Oh CRAP!!!! Did I just screw something up?? :(

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bartman, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. So today i decided to change my battery to a new Duracell in my bass. I have a Warwick Thumb 6 with active pu's/preamp. I didn't notice that I left the volume on full and the bass was plugged in the amp which was also on. When i unplugged the old battery and started putting a new one on i smelt burning electricity and a bit of smoke started appearing. I quickly took the new battery (which was half way in) out and unplugged the patch cord from the input as well as turned the volume all the way down on the bass.

    I swear to God, I never came close to crapping my pants then I did today when that happened. I thought I burned something out, and to be honest I dont know whether I did or not. I put the new battery in, turned the bass on and everything seemed to work. I tested the volume knob, then the Low/Treble knobs, and then the Pickup balance/pan knob and they all worked.

    Is there a better way to check whether i messed something up?

    Any advice/feedback/insults-for-my-stupidity kindly welcome

  2. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Don't let the smoke out of your electronics. They stop working once the magic smoke has been released. :D

    You didn't say, but I'm assuming the smokey smell came from your bass? Have you checked your pre/amp to make sure they're OK?

    If everything still works, count your lucky stars and make sure never to do it again. Obviously some component was stressed.
  3. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Oh yeah, you might want to take a peek inside your control cavity and look for burn marks, smell for burnt electronics, etc.
  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    If you have a multimeter hagning around, check all of your compenents also.
    It's a heck of a bill sometimes to have those techs put that magical smoke back in ;).

  5. Rav

    Rav Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    From my experience with electronics if it burns enough to smell then you definitely lost something.

    If you didnt see flames then odds are you didn't burn out anything simple like the pots or caps. If you didn't smell plastic then it wasnt any of the wiring harness.

    If you smelled that god awful pungent burnt cat hair like smell then it was something solid state. Possibly a FET in your onboard preamp.

    The burnt electronics smell kind of lingers and sticks to things like napalm. So you can smell your bass cavity and your external preamp and amp to find out what component just degraded itself.

  6. ptidwell

    ptidwell Commercial User

    Jun 13, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Owner LoPHAT Cabinets
    You may want to check you wiring. The shielding on the wires may have melted a little causing the smoke.
    Check to make sure none of the wires are exposed or if thery are discolored because of the heat.
  7. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Those VOMs can be a lifesaver.

    It costs good money to store that magic smoke! :eek:
  8. just wondering how you know what burnt cat smells like :p

    by the sounds of it you had a lucky escape
  9. Pity Rav's cat didnt have one!
  10. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've been known to pay good money for magic smoke.

    Whoops. Wrong thread. :D
  11. Damn dude... I guess you know what NOT to do next time. You're lucky you didn't send a transient through the system and blow your amp as well!

    Any chance you might have inadvertently reversed the polarity of the battery when trying to connect it up!? Usually, protection for this is built in, but if not you can really do some damage.

    Lucky I guess, but you have stressed something obviously, keep an eye on it.
  12. So far I didn't notice any difference in sound/performance. The second I notice anything, I'm not really going to try and repair them, I might as well get new pickups/pre because i've been planning to do so in the near future anyway.

    Would still be a shame if I did brake something. We'll see. So far I didn't notice anything.

    :( :eek:
  13. Sounds like reverse polarity to me, a friend of mine did it on an acoustic guitar, same results, he caught it fast enough.
    Good luck,
  14. ya i think i cought it fairly fast. I mean as soon as i smelt something i quickly reacted. and the bit of smoke that appeared did so like a split second after i unplugged everything. Maybe the damage isn't as bad as I'm thinking. i didn't get a chance to inspect everything from up close, but i will asap. i'll look for burned wires/circuits etc..
  15. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    I had a lucky escape the other day with an electronics accident... On my breadboard, I was building a small preamp for my acoustic guitar DIY piezo pickup, when I noticed it wasn't working. After a couple of seconds, I pushed in one of the caps to check for a loose conection, and it was so hot I got blisters on my fingers! I immediately unplugged it from the battery, and even though there was no smoke it smelt aweful. I found the problem (The cap was the wrong way around! :rolleyes: ) righted it, and plugged the preamp back in - All seems well... Although the cap turned half black!
  16. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I hope you didn't hurt anything :( But just remember to always unplug your bass before you change the battery.