New pedalboard

So I decided I learned quite a bit from making my first pedalboard, just in terms of layout and planning.  I also learned quite a bit after looking at the forums of Hamony Central about what people do to keep a nice, clean looking board.

I built this board with my final pedal structure in mind, not my current pedal structure.  So Eventually the ME-50B will be gone, and the Vox will move, and as a result some of the holes through the board don’t fit perfectly to keep the wires perfectly clean, but it’s good enough for now.

Here’s the wood that forms the basis of the board.  15 1/2 x 36 x 3/4 of Pine from Lowes.  Cost about $14.  I also got a piece of 1×4 from Home Depot cut to 36″ to form the rear riser.  You can see I’ve drilled the holes where the wires will go through.

While I was waiting for the drill to recharge I cut the carpeting that forms the loop part of the velcro.  It will completely cover it.  I got way more than I needed at Auto Zone for $10.

I drilled my pilot holes, and used wood glue and some long wood screws to mount a board on the rear to angle the panel.  It’s about 1/2″ – 1″ taller than I want, but I wasn’t going to try to cut that piece lengthwise.

After using spray adheseive to attach the carpet I started lining the edge with a canvas like fabric I got at Wal*Mart for about $2.  It’s there to protect the edge of the board and carpet, and keep it looking nice.  I had to buy the staple gun…  You can also see the corner braces installed on the underside to support the angled piece.

Here is how I managed to keep the board from slipping when I stomp on it.  Shelf liner along the edge of the rear board and little rubber feet on the front.  The rubber feet are originally from those little office baskets for laying paper in.  Six total, slightly trimmed with a utility knife and then screwed in.

Here’s the top of the finished board.  You can see a lot of staples in the top.  I found that the spray adhesive I got wasn’t holding very well, so even now I’m throwing staples in as I see it separate from the wood as I move pedals around.

Clicks to high resolution

Clicks to high resolution

Here’s the final board layout.  The silver box near the mixer is a bypass looper from General Guitar Gear that I built today.  The only thing in the loop is the mixer.  So basically it’s a way to switch the mixer in and out of my sound – since the mixer adds hiss and noise I don’t want it connected when I’m not using the mics.  If I do have mics and turn the volume of my pickup sound all the way down on the board I can use this switch to swap between the pickup only sound and the microphone only sound!  Pretty neat.

This is the underside of the board.  Power strip and wall warts and wires all get routed through here.

Obviously the board is far too big for what I really need right now, but the idea is that now I won’t have to build a new one as I get more pedals.  I have lots of room for growth, especially for big pedals I plan on getting, like the EHX Hog.

I did save on space by doing a mod on my RC-2 as suggested by Super Velcroboy.  The mini SPST-NC switches from Radio Shack work perfectly for this and they’re cheap.  I only installed one for the stop/tap tempo use, as I don’t use the saved phrases enough to warrant drilling more holes.  Here’s a detailed picture, clicks to high resolution:

I’ll be putting it all in a keyboard case by Road Runner.  The case dimensions are 44×17, so it should fit just fine (I hope).  As long as the 17 is wide enough I will have space for all my cables, mics, preamp, recorder and eventually the Hog expression pedal.

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32 Comments

  1. Charlie

     /  November 26, 2008

    I noticed that you put 2 switches on your rc-2. I’m picking one up on Friday and the switches from Radio Shack. I would like to use the 2 switches also but Super velcrobay’s diagrams aren’t clear enough to me. I don’t need photos, but could you please send me a simple diagram of what to do.On paper with pencil is good enough, what ever is easiest for you. I would really appreciate it. Thanks Charlie

    Reply
  2. trentjacobs

     /  November 26, 2008

    I only put one switch on mine. Supervelcroboy put two, but I only put the one that functions as a stop/taptempo. After you open the unit, find the jack that the footswitch would plug into – there are two lugs of import here, one is the Tip connector, the other is the Ring connector. Tip operates the stop/tap feature, Ring operates the switch phrase feature. Your switch will have two lugs on it. Find any available ground inside the box – I used the one on the output switch since it was convenient to get at with my soldering iron.

    Tip – Lug
    Ground – Lug

    It doesn’t matter what goes to what lug, there’s no difference to the switch. That’s all there is to the wiring. Run the tip from the footswitch jack to one lug, then any available ground to the other lug. Done.

    Reply
  3. Charlie

     /  November 27, 2008

    Your right it was supervelcroboy that has the two switches. But it looks like he put 2 new smaller switches on. There probably closed ones now, I would think.Thank you for responding. I’m a lot clearer now, not 100% but I’ll work it out I’m sure.

    Reply
  4. Charlie

     /  November 29, 2008

    Got my new Rc-2 Friday played with for a while to make sure everything worked, then I drilled the holes in the unit.( BYE BYE Warranty ) Got the switches from Radio Shack butI Have to get another pack. 2 of the switches came apart and I messed up the other 2 soldering. They sure like cheesy for my size 12 shoes and weight. Supervelcroboy hasn’t written me back he must be busy. But I’m going with your directions from what I know about switches.His directions ( no offence seamed to confuse me) . From the footswitch jack input solder a wire from the tip to one side of the foot switch the other from the footswitch to a ground anywhere on the chassis. If using a 2 switch, solder to the ring of the footswitch jack and to one side of the 2nd footswitch and the other to a ground on the chassis. I wrote this out like this for people like me that want to do this Mod but need a simpler way to understand it. Nothing against you believe me, I’m a painter of houses not a solder. So I hope this is right because this is what I’m doing today. Thaks again It’s a decent Looper by the way.

    Reply
  5. trentjacobs

     /  November 29, 2008

    You’ve got it. Good luck!

    And yes, the Radio Shack switches are cheap. They work, but they’re cheap. I use a different brand I bought from Digikey. I posted the part number somewhere, I think on SVB’s blog.

    Reply
  6. First, sorry about my english.
    I have little problem. I instaled one micro switch on my RC-2 as a second mode (switch phrases) and atending to do first mode with my FS-5U. What happens is that switch not working with FS5U plugd in, and without working fine. Can i do something to resolve the problem ?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  7. Trent

     /  January 11, 2009

    Iggy: You might need to do a little further modding. Here’s what I think is happening.

    When you plug in the FS-5U I expect you’re using a Mono plug to do so (one black band on the tip). Since you’re doing this, you’re effectively creating a permanently Closed circuit of the part of the Jack that affects the switch phrase function – the Ring part of a stereo plug usually. The result is that even when you press the switch the circuit stays closed and nothing happens.

    You might be able to get it to work by simply using a Stereo cable with your FS-5U – I think this will return the function of your modded switch. If that does not work you need to disconnect the Ring part of the Jack inside of the RC-2 so it’s not in any way affected by any plug you insert. So you’d solder the wire from your Switch directly to the wire that you removed from the Ring part of the Jack.

    Make sense?

    Reply
  8. Yes but i wasn’t remove the wire from the ring part, i just solder a red wire from batery wires together with that yellow wire on ring part, then i solder a switch on the batery wires. Black batery wire is allready solder on ground.
    I temporary solve the problem by using audio cable with stereo jack on one side and two splited mono jacks. Stereo goes to looper and one of two monos to Fs5U, and all working fine.
    Thanks very much for answer.
    Loop on…

    Reply
  9. DeMinstrel

     /  February 25, 2009

    Hi. Thanks for clarifying the 1 switch mod. I’m an electronics dummy, so I’m asking PLEASE help me out here.

    I soldered 1 wire from the SPST-NC switch to the underside (FREE) lug of the footswitch jack. Is this the GROUND? or SLEEVE? Same?
    Then the other wire from the SPST switch was soldered to the gray wire of the footswitch jack. Is this ‘gray’ lug the TIP or RING? Sorry if these are ‘Dah’ questions but I really am NOT sure. Hope you can answer ASAP.

    Reply
  10. DeMinstrel

     /  February 25, 2009

    Can you PLEASE specify the DigiKey switch you used? The Radioshack one is rather flimsy. Thanks much.

    Reply
  11. trentjacobs

     /  February 25, 2009

    DeMinstrel: The unused lug on the bottom of the jack is a ground. That goes to one side of the switch (doesn’t matter which). The Gray one is the tip I’m pretty sure – it’s the easier one to get to, and you should be able to see inside the jack if it’s the tip or the ring that it’s connected to. I just had my RC-2 open the other day, and I’m going by memory on the color of the wires.

    I used digikey part number 679-1023-ND. They’re $2.35 a piece.

    Reply
  12. DeMinstrel

     /  April 6, 2009

    trentjacobs: thanks a million for your response. i halted my mod project for a while but will follow your lead and continue.

    I’ll track down the Digikey switch.

    Reply
  13. markdagul

     /  January 16, 2010

    hi there! I AM GOING TO DO THIS MOD (on my RC-2) IN A WEEK. could you please take a picture of the inside of the cover? i just want to know how the switch would sit inside the cover of the battery. and also where do i connect the wires to, after i solder them to the switch? i am gonna order the switch from digikey as stated by trentjacobs. thank you so much for your help. this is gonna be my first time modding an effects, i am so excited!

    Reply
  14. markdagul

     /  January 16, 2010

    my email is markdagul@hotmail.com

    Reply
  15. Jonathan

     /  February 19, 2010

    Why would you want to use Normally closed switches over the Normally open on this mod?

    Reply
    • trentjacobs

       /  February 19, 2010

      N.O. switches don’t work right. Boss products are usually designed to work with Normally Closed switches.

      Reply
  16. Alex

     /  May 16, 2010

    HOLA!

    Hi there Trent, great info here bro!

    I’m modding my RC-2 but for singing. I have an a cappella group. So I decided to change the 1/4″ mono plug input all together to a Neutrik XLR and inside the RC-2 put one of those little impedance matching transformers hooked up to the XLR. I’ll upload pics when I’m done.

    In this mod I’m doing I made a hand switch so I could set tempo without having to tap my foot but instead use a sort of “hand trigger” (I’ll post pics of that too!) my question is:

    Can you tell me how wire and be able to go from phrase 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 etc? Just that, phrase change since I already have the tempo deal down.

    Muchas Gracias!

    Reply
    • trentjacobs

       /  May 16, 2010

      The jack you’re hooking into for the tap tempo feature is stereo. The Ring (middle) lug of that jack is the one that controls the moving of phrases. Just wire up another switch to that exactly the same way you wired up the first one and you should be set.

      Reply
      • Alex

         /  May 16, 2010

        WoW, thanks for the fast response!

        Great! I’m gonna try that and add it to my hand trigger! Also, does it cycle through 1-11 and hop back to 1? Or just stop at 11?

        Thanks so much for your time Trent!

        Reply
  17. trentjacobs

     /  May 16, 2010

    I assume is loops back to 1. Never tried to be honest.

    Reply
  18. Alex

     /  May 16, 2010

    Have you ever fiddled with the amount of memory it has? I’ve been thinking of increasing it to more than the 15 min. it brings but don’t know where the memory is or how to mod it… 😉

    Reply
  19. Alex

     /  May 16, 2010

    Here’s a pic of the Neutrik XLR in the RC-2. I’m on hold since I’m waiting for some help on an impedance matching transformer I wanna put in it (one cable got unsoldered and I can’t tell where it should go) ;(

    [IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/zit945.jpg[/IMG]

    Reply
  20. Alex

     /  May 22, 2010

    HI Trent!

    I fixed my Impedance Matching Transformer (IMT) problem!

    You know the INPUT on the RC-2 (where the Guitar goes, etc) I noticed it has a blue cable going from the ring of the plug to the board. Since I’m placing the IMT there so my mic signal is a little stronger and the IMT has only 2 cables (hot = yellow and ground = white) what should I do about this blue cable that goes from the original INPUT plug to the board???

    Reply
    • trentjacobs

       /  May 22, 2010

      That wire is there so that when the input is unplugged the battery doesn’t drain. If you don’t use a battery it won’t matter if you just leave that wire clipped. Just make sure you clip it so there’s no wire exposed, then put a little bit of electrical tape over the end just to make sure it doesn’t short over something it isn’t supposed to.

      Reply

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