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Novation Launchpad malfunction

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  • Jim U
    replied
    It's probably fixed. After I cooled the card in the frig, I found it worked for a while!. Then probing with a heat gun, I found a number of diodes that caused the malfunction when warmed. Replaced three suspect diodes and it's fine. I couldn't tell you why a few diodes became excessively leaky after several years of working correctly.
    Jim U

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  • Jim U
    replied
    Sorry. I was confused myself till I realized that a shorted diode in a 3 by x keyboard matrix will produce exactly the symptoms I described.
    Never had a surge problem that did not harm other equipment (of which I have lots) especially from a USB port. If so, the Launchpad S is pretty wimpy. There is a surge protector built into the power strip that feeds the ASUS tower that runs Hauptwerk, the MIDI converters and my external audio interfaces, but I consider power strip surge protectors to be not very reliable after several years of use.
    A stuck key in a diode matrix keyboard will affect only itself.

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  • Leisesturm
    replied
    Originally posted by Jim U View Post
    One last update. I received an Email from Novation Music Support saying they consider the problem a correctable hardware issue. I am curious about the cost of repair. Maybe I'll inquire and see how their cost compares with Ebay's $60 (more or less).
    I congratulate Novation for the timely reply. Good to know they think the units can be repaired if they become scarce in the future.
    Thanks again to the OF folks for the conversation.
    To be honest you didn't give us (or Novation?) anywhere close to the amount of background information on your setup to diagnose your problem. Given that two unrelated units have failed in the same manner I would expect any new units to eventually fail as well. Do you have a surge protector for your power supplies? A Launchpad has many keypads. I once solved a mysterious situation that turned out to be a stuck key that wasn't obvious. I would be exercising every single key and/or switch on both Launchpads to see if there are any stuck or unresponsive keypads or switches.

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  • Jim U
    replied
    One last update. I received an Email from Novation Music Support saying they consider the problem a correctable hardware issue. I am curious about the cost of repair. Maybe I'll inquire and see how their cost compares with Ebay's $60 (more or less).
    I congratulate Novation for the timely reply. Good to know they think the units can be repaired if they become scarce in the future.
    Thanks again to the OF folks for the conversation.

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  • Jim U
    replied
    All good advice, John. My particular problem does not appear solvable with software upgrades. My VPO has been in constant use as a practice organ for five years now and I am loath to modify it other than for repair.

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  • John Kinkennon
    replied
    While this is contrary to the advice I've seen online I would try connecting the Launchpad S through a powered USB hub, one with its own AC power cord. The requirement for a half amp of current via the USB connector exceeds what some computers, especially laptops, can provide.

    Aside from ensuring that the power supply is adequate, do get online and apply any upgrades that Novation has published. I can't see all of the downloads as I am not a registered used but I believe that MIDI-OX software may be required to connect to the launchpad and load a simple Sysex file.

    Upgrades are essential these days -- yes, it would be fantastic if every piece of software ran perfectly the first time but that is almost never the case. Do consider upgrading to Hauptwerk V if only to support the finest organ sounds available. Run Win 10 if at all feasible and check whatever software you run for upgrades on a regular basis.

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  • Jim U
    replied
    I realize that the Launchpad S is obsolete. But--Hauptwerk 4.1 or 4.1.01 was designed to work with the S model. Newer Launchpads have been reported to work with some limitations in the output display. This is only hearsay. I personally have no experience. Launchpad S units are readily available on Ebay so I'm sticking with them. Because Hauptwerk ran into a crack threat, they seem to have released a new version (at extra cost and hassle even to former users). This version claims to support the Launchpad Mk II. The situation does not sit well with me so I may not ever "upgrade".

    I suspect a weak component is the issue rather than static damage or excessive USB power.
    I did post a complaint to the Novation tech support last night. I'll let you know if they reply with anything useful.
    Again thanks to all for your comments. I had previously convinced myself that the problem was software related and did not see the obvious.
    Jim U

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  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Regarding the cause of the failures, when I saw what you have setup, I'm wondering if that could be causing the issues? USB 3ff provided more power, and I'm wondering if somehow that power signal could have caused the hardware failures. I know the older USB protocols didn't provide power, or as much power to connected devices.

    I might be barking up the wrong tree, but it's worth wondering.

    Michael

  • Admin
    commented on 's reply
    Static discharge or a bad run of components used by the manufacturer. The Launchpad S has been discontinued for years.

  • Jim U
    replied
    Thank you for your suggestions, but I think that this may be a hardware failure after all.

    The connection is very simple: USB to an ASUS desktop runnning Windows 8 and Hauptwerk 8.1 as it has for at least two years. There is no Internet connection and there have been no updates. The CPU is dedicated to an electric organ and has not been touched except for occasional restarts.

    The memory appears to be a part of the CPU chip inside the Launchpad. Since I do not know how to reflash the software, it would not help to replace it.

    I now think that because all physical rows of the switch matrix (9x9) display the same symptom and that the keys that cause the multiple midi messages are in columns 3, 6 and 9, the key scan function is most likely the problem rather than the software. Maybe the port that reads the columns in question, retain the "key down" state while reading the next columns. I verified this conclusion by holding down a key in an offending column and the keys in the adjacent columns remain non functional. There are no discrete isolation diodes visible. They must be included in controller chip.

    I think the moderator is correct. They're fried. Why the same failure on two different devices though? I posted this thread mostly to see if others have experienced the problem.

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  • AllenAnalog
    replied
    Is it possible that an EEPROM used to store user settings has defective memory locations? That might be a different chip than the PROM or EPROM that holds the operating firmware. Thus the unit will boot but the user settings are partially corrupted.

    EEPROMs of a certain vintage and manufacture have known failure modes so having two units with similar failures points to a common component as the troublemaker. Are the memory chips inside the unit mounted in sockets or soldered to the PC board?

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  • Leisesturm
    replied
    I worked for 15 years in IT and became an ace troubleshooter of desktop computer systems. Troubleshooting is more art than science. It does not sound to me like the unit is fried. However, two units failing in the exact same manner does (should) narrow the focus of the problem solving. I would need to know much more about how the Launchpads are being programmed to be of more help. That, however, is where I think the problem is. All that said, a good troubleshooter assumes nothing. How exactly is the Launchpad connected to the organ console, computer, power rail. Be as thorough as you can be in your descriptions.

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  • Jim U
    replied
    If it's fried I'm surprised that it boots, displays the serial number, works perfectly as an output device, and can function as an impaired input device. Most advice on the internet assumes that it's connected to the Ableton or some other DAW.
    I can see what it's doing with MIDIOX. If you pop the case you can see what's probably an RS-232 port inside. Maybe that's how it was originally flashed. The
    The thing is I now have had two units with the same problem. I only use one unit, but some VPO installations have up to four to use as organ stop switches. At this rate the world will be littered with Launchpad boards (hope they're lead-free).

    Thanks for your responses, BTW
    Jim U

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  • Admin
    replied
    It sounds to me like it's fried, but have you checked the User Manual to see if there are any special user modes that might account for this behavior? Download the User Manual from the link below.

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  • Admin
    commented on 's reply
    myorgan, the original post was in 2017. The latest one was just a day ago.
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