This post shows how to turn a standard switch based hi-hat control pedal into a FatKat like trigger type pedal. This trigger should be compatible with all the major module brands (Roland, Yamaha, Alesis, Simmons, and Pearl) The pedal I used for this project is a fairly common pedal show above and can be bought new for about $60.00. Sometime you can buy them used for about $20-30.00.
This is a project I’ve been thinking about and never got around to doing. Well, after answering a post over at Vdrums.com forum called “one arm drummer looking for top-of-the-line pedals” I decided to finally get my butt in gear. Here are the parts you will need for this project:
(1) switch based hi-hat control pedal
(1) 27mm piezo element with leads
Heavy duty double sided foam tape (Black Automotive Mounting Tape)
Phillips screw drive
Soldering iron and solder
The first thing we need to do is flip over the pedal and remove the (5) screws shown here:
At this point carefully remove the black plastic cover. While you are removing the cover, carefully pull the 1/4″ input jack PCB out of the cover. The insides should now be exposed.
Next, remove the PCB with the switch on it. Once removed cut the black and red leads as shown:
You will no longer need this switch PCB. Next remove the switch push lever, but be sure to put the screws back in. This helps cut down on the impact noise made by the pedal
We now have everything removed that we will no longer need. Time to install the piezo element. Cut a piece of heavy duty double sided foam tape to fit in between the four upright post and press it down. Remove the backing and install the piezo element. I like to also add an extra piece of tape on top of the piezo element were the wires attach. This helps keep the wires from breaking loose from excessive vibration.
Now, lets wire this trigger up. Using the input jack PCB that we removed earlier and strip the leads. Now, solder the red wire (ceramic) from the piezo to the red wire on the input jack PCB and of course the black wire (brass) from the piezo to the black wire on the PCB. Now tape up your connections for each wire.
This next part is totally optional as it is not needed for proper functionality. Where the old switch PCB was mounted, I decide to cover the piezo with a old project box lid I had laying around from another DIY project I did some time ago. I just drilled four holes in it and mounted to the four posts.
At this point you are pretty much finished, but before you put it all back together, be sure to cut off the one capacitor that is on the input jack PCB. If you don’t, the trigger will not function correctly.
Now just put the black plastic cover back on and you are ready to rock.
Just one more thing to note. Use a “TS” (or mono) 1/4″ cable when connecting this trigger up to your module. The use of a TRS (or stereo) 1/4″ cable will cause this trigger not to function properly. All that is left to do is plug the trigger in to your module adjust your threshold and sensitivity setting and you are ready to play.