Static discharge through a microphone on a pulpit

FAQ #3137 Updated January 08, 2010

Question:

What can be done about static popping that occurs when the minister walks across the stage floor and touches the mic? He wears a robe and leather shoes. The problem gets worse during cold weather when the humidity is lower. The mic cable, the shielding, and the floor plate are all OK.

Answer:

The problem is static electricity. When it is cold, the heat is on and the air dries up. A person walks up to the microphone on carpet, builds up a charge on his body, and the charge is discharged through the microphone because the mic's metal body is grounded via the mic cable.

 

FYI - All wired mics are grounded via the mic cable.

A wireless mic would not typically have this problem as it is not grounded. Though a static discharge can occur if the wireless mic body has a substantially lower charge potential than the body of the person touching the mic. 

A foam windscreen placed grill might help stop the static from discharging through the mic grill, though touching the mic body will still cause a discharge.

Try an anti-static mat placed on the floor near the mic that will discharge the static when a person stands on it. Or a grounded metal touch plate on the lectern that will also discharge the static build-up.

 

Adding a humidifier near the microphone can ease static build-up. 

Finally, not touching the mic will end this problem.

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