Grounded Macbook
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  1. #1
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    Default Grounded Macbook

    I use a 13" Macbook Air, which has a 45W MagSafe charger.

    This charger comes with 2 power conectors, one big cable that is grounded and a little adapter which is not grounded.

    How important is grounding the Macbook while playing? Is it ok to not use the grounded cable?

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Typically it's good to ground any electrical device. But if you ever hear a hum in your audio, it's worth a try to switch out to the ungrounded adapter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nem0nic View Post
    Typically it's good to ground any electrical device. But if you ever hear a hum in your audio, it's worth a try to switch out to the ungrounded adapter.
    Really? Just before reading "ungrounded adapter" I could swear you would say "grounded adapter". I didn't know the ground wire could cause hum. Thanks for the info.
    13" Macbook Air i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD | Traktor 2.7.1 | Ableton Live 9 | DJM-900 Nexus | NI Audio 10 | A&H Xone:K2 | Oyaide USB & RCA | HDJ-2000 | Odyssey BRLDIGITAL Bag

  4. #4
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    i was under the impression that as long as they were all at the same potential to ground (same circuit) then it would decrease the chances of a hum?

  5. #5
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    Grounding can cause a hum for 2 common reasons. First, you can have a ground loop. In any DJ booth-type situation, there are going to be multiple paths to ground. And multiple potentials, creating a ground loop. This manifests itself as a constant hum that is the frequency of your AC waveform (audio samples here).

    Second, a lot of devices will dump "noise" down a ground line. This is usually switching noise (like a refrigeration unit or a fog machine) or otherwise poor electrical design on devices attached to that ground. This can manifest itself and any kind of crazy noise - from morse code sounding chattering to tweeter popping snaps and woofer blowing pops. I had a computer once that was super quiet unless I used the trackpad - in which case it would chatter like R2D2 having a stroke. Thanks HP.

    So yeah, sometimes dropping the ground is a good way to go. But hey, I also like not getting shocked. So my rule of thumb is only drop ground if you are addressing a noise issue. And then only until you figure out a better solution. In the US, there are some great products that can fix ground loops without fucking up your audio quality or dropping the ground (Ebtech HumX for example).

  6. #6
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    Actually, you mean "lift" the ground. Meaning to not ground. Dropping the ground, technically, means to ground something. Just didn't want any confusion. Always ground electronics and sound gear. If there's a hum then you can cycle though testing your gear until you find the "culprit" of the loop and lift it's ground.
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  7. #7
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    So am I crazy to not ground my macbook? Or is it just something you should do to be extra protective, cus that grounded macbook cable sucks lol
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  8. #8

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    yah i never noticed a grounded cable for my MBP.... been using ungrounded for a year now....
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  9. #9
    Tech Wizard Observer Fx's Avatar
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    interesting topic
    im also surprised to read the grounded cable can cause hum
    will be testing out on this
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