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TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?
Old 22nd November 2019
  #1
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SOLVED: TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?

Why oh why did TC Helicon (apart from a money grab) decide to change out what footswitch one could use?

I am coming from a Harmony -M that I have had for many years which could allow the use of a simple single switch that could just turn harmony on an off! As I already have several pedal units under my keys, I could then mount a small switch on top of the sustain pedal that gave me easy and simple access to controlling the harmony.

Now I am forced to buy a 3 switch pedal (the smallest one) that I have no idea how to place in a tight floor space already! and If I don't I ahve no way of turning the harmony on and off when needed, without removing my hand from the keys, reaching over to the mic stand turning on the harmony and then back!

The only reason I can see is to gouge more money from buyers. There is NOTHING in any of the pre-sales hype and advertising that says anything about it is the ONLY pedal that will work! Now, as I have spent over $400 (with no returns - it is NOT the USA here) I now have to spend another $130 just for a switch!

NOT happy! Surely they could have allowed for a simple switch to control just one function!

Last edited by pax_eterna; 25th November 2019 at 02:32 AM.. Reason: change to a solved issue
Old 22nd November 2019
  #2
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🎧 5 years
Hey Pax,

I just tried this with a Perform-V and it seems to work.
If your footswitch has a jack for the cable connection, try using a TRS cable rather than a TS cable, then setup the Perform pedal you have as shown in this copy/paste from the manual... (connect the footswitch, TRS cable, and pedal together and then turn the pedal on to recognize it correctly)

"Press and hold the desired footswitch, then press the button on PERFORM-VK
that you’d like the switch to control. Release both buttons."


I tried a TS cable, but I think the pedal thinks the sleeve of the plug is a 'ring' connection on the plug and gets confused as it thinks the grounded sleeve is a closed switch contact. The TRS plug simply leaves an open connection that does nothing.

FWIW, the Digitech FS3X is the same as the TCH Switch Three. I got the Digitech version off Amazon for $29(US) after putting it in my list and watching for a price drop.
https://www.amazon.com/DigiTech-FS3X...ruments&sr=1-2
Attached Thumbnails
TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-digitech-fs3x-switch.jpg  
Old 23rd November 2019 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
Hey Pax,

I just tried this with a Perform-V and it seems to work.
If your footswitch has a jack for the cable connection, try using a TRS cable rather than a TS cable, then setup the Perform pedal you have as shown in this copy/paste from the manual... (connect the footswitch, TRS cable, and pedal together and then turn the pedal on to recognize it correctly)

"Press and hold the desired footswitch, then press the button on PERFORM-VK
that you’d like the switch to control. Release both buttons."


I tried a TS cable, but I think the pedal thinks the sleeve of the plug is a 'ring' connection on the plug and gets confused as it thinks the grounded sleeve is a closed switch contact. The TRS plug simply leaves an open connection that does nothing.

FWIW, the Digitech FS3X is the same as the TCH Switch Three. I got the Digitech version off Amazon for $29(US) after putting it in my list and watching for a price drop.
https://www.amazon.com/DigiTech-FS3X...ruments&sr=1-2
\

Coolio thx much MarkF - I'll give that a go!

EDIT: I may even be able to re-wire the small metal stompbox style push button switch I built to go on to the sustain pedal!
Old 23rd November 2019
  #4
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Nah -didn't work. I tried using a Boss FS-5U pedal with the polarity switch in both settings. Nothing!
Old 23rd November 2019
  #5
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I am thinking if I can buy a stereo switch and then wire that up to a TRS jack, that might work. The Digitech was a good suggestion, but again it is too big...I can get on for $45 out here, but even that is a bit much for me to buy and then cut it up to get one switch to work!
Old 23rd November 2019
  #6
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I have an FS-5U I originally tried and it didn't work. I just ohmed out the TRS cable when it switches and the switch is actually seems to be on the tip and ring of the cable and not the tip and sleeve like I thought. I'll look at it further tomorrow and see how it's actually wired, as being wired like that seems odd.

If you have another switch with a jack give it a try. It worked with an old Bespeco VM-20 FS I had.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #7
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Cool, thanks Mark - I would like to try and keep this unit, so something that is a good work-around would be appreciated.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #8
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I did a sketch of the schematic of the FS-5U and it is a bit unconventional and designed to work with only TS type cables. The way the jack is wired it relies on the sleeve part of a TS plug to make connection to what is normally the 'ring' connection of the jack. This will work with most typical types of gear. It can not work correctly and unfortunately with something that uses a TRS type connection such as the Performer series of pedals, although there may be exceptions.

A couple options....
- Find a single button switch with a jack that has the switch wired to the tip and sleeve of its jack and use a TRS type cable. Finding a switch such as this may entail taking the pedal along with a TRS cable to a music store to try it or buy from a store that has a liberal (free) return policy.
- If you can solder and make a cable...
- I think I can post a sketch of an adapter cable that would translate the ring connection of the FS-5U to a sleeve connection to a TRS cable.
- Possibly build your own switch box with either a jack or cable direct soldered to the switch using a TRS plug.

These are a couple of the Bespeco VM-20 footswitches like what I was able to get to work with a TRS cable. They are pretty much clones of the FS-5U, but wired to the jack differently.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bespeco-VM2...EAAOSwdzhcECI- (ignore the diagram in the picture, wrong oe)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bespeco-VM-...YAAOSw-s5dsesl
Attached Thumbnails
TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-boss-fs-5-schematic.jpg  
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
I did a sketch of the schematic of the FS-5U and it is a bit unconventional and designed to work with only TS type cables. The way the jack is wired it relies on the sleeve part of a TS plug to make connection to what is normally the 'ring' connection of the jack. This will work with most typical types of gear. It can not work correctly and unfortunately with something that uses a TRS type connection such as the Performer series of pedals, although there may be exceptions.

A couple options....
- Find a single button switch with a jack that has the switch wired to the tip and sleeve of its jack and use a TRS type cable. Finding a switch such as this may entail taking the pedal along with a TRS cable to a music store to try it or buy from a store that has a liberal (free) return policy.
- If you can solder and make a cable...
- I think I can post a sketch of an adapter cable that would translate the ring connection of the FS-5U to a sleeve connection to a TRS cable.
- Possibly build your own switch box with either a jack or cable direct soldered to the switch using a TRS plug.

These are a couple of the Bespeco VM-20 footswitches like what I was able to get to work with a TRS cable. They are pretty much clones of the FS-5U, but wired to the jack differently.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bespeco-VM2...EAAOSwdzhcECI- (ignore the diagram in the picture, wrong oe)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bespeco-VM-...YAAOSw-s5dsesl
Yeah I can solder quite well. I have a few "soft close" switches I used with a recent Beatbuddy project which are in essence a mono I guess...could I perhaps wire a cable (stereo) so that red/black are connected to Tip and sleeve (with trial and error to determine which is which) but leave off the ground. shield?
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax_eterna ➑️
Yeah I can solder quite well. I have a few "soft close" switches I used with a recent Beatbuddy project which are in essence a mono I guess...could I perhaps wire a cable (stereo) so that red/black are connected to Tip and sleeve (with trial and error to determine which is which) but leave off the ground. shield?
The sketch below could either be an adapter cable to use the FS-5U or direct wired from the switch. It does need to be a TRS plug on the end that goes to the Performer with the ring connection not connected. The sleeve on the TS plug end will reach far enough into the jack of the FS-5U to make connection with the ring contact of the jack. I may try making one of these up for my own Performer pedal so I can use the Boss switch.
If you need any further detail of putting this together let me know.
Attached Thumbnails
TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-adapter-cable-ts-trs.jpg  
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
The sketch below could either be an adapter cable to use the FS-5U or direct wired from the switch. It does need to be a TRS plug on the end that goes to the Performer with the ring connection not connected. The sleeve on the TS plug end will reach far enough into the jack of the FS-5U to make connection with the ring contact of the jack. I may try making one of these up for my own Performer pedal so I can use the Boss switch.
If you need any further detail of putting this together let me know.
Yeah bit more on this would be appreciated...I'm still trying to get how this is going to work from a switch . https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Moment.../dp/B00W93IWQA - that diagram, to me, looks like it's going to be essentially the same thing as the ring is not connected.

I was thinking it was some how the tip and ring that were the ones needed to be connected...
Old 24th November 2019
  #12
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I did a quick little build (not so neat) this morning just to check an adapter cable would work and it did. Pics below show how a TS plug sleeve connects to the sleeve contact in a TRS jack. I could have done the build using two TRS plugs and shifted a connecting wire between the plugs, but having one as the TS may make easier to remember that the TS plugs into the FS-5U.

If you build a cable with a switch like you have, just solder the wires that would go to the TS jack direct to the switch.

Does this get you along a bit further?
Attached Thumbnails
TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-trs-plug-jack-1.jpg   TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-trs-plug-jack-2.jpg   TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-trs-plug-jack-3.jpg  
Old 24th November 2019
  #13
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Thanks Mark, but I am not planning on using the FSU, I want to use the switch I showed connected to a TRS jack (via a cable of course haha) to go into the TC unit...

Now having said that, and looking at Pic 3, I think the penny has dropped - I need to use a TRS jack, however it is wired pretty much the same as a TS just no ring is connected - ergo with the switch I want to use, I just need to trial and error (as there are no markings on the switch itself) which side of the switch is sleeve and which is tip.
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax_eterna ➑️
Thanks Mark, but I am not planning on using the FSU, I want to use the switch I showed connected to a TRS jack (via a cable of course haha) to go into the TC unit...

Now having said that, and looking at Pic 3, I think the penny has dropped - I need to use a TRS jack, however it is wired pretty much the same as a TS just no ring is connected - ergo with the switch I want to use, I just need to trial and error (as there are no markings on the switch itself) which side of the switch is sleeve and which is tip.
The switch doesn't care which terminal goes to tip or ring, it can be wired either way to work. One switch terminal to the tip of the TRS plug and other terminal to the sleeve.

FWIW.... A while back I ordered some push button switches from Amazon that seem of decent quality and cheap enough if one or two fail in use they're cheap to replace.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
The switch doesn't care which terminal goes to tip or ring, it can be wired either way to work. One switch terminal to the tip of the TRS plug and other terminal to the sleeve.

FWIW.... A while back I ordered some push button switches from Amazon that seem of decent quality and cheap enough if one or two fail in use they're cheap to replace.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks for that - always good to know of parts sources!

The ones I have are "soft close" as in there is no click! That switch click used to annoy me with the BeatBuddy extension pedal (especially in quieter venues) so I swapped them out for these soft close ones!
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax_eterna ➑️
Thanks for that - always good to know of parts sources!

The ones I have are "soft close" as in there is no click! That switch click used to annoy me with the BeatBuddy extension pedal (especially in quieter venues) so I swapped them out for these soft close ones!
Okay! Confirmed as working! Totally brilliant thanks heaps Mark
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax_eterna ➑️
Thanks for that - always good to know of parts sources!

The ones I have are "soft close" as in there is no click! That switch click used to annoy me with the BeatBuddy extension pedal (especially in quieter venues) so I swapped them out for these soft close ones!
The ones I linked are 'soft' in that there is no click when changing from on to off. If it's pressed hard and quickly there is a click as the button bottoms out, but usually not used in that way, so they're quiet.

I'm using a linked set of FS-5U's for my BeatBuddy with a homemade cable.
Old 24th November 2019 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
The ones I linked are 'soft' in that there is no click when changing from on to off. If it's pressed hard and quickly there is a click as the button bottoms out, but usually not used in that way, so they're quiet.

I'm using a linked set of FS-5U's for my BeatBuddy with a homemade cable.
Cool!, I had marked that link anyway, but thanks for the confirm on operation!

I posted this solution (with a link back to you here) over at the Band Tribes forums (the only TC Helicon one I could find haha) - hopefully the TC Helicon techs who frequent there do not delete it

I reckon all owners of these pedals should have the option to use their own pedals and NOT be forced to buy, imo, overpriced extra bits of hardware to get a simple result!

If I could mark this thread as solved I would, but GS doesn't allow changes to thread titles :(

Many thanks again Mark, you saved me a LOT of angst and effort.
Old 25th November 2019 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️

I'm using a linked set of FS-5U's for my BeatBuddy with a homemade cable.
FWIW, the finished cable and switch

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1Q...pLL3rRsDK?.jpg

Not sure how to embed a pic here, every time I tried, and then previewed I got blocked...so sorry it's only a link.

Dennis
Old 25th November 2019
  #20
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Your link gave a 404 error.

There's an 'Advanced' tab you can open when responding. Below the text response box there's 'Additional Options'. Click 'Manage Attachments' and then 'Drop files to upload' which will show your directory folders and files. Select your jpg file and click open.
Attached Thumbnails
TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-img-upload.jpg  
Old 25th November 2019 | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
Your link gave a 404 error.

There's an 'Advanced' tab you can open when responding. Below the text response box there's 'Additional Options'. Click 'Manage Attachments' and then 'Drop files to upload' which will show your directory folders and files. Select your jpg file and click open.

Cool, I just tried that and here it is :
Attached Thumbnails
TC-Helicon Perform series - forced to use Switch 3?-img_0187.jpg  
Old 25th November 2019
  #22
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That won't take up much space!! Well done!!
Old 25th November 2019 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
That won't take up much space!! Well done!!
Thanks! yeah it fits nicely on the top of the sustain pedal housing.
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