Where did I go wrong

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lighterfluid97, May 16, 2018 at 10:55 PM.

  1. lighterfluid97

    lighterfluid97 Member

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    Hey all :)

    So I am attempting to rewire my Dean Z (explorer shape) guitar using a simple EVH-style wiring; one pickup, one volume, one output jack. I finished the soldering but am suprised that I am getting no signal. Could you guys take a look at this and maybe give me some ideas as to where I dropped the ball? My best guess is that I burned out the potentiometer or the jack.
    If any of you have trouble viewing the pictures, please let me know.

    Thanks everyone!
     

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  2. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Soldering doesn't seem to be your thing.
    And neither does taking pictures.
    :D

    Can't say for sure but you might have "melt/burnt" the wires.
    Don't worry some wise-man will come and help.
    I'm just a wise-ass.
    :thumb:
     
  3. lighterfluid97

    lighterfluid97 Member

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    Some better pictures of the jack and the whole wiring scheme
     

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  4. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    fumblefinger and scott 351 wins like this.
  5. lighterfluid97

    lighterfluid97 Member

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    Curious then, what constitutes a "good connection"?
     
  6. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    least amount of solder that covers the wire. Smooth not splotchy or patchy or volcanic.

    Like this -
    Capture.JPG

    You have way too much solder and it doesn't flow - cold joint and is all pointy. I do not know much about soldering and just googled this image. You need a solder sucker as chasenblues says. If you do not do much then just try and clean off as much as you can and start over.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  7. lighterfluid97

    lighterfluid97 Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    So, just to confirm, it doesn't look like the pot or jack is damaged? I understand that it may be hard to tell just from photographs.
     
  8. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Here is another pic of a decent soldering job. IMO for what that's worth. Minimal solder is best.
    Capture.JPG

    Can't tell whether it's damaged or not. If you got them too hot they could be fried! Again I am no expert but good soldering is not hard to tell from bad.

    Good luck.

    Regards Peter.
     
    Rotorhead likes this.
  9. lighterfluid97

    lighterfluid97 Member

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    Thank you, Peter!
     
  10. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    One that works..:naughty:

    Q1lZrpF2.jpg


    Seriously though it shouldn't take much solder to make a good connection.

    [​IMG]
    PC036798.JPG
     
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  11. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    Well the problem could be that you've used so much solder that you grounded something you shouldn't have. For instance - the jack needs to be kept as two separate pieces of metal, one grounded, one hot. Not just all globbed together. The good thing is you can take it apart and clean it down and start over. In this instance I don't think it's possible to bake a jack.

    I think you might do better to grab a fresh pot if it turns out that it's the pot that's the issue. Otherwise the pickup wire colours don't really seem to match the diagram from your photos. :hmm::hmm:

    I wouldn't worry too much about the soldering beauty contest. I go with whatever works. It's a guitar, not a super-computer.
     
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  12. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    That could be something also..Who's/what brand pickup are you using? Do you have the correct wiring color code.
     
  13. lighterfluid97

    lighterfluid97 Member

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    Yeah, its a Dimarzio so thats why the colors are off
     
  14. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    Looks like there is solder from the hot lead on the jack touching the ground ring on the jack. Could just be the pic though. Pull the wires from the jack and test the leads with a multi-meter. If you get values on the meter, then get a new jack and try again.
     
  15. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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  16. cmjohnson

    cmjohnson Senior Member

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    Cold solder joints. Iron not hot enough/powerful enough for the job. May also be caused by dirty terminals and connections.

    A good solder joint is smooth and shiny.

    Clean parts and adequate heat with good quality solder = good joints.

    The Seymour Duncan website has what I consider the definitive guide to wiring up most any combination of pickups and controls.
     
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  17. fumblefinger

    fumblefinger Senior Member

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    Unfortunately the look tells a lot about how good the solder flowed, which indicates how hot the surface got. Nice smooth puddle indicates the surface got hot enough for the solder to "flow".

    I'd hazard a guess that you aren't getting enough heat to the surfaces for good flow. Than means you need to let the surface heat before trying to apply solder.

    You should "tin" the wires first. Put the iron tip under the wire and touch the solder on top of the wire until it melts. This will be easier to get to meld solidly.

    Did you sand the area on the pot? And then "tin" it also, using a bit of flux. Build a nice pad of solder on the pot. Once this is done, it's much easier to get things to attach to each other.

    Here's some helpful links:
    https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/references/how-to-solder#preparing
    https://www.circuitspecialists.com/blog/solder-tips-for-beginners/
    https://www.howtogeek.com/63630/how-to-use-a-soldering-iron-a-beginners-guide/
     
  18. Kaicho8888

    Kaicho8888 Senior Member

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    From the pictures, it looks like the jack's hot lug is shorted to the shield due to too much solder.

    Yeah...redo the solder as others mentioned...less is good...shinny solder is good.
     
  19. emoney

    emoney Senior Member

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    As a related side note; get thinner wire. I fought the thick stuff, along with a too weak iron, early on
    in my learning to build process. I can't even express the difference it made when I bought a stronger
    iron, and started using much thinner solder.
     
  20. fretman_2

    fretman_2 Senior Member

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    You'll get better at soldering with practice. Solder blobs can be a nightmare as they can easily short your signal to ground. If you can't seem to find the ground point with your naked eye, get a magnifying glass, or a 10X loupe. Also, follow your signal path into or out of the guitar along the wires. You might spot it there and that'll be good troubleshooting practice too!

    Generally, components are pretty tough and can take a good bit of heat. I've built lots of tube guitar amps, ham radio projects, and wired a few guitars too and I can't ever remember burning up a component with my soldering iron. Repeated heating can take its toll though no doubt.
     

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