How to Wire a Foot Switch

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A foot switch keeps the hands free while allowing someone, for example, a guitarist, to activate electronics devices at will. To wire a foot switch for use with a guitar-effect device, acquire supplies from a hardware store. You will also need tools that most homes already have on hand, but which you can get from the hardware store as well if necessary. You don't need extensive electrical expertise to wire a foot switch.

Things You'll Need

  • Triple throw, double-pole foot switch
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Guitar input jack
  • Wire snips
  • Jumper pin
  • Guitar output jack
  • Ruler
  • Wire strippers
  • Wa-Wa pedel
  • Phillips jeweler's screwdriver
  • Place the foot switch upside-down on a work surface so that the pins face up. Rotate the switch so that the side of the switch that has the text labeled on it is at the top of the switch, farthest from you. Heat up a soldering iron for 5 minutes.

  • Solder the end of the red wire coming from the guitar input jack to the center pin at the leftmost side of the switch. Let the solder cool for a minute. Snip off the other wire from the contact on the guitar input jack.

  • Solder an end of a jumper pin to the bottommost left pin on the switch. Let the solder cool for a minute. Solder the other end of the jumper pin to the pin next to the one that was just soldered. Let the solder cool for a minute.

  • Solder the end of the blue wire from the guitar output jack to the center pin on the switch --- this pin is right next to the pin that has the guitar input wire soldered to it. Let the solder cool for a minute. Snip off the other wire from the contact on the guitar output jack.

  • Strip a 1/2 inch of insulation from both ends of both of the wires, using the wire strippers. Solder an end of one of the wires to the topmost left pin on the switch. Let the solder cool. Wind the other end of the wire around one of the screws on the guitar-effect device, for example, a Wa-Wa pedel. Tighten the screw with a Phillips jeweler's screwdriver.

  • Solder an end of the other wire to the topmost center pin on the switch. Let the solder cool for a minute. Wind the other end of the wire around the other screw on the guitar-effect device and tighten the screw. Unplug the soldering iron.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can mount the foot switch and the input and outputs in a box if you want.

References

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