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Everything about the Clavia Nord Modular G2, G1, and Micromodular Synthesizers.

Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby Clabia » 28 Apr 2013, 03:37

Hi,
My Nord Modular G2 has been shutting down and when that happens it blows up the fuse. I opened to give a look and i saw something really strange on the main board and power supply board. On the power supply board some capacitors seems not be in good condition. On the main board is some strange soldering. I´m going to put some pictures, please give a look and give your opinion!
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Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!


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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby Mr_-G- » 28 Apr 2013, 10:20

Hm... The 4 diodes look like a full wave rectifier. That is most likely not part of the original circuit.
The brown condenser is probably to filter a bit of ripple in that 29300 chip which is a 3.3 V regulator.
Have a look at this thread http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much- ... d-3-a.html
This might have been originally put at the factory (see is a photo with a condenser in that position too) so it might be OK.

I guess that the unit had some problem and somebody "fixed" it (not very beautifully done, I would say...) and added that rectifier instead of removing the broken components.
The semi transparent stuff is likely to be hot glue to minimise movement and avoid any buzzing (some components vibrate/resonate). The capacitors are not "blown" but whether they are functional it is a different matter (they sometimes swell or break along those "+" lines at the shiny base of the component).

I would have this seen by a technician and explain what you found.
Last edited by Mr_-G- on 28 Apr 2013, 15:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby mjbrands » 28 Apr 2013, 18:13

In the top picture it looks like the someone blew up some EMI filters for that first audio output. Instead of replacing them with the correct SMD part (pretty hard to do without the right equipment or at least a healthy dose of patience), it seems they created a botch repair with some diodes. Given enough of a zap, that's not going to keep your electronics from getting friend. What the cap does in that picture isn't clear to me. Looking at the schematics for the Nord Elecro 2 might clear that up (I think their from about the same time, so might have a similar layout - at least the PSU does). You should get this fixed; I can imagine this has some impact on the sound quality for that output too, as these diodes are in the signal path between the DAC and the jacks.

The capacitor in the power supply is an attempt to prevent drop-outs on the 3.3 volt line of the power supply (which could lead to crashes). My Nord Rack 3 also suffers somewhat from that and I've thought about doing something similar. I wouldn't worry too much about this mod, but do check if the capacitor is glued down to the circuit board; the weight of that capacitor shouldn't be borne by those (fairly feeble looking) solder joints.

I haven't had any experience with companies doing repairs on Nords myself, but you might want to check they'll actually be able to (or want to) replace those SMD components. I'm not sure if this is true, but I could imagine they generally don't do stuff like this. You might want to contact them and send them these pictures, so they know what the damage is and what needs to be done. Maybe you need to go looking for someone that is experienced in (and has the right skills/equipment for) doing repairs on prints with SMD components. Getting similarly specced replacements for those filters shouldn't be a big issue and the manual labor would make up the bulk of the costs.

While some 'synth doctors' (I mean the guys repairing 30-40 year old synths) might do excellent work on newer stuff, I think they're generally used to working on older synths (larger components, only through-hole stuff). While they may need to get creative on a 40 year old Moog (because parts can't be found anymore, etc) it would be nice if your (fairly new, relatively speaking) Nord could be repaired with equivalent parts.

Of course, this Nord is still in better condition than one with only a single working output :-)
Last edited by mjbrands on 28 Apr 2013, 18:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby mjbrands » 28 Apr 2013, 18:20

Clabia wrote:My Nord Modular G2 has been shutting down and when that happens it blows up the fuse.

This is strange. That capacitor in the power supply shouldn't have any effect like this. What kind of fuse is in there (voltage and amps)?

Clabia wrote:I opened to give a look and i saw something really strange on the main board and power supply board. On the power supply board some capacitors seems not be in good condition.

Why do you say some are not in good condition (you're probably right though)? Are the swelling up or have they perhaps even popped, where they have crusty brown stuff on the top?

Bad capacitors might be an important cause of the issues you're seeing. Fortunately, replacing bad caps isn't that hard. Again, the parts won't cost that much, most of the repair cost will be in the labor. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if a company doing repairs on Nords can still order a new, replacement power supply for your Nord. The old one can likely be repaired thought.
Last edited by mjbrands on 28 Apr 2013, 18:21, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby Clabia » 29 Apr 2013, 01:17

Hi,
Big thanks on the replies, well some problem is going on, on this synth if the cause is this problems i don´t know. But right now something is making short circuit because every time i turn on the synth it "crashes", the fuse blows up. It´s the second time it happens and two times straight, the fuse i use is 125mA is the current on the synth, the synth is connect to a Furman power conditioner some way i suspect is the power cable because it gets too loosy on the contacts. I´ll be going first for the small issues then i will look for bigger problems.

PS: I tried to contact the Clavia Nord Technician Support but nobody replied, quite strange and didn´t find any e-mail, well if somebody knows i´d appreciate.
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby mjbrands » 29 Apr 2013, 17:11

Clabia wrote:well some problem is going on, on this synth if the cause is this problems i don´t know. But right now something is making short circuit because every time i turn on the synth it "crashes", the fuse blows up. It´s the second time it happens and two times straight, the fuse i use is 125mA is the current on the synth

Assuming you also have 220-240 volt like me (Netherlands), that's the right fuse. You could go to a 150 mA one, but I wouldn't go to a heavier one than that. In your case I'd say something is really wrong, perhaps a short-circuit as you suspect.

This is really not good.

Are you going to try to figure this out yourself? If so, realize you can make it much, much worse. If you are, I'd start by figuring out if the power supply itself is at fault. You could disconnect the ribbon cable between the mainboard on the left and the power supply on the right. If your fuse still blows, the power supply must be at fault (I hope that's the case); if not there is likely a short somewhere on the mainboard. With a good multimeter, you might be able to pinpoint the short by measuring the resistance between the power rails (5V and 3.3V) but this is quite a lot of work. If you have some knowledge of electronics, you'll have an idea of the likely suspect components (I'd start with the bodge repairs).

Edit: don't start measuring in your Nord when the power cord is plugged in!! DANGER WILL ROBINSON. Unless you know what you're doing, you could electrocute yourself.

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if a repair shop (in general) will try convince you it (very likely) cannot be repaired; there's a good chance this is outside of what they consider repairable. Note that I didn't say 'it cannot be repaired'. As long as the (repeated) short-circuits didn't cause additional damage, there's still (some) hope but I would keep in mind what fixing it is worth to you. If it turns out the power supply is at fault, you have more options and things look better (though there may still be damage to the mainboard); a different (new or refurbished) power supply would be the easiest option, though repairing the power supply would likely also be possible (since the power supply is much simpler than the mainboard).

Clabia wrote:PS: I tried to contact the Clavia Nord Technician Support but nobody replied, quite strange and didn´t find any e-mail, well if somebody knows i´d appreciate.

In most counties tech support is done via the distributor for that country. At the top-right of the Clavia/Nord site you can find a link called Distributors which links to a page with all distributors; it should list the details for the distributor in your country.

Or did you mean you contacted your distributor? If you contacted Clavia themselves, there's a very good chance they sent your request on to the distributor, who should then contact you. I'd prefer it if Clavia would inform users of this, but appearently they don't. At least this is what I understood, but I could be wrong. :shh:

If you did contact the distributor, I would try again (maybe call them?) and if you still don't get any response, contact Clavia and let them know you tried contacting the distributor for your country, but got no response.
Last edited by mjbrands on 29 Apr 2013, 17:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby WoutBlommers » 04 May 2013, 11:29

I know he isn't situated in Portugal, but the USA/Canadian technician for Nord, Pablo Mastodon, is a member of this forum too and, if possible, very helpfull in cases like this. When he doesn't chime in himself you can contact him at member295.html
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby pablomastodon » 04 May 2013, 16:51

Hi Clabia, Hi Wout,

I have been watching this with interest, but too busy/lazy to open up one of my G2Xs for comparison (I'm refurbing one for sale). I have double gigs today, and another gig early tomorrow afternoon, but will check it out tomorrow evening and let you know what I see.

Regarding the support inquiry submissions to Nord's website, MJ is correct -- support inquiries submitted to the Nord website are auto-forwarded to the individual responsible for handling tech support in the country from which the incoming email originated. The Nord Crew reads them all just so that they can know what is going on and step in for unusual cases, but will generally sit back and allow the national tech support to step up and handle it (as they are supposed to do). This will be one of those situation in which YMMV.

Ultimately, if the electronics need professional attention you will need to find someone competent to the task. If you find no one in Portugal to handle that for you, the folks in Stockholm can certainly handle it. Their labor rates are extremely competitive when compared to what folks are used to paying over here in the USA. Shipping costs from USA are crazy expensive, though; perhaps this is not so terrible from Portugal.

More tomorrow...

Pablo

P.S. -- Please note that the amazing Variation feature of the G2 platform is now being resurrected in the Lead 4, except with a new twist: it's momentary. This is gonna be fun!
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby WoutBlommers » 04 May 2013, 22:02

But the G2 has 8 Variations!!! (just joking: patch + 7 = 8)...
Anyway, the variations, are the routings included? If not, they are just Morphs.

(I didn't check it in Frankfurt, because a huge guy stood in the way... Oh it was you ;-)
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Re: Help! Suspect issue on my boards!!!!

Postby SamwiseGanges » 07 Jan 2017, 23:24

I know this original post is from 2013 so I apologize for forum necromancy, but this should be useful to people facing power issues with their Nord Modular G2 in the future.

Strange as at may seem, the little hand-soldered bridge of diodes and bent-over capacitor with hot glue are on my Nord Modular G2 board as well, and as far as I can tell, that's how it is produced, and that alone isn't likely the cause of the problem. There may be a newer version of the board that they started producing which does away with this unsightly thing, but I'm not sure.

From the fact that your fuse is being blown, I'd say the issue is most likely on the power supply board on the right, maybe a short past one of the resistors. If you contact Clavia they could likely point you to a local keyboard technician that is knowledgeable about Nord keyboards who just may have a spare power supply board or be able to source one.

Thank you,
Sam
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