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Old 11-25-2007, 11:30 AM   #1
minichibi
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Tutorial: Killswitch "Pedal"

For a killswitch mounted inside a guitar, go here: the ULTIMATE killswitch thread

Okay, so before we start Iíd like to thank SomeoneYouKnew for giving me the initial instructions on how to do this. I just put in pictures and elaborated on some stuff, but it's pretty much thanks to him.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little tutorial on how to make a guitar killswitch PEDAL. I made it as simple as possible, it shouldnít be too difficult to follow: you shouldnít need prior electronics experience. Keep in mind you could always stick the pedal onto your guitar. By the way, if anyone has corrections and the like, feel free to post/PM me.

Letís get started:

Materials (amount, item, where to purchase, price):
- 1, Push Button Switch (Radio Shack/Home Depot, ~$3)
- 2, ľĒ Phone Jacks (Radio Shack/Home Depot, ~$3)
- 22 gauge wire (Home Depot, ~$0.33 per foot)
- 1, Project box (Radio Shack ~$4, depending on size) or any plastic box

Tools:
- Soldering Iron (unless your Switches + Jacks have other ways to attach wires)
- Drill (to drill through the box)

Additional Materials Pics:
http://s235.photobucket.com/albums/...switch%20Build/

Steps:
1.) First things first: Grab your phone jacks and your switch. You should be able to identify the terminals on your switch and both the tip and sleeve on your phone jacks. Observe the switch: it should be momentary (if you push it down, it should pop back up), it should be normally open and an SPST (what I used, read about that here)
Observe the phone jacks: make sure they are guitar cable sized (1/4Ē) and that there are two connections: tip and sleeve (check picture). I used a mono jack.




2.) Okay, take your 22 gauge wire. Loop it, solder, attach, whatever Ė make it stay on the *tip* of both your jacks.



Then, take that wire and attach both those wires to the same terminal on the switch. Once again, they should BOTH be attached to one terminal: NOT each to itís own terminal.

3.) Next, do the same thing, except from the *sleeve* connection of both jacks. Attach both of these wires to the other terminal on the switch. It should now look like this:



If you would like to, you may now check if your connections work. Just plug in your guitar through this semi-pedal and press the button. If the signal stops and your amp shuts up, youíve done everything right. If not, backtrack.

4.) Drill holes in your project box/container/box. Whatever, Iím referring to it as a project box from now on. First, mark where you want to drill with a marker. You want the holes for your input jacks to be close to the floor: that way, if someone steps on the cable, thereís a smaller chance of the input jacks being pulled out somehow. You also might want to consider putting the hole for the switch not straight in the middle of your lid (of the box, for the slow ones!), that way, if youíll be using it as a pedal, youíll have somewhere to rest your heel. If youíre using an actual project box, keep in mind that itís TOUGH plastic (donít use the metal lid that comes with it!), if you havenít got a power drill, you could switch to a thinner container.

It should now look sort of like this without the wires (I put the switch right in the middle here, sorry. Imagine it more to the left, and flipped over: I faced it straight up to show what it is!):



5.) Put everything together. If you need more pictures, go to the additional materials link at the top of this tutorial.



Hope you guys get it Good luck on getting Jordan with your feet...


IMPORTANT EDIT: (Thanks SYK) Make sure that this is the first pedal you plug your guitar into. Uhhh, scroll down to SomeoneYouKnew's post to find out how. Don't feel like quoting!
EDIT: O_o Massive pics. Sorry.

Last edited by minichibi : 11-25-2007 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:44 AM   #2
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:51 AM   #3
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:35 PM   #4
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Nice tutorial

I would just add what type of switch you used to the materials list as well.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minichibi
Okay, so before we start Iíd like to thank SomeoneYouKnew for giving me the initial instructions on how to do this. I just put in pictures and elaborated on some stuff, but it's pretty much thanks to him...

...EDIT: O_o Massive pics. Sorry.


1 - Call me SYK. It's faster, and it describes my sense of humor.

2 - You give me too much credit. I only got you started. You did all the work.

3 - Yeah, I find that pics with a width of about 600 pixels work out best.
You can resize the 3rd and 4th pics in MS paint or any other image program to 60 ~ 70%

4 - You should edit a link to tubab0y's thread into your OP.
Just quote me, then copy the next line of this post.


For a killswitch mounted inside a guitar, go here: the ULTIMATE killswitch thread


5 - I'll send a link to this thread to Tubab0y and ask him to edit into the OP on his thread.

6 - Work on your soldering. It looks a bit "blobby" especially on the phone jacks.

Stuff that looks very shiny, sorta like chrome, will oftenbe difficult to solder. You can grind the surface a bit with a fine file. That helps a ton. Use a high wattage iron, and keep the tip clean by wiping with a damp sponge. Put a tiny dab of solder on the tip, and that will quickly conduct the heat into the joint. Apply some solder to the back side of the joint, and get the soldering iron off of it when the solder flows.

With a little practice, you'll be soldering like a pro. Practice on junk you find in the trash bin.

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Old 11-25-2007, 02:31 PM   #6
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A cool edition to this would be a locking switch in edition to the regular, so you dont have to keep your foot on the pedal.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absent Mind
A cool edition to this would be a locking switch in edition to the regular, so you dont have to keep your foot on the pedal.


would there be a way to make a locking switch and a regular switch on the same pedal?
I have no experience whatsoever in building pedals so don't rag on me here. If there is a way, can someone post a schematic and instructions for making it?

and how big of a project box should i get?
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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Your box doesnt need to be big at all. Probbly only 3" x 3".

Just just put a locking switch in series with the one already there.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusanti_RHCP
would there be a way to make a locking switch and a regular switch on the same pedal?
I have no experience whatsoever in building pedals so don't rag on me here. If there is a way, can someone post a schematic and instructions for making it?

and how big of a project box should i get?


i would also like to know this

and also how fast can you get with this pedal?
as fast as a normal one???

edit:thanks kurtlives
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtlives91
Your box doesnt need to be big at all. Probbly only 3" x 3".

Just just put a locking switch in series with the one already there.
Noooooo! Put it parallel. This switch doesn't interrupt the signal. It shorts the signal to ground.

Two more wires added to the original switch. Connect those to the terminals of the new switch. Everything else stays EXACTLY the same.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:53 PM   #11
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thanks SYK
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeoneYouKnew
Noooooo! Put it parallel. This switch doesn't interrupt the signal. It shorts the signal to ground.

Two more wires added to the original switch. Connect those to the terminals of the new switch. Everything else stays EXACTLY the same.

Ahhhh!!! brain fart my bad.
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:22 PM   #13
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Nasty soldering. Looks good from the outside though
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:24 PM   #14
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isnt it better to just short the signal and earth with an SPST PTM switch?

or is it the same?
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo_epi_SG_wo
isnt it better to just short the signal and earth with an SPST PTM switch?

or is it the same?

That's what's happening here.
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:30 PM   #16
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Could someone post a diagram of this one with the locking switch. I plan on doing this project tomorrow.
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:44 PM   #17
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Could someone post a diagram of this one with the locking switch. I plan on doing this project tomorrow.

Post a photo or a link to the switch that you'll be using. There are different push-push switches.
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:03 PM   #18
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SYK, forgive me if I am t3h n00b, but surely a push to break switch between the two jacks here would do the same job as switching it to ground?
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:19 PM   #19
minichibi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absent Mind
A cool edition to this would be a locking switch in edition to the regular, so you dont have to keep your foot on the pedal.


It's funny, I was thinking the EXACT same thing Check the end of the ultimate killswitch thread, see the conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thewolf_and_man
Nasty soldering. Looks good from the outside though


Don't remind me. Especially one of the terminals. One of the other ones was out of boredom though, I was waiting for someone and because watching it turn to goop is so fun..... But all the other ones are just me sucking.

Last edited by minichibi : 11-25-2007 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:58 PM   #20
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SYK, forgive me if I am t3h n00b, but surely a push to break switch between the two jacks here would do the same job as switching it to ground?
Yes, it will interrupt the signal. BUT...

Disconnecting the guitar like that, leaves the cable leaving the box connected to nothing. There is much more hum picked up by an unterminated cable. Shorting the cable is much quieter during the kill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minichibi
Don't remind me. Especially one of the terminals. One of the other ones was out of boredom though, I was waiting for someone and because watching it turn to goop is so fun..... But all the other ones are just me sucking.
I'll remind you. But I'll do so a little more gently. It's worth practicing your soldering technique on junk bits. You can experiment on different ways of cleaning the surfaces and applying the heat and solder. If the joints come out stuffed, who cares! It's just junk, anyway. After you've soldered a hundred or so times, you'll be amazed how easy it is to make joints that look perfect. It's a skill, like any other. Few people pickup a guitar and play like Stanley Jordan the first time.


One more thing not mentioned in your OP.

Since this shorts the signal, it should be placed before any other pedals. Some pedals can tolerate having their output shorted. Others will be damaged. No reason to find out that one of your pedals can't tolerate it by finding out the hard way!
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