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Aluminium Foil for shielding...why not???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PilbaraBass, Aug 9, 2005.

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  1. It's conductive and its cheap...why not shield a control cavity with Aluminium (Aluminum for the Americans) Foil?

    Has anyone done this?
  2. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    Contrary to the "wrap your head in foil to prevent the FBI from reading your brain" crowds belief, aluminum foil doesnt really have very good radio/electromagenetic absorbtion properties.

  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Adhesive copper tape really isnt much more expensive and much easier to work with.
  4. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    Aluminum foil is a fine conductor and so a fine shield (not for magnetic fields though), but it is near impossible to solder to and near impossible to make it neat looking. Use it if you want, ground it with a screw if you do. I suggest that you follow TPlyons advice.
  5. It's not about price, it's about availability...I have Al Foil in my house...as for workability...I think a little patience can pay off...and as far as making it stick...I've got it covered...HOBBY PASTE! :D

    I don't think my wishbass would look right with copper tape...it needs that "hillbilly touch"...aluminum foil, it is... :D

    as far as the guy who said this crapola about "aluminum foil doesnt really have very good radio/electromagenetic absorbtion properties"...that's the silliest thing I've ever heard...It's about forming a faraday shield using a conductor and aluminum foil is perfectly conductive enough...

    I'm gonna do it...and then I'll post y'all a pic...OK?
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i used foil at a studio session one time...worked great, in fact, i think the damn foil is still in my Warwick...

  7. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    No, No, NO. I use copper foil to shield from RF. The aluminum foil in my hat is to reflect the mind control lasers...;)
  8. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    I was going to post a reason not to use aluminum foil but this forum isn't exactly condusive to entering mathmatical symbols and jabber's response made me spit pepsi out of my nose laughing.

    If your going for hillbilly then obviously aluminum foil adds a nice melodic howl to the "my amps not grounded buzz" that is so coveted in branson.

  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Nonononono, aluminum foil is only to be used to replace broken fuses!!!!
  10. No no no!!

    Far too fragile.

    What you need is 6 inch nails. :D :D
  11. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    I hear .22 caliber bullets work well as replacements for round fuses :)

    Well until they discharge that is.

  12. Rav obviously does not watch Mythbusters... dude, it comes highly recommended, provided you don't take it too seriously like the folks on their forum!

    Al foil is a cow to work with. Nothing like tearing a gaping hole in the stuff just as it sticks to the contact glue... not that I'd know, just seems fated to happen to anyone crazy enough to try.

    I wouldn't do it, just because it's half assed and that's just not me. Aside from the fact that you can't solder it, it's fragile, it doesn't hold it's shape too well and that's it's a cheap-ass option, I see no reason why it wouldn't do the trick. It's commonly used in shielded cabling.

    However, the conductivity of aluminium is significantly lower than copper. (By the way, when I say significantly lower I mean that it's significant, not that it's massively lower!)
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Heathen! [​IMG]

    Read this, and weep: http://zapatopi.net/afdb/ :cool:
  14. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  15. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    LOL. I seem to remember Letterman reading a news item a while back where some poor SOB did just that and ended up shooting himself in a fairly important location. :D
  16. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I would use copper if I were you. I just finished a project where I used aluminium shielding, halfway in I was kicking myself for not getting copper. The Aluminum is pretty much impossible to solder to, and that was a real pain in the a$$.

  17. you can't solder to aluminium, which is a drawback...and aluminium foil is tough to work with if you're using the thin stuff... but, what you do is drive a screw through it, and solder to the screw. The other thing is, if you make good contact between the foil shield the jack ring (which is earth) you should have a reasonably earthed shield.
  18. THE word from Hammond, famous makers of enclosures favoured by some manufacturers (sansamp I think use them) and boutique pedal makers.

    No indication of what "very low frequencies" means, but I'd be worried about 50/60hz hum.
  19. jointus


    Sep 20, 2003
    The old obligatory shielding link, which does, among other things, include the aluminum foil method:
  20. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    The ground lug wasn't the problem. The problem was joining the different pieces of foil and the tubes between cavites and all that.

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