I'm a wood guy, not an electronics guy, which is why I need to learn. A buddy recently asked me to do some work on his guitar, and we determined that his bridge pickup was broken. So I've been looking at schematics and trying to figure out how it all works.
We found an adequate schematic on the DiMarzio site (we were putting in a Crunchlab and Liquifire). We immediately began to have problems and not getting the results we wanted.
After trying 3-4 times with the results being the same each time, I realized that I was following lines on a page, and not understanding what was happening, how signal was moving. More to the point, I didn't understand how the switch was functioning or even how the pickups were wired, i.e. what each color wire was doing.
And when I stepped back and looked at the schematic, I realized something. This was designed by an experienced guitar tech, or maybe even an electrical engineer.
My housemate works with children with disabilities and we've been through a lot of study and analysis of some of the problems with special ed and the challenges her students face, and one of them came up repeatedly, hidden curriculum. Hidden curriculum is things that someone with sufficient knowledge can assume, but someone without that knowledge can't.
This diagram is full of hidden curriculum. It assumes you know what contacts are made in each position of the switch, and everything electrically (and magnetically) is going on with the pickups.
I recognize this is a big obstacle for people who are just beginning along this path, just as it is for me, and so I spent a day (seriously) finding diagrams of the pickups, switch and everything else. The knowledge is out there, but scattered enough that it would be a discouragement to a lot of people (especially ADHD musicians).
So I pulled it all together in a new diagram.
I think the lines of the wiring are clearer and easier to follow. It covers the switch with part numbers, the pickup wiring and how it all goes together. Most important, it allows me to connect up coils with points on the switch with switch positions.
If you see an error, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Same if you have something for which you would like a similar diagram. It won't take me quite as long next time as some of these elements are already created. The more I can get done, the more elements I create, the more I can get out.
I hope it helps, and I will do more to collect the information