Another Grounding question…

LesTele

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Hey guys, I know there are already a ton of general grounding questions but I didn’t see any thread pertaining to my specific question.

When testing a guitar for continuity in proper grounding, should the multimeter continually beep or is sufficient if it beeps intermittently?

Just wanna make sure my grounding is decent enough where I don’t get electrocuted lol
 

SRHmusic

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I think it depends on the meter. Some beep continuously when holding the probes to a spot, and some beep once for a shorter time. Continuity testers beep when the resistance is below some threshold. If you move a probe a little it might break and remake the connection, and you'll hear a stuttering or weak beep. Make sure your probe tips are clean, no oxidation.

That said, an ohmmeter is more reliable. With an ohmmeter you can read the actual resistance between two points. If you're using a DVM on the continuity setting, can switch over to Ohms (may show a Greek omega symbol).
 

bobio

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Hey guys, I know there are already a ton of general grounding questions but I didn’t see any thread pertaining to my specific question.

When testing a guitar for continuity in proper grounding, should the multimeter continually beep or is sufficient if it beeps intermittently?

Just wanna make sure my grounding is decent enough where I don’t get electrocuted lol
Get a strand of wire and put a probe on each end and see if it beeps continuously or not.
My Craftsman Multi-meter beeps continuously...
 

LesTele

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The one I use beeps continuously. The problem is when I test my grounding it doesn’t beep continuously but intermittently which makes me think it’s not as strong of a connection.

I wonder if I should be concerned with that or is it’s good enough as is
 

SRHmusic

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The one I use beeps continuously. The problem is when I test my grounding it doesn’t beep continuously but intermittently which makes me think it’s not as strong of a connection.

I wonder if I should be concerned with that or is it’s good enough as is
If you really want to know then use an ohm meter. Otherwise you only know the connection resistance is somewhere around the unknown threshold of your continuity tester.

Is this for shielding or the pickup electronics? It's more important for the pickup, etc. signal path to have good connections.
 

LesTele

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If you really want to know then use an ohm meter. Otherwise you only know the connection resistance is somewhere around the unknown threshold of your continuity tester.

Is this for shielding or the pickup electronics? It's more important for the pickup, etc. signal path to have good connections.

It’s just for the pickup grounding. I don’t use shielding anymore. I mostly just wanna make sure it’s safe. There is a connection but it’s not the strongest
 

eallen

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If you are speaking of a guitar. They do not put out enough volts or amps to electrocute you. Grounding is for proper operation and noise reduction.

I always look at readouts & never pay attention to beeps. If your readout shows continuity however your meter is beeping is what you need. You either have continuity or you don't so there is no in between in this sense.
 

LesTele

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If you are speaking of a guitar. They do not put out enough volts or amps to electrocute you. Grounding is for proper operation and noise reduction.

I always look at readouts & never pay attention to beeps. If your readout shows continuity however your meter is beeping is what you need. You either have continuity or you don't so there is no in between in this sense.
Perfect thanks so much
 

LesTele

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If you are speaking of a guitar. They do not put out enough volts or amps to electrocute you. Grounding is for proper operation and noise reduction.

I always look at readouts & never pay attention to beeps. If your readout shows continuity however your meter is beeping is what you need. You either have continuity or you don't so there is no in between in this sense.
For some reason I thought I remembered hearing that a famous electric guitarist a while back died for to inadequate electric guitar shielding. must be a fake rumor
 

SRHmusic

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... If your readout shows continuity however your meter is beeping is what you need. You either have continuity or you don't so there is no in between in this sense.
That's not really accurate. There's no such thing as 'continuity or not'. (edit- it's a continuum) Continuity meters have a threshold somewhere around 1 to 1000 ohms, so you might have a poor ground with some path through the circuit with just low enough resistance to get a beep. For example, Fluke meters have a threshold that's dependent on the range your select, e.g. 200 ohms in the 4k range.

If you're certain that the only possible path is through the ground connections then it's a reasonable indication that things are connected electrically, but not an indication of the quality of the connection.
 
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wabashslim

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If you're in an "ohms" range and not continuity, beeping may indicate a voltage is present on whatever you're measuring. You can't get a legit ohms reading in that case and it might not be healthy for the meter either. Consider it a warning. A charged capacitor in the circuit will cause that too.
 

howardlo

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It’s just for the pickup grounding. I don’t use shielding anymore. I mostly just wanna make sure it’s safe. There is a connection but it’s not the strongest
Safe? You really don’t think you are going to get electrocuted do you? You wouldn’t ever even get any shock.
 

SRHmusic

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I thought I might elaborate on where continuity tests are useful. Professionally I've only used them to answer the questions, "is one point connected to the other points I expect?" and, "is one point not connected to others I don't expect?" This is not checking the quality of the connections, just whether things are generally wired correctly.

For example, on a multiconductor cable we just assembled, we'd first visually check the quality of the soldering: good, clean solder joints, no stray whiskers of the signal conductors or shields visible, and insulation is in good condition. Then with a continuity tester we'd check each pin on one end is connected to the correct pin on the other end and not to any others.

Similarly, back in the days of doing wire-wrap boards, we'd check the point to point connections and that there were not shorts to other IC socket pins nearby. (Those things are so densely wired is difficult to see a loose wire end, so technique is important. )

One more, with new PCBs we can do quick checks that the point to point connections are correct and that no shorts are found where we don't expect, e.g. from poor etching or dendrites.

Ensuring quality of connections requires good soldering technique, no damage to insulation, clean routing to avoid damage, etc. If something is questionable in performance and debug is needed, then check with an ohm meter. As with shielded cables sometimes it's good to wiggle things and make sure there aren't intermittent connection or shorts.

And, no, you shouldn't get electrocuted due to guitar issues. That would be an AC mains related grounding issue in amps and PAs and/or the mains sockets wiring. Normally no AC mains hot or neutral connections should be to the guitar cable.

Cheers
 

eallen

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That's not really accurate. There's no such thing as 'continuity or not'. (edit- it's a continuum) Continuity meters have a threshold somewhere around 1 to 1000 ohms, so you might have a poor ground with some path through the circuit with just low enough resistance to get a beep. For example, Fluke meters have a threshold that's dependent on the range your select, e.g. 200 ohms in the 4k range.

If you're certain that the only possible path is through the ground connections then it's a reasonable indication that things are connected electrically, but not an indication of the quality of the connection.
Thanks for clarifying and the explanation.

I was attempting to simplify the issue for the OP's understanding. No doubt continuity is expressing a connection with a resistance below a specific threshold. While meters in the fluke quality range may have a defined threshold the continuity setting on affordable meters is often unknown. But, even cheap meters should show if their is a resonable connection for guitar purposes by indicating continuity or not. If they indicat no continuity the level is insufficient regardless of any resistance measurement that may be ascertained.
 

SRHmusic

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Thanks for clarifying and the explanation.

I was attempting to simplify the issue for the OP's understanding. No doubt continuity is expressing a connection with a resistance below a specific threshold. While meters in the fluke quality range may have a defined threshold the continuity setting on affordable meters is often unknown. But, even cheap meters should show if their is a resonable connection for guitar purposes by indicating continuity or not. If they indicat no continuity the level is insufficient regardless of any resistance measurement that may be ascertained.
Yeah, I didn't mean to come off too ornery there. I suppose continuity is a fine term if it just means there's an electrical path between points. But it's just a diagnostic, quick check for roughly correct or incorrect wiring.
 

Swirling Snow

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For some reason I thought I remembered hearing that a famous electric guitarist a while back died for to inadequate electric guitar shielding. must be a fake rumor
As I recall, there was an urban legend about a boy who was electrocuted while playing his guitar barefoot on a wet lawn. It was true. But it was due to a catastrophic breakdown in the amp that dumped AC onto the input jack. You're more likely to get hit by lightning than have that happen.

On the other hand, when I was modifying amps and testing the limits of the power tubes, I disconnected the ground string just in case I melted a transformer or something. 😵‍💫
 

wabashslim

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As I recall, there was an urban legend about a boy who was electrocuted while playing his guitar barefoot on a wet lawn. It was true. But it was due to a catastrophic breakdown in the amp that dumped AC onto the input jack. You're more likely to get hit by lightning than have that happen.
OR, it was a two-wire power cord plugged in a two-wire outlet and just happened to be the wrong way...50-50 chance - far more likely than a lightning bolt or getting pregnant the first time.
 

SbS

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Yeah. The problem is this can happen in certain circumstances when guitar is actually properly grounded. Strings are grounded and player is grounded through the strings.. but if there's current in wrong places it then might flow through the player.

And IF the player touches something like mic stand, metal structures, wet grass (true ground in this case), fatal situation might be created.

But there must be something wrong with the amp/power that current is leaking into guitar ground.

The other problem is, if guitar's not properly grounded, you'll have unwanted noise.
 




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