Husband, father, geek.

by Chris Pearson

© 2015–2019 Christopher Pearson, All rights reserved.

Diy Katana 50 4 Channel Footswitch

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to win a Boss Katana 50 amplifier. One of the features of the amplifer is channel presets which can be switched via a footswitch. The default option for this is a 2 button item, one switching channels the other swapping banks. This means sometimes to change to a given channel you will need to push 2 buttons to swap both bank and channel.

For the 100W versions a 4 button footswitch is available allowing direct access to 4 channels on each bank, this is my DIY attempt to build my own 4 button switcher for the Katana 50.

My idea was to use an Arduino to read the inputs of 4 momentary switches, and then use this to set the appropriate connections for the channel switching and also an LED to show which channel is selected.

An initial design was prototyped on a breadboard. I didn’t have enough switches at this point so wires were simply shorted together to act as switches. This needed some tweaking but after a while I had a working design. The Arduino firmware was also written at this point.

Breadboard prototype

Once I had a working design I used a free application called KiCad to first create a schematic, and then a PCB design. This took a few attempts but the docs where pretty good and after following a few tutorials I was able to pick up enough to bumble my way through. I really enjoyed this stage and I hope to be able to use these skills again and build upon them in the future.

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Fixing Schaller S-locks biggest issue

I’ve used Schaller strap locks on a number of guitars and basses now. With the S-lock updates almost all my past issues were fixed, but one still remains: a 10mm thread doesn’t really fit in a 6-7mm strap hole. A bit of a shove gets it to fit, then cranking down on the nut works but the strap always ended up warped with the slot splayed open.

Rather than just put up with this I decided to do something about it and ordered a 10mm leather punch.

Prepping the strap to punch a new hole

The idea was to enlarge the strap hole so the lock fits neatly removing the need to force the leather. This should make it look nicer and also stop the small splits you normally get.

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Meeting your villians

On Friday we went to London Film and Comic Con to meet a few actors and add to our collection signatures.

Number one on my list was Lucius Malfoy aka Jason Issacs. After a bit, okay lot, of queuing we got to have a nice little chat with Jason who signed a Lucius Mask for me and also told me a brief story about the mask.

Lucius Malfoy mask signed by Jason Issacs

I’ve spent a lot of time on these masks: but there was no mask on set. For the 11 seconds the mask was on screen it was all CG! Jason was directed to just wave the mask away and “there will be a mask there or something” “they’ll make it work”. Which to be fair, they did and it was good enough to capture my imagination.

There are some beautiful hand made pewter Deatheater masks in the studio tour, which is what this one is trying to replicate. All I can assume is they were made and just not used on set, maybe used to help with the CG.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on how I made these masks. It’s rather involved so I keep putting it off, but I will do it soon.


The other week we went down to visit my Dad for lunch as we often do. After lunch, we decided to pop over to Andertons Music Co for a look for something for Middlest™ to earn as a reward over the next few weeks/months.

She’s been showing interest in guitar so we picked out a few Squiers and Epiphones for her to look at. She liked a pink Squier 3/4 Strat but ultimately picked a turquoise Epiphone Les Paul SL.

I was about to put the guitar back on the rack and give her the whole speil about she could have one once she’d earned it when “I can play a D chord”….

Sure enough she did, which was rather surprising as I didn’t teach her and I wasn’t sure what was going on. Turned out she’s been using her sisters guitar and watching JustinGuitar.

I submit the following as evidence of the D chord.

Middlest playing a D chord in Andertons

The guitar came home with us that day. The story doesn’t end there though.

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RIP T-Bone

Recently whilst tidying up I found a 2 things I though I’d either lost when moving or binned by accident. My 2 Danelectro pedals I bought when I was still at school (and played a Squier P-Bass1). I had a T-Bone distortion and a Surf & Turf compressor.

Danelectro Pedals

Sadly I had left a battery, a danelectro 9v, in the T-Bone. There was no signs of any leaking so I was happy all was well and plugged in.

  1. Sadly I had to sell both this Squier and my much prized Fender P-Bass a few years ago. Maybe one day I’ll buy a new P-Bass. 

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