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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » Nord Modular G2 Discussion
DIY Repair: Everything about the USB port
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sebber



Joined: Aug 27, 2004
Posts: 490
Location: Berlin
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G2 patch files: 33

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:13 am    Post subject: DIY Repair: Everything about the USB port
Subject description: Really everything?
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The USB connection seems to be one of the things that break more often than other things on the G2. Since all the information concerning repairs (and ruined machines) is spread all over the board, here's a little overview.

Things you might want to try first:

1) trying another and shorter USB cable
2) connect the USB cable directly into the computers USB port and not going through a hub

However, your device will probably have worked before exactly the same way and faulty USB cables are very rare.

3) Next, you might want to check if it's a software problem. Let's check if the computer can "see" the G2. The easiest way to check that is probably to take a Windows computer with no Clavia drivers installed. Plugging in the G2 would normally result in the computer asking for drivers. If it doesn't it's proof that it is a hardware connection failure. If you don't have a "fresh" windows computer at hand:

On Mac OSX:
a) click on the apple in the top left corner
b) click on "About this Mac"
c) click on "More info..." or equivalent on your version of OSX

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

d) Under "Hardware" click on USB

If the Computer recognizes a device at the USB port it looks like this:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

If it doesn't, it looks something like this:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Unfortunately, the Mac doesn't update the info automatically, so you always have to close the window and click on "More info..." in step c every time you plug something in and out.

On a WINDOWS computer it's somewhat easier because it does update itself every time something is plugged in and out. You also get audible feedback and if it's a new device, visual feedback as well. Anyway, you can check if the computer sees the G2 in the "Device Manager".

If the computer recognizes the G2 but the editor still doesn't work you might want to try to

4) uninstall and reinstall the editor
and/or
5) downgrade the editor to version 1.4, especially on a Mac.

If the computer does not recognize the G2 it means that your G2 suffers most likely from some hardware failure. The USB port that the G2 uses has a minimum rated lifetime of 1500 plug ins and outs. Which is not really so much.

6) Your next option is to see if you can fix the USB port on the G2 yourself. To get to the USB out you have to dig into the machine until you can take the Mainboard out. Good news: it is not necessary to take the keyboard out.

a) Once you got your mainboard out, find the connectors of the USB port:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

The two big solder joints hold the port onto the board. The four small solder joints are the interesting ones.

b) check with a voltmeter if the USB port is physically broken. If the plus and the minus connector of the voltmeter don't touch anything the display should read "1" or something similar

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

If the plus and minus connectors are connected, current is flowing. My voltmeter reads something like "003".

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Which means: if the connection is broken, my voltmeter will read "1", if it works "003".

This is how a USB Type B looks like:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#/media/File:USB_Std_B.svg

Now check the connections with the voltmeter: the two upper solder joints connect to the two connectors on the underside of the USB port (3,4), the lower solder joints to the two on top (1,2). Left is left and right is right.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
Now connect the plus and minus connectors of the voltmeter to the respective solder joints on the board and connectors on the USB port and check if current is flowing.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

In my case, current is flowing and the physical connector is not broken.

If you do find a connection where no current is flowing, it could be that the solder joints are broken. An easy remedy for this would be to

7) heat up a soldering iron and repair the broken connector

Cool Another option would be to take out the whole USB connector and replace it with a new one. The USB Type B connector is a pretty standard one and should be obtainable in any electronics hardware store.

9) While you're at it you might want to follow the traces and check for connections between the USB port and the SMDs that they lead to: D7, D8, F10, F11, D11, C112...

If it's not the USB connector it will probably be a broken USB controller or a broken motherboard. Yikes.

The USB controller is a ISP1181BDGG and can be found here:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

The data sheet can be found here:

http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/302/ISP1181B-02-203019.pdf

This is not easy to repair but very easy to screw up and ruin the synth for good. If you dare to go at it you probably know what you're doing.

I, for one, decided that this is not for me and will have the G2 repaired by people who know what they're doing. Addresses for that will be in another post.

You could also decide that you don't care for the USB port and use the NMG2 open source editor:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/nmg2editor/

The NMG2 open source editor works not only via USB but also with MIDI. However, it's a beta version and for windows systems only.

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Last edited by sebber on Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:46 pm; edited 3 times in total
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voltage control



Joined: Mar 11, 2010
Posts: 13
Location: another world

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Sebber.

When using the ohm meter as you were describing, you actually want to wander a little deeper and look into connections of traces leading away from the USB jack to other points on the board. When a connector jack causes problems, it is almost always because the solder joint between a physical lead out of the jack, and the circuit board trace (or pad) that it should connect to, has broken. These breaks can be totally invisible, so the ohm meter can tell you for sure if your connections are still good or not. Just figure out points on the board- away from the jack- that should be in contact with the pins on the jack (by means of following traces), and use your meter to check between these points and the corresponding pins on the jack. It would be a good idea to wiggle the jack while performing the test, in order to see if contact becomes intermittent.
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Electromagnetic Wave



Joined: Apr 28, 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very nice topic !! Thank you sebber for the time you spent on it and your other topic (DIY Repair: Taking the G2 apart ) Smile
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sebber



Joined: Aug 27, 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Voltage Control,

thanks for the hint, which trigger a few new question:

In case the physical connector is still good and the "direct" solder joints on the board are good also, how would I repair a broken connection a little deeper in the board? Just by heating it up?

Wouldn't the USB connections go directly into the USB controller chip anyway?

Since everything else is working nicely, I wonder why it would be just the USB connections deeper on the board would be broken and nothing else?

Seb

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voltage control



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In case the physical connector is still good and the "direct" solder joints on the board are good also, how would I repair a broken connection a little deeper in the board? Just by heating it up?

Yes, use a solder iron and heat up the solder joint. Adding a small amount of fresh solder usually does not hurt. The resin in the fresh solder will improve the flow of liquid solder

Wouldn't the USB connections go directly into the USB controller chip anyway?

I believe there are some other components in between the USB chip and the USB port. I seem to recall that components D7 and D8 are connected to the USB port. Going by memory here, so please verify this for yourself. Anyway, you still want to find out if the solder joints are good, regardless of the destination of the circuit board traces.

Since everything else is working nicely, I wonder why it would be just the USB connections deeper on the board would be broken and nothing else?

"Deeper in the board" is meant as "away from the USB port". In other words: measure between the USB connector and a distant connection rather than using the lead that comes directly out of the USB jack (which will only verify the internal connections inside the USB jack)

If you can see a trace running from the USB jack to, for instance, component D7, use the meter to check for continuity between D7 and the corresponding connector on the jack. That will tell you if the solder joints along the path that you are measuring across are good or bad.
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sebber



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I understand what you mean. I found a few SMDs where I get connections, since I'm on a broken machine however I would have to know which ones should work. Is there a service manual around?
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sebber



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

voltage control,

how did you find out your USB controller was broken? Did you measure between the hardware connector and the pins of the controller? This is the data sheet of the controller:
http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/302/ISP1181B-02-203019.pdf

The controller even provides for an LED to be attached to it to show data flow. That would've been nice, if Clavia would have implemented that.

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varice



Joined: Dec 29, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sebber wrote:
...The controller even provides for an LED to be attached to it to show data flow. That would've been nice, if Clavia would have implemented that...

They did on the Engine. IIRC, the connection for the LED is on the main board that is also used for the G2 keyboard models. But, I agree. It would have been nice to have the USB indicator on the keyboard models as well...

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voltage control



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Sebber
First I measured to check connections and smaller components on the leads around the USB port. All checked out fine there. Without having been able to find a service manual, I went by the advice about the USB controller chip as a possible cause of the problem, as was posted on this forum by Data-Purge (thank you!). It turned out to be right Very Happy
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sebber



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There's also the internal program to check for faults:

a. Shut down the G2 and then hold the Performance Mode, Display Mode and Store buttons while you power the unit up. Keep holding until the G2 Testprg is visible in the display.

b. The lower line in the display will show: MNB - PNL - EXP and SYS.

Going into MNB will give the possibility to check USB. It did return a serial number or something similar of the USB controller chip, if I understood correctly. Unfortunately, it still doesn't work.

I talked to the Clavia repair shop in Germany and they said a USB failure is very rare.

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voltage control



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sebber, you could try to locate the output for the USB indicator LED that Varice described, and check for voltage at that point when you turn on the G2 (have the USB plug connected to your computer). When the USB controller on my Engine was failing, the LED did not light up anymore.
If you measure no voltage at that LED output, and if your solder joints checked out ok, it seems most probable that you are dealing with a defective controller chip. If you don't feel like doing repair work yourself, order a new controller chip (get two, just in case anything happens to go wrong) and find a local technician capable of soldering surface mount chips and hire them do it.
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sebber



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That sounds good. How do I measure the voltage of the controller with a multimeter? One pointer of the multimeter goes to the LED pin of the USB controller, where does the other go?

Thanks for your help, vc, much appreciated!

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voltage control



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Sebber. I did a little test and measured for voltage on the USB indicator LED output leads on my g2 keyboard. These are located on the edge of the main board, right opposite the lower G on the keyboard. The indication is LD1. As it turns out there seems to be voltage (about 3.5V DC) on this output at any time the G2 is powered up, regardless of USB traffic. At this point I am not quite sure anymore about what could be concluded from measurements at this output. Anyhow, I would recommend not to try and measure output voltage right on the USB chip itself, as it would be very easy to cause a short circuit between pins and to damage components.

While I was at it, I figured out four points on the board that correspond to the connector pins on the USB jack. The following components are linked to the USB port (measure for continuity between the leads facing the USB port and the connector pins inside the USB jack): C111; C112; F10; F24.
Good luck.
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sebber



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, there's LED 1 and LED 2. I get good results for all of them, as well for the other connections. I give up now and will send it to the repair man. Thanks a lot!
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