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4-way switch with Bardens: weird issue resolves itself

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Sea Devil, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Connecting the bare wire of the neck pickup to ground killed the signal. So did making contact between the neck pickup's rails and the strings. I took out the neck pickup, looked at it, cleaned it, checked continuity, and could see nothing wrong. I put it back and everything functioned normally.

    I recently touched up the finish and just stuffed the area around the pickup with paper towels and covered the top with masking tape rather than pulling the pickup. I had opened up the control cavity to clean up some sloppy wiring I'd noticed while doing the finish work, and I saw that the bare wire had broken off, even though there seemed to be no grounding issues. I fixed that, and then the problem arose.

    The only explanation I can think of is that one of the metal springs under the pickup (one is a larger diameter than it should be) got displaced by the tightly packed paper towels and was touching something it shouldn't have been touching.

    It's fine now, but I welcome any thoughts about how that happened. I think I've answered my own question already, but I'm not sure; if the spring connected the bare wire/ground to any hot wire (all connections are on the bottom of the pickup in this design, and the base of the pickup cavity is unshielded, providing no path to ground), it would only kill the signal when the other end was connected to ground, and that's it.

    (On a side note: freshly lacquered guitars seem to be very prone to static crackle. Does anyone have an explanation for that? I've noticed it every time. It goes away.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  2. ritchwell

    ritchwell TDPRI Member

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    im only writing coz im lonely
     
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  3. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    In that case, welcome to the forum!
     
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  4. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    CBB56422-0FFD-493F-88DF-CBE511040320.jpeg
    Btw, looking at the layout of the wires on the old Bardens, it's hard to see how the spring could have contacted the bare wire. Maybe it was a little piece of shielding foil? Who knows. (This one isn't mine, but it looks more or less the same.)
     
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