DIY tap tempo switch

I built a tap tempo switch for my new DD-20 this morning during my conference period. It took about 5 minutes, and most of that time consisted of waiting for my soldering iron to warm up. I bought a small square Hammond enclosure (1590LB), a DPDT momentary switch, and a mono 1/4″ jack. I ordered this stuff from Pedal Parts Plus and had them drill the enclosure for me.

All in all, it cost about $15. I could saved 3-4 bucks if I had bought a plastic switch from Radio Shack and drilled the enclosure myself, but I wanted a heavy-duty switch (since I’m a little lead-footed) and I don’t have the right size drill bits to do my own drilling.

It works perfectly, and I can tell that it’s going to make using the DD-20 a lot cooler. For one thing, it’s impossible to use the built-in tap tempo and change presets without a 2-second delay. 2 seconds is forever in the middle of a song.

Here’s a pic:

DIY tap tempo switch

Here’s how it looks on the board:

updated pedalboard

And here’s the gutshot (kinda sloppy soldering job, but it’s not carrying audio):

tap tempo gutshot

39 thoughts on “DIY tap tempo switch”

  1. OK, I’ve got a solution for you. Mass-produce these critters, sell them for $30 a pop, and pretty soon you’ll have your own flexible spending account. :)

    (Next, someone’s going to tell me there’s a commercially available unit available for $22.50..)

  2. This is great! Small and looks neat too.
    I was going to try to replicate this, so I found that enclosure on How did you get them to drill it for you?

  3. Just got a DD-20 the other day so I decided to make my own as well. Only change was that I used an empty Altoids tin for my enclosure. Works great!

  4. Robert – I just emailed them and asked them about drilling it. They charged $3 if I remember correctly. The only reason I didn’t do it myself is because I didn’t have the right size bits at the time. I have a unibit now, so I could do it myself now.

    Ramon – Yeah, you can use pretty much anything for the enclosure – just make sure that you don’t stomp too hard. I tend to have a heavy foot, so I used something sturdier than a tin can.

  5. I don’t have a diagram, but it’s really easy. Just get a momentary SPST switch, a small enclosure, and a mono jack. The SPST switch has 2 lugs, as does the mono jack. Wire one lug on the switch to one lug on the jack, then repeat with the other lugs. Once you put it in a box, you’re done.

  6. Hey, Thanks for posting this information on the web…I had mine built and playing it within 10 minutes. Your information and pics helped alot!

  7. Phillip, I’ve heard that some effects work off normally closed circuits and some use normally open. Which type of switch was this? Also, if I got a NC but needed an NO, couldn’t I just flip the momentary switch and use it backwards?

  8. You should be able to use a stereo jack. You would only need to solder two of the lugs: one of the tips, and the corresponding sleeve. Just leave the other two alone.

  9. Hello!

    Great work ;)
    I also want to build one by myself.

    Will such switch work with Boss DD-5 Delay pedal plugged into tempo output?


  10. Hey man do you think it would be possible to add a LED, showing the tempo that it is at, just like what the DD7 does when you use it? IF SO, how would i attach it? I have successfully completed the following, great DIY project. Thanks heaps, James.

  11. How could this be set up for stereo use? Stereo meaning tap tempo controlling two units at once (a DD-20 and a Seymour Duncan tap tremolo in my case).

    I’ve tried every possible scenario, using 2 mono jacks, 1 stereo jack, 1 mono jack w/a Y splitter, 1 stereo jack w/a Y splitter, and I can either get one or the other to sync with the tap tempo, or neither of my pedals.

    Suggestions would be appreciated!

  12. Hey would this switch work with like boss DD3 pedal and EHX memory boy…. sorry if this seems like a silly question… but i would love to control the delay in the memory boy by this switch!!

  13. Alex – I know that it can be done, but I’m not sure exactly how. My guess would be to use two mono jacks and double up the wiring. I would solder two wires to each pole of the SPST. The wires on one pole would go to the the tip, the wires on the other pole would go to the sleeve.

    Felix – can’t be done, I’m afraid. Neither of those pedals are set up to accept a tap tempo. I don’t think they can be modded to do so, either. I know that the DD-5/7/20 will accept an external tap, so you might want to go in that direction instead.

  14. sometimes this is overlooked…

    you can always use a simple mono y splitter to set the tap tempo for 2 pedals.
    and remember there is no guitar signal involved so feel free to use low quality parts!

  15. Hey guys! you can mod any pedals to accept a tap… you just need to find the switch internally and solder another lead on…. I rigged my echo park and nova repeater this way so i’m sure you could do it for a dd-3… (i put an rca jack on the tap switch and on the pedal… that way i have cheap cable and i can unplug it!

  16. Actually, no. Delays that weren’t specifically designed to accept a tap (like the DD-3) cannot be modded to do so. The Echo Park and Nova are different because they have tap tempo functionality built in.

  17. Does the bottom of the foot switch have a cover plate or is it always open? How would you mount it to a pedal board?

  18. Is it important that its a DPDT or can it be a SPST?? I live in Norway, so I dont have as many internet sites with stuff like this… But is the right switch a Off-(on) switch. I thought it was called (on)-off or can you say both? Thank you so much! :)

  19. Can you post / email me the exact part numbers? I’m not sure which jack to get. It’s for my dd20. Looks awesome!

  20. I’m using a DPDT switch, and the tempo is always being cut in half. for example I tap at 350 ms and the pedal reads 700 ms. how did you get yours to work with a DPDT? do I need a SPST?

  21. I built this switch, based on yours, for the fellow guitarist in my band. Works like a charm!

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