Ground issue - can you spot my error of reasoning?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by AboutBlank, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. AboutBlank

    AboutBlank SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys,

    did the swap from active to passive and I wired after this schematic:

    http://www.guitarelectronics.com/media/img/guitarelectronics/W650-H550-Bffffff/W/wd2hh3l10_01.jpg

    Just one volume push/pull with 3 way blade switch.

    Seems that I have a ground issue somewhere, get clicking when touching the volume pot.
    I soldered the bridge to the ground, the output jack aswell (using a stereo jack with tip/sleeve, the middle is bare) and the volume pot (right little fella).

    I already resoldered everything and swapped the ground for the coilsplit to back of the volume pot, instead of the shown way to the pickup selector, nothing changed.

    Surly I'm missing something, but what?
     
  2. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    Either one of your solder joints is weak, or you have multiple places where the grounds connect. They should all connect to just one thing.

    Pics?
     
  3. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    As Petar requested: Pics always tells more than words ;)

    Anyways, regarding the schematic, I a potential problem, depending on how you actually did it. It refers ground no less than in four places:
    twice for the pickups (referred "bare") is a ground symbol
    at the volume/splitter
    at the jack

    Make sure all ground wires are connected to one single ground spot, usually on the volume potentiometer.
    The wire to the bridge should also be soldered to the single ground spot.

    I assume your electronics and pickup cavities are shielded (cobber/aluminum foil or conductive paint).
    If so, it's sometimes seen that the various ground wires are soldered to the shielding.
    However, this is not the right way to do it, as chances are the shield may not fully work as a single ground plane, but could be made from individual strips which might not be fully electrically correctly connected, thus resulting in grounding differences.
     
  4. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    On other words, ground connections should be "Tree Like" and not "Ring Like". The second one is known to produce hum.
     
  5. AboutBlank

    AboutBlank SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the suggestions!
    I will take a pic of the mess when I'm home from work.

    I also soldered the bare ones to the volume pot, missed that in my first post.

    Thanks a lot for the feedback.
     
  6. AboutBlank

    AboutBlank SS.org Regular

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    my desoldering braid isn't working, so as my soldering skills ;)
     

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  7. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    I don't see obvious mishaps; however, it seems you electronics plate and cavity aren't shielded, so I'd suggest you get that done first thing.
    Could very well be that's what's causing the sputtering when touching the volume knob.
    I bet you don't hear this if at the same time touching your bridge (which should have a wire connected to the ground spot on the volume pot, if you've followed the schematics).
     
  8. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    Maybe you should use a tad more solder. :lol:

    Now seriously, the problem with using a lot is that it isn't very conductive. You can very easily create a 1 ohm joint, which can cause ground problems. Not to mention, it's way easier to create a cold joint, which will fail electrically before it fails physically. If your desoldering braid is oxidized, dip it in paste flux, like you would a cable. If it still isn't working, the iron's too cold.

    Try to use less solder and more heat, in general. I think you're using paste flux, so at least that's good.

    Now, your current problem is most likely caused by a cold solder joint at the bridge. Desolder that, heat it up with the iron, until it gets consistently wet, and then add the cable back, and take the heat away after the solder flows over the cable. The bridge is a heatsink, so it's much harder to get up to temperature than the cable.
     
  9. AboutBlank

    AboutBlank SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, haven't soldered anything in the last 10 years, so it looks like ass.
    Will keep the tips in mind!

    The bridge ground goes to the back of the vol pot, I also tested with a piece of cable directly from the bridge to the pot (not soldered) and I still get the clicking.
    It's a TOM bridge so I wen't for this ghetto method first.

    When I touch something (bridge, strings, pot or even my monitor controller) it still clicks.

    I resoldered the ground connections still clicking...
    Hmm
     
  10. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Looking now at those pics, I'd say to start from scratch, de-solder everything, clean all excess solder first from all parts and then redo the schematic with a clean approach.

    It will be faster and easier to check. Also, try to use a multimeter to spot continuity between connections after each solder connection. This saves a lot of trouble-shouting time.

    As said before, maybe a better soldering iron and a solder sucker could help. Bad tools don't, for sure.
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    A nice soldering iron might cost you $40 more than a cheap one, but it could also save you hours of frustration and possibly even a few components.

    Those solder joins are not the worst I've seen, but I think they could certainly be much better. If you are having troubles with your electronics, I'd say that's the most obvious place to start.
     
  12. zilla

    zilla Grand Poobah

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    can't tell from the pics, but:

    you said you switched from active to passive.. did you replace the jack on your guitar?

    active pickups will use a stereo jack (TRS) that shorts the ring and sleeve to ground when a cable is plugged in so you don't drain your batteries.

    If you didn't replace the jack, there's a chance that you're not grounding your electronics to the ground on your cable/amp.

    edit: re-read your original post and you did say you did this. i'd get the multimeter out and check if something isn't being grounded properly...
     
  13. AboutBlank

    AboutBlank SS.org Regular

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    First of all thanks to everyone.
    I started from scratch, like suggested.

    Shielded everything, even it should have been paint shielded, though.
    Desoldered as good as I could and found out that the cheapest desoldering pump works way better than this fugly braid, atleast for me.

    Dildo'ed everything together, again, and now she's at least as quiet as my other guitar.:wavey:
    It doesn't look model like but all connections are solid and passed the multimeter check.
     

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  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    cool, glad everything worked out fine.
     
  15. ProtoTechDeath

    ProtoTechDeath SS.org Regular

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    Wow, your before and after shots are like night and day. Excellent improvement!
     
  16. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    I prefer the copper tape myself. Don't be fooled by the paint just because it looks cleaner and guitar manufactures use it. They most likely use it cause it's easier and involves much less labor. Not necessarily because it's better. Plus, the copper looks COOOOOL. :cool:

    Be proud of that copper and all the slices on your fingers from applying it!
     
  17. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Methinks the phrase "the more you overthink the plumming, the easier it is to clog up the drain" may have applied to your initial attempts.

    You did exactly the right things, and yes, those pumps works wonders. Hmnn.. pump followed by dildo on guitars is a new to me, but why not.. :lol:
     
  18. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I just got done Copper shielding a Ibanez RG8 project I have which includes a pickguard now. Did the guard, the single bridge pickup cavity and the rear of the Electronics plate/lid. And Never a truer word has been spoken than this /\ I had at least 2 pretty gnarly slices fairly deep into the skin separated by a week of working with the stuff. Its so easy to do. Lethal
     
  19. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    This not true, it is a myth perpetuated in the guitar community.

    If you don't believe me, open your guitar and put some extra ground cables in.
     
  20. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    Ground loops aren't a myth, but if your wires are thick enough and well-soldered, you can get away with spiderman style wiring... The problem with thick wires is that they tend to desolder themselves or other things when they move, purely as a result of being heavier.
     

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