Picture of Amp Footswitch
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.
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Step 1: Parts and Materials

Picture of 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
wowbluesky1 year ago
Where do you get the buttons?
Xedier2 years ago
Hi! Would this kind of footswitch work with my Behringer V-ampire if I used momentary switches instead of the on/off type? It only has to switch between presets. Thank you!
rblee Xedier1 year ago
You really need to do some research.

Foot switches range from the very simple (e.g. Fender Mustang 1, with just a latching SPST switch) to stuff like the Roland Cubes (trigger on the falling edge of a square pulse) through to stuff like Line 6, which is probably going to be a real pain.

All you need should be in the manual, which you should find online, if you haven't got one.
te1011 year ago
wich input would u use for the cable?
I have done this, but never thought to put it on instructables! :)
lowkey303 years ago
this is really funny for me because I found a commercially made switch setup at a yardsale and bought it for $1 so I could hack it to get the switches out of it for other projects!
why do you "tin" them first? does that avoid shorts or something?
By tinning the wires, you coat them with a layer of solder. That way, when you're ready to solder two wires or components together, you simply have to heat up the joint between them and the solder will flow in to fill the gap. Hope this helps :)
oh, I guess that could help make a stronger joint, I like to just twist the wires together and drop a few drops of solder on them.
thewizard424 years ago
I have that same strat, but its a 2008 :D
Nice job. I built basically the exact same thing (from Fender's specifications) except I used DPDT footswitches designed for stompboxes, so they're super heavy duty units. Might be a good upgrade.
Good idea! Funny thing is, right after I made this, I got a new little 5W travel amp for my birthday that is better than the one I made the footswitch for, so I really won't be using the footswitch much anymore. It's an upgrade I will definitely consider if I start using this on a regular basis, though. How much does each switch cost?
They were $4 each at a local store. Combined with a die-cast aluminum enclosure and the total cost was around $20. Picture: