Terrible project idea - 9V battery drain prevention

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by el_cody_loco, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. el_cody_loco


    Feb 13, 2013
    I have a terrible idea.

    I want to build a dedicated portable guitar out of a cheap hollow body guitar kit. Honestly, it's more of me just wanting something with effects and amplifier onboard to take around with me without needing a headphone amp or portable amp... the acoustic guitar convenience, in electric sound, if you will. (I already have a headphone amp and one of those Orange mini amps, if anybody is wondering).

    C'mon, if I wanted real hollow body tone, I'd buy one of those $450 USD Gretsch guitars and call it good. This is just for fun. Please, hear me out first.

    I'm having trouble figuring out how I'm going to wire the batteries. I plan to use onboard effects (three, to be exact), and they will be running off one 9V battery. The "cigar box amp" rig I'm looking at runs off another 9V battery.

    The Amp has an on/off built into the volume pot (off -> on/volume). But it's wired for an input jack obviously. Will will drain the battery if I run the effects directly into the amp (bypassing the jack and just running the output wire from the effects to the amp jack input wire), even if the amp is off? I imagine I'd need a toggle switch (one or two...? I'm not sure) to control 9V battery drain to the effects and the amp when not in use.

    Basically, my plan is:

    pickups -> pickup toggle -> standard volume/tone -> onboard effects -> onboard amplifier

    Can I wire a SPST ON/OFF toggle to each 9V battery in order to prevent standby battery consumption? Or is there a better way to do this? There will be no output or input jacks in the completed circuit, as this guitar is a fun project that will not be intended to be plugged in.

    Any advice or input on the matter? I'm trying to find a workaround for this, and I feel like the solution is right in front of me...

    GFS MODboards
    Cigar Box Amp harness

    Side note: I'm considering using a hollow body bass kit from The Fretwire instead, but I just think this would be better with the hollow body guitar kit instead. (Links for reference)
  2. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Master on/off switch that controls a dedicated 9v power source for all onboard electronics.
  3. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    You can buy an on/off switch that fits to the back of a standard-size (24mm) pot. Works like an old radio, turn the volume all the way down, then a "click" and it's off.

    It appears that the amplifier board already has a pot with the on/off switch already.
  4. spaceatl


    Jun 22, 2018
    If everything is 9v and you need the capacity of 3 batteries to run it, then it seems like you could just parallel the batteries and inject the SPST on the negative 9v.
  5. el_cody_loco


    Feb 13, 2013
    That’s something I didn’t even consider, running them in parallel together. So in order to do that with a SPST On/Off, would it basically be wiring the two 9V positive leads to the power input, and wiring the two negative leads to the SPST switch?

    Is that pot modification one that would not drain battery life? I recall my mini amp that uses a similar on/off pot draining the battery when I left my cable plugged into the amp.
  6. spaceatl


    Jun 22, 2018
    right on...just break the negatives with the switch...batts on one side and device on the other...positive is home run...

    no worries on battery drain...just leave the amp on. Since you break the negative with master power switch, it will not drain...same way active bass works, just you aren't using a TRS jack to break the negative.

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