Picture of Yamaha 9v-battery Foot Switch
I wanted a sustain pedal for my keyboard and didn't have one. I've no idea how much they are and where you get them, but I wanted it right at that moment, so here's my little crappy invention.
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Step 1: What it does and how it works

Picture of What it does and how it works
I realised that, at least on my keyboard, you can just shove a guitar-lead like jack in, and the pedal will be down whenever the wires are joined.

I didn't have a spare one to cut up, and they'd only just gotten rid of all the broken equipment in my music department, so I had to use a working cable, which I didn't want to destory.

All I needed to build then was a switch which connected the wires of a socket together, and I needed to put it in one of the 9V battery cases I had lying around.

The cable I chose was the one to my violin, which ha a much smaller, headphone-sized jack on the other end, which was better because I didn't actually have any bigger sockets around, nor would they fit in the little container. If you do have a broken lead you want to reuse, feel free to ditch having a socket on the pedal and just attach the wires directly to the switch.

So yeah, you'll need:
A used 9V battery
A push switch (I had a few left over from an old, failed project)
A socket if you want to not destory your cable (I desoldered it from a piece of TV equipment, they're pretty easy to find)
Tape, wire, etc.

Step 2: Make case

Picture of Make case
Empty the contents of your battery. If you've never done this before, it's a matter of prying open the bottom with some pliers and removing the contents (which sometimes look like mini batteries).

I'd already done that and used the useful end for another project, so I'll be using tape to close it up, but if you hold onto both ends you can have it still look like a battery when you're done.
jhazeer3 years ago
so its just like the "push switch" is the sustain mechanism of the whole thing?
jecosci086 years ago
nice! thanx.. i'll try to make one too. =) thanx!
I will use another switch that looks like a mini pedal
tudgeanator6 years ago
Nice.I'm gonna do this but mount it on 2 wood boards with a spring(i'll post pic)
Izokay6 years ago
Pretty sweet. I'm gonna make one tomorrow.
pinkpooj7 years ago
I used a Rock Band bass drum pedal coupled with a 1/4" converter plug and it worked. Simple and free.
i made a sort of similar homemade sustain pedal for my keyboard. i had an old kiddy electric drum set, and the drums connected to a center module by standard headphone style jacks, so i took the bass pedal, stuck an adapter on and plugged it into my keyboard. it works great!
gnargnar7 years ago
fantastic. i'm wondering if it'll work while my keyboard is controlling midi? i wonder if i'll ever actually make this? probably not to both. i am awful at electronics. oh well, great instructable either way.
DIY Dave8 years ago
I have a keyboard with a "pedal in" hole, but when I plugged it in it did not work.Does anyone know what is wrong?
mitxela (author)  DIY Dave7 years ago
What make is your keyboard? It might be a special plug or something, I was probably lucky to have just a simple jack. You could try searching google for pinouts.
My keyboard is "Technics" brand.
mitxela (author)  DIY Dave7 years ago
Never heard of it, sorry.
lemonie8 years ago
You should connect two pieces of wood with a hinge, incorporate this, and have a real pedal?
mitxela (author)  lemonie8 years ago
That'd be better, but I've found just resting your foot on this works perfectly well. I think if I were to try and build a proper pedal, I'd have to make it spring loaded and feel like a real pedal too, or it'd just be annoying. With a tiny button switch, you basically get a lot more control because it takes much less action to use.
hack124x7688 years ago
I could have just used the battery connector to attach to the wire to the piano, just solder another one on the cable as well. I'm short on connectors of various types at the moment so that's what I would do.
mitxela (author)  hack124x7688 years ago
Yeah, that'd be easier, but I didn't have a cable that I could sacrifice spare.
crapflinger8 years ago
i know you said you could have used just about anything else for this...but i like it...not only was it a quick fix...but you now have a basic portable switch for...well anything that you need a switch could hook that thing up to just about anything