Building the Gristlelizer, pt 2

I was able to spend much time soldering over the past day, in increments of a couple of minutes here and there, and it’s going well so far.  Here’s an action shot of a bunch of resistor stems awaiting the sweet kiss of molten metal:

The soldering itself has been a breeze, although the tip on my cheapo soldering iron is starting to act up, so it isn’t melting the solder as quickly as it should.

I must say that the quality of the Gristlizer’s PCB is absolutely superb.  Compared to the one for my last project, the Theremax…well, there’s no comparison; this one is just much cleaner and easier to work, with almost no potential for unwanted bridging, at least thus far.  The layout is impeccable and the manufacturing seems perfect.

On the other hand, human error has lent me a few setbacks.  Somehow I wound up ordering from Mouser an enormous (relatively) capacitor that has nothing to do with this project, instead of the small one I actually needed.  I also somehow wound up not ordering a bunch of things I should have, including a few resistors and capacitors.  One of these, the .47u capacitor, is I believe the item that the enormous capacitor SHOULD have been.  Tomorrow I will need to scavenge at Radio Shack to see if they have equivalent parts for the ones I neglected to order.  If not, I’ll need to order those parts online and the project will need to wait another week.

So below is how things are looking now. Pretty good.  All of the resistors, and some of the capacitors, are in.  I am more eager than ever to finish this and hear how it sounds, but I’m also having a great time building it.

The Gristlelizer PCB after first day's soldering.


  1. i’m a little further on than you-got all the caps in and all the resistors except the two 1m resistors which i apparently forgot to order. the only problems i’ve had so far is with the diodes and that huge 1000uf cap. the leads were a little thick for the holes and i had the damndest time getting them in. i finally got it, but it doesn’t look very pretty

    anyways, glad you are documenting your work. aside from a few Atari Punk Consoles and a couple bent noise gadgets i’m new to this stuff. i can follow instructions okay, but i hope i don’t have to do too much trouble shooting 🙁

  2. Thanks for posting (and thanks to Frankie for mentioning the lead size of the big capacitor–maybe I can find one with thinner leads). My Gristleizer will be modified to work with a modular synthesizer, and so I have a bit of thinking to do before ordering parts.

  3. Watch out for the wiring of the DEPTH potentiometer. The PCB doesn’t match the schematic.

    I think the diagram on the PCB is correct because it more closely matches the *original* Gristleizer (with the wiper of the potentiometer connected to R15). To match the PCB, swap pins 2 and 3 of the DEPTH potentiometer on the schematic.

    Also, the signals CVIN and CVOUT on the PCB are shown in a different place on the schematic. It you’re just going to wire CVOUT to CVIN, as mentioned in the assembly instructions, you don’t need to worry about this.

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