burns has turned grey.

Update: After a year of use: just the bottom where the charcoal burns has turned grey.

  Categories : Arcade/Gaming, Food/Recipes
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