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Data-Far knob messing up everything?

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  • #18504 Reply
    Kulu Orr
    Participant

    Hi,

    I received my (assembled) MK-II theremin a couple of weeks ago, and just got around to using it.
    Having worked with numerous MIDI instruments over the last 20 years, I had no trouble connecting it to Ableton Live and getting sounds, and the interface was quite intuitive. Good job!

    However, despite apparently getting the hang of it quickly, it repeatedly defied to behave as expected, and I think the “Data Far” pot is at fault because the system does behave as expected when I apply a bit of pressure (from directly above) to said knob. I’ll give a few examples:

    #18505 Reply
    Kulu Orr
    Participant

    Examples:

    1. When I try to access the articulation setup (setting all knobs to extreme left and turning module off and on), I get the blinking/rotating LED thing that happens when NOT all the buttons are at extreme left, and I don’t get the version number display with the articulation modification option. Whereas when I DO apply pressure to the Data-Far button, doing exactly the same, I DO get the version number and can adjust the articulation.

    2. Whenever I try to adjust any Data-Far parameter for any of the functions, it has no effect (nothing changes in the display) unless I apply some pressure to the button.

    3. On the other hand, the moment I relieve the pressure, the value jumps to 42. And a value of 42 is continually sent to the system. Thereby if I try to adjust the octaves or anything – I can’t do it unless I hold down the pressure on the Data-Far otherwise I can’t see what I’m doing (because the actions I’m taking only appear momentarily on the display and are immediately washed out by the incessant answer to life, the universe and everything).

    4. I also checked with a MIDI routing software, and indeed the Data-Far value is set to 42 regardless of the value I set it to when I applied pressure: When I continue to apply the pressure after setting the Data-Far to 0, when I bring my hand nearer and farther from the left sensors I get CC message values all the way down to 0; Whereas when I relieve the pressure, I only get CC messages down to 42, even when my hand is at maximum distance from the left sensor.

    So, what to do?
    I’m quite fine with soldering and electronics, if there’s any advice you can give me (the only reason I didn’t but the non-assembled kit is because of time constraints).

    Thanks!
    Kulu

    #18841 Reply
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    That sounds like a defective pot. We see them about once in every 1200-1500 pots. Our QC process should have caught that, but sometimes the bad behavior is erratic and the unit works fine during testing. If you are willing, I will send you a couple of pots and you can replace the naughty one. Consult the kit assembly instructions to see how we assemble the unit into the cabinet, and follow it in reverse to take it apart. I will need your serial number (on the PCB, starts with ZD) to look up your order.
    I’m very sorry for the trouble, but very glad you like/appreciate the design. That makes it all worth coming in to the Lab each morning!

    Glen

    #18843 Reply
    Kulu Orr
    Participant

    The serial number on the unit is ZD3341

    #19539 Reply
    Kulu Orr
    Participant

    Hi,
    Thanks a lot for sending me replacement potentiometers!
    However… Absolutely zero luck resolving the problem with them 🙁
    Can I send you the kit for inspection, repair and possibly replacement if necessary?
    Thanks,
    Kulu

    #19637 Reply
    Kulu Orr
    Participant

    Well, you didn’t reply, but the device is not usable for me in this state.
    So I shipped it to you and look forward to your resolving the problem.
    Thanks!
    Kulu

    #19642 Reply
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Kulu, so sorry we did not respond sooner. Holidays, you know. Yes of course, we will keep an eye out for your shipment and we will take care of you.

    #19661 Reply
    Kulu Orr
    Participant

    Great. Thanks!

    #20152 Reply
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Kulu, your Altura MkII is repaired and headed home! This turned out to be a QC issue with installation of the far left, Data Far knob, which frankly got worse when you tried to replace the knob yourself. 😉 We have installed a new knob yet again, and we had to jump a couple of connections where the PCB pads were damaged beyond use. So sorry for the delay. Your Altura Theremin is ready to wave! (Lev.23:11)

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