Solder burns -- what's wrong with my DIY A/B box?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Swimming Bird, Dec 28, 2007.


  1. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Hi all, I am in pain and feeling a fool as my first DIY project has failed utterly so far. I took three 1/4" jacks and installed them in a small housing and put in a push-button switch with three solder points on it. I then soldered it all together, closed it up and put it on my board where it killed the signal.

    What went wrong?

    There are a bunch of possibilities ranging from a misunderstanding of the switch to confusion on the jacks (they had two solder points each, but I only used one). However, I did go back in and checked that all of my soldering held and all of the connections seems sturdy.

    Thanks in advance.


    PS: what's the actualy name for a 'solder point'? I mean the metal tab with a hole in it that you solder a wire to,=.
     
  2. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    could you possibly draw out how you wired everything together? that might help..
     
  3. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    If you only used one connection on each of the jacks, you're definitely missing something somewhere.

    EDIT: Here's a schematic of what it should probably look like:
    http://smallbox.zeonhost.com/projects/abbox/
    Nevermind the LED stuff if yours is passive

    EDIT again: You're using the wrong kind of switch, you need a DPDT (3PDT if you're using an LED) switch instead of a SPDT.
     
  4. stoneboy26

    stoneboy26

    Jul 11, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Thump Music
    You can do it with a spdt as there isn't a need for a return like with a bypass loop pedal in which case you would need a dpdt...

    input attaches to middle, out A attaches to one end and Out B to the other.

    It will work...but I haven't (at least where i live) seen a decent spdt footswitch, so would either be using a dpdt or 3pdt.


    **edit: the 2nd pole on a dpdt would be good for grounding though, but you can probably get around it.
     
  5. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    +1

    you need to make the grounds for each jack are connected, if you are using an all metal box with no paint or anything, then you are set and don't need to do anything, otherwise you need to connect the second tab on each input/output together
     
  6. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Thanks for all this so far.

    To get this straightened out, I need to have input at 2 (I put it in 1, but that's just a labelling issue at this point), I am using an SPDT switch (though that's okay) and I need to connect the second tabs together.

    I'll give this a try and will let y'all know if it works.
     
  7. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    New problem: with both outputs plugged in, output A gets signal when the switch is A, but nothing happens when I hit B. With only B plugged in, output B gets signal when the switch is on B. Ideas?


    Oi, I tried to put in the schematic using text and the format doesn't stay consistent.
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Try typing in something like:

    Jack #1 tip --> pole #3 of switch
    Jack #2 sleeve --> pole #2 of switch

    That sort of description should get us somewhere.
     
  9. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Input Jack:
    Tab 1 >> SPDT tab 2
    Tab 2 >> Junction

    Output A:
    Tab 1 >> SPDT tab 1
    Tab 2 >> Junction

    Output B:
    Tab 1 >> SPDT tab 3
    Tab 2 >> Junction


    Oh, and it's a plastic radio shack project enclosure.
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Can you confirm that "tab 1" is tip and "tab 2" is sleeve on the jacks? And by "junction" do you mean those points are all wired to each other but not connected to anything else?
     
  11. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Sorry. You're right, by junction I meant they're all soldered to each other and nothing else.

    I'm not positive on which one is tip verses ring. Also, my B output has three tabs instead of two.
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Have you got a multimeter or other continuity tester?
     
  13. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Yes. I just found a multimeter in my garage.
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Cool- use the continuity function on it to determine which tab is "tip" and which is "sleeve", and also which is "ring" on the B output jack.
     
  15. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Okay, thanks Bongo, I now have figured out which is ring versus tip on all three jacks and resoldered such that the tips go to the junction. Looking at that schematic again tells me that that's the wrong way to do it and is probably why the switch is now having no effect (it now acts like a y splitter). I'm going to go fix that and will report back.


    I realize that I aproached this project in a completely idiotic manner. I had no idea what I was doing and simply wired stuff together -- my only circuit experience other than a few school-related excapades has been circuit bending. I have learned my lesson and will now formulate a plan before just jumping into projects.
     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The tip is what carries the signal, the sleeve is what carries the common/ground. Solder the common/ground/sleeve connections together. In this instance leave the ring connection of that one three-connector jack unconnected to anything. Note that "ring" is just used to mean the narrow band in between the tip and the sleeve on stereo/TRS plugs. On mono plugs there is no "ring".

    I'm also still not 100% sure you have the right switch. Can you post a pic of it or a link to it in an online catalog?
     
  17. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Huzzah! It works perfectly -- noiseless switching. Also, important lessons learned. And it is incredibly small, I'll post a picture as soon as I can get it on my computer.
     
  18. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    A/B box is in the middle with a recently bent DOD Grunge and an Ebow for scale.
     

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