Looking for help learning how to develop custom wiring for my partscaster

Troxy

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@Steve Holt, taking your advice I'm trying to work my way through the first parts of the humbucker wiring. I think taking your approach of doing it in smaller sections could potentially work for me.

This was kind of my starting point.


Then I took a look at this SD article in order to modify it so that the coil tap works for north/full/south so I have all three options available on that switch. (the DPDT on-off-on switch section specifically).



This diagram is me still doing a bit of guess work, so I won't be surprised if you all tell me I'm way off base.
 

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Steve Holt

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@Steve Holt, taking your advice I'm trying to work my way through the first parts of the humbucker wiring. I think taking your approach of doing it in smaller sections could potentially work for me.

This was kind of my starting point.


Then I took a look at this SD article in order to modify it so that the coil tap works for north/full/south so I have all three options available on that switch. (the DPDT on-off-on switch section specifically).



This diagram is me still doing a bit of guess work, so I won't be surprised if you all tell me I'm way off base.

If you're interested in some good reading...


Here's a thread from @moosie discussing partial splits. I believe the final diagram to copy is in post 17.

Partially splitting a humbucker (by my understanding) keeps one coil active, and instead of sending the other coil completely to ground, keeps some of it in the signal. Your typical single coil might have 8000 winds of coil, but a humbucker might have 5000 winds on each coil. Splitting the bucker doesn't really get you a single coil to match your others.

I haven't tried this mod yet, but it's in my arsenal for my next build. To me this is much more exciting than using an on/on/on switch to switch from north coil to south coil active, but I'm not going to tell you that it's pointless, un-noticeable, or try to talk you out of it. Your ears are your ears and I really don't know what difference if any that would make. You have to pursue whatever gives you that spark.
 

Troxy

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If you're interested in some good reading...


Here's a thread from @moosie discussing partial splits. I believe the final diagram to copy is in post 17.

Partially splitting a humbucker (by my understanding) keeps one coil active, and instead of sending the other coil completely to ground, keeps some of it in the signal. Your typical single coil might have 8000 winds of coil, but a humbucker might have 5000 winds on each coil. Splitting the bucker doesn't really get you a single coil to match your others.

I haven't tried this mod yet, but it's in my arsenal for my next build. To me this is much more exciting than using an on/on/on switch to switch from north coil to south coil active, but I'm not going to tell you that it's pointless, un-noticeable, or try to talk you out of it. Your ears are your ears and I really don't know what difference if any that would make. You have to pursue whatever gives you that spark.

I've read about partial splits a few times and they are exciting! That could definitely be something I explore. I just felt like just using the split might keep it simpler on myself.
 

Steve Holt

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Here's how splitting a humbucker works - explained in a way that makes sense to my brain.


This is two pickups in parallel - you can imagine it as two singles or a humbucker, because we'll pretend it's a humbucker in a minute. To have a working pickup you need one end of the coil going to the hot signal, and the other end going to ground. Doesn't really matter which end either if it's only one pickup. It does matter when you get into multiple pickups (but that's a different topic)

Two Pickups in parallel.
1668640356737.png



Here's a humbucker - You need one side going to ground, another going to hot.

In the middle you connect the two pickups with a series link.

1668640608201.png


What happens when you split it is that you send the series link to ground. So what happens is the pickup on the signal side stays on because you're back to the first condition - one side going to signal, and the other going to ground.

the other coil shorts because both sides are going to ground.

Once I figured that out coil splitting made a whole lot more sense. Again, I'm not electrically minded so it took me a bit 😅

1668640838873.png


Hopefully that helps because it helped me more than just finding a diagram of a coil split and copying it every time.
 

Freeman Keller

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Remember that not all humbuckers have both leads from both coils brought out to the cable. If not the connection is made inside the cover and its difficult but not impossible to get at.

Also, the two coils are usually wired in series with the coils "in phase". It is also possible to wire them "out of phase" as well as in parallel. Each has a different sound, I'm normally not a fan of just one of the coils ("coil tapped" or "coil split").

If you really want to have fun with humbuckers get this little ring


It has two little slider switches that gives you four different versions of the two coils together. With two 'buckers you'll be up all night trying the different combos.

IMG_2171.JPG
 

generic202

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All good advice on learning the fundamentals.

I'll also add that you could achieve what you want with a Free Way 10-way switch (505-01 model) and a switch. Follow their wiring diagram for SSS (pretend your humbucker is a single coil) and use the extra switch to split the humbucker. You'll then get 16 possible pickup combinations that cover all positions you've listed and then some.

They also have a wiring diagram for HSS but it will not get you all of the combinations you want.

I know it may seem like an "option paralysis" but 16 is not too bad if you are just curious and want to explore. Once you find the combinations you like, then you could use the fundamental knowledge you've learned and wire yourself a simpler circuit that you could customize exactly to your taste. Have fun!
 

Troxy

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The freeway is on my radar @generic202, but it is pretty expensive and I wanted to learn more about "normal" switches before I dove off into that.

I got my diagram and am starting to put everything together. Will probably wire it this weekend.

I plan to post back here when I've had a chance to digest the diagram and try to understand it fully.
 

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moosie

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Here's how splitting a humbucker works - explained in a way that makes sense to my brain.


This is two pickups in parallel - you can imagine it as two singles or a humbucker, because we'll pretend it's a humbucker in a minute. To have a working pickup you need one end of the coil going to the hot signal, and the other end going to ground. Doesn't really matter which end either if it's only one pickup. It does matter when you get into multiple pickups (but that's a different topic)

Two Pickups in parallel.
View attachment 1051731


Here's a humbucker - You need one side going to ground, another going to hot.

In the middle you connect the two pickups with a series link.

View attachment 1051733

What happens when you split it is that you send the series link to ground. So what happens is the pickup on the signal side stays on because you're back to the first condition - one side going to signal, and the other going to ground.

the other coil shorts because both sides are going to ground.

Once I figured that out coil splitting made a whole lot more sense. Again, I'm not electrically minded so it took me a bit 😅

View attachment 1051735

Hopefully that helps because it helped me more than just finding a diagram of a coil split and copying it every time.
Expanding on this, you can short either of the two series-linked coils. By shorting the link wire to ground, you have one coil wired hot to ground, and the other coil wires ground to ground.

If you connect the same series link to HOT instead (or to the switch, etc), the shorted coil is now wired hot to hot, and the live coil is hot to ground.

This is useful if you want slightly different voicing, because of the coil's placement relative to the bridge. In a faux humbucker, which is really two singles, the difference can be dramatic, as the coils are spaced farther apart.*

Also, it's critical when phase and/or noise cancellation is important. H-H and H-S-H setups in particular.

* Like a series-wired Tele. So why wouldn't you simply move the blade switch to neck-only, or bridge-only? Because you might also be incorporating a partial split. When you flip a toggle to move the shorting lead to ground vs hot, you'd ideally have the "partial" components wired after the toggle, so they affect either condition. You can't get those sounds by moving the blade to neck or bridge.
 

chas.wahl

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I'm no expert in things like this, but I thought I'd just post this source of multitudinous wiring diagrams for both Tele (2x) and Strat (3x): there used to be a site hosted by a web-denizen "Phostenix", but at some point (while the site still exists) all the graphics for the diagrams got taken down. Fortunately, another site ("GuitarNutz 2" aka gutarnuts2.proboards.com) archived these. Here is their archive:

It's not going to tell you all about the different audio qualities of all the wiring options, but if you have a good idea of what you want to achieve, then the likelihood is that you'll find a diagram with the necessary switching, etc. to accomplish it -- or at least different ways to achieve different options.

I would agree with much of the advice above: beware of making things overly complicated, with too many options. In that sense, for setting goals, there's no substitute for hands-on experience, though experimentation is part of that.
 

Troxy

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Thanks again to everyone for the advice and instruction! A lot for me to unpack here.

Over the thanksgiving holiday I was able to put a couple days in to get this thing wired up and I'm happy to say I'm pleased with the results. It was a massive pain trying to get it all to fit, but I DID get it to fit!

If you're interested in hearing any of the sounds you can hear samples in this video I recorded to show them to you guys.

 

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Hodgo88

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Nicely done! It's no longer "way outside your skillset" now that it's done!

Im now really interested in that Secret Agent as a middle pickup for a Nashville Tele, maybe on a blend knob.

The parallel StagMag is really interesting too, with and without the neck added.
 

peterjung

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Interesting thread and well done to the original poster for what you learned so far! I went on a similar journey a while back with a Partscaster build….. used a mini humbucker in the neck and two push-pull pots and a 4 way selector switch. It was a fun project to do but in the end I almost always play this with just the bridge pickup with Volume and Tone on 10!

here's the wiring diagram:
Telecaster DiMarzio DP240 - 11 Tone Wiring Diagram.jpg
 




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