electric arrest
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#1
Have any of you heard of this being possible? Just adding several resistors to a standard pickup switch so you have a stepping volume selector? Would this work?
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Last edited by electric arrest at Feb 26, 2013,
eddiehimself
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#3
It might work, but you would need to select the values in a logarhithmic fashion. You would start off with a small resistance, say 10 ohms, then 100, 1-k, 10-k and then 100-k ohms.
EH


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electric arrest
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#4
Oh right that makes sense. Am I right that the two resistors for each position should add to 500k if I want to emulate a 500k pot?
eddiehimself
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#5
Well that's the theory. I'm not enitrely sure how one of these switches is supposed to be wired though, so I would wait and see what someone else says before making any decisions.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
jetwash69
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#7
I've heard of people doing stuff like this with capicators for tone control. Usually they use rotary switches, but those are essentially just like a 5-way switch flipped on its side. IIRC, PRS has that as a feature on some of their guitars.

IMHO, it's a cool idea to do this with the volume; it could really help with consistency when working with certain effects and it could be great for live work. And you can still include a master volume pot for swell effects, or just put a volume pedal at the front of your chain.

One more consideration when choosing the resistor values is whether you want to emulate a linear pot or audio taper. I don't have enough of an engineering background to calculate it on paper, so what I would do is take the pot I wanted to emulate and measure the resistance with a meter at the points I wanted to copy. I'd put the pot in a breadboard and actually wire it up to the guitar and signal chain--I'd bypass the volume pot in the guitar, re-routing signal to the pot in the breadboard. And after achieving the settings I wanted by ear, I'd disconnect the breaboard from the guitar to take the readings. There could be better ways; like I said, I'm not an engineer, but I have dabbled in electronics a bit, and I'm not a complete stranger to the control cavity

I don't really have time right now during my lunch break to diagram the whole thing out to answer your question about the values adding to 500. If no one's given you a good answer on that by the time I have the opportunity to look into that, then I'll take a crack at it.

In the meantime, take care.
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electric arrest
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#8
Ok did a quick calculation along a log curve and put some close values in, as well as replaced a wire to where it should be. Any reviews of my idea for confirmation is still greatly appreciated!

Yeah Jetwash I like the varitone idea so that was kind of a basis. And I agree it would help with being more consistent with volumes, plus I do own a volume pedal I use a great deal.

Thanks for the suggestion on testing the pot with a breadboard and multimeter. I will probably do that before i decide on values but i'll leave these new ones on the diagram for now.
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SuperSwitch_deluxe.png
jetwash69
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#9
Hey, I'm back. It all looks logical to me. Including the resistors adding up to 500k. Give it a shot on the breadboard. Let us know how it works out, and pics of the science project would be cool, too.
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electric arrest
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#11
The plan is to replace my volume pot with a blend pot, add coil tapping push/pull to my tone pot, then use the pickup selector as volume. It makes it easier to switch volumes mid-performance for effects but more importantly its the only way the control setup works for my 2 Humbucker guitar without drilling or routing the cavity to make it larger.
marjoriefish
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#12
Okay. Weird. Why not just get stacked dual concentric pots and make that your blend/volume?
electric arrest
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#13
Because as far as I can tell, a blend pot has two sets controlled by one knob. I dont believe they make a concentric pot with a blend on one level and standard volume on another
marjoriefish
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#14
Okay. Well you're still shoving a lot of wires into that cavity. If it were me I might just remove the five-way switch entirely and replace it with a volume knob. It'll cost about four bucks and a little filling.
electric arrest
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#15
Yeah but I dont want to fill and drill, I want it to look the same externally, and plus its a novel idea and now I just want to work out the puzzle haha
eddiehimself
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#16
Quote by marjoriefish
Okay. Well you're still shoving a lot of wires into that cavity. If it were me I might just remove the five-way switch entirely and replace it with a volume knob. It'll cost about four bucks and a little filling.


Not really. You just have to solder the ends of the resistor onto the tabs on the switch. No extra wires required.
EH


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electric arrest
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#17
Quote by eddiehimself
Not really. You just have to solder the ends of the resistor onto the tabs on the switch. No extra wires required.


Very true.

Spent today getting resistors and caps (the wrong caps haha) amongst other various parts. Took a multimeter to a 500k audio pot and sampled the resistances at 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent turn. It usually added up to 490kohm altogether (actual rating) but varied especially at 25% up to 519 combined (weird). So I tabbed them out and multiplied them to emulate a perfect 500k (probably not necessary).

Then took the closest values and put them out on a planning sheet for later, as I ordered the super switch and special pots from StewMac and I live in Vancouver so it might be a while. Also twisted together a Treble Bleed Mod just for kicks. Dont know if I am going to apply that.
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CAM00198.jpg
jetwash69
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#19
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ohaple
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#20
Im not sure how much you have done, but I really like this idea. Might be interesting to try something else with it, creative and usable. IDK about you guys, but there are spots I rarely use on the knob. Im often at full, 75%, 40%, or off. You could wire it so that you have an integrated killswitch or something. Could wire it full volume, off, 66%, off, 33%, off, or some variation. Would give less control, but might have some neat effects to be had flipping through them. if not this, I would at least consider 0%, 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%. By flipping the placement of the 0%, you can treat it more like a killswitch, and less like a knob.
Last edited by ohaple at Mar 13, 2013,
MrFlibble
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#21
I've done this before, though just with a 3-way (full output, half output and no output). Works nicely enough. I'm not sure how much use I personally would get out of more steps in output, but if it works for you, great. I can't stand 'traditional' controls, so keep on modding!
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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jetwash69
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#22
Quote by ohaple
...Also, the way I understand your diagram, I think that this wont change volume. Since every place on the switch will be at 500k, you wont have any variance in volume. You want it to be 0k to 500k. All a pot is doing is changing the resistance. You want to emulate this. I think you will only need one resistor for each position. I have no clue how you have it wired by the diagram. But that could be all the midterms and caffeine going to my head.
Though the switch has 10 or 12 terminals, you will only use half. Just depends on which side oyu want to be full volume.


TS actually is emulating a pot more than you're accounting for. A pot splits the 500k between hot and ground, which is exactly what he's doing with the switch. It sounds like you haven't considered what's going on in the other half of the pot.
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jetwash69
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#23
Quote by ohaple
...But you would never connect all three terminals of the pot to your guitar signal for volume...


What you're saying might be a possible way of hooking it up, however never say never.

Most installations do in fact use all 3 terminals. Here's 1 example (just the simplest humbucker diagram with a volume control I could find on Seymour Duncan's site):

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=1hum_1vol

All of my guitars use all 3 terminals on the volume pot (Fender, Ibanez, Schecter), so this diagram is not an anomaly.
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electric arrest
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#24
I agree. Most volume controls use all three.

Also, update on the mod, I'm still waiting on the blend pot, super switch, and push/pull pot from StewMac. Should be around any day now. The order says 1-4 weeks and its been about 2. Fingers crossed.
ohaple
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#25
I can admit when I am wrong. Im wrong.
The lucky thing was sarcasm..
I mustve gotten confused in the midst of midterms and working on my blinker project. Nearly every use I use pots for, I use them like rheostats, not voltage splitters.
My bad... I think my hubris was showing...
I think you will need all 12 terminals. Your diagram works. You want the 500k split between input and ground, in different proportions, just like your diagram shows.
Sorry if I confused you. Ive deleted my irrelevant posts to keep others from falling into my trap.

Cheers
Last edited by ohaple at Mar 13, 2013,
eddiehimself
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#26
Quote by ohaple
I can admit when I am wrong. Im wrong.
The lucky thing was sarcasm..
I mustve gotten confused in the midst of midterms and working on my blinker project. Nearly every use I use pots for, I use them like rheostats, not voltage splitters.
My bad... I think my hubris was showing...
I think you will need all 12 terminals. Your diagram works. You want the 500k split between input and ground, in different proportions, just like your diagram shows.
Sorry if I confused you. Ive deleted my irrelevant posts to keep others from falling into my trap.

Cheers


Alright man. Everyone gets confused from time to time.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
jetwash69
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#27
Quote by ohaple
I can... ...Cheers


Don't feel bad. It had been years since I'd been in control cavity (so to speak) and when I first saw this thread I was thinking exactly like you were. The chart I posted sorted me out, too.

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electric arrest
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#28
Good news! Got the parts today and after 5 hours of soldering, everything worked on first try! Works just like I planned. I'll be honest, its not pro or anything, but it gets the job done! Volume works, blend works perfectly, and push/pull tone is great.

I've attached the schematic which is accurate except for the tone lugs are reversed (cap should be connected to side lug and vice versa).

Haven't got strings back on yet but can't wait to hear the Air Classic and PAF 36th I've replaced the stock ibanez ones with.
Attachments:
schematic.jpg
jetwash69
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#29
Quote by electric arrest
Good news! Got the parts today and after 5 hours of soldering, everything worked on first try! Works just like I planned. I'll be honest, its not pro or anything, but it gets the job done! Volume works, blend works perfectly, and push/pull tone is great.

I've attached the schematic which is accurate except for the tone lugs are reversed (cap should be connected to side lug and vice versa).

Haven't got strings back on yet but can't wait to hear the Air Classic and PAF 36th I've replaced the stock ibanez ones with.


We love a success story, so have a beer on us!



A video would be cool. Either a demo or one of you playing it live and using the new features.
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