Amp Footswitch




This is a simple footswitch that you can use on any amp that has channels that are footswitchable. to give you some numbers a boss FS-5U(single petal)costs $25 and a boss FS-6 (double petal)costs $50 this footswitch only cost me $7.08.

Sorry for the quality of the pictures it was taken with my cell phone in low light.

Please leave a comment and rate my instructable i like to know what needs to be improved/changed.


Step 1: Materials

You will need:


volt meter
small philups head screwdriver
soldering iron
wire cutters/strippers
electrical tape

What I had:(if you don't have some/all of these things the overall cost will go up.)

1/4 stereo to 1/8 headphones jack(shown below)
old headphones (preferably not right angle)
Heat shrink(optional)

What I bought:

SPST Momentary pushbutton switches 2 pack(275-0609)($3.69)
5x2 1/2x2" project enclosure(270-1803)($3.39)

Step 2: Removing the Headphone Jack

what you need to do is extract the plug itself and about an inch or two of the wire connected to it.

depending on if your headphones have one wire that splits in to to(like the ipod ones) or just have two wires attached together you'll have to do this differently.

I have headphones that are one wire so what I did was I cut the wire two inches from the jack then uses scissors to cut the plastic off the jack. once the plastic was off I pulled the wire out of the insulation.

if your head phones have two wires do the same thing except you will have four wires.

so when thats done you should have a jack with 3 wires coming out of it

Step 3: Extending the Wires

when your done striping the wires you should have 3 different colored wires they should be gold, green and red(or atleast the 3 headphones i tryed were)if it had four twist the two golds together.Gold is ground, green goes to the tip of the jack and red goes to the ring in the middle of the jack. if
you don't have those colors put some solder on each wire then test each wire with a volt meter to figure outh wich one or ones are ground(plase one end of the meter on the solder and the other on the thick ring on the jack. move the tester from one solder point to the next untill the light lights up.

I used speaker wire to exten the wire(10ft)you need three wires and should strip about two inches off each end of each wire.

if your going to heat shrink the wires indevigualy(recomended) place the heat shrink tube over each wire. If you have 2 grounds twist them together then wrap them around one wire then solder them on. make sure the solder touches bothe wires together. Repeat this for all wires.

Step 4: Heat Shrinking/taping

if your taping the wires tape each on individually then tape them all together.

if your heat shrinking slide the heat shrink over the wires and use a blow drier to shrink them around the wires I then used more heat shrink to bond them all together.

Plug the jack in to the 1/4 adapter.

Step 5: Preping Your Box

Drill a hole in the back of the box for the wire to enter through. drill two holes in the lid for the buttons. I felt that the abs cover was weak so i also drilled holes in the included metal plate ame put that on to though thats optional.

remove the nuts from the buttons and put them throught the holes then replace the nuts to make sure they don't fall out.

Pull the wires through the holes.

Step 6: More Soldering

you pulled the wires through the hole in the bottom no take them all and pull them through about a foot and knot them together so they cant be pulled out. take the ground wire and solder two wires on to it. take all the wires and put heat shrink on each one if your using heat shrink. then take the two ground wires and solder each one to a post on each button. Now take the tip and the ring wires and solder one to the empty post of one button and solder the other to the other post of the other button.

get the blow drier out and heat shrink the wires or tape them if your not using heat shrink.

Step 7: Finishing It Up

put all the wire in the box and screw the lid on. I put tape every half a foot on the wire to keep it organised more. I also used a label maker to label what each button does. I how you like the channel switcher that saved you over $40 from the boss unit. If you liked the Instructable and or the channel switcher please rate it. I will answer any question to the best of my abilities regarding this Instructable just post a comment.



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    28 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I have a line 6 spider pro 3, and the footswitch doesn't go in via the jack socket. it's something like a telephone wire thing. could you please give me some idea on how 2 mod this so it will work?

    4 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    see the thing with line six is the amps they make are digital and i dont know if the foot switch is a digital one. all i can think of is taking a telephone cable with jack on the end( a cable with 4 wires not two) cutting it in half and stripping the wires. plug this in to the amp and touch two wires together at a time and record what happens. like if red and yellow turn distortion on ect. if nothing happens they use digital foot switches witch means you need a circuit board in the foot switch and i dont know how to make a line 6 one. after you test what i told you post you results and i'll figure put how it needs to be wired up if its possible.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The Line 6 floorboards (FBV, etc...) have computers in them, you CANNOT just plug an ethernet cable into it! You wll ruin the amp! Do not, repeat, DO NOT plug a cable into the amp and sart touchin wires together to see what happens unless you're ready to buy a new amp!!! The wah/vol pedal included with some of the L6's floorboards are just that, wah & volume effects run and programmed within the floorboards onboard computer. The 'board is not just a bunch of switches... be very careful! I've 'heard' that the Behringer midi floorboard can also be used with L6 but you should check with L6 first!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry for some of my spelling, cheap plastic keyboard...;>)


    8 years ago on Step 7

    This may not work on every amp, though. Some use locking switches rather than momentary. Find out before you build it - you can probably get the locking switches on the internet, though perhaps not quite as cheap as these.

    If I have an amp with a clean/distortion channel will this allow me to switch between the two channels?


    9 years ago on Step 4

    bro isnt it that we have 3 wires?what wires are those that are connected?and where's the other one?thanks!


    9 years ago on Step 6

     Oh my god man thanks so much, i was trying to find the behinger pedal fs112 for my blue devil gx112 and the pedal is pretty well extinct so i went out and bought the parts and put it all together. and it works amazing!


    10 years ago on Step 6

    I just got back from "The Source" (Radio Shack.) The bits were a bit more expensive here in Canadia, but man this thing is awesome. I've been trying to find/buy the real thing (Boss FS-6) for weeks with no luck - nobody seems to have it in stock and its on backorder all over the country . . . This cost me ~15 bucks (I put a stereo jack in rather than run the wires through the box). Thanks amigo, "keep on rockin in the cheap world"


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Im interested in trying this but i have a crate bfx-220h and the footswith is hooked up to 8 or 9 different effects so a) will the foot switch only trigger the one that is set? and b) would I be able to make an 8-9 button footswitch with each button activating a different effect?


    idk make the wire half and touch the wires together if it does somthing than yes. im assuming it would though


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i tried a momentary switch but it would switch back once i let go of the button. how do you get it to stay? thanks

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Step 6

    y is there 4 if in the previous theres 3 wires? is it an extra ground?

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

    when left and ground is connected it does 1 thing whan right and ground are conected it does another. all the buttons do is compleat the curcut so they can go to the same ground.