Trouble Shooting

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!

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Cat-A-Tonic
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Trouble Shooting

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:48 pm

I finished my 4th Blacet kit today, the Binary Zone.
When I plug it in to the power supply all of the modules are deprived of power.
I cannot find any soldering mistakes.
Any ideas what could be wrong?

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:58 pm

sounds like the power connector isn't lined up with the power distribution board, i've done this before - no harm done and when you line it up right all will be well

you've shifted it off one pin, that's all

i bet that's the issue

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Kwote
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Post by Kwote » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:02 am

Muff Wiggler wrote:sounds like the power connector isn't lined up with the power distribution board, i've done this before - no harm done and when you line it up right all will be well

you've shifted it off one pin, that's all

i bet that's the issue
lol. i did that with my I/O when i first got going with all this. haha. good times. oh good time fo sho. :lol:
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Cat-A-Tonic
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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:42 am

The strange thing is I have tried different power cables in positions that are fine for all the other modules, but the Binary Zone is no go.

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:58 am

hmm, i don't know if i explained it right....

there's 4 pins on the power distribution (PSCONN or PS500), and four holes on the MTA connector at the end of the power cable

it's REALLY easy to acidentally hook it up so that only three pins go into the MTA connector on the cable, and one pin is 'off to the side', unconnected

when this happens, one of the + or - power rails will end up connecting to ground, instead of the power inlet (the two center pins are ground, the two outer pins the + and -), which shuts off all the modules which share the same supply.

this mis-aligned power connector may be where the cable connects to the module, or where the cable connects to the power distribution. give it a quick double-check, pull it out and re-connect it, making sure it's aligned properly

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consumed
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Post by consumed » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:34 am

did you build your own cable? did you reverse the +15 and -15v?

did you try unplugging modules from the psu before connecting the binary zone? could your psu could be overburdened? (i did this to my psu recently--you should estimate your power requirements for all modules plugged into the psu, then cap usage at about 80% of its rated limit-- because psus start getting hot when they are forced to work at their upper limit.)

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:03 am

btw, about overloading your PSU -

I spoke to John Blacet about this a couple of years ago, he told me the PS500 is groosly over-specced. I add up the draw of all my modules on each supply - he told me that I can put up to 550ma of draw on it, without any worry at all, no overload or heating concerns in the least.

I have 9 supplies, each being tasked with providing between 535 and 550ma, and have never had a problem. I don't go over 550ma on any supply, but I have a couple running right at 550. No problems.

yay for overspeccing

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Problem Solved!

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:36 am

Your comments made me check the soldering near the power plug of the Binary Zone more carefully. :oops:
It was merely a solder bridge between the negative rail and ground.
I cut it with a razor blade and that solved the problem.
You were right about the power being diverted to ground!
Now everything is operational again! :D
Thanks for all your helpful thoughts.

2 racks filled thus far and 5 more spots left on the PSCONN.
I wonder if I will overextend the power in the 3rd rack...
I guess I should check the power consumption.
The problem with that is that I have no idea about the power ratings on the CGS Dual Drum, Digital Noise, or Divider/Logic.

Hmmm which will be next the Klangwerk or the Miniwave...?

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:45 pm

I can't quote current draw on those CGS modules - but can tell you that every time I emailed Michael Ford (Metalbox) to ask how much draw one of his modules has, he always responds fast and gives me the number

to answer your last question.... MiniWave!! No contest.

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Re: Problem Solved!

Post by Kwote » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:13 pm

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:The problem with that is that I have no idea about the power ratings on the CGS Dual Drum, Digital Noise, or Divider/Logic.
Pulse divider/logic 80ma
dual drum 20ma
Digital Noise 40ma

straight from mr. ford himself.
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Cat-A-Tonic
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Mini-Wave

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:12 am

So I am building the Mini-Wave and I'm stuck. :(
Does anyone know which trimpot values correspond to which board locations :?:
This information is surprisingly not in my manual :!:
RT1 - ?
RT2 - ?
RT3 - ?
RT4 - ?
Mystery Values:
100K = "104"
10K = "103"
2K = "202"
50K = "503"
If someone could take a quick look at the back of their assembled Mini-Wave I would really appreciate it.

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:31 am

RT1 = 104
RT2 = 503
RT3 = 103
RT4 = 202

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Cat-A-Tonic
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Argh!

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:42 pm

The Mini-Wave is finished and sounds great.... :)
but the bank select doesn't appear to do anything and none of the LEDs light up.
:?: :cry:
I know there are 15 times as many sounds in this that I can't yet access.
Am I the only one making all of these assembly blunders? :oops:

I have been playing with the I/O alot trying to figure it out.
It is very sensitive to dynamic inputs and using different guitar pickups makes a big difference.
I have the DIP switches set to:
Tip - signal
Ring - signal
Tip - +5voff
Ring - +5voff
470K impedance
AC coupling

Are these the same settings you use? Any recommendations?

Also, the 1/8th" input jack works fine, but the 1/4" only works if the cord is halfway plugged in. :?:

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Re: Argh!

Post by plord » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:59 pm

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:Am I the only one making all of these assembly blunders? :oops:
Nope. I've built a pair of miniwaves, and two sets of mixer/splitters, and they work great. But, but, but, I've also tried to build two BYOC pedals, and both builds were failures. The pedals work as mildly tone sucking pass through devices, but no LED light, no effect signal. I'm assuming that something I'm doing with the pot and jack wiring is fucking things up but damn if I can tell what.

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Mini-Wave part 2

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:10 pm

So I did some more tinkering with the Mini-wave trying to fix it and I have somehow managed to get all of the audio functions working AOK!
Now I can scroll through all 15 banks and 15 waves of both EPROMs with knobs or CV. :D

...but for some reason I can still only get LEDs 2 & 4 of the Bank Select to light up. :?

I am glad I didn't give up on trouble shooting too easily.

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whomper
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Quad VCA troubleshooting

Post by whomper » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:14 am

Hi,

I had just finished building my quad VCA module, but found out that the MAX365 is heating up, and as a consequence so is the 324 directly underneath it.
Even if I take all ICs out of the board except the MAX, it is still heating up.

Any hints as to how to troubleshoot it? Maybe a defective component?

Whomper

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:22 am

hi whomper - I wish I could help - sorry! I saw your post on the Blacet list about this, but I really don't know too much about troubleshooting.

is the module functioning properly?

if you inspect the traces coming from the IC on the PCB, are they all intact? The only thought I have is that perhaps if there's a broken trace (or a short - check for a blob of stray solder or flux that may be contaminating the board and shorting two traces together - this happened to me once) it could cause current that's supposed to be leaving the IC to 'stay' instead, causing the heatup

possibly a really bad guess, but that's all I've got at the moment....

anyway, good luck & welcome to the forum!

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whomper
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Post by whomper » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:34 am

ok, I think I have it now...

Luckily, I have had some other modules in kit form, from which I took one MAX and placed it in the VCA..


It worked!

I have had a bad MAX IC that caused the problem (apparently, there might be causes where an IC is the cause).

Whomper

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