brach

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 434 total)
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  • in reply to: “OL” at tp5 and tp6 #41821
    brach
    Moderator

    Are you able to get any reading when you measure across the trim pot’s solder joints, not test points?
    If not, are you able to get any reading when you touch the 2 meter probes together?…you should be getting 0 resistance.
    You probably don’t have to remove all the pots, if you can just suck off most of the solder, that should be sufficient.
    -Brach

    in reply to: “OL” at tp5 and tp6 #41816
    brach
    Moderator

    Thanks for the photos you emailed us. Unfortunately, due to the resolution and the focus of the photos I wasn’t able to see too many close details of the board. From what I was able to see, a good number of the solder joints still need to be flowed better. Good solder joints don’t have any sharp edges because those are the places (due to capillary action) that the flux won’t cover. You need flux to cover all the joint because it acts as a sealant against oxygen and moisture. If oxygen can penetrate the solder joint, then it will become “cold” and eventually crack. So that’s why good solder joints are important to have. After you re-flow the joints go over the board really well (with a magnifying glass) to look for tiny flecks or balls of solder that could be shorting together some pins. Sorry, I know this work is tedious, but it has to be done if you want a good working pedal.
    With the LED fading out…another thing to make sure is that the paper underneath the pots don’t have any punctures in them otherwise it could cause a short, which could cause this problem.
    Were you able to have any better luck with your meter? Were you able to measure the resistance between the test points?
    -Brach

    in reply to: “OL” at tp5 and tp6 #41808
    brach
    Moderator

    I think that original solder from Harbor Freight might have been for plumbers to sweat pipes with. That stuff either has no flux in it or what they call “acid core flux” which is really corrosive to circuit boards. Hopefully it didn’t have any flux in it. The solder that is designed for electronics has rosin core flux in it. There is a “proper” ratio of flux to solder to get the solder to flow really well, so if your original solder didn’t have flux in it, it may be better to suck off the solder from most of the joints and re-flow them all with the good solder. You may have better luck getting this thing to work that way, and it will stay working longer with better solder joints…they will be less likely to get oxidized and crack.
    -Brach

    in reply to: “OL” at tp5 and tp6 #41800
    brach
    Moderator

    Thanks for giving the Quaverato a go. If nothing else, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot about assembling pedals.
    Do you know what kind of solder you were using and what kind you switched to (you could send pictures of that too)? It sounds like your original hard-to-melt solder might have been lead-free solder. That stuff is really hard to work with and I don’t suggest using it unless you have a lot of experience soldering. The way you were describing the solder that ended up using sounds like lead/tin solder. It’s much easier to use, but it doesn’t mix too well with lead-free solder. It’s hard to get good solder joints when both types of alloys are used. The type of solder you use is actually pretty important in helping you have a successful build.
    If the solder was taking longer than 2 seconds to melt then your soldering iron wasn’t hot enough. Different solder alloys melt at different temperatures.
    You might have damaged your TL074, but probably not. They are more robust than the manual makes it sound. The fact that you were conscientious of that makes me think it’s probably fine.
    Google drive (or some other file/photo sharing site) is probably the best way to share the photos.
    Let me know about the photos.
    -Brach

    in reply to: Synth not working (Troubleshooting Help) #41799
    brach
    Moderator

    808ROSS,
    If you were able to successfully re-flash it then the ISP header must be working properly, so no need to continue testing it.
    For lead free solder you should have your iron set to at least 350 degrees C. Depending on the type, you may need to set it more in the range of 370. Keep in mind, the extra hot temperatures are more prone to damage the board or the components so use your flux so the solder flows quickly.
    Good luck!
    -Brach

    in reply to: “OL” at tp5 and tp6 #41796
    brach
    Moderator

    Michael,
    It seems like your board has some serious issues. My guess is that they are related to solder joints…possibly some bridged joints somewhere. So don’t power it on until we can get it checked out.
    It would be helpful for me to see some detailed, in focus pictures of both sides of your board. Showing as many solder joints as possible (lift the pots up to show the joints under them). I might be able to see something that is causing the problem.
    As far as getting “OL” on your meter… Most meters use “OL” (which stands for overload) if it can’t get a proper reading or the reading is too high for it to display. Make sure the battery in your meter is good and it’s working correctly (and the leads aren’t broken). Make sure the meter is set to read resistance. If it still is giving an “OL” when you measure TP5 and 6 it means that it is measuring infinity, which is an open circuit, so make sure the gain trim pot is soldered properly.
    -Brach

    in reply to: Synth not working (Troubleshooting Help) #41795
    brach
    Moderator

    808ROSS,
    Thank you for the photos…they are worth at least 1000 words.
    From what I can tell from the photos most of the joints seem like they could use some re-flowing. It looks like you might need to turn up the heat on your soldering iron. What kind of solder are you using? Lead/tin solder is the best and easiest to use. Lead-free solder is much more difficult to get to flow correctly and requires much more heat.
    If a joint has too much solder on it, then use a solder sucker and remove most of the solder and then re-flow it.
    The solder that you should be using has a “rosin core” in it, which is what we call flux. It’s the stuff that allows the solder to flow smoothly and easily. So, when you re-flow the solder joints you aren’t trying to add more solder to the joint as much as you are really just adding more flux to the joint to get it to flow better. You can get containers of just flux; often they come in a pen or marker form so you can “draw” more flux on the joint before you heat it up…but you don’t need that in this case.
    I can’t quite see the details of the ISP pins. I can’t see how you might have damaged the PCB there. You can use your continuity tester on your multimeter to check to see if any adjacent pins are connected (they shouldn’t be). Also please check to make sure they aren’t shorted to the ground plane. There is only one ISP pin that should be connected to ground.
    When you flashed the software, did the computer say it was able to connect to the microcontroller and was the flash successful?
    The fact that you are able to hear something when you short the volume pot pins means the analog section is probably working fine. The problem is probably with the digital circuit.
    Keep me posted.
    -Brach

    in reply to: depth seems pretty weak #41723
    brach
    Moderator

    Tom,
    There is several things going on here. One thing is that you weren’t in calibration mode, you were in the mode that tells you what software version you have…hence the flashing green light. The tap light will pulse normally in calibration mode, depending on where the depth knob is set.
    When testing the pedal, please make sure you are using a guitar level signal. It sounds like you might be using a very hot signal which could give you different results than what I’m expecting. For an actual number use .1Vrms (100mVrms).
    Are the sticky knobs physically sticking or are they just not responding when they are being turned? If it’s a physical resistance at certain points then you should make the knob setting jig from the manual and re-set them. You can remove the knobs for now, if it bothers you…use a fine tip sharpie marker and draw a line on the pot shaft where the knob pointer should be so you have an idea of where in the rotation it is.
    Since you didn’t build this pedal, please make sure all the solder joints are good…don’t trust other people’s work. On principle, I would just re-flow them all. In my experience most, in not all, of these problems could easily be caused by bad solder joints, particularly the weird volume issue.
    Try calibration mode again and let me know what you find.
    -Brach

    in reply to: One or two possible suggestions #41720
    brach
    Moderator

    Awesome! Thank you!

    in reply to: depth seems pretty weak #41719
    brach
    Moderator

    Tom,
    You are correct, if the wave shape is set to square the signal should be completely off on part of the wave cycle. But since this is a harmonic tremolo, you need to make sure the mix knob is exactly at 12:00 so both sides (hi and low) are working equally. Keep the depth knob at max when testing this. Also, in testing this, make sure the phase switch is set to “in” so both sides are working together, otherwise one side will be on while the other is off, making it hard to tell if either side is completely turning off.
    The best test you can do to ensure the pedal is working correctly in this way is to put the pedal in calibration mode to test each side individually to ensure it is fully turning off.
    This is most likely an issue with the analog side of the circuit, so re-flashing the pedal won’t help.

    The volume knob issue sounds like a bad solder joint somewhere in the signal path. Consider re-flowing all the joints in the signal path. Make sure to use enough solder on each joint and make sure you are using enough heat to get the solder to flow properly.
    Let me know what you find after you test it in calibration mode.
    -Brach

    in reply to: One or two possible suggestions #41709
    brach
    Moderator

    That is really cool!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing! That’s a very good use of this new type of instrument. As a product designer/manufacturer, when developing something brand new, you often times have to show people what a product is good for and what it can do for them…to inspire them to try it themselves. I know the Altura has great potential, but we haven’t been very good at inspiring people with what it can do. So thank you for this video! I’d like to have our social media people post it, if it’s ok with you…?
    I’m really looking forward to seeing your next video of your preferred methods for using it! Thanks again for your inspiration!
    Take care.
    -Brach

    in reply to: Constant tone (stuck key?) #41697
    brach
    Moderator

    This issue has to do with the capacitive keyboard ground scheme and can be triggered by several things including the humidity of your environment. Often placing a finger on the edge of the circuit board can help stabilize this effect.
    Make sure all the keyboard resistors are the correct values and soldered properly. Too much or too little solder can actually cause these types of issues. Proper soldering is important for stability.
    This type of issue is commonly related to the type of power supply you are using. You can experiment with a different power supply. …Or try a (brand new) battery if you are using a plug-in wall wart or try a wall wart if you are using a battery.
    -Brach

    in reply to: One or two possible suggestions #41690
    brach
    Moderator

    Coffeepal,
    Thanks for the suggestions and kind words about the Altura.
    I don’t think it ever crossed my mind that anyone would use the Altura the way you are using it, by waving it around. I can understand that it is too heavy now with the metal case for that type of use. I think we might still have some acrylic case parts for the MkII, if you are interested in building an acrylic case for it. It would be much lighter than metal, but it may not be as light as cardboard.
    Adding a sustain pedal would be a pretty intensive mod to the Altura, mostly because I believe all the microcontroller pins are currently being used for other things. Besides that, it would take re-designing the chassis and PCB to add an extra jack for the footswitch. But that’s maybe something we can try if we do another version of this product later. Thank you for the suggestion.
    To answer your question about turning off each sensor…it is possible to put a switch on the power rail of each sensor. That would give you the ability to turn each sensor on and off as you’d like. On the 4-wire cable going to each sensor, pin 1 on the PCB (the square pad) is connected to the 5V power rail. If you add a series switch on that wire, I think that should work. You may need to add a small capacitor to ground on the sensor side of the switch, depending on how the sensors respond to being instantly turned off. But you can experiment to see if you need it.
    Thanks again for your suggestions and comments.
    Take care.
    -Brach

    in reply to: Me and Charles playing the Altura together #41662
    brach
    Moderator

    That’s fun! Thanks for sharing!
    -Brach

    in reply to: No effect when engaged #41585
    brach
    Moderator

    IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, you can test to see if the relay is working by very quickly connecting the round pad of one of the diodes (D2 or D3) to ground. This has to be done when the pedal in powered on. You can temporarily solder a wire to one of the ground points on the pedal and use the other end of the wire to quickly touch the round pad of D2 or D3. One diode pin flips the relay one direction, and the other diode pin flips it in the other direction. You should hear the relay clicking.
    You can also check to see if there is continuity between all the components that are supposed to be connected (you might even want to do this before testing the relay)…As shown in the schematic:
    Check to see that pins 13 and 14 of the microcontroller are connected to R32 and R31, respectively.
    Check to see that the other pins of R32 and R31 are connected to the center pins of Q5 and Q4 respectively.
    Check to see that the pins closest to the relay of Q5 and Q4 are connected to the round pads of D3 and D2 respectively.
    When you check the continuity of these pins, put your meter probes on the pins AS CLOSE TO THE COMPONENT BODY AS POSSIBLE. Do not probe/test the pins at their solder joints. This is very important to ensure you are testing to see if the components are actually connected, not just the traces on the board that the solder joints are soldered to. This also makes it easier because you can do all these tests from the component side of the board.
    Good luck.
    -Brach

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 434 total)