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Brain Jr. DIY Bass Pedals - buttons to use?

edited April 2013 in Hardware


I'm planning to use a Brain Jr. to make USB Midi pedals to control a bass synth while playing guitar! My aim is 13 playable notes, 3 generic midi on/off switches, and hopefully two expression pedals using analog controls?

I must admit I have little electronics knowledge and I am mainly interested in the end goal, but certainly don't mind getting my hands dirty. Overall I am hoping for a construction that is easy to make, cheap, and durable.

any suggestions what kind of buttons should I use? I will be mashing them with my feet so arcade buttons seem a bit fragile. However standard stompbox switches seem a bit clunky for playing notes on?

Here are some of the buttons that are available cheap shipped here (Australia):

1pcs 9-pin 3PDT Guitar Effects Pedal Box Stomp Foot Metal Switch True Bypass New
(doesn't really look like what I need but somehow is the cheapest!)

1pcs Momentary OFF-(ON) N/O GUITAR EFFECT PEDAL STOMP/FOOT SWITCH 3V-9V-12V-36V (these are probably most appropriate?)

Transparent Acrylic Tattoo Machine Footswitch Power Supply Foot Pedal Controller (this pedal looks pretty flimsy..)

2013 New Stainless Steel Tattoo Footswitch Foot Pedal Switch+Plug Cord Supply
(in fact both of these pre-made pedals are probably crazy ideas?)

In terms of the case itself, I was thinking something pretty simple like this diy board (made using a different controller!) which looks like just a piece of metal and some 2x4's.

I think this is quite nice but is a commercial product. I've also seen lots of people using organ pedals to make their own midi taurus things, but I can't find a cheap set of organ pedals.

How about the expression pedal?

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!



  • I think the first button (stomp box) is going to work great from a DIY perspective. For enclosure i think you've found a good example of what could work. You could also use rubber keypads like this with our push boards

  • Hi Jay,

    Thanks for your response!

    Please excuse my ignorance - for those first ones (the stomp box switches,) the fact that there's 9 pins won't be a problem? I'll just use two and leave the others alone?


    Here's a writeup on the Gnd, wiper, and Power connections for expression pedals. You'll have to connect a 1/4" cable to the pedal, chop the opposite end off of the cable, and connect the GND, wiper, and power wires to Brain Jr as shown here:

    Also I think you're correct in assuming you can use the 9-pin button as a simple 2-pin switch. You just need to find which pins to use.
  • thanks!

  • That was some bad advice Marko and Jay.

    See where the 9 pin buttons say 3PDT? The DT stands for double throw. Which means they're not momentary at all.

    Now I've got 16 of these things I can't use and I'm out $30 bucks.

  • sorry, you didn't provide a datasheet or mention you wanted toggle feature. You can use the editor to set a button as a toggle

    my suggestion was a casual one, if you need specifics please provide exact data for the component you want to use.
  • Hi Jay,

    The issue has nothing to do with toggle. As a novice I was asking whether the "9 pin 3PDT" button I suggested would be suitable for use with the Brain Jr.

    You must be an electronics novice too, otherwise you would know what I did not:
    that 3PDT stands for 3 pin double throw. And that double throw switches are not going to work with the Brain Jr.

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