Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

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Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:52 am

I'm trying to restore my Thunder 1a 1984 but I am really struggling with the wiring, I just can't get my head round it.
The active circuit was missing when I got the guitar so I would like to wire it with coil tap and phase switch (with mini toggles not push pull pots) but without the active circuit.
This is the original wiring diagram with the active circuit http://www.westoneguitars.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Thunder-IIA-version-2-Wiring.jpg?9d7bd4
Does anyone know which wires I can leave out from the above circuit and specifically if I have to route any of the existing wires elsewhere.
If anyone has a wiring diagram for this set up or point me in the right direction it would be really appreciated.
I have looked at numerous other sites and wiring diagrams and the wiring isn't quite what I need.
Thanks

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by hoax on Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:52 am

I am just about to do the same. I have a Thunder 1 coming tomorrow with its actives missing.

If I figure it out before you I will give you a shout.


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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:14 am

i can make a schematic for you.

do you want to keep all three knobs and all three switches?
do you want vol/neck tone/bridge tone for the knobs
what do you plan to do with the third toggle switch.

if you tell me what you want, i can make the sketch.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by Barry on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:18 am

Must be the sunspot activity or summit...I'm about to work on my '83 Thunder I-A today too.
The active circuit's there and appears intact, but no idea if it works.
If it doesn't..."I'll be baak"

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:33 am

Thanks for the quick replies and offers of help.
Ideally I would like volume, neck tone, bridge tone for the pots and for the 3 mini toggles (1) neck split, (2) bridge split and (3) out of phase if that is possible.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by hoax on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:50 am

I think I will probably just do it the same as a non active, but with phase switching and I'll leave the last toggle (active on/off) soggy.

Unless you have any kind of electrical wizardry that can switch to "accomplished player" or even "moderately competent"

Hoax

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:19 am

you already have a phase reverse, so no changes needed on that one

you have a coil split that operates both pickups at the same time. you just need to move the red wire from one pickup to another switch that is set up the same way. (the active switch is the right type if it is still present)

you can change the wiring to the tone pots to control the pickups separately. one tone cap can work for both pickups.
you will need to run a wire from where the output wire from each pickup is connected to the 3-way switch, over to the center tab on a tone pot for each pickup.

i'll post a drawing later...
do you have some pics of your control cavity?

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:46 am

Unfortunately, when I got the guitar, the guitar electrics were completely removed from the body and all it's component parts had been stripped down. There was no wiring of any note left at all. The pickups had the wires cut off about an inch from the pickup, which I have since replaced with a new lengths.
So I don't have any idea how it was originally wired or have any pictures of it sorry. I have nothing physical to work from and that's why I am struggling with the wiring diagrams I can find online because I don't understand how the circuits actually work. I could wire it from an exact diagram but when it comes to changing from the diagram I am at a complete loss.
I bought 3 new mini toggles (ON-ON) and a new 3 way toggle as all the originals were broken. I have the original volume, tone and active tone pots. The active tone has the centre detent in the middle of it's sweep so if possible I could use that for the 2nd tone control.
The pickups given expected resistance values when measuring with a meter so I am quietly confident that they will work. The pots may be noisy, so if they are I will buy new ones.
Hope this helps.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:11 am

sometimes starting with a clean slate is easiesr. if you are not sure about the old parts, then i think you should save the old pots and get new ones. you will not need a pot with center detent in your new setup. if you are going to get one, why not all three?
for a small investment, you can have all new and reliable electronics, that should last as long as you ever need them.

when you re-wired the pickups, did you retain the same wiring scheme and color codes?
i can make the drawing to match your wire colors, otherwise i will use the same colors as the original drawing you linked to.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:24 am

Yes you are probably right, I will get 3 new pots.
As for the wiring, I managed to get the same colours and wired the pickups to match the colours of the existing pieces of wire that remained on the pickups. So utilising the same colour codes for the diagram would be great.
Thanks very much again for your time and help.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:05 pm

okay, that makes it easy.

i will assume that the knobs will be arranged; master volume/ tone neck/ tone bridge.

what order will you put the switches? (my first thought was; neck split/ phase/ bridge split) if you have a preference, i can arrange the drawing to look like your setup so it is easier to follow for your installation.

if you want to see a big bunch of options for guitar wiring, then look here or here

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:53 pm

Yes both your suggestions are fine with me..
knobs arranged; master volume/ tone neck/ tone bridge.
switches arranged ; neck split/ phase/ bridge split

I have looked at those sites you recommended but couldn't find things exactly the way I wanted but thanks anyway.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:08 pm


i left it out for clarity, but remember to run a ground wire to the casing of each of the components

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:13 am

That's great, just what I was hoping for. Thanks very much!
Sorry to be a pain but could you please clarify a couple of things :
1. You said in an earlier post I would only need one capacitor on a tone pot, where does it fit?
2. The ground lead to each component where does that run from? There is a metal plate which fits in the cavity under the switches and pots, does that provide the grounding to the rest of the components if one component is grounded and touching it?

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:35 am

the capacitor is drawn beside the bridge tone pot, connected to the 3rd lug. you can connect both tone pots to the same lead on the capacitor, and the other lead from the capacitor is grounded.

the capacitor and the potentiometer in series to ground, form the tone control. the pot controls how much, and the capacitor controls which frequencies bleed off to the ground. here is a pretty good vid to help you chose a cap value tone cap demo

i forgot that the thunder models had a metal plate to mount all the components. that will provide a ground connection to all the components that are fastened to it, so no extra ground wire needed for them. be sure to connect a ground wire to the body of the 3-way switch and to the output jack. you can attach a grounding wire for those components (or the shield from the cable you use) to the back of any of the pots mounted to the metal plate.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:05 am

I can see the capacitor now, my knowledge of circuit diagrams and symbols isn't the best as you can tell.
I think I have all I need now to complete the wiring so I'd like to thank you for taking the time and effort to help me out.
It is much appreciated.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:30 am

always a pleasure to help get a guitar fixed up and playing again. don't hesitate to ask any questions, if something is not clear, or whatever the reason.

and when you get a chance, post up some pics of your project. we all love to see what you have, and what you are doing with it.


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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:45 pm

Will do.

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

Post by fr3t2 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:49 am

Well I have nearly finished the refurbishment and wired the guitar as per the diagram kindly donated by giitarasaurus.

The guitar works and I am totally surprised just how good the pickups sound. Just a few more things to do to complete the guitar so I will post some pics when done.

I do have one small problem though..there seems to be a bit of a ground hum. When I look at the original wiring diagram there is an earth lead attached to the bridge.
However there appears no way to get a wire through to the bridge without drilling a hole. Am I missing something.

Do all Thunders have this earth wire?

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Re: Thunder 1a wiring without active circuit

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