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Sudden loss of power! :$

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  • Sudden loss of power! :$



    My church owns a 1991 Makin digital organ (you may know that already) and for the past few years now it likes to turn itself off for a few seconds and then turn itself back on. We have had people coming in at least twice and on one occasion they found that a component had fallen down and was shorting the organ out, apparently caused by heaving playing which we think came from an organist who sometimes plays at my church but usually plays on a really heavy tracker organ.</P>


    And now the same problem is happening again, even after it got sorted! After the organ turns itself back on, the Swell manualwill somtimes not work at all. Before it turns itself off, you can sometimes hear a rumble, popping noise from the speakers.</P>


    The most embarissing occasions were on Christmas Day 2006 when it turned itself off twice in 'O come all ye faithful' when I was playing, and then on the previous Remembrance Sunday someone else was playing and it turned off during the national anthem!</P>


    Does anyone know what the hell is going on?</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>


    Jezza</P>

  • #2
    Re: Sudden loss of power! :$



    Jezza,</P>


    Have someone come and check the power supply unit. I am an organ technician and that is definitely the first unit to test when a problem like this is going on.</P>


    In the later model Makin organs, the ones built by Johannus, there is a well-known defect in the +5 volt regulated power supply that causes symptoms very much like you describe. However, I don't know if organs built as early as 1991 used this same power unit.</P>


    If it isn't the power supply, then it is surely somewhere in the interconnecting cables or else a bad solder joint in one of the circuit boards. It may take some detective work, but a good tech can find out what the problem is.</P>


    So don't put up with this one more Sunday! Call a technician who knows his business and this problem will be taken care of.</P>


    John</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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    • #3
      Re: Sudden loss of power! :$

      We have had a few more attempts at calling an engineer out to look at it but the problem is still happening. The last time someone came, they saw that the earth lead in the main power supply had come loose where it screwed into place on the contact, and if you touched this screw (with a screwdriver of course!) it was loose and as it moved, the popping noise kept coming. So they tightened it up and all was well for a few weeks until it kept shutting off again and again. Recently, this is only happening to the other organist and never to me! The only thing he does differently is that he never uses pistons, and he only has the one speaker on the back wall turned on where he can't hear anything.....wheras I have the speaker in the chancel on which is closest to me - although I doubt that this will make a difference.

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      • #4
        Re: Sudden loss of power! :$



        Hi, D32,</P>


        First of all, does this problem occur right away when the organ is turned on? If right away, it's not heat related. If the console has a music or pedal light, turn that on or put a small light into the outlet where the organ plugs into the wall if you can get there. The purpose is to see if the main power is failing such as a bad or loose breaker in the power panel. If the light flickers during the problem, then it's in the primary ac power. I've seen circuit breaker connections loosen and cause these kind of problems, especially with aluminum wire. Also the breaker might be bad. Or the neutral wire mught be loose where it is screwed in the neutral buss. In these cases get an extension cord and use a different outlet. This might solve the problem. At least fix it temporarily until an electrician can repair the circuit.Funny, I just came back from the office where the power outlet for the phone systemfailed. The backup power was drained, then the system died. Fortunately, the system booted properly when I changed outlets. So these power problems are not uncommon. Let's eliminate ac power problems before we go further.</P>


        Al</P>
        <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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        • #5
          Re: Sudden loss of power! :$



          Jezza,</P>


          Excellent advice from Al. I didn't think of that when you first mentioned the problem last year, but the house wiring is indeed suspect in this case.</P>


          It might be as simple as a loose screw in the electrical wall socket the organ is plugged into. There is dangerous shocking (fatal) voltage in there, so it should be checked only by a qualified person. At the other end of this wire is the circuit breaker or fuse box in the building mains. That should also be checked for a loose connection somewhere. Also, the cable that brings power to the organ's receptacle probably goes through other receptacles on the way, and all these should be checked too.</P>


          It's also possible, given the fact that your previous technician found at least one loose wire connector in the organ, that there are others, perhaps many loose wires in the system. After checking the house wiring, a thorough going over by an experienced and competent technician will be in order.</P>


          Don't let this go on forever. Not only is it discouraging to you and to the church-goers, but it could cause more damage to the critical components of the organ. Let us know what happens.</P>


          John</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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          • #6
            Re: Sudden loss of power! :$



            Thanks for this.</P>


            It doesn't happen as soon as you turn the organ on - it could be at any time at all, but it rarely happens to me and it's unfortunate that it always happens on the other organist and I've already mentioned the minor things that he does differently to me.</P>


            There is both a pedal light and a music stand light connected directly into the organ. Now that you mention it, the main power light on the organ on the right jamb likes to flicker quite a lot, and if it flickers quite violently, then that is a sign that it is about to die, as well as the popping and rumbling noises. When it doesn't flicker, then it doesn't die. Also, the popping noise can be made if you kick the wooden panelling above the toe pistons that supports the upper part of the console. This sounds like loose connections to me...</P>


            As for the mains supply, the church was rewired in 2004 and I definitely think that it has been since then that we have had these problems.</P>

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