Schoolboy Error

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TTonyTTony Frets: 11589
Actually, it's probably even more basic than that.

I've a rather nice guitar (Hamer) that's got a  couple of standard p'ups (BKP MQ P90 & SD something) plus a piezo.    Have a gratuitous pic of guitar-on-workbench awaiting surgery ...



Great range of sounds.  But it had developed a bit of an intermittent fault that I put down to a wiring issue.  Something come loose somewhere and either cutting out or grounding.

I'd opened up the back before, and just decided to leave well alone.

But, got to do it this time.



So, I got out the pencil and paper and started drawing everything out, working out what was what. where it went and why it went there.  

I kept plugging it in, and wiggling wires about whenever I saw anything that looked a bit loose or tired.  It took me an hour or so to get it all drawn out neatly.

Having wiggled most bits, and not found the cause, I was starting to think that perhaps I'd need to re-wire from scratch.  Not 100% a bad thing, as I was going to swap out the MQ P90 for another HB anyway.

Time to plug the soldering iron in.

Except ...


I was so sure that the wiring was the problem, that I'd not even thought to check the battery, much less notice that it was a rechargeable.

New battery, no more wiring problem.

Wasted an hour, saved a good few more.

Go on then, laugh ...

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Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26303
    :D 

    Not much though, I've done things like that too. The best one was dismantling a Mesa V-1 pedal to find out why it hadn't worked at a gig, not finding anything at all wrong, then when I put it back together and one of the same cables I'd used the night before wouldn't quite reach the jacks on my pedalboard, it finally dawned on me that I'd had it plugged in backwards :).

    I wouldn't ever use a rechargeable battery in an active guitar. The current draw is so low that self-discharge is much the bigger problem usually.

    It's a shame Hamer always used those crap barrel jacks, or that would have been my next suspect… they're notorious for failing.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • TonyRTonyR Frets: 652
    When I saw the pic of your guitar opened up the first thing I saw was the battery, so that would have been the first thing I checked!!
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 6815
    Ah yes.  A few times I have asked people if they have changed the battery when they bring a faulty guitar along.  The normal answer is “what battery”.


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8732
    Stop tittering at the back, there.. 
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11589
    TonyR said:
    When I saw the pic of your guitar opened up the first thing I saw was the battery, so that would have been the first thing I checked!!
    It'll be the first thing that I check next time!

    Of course, it should have been first thing this time too, but because of the intermittent cut-out, I'd got it into my head that it was obviously a wiring problem.

    If all my errors only cost me an hour of my time.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 3295
    Nothing to beat yourself up about!  Nice guitar, and I like the way they've made a routed battery compartment, very neat.
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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 1915
    Twice I have completely re-EQed my amp and pedalboard during gig setup because everything sounded shit. Got it sounding as good as I could and then realised my wah was on and I had to do it all over again to put it back to how it should be. There should be a law that all wah pedals have an LED on them. 
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11589
    Philly_Q said:
    Nice guitar, and I like the way they've made a routed battery compartment, very neat.
    Hamer "duotone", which is an imaginative name given the electric/piezo combination, from sometime in the mid 90s.

    It's been really nicely set-up by the previous owner and is really easy to play.  

    I might even play it a bit more often now that I've fixed the wiring issue
    :D
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 4314
    TTony said: 



    Wow - that is one clean cavity - Gibson could learn a trick or two from that!
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • ThorpyFXThorpyFX Frets: 3396
    Ive done similar. also this: Late night testing of a batch of 20 peacekeepers... zero sound initially, I'm freaking out because they needed to ship the following day.... all were missing the Opamp.. FFS the relief was palpable as was the haughty derision from the wife!
    Adrian Thorpe MBE | Owner of ThorpyFx Ltd | Email: thorpy@thorpyfx.com | Twitter: @ThorpyFx | Facebook: ThorpyFx Ltd | Website: www.thorpyfx.com
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    I once wired up a bass for a friend, noticed the 2 cores in the shielded  cable and thought I would make a coil tap for him. He called me at his next gig, apparently engaging my coil tap turned 2 of the strings off .... which is would thinking about being a split pickup :)
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26303
    57Deluxe said:

    Wow - that is one clean cavity - Gibson could learn a trick or two from that!
    I think it's a mess actually. The routing is sharp, but nothing else is neatly done at all.

    It would have been far better to put the battery holder in the empty space down at the bottom, where it wouldn't conflict with the pickup cables. It's really not a good idea to have that braided pickup cable and the bridge ground wire near the battery terminals, there is a (admittedly fairly small) risk of a short, which would cause major trouble.

    Danny1969 said:
    I once wired up a bass for a friend, noticed the 2 cores in the shielded  cable and thought I would make a coil tap for him. He called me at his next gig, apparently engaging my coil tap turned 2 of the strings off .... which is would thinking about being a split pickup :)
    lol
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • It's times like this when it pays to be as stupid as me.

    The battery would have been the first thing I tried because I'd be too scared and ignorant to try anything else.

    Had it proved not to have been the battery, then I'd have been in trouble.

    Then again, thinking about it from the start, I'd never have thought about it being a battery issue in the first place because I was surprised to see a battery in there at all - I never knew that electric guitars could need one. I know now, obviously, but it never occurred to me that they even might.

    I assume it depends on the pick ups?
    If you must have sex with a frog, wear a condom. If you want the frog to have fun, rib it.
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 5792
    A great friend of mine has two basses - both with EMG pickups. One day, he was getting cross that he had a very powerful bass amp and yet it just didn't seem to be loud enough.

    So I asked him when he last changed the battery in the bass.

    "Battery?"

    I explained about the EMGs.

    "Oh no, these are passive ones... anyway, I've had this for nearly 20 years and never had to change a battery. If one was fitted, I think the battery would have run out long ago".

    Errrr....

    So I took a screwdriver and removed the control plate. Inside was a green, festering, Ever Ready blue battery... it had been there for... decades! It all needed a bit of a clean inside, but with a new battery installed the volume returned. It was the same story with the other bass.

    I've never let him forget that! :-)


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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26303

    I assume it depends on the pick ups?
    Yes. Most piezo systems will have an onboard preamp because the output impedance is so high they're very subject to loading - they don't work well with passive guitar controls or being mixed with magnetic pickups unless they're buffered and mixed actively.

    Some magnetic pickups also use preamps, eg EMGs where they're built into the pickups, others have separate preamps (mostly basses).

    impmann said:
    A great friend of mine has two basses - both with EMG pickups. One day, he was getting cross that he had a very powerful bass amp and yet it just didn't seem to be loud enough.

    So I asked him when he last changed the battery in the bass.

    "Battery?"

    I explained about the EMGs.

    "Oh no, these are passive ones... anyway, I've had this for nearly 20 years and never had to change a battery. If one was fitted, I think the battery would have run out long ago".

    Errrr....

    So I took a screwdriver and removed the control plate. Inside was a green, festering, Ever Ready blue battery... it had been there for... decades! It all needed a bit of a clean inside, but with a new battery installed the volume returned. It was the same story with the other bass.

    I've never let him forget that! :-)
    I've seen that many times too with customer's repairs. People will quite often buy a bass second hand and never think that it might have a battery in it, until a few years later when it mysteriously stops working… EMGs have even lower current draw and I don't find 10-20 years too surprising!
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Paul_CPaul_C Frets: 3656

    I had someone bring me a bass which had stopped working, I opened up the battery box to find it empty - put a battery in and all was fine.

    Recently someone brought round a Taylor acoustic that had no output, he told me he'd put new batteries in so I had a quick look at the connections and, having found nothing obviously wrong, took out the "new" batteries and found them both to be dead. New new batteries and all was fine.
    Mr. Silly
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 4314
    ICBM said:
    57Deluxe said:

    Wow - that is one clean cavity - Gibson could learn a trick or two from that!
    I think it's a mess actually. The routing is sharp, but nothing else is neatly done at all.

    Yes, I was referring to the routing and finish - not the wiring nest. But it still better than was inside my Lucille!
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1361
    Nice guitar, that. I'm thinking about either getting a guitar with piezos or adding them to one or two of my current guitars. What sort of price are Hamers?

    R.
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  • impmann said:

    I've never let him forget that! :-)


    The very definition of a true friend :D
    If you must have sex with a frog, wear a condom. If you want the frog to have fun, rib it.
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