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Broken Spirit Folio Lite - Junk or Salvage?
View Poll Results: Folio Lite - worth trying to fix?
Junk it
6 Votes - 46.15%
Try some tinkering then junk it
7 Votes - 53.85%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Shlomo
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#1
30th March 2006
Old 30th March 2006
  #1
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Red face Broken Spirit Folio Lite - Junk or Salvage?

I have a Soundcraft Spirit Folio Lite mixer that I bought in '95. It started burning and smoking in '03 and I took it out of comission with the intent of maybe trying to fix it some year. Welcome to that year.

So I plug it in today and it doesn't smoke, but the right main channel is buzzing and showing up on the meter, peaking at -3dB. Plug into an amp and it's a nasty strange fluctuating spectral buzz, not just a simple 60Hz.

So here's the question: Is it even worth TRYING to fix? I hesitate to replace it with anything (I trust neither Behringer nor Mackie anymore) or spend any money on something that's really just kind of auxilliary.

Thanks.
#2
30th March 2006
Old 30th March 2006
  #2
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At the very least, I would take it apart and look at it before I threw it away. I probably wouldn't make any serious effort to fix it, but having a look inside will learn you some things. You may get pissed before you get it apart and just smash it - the big maintenance roadblock on those cheap little mixers are the fact that you have to take knobs and nuts off of every single control before you can get the thing apart. Maybe that won't seem so bad when you're goofing around with a tiny little mixer, but the learning experience will pay off if you ever start shopping for a large mixer and happen upon a non-modular design that needs a little bit of work.
I grew up taking things apart. It's how I got started in electronics and I've learned a ton by doing it. I really only recently started putting things back together again. We've got a whole storage area in our shop dedicated to things that we dug into and haven't gotten around to finishing.
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Shlomo
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#3
30th March 2006
Old 30th March 2006
  #3
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Talking

Thanks for the encouragement. The knob removal certainly was something that kept me from doing much more than removing the back panel. There were some loose nuts rolling around in there that might've caused the initial smoking, eg. something was shorting out.

Welcome to my weekend project! If anything comes of this, I'll let y'all know.

Thanks again for the words of support.
Shlomo
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#4
30th March 2006
Old 30th March 2006
  #4
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It just dawned on me that my opening subject line says "Broken Spirit." A nice unexpected double meaning.
Shlomo
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#5
31st March 2006
Old 31st March 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Don't be so lazy, don't we have enough lead in the landfills already?
Oh, I wouldn't throw it away. I'd probably take it to the local scrap metal recycling plant and let them melt it down or whatever they do with it.

As for donating: unless it's an electronics vocational, giving this to a school would be like trying to give someone a typewriter with a broken "t" key. I+'s +he +hough+ +ha+ coun+s, righ+?
#6
31st March 2006
Old 31st March 2006
  #6
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Matt Syson is offline
hi
Never mind fixing it, just spray it wacky colours and sell it as art, someone would be stupid enough to buy it on Ebay!
I like the typewriter analogy, spelling is a poor option these days so 't' wouldn't matter in most places except in Yorkshire in't UK.
Matt S
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#7
31st March 2006
Old 31st March 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shlomo
Oh, I wouldn't throw it away. I'd probably take it to the local scrap metal recycling plant and let them melt it down or whatever they do with it.

As for donating: unless it's an electronics vocational, giving this to a school would be like trying to give someone a typewriter with a broken "t" key. I+'s +he +hough+ +ha+ coun+s, righ+?
I don't know if you've noticed, but all the typewriters are in 3rd world countries now. I know of the local high schools have electronics classes and the local Boy's Club here just opened a new recording studio for the kids, they would love to have that, get the class to repair it as a project, (parts are available from Soundcraft in Northridge unlike typewriter keys) and then donate it to the Boy's Club studio.

Hell, if you give it to me, I'll fix it and donate it.
I would have loved to be able to have stuff like that when I was in school!

No scrap yard is going to take that for the 1 ounce of lead they could extract.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Shlomo
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#8
11th April 2006
Old 11th April 2006
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Hell, if you give it to me, I'll fix it and donate it.
I would have loved to be able to have stuff like that when I was in school!
Don't get me wrong, Jim. I'm not in the business of destroying the dreams of youth. I guess my problem is I DON'T want to get rid of it. If I could fix it, I'd be happy to keep it for PA mixer or to replace my crackley-dying Symetrix sx202. Or whatever.

My other problem is I'm admittedly lazy about things like finding a school that would be interested in such items.

So how's this for a deal, Jim: I'll try to fix it myself. If it's not happening (which is likely), can you recommend a good needy school to donate it to in the LA area? I'll even drive it up.

...While we're at it, know anyone who needs a dying '79 Ford van? I can't seem to find a good use for that thing anymore either.
#9
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
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The one thing you haven't talked about fixing up (the Symetrix SX202) is more useful and valuable than the other two things (the mixer and the van) combined. Why not start by fixing up what you're actually using?
#10
19th April 2006
Old 19th April 2006
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rufus13 is offline
dying caps

My Mackie 1202 vlz failed just like this. Open case and replace the capacitors after the PS diodes. Repace the caps that are bulged and leaking goo. Betcha it works after that.
Shlomo
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#11
24th June 2006
Old 24th June 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13
My Mackie 1202 vlz failed just like this. Open case and replace the capacitors after the PS diodes. Repace the caps that are bulged and leaking goo. Betcha it works after that.
Hey, I had given up on this thread and missed some really useful comments!

I will try this. I didn't see any gooby caps inside, but I'll magnify-glass it next time I open the POS up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses
The one thing you haven't talked about fixing up (the Symetrix SX202) is more useful and valuable than the other two things (the mixer and the van) combined. Why not start by fixing up what you're actually using?
Yes! Agreed. Another thing I've been putting off. Although I'm not using it anymore because the wallwart seems to have died so now I'm running a channel off my Presonus M80 in the interim. All I have to do is find a reputable fix-it shop in West LA and I'm set. Any suggestions?
#12
24th June 2006
Old 24th June 2006
  #12
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Mixermend is offline
Before even taking the mixer apart - do check the separate PSU.

It is very common for problems to be caused by this. The PSU only contains a transformer feeding (from memory) 19 - 0 - 19 volts AC. I have had a few faults where the centre tap connection has become disconnected (usually in the cable or plug) - this causes the loss of the voltage 'reference'.

So always check the PSU first!

Another common fault is overheating of the regulator IC's - as they are 'secured'? to the heatsink with plastic rivets. Often thermal contact is lost - causing the regulator to fail.
#13
25th June 2006
Old 25th June 2006
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Matt Syson is offline
Back to the original post, the right output buzzes, do we take it that the rest of it is working OK?
If so then it would suggest to me that you have a broken track or through hole connection somewhere in the area around the right output circuitry. If you are getting nothing on the other outputs and the right buzzing is the best you get then you are probably still looking for a track or PSU fault but you have possibly burned a rail 'fuse' resistor for the left and other outputs.
Reference to the chassis, pin 4 of any amplifier chips should read probably 15 volts DC and pin 8 on a dual or 7 on a single amp chip should read pos 15 volts.
With exception of chips involved with metering or overload circuits, pin 1 and 7 (duals) and pin 6 on a single should read pretty close to 0 volts DC.
If you are not sure of the chips used, look at the numbers and 'google' them for the data sheet. There will be a summary of what the chip does on the first page and usually a diagram showing what volts go where.
On a more philosophical note, in terms of hard reality it should go into landfill or scrap recycling because it has been manufactured (sold) too cheaply such that the owner is not prepared to spend anything like a 'sustainable wage rate' to a tech to fix it. The chargeout rate necessary to feed your mortgage and household / workshop bills is higher than the cost of throwing it and buying a new one. I have a Mackie 32/8 to repair with dozens of buckled jack sockets. Due to the manufacture friendly design the cost of replacing the sockets (50 sockets and probably a day or so pulling it apart and reassembling it) is going to be nearly half the original cost of the desk (it was an ex demonstrator).
This is heading off to a rant so I'll stop. If the repairs are going ahead I am happy to offer suggestions.
Matt S
#14
9th July 2006
Old 9th July 2006
  #14
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negopus is offline
I own a Spirit Folio Lite that I bought in 1995. It started distorting on the monitor/headphones output last year. I had it serviced by an authorized Soundcraft repair center (at standard repair rates).

When l brought it back at home and I tried, it made a loud 50 Hz AC hum, and the level meters did light up to about 0 dB.

I checked the voltages from the external transformer using a meter. There were two AC signals with a voltage difference of 40 V between them, but no center 0 V reference on the third pin (the transformer output should be 20 V AC-0-20 V AC). The center wire from the transformer was broken (Mixermend noted that this is the most frequent fault in Spirit Folio Lite). I have an old dual-phase AC at home. The repair center had a single-phase AC and (luckily) always connected the external transformer in the "right" position, with the "reference" side of the transformer always on the neutral wire, at ground level. Reversing the transformer in a single-phase AC resulted in the loud hum appearing again. So I fixed the broken center wire from the transformer.

Then I checked the voltage regulators inside the mixer. There are a 7815 and a 7915 that should output +15 V and -15 V, respectively. The 7915 (negative) output was +4.8V. Very strange, I could not understand that. So I brought the mixer back to the repair center. I hope the positive voltage on the negative side did not damage ICs.

The repair center fixed the Folio somehow, and they charged nothing for the repair (it was their fault). Now the mixer won't show the loud hum. However, the monitor output makes a small buzz and in the headphone there is a small 50 Hz AC hum. I have no oscilloscope, so I can't inspect that further.

I am keeping the mixer, as the hum and the buzz are at very low levels, and the main output works fine.
#15
18th March 2008
Old 18th March 2008
  #15
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Gecko - BRA is offline
Myst

Hi all

I have one spirit too. My problem with it is very mysterious. The microphone entrances generate a noise like a click. These clicks are very loud, disabling the use of the microphone entrances. Not yet I had courage to spend money to fix it. Somebody could give me a trick for fix it?

Tks all
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