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Soundtracs 24 Midi PC Console - PSU problems
Old 3rd January 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
Spikeh's Avatar
 

Soundtracs 24 Midi PC Console - PSU problems

Hi there everyone This is my first post - been looking at the site for a while now, extremely informative and has helped me many times - let's hope someone can help me with this issue - I've just come across something I could do with some expert advice on!

I'm relatively new to sound engineering and production (about 2 years), but I can tell you for free I'm getting in to it thick and fast. I have a part time job as a sound engineer at a local unsigned band venue, been recording a few band's albums (including some of my own band's songs) and been buying kit like it was free. Considering opening a studio at some point in the future too.

Anyway - enough about me! On to my issue...

I've just acquired a Soundtracs 24 Midi PC Console - the largest desk in my collection by far (and for a home studio with limited space, I think I have too many as it is! :P). However - I don't have a PSU for it :( I've written off to Soundtracs, who've referred me to "Studio Systems" who now deal with the support for all of their old analogue products. However - neither manufacturer can provide me with an original PSU.

Studio Systems have informed me they can make me one for a price costing more than the console's worth itself. Obviously not a risk I'm willing to take considering that I don't know if the console even works yet!

My question is this - are there any people out there who have a spare one of these, or anything similar that I can have modified to work with the Soundcraft Midi PC? It requires a 6 PIN DIN connection, +/-17v, 5v and +48v phantom. I've been informed that a A+H Sabre supply ot large Soundcraft 600 / 6000 PSU will do the trick...

Any feedback is greatly appreciated - I really want to get my hands on this juicy bit of kit as soon as possible so I can record my next clients though it!

Thank you in advance for any replys
Old 3rd January 2007
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post

Studio Systems have informed me they can make me one for a price costing more than the console's worth itself. Obviously not a risk I'm willing to take considering that I don't know if the console even works yet!
Hi and welcome.

I would have thought the previous owner probably knows most of all about it's history and whether its worth repairing. I think only through contacting him for more info will you have a firm idea of how much time and money you might want to dedicate to its repair.

You could probably find a 24ch Solitaire console (without patchbay) for about £4,000 if you have a little patience; so my estimate is that your 24 MIDI PC, would be unlikely to ever be worth more that £3,000 once fully repaired. Having said that, I think these desks are massively undervalued; if you've got room for one, you get a whole lot of audio routing options for your money, not to mention the pres, eqs and summing.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #3
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Thanks for the welcome

Alas, it's not possible for me to contact the previous owner, as he passed away :(

To cut a long story short, it was given one of my band members, which was then in turn given / sold to me, as he has no idea how to use it, nor does he have any inclination to!

I'm kinda holding out for someone who has the gear / knowledge I seek... it's a hard one - if I can't find a PSU for it then I doubt anyone else will be able to, which makes it pretty much worthless...
Old 3rd January 2007
  #4
RiF
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Hi Spikeh,
I don't know if this helps, but I have a spare 2nd PSU for my 32ch Soundtracs Megas Console. It reads the following at the back of the unit:
Model: X-Source PSU
115/230V AC 50/60Hz
+17V DC 4A max. Pins 2,6
-17V DC 4A max Pin 3
+48V DC 0,25A max Pin 1
Ground Pins 4,5,7

It has a 7-Pin (6 at a circle around the 7th pin in the middle) connector, a bit larger than a DIN-MIDI-Connector with a screw thread to apply the power cable (I only have one of those, so no cable to spare here).

If it happens that this PSU might work with your Console (the guys over at Studio Systems should be able to tell you), feel free to make an offer.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #5
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I believe the PSU requires +5v for the midi muting set up... though it looks promising, so I'll ask the guys at Studio Systems!

I'd need to look, but I'm sure the desk requires a 6 pin din connection - but as I said, I'll ask the guys.

I really don't know what second hand PSUs are worth, so I wouldn't have an idea what to offer, RiF, you'll have to give me an idea what you'd want for it if it's feasible to use it?
Old 3rd January 2007
  #6
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RiF's spare PSU would do your job with a little modification. A little 7805 with two 100uF caps on either side tapped into the output of the main rectifier in any PSU would sort out the +5V problem. Material cost £3 from Maplin. No big deal.

If you have an electronician friend, he can do it for you. Just make sure that the DIN plug is changed with an appropriate one and rewired from inside to match appropriate pin connections for the mixer.

If you can't find anyone to do it for you, just send me the psu and the inner connector photos showing what pin is for what voltage, I'll do it up and send it back to you for a flat labour fee.

B.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 
Spikeh's Avatar
 

Barish,
That's pretty much exactly what Tim @ Studio Systems has said! What would you charge for labour?

RiF - what are you thinking for the PSU?

I may just hold out for the correct PSU instead of bodging a PSU that's not meant for it :(

The problem is that I really can't justify spending much money on it right now until I'm sure the desk works!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barish View Post
RiF's spare PSU would do your job with a little modification. A little 7805 with two 100uF caps on either side tapped into the output of the main rectifier in any PSU would sort out the +5V problem. Material cost £3 from Maplin. No big deal.

If you have an electronician friend, he can do it for you. Just make sure that the DIN plug is changed with an appropriate one and rewired from inside to match appropriate pin connections for the mixer.

If you can't find anyone to do it for you, just send me the psu and the inner connector photos showing what pin is for what voltage, I'll do it up and send it back to you for a flat labour fee.

B.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #8
RiF
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Spikeh, although Barish really seems to know what we's talking about (I am no electronic guy, so I don't understand much of what he's speaking about) it seems as if I hold one of the last PSUs on this planet for these consoles (which I love) and I am a bit worried about the day when one of them breaks and I gave away the other one.
Maybe you should look around some more getting a PSU for YOUR console and come back here, if you had no luck getting one.
Old 4th January 2007
  #9
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Yeah, I'm looking all over the place at the moment :( I dearly hope I can find one :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiF View Post
Spikeh, although Barish really seems to know what we's talking about (I am no electronic guy, so I don't understand much of what he's speaking about) it seems as if I hold one of the last PSUs on this planet for these consoles (which I love) and I am a bit worried about the day when one of them breaks and I gave away the other one.
Maybe you should look around some more getting a PSU for YOUR console and come back here, if you had no luck getting one.
Old 4th January 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
I also have the MidiPC24 console. It is actually an XLR connector, not DIN. If you do a search for Soundtracs, you should find the website for the guy in the UK that handles all the old analog decks. You can get a manual with power supply schematics from him, which should help you out for building a supply from scratch, if need be.

Here it is:
http://www.studiosystems.co.uk/
Old 4th January 2007
  #11
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Yeah, I'm already speaking to him - £20 for the manual, which I'll get if I can get the desk working!

6 pin XLR? I think I must be missing something here...

I'm no electronics expert unfortunately :( Unless of course I can find a step by step guide... even then I'd be dubious about making one myself. Electricity isn't something I like to mess around with...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrebes View Post
I also have the MidiPC24 console. It is actually an XLR connector, not DIN. If you do a search for Soundtracs, you should find the website for the guy in the UK that handles all the old analog decks. You can get a manual with power supply schematics from him, which should help you out for building a supply from scratch, if need be.

Here it is:
http://www.studiosystems.co.uk/
Old 4th January 2007
  #12
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Sorry for the delay in replying. I was away from my computer for a day yesterday. Please check your PM.

Cheers.

B.
Old 5th January 2007
  #13
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Thanks Barish.

I've been offered a Behringer MX8000 PSU - it supplies +-18v, 5v & 48v.

Do you think it'll do the trick if I have some voltage regulator's fitted / fiddled around with? I've been offered it for the modest sum of a pint of guiness
Old 5th January 2007
  #14
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So long as the current rating of the feeds are good enough for your desk, and you make sure that the right voltage goes to right pin on the socket, then you can test the desk with it to make sure it works. The +/- 1V excess on DC rails won't burn your desk. But once you made sure that it is working, you'd have to get it readjusted to +/- 17V, for otherwise the excess may mess up the biasing in some parts of the circuit and cause inconsistencies during operation.

B.
Old 5th January 2007
  #15
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You're a star, thank you very much. I'll see where I can go from here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barish View Post
So long as the current rating of the feeds are good enough for your desk, and you make sure that the right voltage goes to right pin on the socket, then you can test the desk with it to make sure it works. The +/- 1V excess on DC rails won't burn your desk. But once you made sure that it is working, you'd have to get it readjusted to +/- 17V, for otherwise the excess may mess up the biasing in some parts of the circuit and cause inconsistencies during operation.

B.
Old 9th January 2007
  #16
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Hi RiF - can you get hold of me in regards to your PSU please?

Cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiF View Post
Spikeh, although Barish really seems to know what we's talking about (I am no electronic guy, so I don't understand much of what he's speaking about) it seems as if I hold one of the last PSUs on this planet for these consoles (which I love) and I am a bit worried about the day when one of them breaks and I gave away the other one.
Maybe you should look around some more getting a PSU for YOUR console and come back here, if you had no luck getting one.
Old 9th January 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I have an IL3632, its power supply went bung. I replaced it with an MCI 500 series PSU that was slightly modified... its built like a tank though. The IL3632 needs 5.5amp rails though, the MCI PSU provides 8amp rails (good for me, runs cooler)... but it could be complete overkill for you. It weighs an absolute tonne too, probably very close to 50kg's.
Old 9th January 2007
  #18
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Hehe, thanks for the offer but I've already got a PSU I'm going to get modified to work with the desk - just 3u and probably weighs less than 10kg

Unless someone has a specific, working Soundtracs Midi PC PSU, I've got all I need for now. I want to get hold of RiF for another reason

Cheers anyway man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
I have an IL3632, its power supply went bung. I replaced it with an MCI 500 series PSU that was slightly modified... its built like a tank though. The IL3632 needs 5.5amp rails though, the MCI PSU provides 8amp rails (good for me, runs cooler)... but it could be complete overkill for you. It weighs an absolute tonne too, probably very close to 50kg's.
Old 9th January 2007
  #19
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Oh, Im not trying to sell one... just giving you a heads up on what is out there. Quite a few console manufacturers operate on 17-18v rails. Amek too I think, which are just rebadged PSU's IIRC... made by International Power or something along those lines.
Old 9th January 2007
  #20
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Ah right... well, I have a behringer MX8000 PSU now, gonna modify that and get it going, hopefully!
Old 12th January 2007
  #21
Here for the gear
 

need cable

You may be my hero today RiF. I was desperatly looking for that exact cable you mentioned in an earlier post. I obtained a Soundtracs 32ch console as well and i am missing the power cable. the way you described the extra cable (7 pins, 6 making a circle and one in the center) sounds like that is exacly what i need. let me know if you are still interested in selling it. Thanks!
Old 16th January 2007
  #22
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Follow up question!

Alright... I have a PSU, I'm having it modified by someone now... however... is there anyone out there who can tell me what ampheres the Midi PC desk draws? The electronicist is a little worried that the PSU I've provided (the MX8000 PSU) will be powerfull enough for the Midi PC desk!
Old 16th January 2007
  #23
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Well, if he's getting the dough, then he should know better


Hint: Count the opamps on one channel, multiply it by the total number of channels, add master section in a similar fashion, multiply the sum by one opamp's current consumption, add meterbridge LEDs as 10mA per LED, add to the sum %100 contingency for the rest of the circuitry and add another 50% and that's the minimum the PSU should rate for a trouble-free operation.

Calculate the logic circuitry in the same fashion too.

My guess is around 5A plus per rail for the analog part, and another amp ort two for the logic part but it depends on the desk. Phantom power current rating is usually negligably low so it won't bother the situation.

Or simply look at the user manual of the thing and check the power consumption rating

My Topaz 24 is rated at 160W so that makes just under 10A at +/- 17V rail supply, which means 5A per rail consumption. That's a rough estimation and it usually works as long as you stay on the excess in supply rather than famine. The PSU should be able to handle more than what's required in order to work in a comfort zone rather than on the edge.

You can figure out yours from there.

B.
Old 4th February 2007
  #24
Gear Head
 
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Just an update.

I've got the Behringer PSU working with the desk now (thanks to Tim at Studiosystems) but it's not powerful enough to run all the rails on the desk :( I can run 8 with no issues, but any more and it starts acting funny. Got up to 16 rails on, but it's intermittant and I don't think I'd like to record with it like that.

So, the cut it short, I'm STILL looking for an original Soundtracs PSU that'll work with this desk - if ANYONE has one or knows of one for sale, please let me know
Old 7th February 2007
  #25
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OK - I'm going to try to replace the +17v and -17v regulators to see if that helps...

I went to Maplin (a big UK electronics dealer) and found out that regulators come in different amps(?). I'm useless with electronics...

Can anyone tell me exactly what +/-17v regulators I'd need for this PSU?

Thanks!
Old 7th February 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
OK - I'm going to try to replace the +17v and -17v regulators to see if that helps...
It won't.


It cost you more than you were initially quoted for already.


False economy it is that you are after.



That reminded me of John Klett's farewell post back in his forum at REP.


"Tell me how to hook this up to that so that I won't have to pay a qualified engineer like you."



I suggest you hire a qualified engineer's services to sort it out once and for all for you.



Or start studying some electronics.


B.
Old 7th February 2007
  #27
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I've already paid an engineer to get it working! However, I don't fancy sending it back down south to him (£30 there and back) to replace the regulators just cos I have a hunch (the guy who gave me the PSU is insistant that one of the regulators is on its way out). The engineer said that the regulators were working fine, but he didn't test it with the desk so he didn't know if it would work or not...

It works, it's just intermittant and it doesn't seem to like more than 8 channels enabled at once.

I was actually looking up electronics courses today because I'm going to need to know a lot of stuff in the future...
Old 7th February 2007
  #28
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Replacing those regulators won't solve your problem, for they are only feeding the desk only what the transformer is feeding them with.

If the transformer can only supply 3A at 24V, whether you put in there a 5A rated regulator or a 10A rated regulator is irrelevant. You'll still get 3 or less amperage at the output.

And furthermore, may be there is a pair of power transistor circuits in there that suppy the main current to the desk and the regulators only provide a reference voltage to them, so upgrading their current rate will not solve anything either.

Also there is no such thing as a 17V regulator IC. It is a non-standard voltage as far as fixed-voltage regulators are concerned. The circuit must have some other components in relation with the specs of that particular regulator IC to bias it down to that particular voltage, which means finding a drop-in replacement will surely be tricky, and you will have to tweak a few surrounding components to readjust it.

How do you know?

There are tons of different ways of designing a power supply.

The guy at the Sounddesk told you right. The regulators were fine, and probably will be so for a long time. It's just that your desk needs more juice than what you have in hand may supply and there is no other way than building one that will cut the mustard.


And sadly, such a thing costs.


So, yours is still a false economy, but good luck with your quest in electronics anyway. It's a joyful ride.


(BTW, you'd get a better free technical advice in Prodigy-Pro )


B.
Old 8th February 2007
  #29
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Thanks for the advice You may be right (you certainly know more than me) - I may have to just make do with this PSU until a Soundtracs one comes up :( Still going to learn a lot more about electronics though... maybe even build my own PSU in the future

I'll be sure to keep this thread updated with any progress
Old 2nd April 2009
  #30
Here for the gear
 

PSU ?

i have a soundtracs PSU that I'm taking offers for. [email protected]
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