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Help! Smoke & Failed Power Supply
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Help! Smoke & Failed Power Supply
chaosick
I have a 6U 84 HP Erica Synth skiff (I think, 1.5 A on both +12V and -12V), I bought used from a guy 3 months ago on Reverb. It's all been good..except last night it just emitted smoke and then shut off when I was in the middle of jamming. As far as obvious culprits:

1) It's only 1/2 full, mostly analog modules, so total power consumption is relatively low, that's not the issue.
2) I did not just put any new modules in it/red stripe stuff..have already played it with its current configuration of modules for at least 6 hours since I last put something new in it and no problems. Actually as far as I know I have never plugged a module in with the wrong orientation, as I'm obsessive about this happening. That's not it.

I tried to flick the power on quickly a few times to see if it was a momentary thing, but it won't turn on now. The lights just flash on for a moment/my modules with LEDs flash turn on momentarily then shut off. One thing I can say is that about 2 months ago a guy sold me a module that turned out to have some type of power issue within it, possibly damaged during shipping or something that I had to return (this needs its own thread and the horrors that ensued WRT the caveats of doing business with someone in Russia)--at the time, when I plugged it in it to this case, some smoke very briefly came out of this case and I shut it off immediately and removed the module, but then it was fine and I've used it ever since without a problem. Don't know if that could have blown something that built up until now. I have two other cases I've used for the past two years and this has never happened in either of them before.

Upon closer inspection, there appear to be two small burn marks on this little chip (don't know what it's called)--this part of the board is right next to the blue and red wires that connect up to the power supply.





I've emailed Erica Synths 2 whole days ago and no response from them. Any ideas about what to do? Is this fixable/replaceable? Don't suggest anything that requires some soldering and tech skills because I haven't done that before, I just want to do what it takes to get this skiff up and running again, even if it needs a new power supply, though I'm hoping that's not the case. Modules that were in it seem fine.
Misk
I'm not an electrical engineer or a module designer—but i do DIY smd regularly, so I can't tell you what that chip is doing (well, did) but i can tell you it's fried.

Honestly I wouldn't even bother trying to source the part, desolder the chip, solder in a new one and hope for the best, when i could just pay to send it off to Erica, since they know their builds, they know how to test 'em, and they'll use the exactly specific right part because they probably have plenty.

also in the future, don't flip the switch back on! Really stoked to hear your modules are all okay, but if it was me and I saw smoke, i'd flip the power off, unplug it, and throw the plug across the room away from the case just to be sure! call me paranoid but what if your modules were fried but they *would have* been fine if only you hadn't switched the case back on... that would just suck.

pull everything out of it, hit up erica, pay 'em to repair it. ship it. With commercial synth manufacturers, even if it's out of warranty, it's just worth it for that peace of mind knowing the job'll be done right thumbs up
mskala
Is this chip part of a module, or part of the power supply itself? Either way, it's obviously dead and at least that chip (maybe also anything else damaged) will have to be desoldered and replaced. You shouldn't use whatever the dead chip is part of until that happens. If it's a module and not the power supply, there's a good chance that you can take out the dead module and the rest of the system may be fine.
chaosick
Misk wrote:
I'm not an electrical engineer or a module designer—but i do DIY smd regularly, so I can't tell you what that chip is doing (well, did) but i can tell you it's fried.

Honestly I wouldn't even bother trying to source the part, desolder the chip, solder in a new one and hope for the best, when i could just pay to send it off to Erica, since they know their builds, they know how to test 'em, and they'll use the exactly specific right part because they probably have plenty.

also in the future, don't flip the switch back on! Really stoked to hear your modules are all okay, but if it was me and I saw smoke, i'd flip the power off, unplug it, and throw the plug across the room away from the case just to be sure! call me paranoid but what if your modules were fried but they *would have* been fine if only you hadn't switched the case back on... that would just suck.

pull everything out of it, hit up erica, pay 'em to repair it. ship it. With commercial synth manufacturers, even if it's out of warranty, it's just worth it for that peace of mind knowing the job'll be done right thumbs up


Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. Yeah, I just did it to check briefly because that's what happened the first time and everything ended up being fine..I did put a bunch of modules in another case and test them and seems ok. I did notice one, when I put it in another case, briefly the other case wouldn't turn on..but then it did, and everything is fine--and this is only when I unplugged and plugged the whole power strip--when I then turned that case on and off multiple times, everything was fine. Could this be some weird residual charge issue?

So (keeping in mind they haven't even replied to me yet) ,assuming Erica oks it, I have to unscrew the power board (never done this before), ship the whole thing to them, pay for that, pay them to fix it, and probably pay for shipping back, all between Vancouver and Latvia, for a part that might be a few dollars for all I know? That seems a bit crazy. I know already just the shipping costs round trip could end up being $80 USD or more. At this rate it might end up being the same cost to just buy a new power supply?
chaosick
mskala wrote:
Is this chip part of a module, or part of the power supply itself? Either way, it's obviously dead and at least that chip (maybe also anything else damaged) will have to be desoldered and replaced. You shouldn't use whatever the dead chip is part of until that happens. If it's a module and not the power supply, there's a good chance that you can take out the dead module and the rest of the system may be fine.


This is ON the power supply itself, on the board inside the case, no modules involved.
Mungo
chaosick wrote:
I did put a bunch of modules in another case and test them and seems ok. I did notice one, when I put it in another case, briefly the other case wouldn't turn on..but then it did, and everything is fine--and this is only when I unplugged and plugged the whole power strip--when I then turned that case on and off multiple times, everything was fine. Could this be some weird residual charge issue?
Were you close to the current capacity of the other case? Powering on sometimes or needing to repeat is usually a symptom of reaching the power (and/or capacitance) limit. Do you know what the power rail consumption of your rack was when it was working and at its fullest?
chaosick
Mungo wrote:
chaosick wrote:
I did put a bunch of modules in another case and test them and seems ok. I did notice one, when I put it in another case, briefly the other case wouldn't turn on..but then it did, and everything is fine--and this is only when I unplugged and plugged the whole power strip--when I then turned that case on and off multiple times, everything was fine. Could this be some weird residual charge issue?
Were you close to the current capacity of the other case? Powering on sometimes or needing to repeat is usually a symptom of reaching the power (and/or capacitance) limit. Do you know what the power rail consumption of your rack was when it was working and at its fullest?


No. Tons of power. It's a tiptop Zeus and I have mostly analog modules. Last I checked I was at around 60-70% of capacity.
Trajan
You may have had a spike past 100% for too long.
createsounds
Quote:

No. Tons of power. It's a tiptop Zeus and I have mostly analog modules. Last I checked I was at around 60-70% of capacity.


I wouldn’t count on that personally.
I was running a Zeus with factory wart.
And that thing died powering, 3 modules
(Maths, warps, wmd offset)

Sometimes Shits just faulty,

Good thing is a lot of module manufacturers will fix things that are “no fault”
Even if it was acquired used for basically free.
JohnLRice
chaosick wrote:
last night it just emitted smoke and then shut off when I was in the middle of jamming.
<edit>
I tried to flick the power on quickly a few times to see if it was a momentary thing, but it won't turn on now.
Just for future reference, if you ever see smoke coming out of something electronic never switch it back on again until the problem is determined and repaired. By turning faulty gear back on you risk doing more extensive damage.

As others have said, contact Erica Synths and tell them your story and show them the pictures. I'm sure they will advise you on the best course of action. thumbs up
chaosick
createsounds wrote:
Quote:

No. Tons of power. It's a tiptop Zeus and I have mostly analog modules. Last I checked I was at around 60-70% of capacity.


I wouldn’t count on that personally.
I was running a Zeus with factory wart.
And that thing died powering, 3 modules
(Maths, warps, wmd offset)

Sometimes Shits just faulty,

Good thing is a lot of module manufacturers will fix things that are “no fault”
Even if it was acquired used for basically free.


Damn, crazy! Never had a problem with my Zeus though..this thread isn't about that, anyhow..
chaosick
JohnLRice wrote:
chaosick wrote:
last night it just emitted smoke and then shut off when I was in the middle of jamming.
<edit>
I tried to flick the power on quickly a few times to see if it was a momentary thing, but it won't turn on now.
Just for future reference, if you ever see smoke coming out of something electronic never switch it back on again until the problem is determined and repaired. By turning faulty gear back on you risk doing more extensive damage.

As others have said, contact Erica Synths and tell them your story and show them the pictures. I'm sure they will advise you on the best course of action. thumbs up


Yeah, I know..I guess I was just hoping it was a temporary glitch and was actually fine, since that happened once before..yep contacted them 2+ days ago, told them everything, included these pics..no reply.
JohnLRice
chaosick wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
chaosick wrote:
last night it just emitted smoke and then shut off when I was in the middle of jamming.
<edit>
I tried to flick the power on quickly a few times to see if it was a momentary thing, but it won't turn on now.
Just for future reference, if you ever see smoke coming out of something electronic never switch it back on again until the problem is determined and repaired. By turning faulty gear back on you risk doing more extensive damage.

As others have said, contact Erica Synths and tell them your story and show them the pictures. I'm sure they will advise you on the best course of action. thumbs up


Yeah, I know..I guess I was just hoping it was a temporary glitch and was actually fine, since that happened once before...
And I can't say that I haven't done the same thing myself in the past! Mr. Green oops
Misk
JohnLRice wrote:
chaosick wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
chaosick wrote:
last night it just emitted smoke and then shut off when I was in the middle of jamming.
<edit>
I tried to flick the power on quickly a few times to see if it was a momentary thing, but it won't turn on now.
Just for future reference, if you ever see smoke coming out of something electronic never switch it back on again until the problem is determined and repaired. By turning faulty gear back on you risk doing more extensive damage.

As others have said, contact Erica Synths and tell them your story and show them the pictures. I'm sure they will advise you on the best course of action. thumbs up


Yeah, I know..I guess I was just hoping it was a temporary glitch and was actually fine, since that happened once before...
And I can't say that I haven't done the same thing myself in the past! Mr. Green oops


like that time i plugged in a module backwards and nothing would turn on so i flipped the switch a few times because, ya know, at the end of the day i'm a dumb guy who thinks "cycling the power" will banish the gremlins. d'oh!
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