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Ground loop

Caused when multiple grounding points are used in a multi component system. Many stray electrical currents are flowing through the car chassis, as a result of the grounding of different electrical components in the car. If both ends of a braided shield are grounded, or if multi-component systems are grounded independently, electrical currents in the vicinity of the ground connections will take the path of least resistance to the other end, which is over the shield (or audio cables) rather than through the higher resistance of the ground. When an electrical current flows through a conductor (the braided shield or audio cables in this case), magnetic forces expand and contract around the conductor. This is the condition that exists when multiple grounding points are used. This induced current is what causes the noise on a system (generally seen as high-frequency oscillations on an oscilloscope).


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