BYB DIY Muscle SpikerBox Instructions
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The DIY Muscle SpikerBox Build Instructions

Here are the instructions to assemble your very own Muscle SpikerBox from the DIY Muscle SpikerBox Kit! If you haven't already, you can order it through our product page. Depending on your comfort with electronics, it takes 2 hours (electrical engineer) to 4 hours (complete novice) to build.

Part 1: Build the Assembly

In this first step we will assemble the PCB board. Below you will find the step-by-step instructions. Navigate through each step until your board is complete, then move on to part 2.
  • Let's begin building from your EMG bag of parts! In part 1, we will assemble the PCB.

  • Here are your resistors, in order of where on the board they are placed. If you purchased one of our first DIY Muscle SpikerBoxes, you may have an additional (4th) 47k resistor you will put in R10. Newer boards don't have this.

  • With all the resistors, bend one end gently into a loop from where the lead comes out...

  • So that they look like this!

  • Insert resistors onto PCB. Remember, resistors don't have a polarity, so either way works. When you insert a resistor onto the board, bend the lead right next to the pad so that you can move your hand without it falling out.

  • Some find it easier to insert each resistor and then solder and cut. Others put all the resistors in and solder them all in one go. There's no wrong way, just do what is easy for you.

  • Solder away!

  • Once soldered, cut the leads off as close to the board as possible. Here's a perfect chance to make sure two different pads aren't touching by way of solder. Remember to hold the ends of leads while cutting them off, they can fly at high speeds and may cause injury to yourself or others.

  • In order from left to right: C1,C2, and C10 (blue). C3. C4. C5. C7. C8.

  • Insert all your capacitors! The only one that has a polarity is C3. The longer lead corresponds to the positive end of the capacitor. Insert this end into the capacitor hole with a + sign next to it.

  • Solder and trim just like before!

  • Next, we have the R,B,W (they snap into the board next to their initial), the chip holders (remember to put the half-moon on the top), the switch, the LED, 2 Audio ports, and the male connector for your speaker. Use silly putty to make it easier if needed.

  • Insert the RCA plugs and solder. These may take a little effort to snap in. When soldering, make sure the entire pad is soldered. leaving exposed areas on the lead will result in a non-working board.

  • Next, solder the headphone jacks, LED, the power knob, and male sided speaker port.

  • Use a small screw driver to connect the knob with the switch. Make sure it's good and tight, and also that your speaker doesn't get in the way (they're really close on the board)

  • Insert your chips into the chip holders, paying careful attention that the small dot and/or half-moon meets the chip holder's half-moon. AD623 goes on the left holder, TLC2272 in the middle one, and LM386 in the right holder. Be gentle and don't bend the little legs on the chips. Also, don't rub them too much, as they are easily stacically charged and will fry if they come in too much contact with static.

Part 2: Build the Speaker and Enclosure

In this section, you will be assembling your speaker, as well as the enclosure for our Muscle SpikerBox PCB board.
  • Start by cutting a few inches off of the speaker, no more than half of the wire supplied. Then strip the wire just a little bit.

  • Grab some helping hands for this part as you take the female connector and solder each point to the speaker.

  • Make sure when you solder each wire on, that no part of the wire and no solder is touching with the other.

  • To ensure that the two sides never touch, take a small bit of electrical tape and wrap it around one side...

  • ...Then wrap it around to make it look pretty.

  • Next we're going to put together our enclosure for our board. Take your bottom enclosure piece (It's got our home state on it) and insert screws into holes going down.

  • Cut your plastic tubing into 4 pieces of ¼ inch and 4 pieces of ¾ inch. Put the four smaller pieces onto screws.

  • Turn around your board so that the battery is at the top and put the board onto screws.

  • Put the longer tubing onto the screws. There should still be a little exposed space at the top of the screws. If not, check your measurements again on the tubing and trim as needed.

  • Put your speaker into the enclosure piece with the large hole below the engraved cockroach, facing up. If the fit is too loose for comfort, you can always try a tiny bit of super glue around the edges of the speaker. Insert the speaker into the port on the board and set enclosure top on screws. We like to do a fancy little twist of a speaker wire, but it will not affect the usablity of the board if you don't do a fancy twist.

  • Take your hex nuts and tighten on your enclosure. You shouldn’t have to strain too much. After that, you’re Muscle SpikerBox is complete! To test, turn the knob til you hear noise. It may be loud, but it should be a constant pitch.

Part 3: White Lead

We are now ready to assemble our leads. These are the wires that connect our electrodes to our box. These instructions are the easiest to mess up if you don't pay attention, so take special care with assembly.
  • For all 3 leads, you will want to make note of which side you want to be your positive side and which to be your ground. Keep this consistent for all 3 sets. If you switch sides and make a mistake, your leads WILL NOT work. Take the SHORTER (70cm) of the 3 speaker wires in the kit, separate and strip the casing off just a bit.

  • Place wire into RCA plug eyelets. The TALLER of the eyelets is the GROUND. The shorter is positive. Solder and crimp.

  • Remember to put the cap back on before the next step, as you will be unable to after.

  • Separate the other end of the wire and only strip the POSITIVE end. Insert positive wire into the all metal alligator clip and through the hole by the screw

  • Loosen the screw enough to wrap the wire around the screw, getting as close to under it as you can (you may need the help of some needle-nose pliers). Tighten the screw as tight as you can to keep the wire from coming out. If you want to check how well that worked, go ahead and give the wire a little pull. If, for some reason, it keeps coming out, feel free to put a little solder right where the wire first goes under the screw.

  • Snip the ground wire about 1/3 inch from the alligator clip. Make sure that no matter how much you bend it around, the ground CANNOT touch the alligator clip. If it touches, it will not work.

  • See? Not touching.

  • And again, no way it's gonna touch. Good job!

Part 4: Red and Black Leads

These two are different from the previous because of the different alligator clip. Again, these instructions are the easiest to mess up if you don't pay attention, so take special care with assembly.
  • We're going to start off the same exact way for the other two leads, which are red and black, but the other end insrtuctions are different. In fact, the instructions for the red and black leads are the SAME! Strip wire a bit, remember which side is your ground...

  • ... And solder the RCA plug on through the eyelets! Remember to put the cap back on.

  • Strip your positive end of your speaker wire just a bit.

  • Take one of the ends off of the red alligator clip (or the black if you're doing the black lead), and insert your speaker wire into it. Take note not to put it on backwards, or you won't be able to put the cap back on after soldering.

  • Insert your speaker wire from the inside going out and wrap the remaining wire back to the inside. Solder it just a bit to make sure that it's stable.

  • Cut the ground wire and do the bendy test again, making sure that it can't touch the metal of the alligator clip.

  • Put the cap back on and you're done! If you want to test it using a multimeter, you should get a reading from the alligator clip to the tip of the RCA plug, but NOT to the round section closest to the plastic of the plug. Repeat the same instructions for the black lead.