switching

More prototypes

Hi everyone. Thanks again for your patience with this. We’ve been having issues with suppliers and also chasing gremlins around the pickup switching system. Here’s where we are up to now:

The connectors work! The insides of the pickup will now be split into two boards. This helps with assembly and also reduces wastage.

mezzanine connector submarine pro

It also opens up the possibility of offering other switching systems in the future. Two ideas that spring to mind are just have two 3-way switches at each end of the pickup. On the bass side the three positions would offer (E), (E+A) and (E+A+D). On the other side (E), (E+B) and (E+B+G). Would like to know your thoughts about this!

Also for players who want dynamic control of string switching - strings on and off in the middle of songs there is the exciting possibility of swapping out the switchboard for a hexaphonic breakout board. This may not be for some time but it is definitely something that I am keen to get made!

Let’s take a look at how the rest of it is going together:

IMG_5168.JPG

As before, the final housing will be a die cast chrome plated shell. The remaining metal work will be brushed stainless steel.

assembly prototype

Here is a rough idea of how the Submarine Pro will go together. Hiding beneath the main body of the pickup is the baseplate. As before the height of the pickup can be adjusted using the hex screws on the top. One of my favourite things about the aspect of the design is that the height adjustment mechanism also doubles as a clamp for installation on acoustic guitars.

Soon we will have arranged production of the housings and eliminated all of the gremlins in the switching system. I hope to give you a better idea of the finished product in a week or so when the CNC-ed aluminium housing arrives,

Watch this space…

Three Outputs?

multiple outs

Why not six outputs I hear you ask? Whilst I don't want to close off this possibility for the moment (more on this in a future post) I wanted to focus on users who wanted to have two or three distinct sounds/tones from their guitar. I felt this would offer enough versatility without compromising utility. Additionally the connectors, cabling, breakout box and switching would have tripled the price of the Submarine Pro. 

 

I'm always considering ways to make Submarine products more useful and versatile. One lesson learnt from the original Submarine is that people love to tinker! Some guitarists just love customisation. I felt that the original Submarine was not as 'Open Source' as it perhaps could have been. This was just not something I had considered at the start.

switch-render-4.jpg

The three way switch mentioned in the previous post has three positions: Channel 1 - OFF - Channel 2.

I feel that better use could be made of the off position of this switch. In an ideal world it would be sent to a third output. The stereo jack uses a TRS jack. This stands for Tip Ring Sleeve and corresponds to Left, Right and Ground.

TRRS jacks

trrs jack.jpg

TRRS jacks exist but only for mini-jack connectors. You will have seen them on headphones with a microphone for use with smart phones - really not durable enough for stage use. Unfortunately it seems there is no manufacturer of 6.35mm (1/4") TRRS connectors. I have requested quotes for custom connectors but I'm fairly sure the tooling will make it prohibitively expensive.

So in the meantime I've looking at other options for how it would be possible to offer users who require three outputs the ability to have this many. At the same time I do not want it to cost more for those who don't.

 

I think the solution will be to have a stereo output as standard - endpin style for acoustic players, regular TRS jack socket for electric

 
Acoustic Output

Acoustic Output

Electric Output

Electric Output

 

Break out pads

Currently I have a fairly low-tech solution for what to do with the third channel. The back of the Submarine Pro will be removable. Adventurous users will be able to make a cut in part of the PCB track that will sever the connection between the middle pin of each switch and ground. A break-out solder pad will be easily accessible allowing a custom third channel to be available to those who wish for great functionality. This will require further testing as there may be earthing issues that will need to be tested for first. If this is possible it will be a nice bonus! Watch this space.