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how do you make a simple On/Off switch box to start and stop a signal? I want to start and stop a drum beat via a foot switch and would like to know the components to build one.

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migrated from music.stackexchange.com Aug 21 '14 at 16:48

This question came from our site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts.

What is your drum-beat source? How do you currently start and stop it? Sans other info, I'd just put a pushbutton switch into the power feed line :-) – Carl Witthoft Aug 19 '14 at 11:32

There are two sorts of switches that can turn on/off a drum machine, etc. There's a momentary switch and a simple on/off switch.The momentary one can be likened to a bell push, as on the front door.These can work in two ways. A push will make the circuit (as in the doorbell), or break the circuit. Either could be the one for a particular machine.On proprietary switches there's often a separate switch (!) for polarity.

The other kind will be like a light switch, rock one way - on, other - off. These are often seen on effect pedals, but appear as a push button. They're called latching switches.

So, you could be cheap and cheerful with a domestic bellpush or a light switch. The power going through it is tiny, so no problem there.

This will turn on/off the beat. You could interrupt the signal cable, via the lead, and switch off the sound output. Or you could, if desperate, have an extension adapter block with a switch to turn off the whole machine - but then you'll lose any settings programmed in, maybe.

The last time I had to lash this sort of thing up was at a gig with no damper (sustain) pedal for my piano.The ONLY way round it was to use a pedal that I had to hold down all night, and let go when I needed sustain. A living nightmare !!

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I did a gig last week with a sustain pedal that worked like that! Fortunately I only had to play a bit of keys! – Bob Broadley Aug 19 '14 at 12:16

I have seen a outer wall switches for light of suitable design (big button that needs to be tilted to switch or/off but stays in that position) being used as foot switches.

Switches that are designed for outside mounting on the wall (and not buried into the wall) already have a suitable enclosure. If there is a high voltage, use the outdoor switch where the circuitry is also covered from the side of the wall.

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