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Xan's Easy Choke Switch
Xan's Easy Choke Switch...
Want a choke switch on your home-grown E-cymbal?
(NOTE: BE SURE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE BEFORE STARTING!)
Either you or someone you know has those (Large) plastic margarine containers with the really soft and flexible plastic lid, grab a couple from the trash bin and wash them really good, and trim off the outer rim with scissors until you have a round, flat disk.
Take some fine sandpaper and give the disk's surface a once-over, taking the shine off of the plastic -- the reasons to be revealed later -- and then cut it in half and then cut out the center of one half, like so:
Try to leave about a half inch (12mm) of an edge, and be sure this ring is unbroken.
Take the ring and cut a couple notches in the straight side for the connections (be sure to leave some space like an 8th of an inch (3mm) from the inside edge) like so:
Now, get a piece of plexiglass, masonite or something else with a flat, thin, hard surface (that isn't metal), and cut out a half circle about a half inch (12mm) larger around the edges than the margarine lid, wash and dry and lightly sand to take off any shine to it.
Using the ring as a guide for the mounting plate, drill some mounting holes in the edges, and get some self-adhesive copper foil shielding tape (available from http://www.stewmac.com/ or http://www.carvin.com/) and measure out a little short of the insides of the ring, cutting off the corners to use to extend into the connection area, and attatch a wire to the area with some soldering flux paste and solder.
Also put a dab of flux on the spare piece to the main piece of copper foil tape, being VERY CAREFUL not to overheat or make too big a solder blob -- remember, this has to clear the thickness of the margarine lid -- like so:
You did burnish down the copper foil to the surface of the mounting plate so that there is no air bubbles or wrinkles before soldering, didn't you???
(BTW, this was one of the reasons for cleaning and sanding the surfaces)
Flip over the ring on top of the other half of the margarine lid, and place another strip of foil like before, taking care that you do not overheat when soldering -- this is where the soldering flux helps out a LOT -- you don't want to melt the switch before you get to PLAY with it!
It should look similar to this:
Again, make sure you burnish the copper foil to avoid air bubbles and wrinkles.
It's sandwich time, with the mounting plate, ring and lid, test-fit and use an ohm-meter or a light and a battery to take it for a test drive to make sure it all works, it should look like this:
You -might- have to make and add an extra D-ring if the light or meter works whether you press the switch or not.
Now take and use steel wool or a good non-residual solvent and make the copper foil nice and shiny, removing any oxidation or fingerprints to ensure a good connection.
Now, use a good adhesive to put the D-ring(s) onto the touch plate, making sure you left no air holes -- this is IMPORTANT! -- and then slowly and carefully adhere the touch plate and rings to the mounting plate, putting a bit of extra adhesive into the
connection cavities to ensure the wires do not come loose.
You MUST avoid causing the touch pad to 'belly' from too much air trapped in the switch, or it may pop and suck air into the cavity and cause the copper foil to oxidize
and eventually fail -- you don't want this -- you want the switch to work with a quick grip similar to that of choking a cymbal...
(This was the OTHER reason for cleaning and sanding the parts)
After it is all dry and you have tested it, wrap the whole thing with a thin and flexible vinyl cover, or in a pinch you can use a couple layers of food (saran) wrap to keep out contaminants and sweat and such.
Add a jack and mount it to the bottom of your home-grown E-cymbal, and give it a test run, the price for this idea shall be that after a successful gig or a practice session using the choke switch, think about PFozz and me, and smile and nod in thanks that the god of music has shined upon us for PFozz's free site, and my twisted, demented mind...
(Please share some pix of your finished Choke Switch!)
Another excellent idea by Xan!
Thanx mate 😉
Don't miss http://xan.dune.net/ Xan's website 😉
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