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Thread: Wiring this three way switch

  1. #1
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    Wiring this three way switch

    Hi my fellow builders,
    I'm reaching the end of my first build and it has been an absolute pleasure this far. I'm really enjoying the build and I guess this isn't going to be the last one.
    I'm currently trying to get this Telecaster electric. I notices that the three way switch, that was included in the package is different from the ones I see in tutorials. I'm not sure how to wire it. The way it is wired now produces only a lot of buzz, no sound. Anyone got experience woth this type of switch and how to wire it correctly?
    Many thanks in advance! As the picture shows I had a (rather terrible) go at a different option.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the kit 3-way Tele switches at all, but there are normally more tags along the top than that from what I've seen. Have any come off during your soldering attempts?

    That 'import' style of 3-way switch is often configured like this, though sometimes the switch PCB boards can do all the linking work for you.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Have you got a multimeter so you can check what the switch connections do?

  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Make sure that there is is a good solder connection from the volume pot ground tab (blue circle) to the back of the volume pot. And cut off the excess length of the tone capacitor (yellow circle) as it looks like it could be touching the control plate, making the tone control act like a crude volume pot rather than a tone control.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Thanks a lot Simon. The switch came with 3 tabs, which lead me to believe that the tabs on either side would take the hot-wire from both pickups. I can't seem to find the same switch anywhere online. And boy, are there many different!

  5. #5
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    If it came with just those three tabs, then I'd expect the two end tabs to be the two pickup hot wires, and the central tab the output tab.

    The copper shielding will be grounded, and the two pickup hot-wires have some exposed lengths which are very likely to touch the shielding when the plate is on, so I'd try to get the wire insulation to run right up to the tabs, and to put some insulation tape on the copper to prevent any signal shorts with the cover plate on.

    Some of the holes at the top of the switch without tabs have solder on them. It looks like some of that solder may be touching the metal switch cover. If those holes are connected to the signal within the switch, (it may be a common PCB for 3- and 5-way switches) then that may also ground out the signal. Again, it may need checking with a multimeter just to make sure if there are any possible connections there.

    And I'd double check that the output jack is connected the right way around. If the wires are crossed, you'll get sound but it will be very noisy.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    This looks to be the switch and it's on a Chinese web site, which makes sense.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32463882707.html

    No real details about it, but from the photos, it looks very easy for the signal paths on the PCB to short out on the cover.

  7. #7
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    Yep, that's the one. I think I'll order a better replacement. Thanks a million Simon.

  8. #8
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Removed - wrong switch
    Last edited by McCreed; 17-01-2022 at 07:23 AM.
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  9. #9
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCreed View Post
    If you want to keep the switch for the meantime (until you get a new one?) here's how it should be connected:

    Attachment 42360
    No it isn't, Mick. It's a very different switch to that!

    If you get another 'import' style switch they should be a similar depth to the current one. But most should wire in a way similar to the diagram McCreed has posted.

    If you want to go for a 'wafer' switch, the sort Fender use on their USA models, either an Oak Grigsby or CRL switch, the wiring is a bit more involved (though there are plenty of wiring diagrams for them) and they are a bit deeper, so may not fit in the kit control cavity without taking a couple of mm from the bottom of the pocket. The screws will be imperial types, not metric and the top-hat knob for them has a different shaft opening as the switch shaft is wider (the kit knob would be very loose on it and fall off). The knob is normally a separate item and doesn't come with the switch.

    Probably best to get another 'import' switch. If you ever decide to upgrade the kit pickups, then you might as well swap to a complete new wiring harness (switch, pots, jack and wiring).

  10. #10
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Oops! You're right Simon!
    I should have looked closer before I posted!

    But would that kit switch be configured the same as an 8-lug import switch like in your diagram?

    I've never seen that type of switch before...
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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