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Fix for dodgey footswitch on soundtank pedals

14649 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Redjackbonney
I recently picked up a few ibanez soundtank pedals (love for the potato bug) for next to nothing. A couple of them have the dodgey footswitch. I've found 2 small blurbs about replacing the .001 flip-flop capacitor with a higher value as a fix. From my understanding the switch is not the issue. The real problem is that the .001 cap can't handel it when the switch gets a little more "bouncey" and a higher value cap will solve this. I should have no problem swaping the cap out but I'm not sure which value to use. One site says use a .005 the other says .010. My question is which one would work best or will any value in that range work fine? Also has anyone else done this fix and if so how is it holding up?


I went over to radioshack to pick up a couple of different value caps to try out. All they had was a .010uF capacitor so I went ahead and got it. My CP5 Compressor and TS5 Tube screamer were the ones having the worst working footswitches so I started with those two. I just finished swapping out the caps and putting them through some tests. Presto!! they both work like a charm now. While everything is fresh in my head I figured I'd let everone know what I did. I'll do my best to be as detailed and straight foward as possible as i can.

Disclaimer: This is easy but do it at your own risk! I'm not responsible for anyones poor skills with a soldering iron. That's out the way so let's get to it.

Things you will need (this is what I used):

1) .010uf 50W polyester film capacitor (part# 272-1065 at radioshack)
2) 25W Soldering Iron
3) Solder
4) Desoldering Braid
5) Philips Screwdriver

For those of you who don't want to read the full how to here's the down & dirty of it.

1) Remove knobs then the backplate, plastic film & grounding strip
2) Remove the PCB
3) Find the capacitor on the PCB & remove it
4) Solder in your new capacitor
5) Put the pedal back together

On to the full how to, here we go...

Step 1: Pull the knobs off the pedal, they should pull straight up and off. *Tip* If they're a little stuck you can wrap a rubberband around it and use a pair of pliers to pull them off. The rubberband will provide extra grip and help you to not chew up the plastic knobs with the plyers.

Step 2: Remove the metal backplate by removing the 4 screws holding it down. Don't lose the screws, put them in a safe place. There will be a plastic film and a metal grounding strip between the backplate & PCB both held down by one screw in the bottom middle of the pedal. Remove the screw & take out the metal strip and plastic film. Again put these in a safe place and don't lose them. (Extra info - The metal strip grounds the circuitry to the backplate and the plastic film keeps everything from making contact with the backplate.)

Step 3: Carefully remove the PCB from the pedal casing. It should slide right out. Be aware that the input, output & DC plug adapter are attached to the PCB. You don't want to accidentally break them off if they happen to catch a little on the pedal housing when taking out the PCB. There should be no problem with them sliding out but just wanted you to be aware of it. There will also be some wires in there that connect to varous things, battery, pots, led etc. There is enough length on them where you can take out the PCB without having to disconnect anything.

Step 4: Now that you have the PCB out it's time to locate the capacitor you will be replacing. It's not in the same place on every pedal. To find the correct one locate the flip-flop switch in the bottom center of the board and trace the path back to the capacitor. The capacitopr will have 102 written on it, this signifies it's a .001uF cap. Trace the path several times from the switch to the capacitor to make extra sure you have the right one. (On the Tubescreamer it was the one labeled C3. I believe it was C3 on the compressor also) I can't say if it will be C3 on other pedals as I haven't taken any other ones apart yet.

Step 5: So you've found the correct capacitor to replace, now it's time to take it out. Using your soldering iron desolder the capacitor. Here's where the desoldering braid comes in handy. Place the braid between the iron & the silder joint and the braid should soak up the solder. After soaking up the solder with the braid the capacitor should slide out. If it doesn't come right out heat it again with the braid. You don't want to try and yank the capacitor off the board and risk damaging something.

Step 6: We're just about done, now all you have to do is solder the new capacitor in where the old one was. You don't need a whole lot of solder to get it to stick in... you don't want a big nasty blob of solder smeared all over the place. This should be no problem is you have some skills with a soldering iron.

Step 7: Everything is done all you have to do now is put the pedal back together. Line up the in, out, & DC jacks with the case and slide the PCB back in. Put the plastic film and grounding strip back in and screw them back down. Put the backplate on and screw it down. Finally put the knobs back on and your done.

Your footswitch should be working alot better now!
I've also been told that this fix will work on the tonelok series pedals tho taking the pedal apart will be different since it's in a different housing. The concept is the same: the cap connected to the flip-flop switch is to small a value (.001uf), change it out to a .010uf
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I replaced the cap with a 100 V 10 nF polypropylene cap and it works.
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