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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The top of the board is working & pedals are in the "right place".
The underside is a dogs breakfast of cables & power cords.
Is there any way to tidy it the right way?




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I'm gonna write a proposal to send in to either GP or PG about a new manufacturing standard that I think wouldmake a lot of sense, and reduce a lot of that overabundant cabling under pedalboards. I illustrated it 5 years ago in the video below.

The basic premise is this. Although true-bypass has become popular ever since Mike Fuller instigated manufacture of 3PDT stompswitches 20 years ago, many commercial pedals use electronic switching of some form. Even when they use what looks like a stompswitch (e.g., TC pedals), that may be a momentary soft-switch that actuates a relay or some other indirect form of switching, but with the look and feel of a stompswitch.

Those kinds of switches, as well as the "pads" on some pedals or treadles on Boss pedals, are SPST momentary switches, that close a single contact and do not carry any audio whatsoever. The switch you step on closes the contact in the pedal, but for all intents and purposes, that contact could be closed from 100ft away without impacting on anything. A simple mini phone jack, like I show in the video, could easily be part of the normal design, and offer remote switching options, without altering what stepping on the pedal itself accomplishes.

How is this a benefit? Well, consider this. If you don't have a loop selector, you have to position the pedals you want to have ready stomp-access to in front. That may make for a cumbersome, and perhaps bigger than necessary pedalboard. If you try rearranging your pedals to fit in the smallest space like a Tetris puzzle, you may have to run longer than desired patch cables between them to do that.

If you do use a loop selector, you are obliged to run audio to and from the pedals to loop selector. In some instances, that may be useful since the loop selector allows you to defeat multiple pedals with one stomp, assuming you configured them like that. In other instances, being able to true-bypass a pedal that provides loading is also of benefit. But while looking through the current pedalboard issue of Premier Guitar, I see various players with a back row of Boss or similar pedals that they either have to reach over others to turn on and off, or else run a lot of patch cables to a loop selector along the front skirt of the pedalboard.

What I'm pitching allows for direct connection between pedals via the shortest possible cable path, and use of a remote-switching panel (where it's convenient) to control them. A small phone plug (quite possibly right angle to conserve space) carrying simple two conductor cable, just like the black cable you see on traditional wallwarts, brings a parallel set of contacts to the control panel in front. You insert the mini phone plug at the other end into whatever jack you want to use (the switches are are nondedicated and interchangeable) and the pedal now becomes remotely switchable via soft-touch momentary stompswitches. Let me repeat, this only requires ONE thin gauge cable to be run to the control unit up front, not two heavier and more expensive audio cables and accompanying 1/4" phone plugs. If you wanted to, you could position the remote switches in a way that lets you hit two at once. That could be used to engage two pedals simultaneously, or alternate back and forth such thata single footpress actuates A but not B, and pressing again actuates B but not A.

And all it would take is the inclusion of a teeny phone jack on each pedal. Pedalboards would require less patch-cabling, control strips would be simpler and cheaper, and the clutter underneath would be reduced. George L's might lose a bit of money, but I think they'll survive. It would not apply to ALL pedals, but would apply to enough to be a convenience and useful. The only downside is that powered loop-selectors can include status LEDs, whereas the described remote momentary switches would not. YOu would still have to look at the pedal itself to ascertain its status. I suppose there is also something to be said for a true stompswitch that provides a discernible click so that you don't have to get visual confirmation via a status LED. Still, I think this has the potential for making many pedalboards less cumbersome and lighter, without sacrificing too much.

 

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I just used zipties for mine - much better.

Edit: took two and a half years to get around to it though...
 

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Making your own cables would help, if you have the skill to do it.

My uncle liked to put loose wires inside cardboard tubes.

I bought some cable turtles [look it up] a few years ago, but they would probably be bad for both the cables and noise.

Buy shrink wrap.

Look at how neat the wiring is inside of some amps, and how messy they can be. Nice straight and orderly runs and colour coded wiring.

You can learn alot from what the guys who were hot-rodding their computers did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, a fair whack of guitar & pedal users are from the Praise & Worship circles, maybe there's a connection ?


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Part of the never ending madness of pedal board construction is frequency of change and adjustment . Personally I switch pedal order around occasionally. The temple boards look interesting. I thought of using a similar principle with peg boards. It never ends.

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