The guitar is a double-edged sword. I've played all my life, and though I love the act of guitar playing, there are quite a few people I could live with never hearing play again—ever.
Paradoxically, it seems that the less dexterous and committed to practicing are the more likely culprits that crank up the jams, blow out my amp, and ruin a perfectly good Nirvana song.
Luckily, I thought up a way to keep my guitar looking funky fresh while making it simultaneously noob-proof. The secret is the magnetic switch hidden inside the body of the guitar, which controls the output jack that connects to the guitar amp.
- Electric guitar
- Reed switch
My very first guitar! I dropped it on a hard floor and the shell cracked exposing the soft wood on the lower left. It was a devastating day for middle-school-Will.
To get at the wires inside the guitar, you will need to open up the compartment that houses the jack for the guitar cable. Use a regular Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the plate where the output connector is.
It may look like there is only one wire here, but there is actually a bare ground wire and a white signal wire both covered in a gray sheath.
Above, the white wire and bare wire meet up inside the gray sheath. The bare wire is easy to work with, so we will desolder it from its terminal on the jack.
Take a look at the reed switches below. These components are glass vacuum tubes with two tiny metal contacts suspended just out of each other's reach. When a magnet approaches the reed switch, the contacts bend and meet up, completing the circuit!
For something so complicated, reed switches are super easy to solder. They have long, flat, bendable leads.
Solder the switch between the bare wire you just desoldered and the now empty terminal on the jack.
Above, the reed switch is nicely soldered onto the jack.
Screw the plate that contains the cable jack back into the face of the guitar.
A passerby would never suspect this was an extraordinary guitar!
Now, just slap a magnet on the face of the jack plate, and your guitar will turn on! Make sure it's plugged in. If it isn't working, try positioning the reed switch closer to the surface of the faceplate.
There you go! Noob-proof guitar.
Of course, you could use this hack for anything electric that you wanted to keep your very own. What would you use it for? If you have any comments or suggestions, don't forget to post them below. As always, feel free to ask questions or post topics in the forum and message me personally.
Don't go enclosing the electric commons too fast now. If there are electric sheep, they'll need a habitat.