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Old 26th April 2002, 06:48 AM   #11
haldor is offline haldor  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Hi Travis,

About your guitar wiring, checkout this website, there is quite a bit of info on wiring and shielding body cavities there that may interest you.

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/

Don't worry about not taking notes, there are lots of websites with wiring diagrams for just about every commercially produced guitar out there. If you need a particular guitar wiring diagram, just do a google search on it.

I have wired/shielded numerous bass guitars in the last few years for a friend of mine who makes custom basses. My favorite shielding material is a dimpled copper RFI shielding tape made by 3M. The glue on this tape is conductive so you don't have to worry about maintaining an electrical connection from one piece to another (just overlap them). Since it's copper, you can easily solder a ground wire to it. Normally this stuff is pretty expensive ($30 a roll), by I lucked into a few cases cheap at an employee surplus gear auction.

You can use the aluminum metal tape from the Home Centers, but be aware the glue is not conductive and overlapping the tape doesn't make a solid connection. What I found works best with this tape is to use a center punch and make a series of dimples in the metal tape in the overlap areas. That makes a good mechanical and electrical connection between the different pieces of tape. Note: It is virtually impossible to solder a wire to the aluminum tape.

Comments about your educational ambitions. You will learn many useful facts and concepts in school about electronics, but you will learn very little about how actual commercially produced products are designed. The idea in schools is to give you the analytical skills to help you learn on the job. Unless you are very lucky, almost none of what you learn will be directed at audio gear.

To give you an example I am a BSEE and there was very little in my formal training that covered the fundemental design principles embodied in the typical solid state amp. We didn't even study the long tailed pair input topography (which is the most commonly used input design in op-amps). Needless to say things like Miller capacitance was never even mentioned. It is interesting now ready op-amp spec sheet that show the internal schematic of the op-amp. Since started studying audio design on my own (at places like this website), I now understand more about what is going on inside the op-amps.

I don't say these things to suggest you not go to school. Going to school for electronics is an extremely good idea that will help you get a meaningfull career in electronics. Just don't go in thinking that when you graduate you will be prepared to sit down and design a high power audio amp or any other complicated piece of equipment. The specific learning only really starts once you get out of school.

P.S. I strongly suggest you enroll in your schools co-op program. This is a great way to get real work experiance in your future field (along with some cash to help pay for school). Having some real world experiance can help you get more out of your classes. I know that my employer (along with many others) prefer to hire engineering students with co-op experiance over those with none.

Phil Ouellette
Senior Engineer
Mettler-Toledo, Inc.
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