Pedal Repair

I mentioned a while ago that my first gen BBE Green Screamer was acting up. And when I got an Electro Harmonix LPB-1 Boost I took the BBE Green Screamer off my board. The BBE Green Screamer has been sitting on my shelf of stuff to fix for a while and I finally sat down to figure out what was wrong with it.

I plugged it into my guitar and amp and got nothing. No power. The 9V DC power plug wasn’t working. I then put a 9V battery in and the blue light came on and off when I hit the footswitch. Good sign. I then hooked up my guitar and then plugged into my amp. Nothing. I turned the pedal off. Beautiful noise. I turned it back on. Nothing.

I’m no expert, but something was wrong.

So what do you do with a malfunctioning effect pedal? You go to the internet.

Gear Drone provides a nice overview of what to do.

geofex has a nice break down of all the different things that can go wrong and how to fix it. It isn’t complete, but it is helpful.

I started with looking the pedal up online and found a schematic on DIY guitarist…too bad I don’t know what I’m doing otherwise I’m sure this would be very helpful. Next I used the tapping approach. I used a wooden chopstick to poke stuff while everything was plugged in. Nothing.

I then tried resoldering every joint that didn’t look shiney. There were a lot of them.

What I should’ve done was us my volt/ohm/whatever meter to see where the current did and didn’t go (again, this is where the schematic above would be helpful if I knew what I was doing). But I got lucky. Turns out I have a faulty footswitch. The two lugs for connecting the output from the circuit board to the output jack did not connect when the footswitch was turned on. This would explain why nothing comes out when the pedal is engaged. The input and the led indicator light lugs on the footswitch did work.


Thankfully I had a 3PDT footswitch lying around from a past project I didn’t finish. I tested the replacement first and all 9 lugs worked appropriately when switched on and off. So I took pictures of the inside of the pedal before I made any changes…which is good because when I got the old footswitch out, I couldn’t remember exactly which wire went where. I was able to reference the original picture.


It isn’t as pretty as it was before, but it now works! And the power issue is magically gone too…or it could be my awesome fixing skills. Probably magic. Woohoo for magic!

And sometime in the future, I’ll try fixing the old switch following this instructables.

So I put it all back together and it still works. I really like the combination of my Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive and Electro Harmonix LPB-1 boost, but now I want to get this thing back on my board. It has a different flavor than the current two pedals and I am very curious how it interacts with the LPB-1 boost. But that is for a different blog entry.


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