That blue 3PDT stomp switch

The Specs*: (from Lovemyswitches see my notes below)

  • 3PDT Latched Foot Switch
  • Nickel plated solder lug
  • Two hex nuts, one plastic washer, one lock washer
  • 50,000 cycles
  • 12mm mounting hole
  • Solder temp: 482°F / 250℃ max for 3 seconds
  • 3A 250VAC 
  • 6A 125VAC
  • 4A 30VDC

The specs are pretty good I see these used everywhere. At 50,000 cycles these would last a while. Stories of life in the wild tell the tale of switches going bad but not often enough where consumers cry foul. Imagine you stepped on this for the chorus of every song in a 10 song set. That might be 60 stomps a night, 3 choruses on and off times 10 song. You play 833 sets before reaching the predicted life. It would last more than two years if you practiced your set daily and gigged on weekends. More likely you would use the pedal less often. Figure you used the pedal on the intro and solo for every song on a ten song set you could stomp it 40 times in a night. That would be 1250 stomps pers set. It should last almost 3.5 years. All of us that aren’t wearing out stomp-switches at this rate are not playing often enough!

The hardware is the most mysterious and yawn inspiring. It domes with two skinny hex nuts, a serrated lock washer, and a big white plastic washer. This plastic washer is seen on almost every pedal out there these days. I don’t understand why these comes with a plastic washer? Is there some mechanical advantage, doesn’t seem likely. The, plastic washer just looks cheap if I could get one of these with a metal washer I’d buy that every time.

The switch has positive click and takes a good amount of pressure to activate. I’d say it’s in the same ballpark as the Carling call it 6 to 8 lbs.

Searching the internet for data sheets I found this information from Tayda Electronics which gives the switch a poorer rating.

Rating: 4A 125V AC/2A 250V AC; 4A 30V DC

3.1. Contact Resistance: 20mΩ(Max)
3.2. Insulation resistance: 500V DC 100MΩ(Min) 3.3. Dielectrical strength: AC 1500V/minute.

Temperature: Under 100°C for 1 Hour,ametabolic and still works well. 5. Electrical Life: 20000 Cycles at full load.

These specs give the switch a life of 20,000 cycles. Note this is electrical life. The specs above are from Lovemyswitches which may represent the mechanical life, I’m not sure. At 20,000 cycles the life is shorter, less than half the examples above! While that’s significant the life is still pretty long. You could step on this thing once per second continuously for 5 and half hours straight before it would start to get unreliable.






One response to “That blue 3PDT stomp switch”

  1. Алексей Avatar

    When I got started in the DIY pedal hobby the switches that were available were the Carling DPDT. These were about $9 but didn t allow for easily wiring an LED and true bypass. Small Bear Electronics started offering a 3PDT switch labeled Fulltone . These switches were $13 if I recall. I suspect that Fulltone really wanted to offer true bypass pedals with an LED and had them made for that purpose. Since demand was nonexistent they probably had to order enough to make the manufacturing worthwhile. I guess Steve Daniels at Small Bear got in touch and gave Fulltone an outlet for excess switches.

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