Tips and Tricks

How to mount the Master Blaster

Mounting the Master Blaster is very simple. To position it within a static model, it will just stand on its base, although you could lightly Blu-tack it in place.

When mounting the unit into a boat or tank, after a few hours of usage you will need to remove the unit to recharge the batteries. I use sticky-backed Velcro for this, and because the unit itself is quite light, the Velcro will hold it in position during the motion of a tank or a roll of boat.

You can also mount the Master Blaster in the deck of your boat.

Copying other stuff onto the Master Blaster

MicroSD to SD and MicroSD to USB adaptorsIn order to do this you will need to get a MicroSD to SD card adaptor or MicroSD to USB adaptor, which are readily and cheaply available online or in your local electrical shop. The cards we supply are a generous 2GB and will hold a ton of music. Your Master Blaster is great as a portable music player too. You can also buy blank cards from the same places, or from us.

Don’t forget to copy across your master sound effects file to a safe back-up location. You are allowed to make a copy of the sound files I create for your own back-up purposes, but not to pass onto friends or for reward or gain. Whilst I cannot stop you doing this I will take action if I find out this is happening. Play fair; the sound files are very reasonably priced, considering all the technology and hours of creative work to make them, so please think about this before you make an illegal copy!

Similarly, we are often asked whether we can sell Master Blasters with music on them. The answer is "no" because we do not own the Copyright. This does not stop you using any music you have bought or downloaded for free in your unit for your own personal use either in your model or just to listen to. It does need to be in MP3 format as the Master Blaster will not play WAV or any other type of sound file. We are happy to offer any technical advice you may need on file conversions.

Improving porting and directional sound

Porting the sound from your Master Blaster using a toilet roll tubeAs it happens, the old-style Master Blaster unit (the one with the five buttons on the front) and the new 2016 model (same size and shape but with only three buttons on the front) are the same diameter as a cardboard toilet roll inner, ie 50mm. So, in true Blue Peter fashion, if you want to not only increase bass performance but also focus the direction of the sound, then stick (with Blu-tack) a toilet roll onto the top of the Master Blaster unit. Experiment with different lengths for differing effects. This is particularly useful for model boats.

If you have the Super Improved unit from 2015 (the little blue one with the controls underneath) this has a smaller diameter, so you will need to cut along the length of the toilet roll and wrap it over itself slightly to reduce its diameter, then stick it back together with tape or glue.

Another thing that you can do is to create a circular cut-out for your model. Once again, the handy toilet roll holder makes a perfect template for this! Or, if you have the smaller Master Blaster, you can use the lid of a WD-40 spray can. After this you can disguise the port hole by using thin wire mesh. This is readily available at Halfords, and it is the kind of stuff that is used to help patch up rust holes in cars' bodywork.

Play with the EQ

The old-style Master Blaster has a five-stage EQ. It’s the button on the far right of the unit. Experiment with this as different EQ settings will have an effect on each sound file. Choose the one you like best!

 

From the workbench: how to break into the new Super Improved Master Blaster and void your warranty too!

I don’t know! What are we like? I present you with a simple plug-and-play product but there are always some enterprising folk who want to “make it better”! This happened a lot with the Master Blaster Original, with many customers breaking into the unit and coming up with new control systems and solutions. I admit that was not what I had on the horizon when I launched Model Sounds in 2012, but I have been very impressed by the cunning of the model engineer in general.

There are two great examples of these ingenious modifications on our website: Chris Rigglesford's duck and Mick Jefcoate's boat.

Now the Master Blaster original is no longer available as this product has been superseded by our new Super Improved Master Blaster, that still punches out the same sound level, but is only two thirds the size and half the weight of the original model. There is one other advantage for the enterprising fiddlers and dabblers amongst you: is it is far easier to access the control interface directly without prising bits off, which could potentially damage the unit.

Circlip pliers To do so simply follow the instructions below – but be aware, ANY MODIFICATIONS TO THE UNIT WILL VOID ITS WARRANTY, SO PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. Tools: all you will need is a set of circlip pliers.
Unscrew collar with circlip pliers Step 1: Invert the unit so the control buttons are uppermost, and then insert the circlip pliers into the two small round holes in the circular collar of the unit. The collar is threaded to the main body and will spin off easily.
Remove control dial Step 2: Invert the unit, and the round silver control dial will fall away from the unit. It is worth noting the orientation of the control dial, as the engraved markings refer to the specific control functions and if you reinstall it, it can be replaced upside down as the locating pins are the same size, which means the MODE engraving would be on top of the PLAY switch and vice-versa.
Interior of Master Blaster And there you have it! Here you can see a close up of the internals of the unit. You can see the four micro-switches and adjacent to each of these are two solder tags, suggesting you could solder in wire tails to extend a new switch from the unit.

 

AGAIN, I AM NOT RECOMMENDING YOU DO THIS, AND IF YOU DO WISH TO PLAY AT THIS LEVEL YOU WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY, but I am sure some of you reading this, who are far more electronically-minded than me, will have the confidence to give it a go. And please if you do, take some pictures and send your story to me. That will help others get the best out of our New Improved Master Blaster!