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Thread: Will copper shielding fix a ground buzz?

  1. #71
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    The only problems with aluminum foil are 1) that you can't solder to it; you can with copper or tin plated copper foil, and 2) you can get the copper foil tape with conductive adhesive, hence conductivity through lap joints...not so with aluminum.

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  2. #72
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    My bad, look at this:

    EMI Foil & Fabric Tapes: Electronic Solutions : 3M United States

    conductive adhesive...

    Still can't solder to it, though.

    I use the 1183.

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  3. #73
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    And for some really interesting stuff to mess with:

    Electromagnetic Field Shielding Fabrics

    Yeah, it's the tin-foil hat crowd, but what cool fabrics...

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  4. #74
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Last year I had a customer request that I paint his house with EMF shield coating. He lives very near a cell phone tower (you can see it from his back windows). He paid about $2000 just for the materials. Just for giggles I stuck my DMM probes to the surface and as far as I could stretch the leads I couldn't get more than about 35 ohms of resistance on average! The customer rented a meter to measure EMF levels in his home and as it happens the coating works. To what advantage is up for debate.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Wouldn't this be cheaper?

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  6. #76
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    Are those hats grounded?

    Hmm, a wire down to track shoes with long spikes...

    Resistance of shielding is measured in Ohms per square. A square is really just a giant series/parallel array of resistors, so if the conductivity is even all over the surface, the reading with probes 1" apart should be the same as though they were 10' or 100' apart. In practice, I find that if I read at 100 Ohms or less from any point in a guitar to the output jack, then it's fine.

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  7. #77
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    I use aluminum tape for shielding. The adhesive isn't conductive, so I make little bandaids for jumpers between the pieces of tape. The tape has paper backing. It's easy to cut the pieces to size and fit them without having to worry about them sticking. It makes for a clean, smooth installation. To connect to the shielding, I screw an eyelet to it.

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  8. #78
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I use heavy duty aluminum foil for amp cabinets. I know aluminum forms an oxide layer, but what doesn't? I use copper for guitars because it's said to be most effective against EMF. But I do this based only on what I've read. I do know that most commercial pickguards use aluminum, including mine.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Turner View Post
    And for some really interesting stuff to mess with:

    Electromagnetic Field Shielding Fabrics

    Yeah, it's the tin-foil hat crowd, but what cool fabrics...
    Hey, it looks like they sell mithril!

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    Last edited by ScottA; 04-25-2014 at 03:08 AM.

  10. #80
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    The customer rented a meter to measure EMF levels in his home and as it happens the coating works. To what advantage is up for debate.
    Did you ground the paint coating somehow?

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  11. #81
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Did you ground the paint coating somehow?
    Yes. There was a kit provided that consisted of a 5"x5" aluminum plate to be lag bolted into the surface with a large stranded copper cable attached to a three foot lead terminated at a two foot steel stake to be driven into the earth. There was also a tube of goop and a cover that fit neatly over the plate for the purpose of corrosion protection.

    But the directions for the coating indicate that it works equally well with or without the ground!!! Which is surely the case since the ground had not yet been installed when the effectiveness of the coating was tested. The ground, it is said in the instructions, is for protection from lightning or the unlikely event of a household electrical short to the coating.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

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  12. #82
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    I've never tried it, so does anyone know if aluminum solder will stick to the aluminum tape?

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  13. #83
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    It is not practical to solder aluminum foil, and may be virtually impossible. Google "aluminum solder", and you'll see that what is available requires high heat and a system of getting past the layer of aluminum oxide that forms naturally on the surface of aluminum.

    But why insist on shielding with aluminum when copper foil is so easy to get, conforms nicely, and is easy to solder? And why not just use shielding paint which is really easy and effective?

    The other issue is that your connections to aluminum are going to be subject to corrosion and failure if direct mechanical connections loosen up in the future.

    If you know how to get on-line and use this forum, you know how to buy copper foil tape, or better yet, the tin plated copper foil tape.

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  14. #84
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    Thanks Rick, it was more of an academic question. I have used aluminum solder before for other things and it's a bit of a pain.

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    Thanks again for all the help everyone. Final update:

    Everything is working perfectly. After rewiring with shielded wire and then applying copper tape to shield all the cavities, the guitar sounds unbelievable. As I mentioned, I had some problems with the shielded wire touching my hot switch lugs, but once corrected, everything sounds great.

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    There you go. I also learned something here...I might take both of my strats and do exactly what you have done....and switch from aluminium to copper foil......

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  17. #87
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    On a strat pickguard, there is no need for the more expensive copper foil.
    There is no need to solder to the foil, since all the pots and switches sit on the foil.
    Heavy duty aluminum foil is cheap and easy to install on a pickguard, I do it on a regular basis.
    Foil in a cavity is a different matter, and needs to be copper, and something you can solder to, Or conductive paint.
    I use the heavy duty aluminum foil on the pickguard, and spray adhesive, It works great.
    I use conductive paint on the strat body cavity.
    IMO putting copper foil on a pickguard is just wasting good money, but if you like it, Though Unnecessary, it's fine by me!
    T
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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-27-2014 at 05:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Turner View Post
    The only problems with aluminum foil are 1) that you can't solder to it;
    Yes you can. Solder inside a drop of oil (I tried olive oil) . Not the nicest looking solder but it works.

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  19. #89
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okabass View Post
    Yes you can. Solder inside a drop of oil (I tried olive oil) . Not the nicest looking solder but it works.
    1) necrothread (not a big deal though, of course)

    2) I'm confused by the technique as it's described.

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    A bit scratching or abrasion may help, especially if the aluminium is old, dirty etc.. Put a couple drops of oil on aluminium at point you are going to solder. Then solder normally, the tip & solder inside the oil drop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okabass View Post
    A bit scratching or abrasion may help, especially if the aluminium is old, dirty etc.. Put a couple drops of oil on aluminium at point you are going to solder. Then solder normally, the tip & solder inside the oil drop.
    Sounds dubious. Will try it

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Quote Originally Posted by okabass View Post
    A bit scratching or abrasion may help, especially if the aluminium is old, dirty etc.. Put a couple drops of oil on aluminium at point you are going to solder. Then solder normally, the tip & solder inside the oil drop.
    Rick Turner was referring to aluminum FOIL not a piece of aluminum metal. FWIW when I was HVAC service manager at Walnut Creek Sheet Metal in the 90's I had a really nice articulating 7 foot step/extension ladder which got damaged. While everybody said that it could not be welded our #1 welder did a great job repairing it (he first showed me how he could weld on the top of an aluminum coke can!)

    Steve A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    Rick Turner was referring to aluminum FOIL not a piece of aluminum metal.

    Steve A.
    So did I. I understand that we're just talking aluminiumfoil (shielding). Look the pic.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/3yu1zsl3j6....54-2.jpg?dl=0
    I'm not an expert, but I think aluminium has welded for decades.

    Sorry to ask. But you have a finnish surname. Finnish ancestors?

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    Found this:

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