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How to start troubleshooting?

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  • How to start troubleshooting?


    I've just finished my DIY snare, and it is horrible..... I'm not sure what's going on, or how to begin to troubleshoot. The snare only responds when I hit the foam directly on top. No input from around the cone gives any kind of signal to the module. I followed the diagram Beatnik posted, and wired it up like that. I looked at the thread about the snare mis-triggering moving from TD9 to TD30, and I've taken notes from there; I will be trying those steps, but I have more generalized questions that might let me know if I did something incredibly wrong.

    The snare is a 14" steel snare, 6 lug. It's just a cheap snare I got off of Craigslist. Is metal okay to use with the electronic drum? Does it cause some weird issues I'm not thinking about? Could it be grounding the jack and shorting it out? I used a 12" wooden tom that I cut in half and they work great.

    The trigger system I'm using is similar to the RTS trigger system that I built myself. Working just fine in the toms, not so much in the snare. The piezo's are 27mm for both rim and head, but I don't seem to get any response from the rim at all. I know they work outside of the shell, if I thump the piezo a little bit I get really good response, but again, that's direct contact with the piezo. I've got a TD-11k that I've turned the sensitivity all the way up, turned the pad types to different types, nothing seems to help. I'm so ready to be done with this build, could anybody please help me figure out what I did wrong, I just want to bang on the drum!!


  • #2
    Hey wixxyl,

    What module are you using?
    What type of trigger? crossbar, sidemount?
    What type of cone?

    The fact that they work when you tap them means the the wiring is ok. I have 2 converted metal snares (one just like your's a cheap 6 lug version) they work great, so that can not be the issue.

    For the head piezo, it sounds as if it does not make enough contact with the head. Also make sure that the head is really tight. Larger drums tend to be less responsive. This starts at about 14'' drums. you can get them all to work though.

    For the rim, make sure that there is not much damping between the piezo and the shell.

    For all piezo's: make sure they can bend/vibrate. That's what gives the signal. What I usually do, is to just cover the outer rim of the piezo with double side foam tape on the bottom of the piezo, and only cover the inner part on the top . The foam tape is spongy enough to allow the required vibration.

    Last but not least: The module itself. start by selecting a pad type that matches your build (had to do that when I went from my Roland pad to my 1st diy snare on my TD4) If that is not possible in your module, start playing around with trigger parameters, like sensitivity and gain.

    Good luck.
    Brain: mega drum. 5 toms: DIY mesh head, side-mounted DIY triggers. Snare: 14" 682 head, DIY crossbar trigger. 2xDIY beaterless BD pedal. .Cymbals: Crash: 2x 16" brass: 2 zone. Ride: 20" brass: 2 zone. Hi-Hat: 14" 1 zone DIY Control pedal + Pearl H900 stand. + drum rack:


    • #3
      Hi wixxyl,

      the way you describe it sounds like a signal related problem, which is probably too low (self-made, self-made trigger etc.).

      To check I suggest to find somebody, who is fluent in electronics, can bring an oscilloscope and knows, how to use and understand its display.

      Best, Michael
      td-30 user ;-)


      • #4
        Thank you guys for the responses. I'm using a TD11k module, with nothing really special about that piece. The trigger is like the RTS style, with the center mounted aluminum disc in the center of a larger disc, with 6 aluminum arms connecting the disc to the shell lug screws. This was the most complicated type of trigger to build, but I'm hoping this will be the last time I have to build any, lol. I'm also unsure of some of the components I have in place. I used Gorilla glue clear tape to hold the piezo's on, which is probably overkill, but I wanted to make sure it was staying put. I wonder if it could be dampening the vibrations too much for a reliable signal to be sent. I think I'll try your suggestion about how to set up the foam tape, any suggestions on the brand that you use most? Also, would you think there would be much more vibration change between the wooden shells and the metal, whether it's from material or size? The toms I made are 2" smaller, but surely 2" won't make that much of difference in triggering. I'm also using a Pintech single ply mesh head, whereas the toms have the thick window screen diy heads on them. Which one would theoretically trigger better? I'm not sure if I need the thicker head on the snare as well, what do you guys think? Sorry for the millions of questions, but this is cutting into my playing time, all I want to do is play. Thank you guys all for all the help so far.


        • #5
          I believe I found the culprit! In my desire to want to secure the piezo, I think I secured it a little too well. I removed the adhesive I was using, put some hot glue over the soldering on the piezo to strengthen it, and built a foam ring around the gold outside ring on the piezo. I then used the interior of the circle to secure the cone to the piezo, and tightened the crap out of the head. It seems to be triggering quite well now. I'm going to do the same on the rim, and hope that I can get it sorted next. The solder on the head came undone, so I need to fix that, but it shouldn't be too difficult. Thank you guys for the help.