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Am I right?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sound Guy Paul, Dec 5, 2001.


  1. The other day I opened up the back of my bass to play with the insides (a dangerous little habit of mine) and noticed that looked like it was going to the bridge. Is this wire for grounding purposes? I had always thought it was but one of my good buddies who is like our techie in our band, said that there was no way it could be, because it would shock me if that was it was. Anyone help here?
     
  2. Yes, that is a ground leading to your bridge. The purpose is to take ground back through the amplifier in the case of shock. You might still get a tingle but it would be worse to not have this particular ground.

    I would not let your "techie" friend EVER setup a stage, pa, or amps if he doesn't understand this.
     
  3. True you are. I think your freind needs to do a little more research before he is labeled the techie.
    Just because he owns a screw driver and has been shocked more than once does not make him an expert.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    :D Good one, Gruffster.
     
  5. What about twice?? Are u techie then??

    *crosses fingers*

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  6. The kid IS a techie, who is heading off to MIT next year in robotics, but he just doesnt understand guitars that much. I consider him our techie because he normally does all of our recording, and frankly he's a computer geek.
     
  7. Isn't there some old expression about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.....?

    John
     
  8. I must be a pretty dangerous person then;)
     
  9. Yea I am a computer geek as well, before I was an auto mechanic. The wire is more like a ground strap there is no power running through it, unless there is a problem elsewhere.
    Kind of like if you opened up a wall outlet and touched the copper wire, it wouldn't zap you unless something else was wrong.
    MIT will probally teach him more about guitars, those guys play with friggin everything, unless they are two busy sneaking a VW onto the roof.

    I think it depends on the distance the shock throws you. :D
     
  10. Has to be a combined distance of ten feet for both shocks
     
  11. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    One effect this design is that your body is grounded when you are touching the strings (assuming the strings are metal) and your body therefore acts as a shield for stray RF if you stand in the appropriate orientation to the RF field.

    Another effect is that, since you are grounded, if there is a ground fault in the house wiring, your amp or other gear, or in another piece of equipment such as the PA or another player's gear, voltage will pass through your body to ground when you are touching both your strings and the faulted device. The effects range from a mild tingle to death by electrocution.

    During setup, check all equipment you can come in contact with to make certain there is no voltage potential between the equipment and your strings. I use a plug-in ground fault detector (from Radio Schack) to check the house outlets and a multimeter to check for AC and DC voltage between instruments and equipment. If there are any problems, fix it before you play.

    Don't plug into any faulted outlets.
     
  12. And this is safe:confused: :confused: :confused:

    I use a wireless system. That couldn't happen to me since I am not hooked up to the house electricity correct?
     
  13. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    Of course it's not absolutely safe, under certain conditions it can kill you, which is why I used the term "death by electrocution." :eek:

    Sorry, my lawyer told me not to answer that one.:D
     
  14. Bah! i got a few more feet to make up for. *grabs fork* where's that bloody toaster.....

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  15. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Yep. I believe it goes something like, "He knows just enough to get himself into trouble."

    Oh yeah -- you have to have electrocuted yourself no less than five times in order to be considered a techie. It's sort of a badge of honor. :D
     
  16. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    :confused: Can't you be safe from all that by plugging into an outlet strip with it's own fuse?
     
  17. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    Do you trust your life to the cheap fuse or breaker in the outlet strip? I don't. It's better to learn how to check for dangerous conditions, it's not hard.
     
  18. The answer that means the most is NO! The problem is whether the current that would be passing through your body would trip the breaker quickly enough or not at all. If it doesn't, you become part of the circuit back into the house mains (as I understand - of course, I'll be corrected). I think that the central problem is becoming part of a circuit to ground. I protect myself in strange situations with my own extension that I have made with a GFI (ground fault interrupt) as part of the box. IMO it's more reliable than a surge suppressor in these sorts of cases.
     
  19. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    ...Good to know.
     
  20. EOM, we live in the same city! woo!


    Sorry, I have nothing to add to this thread, except I enjoy licking 9 volt batteries to see if they still have power.