I'm making a pedal from this tutorial https://www.instructables.com/id/Overdrive-Pedal/ and the author is using this type of jack female connector:

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But I already bought this type of connector:

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The author's connector has 3 tabs to connect, and in step 13 he said:

"Connect the black wire from the 9v battery snap to the remaining unused tab on the stereo jack."

But I'm an amateur and I do not know how this connector works. I already used the 2 tabs to connect other wires, and there's no tab left. Is there difference to connect all wires to the same tab, or are these tabs only a method to organize my wires better?

Will this connector still work (in my case) when the connector has only one tab and I connect all wires in the same tab?


1 Answer 1


Stereo jack connectors are often used in guitar/bass pedals to "enable" the pedal when a mono jack cable is connected, let me explain it with an image:

Stereo jack

  • The Sleeve is in contact with the ground part of the jack cable
  • The Tip is in contact with the "tip" part of the jack, carrying the signal of the instrument
  • The Ring is the extra tap necessary to "enable" the pedal, it is only present on stereo connectors. When the jack is plugged, the sleeve and the ring are shorted together (the jack cable is a mono one). When unplugged, they are not connected anymore. This mechanism is used as a battery switch, to save the battery when the pedal is unused.

The stereo jack will allow you to save the battery of your pedal. If you don't have one, or you don't want to buy one, use a switch, connected between the the minus of your battery and the ground of the circuit.

You can still connect directly the ground and the minus of the battery together on your mono jack connector sleeve, but I strongly recommend you to remove the battery of your pedal when you don't use it, it won't last long.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand, so in my case, i really need a connector with 3 tabs? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2019 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Depends on you, if you want to add a switch or remove the battery each time, you can keep the 2 tabs connector. A 3 tabs connector will give more "comfort" to not switch off the pedal. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2019 at 13:54

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