Just Friends: 1 - Metropolis: 0, a word of WARNING

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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Varthdader
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Post by Varthdader » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:56 am

If WR have any negative downfall it is only because they have failed to open up information about the issue.

Since this is hard/expensive to fix for a small outfit like them, they should at the very least release the diagrams/gerbers concerning the involved board so that the community could at least jerry-rig a hack/solution to the issue.

There are many capable individuals in these forums who could have turned this alarmingly dangerous problem into just a nuisance or even an opportunity for adventurous patchers to tackle.

But only if WR release the diagrams.

Open Source hardware is cool for many reasons, this being one!

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:59 am

mbartkow wrote:... unless there is no trace, but a whole area of copper in the inner layer?
That's why, per ultima, the core drill method will do the job. Period. Even if it's an interior copper plane of -12V, removing
a 2.5mm diameter hole around it will fix the problem. In the worst case you mangle the jack, if so, drill the hole bigger,
replace the jack with a new one, and flywire right thru the hole.

The only other possibility is that it's a surface mount jack (VERY RARE) - in which case simply remove the jack with
a hot air wand, remove the pad with an X-acto blade, reinstall with a piece of Kapton tape in there to make sure there's
no short, and bugwire the switch line to -12 volts thru a nice resistor.

At least, if I had a JF, that's what I'd do.... I'd rather risk mangling one already-defective module than risk destroying an arbitrary
number of modules somewhere into the future.

- Bill
Last edited by wsy on Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:00 am

double post
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

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L.C.O.
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Post by L.C.O. » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:43 am

PM33AUD wrote:
davidh wrote:someone can post a picture of the pcb where the jack is ?
I'd love to have a look as well. Furthermore, I offered to have a look in person for anyone that's local to Philly/S. Jersey and that offer still stands. I don't want to step on WR's toes but I hope folks don't mind having an experienced engineer having a look at the problem. It's all in good intent. :razz:
I wish you were located in Minneapolis!
I would be visiting your shop now!

Based on what WR tells me regarding a repair of the unit I bought from them (or a timeframe for the release of the "fixed" batch), I might send you mine if you are up for that!...

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Dcramer
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Post by Dcramer » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:08 pm

I don't have one of these modules.
Other than switching modes when a cable is plugged in, what does the run jack actually do? What kinds of signals go in there? Clocks? Triggers? :hmm:

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carvingcode
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Post by carvingcode » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:18 pm

Dcramer - Typically triggers of some sort, but audio as well. The Run jack is actually very significant. It, in combination with the 2 switches, it can produce some really useful things. See moudouroff's videos for details.

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Leverkusen
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Post by Leverkusen » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:25 pm

Typically CV I'd say - it changes the the point in a wave cycle where a reset takes place for example, stuff like tihs. Of course audio rate modulation is possible too for different shades of noise.

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:33 pm

If anyone in the Boston/Cambridge area has one of these and no fear of it being damaged, I'd love to have a look at it to see if I can see a way to fix it.

- Bill
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

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carvingcode
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Post by carvingcode » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:33 pm

double post

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atrostor
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Post by atrostor » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:31 pm

This is from Gil (Whimsical Raps) on lines forum:

"I'm currently in discussion with the manufacturers who've reported issues. I can't make promises before we have confirmed any kind of 'solution' actually solves the issue. I'm confident there is one, but please be patient - It's literally just me and Izzy out here!

I'll be responding to the dozens of emails I've received later today."

Edit: And the "Word of Warning" page on the Whimsical Raps website has been updated to read: "We're currently considering feasibility of a circuit-level modification to solve this issue."
Last edited by atrostor on Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Timmy
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Post by Timmy » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:08 pm

davidh wrote:someone can post a picture of the pcb where the jack is ?
Not my photos I don't own a JF), but posted here with permission of the photographer. The artistic modesty cover has obviously been removed from the rear of the module to permit these photos to be taken.



Image

Image

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PM33AUD
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Post by PM33AUD » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:42 pm

Hmm!

It looks like there are some inner plane pours, can't tell what they are from my 'xray' vision through soldermask and FR4. So if the -12V is indeed hidden and an outer trace simply cannot be cut then:

The jack should be removed and the lower leg for the switch contact bent under as IJ mentioned earlier. There is actually enough room for that bent lead to slip through since the grounding shell has some tabs that stand it off further from the edge of the plastic that this switch contact lead would bend around. Then put an insulator to the existing pad (thin fiberglass or etc.) so the bent lead cannot short to the existing pad ring. Or even better, put a small insulating strip/tubing around the jack lead before bending it so it cannot touch against the grounding shell of the jack or the exposed TH pad it used to reside. Some teflon tubing would probably be the easiest... wedge the lip of the tubing down between the jack contact lead and the body of the jack before bending the lead around. Then solder a small TH resistor to the nearest TH -12V or large SMD pad you can find.

If there are washers on the top of the jacks/pots for spacing, then remove those to get more clearance and get that jack higher up off the PCB. You may also be able to washer all other panel components to lift the panel up maybe 15-30 thou or so then unsolder this jack and don't install washer to get that extra clearance under the jack.

To desolder those jacks safely (safe not for the jack, but for the PCB/components which are very close), pick up a quad package SMT iron tip. You can probably find one that hits all 4 pads at once and that sucker will pull right out. R36 may have to be sacrificed. I'd likely even make a little jig of some sorts that threads onto the jack threads to make it easier to pull out of there with one hand. If you have to do a lot of em, you should make it easy on yourself. Put on some relaxing music!

It's very fortunate that jack is on the edge!!! Luck!

That's probably what I'd do as a fix. I think it's doable this way. I imagine it'd take about 30 minutes a pop once you get the process down if you are somewhat handy. I can't see it taking more than an hour worst-case unless I'm missing something, which is entirely possible!

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:27 pm

I concur with PM33AUD. It's eminently doable.

Also operating without X-ray eyes, but I'd wager $20 it's doable without pain.

In fact, another $20 says it's not a multilayer board either. Too much stuff is routed on the surface.

The three resistors around it (R95, R98, and R76) are all 010 - that's 1 ohm.

Since we know that there's no resistance at all to ground, the switch contact is either the south or west
terminal . If it's the south terminal, you're in luck; you probably won't even need to replace R98.

You could also ring it out; power up the module with nothing in the RUN jack and see which terminals are at -12 volts.... two
will be thus as the switch is closed.

Then put an otherwise-unconnected cord into RUN. Check again; only one terminal will be at -12 volts.... that's
our "victim terminal." Mark with a sharpie.

Pull the module apart so you can get to the front of the RUN jack. Use solder wick and remove the solder from
the three jack points (or soldersucker the solder if you have one).

Heat all three with iron/hot air gun. Remove jack. Fast way: clamp (gently!) a small set of vise-grips to the
jack, then hold the board horizontally with the vise grips hanging down. Heat terminals with a heat pen/heat
gun. The jack will drop free when all three solder joints melt.

Select a drill bit about 0.5 mm larger than the largest dimension of the slot (or hole) that the victim terminal uses.

Drill out / slot out that slot/hole so no copper remains.

Clip the offending terminal off the jack.

solder a 2.4Kohm thru-hole resistor to the remains of the clipped-off terminal.

Slide a 10mm piece of heatshrink over the resistor, down to cover the clipped-off terminal. Shrink.

If the heatshrink doesn't fully cover the terminal, put a couple layers of Kapton tape over the jack side of the hole
and punch a hole through it with a needle. Enlarge the hole if necessary to allow passage of the insulated
resistor and heat shrink insulating tube.

Slide the resistor thru the hole

Reseat jack into position. Before you solder, confirm that the jack terminal cannot be shorted to -12 by wiggling.

Solder jack. Solder other end of the 2.4Kohm resistor to a bugwire to -12 volts.

Test nekked module, including -12V killer current (or absence thereof)

Put front panel back on.

Put knobs back on.

Test "dressed" module.

Done.

(*) Worst case, the east pin of the jack is the switched contact. In that case, the drillout will destroy the connections
of R96 and R76 traces to -12V. You'd have to flywire those as well.

- Bill
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

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PM33AUD
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Post by PM33AUD » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:45 pm

A few things to add but yes it's doable!

01D is 100k, not 1 Ohm (which is 01R) and forms a divider with the 10k resistor. But this terminal doesn't matter.

The south pin is def the switch contact if the jacks are the same as the ones I've got here (they seem to be the same).

I'm certain it's a multilayer board (multilayer meaning >2 layers). I'll take your bet; I'm poor! :waah: You can see some of the copper through the SM and the fiberglass if you look at the top picture.

I like your version as well! Drilling through is not a bad idea but you really have to watch being clean and using proper speed and a sharp as shit bit else you can 'smear' that super thin copper inside the hole if you aren't careful. It should be fine though. This method would indeed be faster if the bit doesn't cut on through something else that may be close to that pad hidden on either side or inside the PCB.

I'm stealing that vice grip idea! I've never thought of that one before. Some needle nose VGs could be very handy for removing TH parts in the manner you describe. Make sure you're standing, not sitting, is probably important to remember. :ripbanana:

I'd still unsolder the jack with a SMD rework tip, however. Reheating boards is risky business without the right equipment esp for TH pads which are way greater thermal mass than any SMD part.

But excellent! Options!

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:26 pm

PM33AUD wrote:A few things to add but yes it's doable!

01D is 100k, not 1 Ohm (which is 01R) and forms a divider with the 10k resistor. But this terminal doesn't matter.

The south pin is def the switch contact if the jacks are the same as the ones I've got here (they seem to be the same).

I'm certain it's a multilayer board (multilayer meaning >2 layers). I'll take your bet; I'm poor! :waah: You can see some of the copper through the SM and the fiberglass if you look at the top picture.

I like your version as well! Drilling through is not a bad idea but you really have to watch being clean and using proper speed and a sharp as shit bit else you can 'smear' that super thin copper inside the hole if you aren't careful. It should be fine though. This method would indeed be faster if the bit doesn't cut on through something else that may be close to that pad hidden on either side or inside the PCB.

I'm stealing that vice grip idea! I've never thought of that one before. Some needle nose VGs could be very handy for removing TH parts in the manner you describe. Make sure you're standing, not sitting, is probably important to remember. :ripbanana:

I'd still unsolder the jack with a SMD rework tip, however. Reheating boards is risky business without the right equipment esp for TH pads which are way greater thermal mass than any SMD part.

But excellent! Options!
You're probably right.... 01D makes a lot more sense as 100K than as 1 ohm. I was wondering about that myself - and
now I also see other NNL styled components, which makes it even more likely that you're right.

And you can usually hold the board in a PanaVise or equivalent for the vise grip trick; it only needs to clear the
board by an inch or so to work just fine.

There may be a copper flood backside. But usually that's ground. Most people who do four-layer put the power and ground
on the _outside_ to maximize capacitance, minimize power impedance, and get the best RFI attenuation possible. But then
again, there's no accounting for taste and there's at least three power supply voltages running around on this board.

Best way to tell is to get screenshots of the Gerbers for 30 cm around the RUN jack....

- Bill
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

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adh82
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Post by adh82 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:47 pm

This is great news!!! Thanks guys :hail:

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Post by Accent » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:29 pm

Yikes. I just read through this whole thread after the issue was mentioned on Reddit when I noted my GAS for JF. I've really enjoyed the je ne sais quoi that Cold Mac brings to my small rig and have plans to buy a few more Whimsical Raps modules, but this certainly gives me pause on Just Friends for the moment-I don't trust my limited electronics knowledge or soldering skills to attempt any of the potential fixes, and don't trust myself not to accidentally plug something in in the wrong order. But I do get the impression that WR are addressing the issue in the few days it has been brought to light, even if they aren't posting hourly updates about it. I'm not planning to buy for another couple months so they aren't losing my money at the moment anyhow, but I do feel for those of you who have killed modules or have to worry about it and hope there's a relatively painless fix.

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Post by whimsical » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:00 pm

It's been a long few days but I believe we've found a solution to move forward on a modification for the existing Just Friends modules that will avoid any issues with potential damage to unprotected module's outputs.

At present we're arranging the logistics of how these modifications can happen seamlessly with as little disruption as possible. Before posting details though I'm awaiting confirmation from Intellijel that the proposed modification will absolutely avoid damage to their Metropolis module (Verbos has already confirmed this works for them). I should have confirmation by the weekend, either direct from Intellijel, or trial by fire at Control.

In the meantime, the patch-connection-order workaround is a safe way to use the RUN jack.

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Post by autopoiesis » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:03 pm

Very encouraging, thank you for the update

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Matos
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Post by Matos » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:13 pm

God! It took you long enough.
Great work and amazing modules. Now go take a nap.
Last edited by Matos on Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Hovercraft
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Post by Hovercraft » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:26 pm

Thank you's to Whimsical and to the forum members that analyzed the problem and came up with possible solutions. Muffs is an amazing and helpful community. :tu:

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Hovercraft
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Post by Hovercraft » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:27 pm

Thank you's to Whimsical and to the forum members that analyzed the problem and came up with possible solutions. Muffs is an amazing and helpful community. :tu:

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Nofrenchtests
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Post by Nofrenchtests » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:25 am

whimsical wrote:It's been a long few days but I believe we've found a solution to move forward on a modification for the existing Just Friends modules that will avoid any issues with potential damage to unprotected module's outputs.

At present we're arranging the logistics of how these modifications can happen seamlessly with as little disruption as possible. Before posting details though I'm awaiting confirmation from Intellijel that the proposed modification will absolutely avoid damage to their Metropolis module (Verbos has already confirmed this works for them). I should have confirmation by the weekend, either direct from Intellijel, or trial by fire at Control.

In the meantime, the patch-connection-order workaround is a safe way to use the RUN jack.
This is great news, and thank you for getting back to everyone concerned.
Turning a slip up into a win isn't easy, but I'm sure I won't be the only one picking up a second Just Friends with this reassurance.

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Post by Virgil » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:25 am

Thank you whimsical, that's good news. And thanks to those who have actually discussed this issue constructively. Much appreciated.

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Post by KaOsphere » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:26 am

Thanks WR for keeping us informed. And good news overall.
Sig !

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