How Do I Check That My Motherboard Is Properly Grounded?

Discussion in 'CPU, Motherboards and Memory' started by ricecrispies, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. ricecrispies

    ricecrispies Geek Trainee

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    How do I check that my motherboard is properly grounded? I am getting unwanted sounds in audio recorded via my USB audio interface, especially from sources connected to external devices with their own power cords (e.g. my bass amp), and I am trying to see whether some problem with grounding of the motherboard or other components is to blame. I have been trying to bridge various places on my case to ground with a voltmeter, but I can't find anywhere on the case that isn't painted, and in any case I'm not knowledgeable enough to know whether the case being grounded would automatically mean that the motherboard was grounded too. On the other hand I don't want to ignorantly poke my voltmeter in the wrong place and damage the computer. Can anyone tell me what I am supposed to do? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ghostman 1

    Ghostman 1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Who built this computer ? Make sure the Spacers are in place... If your computer has the right spacers then It should be Grounded ..
     
  3. ricecrispies

    ricecrispies Geek Trainee

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    Thanks for replying. I was the one who installed the motherboard. I took care to do it properly, so based on what you have said, I should be pretty confident that it is grounded correctly. I'm actually starting to suspect that my problem may be in some other audio equipment on the basis of some experiments I have just been doing, perhaps my DI box. I think my next step will be to ask a friend who knows about electronics and sound.
     
  4. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    If the spacers are touching something they shouldn't, you'd more than likely would short the motherboard.

    You do want to make sure that the cabling of the DI box USB and power cables as well as the cables to the bass amp and bass itself aren't crossing over each other and see if that helps. Might have some interference there. Might be some settings with your DAW or the DI box that may affect the unwanted noise.
     
  5. ricecrispies

    ricecrispies Geek Trainee

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    Thanks for your reply. I did some further experimentation yesterday and I realised that the problems only occurs when the bass amp and the DI box are both connected together to a computer (the problems with other devices only occur when the amp and DI box are connected to the audio interface's other input). However I don't get the problem when I connect the bass amp through its XLR output to a computer without using the DI box, I don't get the unwanted noises.

    I have two computers, a desktop and a laptop. and I get unwanted noises using either computer with the bass amp and DI box (although their are peculiarities in the noises for each computer), however one big difference is that when I turn on ground lift on the DI box when it is connected to the desktop, I get a loud mains hum through the bass amp, but when it is connected to the laptop I don't get it. Does this tell me that there is something wrong with my desktop, or does it simply tell me that the desktop is grounded and that the fault lies elsewhere?
     
  6. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    You said you have problems when you have the DI box and AMP together? Might want to make sure the jack is tight on the amp and the cable is in good condition. Might even try a second cable there.

    I don't think the PC's have any issues here, so I'd look at the amp and DI box. If they're not on a surge protector and your PC's are, that may play some role as well.
     

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