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How To Convert Strat Style Blade Switch Into Momentary Kill Switch


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Alright well I got an email from a guy who had a single pickup on a telecaster, which had a useless 3 way switch on it. He wanted a kill switch in place of the switch, but he wanted it momentary, not detent.

So i took a 5way switch i had laying around apart to see what i could do. Theres no way to spring load it using a spring, however they are already spring loaded by use of a bearing and leaf type spring.

To get the board off (this all may vary from one switch to another), first we twist the 4 sets of holders so they are straight, and not holding the board on:


Heres the board off, should look like this:


Now, the switch should slide out, but be careful of the little ball bearing! its loose, so it will fall out and you DONT want to lose it! you can see it sitting in the metal part.


now, here is where the bearing goes, youll see the spot on the side. this is the side where the "gear" part of the switch sits. you can see i used pieces of binding to build up a slight stairset. you will have to fine tune this yourself. the goal is for the metal handle of the switch to stop right after position #2, so you cant get into position #1. its not pretty, but a little super glue will do the trick!



now, your switch still has positions 5, 4, 3, and 2. and they still detent, but the ultimate goal is to have the switch stay in position 3, and kill then return when pushed to position 2. so we have to add a block in the "gear", then modify the shape some so its just one big ramp. the bearing will roll up it, then pop back into the middle position.



okay, now test it out, and see if you need to lower the ramp a little bit so it will move further. to do this, place the board on and peak in to see if the pins will touch the correct part of the board. its hard to see in the picture, but when you have it in your hand it will be easy to tell:


heres what it looks like without the board in place. in my case, the part on the gear actuall holds it back from switching the other direction into 4 and 5, but you may have to add a larger stairset like you did in the beginning in the actual housing on the opposite side.


go to the next post to see a video of it in action (bench test)

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heres how it moves (click)


and heres the test of how it works. every time the needle jumps, it will kill sound (click)


Now, to wire this to a single pickup as a kill switch is very simple.

This is an import switch, so the middle 2 lugs are common. one of the pins is typically for the middle pickup, and one pin is for the neck (or whatever your position 1 is)

position 2 connects common (output), position 3 (middle), and lug #1 (for position 1)

lug 1 is only connected in positions 1 and 2, but we dont have position 1. just 2 (which is the momentary position). so this lug goes to ground.

the middle lug comes from the pickup, and the common goes to the volume or output.


simple as that!

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