Build Reports

Showing 13 build reports for the Helios project. Submit yours →

CHITO
Score:
7

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THE EXTERMINATOR’S NIGHTMARE

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: The 4-knob build

Build description

RESISTORS: Yageo & Xicon brand metal film & no value substitution at all.

CAPACITORS: HQ Panasonic solid polymers, low ESR electros, CDE silver mica + film and ceramic caps.

OpAmp: Motorola LM308AN

For this build, I only installed D1 & D2 clippers. I will include the 2nd set of clippers, Smoothness trimmer & Clipper selector switch in my next Helios build.

This project just works & it sounds great! The RAT lives on!

Aion-designed PCBs are extremely well-thought-of & with simple & clear instructions, making pedal building fun, easy & very rewarding.

Thanks to Kevin for an excellent re-design of this popular pedal based on the Pro Co RAT2 Distortion.

Please share your build experience on Helios. Thanks for reading.

Pat
Score:
6

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Rattus Maximus

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)

Build description

This was a great chance to build a high quality Rat clone with extra features. I went with germanium diodes for the other clipping section. They help to produce more of a 60’s style fuzz that sounds looser snd softer than the stock silicon diodes. I used a LM308 chip, which is essential for authentic Rat tones. This one sounds as good as my vintage big box Rat.

M
Score:
6

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RAT LM308N

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)

Build description

As always, really high quality pcb to use as a foundation for a tailored pedal. Clear points of reference for modifications. Compact size, but has enough room for a wide array of component choices. Yellow finish also adds a slick look to the internals. Kevin is an absolute legend. Love his commitment to putting out the best boards and the best projects.

Modifications or part substitutions

I wanted to figure out why O’Malley of Sunn O))))))))))) liked a modded RAT. As soon as I plugged the unit in, I understood. I don’t like stock RAT units very much, but if you do some digging you can get a great monolithic tonality from this circuit.

Synthetek
Score:
4

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RAT+

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: Sweep control and clip switch

Build description

Pretty standard , LM308, Epcos / Wima / Panasonic Caps , tantalum, Green 3mm LED for 2nd diodes. I also acid etched the enclosure. The AION PCBs are very easy to work with.

Kacper Pawluk
Score:
3

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GRAT

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: with clip switch

Build description

Really cool PCB for Rat clone! I used LM308 chip and switch for 1N60 germanium clipping diodes. I made a few Rat clones before but this one is the best I ever made! In a future I have plans to improve enclosure and make high quality print on it instead of stickers.

Mrav
Score:
17

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FAT RAT

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)

Build description

I made this one straight by instructions. Choose an LM308N for op-amp, and 3mm green LEDs for second clipping. Black 1590b enclosure with graphics on the white water decal.
I’m very satisfied with the PCB quality, as with the sound of this pedal.

ChuckHDTV
Score:
14

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Evil RAT

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: Sweep control and clip switch

Build description

Nice and clean as usual with Auon’s PCB. It sound great. First try at etching with Ferric Chloride. Turned out great looking.

Modifications or part substitutions

lM308N chip, socketed the second set of LED. Deported the 3mm red LED in the eyes. This gives the “evil” look.

John Morgan-Evans
Score:
13

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Toxic Rat

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: High Quality Caps

Build description

This was a fairly standard build following the instructions. I did not install the softness trimpot because this pedal was going to be screwed down to a board. Germanium and silicon diodes were used, not LEDs.

Modifications or part substitutions

The only difference I made to the standard fit-out was to use film capacitors in every possible stage. Where electrolytics had to be used they are Nichicon audio caps. I used a huge polystyrene cap in C2 as I don’t like tantalums. I had to put this in a 1590BS case (slightly deeper than the 1590B) because with the pots mounted on the PCB it wouldn’t fit otherwise.

Robert Jackson
Score:
13

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The Legend of Rat-Boy!

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)

Build description

I had a couple of things in mind with this build. First off, if you look at photos of the early hand-built Rat pedals, they had tantalum capacitors. Those were very expensive in the 70’s and they didn’t make it to the mass-produced version, but I wanted to go that route.

Also, I built this with a socket to try several op-amps. I actually wanted to prove that there’s no audible difference between the current Texas Instruments OP07DP and the original LM308, which I had in both the DIP8 and TO-99 packages. I figured the modern TI op-amp would be fine, since its slew rate is as low as the old LM308. It just doesn’t sound the same, though. Also, it turned out that the old TO-99 LM308 sounded MUCH better than the DIP-8 version I had. Which seems odd, but made me wonder if the DIP-8 version I bought was a counterfeit. On the alternate diode pads I set up asymmetric Boss-style silicon clipping and that turns out to be the setting I mostly use.

As always, this PCB was a delight to build. I love the work Aion does with these old circuits and the options offered for experimentation with nearly every project.

Modifications or part substitutions

Old-school LM308 in the TO-99 enclosure. I had to put a couple of drops of epoxy on the legs to make sure it didn’t pop out of the socket. Also, asymmetric clipping on the alternate diode pads.

Charles Grant
Score:
1

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Orange Rat!

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: Op Amp is a Fairchild UA308A, Boss asymmetrical clipping and yellow 3mm LED clipping for second option.

Build description

Pretty much a standard build. My daughter recently started playing guitar after she hijacked my Telecaster, and wanted a distortion pedal to play some old school punk. So I decided to go old school with a Rat. I ordered an OP07 for the build, but came across an old Fairchild UA308TC chip during the build. Someone was getting ready to throw it away. Cross referenced it and found it had the same specs as the LM308N, so in it went. Man does this thing sound great!! I also got a LM301A, TO-99 but haven’t tried it YET! The IC is socketed, so I have tried the OP07, the 308 sounds much better. The build was easy and straight forward. The PCB is a dream and the instruction cover just about everything! The work Aion Electronics did on is is just Outstanding.

Modifications or part substitutions

UA308TC instead of OP07 IC chip.
Asymmetrical and LED clipping.
Used the 3PDT pcb from BLMS, had an extra one and I am familiar with them.
Did moy include the sweep option.
Nothing else besides these.

bobrov1989
Score:
1

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Helios (125B)

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: Master Splinter

Build description

Build the variant with LM308N and 3 clipping options 4 x 1N914, 2 x 1N914, 2 x red LED. Putted it into non-standard Hammond enclosure 1590T, the only thing it pretty hard to put battery in that size. I love the sound, you can go from light overdrive to fuzzy distortion, and it will chug! However sweep control (changed the filter cut-off frequency) feeling useless or it might require wider control.

Modifications or part substitutions

LM308N opamp.

Al Russell
Score:
0

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Let’s Rock!

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: Helios kit, blank enclosure.

Build description

First Aion build. I bought a kit, but asked for a blank enclosure that I drilled and painted. I am really happy with how the Twin Peaks theme turned out. The graphics are all stickers or P-touch labels that I clear coated over. Very playable and versatile RAT and super easy to build. I love the wiring harnesses. So much less work.

Modifications or part substitutions

Just the finish.

Crappy
Score:
0

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The Labrat

Project: Helios (RAT Distortion)
Variant: Standard Rat

Build description

This is my second successful build. I ended up using the OP07 chip, but im itching to try the LM308. I kept the clipping options as well & used Red LEDs on one side & jumpered the other side.