In need for info..

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Old 02-09-09, 05:29 PM
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Amplifier footswitch

Hi, I'm a newbie here, from Macedonia. I'm just starting to dabble into electronics, and I'm a guitar player. So, I decided to build a footswitch for my amp. It's got two channels: clean and distorted. Now, I'm using my friend's FS at the moment, and that one has 2 switches (I guess stomp switches is the technical term.) One of 'em switches between channels, and the other turns on/off the boost. I opened it to see what was inside, since I wanted to find out how it worked.
What I saw was: of course - normal, 1/4'' stereo jack, and a 3 conductor wire on the outside. In the jack, I saw, in my case, the blue (insulation, clearly) wire soldered on the smaller piece of metal, the pink one on the bigger one and the shield, normally on the lowest surface (I know it's a poor terminology as it can be, but I'm really just starting.) Now, in the box: the pink one led to the sticking pin of the switch (channel), the blue one exactly the same but to the opposite switch (boost), and the shield was separated in two, each part connected the middle sticking pins of the switches. And that's it. Can somebody please explain this concept to me? I'd be REALLY grateful. I definitely don't wanna buy a 40$ footswitch.
Thanks a lot.
 

Last edited by Carpe_diem; 02-09-09 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 02-10-09, 04:53 AM
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Anybody? I'm aware that it's total beginner's stuff, but I'd appreciate any help.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 05:29 AM
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What's the make & model of the amp? The wiring varies. My Fender HRD uses only two wires to switch between channels & add boost.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 05:41 AM
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I've got a Peavey ValveKing 112, 50W.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 10:12 AM
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You can test switches and see how they work with an "ohm meter". This is included as one of the settings with a "multimeter".

Some switches are just on/off and only have two connections.

Some switches have 3 connections. There is a common which flips between the other two connections. When one connection is on, the other is off. Sometimes these switches are installed, but only two connections are used.

Then there are other switches which are more like a light dimmer or volume control. They turn on more and more as you turn the dial more and more. This is called "resistance" and is measured in "ohms".

Look up these words on the internet.

Then with things like amplifiers, outside noises can enter the wires and cause humming or other unwanted noises. So all the wiring and connections are surrounded by metal which is "grounded" and this keeps out the outside signals. This is called a "Faraday Cage".

So your wiring has a melal braid around the outside and the petal switch is probably metal as well. This may be blocking outside signals. If you were to make your own switches and place them in a plastic petal gizmo, this might allow outside noises to get into the wiring.

Outside noises are caused by "inductance" from nearby electrical wiring. Or cellphone, radio, TV, etc. signals.

So look up all the above words you don't understand. If you get an ohm meter, disconnect the foot switch from the amp before testing. The electricity in the amp can damage the ohm meter if set to ohms. And you would not get an accurate reading if the switches were connected to anything else.
 
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