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Can I install LEDs in my footswitch?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Phat Ham, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I have a Carvin R600 head with footswitchable eq and effects loop. The footswitch that came with the head has a TRS cable, and as far as I know is the same as most any other footswitch. I'm toying with the idea of putting LEDs in the footswitch so I can look down at the footswitch and know what's on and what's off without having to look back at my amp. Does anyone know what kind of voltage goes through the footswitch? Could I just get an LED and solder it in there with the switch? Or would I have to put a resistor in there too? Anyone?
  2. anybody remembers the gas-pedal on " nightrider " ? :D :D :D
  3. LEDs need a power source - usually anything from 1.5v to 9v DC - so you'd have to wire the LED in with an AAA battery holder.

    LEDs don't draw much current, so you might find even a watch/calc button cell battery might do the trick. Also, LEDs are rated differently, and you've gotta wire it in the correct way or else nothing will happen.
  4. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I'm wondering if there is enough voltage in the footswitch loop itself to power the LEDs. Does anyone know what the voltage in a footswitch is?
  5. my friends crate combo came with a footswitch with leds try to find it at your local store.
  6. I'd say the footswitch would be line-level (just guessing here), which is pretty low output (<1v from memory, someone help! ;) ).
  7. Pea-NUT


    Jul 1, 2001
    Jerseyville, IL
    I think it would be cool to have LEDs in volume/tone etc. knobs. Cant you get LEDs at radio shack?
  8. LEDs are available anywhere, cheap. You still need power, just like a lightbulb.

    Basses with active electronics would probably be fine (as they have their own internal power source), but passive would need something to power the lightshow.
  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I guess I wasn't too clear about the footswitch. The footswitch plugs into the footswitch jack in the back of the head, and doesn't have anything to do with the bass. Finding LEDs and installing them isn't the problem, I just want to know if there is enough voltage to actually make the LEDs light up.

    One of my guitar player friends has a Crate guitar head that has a footswitch with LEDs. I'll try hooking that up and see how it works.
  10. Sorry dude, I was replying to Pea-NUT's idea...

    It's easy enough to add the LED, yus, but if necessary can you be bothered with the battery pack?

    I've done a little checking out. The lowest power LED I can find is rated at 1.9V/2mA current, so you'd need at least that to have any joy. Remember also that unless there is enough voltage/current, as well as the LED not lighting the circuit will not work at all (unless you run the LED in parallel with the switch).
  11. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I hooked up a Crate footswitch to my Carvin, and the LEDs lit up on the footswitch but the footswitch didn't work with the amp. Maybe the voltage drop over the LEDs was too much and the amp didn't see a high enough voltage to close the switch. I'm guessing if I wire LEDs in parallel with the switch everything will be fine. Dang I wish I had a DVOM.
  12. deadspy3


    Apr 17, 2007
    Just found this thread about exactly what I want to do, but it didn't really conclude! I have two Ashdown double footswitches for my ABM C210T-500 EVO-II and I want to know if I can add LEDs to indicate whether the switches are on or off. I understand that I will need to wire in a battery, but would appreciate an accurate wiring diagram!
    Many thanks
  13. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    I needed a footswitch for my Yamaha PB-1 (used to turn the parametric eq on/off) so I bought a used Crate footswitch (single on/off) that had a red led (I didn't need the led since the PB-1 has one on it to indicate whether the EQ is on or off already.) To my disdain, when I tried to use the switch the led on the pedal would switch on/off (indicating the pedal was working correctly) yet the led on the preamp stayed lit (indicating it was not being switched.) After a little investigation I found the led and accompanying resistor was allowing a minute amount of current to bypass the switch since it was soldered directly jumping off the two leads of the switch (the led remained unlit.) Once I surgically removed the offending critter, I no longer have a nice led on my pedal, but my PB-1 eq switches on/off properly. Apparently the PB-1 footswitch circuit is very sensitive and is able to be switched with very little current. Also, to be clear, there is no battery inside this footswitch.

    So, the footswitch loop has plenty of power to run this particular led/resistor combination on my PB-1, so perhaps others could also run this type of setup if their footswitch circuit is not so sensitive to minute current.

    Anyway, first person who wants this led/resistor mailed to them, just PM me...



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