Getting electrocuted

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Getting electrocuted

Postby tcsned » Mon May 07, 2012 7:35 pm

OK, there's a bar we play 3 or 4 times a year and the last three times I've played there I've been betting electrocuted by the mic. It doesn't happen anywhere else I play. I'm trying to figure out what the f*** is going on before my next date with the executioner.

Here's my evidence so far.
- I only remembering this happening since I got my guitar with the UGB/OBEL - this seems like a prime candidate (but hasn't happened at any other place I've played)
- I've got a Korg rack tuner with a ground plug snapped off (it's run out of my Lexicon and not in the signal path but electrically connected.
- My power supply has a replaced plug (I did it, but it's wired correctly)
- I use a wall wart power supply for my Mutron
- then a SMS CTP to a Mosvalve
- both the vocal mic and the amp mic are condenser mics

The club was built in the 40s-50s and is about what you'd expect for a place that age - fresh paint is probably all that's holding it up. It has grounded plugs - but I can't guarantee that it actually is connected to ground.

I had another guitar but didn't test it out, the gig was a little chaotic and I wasn't thrilled about testing that theory by shocking myself again :idea: it didn't seem like it was gonna kill me but it was more intense this past weekend than I remembered. Like I said, it's only happened at this bar . . .

Any clues anyone?

Signed,
Barbecued in Blacksburg
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby playingdead » Mon May 07, 2012 7:47 pm

I doubt it's the guitar. If everything in your signal chain -- amp, effects, wall warts -- is all connected to the same source (do you use a power conditioner), then it's a mismatch between the house sound system ground and your rig. When you touch your guitar neck, and your lip touches the mic, you complete the circuit and get zapped. See if they can use a direct box with a ground lift between the microphone and the snake. It may or may not help.

The simplest thing you can do is just put a foam windscreen on the microphone.
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby strumminsix » Mon May 07, 2012 7:48 pm

Every singer should have a wind cover in their gig bag for just such an occasion.

that cures the symptom only though..
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby mkaufman » Mon May 07, 2012 7:59 pm

Yes - use a wind screen.

btw..electrocution = death

Fortunately, you were not electrocuted, only shocked.

It's most likely a grounding issue in the mic chain. Go to Radio Shack and purchase a line tester - they're cheap! You plug it in and it has color coded lights to tell you if the outlet is wired correctly. I suspect you'll find the culprit.

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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby easytoslip » Tue May 08, 2012 1:51 am

blech, I got zapped on the lip a few times at a fest I played in GA a few years ago. Where do you get a foam windscreen? google I suppose is gonna be the answer
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby hippieguy1954 » Tue May 08, 2012 4:41 am

easytoslip wrote:blech, I got zapped on the lip a few times at a fest I played in GA a few years ago. Where do you get a foam windscreen? google I suppose is gonna be the answer

Ouch! You can get them at any music store. Different colors too! :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby alcorelectric » Tue May 08, 2012 4:55 am

1. Get an extension cord 2' or 3' long with a GFI outlet on 1 end
2. Plug into the house power
3. connect each piece of equipment
4. see which one trips your GFI
more than likely the clubs power is not grounded
HTH
T
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby Lephty » Tue May 08, 2012 8:35 am

Not sure if this is the best solution, but I've just about always been able to resolve this kind of problem by making sure that my guitar rig is plugged into the same circuit that is powering the PA system.
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby strumminsix » Tue May 08, 2012 8:45 am

While wireless I once got shocked which had never happened before.

An electrician dude said the system was ungrounded and look for a ground. Worst shock of my life. Lips physically hurt, not just shocked.
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby tcsned » Tue May 08, 2012 9:25 am

strumminsix wrote:While wireless I once got shocked which had never happened before.

An electrician dude said the system was ungrounded and look for a ground. Worst shock of my life. Lips physically hurt, not just shocked.

Strummin' sounds what I was experiencing - I've been shocked my mics before and it was an annoyance, this was different - it was pretty intense. I could also feel it on the guitar (probably my fingers going on and off the strings). Next time we're there I'll try to borrow a voltmeter and test the ground on stage is actually a ground. :shock:

It sure made it hard to remember lyrics after getting blasted in the middle of a verse a few times, not that I need a lot help forgetting words. :D
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby Pete B. » Tue May 08, 2012 9:52 am

Get an "Outlet Tester" (do a Google Search) and use it at gigs.
Test every outlet on stage and put duct tape across the ones that don't give a green light, so no-one uses them.
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby tcsned » Tue May 08, 2012 10:00 am

Thanks Pete, one of my co-workers mentioned those too. That sounds pretty darn easy to use.
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby jeffm725 » Tue May 08, 2012 10:46 am

been there........ been knocked on my ass by a mic shock before, bass player saw an electrical arc between my lips and the mic as I was being blown back. Not a pleasant experience. For the rest of the night I had like a brain dead hangover like I just sucked 50 nitrous balloons or something. I tried everything (including many things recommended in this thread) and always got some sort of shock in this room........it was the faulty room wiring, we simply started playing a different room in town. Problem solved :lol:
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby strumminsix » Tue May 08, 2012 12:00 pm

I have read this also works:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Rapco-Horiz ... 1534352.gc

Been pondering this for a while now.
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Re: Getting electrocuted

Postby mijknahs » Tue May 08, 2012 12:12 pm

The last time that happened to me (a couple months ago), I flipped the ground switch on my Twin (changed the polarity) and the problem went away.


Jim
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