I've had a few e-mails relating to guitar wiring issues after people have read bits on my website and that's prompted me to write a short description of how the standard 5-position selector switch works. It's simple stuff to old hands but this seems to be the thing that trips some newbies up, at least in the mails I've received.
I'd really appreciate it if anyone could spare the time to read it and check I haven't said anything completely misleading:
Actually, the switch originally was a momentary ON one way, center off, stable ON in the other, shorting (as in "make before break") switch used in the inter-office intercoms of the day. By modifying the detent cam/spring for the momentary action side, a stable DP3T version could also be had. The Tele (and Strat) switch was born (er, purloined) this way.
The in-between balancing act was fortified in the 60's (or sooner) by filing notches in the detent mechanism of the three-way switch. These became the "notch" positions. I'm fairly certain of this since I was filing notches for others in the mid 60's.
Fender didn't wake up to (er, adopt) this blazing new technology until the 70's, long after this was the mod of choice for many folk.
One of the reasons that the Strat (also originally supplied with a three-way switch) only had one tone cap (aside from abject cheapness) was that only one tone control was ever active at one time (that there three-way switch thing). Only with the advent of "notchery" did tone control interaction arise.
I would suggest that the pole contacts (labeled as "0" on your drawing) be designated as "P1" and "P2" (or whatever) to match the schematic. Also, it might be helpful if the schematic representation indicated the make before break shorting action so one can "see" what the in-between positions (#2 and #4) actually do. You might add additional labeling to the picture of the 5-way switch to indicate which contact (the left one Px) is the pole common and that the two right contacts are shown shorted by the make before break action inherent in the wafer originally used for a 3-way being subsequently selected for one of those notch positions.
As far as labeling contacts goes, I'm in two minds. I take your point but I wanted to keep the labeling to a minimum - I think most guys that need help on this are a bit frightened of schematics and I thought I'd try and keep the numbers to a minimum, hence the coloured shading, make it look as simple as possible.
Good point on the schematic showing the make-before-break action but I have a couple of issues with that: 1)I'm a bit sketchy on modifying parts in my drawing package (OrCAD) 2)I don't know what the best way to show the make-before-break action is! (although I imagine a quick scan of the schematics sub-board would give me an idea or two...<heads over to schematics>)
Happy to be shouted down about any of this though if the opinion of the group is stronger than mine!