theGIMMICK - User manual
This is a minimal user manual for theGIMMICK guitar tuner.

1) Powering the gimmick

The board needs to be powered with a 7-10V AC or DC power supply (wall-wart, 9V block, ...)

2) Using the gimmick

As with any other tuner, there's not really anything to using it. This short section describes the screens you'll run into while using the gimmick.


This is the loading screen which is shown until a note has been played.


This is the screen which is shown when nothing is happening.


This is a mash-up of all all the notes that are being displayed during use on the first line. Apparently only one note will be shown at a time - the one you play. The # indicates a half-note.


During tuning the first line displays the actually played note, while the second line displays the tuning offset. If the indicator is left of the middle, your note is too low and vice versa.


If the block in the middle turns black and there's no indicator anymore, your string is perfectly tuned. It's actually already virtually perfectly tuned when the indicator is there as well as the block.


A "+" in the top right corner means that a frequency has been detected which is too high to be used.


A "-" in the top right corner means that a frequency has been detected which is too low to be used.


A question mark in the top right corner means there's an error somewhere. You should not get to see this.

3) Bugs/Known Issues

-- "in tune" display is really hard to get to as it's only reached when the frequencies match exactly. When you get see what's in picture 2, your string is virtually perfectly tuned, so this is no major concern.

-- The circuit is not fully optimized yet and may hence still change a bit over time.

-- The tuner has issues when working with bass guitars. It works well down to the A-String, the E-string (and on 5-string basses the low H-string) are hard to tune. A simple "workaround" is to use the 12th fret harmonics to tune the those strings.

-- The PCB is really hard to DIY-etch due to trace and pad-sizes. I'll make a more DIY-friendly one soon. Thanks for pointing this out sineSurfer! (fixed). As the circuit is relatively small it's fairly easy to do a perfboard version though.



2008 nILS Podewski. All rights reserved.

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