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EARTHING BUSBOARD? / MN RENE ISSUES
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Author EARTHING BUSBOARD? / MN RENE ISSUES
slurpee

can i connect a wire between "gnd" on IEC inlet and "gnd" on busboard?
the diagram is of a trogotronic m15 power supply.
slurpee
Also: I have no issues with any other modules in my case just the rene.
LoFi Junglist
what are the 'issues'?
slurpee
LoFi Junglist wrote:
what are the 'issues'?

sometimes when i turn on my case the rene will be going crazy! All the leds on the menus will be flashing and scrolling through at 1000mph all the knobs will be flashing erratically. And touching the plates just aggravates those issues.
I've had it happen a couple of times at shows I'm playing and had to either A: run the trigger (that i would normally send into rene) into 1 of my eg's. and lose pitch cv coming out of rene (bypassing rene completely). Or B: just let it go crazy until i play and sometimes it will mellow out but at that point there's no way I'm risking touching the touchplates and messing up live. So I just use whatever row its running in and adust the knobs per part for pitch.

It seems to happen when it is very wet, moist, raining out, and/or I have sweaty hands before performing.

It first happened march of 2017. I sent the rene into make noise and they "fixed" the sensitivity on it. Everything ran fine for about 3 months then the problem arose again. So I filmed the erratic behavior and sent the video to make noise. They concluded that I was using Pams workout as the clock and that pams has issues with rene... So I stopped using pams to clock rene and switched to expert sleepers silent way (as I was already trasitioning some cv stuff over to silent way already).
Once I started clocking rene from pams everything worked fine from around july 2017 until last week (jan 2018).

I cleaned the touchplates very gently/carefully and now it's not acting up anymore at the moment. (it used to light up one knob led... Now it doesn't light up any when I turn it on, but as soon as I tap on a location the corresponding knob lights and all is fine)

I have a strong hunch the issues will happen again and may have to do with the busboards not actually having a ground from the IEC inlet.

I play shows at different places all the time and it feels like a cointoss everytime i power up my modular as to if rene is going to be usable or not.
slurpee
LoFi Junglist wrote:
what are the 'issues'?

I know of another local person who ditched his rene for the same issues. So I'm hoping that "earthing" the busboard could solve the rene copper touchplate issues.

I haven't done any modifications as I would like to hear from knowledgable people about power/earthing/grounding first.

I may need to purchase a whole new power setup that has proper earthing and grounds. But I would like to ask here first...
LoFi Junglist
slurpee wrote:
everything worked fine from july 2016 until last week


Honestly, I'd email makenoise again.

There shouldn't be a problem grounding the busboards (that's exactly whats happening if you patch you modular into another system or device that is grounded)
slurpee
....
slurpee
after reading many threads on rene behavior issues, I deducted that it could be possible that when touching the copper touch-plates, I'm completing a connection and the erratic behavior could be due to grounding issues. and after reading even more about power that it may be due more specifically to earthing issues. I noticed that even though make noise power supply is the laptop style barrel deal that maybe rene works on these types of power supplies if my case was metal... Since make noise cases are metal???

Also at the last show i played (when rene was going nuts) I fogged on it and that made it go extra crazy! So definitely something related to moisture, humidity, etc...
Graham Hinton
slurpee wrote:

can i connect a wire between "gnd" on IEC inlet and "gnd" on busboard?
the diagram is of a trogotronic m15 power supply.


You should anyway, regardless of your problems with MN.
Use heavy gauge wire, 16awg or thicker, that can take a 25A fault current.

LoFi Junglist wrote:
There shouldn't be a problem grounding the busboards (that's exactly whats happening if you patch you modular into another system or device that is grounded)


It's not exactly the same. The differences are the resistance of the wiring, what other currents are sharing the path and what the cable screens are connected to (0V or chassis).
slurpee
Graham Hinton wrote:
slurpee wrote:

can i connect a wire between "gnd" on IEC inlet and "gnd" on busboard?
the diagram is of a trogotronic m15 power supply.


You should anyway, regardless of your problems with MN.
Use heavy gauge wire, 16awg or thicker, that can take a 25A fault current.

LoFi Junglist wrote:
There shouldn't be a problem grounding the busboards (that's exactly whats happening if you patch you modular into another system or device that is grounded)


It's not exactly the same. The differences are the resistance of the wiring, what other currents are sharing the path and what the cable screens are connected to (0V or chassis).


Thanks for confirming that I should connect a wire between busboard and IEC mains inlet.
I've been reading a lot of different threads related to power issues that you contribute information to and came to a conclusion that I NEED to do something about my non-grounded non-earthed busboards connecting all my modules.

I installed a 14awg wire between "GND" on the busboard and the "GND" terminal on the IEC inlet.

The issues I'm having with my rene sequencer seem to be a bit common as I have read every thread I could find about rene issues and all the descriptions (described in each individuals own way) seem to kind of be suffering same thing...
I'm now thinking there's a different issue at play with the rene module that might have more to do with RFI (radio frequency interference).
Maybe RFI is why make noise sells metal cases? But wouldn't the entire venue/room/etc need to be basically a "metal enclosure" itself to nullify RFI causing issues with a module like rene?
Or would a metal case possibly solve that?
slow_riot
These issues are very well documented with capacitive touchplate interfaces like Rene, Buchla Music Easel which readily conduct EMI into the circuit through the body and the capacitive interface. Shielding of the module would be ineffective. In general local RFI is not something you have control over, although some users have had good results from turning off known EMI sources like florescent lighting. Obviously this is harder in a live setting where turning off lighting which might be used on stage or for visuals will not make your professional experience problem free.
realitycontrol
I carried out the fix mentioned by WMDevices which can be found half way down the first page on the following thread and ended up with positive results.
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=69760
Graham Hinton
slurpee wrote:

I'm now thinking there's a different issue at play with the rene module that might have more to do with RFI (radio frequency interference).


Don't guess. Do you have any evidence that you are receiving RFI?

Quote:

Maybe RFI is why make noise sells metal cases? But wouldn't the entire venue/room/etc need to be basically a "metal enclosure" itself to nullify RFI causing issues with a module like rene?
Or would a metal case possibly solve that?


RFI and EMC are very complex subjects. I usually don't mention it because synthesizer modules are not designed with this in mind. Analogue modules are not legally required to be compliant, digital modules are, but nobody does. A user is powerless to rectify that sort of mess.

A metal case with an open front won't make an RFI screen. Module panels are usually anodised or painted and jacks are connected to 0V on the pcbs instead of the chassis. It is difficult to make a case and modules properly screened even if one manufacturer makes everything. Holes and joins are a problem and modules would need contact combs along the panel edges to form a continuous conductive surface. One large hole or a incorrectly connected cable shield can ruin the best of plans. Basically, if a product needs to be EMC and get certification don't make it modular.

You are referring to a Faraday Cage. They are very difficult and expensive to build, but not impossible. Doors have to electrically seal and there are no windows so they are not really suitable for public use.
slurpee
No. It’s just an assumption. I don’t have a “tool” to measure that sort of stuff.
slurpee
realitycontrol wrote:
I carried out the fix mentioned by WMDevices which can be found half way down the first page on the following thread and ended up with positive results.
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=69760

Oh yeah I read that thread. Unfortunately the power “bricks” I have don’t have any screws or easy way to open them up. So I’d have to cut through the Plastic with a dremel tool or something.
slurpee
Million dollar question...haha

If apple/Samsung/whoever sold a phone that only functioned as it was intended to, for like 60 percent of its owners. Would the other 40 percent just be SOL? Would they just say 40 percent of the owners need to buy 10 different power supplies and 10 different cases and if that doesn’t work then your SOL?

Lil off topic I know but... I’ve read sooo many threads with many many make noise rene owners having very similar issues.

I know people that use Rene on every type of power supply there is that don’t have issues with it’s functionality.

Luckily (I guess) I don’t have to lick my fingers or put on a tinfoil hat in order to type this from my phone cool
LoFi Junglist
Always research your modules before buying them; search Muffwiggler for threads, Youtube for demos etc etc.

Normally '(module name) +problem" is enough to find the issue threads thumbs up
fonik
i am a little bit confused about the connection on the inlet between Earth (PE) and the AC hot/neutral?
(i always though Earth and Neutral are only connected onthe house installation main panel).

one thing about the power bricks. these are laptop-style switchers with a 2-prong connector? this means their -V is not connected to Earth and i heard (by hearsay) that if you tie their DC -V to earth you could have a safety issue when the internal "Y"-cap fails.
I bet, Graham Hinton, you know more about this issue?

A good solution is to use a medical power bricks with a 3-prong input, where the DC -V on the output is internally connected to the PE from the inlet. The datasheet will tell you, example: MW GSM60A.
slow_riot
fonik wrote:

one thing about the power bricks. these are laptop-style switchers with a 2-prong connector? this means their -V is not connected to Earth and i heard (by hearsay) that if you tie their DC -V to earth you could have a safety issue when the internal "Y"-cap fails.


I saw that thread, I don't believe Paul was talking about safety but rather about noise, because a Class I device will short out that cap, which is being used to shunt RF current from the switcher to earth in order for the device to pass emissions tests. A Class I device with its own connection to earth may present a lower impedence path for some of this RF current, and therefore draw it into the signal path.
fonik
not so sure, and he actually did talk of a safety issue.

this is what i found also
https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/216959/what-does-the-y -capacitor-in-a-smps-do

but anyway, using a brick as the GSM60A you have no issues at all, and the BUS board is referenced to earth.
Graham Hinton
fonik wrote:
i am a little bit confused about the connection on the inlet between Earth (PE) and the AC hot/neutral?


I think that it's just a bad diagram trying to show that the 3 individual mains wires are going to the bricks. If the brick uses Earth it will only be for its Frame Ground (FG).

It does look like what you say, but that would blow a fuse immediately. You should never connect Earth to Live or Neutral anywhere and only the electricity provider should bond Earth and Neutral.

Quote:

one thing about the power bricks. these are laptop-style switchers with a 2-prong connector? this means their -V is not connected to Earth and i heard (by hearsay) that if you tie their DC -V to earth you could have a safety issue when the internal "Y"-cap fails.
I bet, Graham Hinton, you know more about this issue?

A good solution is to use a medical power bricks with a 3-prong input, where the DC -V on the output is internally connected to the PE from the inlet. The datasheet will tell you, example: MW GSM60A.


That isn't really a good solution as you don't want the Earth via a cable carrying several amps. It should go directly to the distribution 0V.

There isn't really any good solution using power bricks of any type. They are all compromised by the cables and connectors used on the DC side. As well as being built down to a price in a highly competitive market.
fonik
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Graham.
I always to prick up my ears when you chime in.

Graham Hinton wrote:
fonik wrote:
A good solution is to use a medical power bricks with a 3-prong input, where the DC -V on the output is internally connected to the PE from the inlet. The datasheet will tell you, example: MW GSM60A.


That isn't really a good solution as you don't want the Earth via a cable carrying several amps. It should go directly to the distribution 0V.

Indeed. I think i was misguided by my own application, which is a kind of tradeoff for a mobile solution: I use an external AC-DC desktop supply (medical GSMxxAm with -V connected to earth), and inside the shallow cabinet i have a dual output DC-DC block. Here i use the -V/Earth from the EXTERNAL block to reference the distribution. Again, not the perfect solution, but a good compromise IMHO.

Anyway, my point was the question about the possible hazard when the Y-cap of of a floating ground switcher fails., However, the problem seems to be a cheap euro 2-prong mains connector where you cannot identify hot and neutral, and this is not the case here...
slurpee
fonik wrote:
i am a little bit confused about the connection on the inlet between Earth (PE) and the AC hot/neutral?
(i always though Earth and Neutral are only connected onthe house installation main panel).

one thing about the power bricks. these are laptop-style switchers with a 2-prong connector? this means their -V is not connected to Earth and i heard (by hearsay) that if you tie their DC -V to earth you could have a safety issue when the internal "Y"-cap fails.
I bet, Graham Hinton, you know more about this issue?

A good solution is to use a medical power bricks with a 3-prong input, where the DC -V on the output is internally connected to the PE from the inlet. The datasheet will tell you, example: MW GSM60A.


It’s just a quick diagram I whipped up smile The trogotronic power “bricks” are connected with a 3 prong IEC Y-cable.
Graham Hinton
Hello Matthias

fonik wrote:
Anyway, my point was the question about the possible hazard when the Y-cap of of a floating ground switcher fails.,


I didn't address that because the link that you gave had a very good explanation. When you start analysing what could go wrong inside a SMPSU you realise how risky they are.

Quote:

However, the problem seems to be a cheap euro 2-prong mains connector where you cannot identify hot and neutral, and this is not the case here...


You can't identify Live and Neutral on any IEC inlet used in countries that have Schuko connectors, nor can you guarantee that that the wall outlet has an Earth as some countries have old wiring still in place and others deliberately don't Earth sockets in certain rooms. I would like to compile a list of what country does what as that information does not seem to exist in one place.

You shouldn't be trying to use Neutral as a Ground anyway, because it isn't, but you should be using double fused inlets.
Rex Coil 7
Graham, I'd ask you to produce (at the very least) a PDF that compiles all of your information about Modular Synth grounding and Modular Synth Power Supply "do and do nots". More or less a "Modular Synth Power For Dummies" ... a "Grounding 101" if you will.

I can't recall how many "My Rene Is Not Working" threads (or posts) I've read to date, and nearly every one (down to the one) ends up being grounding or zero volt issues.

Thank all the is good that you (seem to) take the time to patrol the forums in pursuit of providing the proper guidance to those of us that have either had zero experience/training in such matters, or have been sadly misguided by "buddies" offering well intended (however incorrect) help.

I've actually done a bit of compiling your posts on the matter myself, including the helpful diagrams you've posted along the way over the years.

It's one thing to possess an education and/or real life experience, it's an entirely different thing to willfully share it in a manner that doesn't talk down to folks that aren't well schooled or experienced. You have a knack for the latter.
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