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Hello friends. Finished my build - I'm pleased with the woodwork and fit/finish, but have failed to wire the thing correctly. I'm getting a weak signal from the pickups and all kinds of staticky noise and hum. I have some woodworking experience, but I will certainly admit to being an absolute novice at electronics and wiring. What I'm hoping is that you guys might tell me the right order to troubleshoot this problem and get this thing wired up and running. I went down to Harbor Freight and bought an inexpensive multimeter, so I have that if needed.

I think my soldering is adequate - a little messy but nothing seems to be loose or poorly connected. Pickups are Duncan P-Rails (with triple shot rings);  the four leads from each pickup are soldered to the correct (color coded) four terminals on the triple shot rings, then the two leads from each triple shot ring are soldered to the pots, selector switch, and output jack, according to a wiring diagram from Duncan's website. To ground the bridge, I ran a wire up from across the bodies of both pots and fanned out the strands so that they are being squeezed between the top of the guitar and the bridge. I scraped the paint off the bottom of the bridge plate so there would be a fresh metal contact, but I don't know if the strings are making contact with the metal of the saddles or just the black paint. Is that an issue? And how can I use the meter to see if it is indeed grounding? Do I have to scrape the paint off the saddles? The bottoms of the height adjusting allen screws? And how can i test this with my meter? It's a little depressing to have built this solid and relatively pretty guitar and not be able to use it...but I need to get it right, and sure could use help deciding what to test and how to test it. A logical order of steps. Rank Amateur with the electronics - thanks in advance for your patience! 

As I said, I'm getting a weak signal from the pickups with the volume pot turned all the way up. Touching the strings increases the hum slightly...touching the metal around the selector switch increases the hum a lot, and touching the metal of the output jack and the tip of the cord inside the body cavity increases hum. 

If anyone can tell me what to try and the order to try things, I'd be most grateful. Thank you! I'm sorry  I can't show any better photos. Nothing is going right. Boo hoo.P1020880.jpeg.4275434b385d236961f47c5c5b0c0876.jpegIMG_0538.jpeg.165c9cf4c67936220381f655e7bf724e.jpeg

IMG_0546.jpeg

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I'm as good as you when it comes to electronics...

Double check your jack wiring! I had a similar issue with less complicated pickups and no matter how many times I had read the diagrams I managed to solder the two wires to the jack wrong. Another place to double check is the switch, there's also a possibility to mix the ground and hot wires.

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On 5/12/2021 at 12:25 AM, Rudi said:

To ground the bridge, I ran a wire up from across the bodies of both pots and fanned out the strands so that they are being squeezed between the top of the guitar and the bridge. I scraped the paint off the bottom of the bridge plate so there would be a fresh metal contact, but I don't know if the strings are making contact with the metal of the saddles or just the black paint. Is that an issue? And how can I use the meter to see if it is indeed grounding? Do I have to scrape the paint off the saddles? The bottoms of the height adjusting allen screws? And how can i test this with my meter?

I'm no genius at wiring either, but this part I can help with .Set your meter to ohms (continuity) and place one contact on the bridge saddle and the other on anything in the control cavity that is grounded, those pots would maybe be best. with your meter on tone you should get a tone or beep if you have continuity between the saddles and the pots. If it beeps your strings will be grounded just as they are. I've used black painted bridges several times and have no problem with the strings being grounded through the painted saddles.  You should run the same test between the the ground lug on your jack and everything else in the control cavity that is supposed to be grounded.

I'm interested in the outcome here as I'm considering using the same pickup and rings on my next build.

SR

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If you want help with electronics, it would certainly help if you posted pics of the electronics.

Especially the back of the toggle switch, the connections there, I want to see that.

The cavity too.

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