Thursday, 24 July 2014

Stone Roses Tribute: Shielding

The neck clamp came off today and everything looks good. Time to get going with the electrical side of things! Before I could start on the wiring proper, the cavities and pickguard needed to be shielded and grounded to protect the guitar from noise generating EM interference.

Using double-sided conductive copper shielding tape, I coated the walls and floors of both the pickup and control cavities. Similarly I coated the inside surface of the pickguard, and overlapped some tape over the edge of the control cavity to make contact with the pickguard. The idea is to create a complete 3D Faraday cage around the important signal carrying wires.

After the copper tape was in place, each of the 3 cavities was joined to the others using wires soldered between them. I love this copper tape because it's so easy to work with - just being able to solder wires directly to it  - awesome. I used some small pieces of copper tape to keep the soldered wires out of the way, and used my multimeter to make sure that I had a complete conductive surface between all points on all cavities.

Next I took the ground wire from the bridge and soldered this wire to the wall of the control cavity. The result is that all shielding now conducts noise to ground. This was also tested with a multimeter to make sure there was an electrically conductive path from the bridge to the shielding.

Finally, a new ground wire was soldered to the control cavity wall. This wire will be used to connect to the back of one of the pots to provide a ground signal for the control circuit. With this in place, every thing is ready to chuck the pots and switch into the pickguard and commence soldering up the control wiring!