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Sparks When plugging Out 1 to Audio Interface

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  • Sparks When plugging Out 1 to Audio Interface

    I just got the bluebox and a handful of some other gear. I was plugging Out 1 from the bluebox into dual TS inputs on my audio interface and there was a spark and and pop/hissing sound from some other piece of gear. Previously I tried to do this same thing but connecting the bluebox to a rack mixer in a similar way and it did the same thing but damaged several inputs on the bluebox and outputs on the connected synths. I had the bluebox replaced thinking it was caused by the mixer but now I’m not sure what is causing it and I’ve never seen this happen before in general.

  • #2
    Something sounds seriously wrong with your setup. Given the normal voltages involved +/-10V, it should never be possible to see a spark. I observed the bluebox undergo ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) testing. I saw sparks there with a probe throwing off a few thousand volts. The unit is rated to withstand up to 4,000 volts when it comes to static electricity.

    Maybe there is something wrong with the electrical wiring in your studio?

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    • #3
      That’s what I’m starting to think as well. I’m going to try and get an electrician to look at my studio space and make sure nothings wrong. (I have a feeling something is wrong.)

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      • #4
        You have a grounding issue. Since the bluebox itself has a floating supply, it must be a ground difference between your interface and something else plugged into the bb. Grab a voltmeter and check for a voltage difference between the output sleeves on your other gear and your interface. It could be a badly wired socket or, badly grounded gear.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RC Prime View Post
          You have a grounding issue. Since the bluebox itself has a floating supply, it must be a ground difference between your interface and something else plugged into the bb. Grab a voltmeter and check for a voltage difference between the output sleeves on your other gear and your interface. It could be a badly wired socket or, badly grounded gear.
          This is good to know. I have a feeling it’s a badly wired socket because this happened with a rack mixer as well when connecting to the same audio interface. But we will find out for sure because I’m getting an electrician to come look at the sockets.

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          • #6
            Confirmed today with an electrician that none of my outlets in my studio were grounded. People who flipped the house rigged the outlets so it would fake out the inspectors tests to appear grounded. Getting that fixed and I think this should clear up the problem.

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            • RC Prime
              RC Prime commented
              Editing a comment
              Hoo boy. Ethics are alive and well in the modern era. In some place I've never visited.

              Glad you're getting it fixed before anything tragic happened.
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