Assess your capabilities -

Put yourself honestly into a category: are you a

  1. Rank beginner - no previous electronics knowledge, may not have any electronics tools
  2. Learning - understand a little bit, can solder OK with a few errors, have a soldering iron and a multimeter
  3. Pretty competent - fixed or build a pedal or two, understand Ohm's law, have electronics tools available. May even have an oscilloscope

There are real differences in what you *can* do in fixing an effect depending on your experience. There will be places where there isn't much else you could reasonably expect to be able to do. At those places, I'll insert a note to take the effect to a qualified tech; this advice will vary by level.

Safety is a big deal in electronics. You can't see, smell or hear electricity in most cases. However, all electronics devices are powered from somewhere. If you have no experience with electricity (that is, you're a Category 1 FX person), assume that every wire inside an effect it connected to the AC power line until proven otherwise. Even as a Category 2 or 3, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER work on an effect that has an internal AC power supply with the AC line cord plugged in unless you have the skills to do this safely. If you don't know what these skills are, you don't have them. However, unlike amps, most effects are powered by batteries. Batteries are generally pretty safe.

If you're a (1)

If you're a (2)

If you're a (3)