Last updated Fri Sep 19 02:06:11 PDT 2008

These are just some example parts and pictures and part numbers that I use. I will supply Mouser, Digikey, or Jameco stock numbers where available. Even if you can't or don't use these suppliers, you'll be able to look up the part and get datasheets to help you locate a supplier you do use. There are many other options than I show here, this is just what I have and use.

1/8" Jacks

I use several different 1/8" jacks depending on the situation. A made a little stand so you can see what the jack looks like face-on. The stand is 1/2" wide.

Kobiconn 16PJ012. Available from Mouser and probably others too. Good cheap jack, has switch, hex nut. Not good for thick metals. 1/8" aluminum is really pushing it. Around 55cents each quantity 100 from Mouser. I use this jack for 90% of my modules and equipment. I think its just as good as the switchcraft 41/42a.

Kobiconn 16PJ135. Available from Mouser, Jameco, Radio Shack, all over the place. Probably the single most popular 3.5mm/1/8" jack in the world. I hate the knurled nuts. These jacks also don't come with washers. PAIA uses these jacks. They are pretty solid, and they are VERY cheap, around 18cents each quantity 100 from Mouser. Spend the $5 on Mouser #382-0006 to put the nuts on without scratches! I dont use this jack much, I'd rather pay the 30cents more for the above jack. I've had the shaft pull out of the plastic if the nut is tightened too much.

Switchcraft 41. Available from Jameco #281834. No switch. Expensive ( $1+ ). I used to use these exclusively until the Kobiconn's were beaten into me. I still use them when I need to go through more then 1/8" of metal like on my Ring Modulator where the jacks hold the board bracket to the front panel. Note the large size of the nut and washer.

Switchcraft 42a. Available from Jameco #296930. Has switch. Expensive ( $1+ ). See the description of the 41 above.

1/4" Jacks

I don't use 1/4" jacks as much as 1/8". Only one module I've made has 1/4" jacks on the face, and its a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter panel. I do use 1/4" jacks on stomp boxes and standalone gear and I've built or repaired a lot of both so I have some opinions...

The Switchcraft 112. The defacto standard of 1/4" jacks. MOTM uses them. Moog uses them. Well built, pricey but not outragious. Mouser 502-112A $1.40/quantity 100. If its going to be on a module face, this is what I'd use. Peng has an inexpensive but decent quality clone of this jack, 100 for $50. Definately an option.

Neutrik NMJ2HF-S. Mouser 550-10021. 51cents/quantity 10. Made of nylon. Inexpensive. Rugged. Common on guitar amps like Marshalls. This is the jack I use when I don't care about looks, or I want the rugged look. If you find jacks simular looking to these, make sure they are Neutriks. For example, Sovtek used a clone of this jack and the plastic was crap and shattered after a while.

Neutrik NMJ6HFD2. Mouser 550-20301. 51cents/quantity 10. This is the Stereo Version and *is* switched. See above for other notes. Note that this is PCB mount, but I use it with wires anyway as the pins are large enough. The solder-tab version is hard to find.

1/8" Plugs

I only use one 1/8"/3.5mm plug. Switchcraft is too expensive and Kobiconn is just too low quality feeling.

Neutrik NYS-226. This plug is solid. Far nicer then the Switchcraft. No stock number for this one, a websearch should find them for around 70cents/ea. When I make patch cords I use these plugs and Belden brand RG174 coax. Also pick up some coloured heatshrink to mark the cable ends.


I commonly use Alpha 16mm for panel mount and Panasonic for board mount. I'll use other parts for other situations, but those are special. Spectrol/Bourns/Vishay conductive plastic pots in particular, but I have no pictures of those.

Alpha 16mm. Mouser #313-1000F-50K ( note this is a 50k/linear pot ). Jameco also sells this pot as #286299. Small Bear Electronics also sells these pots. These part numbers should guide you in the right direction, but keep your eyes open for the differences of Audio or Linear taper, Detents ( no detent, center detent, 11 detents ), and shaft length ( I use .335" ones ). Usually around $1.10/Quantity 10.
Alpha RV16 50KB, 50% Tap, Ctr Detent potentiometer. Ordered these as a "group buy" a while back. I still have a few left if anyone needs one or two for something.

Panasonic EVUE2JFK4B54. Digikey #P3T9503-ND. This is a 50k example part. These are PCB Mount pots. I was turned on to these by Blacet kits. Mount them right and they become your PCB bracket. Will take press-fit knobs or most set-screw knobs. $1.17/quantity 100.

Update : While these are still quite tolerable parts, I've gotten annoyed with the lack of values available without ordering in production-level bulk. I've started playing with some small Alpha Pots from Small Bear which seem well made and have a better feel as well as a round aluminum shaft. I'll put up some info and pictures shortly. They have the same pin spacing and should work whereever you would have use a Panasonic before except without the benefit of the physical tabs on them.

Bournes Series 91. Conductive plastic. This is a 1k pot. 91A1A-B24-B10, Allied stock number 754-9410. $4.23 quantity 1. Very smooth feeling. Very long life. These are the luxury pots, if you can afford'em buy 'em. Also pictures are pot chiclets for soldering wires cleanly to these or Spectrol pots. If you're going to use these pots and not pcboard mount them, I highly recommend you visit John Loffink's Pot Chiclet page and buy some. The sanity they will save you outweighs the cost...

Misc Connectors/Jacks

Power connectors and other stuff as I find'em.

Vanco CBC4. Common CB radio microphone connector. Also available from Radio Shack. Solid connector and cheap. I use these for low-current DC power connectors for standalone gear running off central power supply. $1ea from some places, $2.50 or so from Radio Shack. Not many hints on finding this one locally besides Radio Shack.

Tom Arnold /