Jul 16, 2017

Different color wires exist for reasons

         At the end of the Lightswitch Strat build, I described the unusual wiring schematic and the incessant ground hum problem it faced - a noisy ground that became unbearably noisy when you make contact with any of the metal parts.  Why could it be so bad?

          I reasoned that it must be the weird wiring that I pretty much made up in the shower and decided would be a great idea.  Two in series to one in parallel out of phase?  On top of that, I frequently confuse phase with polarity, certainly one of those was the problem.  Bad soldering job, also possible, I half expected the ground to have broken off.

          Nope... let's just say if this was a bomb defusal, I wouldn't be writing this post.  The soldering was good, even the harebrained wiring schematic worked perfectly, but the ground and hot wires were mixed up at the output.  I don't know if there's an electrical mistake possible that summarizes "noobiness" better than that.  Part of the problem was that I had run out of black wires - every single wire was red.  Not the proudest moment in my short luthiery career, but a few good lessons learned.

          As a "bonus", here's a little sloppy demo of the pickup switching done just after finishing the repair.  You may or may not like the sound of it (it is pretty harsh when out-of-phase) but it's almost hum-free now, and capable of some neat sounds either way.

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