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How To Wire Leds To Indicate Pickup Selection....


djhollowman
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Hi all!

Happy New Year to one and all!

OK, here's the situation:

Recently upgraded the pickups in my 7-string to EMGs. The previous pickups had factory-installed micro toggle switches to coiltap each pickup. Since the EMGs are not tappable, I'm left with two holes in my guitar body. For the moment I've simply plugged them with small black round rubber grommets, which is OK but a far from elegant solution. I have no intention of having the guitar refinished BTW! Recently it occured to me that I could fill these two holes with a pair of LEDs. Fitting them will present no problems, however it's regarding the wiring of them that I have questions. I would ideally like them to act as "pickup selector indicators" if you like, ie each LED corresponds to a pickup which would be lit up when that pickup is in use. The guitar has humbuckers in both neck and bridge, and there are two LEDs planned. The guitar already has a 9v battery installed for the active EMGs, so that's power sorted! The problem I can't quite work out is how to wire the LEDs so that, when the 3-way switch is in the centre position (ie BOTH pickups are on) then BOTH LEDs are on.

Really appreciate anything helpful!

Thanks,

DJ

P1010157.jpg

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Something like this maybe?

LED_selector.jpg

You'll need a spare wafer on your pickup selector switch to do it though.

Hey, that's fantastic, thank you!

Wish I could read schematics! :D

I need to know what IN4001 means - is that a diode? (Diode allows current in one direction only right??)

I think I understand from your schematic that the orientation of each diode is critical here, esp. the ones on the centre contact of the switch......am I right? How do you determine the orientation of the diode, are they marked?

And I need to know what 390 means, is it a resistor?

What does the bit about the spare wafer on the switch mean exactly? Is a wafer a contact? And if so, why do I need a spare?

Please elaborate!

And please excuse my lack of knowledge!!

Here is what the switch looks like:

P1010158.jpg

As you can see, it has 8 contacts.

Greatly appreciate your help here!

Thank you,

DJ

Edited by djhollowman
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I need to know what IN4001 means - is that a diode? (Diode allows current in one direction only right??)

1N4001 is a diode type, and yes only conducts in one direction. Doesn't specifically have to be type 1N4001, there are many different types out there that will do the job just fine, but it should be a very common part to obtain.

I think I understand from your schematic that the orientation of each diode is critical here, esp. the ones on the centre contact of the switch......am I right? How do you determine the orientation of the diode, are they marked?

Yep, the diode is marked with a band at one end, which signifies the cathode of the diode. Schematically it equates with the "dash" at the end of the "triangle" :D

And I need to know what 390 means, is it a resistor?

Resistor value in ohms.

What does the bit about the spare wafer on the switch mean exactly? Is a wafer a contact? And if so, why do I need a spare?

Your switch has a number of wafers or poles which are independant from each other. Judging from the photo you've taken you've got a switch with two separate poles. In your case each pole contains one common connection (schematically the top of the arrow where it's marked "pickup selector switch"), and 3 position connections (each of the 3 little circles at/near the bottom of the arrow). You can imagine the switch as a pendulum hinged from the common connection, and "swinging" past the three position contacts as you move the switch.

In your case it won't work with that switch as you only have a 2-pole/3-position switch - one pole for each pickup. You really need a 3-pole/3-position switch - one pole for each pickup, and a third one for the LED arrangement.

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Thank you curtisa, this is indeed most helpful!!

I feel I now understand what you're saying quite well.

I've sourced diodes; the LEDs I've ordered come with resistors (if they're not suitable I now know what to do about it), and I understand the situation regarding the switch arrangement!

The only trouble I'm having now is sourcing an appropriate switch with 3 poles - anyone have any suggestions?

Could I "add" a pole by modifying a standard 3-way 2-pole switch???

I've found a 5-way 4-pole one here:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/S...ver_Switch.html

Ideally I'd prefer to keep a 3-way for ease of use, but if a 5-way proved to be the only way to incorporate enough poles in one switch then so be it, I guess!

Any thoughts, anyone??

Thanks,

DJ

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The only trouble I'm having now is sourcing an appropriate switch with 3 poles - anyone have any suggestions?

Could I "add" a pole by modifying a standard 3-way 2-pole switch???

I've found a 5-way 4-pole one here:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/S...ver_Switch.html

Ideally I'd prefer to keep a 3-way for ease of use, but if a 5-way proved to be the only way to incorporate enough poles in one switch then so be it, I guess!

Any thoughts, anyone??

Thanks,

DJ

Yeah, a 3 pole 3 way switch may be hard to find. 4 pole 3 way will work just as good, and give you a spare pole to play with, but I can't find either after a quick Google.

I don't think you could modify an existing switch to fit another pole, probably more trouble than it's worth.

A 5 position 4 pole switch is an idea you could try, you may be able to incorporate some alternative pickup combinations in the switching? With a little ingenuity you could possibly modify the 5 way switch to skip the 2nd and 4th positions to have it "operate" as a 3 way switch?

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The only trouble I'm having now is sourcing an appropriate switch with 3 poles - anyone have any suggestions?

Could I "add" a pole by modifying a standard 3-way 2-pole switch???

I've found a 5-way 4-pole one here:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/S...ver_Switch.html

Ideally I'd prefer to keep a 3-way for ease of use, but if a 5-way proved to be the only way to incorporate enough poles in one switch then so be it, I guess!

Any thoughts, anyone??

Thanks,

DJ

Yeah, a 3 pole 3 way switch may be hard to find. 4 pole 3 way will work just as good, and give you a spare pole to play with, but I can't find either after a quick Google.

I don't think you could modify an existing switch to fit another pole, probably more trouble than it's worth.

A 5 position 4 pole switch is an idea you could try, you may be able to incorporate some alternative pickup combinations in the switching? With a little ingenuity you could possibly modify the 5 way switch to skip the 2nd and 4th positions to have it "operate" as a 3 way switch?

the way i like to do it is using a 5-way 4-pole switch wired as a 3-way. what i do is use jumpers to connect the first two positions together, and the last two together, so that you have essentially neck-neck-both-bridge-bridge. wish i had a decent camera so i could show you.

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the way i like to do it is using a 5-way 4-pole switch wired as a 3-way. what i do is use jumpers to connect the first two positions together, and the last two together, so that you have essentially neck-neck-both-bridge-bridge. wish i had a decent camera so i could show you.

That's exactly what I had in mind! I do not want "dead" spots in switch positions 2 and 4!

And, yeah, a photo would be very useful, even a poor photo might be of some use??

Thanks!

DJ

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the way i like to do it is using a 5-way 4-pole switch wired as a 3-way. what i do is use jumpers to connect the first two positions together, and the last two together, so that you have essentially neck-neck-both-bridge-bridge. wish i had a decent camera so i could show you.

That's exactly what I had in mind! I do not want "dead" spots in switch positions 2 and 4!

And, yeah, a photo would be very useful, even a poor photo might be of some use??

Thanks!

DJ

i think that the only guitar i have wired that way right now has a pickguard, which i'd prefer not to open up right now. i'll see if i can make a diagram for you, or find one i've made before, and scan that...unless someone else beats me to it lol

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