Shielding

One of the ways in which I hope to build a zero-hum guitar is by shielding all the electronics. What does this mean?

Electromagnetic shielding is used to block radio frequency electromagnetic radiation using barriers made of conductive materials. Shielding is typically applied to enclosures to isolate electrical devices from the outside world, which in my case means to reduce hum picked up from sources like electric motors (in my fridge), neon lights, AC hum, etc.

This conductive enclosure is also known as a Faraday cage. I am attempting to build a Faraday cage around the guts of the guitar in the hopes that stray electromagnetic signals will be kept out. In addition, I hope that by connecting things to the Faraday cage, i can avoid building in ground loops, since everything will be grounded to the cage.

To build this cage, I have coated the body cavity and the underside of the pickguard with conductive copper tape.

IMG_2341

 

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When mated, these surfaces will form the cage.

A note about the copper tape: if you do what I have done, you need to make sure the adhesive on the tape is also conductive otherwise you may be in for a big surprise. The only place I could find copper tape with a conductive adhesive was at Stewart MacDonald. I bought this kit. I think there is enough tape here to tape what I have taped twice over!

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