This is a simple but very useful little device.
It’s cheap and easy to build and can save you hours of time and frustration in the long run.
The Bend Finder has two main uses:
1- A safety buffer when poking around looking for bends.
2- Helps find correct potentiometer ratings for adjustable bends.
Just to clarify
I’ve gotten lots of emails asking about the BIG knob with the numbers on it. This is just a fancy potentiometer. It’s rated at 1000 ohms. The number read out tells you the exact resistance of the pot. I got it off an old, thrown out piece of test equipment. They cost $50+ new and I would not recommend buying one for this application. It’s very nice to have and it looks damn good, but definitely not necessary.
The bane of all benders is the burnt circuit. You spend hours finding those “choice” bends and just before wrapping it up you decide to try one more connection…And that’s when it happens. The circuit fries. A feeling of defeat grips your soul, your only release a single burning tear.
Using this little gadget can help you avoid these sad moments. Setting just a few ohms of resistance between your two test probes can greatly minimize the risk of permanent burn out.
It’s main use is to help find the best potentiometer value for bends that can be adjusted with pots. It can also be used as a simple, patchable switch.
-Solder two wires to two different points on a circuit board that you know create an interesting bend when connected.
-Connect those wires to the binding posts on the Bend Finder. Make sure the switch on the BF is in the OFF position.
-Turn all the pots all the way UP. Flip the BF switch to the ON position.
-Slowly turn the pots down one at a time starting with the highest value until you find the pot value that works best for that bend.
Basically it’s just 5 potentiometers in a box, wired in series with a switch.
I used two banana jack binding posts as connection terminals.
This is a common tool in most electronics shops. This model has just been tweeked a bit for use in a circuit bending shop.