DIY – Using variable sockets for switches

More from Gary, this time looking at how to wire a switch to a variable sensor socket. This is useful if you want to use the two variable sensor sockets on an EnsembleHub for additional switches.

“Hi everyone, this little guide is to help you wire up a switch such as floor mat/pressure switch/foot switch to one of the variable inputs…

In this situation we have 3 connections to the variable input, BUT we are only using 2 of them.

1/4" stereo jack plugThe picture shows a typical 1/4″ (6.35mm) stereo jack plug we are using for the variable inputs. The connections for the switch will be made using the red (tip) & white (ring) arrows…

When your switch closes it in effect shorts the red and white connections together giving the response of the software of 0% jumping to 100%. When you release the switch, it makes it open circuit so going from 100% down to 0%.

One thing that MUST be considered is the type of switch you want to use, as described above is what’s called a “normally open” type,
meaning its open circuit until the switch is pressed. If you were to use a normally closed switch, then the hub would be reading 100% until the switch was pressed so its a good idea to know the switch you have and the intended application.

How these connectors look when you come to wire them varies from brand to brand, so its worth double checking your happy with where to solder! Normally the longest solder point is the sleeve connection which equals 0volts/GND (blue arrow), this is often used as some form of strain relief for the cable…This should leave you with 2 similar sized solder tags to wire your switch up to.”

Remember that in the Designer software you’ll still be dragging on blocks to represent Variable Sensors. To ensure you get a good signal, it’s best to then run this through a ‘Switch to Variable’ tool. The default settings on this block will be fine.