What is 3PDT Switch? How to wire 3PDT Switches?

Before going any further, you have to understand how functions a 3PDT footswitch. The 3PDT stands for “3 poles, double throw”. Here is a diagram showing the different possibilities:

Before going any further, you have to understand how functions a 3PDT switches 3PDT footswitch. The 3PDT stands for “3 poles, double throw”. Here is a diagram showing the different possibilities:

3PDT Switches

Here, we can see that a simple pole, simple throw (SPST) is equivalent to a simple on-off switch; simple pole dual throw (SPDT): equivalent to a toggle switch. So basically, double throw just means that you have two positions for the switch.

A dual pole, simple throw (DPST) is equivalent to 2 SPST, DPDT: equivalent to 2 SPDT.

From that we can easily conclude that a 3PDT is equivalent to 3 double throws at the same time. You have two position for 3 switches with 2 positions each:

3PDT Switches

That means to say that on one position, the middle pins are connected to the ones of the top (2 is connected to 1 for instance), and in another position to the ones on the bottom of the switch.

How to use it for true bypass?

When you want to do a true bypass, you want a simple thing:

in one position (position 1), input and output jacks are directly connected, the signal does not goes through the circuit (bypass)

Position 2: input jack goes to the input of the circuit, the output of the circuit is connected to the output jack, and a beautiful shiny LED is on.

For position 2, there are 3 conditions to be filled, that is why we need a 3PDT !

3PDT Switches

With this type of wiring, we have the two following positions:

3PDT Switches

That is to say on and off for the guitar pedal!

If you do not want to bother to solder directly on the 3PDT (you have to be precise and it is not very practical if you want to modify it afterwards, and most of the times it does not look so good), you can directly use a small PCB to make your true bypass like a boss. Contact us for more information now!

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