I've Got an Orgone Accumulator...

Over at McPherson Music They have a no-power-required, signal boost pedal, the "Golden Gizmo." It's more of a crunchbox than a fuzzbox but, in his youtube video, Waylon McPherson details how this pedal makes clever trade-offs on bandwidth, to create a stronger signal, using a "common or garden variety" audio impedance matching transformer with secondary (low impedance) as the primary, and vice-verse. Essentially "the wrong way round." He also details some extra mods (2 transformers, clipping diodes) to give it more versatility. Waylon's circuit is basically one transformer, a switchable diode circuit for optional clipping and a level pot with a bypass capacitor for a bit of filtering. It provides a little over 3dB of gain on a typical guitar signal. Enough to drive a weak amplifier to a little crunch. You can buy the circuit diagram from Waylon here.

The transformer circuit itself is electrical engineering 101. Playing with impedances, basically, to create a higher voltage in a high impedance signal paths, so the signal is "louder" at the next input, provided that input is high impedance. In his video about The Golden Gizmo, he talks about adding a second transformer, secondary in series with secondary, primary in series with primary, for a little more boost. In my circuit sim software, I find it actually looses a poofteenth of gain, but sounds "richer", maybe a little more "aggressive." He also talks about the overdrive switch on the pedal he sells built versions of, although strictly, it's a clipper circuit. I played around in iCircuit, my sim, and came up with the super version of The Golden Gizmo, that I name "The Orgone Accumulator," after the crazy cooker theory based on an "energy" that comes from nowhere. Appropriate name because, even though the engineering of this pedal works, to the non-engineer, it may look like something from nothing. Orgone energy originates in the 1930s and was also popular with hippies in the 60s. Hawkwind even did a song about it that I can't help but feel is a parody of the nuts who believe in that stuff. So my circuit feels like it needs to be called that and looks like this...

Orgone Accumulator

First, I've added the extra transformer and made it bypassable by simply shorting it out with a DPST switch with a pole on each side of the bottom tranny. Next, I've added a second switch to the diode clipping circuit to bypass one of the two reverse polarity dioded. Doing this gives even harmonics with the assymetrical diodes and odd harmonics with the extra diode bypassed. A SPST switch flips the clipper out of circuit or in before the level pot.

I have made a Fritzing file for a circuit board of my design but, if you do build this, do it as a mod of Waylon's pedal he sells. I don't want to trample on his copyrights or sales, and while patents on this kind have booster elapsed long ago, and anybody can really just do this pedal, I'd like to honour his time and effort making such an excellent tone conditioning box as the Golden Gizmo. His efforts inspired me to give this mod a try.

NOTE: I recieve no commission from McPherson Music. I was inspired by the beautiful simplicity of Waylon's pedal and by the ideas of his suggested mod of a second transformer. I also thought having the switchable clipping balance was worth adding. That bit was my idea. Peace.


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