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use a footswitch to activate MP3? Answered

I am attempting to set up a foot pressure switch to activate an mp3 player for an art exhibition. I wired up the footswitch to to close the circuit when pressed between the speakers and the mp3. Unfortuneatley it only closes half the circuit so the other half remains open giving a lot of hissing sounds. The idea is that the mp3 remains on and playing but that when the pressure swicth is stepped on it closes the circuit so the music plays. I need to find a way to break the entire circuit when the mat is not stepped on. Any ideas how to achieve this? Thanks Cathal


An mp3 player is stereo. It has a ground and two supply lines. You need a switch to break the ground wire or both of the supply lines at the same time. Try that. I don't know why you are getting the hiss unless you are shorting something out and getting noise back into the amp.

Was told today by student in a shop- footswitches are not really suitiable for sound because they are not sheilded low resistance etc. His answer was to use the footswitch to cut the power to the speakers. I just need to find speakers with a transformer on them.

I was told today that If i intercept the positive lead of the speakers with the footswitch it should do the trick.

Or just the ground wire with a spst switch. On - off kills the sound or lets the sound pour forth.

If you're just trying to enable/disable the speakers, you need to interrupt *both left and right commons. (L- and R-), so you'll need a DPDT foot switch.

You want the switch to hit the pause/play button don't you? OK you'd possibly have trouble hacking the mp3 player, but you could substitute with an old CD player instead? L

I have the cable to the speakers intercepted with the footswitch. Here are some pics. The mp3 stays on and playing and pressure on the footswitch closes the circuit

Yes I understand that, I think you'd be better having the switch start/stop the player. In that way you don't have the problem you report, and you avoid the sudden drop-in? L

Is it difficult to hack a discwalkman maybe or how would I get to control the play/pause switch

All you really need to do is take it apart, and connect your foot-switch to where the play button is. It would probably require a bit of fine-soldering, and you'd want a player that could be sacrificed to this (it wouldn't go back to how it was). If you've got one, create a CD with the right audio, fit it to the installation and test it by pressing the button with your finger. If it does what you want take it apart, or maybe get someone else to do that if they reckon they know how to hack it? L

Can you please submit a drawing of your circuit? I'm not really sure how you're switching anything right now, so it's tough to help you

I have been trying to upload a pic of the circuit but for some reason it wont upload. It is only a 60kb pic. I am on a mac.

Save it as a jpg or png. Make sure it's flattened if you're using layers.

Sorry for the human error on my comment earlier should have said to connect the positive side of the battery to the switch and the output of the switch to the positive side of the mp3. If your mp3 works like mine it should turn on and start playing the previously selected song.

You could run the input into a small speaker dock or amp and use the pressure switch to turn the amp on and off.

I suggest soldering a wire to the positive and negative leads of the mp3. Then attaching both wires to your (hopefully) pressure switch, turn it on find the song you want turn it off and WAMO!!!!when someone steps on it plays your song.

You've shorted the battery. If you use the switch to control the battery, you still have to hit the on switch to get the mp3 player to boot up and it has to go thru the boot up process. The player has to keep running all the time and just switch the speakers off and on.