When I play guitar, I often switch between clean and overdrive, and I sometimes need to turn chorus on and off. The problem here is that the buttons on my amp are about 1/4" squares, smack dab in between the knobs. When I don't want to reach down to change settings, sometimes I can manage to use my toe to push the buttons, but often times I end up messing with the knobs accidentally.
While looking at my amp's manual, I saw that the label for the footswitch jack designated the functions of the TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve, or stereo) plug that would plug into the jack. It was then that I had the idea that I should make a footswitch instead of buying one, just like any self-respecting geek would do.
By making my own footswitch, I was able to save a ton of money. Most dual-button footswitches run somewhere around $50 or so, yet I was able to make mine for under $10.
Step 1: Parts and Materials
The parts are pretty straightforward, but can be changed depending of what you already have.
- 2 Push On/Push Off buttons*
- a 1/4" Male Stereo plug (I prefer solder-type)
- a cable of some sort with at least 3 conductors**
- an enclosure that will fit the switches
- you may need some hookup wire, but it's unlikely
*I have heard of amps that require a momentary switch instead of a push on/push off type. You can check what you need by touching the wires for the switch together and seeing what happens.
**I used an old RCA audio cable, which has 2 conductors in each wire, then I soldered one from each together forming a common ground
- Wire strippers
- Soldering iron & solder
- Drill with bits to match your buttons