zdlAdmin

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  • in reply to: Unusual Shipping Delays due to COVID-19 #26011
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    UPDATE September 2020: Shipping is improving but still slower and less-well documented than in pre-pandemic days. I believe we have actually lost Zero shipments. Some have taken 4 months to reach Europe; some have been sent back due to minor address errors; none have been lost.

    in reply to: Preset knob value recall? #25647
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Sal, these are both interesting ideas, and both probably feasible. Thanks for the suggestions!

    in reply to: VPM-1 Kits availability In the UK? #22933
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    “Breaking” news!! Break the Machine will soon be stocking the VPM-1 standard kit. Please let them know about your interest.

    in reply to: 1×8 Build – Fantastic Finish #21946
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Oh Tim! Now that’s what I’m talking about!! That’s a happy stack. Thanks for the photo update.

    in reply to: Altura kit not functioning. #21833
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    OK, the built units are nominally sold out,but I think I have a floor model or B unit I can fix you up with. I will contact you directly.
    One thing to check regarding No MIDI Out. This kit has two nearly identical 16-pin ICs. If they are installed in the wrong locaction or wrong orientation, the MIDI out will not work and the display will go funky. When the PCB is upright, with the row of pots at the bottom, the two ICs are to the left of the display with the divots pointing down, toward the pots. The IC on the left is labelled CD4050BE and the one on the right is SN74HC595N. Humor me and verify these are installed correctly.

    in reply to: Made A Good Pedal A Great Pedal #21473
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your comments, Rob. Glad to hear you are having a good experience with your VPM-1!

    in reply to: Led noise #20979
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    What are you using for a power supply?

    in reply to: Data-Far knob messing up everything? #20152
    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!

    in reply to: LFO and Bypass led #19986
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Is the LFO light blinging 2-4-2 … 2-4-2 .. ? This is a service easter egg: when you power up with the bypass switch depressed, the pedal starts in a calibration mode, and the LFO light flashes out the software version; in this case, v2.4.2.
    This suggests that your footswitch may be shorted to ground, that is, the pedal thinks it is depresses (closed) all the time. Double check the wiring of that switch, or even disconnect it for a moment to test.
    Beyond that, I must defer to Brach, the technical guru, who is out at the moment on maternity leave. I will ask him to check in with this thread when available.

    Glen

    in reply to: E key not playing #19727
    zdlAdmin
    Keymaster

    Mac, you are on the trail! First let me mention that it was an oversight that we failed to post a response to this thread: we talk with Ian a lot, mostly off line, and I overlooked this post. Mac, each key has a different capacitance influenced by its size, shape, and position on the PCB. The resistors were selected after some theoretical analysis and LOTS of empirical trial-and-error. Plus the whole system is influenced by its environment: temperature, humidity, and how dry your skin is! So we have found the following tend to stabilize the keyboard:

  • Touch one finger not to a resistor or the battery, but ANYWHERE on the PCB outside the 13 keys.
    Experiment with a wall-wart power supply instead of battery, and earbuds or other external speakers instead of the (sketchy) on board speaker.
    Lick your fingers before playing!
    Adjust that E resistor down to a lower value. If you have no resistors laying around, we’ll send you some.
    Playing with the MIDI IN jack, controlling the Macchiato with an external control keyboard or sequencer, bypasses the capacitive touch keyboard all together and performs with no instability.
  • Regarding a metal case: Not such a good idea. The metal itself, if it contacts the PCB at any point, will affect the capacitance of the whole system. However, one user had great success adding an additional ground plane to the bottom-inside of the cabinet. I think he used a piece of heavy aluminum foil (copper would be MUCH better) and a little wire that he connected to ground at the center of the board, possibly using the center standoff screw. This gave him good stable performance. He found he had to isolate the foil from the five screws in the cabinet bottom; otherwise, when he held the synth in his hand, touching any screw would throw it off again!!

    Glen

in reply to: Data-Far knob messing up everything? #19642
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.

in reply to: Question about build. Resistors #19641
zdlAdmin
Keymaster

thumbs up.

in reply to: Altura kit not functioning. #19363
zdlAdmin
Keymaster

Innes, you are my new favorite customer of the week. I shipped your new kit this morning. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and to all a good night.

in reply to: Altura kit not functioning. #19248
zdlAdmin
Keymaster

You are doing great work! Your analysis suggests that the Altura might be working just fine, except for the display! Go ahead and plug a MIDI cable into the device and connect it directly to the MIDI IN of a synth. (Do not try connecting to a computer synth for a first test.) Make sure you plug the sensor cables in correctly, not backwards. You had it correct initially. Point the sensors up toward the ceiling, not down to the table. Set the knobs as described in the Quick Start guide: left, right, 9 o’clock, left, left, noon, noon. This should give you one octave of C Major on the right sensor, and control over modulation or note velocity on the left sensor. The unit will default to transmit on Channel 1 on power up. Go ahead and see if you can control your synth. Do you see any activity on the MIDI light on the slave synth?
When he is able, Altura designer Brach will comment on possible faults in the circuit that could account for the display’s power issue.
Good work! Hey, this is part of the fun!

in reply to: Altura kit not functioning. #19216
zdlAdmin
Keymaster

Innes, thanks for the video; it is invaluable! Sorry you’re having a little trouble getting your altura fired up, but congratulations on giving it a shot! It is a moderately ambitious project for a first-soldering experience. You seem to have been thorough in your troubleshooting. We are going to look at two things:
1) Are you getting 5V DC distributed around the board? Check the DC voltage to ground at a few places around the board, with the battery in and the power on. Consult the circuit diagram to spot the power pins on the MCU (marked VCC). Also the sensors are easy to measure. Unplug them from the board. One of the end pins should show 5V DC. What do you find?
2) there are three 14-pin ICs that look pretty similar: the multiplexer, shift register and hex buffer, located at U2, U3 and U4 respectively. Examine the nearly-invisible markings on these three components. Are they in fact three different components, with no duplicates? (It happened once.) Are they each in the correct location, in the correct orientation? Any error would account for the observed behavior.
Let us know what you discover.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 116 total)