So for those that plan on upgrading/changing the buttons. What do you plan on using, or have used in the past?


I went with these decent looking ones with snazzy LEDs in them. Now, I really like having the LED indication built into the button, but these are not as sensitive as I would like. If I press lightly or very quickly, it sometimes doesn't register the press, which sucks.

Arcade style buttons are an obvious choice for nice "action" but they are GIGANTIC (both in diameter and depth). I recently put one in a guitar as a kill switch and it's a big fucker. It is, however, SUUUUPER sweet to press. You can flick/tickle/crab all over that bastard.

I looked for mini arcade buttons but didn't find anything much smaller, and they were still nearly 2 inches deep.

I've got a couple buttons laying around that I got from mouser that aren't bad. Smallish and decent action, but nothing to write home about. Better action than I have now, but I feel there can be better.


  • These aren't buttons- only knobs but w/3mm LEDs-
    inside- illuminated. Alà the Korg Monotron.
    Good 4 something or too small and fiddley?




  • That's kind of cool. I think I plan on staying with one or two of them as mini black shafts, but that could be a replacement for those.
  • They also have the sliders with leds. At least one arp odyssey was converted to them. Save on lost knobs. For those pots it sounds like you want transluscent nobs which are not as widely available intactile soft edges?
  • Oh, so does this mean we want todd to reengineer the board for colour pots? Heh he. Hmmmm.
  • Didn't we already have the light-up pots discussion?
    When I make the holodeck, it'll have light up pots. That's a promise.
  • LED pots/sliders aren't too useful, I would think, as what would it be an indication of? I liked the light up buttons as you knew what was on and could press it, all in one place!
  • Monotron- lfo speed.
    Another use - midi tempo?
    Maybe on stage? In a cave with Lustmord?
  • holodeck? your on.
  • @tofino, WTPA doesn't have any of those things though.
  • @Rodrigo - meant Monotron LFO rate LED and just LED's in
    general. As I haven't built a sampler b4 it was a shot in the
    cave with.... you didn't really specify, did you? :^D

    There's an thread here at diystompboxer that mentions
    adding an LED to in an emitter from a transistor output-
    changing a Valvecaster to a Vibracaster. Does the WTPA-2
    have a transistor? If so, (in theory) you could?
    I dunno. Basic schemo-

  • could what?
  • Yep, there are some transistors in the WTPA2 -- one is a current source for the VCO (bad place for an LED) and the other is part of a pulse-shaping circuit. You could stick an LED in the collector of that but it would be too fast to see and would just basically look dim all the time.
  • Thanks T. for shining the light :-)
    @rosch Could what? Couldn't. :-(
  • So how about some buttons?
  • i didn't understand what you were asking exactly, like, if you wanted to make a led follow a lfo, or even to change sound somehow (i haven't read through the whole stompboxes thread)
    because, if there's a signal somewhere, like an lfo or eg, you could always buffer that with a transistor and use an led
  • One of the things I always wanted to do with WTPA was to put an LED on all the address and data lines so you could see exactly what the bus was doing all the time. It would be like a weird oscilloscope when you were playing back samples, and a counter in RAM.
    It'd be a lot more LEDs, though. When I finally sell out and go SMT and have these things fully fabbed in China I'm going for it.
  • @Rodrigo --
    A search of Digikey just turned up these for illuminated switches:

    Not the prettiest but a fairly light touch.

    Probably a bitch to push, but damn I love the way these look.

    I really dig this one (it looks so weird!) and it's cheap:

    And this one is big and bright and easy to press and even cheaper, tho I bet it sucks to mount:

    Mouser wins.
    This search was easy though -- I just finished spending the last 10 hours finalizing parts orders and comparison shopping for diods and shit for WTPA2. I also just dropped 7 grand on electronics components. You all better buy this shit yo.
  • buy what shit? That's so yesterday, I'm saving up for the holodeck!

    The first buttons look slapable, but your right the grey ones look space ship mean.
  • So Todd let us know what we can do to get whird out, other than yelling charge it to paypal.
  • Damn you square buttons!

    Yeah I find them easily enough on mouser it's just a matter of knowing the 'action' of the button from looking at it (or the specs).

    Yup, I'm ready to go here too! (Is it coming out literally the day you do the talk/presentation?)
  • Ha! Yeah, yelling "charge it 2 da game" is pretty much what I do. You guys could always hit some other forums when the time comes (not now, I really ain't got shit to show) but thanks.

    @Rodrigo -- If you mean how easy they are to press, you want to look for a spec called "operating force" or "actuating force". For that last big square switch, it's 250gf (the gf is "gram force") which is pretty good. You can find 100gf switches too, which are of course real easy to press. They also rate that in Newtons. I think 1 Newton is like 100gf or so, if I'm reading Wikipedia right.
  • Oh right. That's handy to know.

    I always tried to gauge it like gauging someones character. (Eyeballing the picture of the switch in the catalog and wondering what kind of press it would take to get the switch to close)

    Either way I'm waiting on the button/knob feature list/description to know which will be illuminated, which will be big/little, or on top/front of the enclosure etc...
    Last time I hid 3 of the knobs inside (input gain, audio through, and fine pitch), not sure if I'll do that again. Then there's that new knob, etc...

    Yeah I'll definitely be mentioning it around (my WTPA1 got lots of action on a couple forums already).
  • hehe, no problem with spreading the word, AFTER shopping :D
  • I'll do a vid. just checked 3,156 views on the old WTPA kit on youtube.
  • There's gold in them thar wtpa-2's!

    Always kinda partial to the square 'x0x' buttons w/led.

    How hard would it be to install an after-market
    "[Damned if I can remember whether Bank 1 is slaved
    to Bank 0 and main VCO or is it locked to the relaxation
    osc] indication LED?"
    Yours truly sined,
    Mr. Short-term memory-less (kiddin')
    maybe I shouldn't fool myself?
  • Assuming the switch in the kit is only one "pole" (row) you can wire up an LED very easily but using a double pole switch. Just using the onboard 5v and ground, throw a resistor and an LED in there and you're done!
  • @tofino @Rodrigo
    True dat. DPDT toggle switch will do the trick. If you've got the jack PCB, it might take a little fiddling...

  • Has anyone messed around with these types of buttons?


    I'm wondering if a row of 8 of these on some perfboard with the appropriate color LEDs underneath would work alright. I would have the "square hole" problem, but as it is, I might have to go laser cut for my faceplate (planning on using an LCD).

    I'm wondering how tactile these things are in terms of sensitivity. It says it's about 200gm of force to press it, which seems pretty good.

    It would just be a matter of DIYing the exposed connections/perfboard/LED side of it.
  • Membrane switches like these are pretty sensitive, however, they require some nice flat PCB traces to sit on, or some real perfboard wizardry. If you are trying to use them on a bumpy surface (like a protoboard with schmutz and wire bits on it) it can be difficult.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p-mX-HnBWE

    Yeah that makes sense.

    While writing this response I started taking a look at my keyboard. One of those low profile apple keyboards. These buttons are nice and soft, and responsive. Hell, I'm typing on them right now! They look pretty smart too. The laptop ones are backlit to boot. Hmmm.

    I would imagine internally it's all matrixed up, but cutting and rewiring traces to the little pads should let me access 8 separate buttons. The function keys are nice and slim too.

    Broken ones sell for cheap on eBay too. Hmmm
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