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Winding 1st pickup tonight - a few questions


 
10/20/2004 2:57 PM
Glenn Winding 1st pickup tonight - a few questions
Been coming here since early this year and am finally going to take a whack at it - just finished a little jig to hold an old manually operated drill.  
 
It's a dead AM Std Strat pickup with south polarity which was in the middle. Going to try to get as much 42 on it as I can and hope it'll be near 7 K - haven't made turn counter yet. It's not going to be in the set it came from, but I have a few questions.  
 
1) Starting the wire  
This will be hand guided. Do you wrap the wire through the eyelet hole a few times and then tape the loose end out of the way: or do you just tape the loose end out of the way (leaving plenty) and start to wind saving the eyelet operation until you're finished winding?  
 
2) Clockwise vs counterclockwise  
Something tells me that when using two pickups at once there's less noise if they have opposite polarity and have the coils wound in opposite directions. I can tell right from left, and CW from CCW. Say you have 3 Strat pickups for example - should the neck and bridge have the same ploarity and same winding direction, and the middle opposite polarity and opposite winding direction (assuming standard 5-way switch)?  
 
 
3) Is the starting point always "ground" or "hot"?  
Back to the Strat...if the N and B pickups are north and wound CW, the M pickup should be south and wound CCW. Does this mean that the left eyelet on N and B is hot (where the coil started) and that the right eyelet on the M pickup is also hot? I'm guessing that current runs from hot to ground.  
 
4) Is simply reversing the leads the same as changing winding direction? I think it works if it sounds funny, but I don't know if there's something else going on since that would make a difference with the coil being effectively wound from the outside in.
 
10/20/2004 5:52 PM
Glenn
And, as you may have guessed, any tips on soldering the wire when it breaks? It's solderon.
 
 
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10/20/2004 6:07 PM
jason lollar
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I only have a few minutes and know you are fooling around winding so  
2) Clockwise vs counterclockwise  
Something tells me that when using two pickups at once there's less noise if they have opposite polarity and have the coils wound in opposite directions. I can tell right from left, and CW from CCW. Say you have 3 Strat pickups for example - should the neck and bridge have the same ploarity and same winding direction, and the middle opposite polarity and opposite winding direction (assuming standard 5-way switch)?  
 
Middle would be reverse from the neck and bridge  
 
3) Is the starting point always "ground" or "hot"?  
Back to the Strat...if the N and B pickups are north and wound CW, the M pickup should be south and wound CCW. Does this mean that the left eyelet on N and B is hot (where the coil started) and that the right eyelet on the M pickup is also hot? I'm guessing that current runs from hot to ground.  
 
The inside of the coil is normally ground on fenders, if you have been hanging for a year you would have read alot of discussion about that.  
 
4) Is simply reversing the leads the same as changing winding direction? I think it works if it sounds funny, but I don't know if there's something else going on since that would make a difference with the coil being effectively wound from the outside in.  
 
the results will be the same - look up the same subject for comments on fender type pickups about magnets shorting to the coil.
 
10/20/2004 8:18 PM
Dave Stephens
My first strat pickup I did the same thing, wound as much frigging wire as I could get on the bobbin, well you should probably do it for the experience but it will pretty much give you a not so great sounding pickup. Might work for the bridge but not other positions. Strat pickups with 42 wire start to choke themselves at that range....
 
10/20/2004 11:22 PM
Paul D.
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I think that "simply reversing the leads" is NOT the same as changing winding direction. I think you need to flip the coil over to achieve this. Am I correct?  
Cheers,  
-Paul
 
10/21/2004 11:07 AM
Glenn
Thanks for all the replies.  
 
Still not finished, but haven't snapped the wire since under 1K. I guess the increased amount of wire acts as a cushion, so it's more likely to break early on.  
 
I doubt if it gets to 7K - read where someone recommended that for a middle pickup, and also read somewhere else that 7K is about all you can get on a Strat bobbin. I'm guessing that this being my first one it'll be kind of loose and not reach 7K.  
 
As far as previously asked questions, I don't remember everything I read. This forum doesn't have any archives or search function that I know of - if it did I'd spend a lot of time there. Anyway, I've started printing some threads for future reference before they fall of the end.  
 
Thanks again to all for the input.
 
10/21/2004 1:43 PM
Mark Hammer
email

You asked about soldering. For stripping, I use a piece of folded over emery paper, #400 grit or higher. I pinch the loose end lightly with the emery paper, using my thumb and index and draw the wire through. A few passes usually strips it.  
 
Once stripped I try to tin it over a dark background so I can see it better. A piece of black bristol board or construction paper works fine.  
 
Once the two loose end are tinned, I gently twist them together and solder the whole thing. Since there is greater pressure on the wire at the ends of the coil than at the mid-turn, try to situate your solder join near the middle so that it doesn't tear when you start it up again. Perhaps equally important, the solder joint will have less chance of distorting the shape of the coil when it is situated in the zone where the wire has the most play.  
 
The stop and starts of tears and solder joints increases the risk of microphonics. So even if you aren't going to pot the whole pickup, it's a good idea to try and fix/stabilize the area where the solder joint is. Personally, I just hold a candle over the coil, point a heat gun at it and let the drops seep into the coil with a low heat setting. Not the most professional or thorough method, but it works fine for one-offs.  
 
I can usually wind coils as high as 8.5k using #41 wire (ticker than #42 and lower linear DC resistance), though higher than that gets tricky. I find the key is being able to distribute the wire evenly across the coil as you wind. That's why I like to handwind against a dark background so I can more easily see where I'm feeding the wire right this second.
 
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