How are effect pedals grounded?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cnltb, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I asked this question in another thread too, just in case someone#s wondering...
    How are pedals grounded?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Through the ground of the signal wire, generally. Effects that plug into the AC line may be grounded there as well.
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I have built a few pedal kits. Modded a handful of others. Modded basses electronics and so forth. I'm def no engineer or builder in the slightest. I like to tinker. At times I am successful. But grounding is a concept I get but at the same time can't seem to fully grasp when I am in the circuit and it causes issues for me all the time.
  4. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    So; it is grounded as soon as I plug an instrument in?
    So; When the pedal is plugged into the wall via 1spot, an instrument cable is connected (but no instrument) and the pedal is connected to an audio interface it would be normal to hear a difference in hum when just touching the pedal?
  5. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Family. Friends. A balance of humility and self-worth.
  6. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
  7. Rambazamba


    Dec 14, 2012
    Usually the enclosure functions as a connector between a number of grounds on your pcb, your signal path and power supply. To have everything proper grounded, all these points must be connected.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    No, it's grounded as soon as you plug it into the amp (or a wall socket). Plugging your instrument in grounds nothing, except via your body (bad idea to flow current through your body, innit?)

    To answer your second sentence - sounds like you have some sort of ground loop issue.
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    That's what I suspect.
    I think the wall socket may be dodgy...
    I also had sparks when connecting the interface to the computer whilst the pedal was connected and plugged to the wall...
  10. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Sparks where?
    blindrabbit likes this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Sparks bad.
    RickyT and blindrabbit like this.
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    When I plugged the interface into the USB port on the computer and the plug on the cable touched the metal around the socket I saw little sparks. Maybe static discharging(is that what it's called?)?
  13. Thats electrickery trying to free itself...
    BartmanPDX, nshuman and MYLOWFREQ like this.
  14. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, could be static, but more likely you've got a current leak on the ground line. I bet a GFCI would pop.
  15. Usually the pedal's done something bad such as the footswitch misbehaving, not passing a signal on to its board siblings, throwing a hissy-fit, or caught smoking — that's when the parental effects will ground the wee pedal effects.

    Grounding can include, but is not limited to:
    - a "time out" off the board
    - ignoring the pedal for a specified time
    - rerouting signal away from the pedal
    - putting the pedal in a corner, facing away from the others
    - re-programming is required in some cases
    - behavioural conditioning
    - rewiring
    - rehousing
    - refinishing and/or etching
  16. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Get a signal isolator box and use it before your USB interface. This will break the ground paths.

    Grahams Groove and blindrabbit like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Usually the enclosure is the grounded via the input and output sleeves through the chassis. I personally also like to ground everything to the output sleeve
  18. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Generally the power supply is grounded.
  19. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    A quick google search brought up a lot of information, and I know nothing about this. Can you recommend a cheap/reliable option for a basic home setup? I'm in a 50+ year-old house with shoddy power and want to make sure I'm protecting my equipment, interface, and computer as much as possible.
  20. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    And this is how they look before they pop... upload_2017-12-5_12-39-13.jpeg and after upload_2017-12-5_12-43-19.jpeg
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    Jul 28, 2021

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