Friday, October 4, 2013

Tips for soldering your guitar wiring.

To start off with I use a weller 35 watt iron. It gets hot enough to heat the part being soldered quickly and melt the solder at the same time. Quick is the key you dont want your iron touching a capacitor or resistor lead as well as your potentiometer lugs or body long enough to damage the part.  You can take an old piece of metal or an old damaged pot and practice a bit till you get the hang of it. Run the wire through the lug you are soldering to touch the soldering iron tip to the lug and hit it with solder. It should usually take a second or less to solder the joint and on to the next lug or wire. Another good idea is to tin the wire ends with solder before you attach them to the lug they are soldering to. Strip the wire end give it a twist then apply heat and solder to the wire.  It is the same with soldering the ground wires to the back of the pot. Now with some pots you need to scratch or buff the metal where you are going to solder. This removes any finish or oils that are left behind from the manufacturing process. I use a small file to clean a spot for the ground wire. For connecting wire to wire or splicing strip the wire ends to be attached tin both ends with solder. Touch the tinned wire ends together and touch them lightly with the iron. The solder will fuse and you have a very clean splice then you can tape or shrink tube the connection. That is about all there is to it. After just a little practice you will get the hang of it and be on your way to building all of your own harnesses. I use a 60/40 solder for fine electronics it has a diameter of .032. You can find it at your local radio shack or ace hardware. You wont find many guitar wiring parts though you will have to purchase online or from your local music store if they carry parts. A good source for parts is ebay or guitar center also carries a lot of parts. Another good source for electronic parts is Mouser especially if you order in bulk.If you have no desire to learn how to solder or build your own wiring harnesses then there will always be guys like me who will build them for you. If you have a custom project or an instrument you need to wire up give me a shout at my email address I will be glad to help. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Using a 3 pole 4 position pickup switch

A customer sent a request about using a 3 pole 4 position rotary switch for pickup switching. Here is a diagram that shows how to wire it up. First diagram is series position #3 second diagram is series out of phase position #3. Also something I noticed about the first diagram the switch is drawn as if you are looking at the face not the back. So its a good idea to mark your switch and you have to go by the numbers. The second diagram I drew and I show how it looks from the back side going left to right positions 1-4.

This is the same switch used in the EB3 bass as well as a few others. You can ad some different tone caps into the configuration to enhance your tone for different positions. This gives you the basic design and will allow you to have neck, neck/bridge parallel, neck/bridge in series, and bridge. You can also use these types of switches for coil splitting and reverse polarity.  I use 3 different switches for many different applications. 2 pole 6 position, 3 pole 4 position, and the 4 pole 3 position.
Here is a little diagram for neck, neck/bridge parallel, neck/bridge in series out of phase, and bridge
This was my prototype I was just thinking about the series out of phase so it came out from left to right starting with the bridge pickup. In the diagram the neck pickup ground isn't shown it can solder to any ground. If you want to start with neck pickup left to right just swap all the pickup connections and then the bridge pickup can solder to any ground IE: the back of the pot etc..