I have had this idea for awhile now, but I am just getting around to do something about it. What I have here is what I hope will become the standard DIY eCymbal choke design. It’s simple, low profile, and easy to build. It is in essence a film switch. As time goes on, I will put up templates for adapting this design for Pintech practice cymbals. It can also be used on a-cymbal conversions.
The way it works is like this. Two metal plates (aluminum flashing) are separated by a non conductive material (in this case card stock for a computer printer). The non conductive material holds the two plates apart just enough not to close the switch. If you squeeze the switch, it makes contact. Once you let go of the switch, the switch opens back up. I have built this, and I have tested it. This switch design works great! Also, the switch will not fly off the cymbal when struck.? I have whaled on this thing for a couple of days now, and it is still stuck there as good as the day I put it there.
For you guys doing the a-cymbal conversion, you can buy the aluminum flashing with a brass/gold like coating on one side. Just make sure that the bottom plates has this side turned out when building the choke switch. See the pictures below for more information.
After further testing of this switch, I replaced the card stock with a clear plastic film from a report folder. This was done because over time, and/or heavy use, the card stock pulls apart. However, with the clear plastic film this is no longer a problem and the switch stays put. Here’s a pic of the folder plastic I used:
After talking to a member of the Vdrum.com site (Gastric) I thought I would add this bit. He asked if using the switch on an acoustic cymbal if one of the switches metal plates could be left out and just use the cymbal as the other contact point of the switch. The answer is Yes! I never showed this switch being used on an acoustic cymbal so, I never felt it necessary to state that difference. Now after talking to Gastric I realize I should have stated this from the beginning. More and more people seem to be converting acoustic cymbal and not using the practice cymbals. Also, after showing this design on Vdrums.com back in October of 2007, I also stated that this design could be used as a second zone/choke switch. That post can be found here. In short, if the switch is installed on the top of the cymbal, it can be stuck with your drum stick (and if your drum module supports this) will act as a second zone. Pinch the same switch (again, if your drum module support this) it is a choke.
One more additional note. I now have the templates completed. If you would like to get a template to make your own switch, click here. Keep in mind these templates where made with a plastic practice cymbal in mind. What does that mean? Well, a 16″ practice cymbal is 15-1/2″ in diameter. If you use these on an acoustic cymbal, the switch should sit back from the edge about 1/4″ of an inch.