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Forum Home > Tips, Tricks and Tutorials! - Builder's Guides for GuitarPCB Boards! > Sticky: Easy Pedal Wiring Diagram, Pots and Power!

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

Wiring Your Board to the enclosure.

Remember there are many ways to do this and many options. I am only demonstrating (3) here!


You only need the one that works the best for you!

Do no try to combo them. Pick one and use it!

All projects use a Standard 9v - 2.1mm Negative Tip Power Supply! - Same as a Boss Pedal.

A One Spot will get the job done. Try eBay.


There are many, many  9v Pedal Power Supply options out there just Google!

Only a PNP Fuzz Pedal will use a Positive Ground described below and you do not want to mix the two up.


The main idea is to have a common ground for everything coming from your Negative on your 9 volt jack connecting your Footswitch, Circuit Board, Jacks and LED all together.


 You may use:

1. Star Grounding - Free option as demonstrated in the 1st photo below.

2. 3PDT Wiring Boards - Easy wiring with many ground points as well as the LED w/ CLR.

 3. (T & S) scheme  - available on  Tonmanns Designs using the Circuit Board as a Common Grounding source.


 Either way it is up to you whichever you find easiest!



First we have the Star Grounding method

This does not require you to buy a 3PDT Wiring Board but requires a little skill.

I have used this layout countless times and it has always worked for me.

What I like most about it is everything is symmetrical including the footswitch so it  becomes easy to remember real fast!

Download to your desktop for an easy to read High Res view and Enjoy! 

(Right Clack - Save AS on a PC)

1. Please Note the Orientation of the Footswitch above!

Two ways are correct and two ways are not!

2. Please also refer to the Continuity Chart Version at the Bottom so that you may test for Continuity using your DMM if there sis a problem.

Please do not post this elsewhere however you may link to it.


Next we have the 3PDT Wiring Boards method.

These eliminate a lot of extra wiring hassle, on board LED & CLR and look great.

Read more about them here: 3PDT Wiring Boards <<--  Click Me!

Please note that if you use the 3PDT Wiring Boards with on board CLR and LED then you do not need to use the LED and CLR section of the Main Circuit Board if there is one included on it.

Some do and some do not.

Now here is how to Wire 2 Footswitches in one enclosure and make them switchable using our Easy Order Switch available in the PCB Shop.

The Crash Course Advanced - A Beginners Guide to Effects Pedals Components, by Mod Billy, edited by Wilkie, as well as tweaked by Bruce R. and Barry is a must read.

March 16, 2010 at 9:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

More on DC, Battery, Lug Connections and Bi-Color LEDs.

Courtesy again from Tonmann:

When you use a battery there has to be some way of switching the battery off when the pedal is not in use.  This is done via the input jack (the output jack could also be used).  The input jack is a stereo jack comprising the following contacts:

  • Tip - input for the audio signal
  • Ring - the battery negative terminal
  • Sleeve - ground

The plug on your guitar cable is a mono plug comprising just the tip and sleeve contacts.  When nothing is plugged into the jack the ring and sleeve contacts are not connected together so the battery negative terminal is not connected to ground i.e. the battery is switched off.

When you plug your guitar cable in, the ring and the sleeve contact of the jack are connected together via the sleeve of the mono plug.  The battery is now connected to ground i.e. the battery is switched on.

By unplugging your cable the battery is switched off ,no power reaches the LED so it exstinguishes.

To ensure you have wired this properly you should plug your cable into the jack and see which of the contacts connects to the tip of your guitar cable, follow the metal to the solder lug and that is the one that is wired to lug 2 on the footswitch.

When you use the DC power jack there has to be some way of turning the battery off when you plug in an external supply.

The DC power jack has three connections, a centre pin which connects the negative lead of the power supply to Ground and two other pins that form a contact switch.  One side of the switch connects to the +9V pad on the circuit board and the other side of the switch is connected to the positive terminal of the battery.

When nothing is plugged into the DC supply jack the contact switch is closed so the positive termianl of the battery is connected via the switch to the +9V pad on the board.

When you plug an external supply in, the contact switch is opened.  This disconnects the positive terminal of the battery from the circuit board i.e. switches the battery off and connects the positive lead of the external power supply to the +9V pad on the circuit board.

To check that you have wired the power jack properly you need to remove the battery from its clip and plug the external supply in.  If you aren't getting power reverse the wiring on the contact switch.

It should now be obvious that the input jack is used just to switch the battery on and off and has nothing to do with switching the external supply on or off.

We introduced bi-colour LEDs not to make the pedal look pretty but to indicate that power was reaching the circuit board (red) and that the pedal is in effects mode (green).  When using a battery it serves as a timely reminder to disconnect your cable when you have finished playing and is also a good indicator of whether a battery is dead or not.  When using an external power supply it is good to know (especially if you are playing live) that power is reaching the circuit board.  The only way you can do this with a standard LED is by switching the pedal to effects mode if the LED lights the circuit is OK, if there is no power the circuit (and audio signal) will be dead - not something you want to find out when you hit the pedal for your guitar solo.

Ok, lets have a look at the Foot Switch wiring. Courtesy of DCountry13


If you have a Tonmann designed board and ARE NOT using a handy 3PDT Wiring Board this is the thread you need to read:


So look at the second pic in the link. It helps to think of the switch lugs like this:


1   4   7

2   5   8

3   6   9


Now think of lugs 1, 2, 3 as the INPUT side, lugs 7, 8, 9 as the OUTPUT side and lugs 4, 5, 6 as the LED.

So we want the "IN T" on the board to run to LUG 1. Then LUG 2 to go to the TIP of the INPUT Jack TIP. Then "OUT T" on the board to run to LUG 7. Then LUG 8 to run to the OUTPUT Jack TIP. That will get you engaged signal when the switch is in the position. Think of the flow:

Guitar > Cable > Cable Tip > INPUT Jack Tip > Lug 2 >LUG 1 > Effect IN > Circuit > Effect OUT > LUG7 > LUG8 > OUTPUT Jack Tip > Cable Tip > Next effect or Amp in chain.

Now in bypass mode you want the signal to avoid the circuit board so we put a JUMPER (wire) across LUG 3 and LUG 9. So now when the switch is in Bypass Mode the signal flow is such:

Guitar > Cable > Cable Tip > INPUT Jack Tip > Lug 2 > LUG 3 > JUMPER > LUG 9 > LUG 8 > OUTPUT Jack Tip > Cable Tip > Next effect or Amp in chain.  (No circuit in the path).

LUGS 4 and 5 of the switch are covered (and looks like you have it right) by S4 and S5 on the board. This will connect the Negative of the LED to ground when the Switch engaged allow the LED to light so you know the circuit is ON.



Got it?

Now on to the pots: Lets look at a pot like this:



Now notice the Build Plans mark the correct lug orientation on the PCB layout with the numbers "1" and "3":



I added green marking to indicate that. The middle solder pad guessed it....for Lug 2.



I use this awesome wire for making pedals. It is stranded 24 Gauge Tinned and Bonded!


Here is the Link with a great price and well worth it! 

"Barry's Best" - Pedal Hookup Wire   <--- Direct Link

This is by far the best wire I have ever used for making pedals!

November 25, 2010 at 2:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

Here is a Continuity chart by DCountry13. Break out the DMM and check for continuity in accordance to the chart below.  Any of the same color areas should have continuity in the right wiring scheme. 



Pot Lug Numbers when wiring Pots to your board are numbered 3, 2, & 1.

This is the order from left to right when looking at the back of the pot!

Most of the time on the circuit board layout we just label them 1 and 3 because the middle number is obviously going to be number 2. You still hook up lug 2!

Don't forget to take Needle Nose Pliers and break off the Little Tab on your Pot so it mounts flush to your enclosure.


In regards to LEDS

Look at the Layout or Schematic when concerned about orientation.

When it spells K that is Kathode (Cathode).

Flip the picture above and it would spell K. Get it.   :)


Finally a note about powering up your pedals.


Here is a bit taken from a thread by Tonmann.

Usually something you do once and never again - especially when you destroy a circuit board.

Here's photo of a Line 6 adapter. Notice it says AC/AC Adapter. Even if that hadn't been there, the input and output specifications would have been of some help.

Input 230V AC 50 Hz (A USA power supply would be 120V AC 60 Hz)

Output 9V AC 2000mA (that's 2 Amperes)

If the output isn't a DC voltage, you cannot use the power supply to power the boards, at best you will only burn out the protection diode (and not all circuits have them), at worst you will destroy IC chips and transistors.

The power supply should also be marked as in the above photo. If the + and - signs are reversed, you will burn out the diode and possibly destroy IC chips and transistors. If you are determined to use a reversed polarity supply, either re-wire the plug or buy an adapter.

If your power supply is not marked, you can measure the voltage with your DMM. Set your DMM to read DC Volts at a high range (200V), you can reduce the range setting after each measurement to get an accurate reading. The probe that is plugged into the COM socket (normally your black probe)  should be inserted into the middle pin of the plug and the probe connected to V/Ω socket (normally your red probe) held against the outer barrel of the plug.

If you get a reading that is constantly changing, you have an AC/AC power supply which shouldn't be used. If you get a reading of -9V,  the polarity of the power supply is reversed and you should either re-wire the plug or buy a polarity adapte

Once you get the circuit up and running again, you can measure the IC chip and transistor voltages to see if you have damaged them.

June 2, 2011 at 9:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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