J Retro intallation problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ryan Berry, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. This is the intallation pic they gave me
    It says that I need to solder the pickup wires to those little dealies and i need to solder all the ground wires to that big black wire. Problem is, I'm not sure which wires are which. I currently have 3 wires connected to each volume knob. I think some of the small black ones are ground wires but im not sure. If anybody has ever one this or can tell right now that im totally confused, PLEASE help me!
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    If you get no joy here then try the Dude Pit as John East is a regular there and he should be able to help you :)
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    First, trace the wires back to the pickups - the ground wires should then be obvious. Don't forget the bridge ground wire is in there somewhere, too!

    And don't use Liquid Nails this time! ;)
  4. Thanks, but I have another question. It says to unsolder all the wires. Is there a special way to do this?
  5. Make them hot. Remove.

    But you can buy a de-soldering tool. It's just usually a little "sucker" that will suck away the hot solder (fluid). But I'd just make em hot and yank off of the existing pots.

    Check that, I'd just cut the dang things. Leads are prolly long enough, and you'll lose like 0.25" if you're careful usually.

    And you prolly have 2 grounds and one hot. Cold is a really wierd way to put it....it's a danged ground. Easy test. Get an extra jack. Solder the P/U wires to it. Tip on the instrument cable is Hot, Sleeve is Ground. When you get sound, you've got it right. Take notes. Hook up correctly.
  6. Thanks again, but I have another question (last one), When I connect the black and white wires from each pickup, does it matter if the solder is touching both? because the little metal posts where im supposed to connect the pickup wires to are very close together.
  7. That'll ground out the signal (I think) equals no noise. At least, that's what's happened when I've done it before.
  8. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Dude. I would take you bass to a experienced repair tech. It will save you a whole lot of time and frustration. The J-Retro is easy to install. But if you don't have very good soldering chops, I'd take it to a professional. I should cost you less than $20.
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    seapickle, don't take this wrong - but go find a pro to do the install. It's very easy to screw up a J-Retro if you don't know what you're doing with a soldering iron! The pads are small, and it's VERY easy to destroy the board with too much heat!
  10. I've replied to Seapickle via PM so I'll post my response here so that everyone can see a proper installation technique.

    The 2-conductor plug used on battery packs for cordless phone handsets is the perfect match for the 2-prong connector on the J-Retro. I got mine at Radio Shack by asking for them from their garbage behind the counter. Seems that a lot of folks bring in their handsets just to have the batteries changed and the clerks usually have several you can have. I nipped the original leads from the pups as close to the old pots as possible - lost only ¼" at the most. I soldered the plugs on the pup leads and encased them in shrink tubing. For clarity, be sure to maintain proper polarity between the plugs and the leads - white to white and colored to colored (black or red). Then you can attach them to the PCB and tuck the wires into the cavity. I wouldn't ever recommend soldering the leads directly to the posts. Too much chance for error and like was mentioned above, there is very little room to maneuver.
  11. Thanks Hambone! I'll do that!
  12. I soldered mine direct to the pins and covered them with heatshrink tubing, but it's not something I would recommend to someone with limited or no soldering skills.