What is a ground loop?

By Plumonium

11 months ago


  • 8 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by Neal_W
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


Search this topic for posts matching certain words or written by a specific Pinsider. Or both!

Linked Games

#1 11 months ago

I saw the expression in some thread and I'm wondering what it means when installing ground braid. In this case, it was about avoiding ground loop around the door hardware.


#2 11 months ago

I suppose it depends on context. Could be a physical loop hanging down somewhere, or could be an electrical "loop" of wire tying board grounds together with cabinet grounds.

#3 11 months ago

A loop is when you create multiple paths to ground for the same connector. The loop can pick up unwanted current via induction.

If your coin door is already grounded, don't connect ground braid to it. DO make sure it's properly grounded.

#4 11 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

If your coin door is already grounded, don't connect ground braid to it.

As my ground will connect with one of the bolt from the door frame, I guess I should avoid connect the ground braid to it as well (the one to the door directly with the tubing around)

#5 11 months ago

The ground braid is a safety ground, and usually not a part of a circuit ground. A pinball machine can operate fine without the ground braid, it's purpose is to make sure that you don't become a part of the ground path for high voltage in the event of a short circuit.

A ground loop is when there are multiple paths to ground and they are not all at the same potential. Ground loops can be anywhere in the system, not just the same connector Problems such as noise in audio systems are caused by ground loops, as noise immunity in amplifier inputs is compromised. Star grounding is one method to combat ground loops. Star grounding is connecting all circuit grounds to the same point, so that they are all at the same electrical potential.

#6 11 months ago

Every metal part that the player could possibly have contact with at some point, needs to be connected to the ground braid. Legs, rails, lockdown, speaker grills.....

That way, those metal parts are a better path to ground than you are.

#7 11 months ago

Ground loops don't involve induction.

#8 11 months ago

[Safety definition] Maybe in the pinball community there is a tongue and cheek definition of a ground loop referring to the ground braid that loops everywhere in the cabinet to ground all metal parts for safety.

[Noise definition] In the electronics trade, we refer to a ground loop as a multi point ground in interconnected systems that generates unwanted AC noise on audio, video, and other sensitive circuits.


Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 36.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 40.00
Lighting - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
From: $ 14.95
1,950 (OBO)
Sale Pending!
Canfield, OH
$ 18.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
2,000 (OBO)
Machine - For Sale
Orlando, FL
$ 17.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
From: $ 42.00
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 17.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
$ 12.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 90.00
Lighting - Under Cabinet
Rock Custom Pinball
$ 38.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 46.99
Lighting - Interactive
Lee's Parts
$ 29.99
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
Lighted Pinball Mods


Note: This is an old thread. The last post was made to it 354 days ago. Resurrecting old threads is not necessarily a bad thing, if you think the topic is still relevant and/or your post is beneficial to it (e.g. following up on something). In other cases, it might be better to create a new topic.

Wanna join the discussion? Sign up for a Pinside account, or log in if you already have an account.