Toneloc Assembly Guide

Safety Precautions, Warranty, and Disclaimer Improper soldering and handling of electricity can cause serious injury and damage to your property. Read and understand the instructions below before beginning your project. Follow the instructions, build carefully, and use the appropriate tools. Build at your own risk. DIY Recording Equipment, LLC is not responsible for any damage or injury resulting from the assembly or use of your kit. You are the manufacturer of your kit. It is your responsibility to turn this group of parts into a working piece of recording equipment. DIY Recording Equipment, LLC does not guarantee the success of your project and disclaims any Implied Warranty of Merchantability. Please visit the support forum for assembly support.
Damaged or Missing Parts All kits and parts are checked before being shipped to you. If something arrives damaged or if your kit is missing a part, please open a support ticket to inquire about a replacement. Missing parts will be replaced at our expense. Damaged parts should be returned for verification. If the part shows signs of use beyond what was necessary to determine that it was damaged, DIY Recording Equipment, LLC reserves the right not to replace the part.
Welcome to the Toneloc assembly guide.

Thank you for purchasing a Toneloc

If this is your first DIY project ever, we recommend reading our Getting Started Guide.

This guide is for the Toneloc 2.0, if you purchased the earlier version see the Toneloc 1.0 assembly guide.

Required Tools top

Soldering Iron
We recommend an adjustable-temperature station, such as the Weller WLC100.

You can use 60/40 "leaded" solder or lead-free. We recommend 60/40 because it flows better and is easier for beginners to use.

Wire Cutters
You'll need a pair of good "snips" for cutting of the excess leads after soldering.

Optional Tools top

If you run into problems, a multimeter can come in handy. You can also use it to sort resistors.

Desoldering Pump
If you accidentally solder something in the wrong place, a desoldering pump can save the day.

Component Sorting Sheet top

To identify and keep track of every part in the kit, download and print the Component Sorting Sheet (PDF).

Standoffs and Header (Bag 1) top

Insert Standoffs top

Note that there are two different ends on the plastic standoffs. The locking end has tabs with a right angle to prevent them from being removed after installation, while the non-locking end has smooth tabs. Insert the locking ends of the standoffs from the bottom of the PCB.

Populate 8-Pin Header top

Insert the 8-pin header into the holes marked “CON1.” Make sure to place the short, silver pins through the bottom of the PCB so that the PCB rests on the black plastic posts. Solder the header from the top of the PCB and do not trim the leads afterward.

Tape and Solder IC Socket top

Insert the IC socket so that the notches on the sockets align with the markings on the PCB. Secure in place with tape. Then flip the PCB over and solder in place. Remove the tape.

Transistors, Header, and IC top

Populate Transistors top

There are two important things to note about transistors. First, the orientation: one side of the body is flat while the other is round. And second, the part number: carefully check the markings on the sorting sheet against those on the body before inserting them.

Identify the transistors, place them in the correct positions orientation, double check, and then solder and trim.

Tape and Solder Header top

Place the 3-pin header with the longer side of the pins facing up. As you did with the IC socket, tape the header in place, flip the PCB, and solder.

For the moment, set aside the black, plastic jumper. You will use this at the end to set the release option.

Place IC in Socket top

The leads of the IC must be slightly bent to fit perfectly into the socket. Press one row of leads against a flat surface until they form a 90-degree angle with the body of the IC. Then do this for the other row.

IC polarity is indicated by a dot or notch on one side of the body. Align this side with the notch in the socket. Place the IC in this direction, and press it completely into the socket.

Small Capacitors top

Populate Small Capacitors top

Place the smaller capacitors in their respective places. These capacitors are not polarized and therefore can be placed in either direction. Solder then trim the leads.

Large Capacitors top

Populate Large Capacitors top

Some of these capacitors are polarized, so they must be placed in a certain direction. The polarized capacitors are marked with a stripe on the body. On these the positive lead is slightly longer, while the negative lead is marked with a stripe on the body of the capacitor. Place the capacitors with the positive lead in the pad next to the "+" marking on the PCB. Double check their orientation, then solder and trim.

Final Checks top

Before you wrap up, check the following things:

  • Capacitor orientation: Is the stripe on the cap on the opposite side from the "+" marking on the PCB?
  • Transistor orientation: Does the shape of the transistor match the outline on the PCB?
  • IC orientation: Does the dot/notch on the IC align with the notches on the socket and PCB?
  • Soldering: Is every solder joint shiny and clean? If one is cloudy or misshapen, try reheating it for 8 seconds and adding a tiny bit more solder.
  • Trimming: Are all of the excess leads trimmed down as close to the joint as possible?

Complete! top

Congrats on assembling your Toneloc Colour!

Setting the Release Option: Place jumper you set aside in step 2.2 on the 3-pin header to set the release time. FST is the default option which matches the behavior of the original unit. SLO is slower than the original release time, and will make the compression smoother and less aggressive. Part of the character of the Toneloc is that the release time varies based on the input level, so there is no single time constant for either setting. To match your Toneloc 2.0 to a Toneloc 1.0, use the FST setting.

Help Us Improve top

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