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# How would i go about converting a on/of/volume dial (wheel) to an 'on/off' button and 'volume up, volume down' buttons? Answered

I an trying to convert a dial which works as a volume control but also as a power switch to seperate buttons for power and volume.. any help would be appreciated. thanks :)

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do you know what the circuit board looks like? if so, do you know how many pins the dial has? it will probably have one common ground and a pin for the switch, and then a pin or two for the volume potentiometer, or two pins for on/off and two or three for the potentiometer.

you would need to find a replacement potentiometer of the same value and a seperate switch. connect the potentiometer exacly the way it was connected before (use a multimeter to figure out which pins go to the constant resistance and to the variable pin). connect the switch to the ground pin and the switch pin or the two switch pins, depending on what you have

use your brain, it's hard for me to tell you what to do without seeing pictures

Thanks so much, The dial has 5 pins. one for the ground im presuming and then either one on-off and three for the potentiometer or two for each.. its for a university project and im just a bit nervous of destroying it as it's due in a week!

thanks for the helpful feed back, i can upload a pic of it if that helps?

if you have a voltmeter/multimeter, you can connect it to the pins to figure out which one is wich:

if you find two pins that go directly from infinite resistance to close to zero, that is the pins that are the on/off switch. from the photo it looks like that would be the two pins sticking out exactly opposite of each other, although i can't gurantee it.

if you find a combination of two pins that don't change resistance when you turn the knob, but has a resistance value that isn't zero or infinite, you found the two outer pins of your potentiometer. connect one of these pins to the last pin, and the resistance should vary with the turning of the knob. from the photo it looks like the middle pin is the variable resistance pin, and the two pins on the sides of that are the constant resistance pins.

Is the existing wheel digital or old style carbon potentiometer? If digital then you "may" be able to add buttons but you have to decode the process.  Digital works by having ir sender and receivers setup so that turning the wheel not only gives the system pulses but also tells the system to go up or down.  There is a chip or set of chips that interpret those pulses and change the volume internally.  To work for buttons you have to figure out how to sub buttons for the wheel sensors.

If old style then it will be so difficult as to seem impossible.  But since very few things are really impossible we should just agree that this would be WAY more trouble than it's worth.