Unoffical empeg BBS

Quick Links: Empeg FAQ | Software | RioCar.Org | Hijack | jEmplode | emphatic
Repairs: Repairs | Addons: Eutronix | Cases

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#73957 - 22/02/2002 03:08 Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Preface

I hope it's OK that I'm posting this review. I'm not certain if Brian wants information about his project to be disclosed publicly yet. I asked Brian via a private e-mail if it was OK to post about this, but he's probably in bed right now and I haven't seen a response yet. Oh, and there's that other issue where my mail server seems to like bouncing messages from his address... Anyway, I'm so excited about this that I couldn't wait any longer. So here we go.

Backlit buttons!

Brian just gave me a crack at one of his first backlit button kits. He's almost ready to start making these publicly available, and he wanted a guinea pig to help him work the kinks out of the system. I sent him the cash last week, and received the kit in the mail today. Began work on it immediately after I got home, and it took several hours to complete. I took lots of notes, and I just sent off my notes to him.

By pure coincidence, Mark Lord graced us with his presence again today, and I took the opportunity to ask him if he would please add Brian's button-light-activation code to his default Hijack kernel. I did this even before I knew that the parts had arrived in the mail. I got home tonight, ready to install the kit, and found that Mark had put up Hijack 202 just in the nick of time. Thanks, Mark!

So, what does it look like?!

The file attached to this message here is a photo of what the player now looks like sitting on my desk as I type this. Note that since all Brian had were blue buttons to send me, I have changed the player screen color from green to blue, just so I could match.

As you can see, it is the business. It is the shiznit. It is the bee's knees. Words cannot describe how utterly cool this is.

One thing you can't see from the photo is that the shade of blue of the buttons is slightly different than the shade of blue of the screen. My digital camera isn't the best at capturing the subtleness of the hues coming from the player's screen, so the photo makes the buttons look like a perfect match. In real life, they are close, but not exactly the same. Since we know that there is a lot of variation in the screen hues, it's not going to be possible for Brian to match the hues perfectly. I think that he's gotten it quite close, and it looks fantastic. In fact, I think the slight difference in hue looks really good, and now I'm curious to try it with blue buttons and a green screen.

Assembly

I'm going to say this right off the bat right now...

THIS IS SERIOUSLY HARD CORE.

This is not an easy hack. It is nerve-wracking and a complete pain in the ass to do. You have no idea how frigging small these surface-mount components are until you've actually tried to solder them yourself. You must be extremely good with a soldering iron if you want to do this.

Let me strengthen that statement. You must be better than the best solderer you know. Think about your skill with a soldering iron objectively for a moment. When you look at other people's soldering jobs, do you think "I could do better than that with my eyes closed"? You have to be twice as good as that.

The surface-mount components required here are basically the size of a flea with anorexia. Imagine having to flow the solder onto just one tiny part of something that small. The resistor pack that solders onto the display board has eight tiny pads that must each be soldered individually, and if the solder fills any of the gaps between the pads, you're hosed.

I was able to do it, but just barely. I'm worried that it's going to stop working after a few thermal cycles of my player because my solder joints on the resistor pack will come loose.

Fortunately, the resistor pack was the hardest part. Assembling the knob-board and soldering the LEDs into the buttons was pretty easy by comparison. The components that went onto the knob-board were just as small as the resistor pack, but at least they didn't have rows of tightly-spaced connection points. After doing the resistor pack, the knob-board was a walk in the park. I still wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has even the slightest doubts about their soldering skills, though.

The tails of the LEDs didn't quite "drop" into the button holes, they required some coaxing and bending before they would go through. At least on my board, that's how it worked out. YMMV.

After testing with a multimeter and discovering to my amazement that the resistor pack was soldered correctly, I hooked up power. And discovered I had soldered in the top LED backwards, it didn't light up. D'OH! Desoldering that bugger was a pain. So, I warn you now: Triple check Brian's illustrations and make sure you really are following them!

I had some difficulty fitting the knob properly after the knob-board was installed, but I was able to resolve the issue with some ingenuity and modding. I have confidence that Brian will be able to make it work more universally when he starts shipping these things for real.

And while I'm on the subject of the knob-board, I just want to say that it's a tiny little work of art. Quite clever, how he worked it all out so that it lights the knob properly.

Oh, and as long as we're talking about works of art...

The Buttons

Absolutely impeccable castings. The texture and shape is fantastic. No bubbles or cracks.

I had a slight problem with the knob, which is that somehow it came out kind of oblong instead of perfectly circular. But this is no big deal, I think this was an early prototype knob and he'll hopefully be able to correct it in future castings. You can't tell the knob is out of round when it's installed on the player, it just looks normal.

The plastic of these knobs is a touch more "brittle" than the plastic used in the original knobs. For some reason, this makes the knob grip the shaft less tightly than the original knobs.

I have a Mark2 with the round (non-keyed) encoder shaft. Some of you may remember that the very first Mk2 shipments had their knobs slip on the shaft, so they redesigned the knobs to grip better and gave replacements to Mk2 owners. With these replacement knobs, there was a rubber O-ring included. The O-ring made the knob grip even tighter. Well, I never needed the O-ring with the original replacement knob, but I kept it just in case. Well, with these translucent knobs, you need the O-ring. Glad I kept it. Now that the O-ring is in place, it's very solid and does not slip on the shaft.

Since I don't have a 2a to play with, I can't comment on how the knob would work with a 2a.

The four buttons fit perfectly. Brian did an amazing casting job. They are slightly more sensitive to fascia position than the original buttons, so you have to be careful about scooching the fascia into the right position before cinching down the hex screws, but as long as you're careful and you don't make the hex screws more than finger-tight, the buttons work great.

Brian has stated that he intends to experiment with different compounds to make the buttons distribute light more evenly. I would like to see this happen eventually, but even without this feature, the buttons look fantastic.

When the buttons are not backlit, they appear very very dark. Almost black, in fact. This actually looks quite cool on the face of the "powered off" player, giving it a sleek stealthy look reminiscent of the Mk1.

I would assume that any compounds used to spread the light more evenly would make the plastic color lighter, too. That means that if you want blue buttons, they would appear to be a milky sky-blue in regular light. This might or might not look good, I don't know. Personally, I'd like to see Brian take a stab at grayish translucent buttons. I think that buttons backlit in a neutral gray tone would look fantastic when set against the colored player lens. Well, let's just hope Brian get the time to work more on this and come up with different things to try.

Summary

On the Spinal Tap scale:
Coolness factor: 11
Installation difficulty: 9.5

Should you do this to your player? If you really think you can solder an eight-pad SMT resistor pack onto an irreplaceable display board, then it's a no-brainer. This looks awesome. And your player will be the star of the next owner's meet.

If you can't do the soldering, then I suggest making friends with someone who can. Buy them lunch. Or flowers. Or a Porsche. Whatever it takes.


Attachments
71792-backlit.jpg (1113 downloads)

_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73958 - 22/02/2002 06:22 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK
You might find the SMT soldering a little easier if you use solder paste instead of solid strand. You dab the paste onto the pads, stick the component down, and heat up the terminals with a soldering iron or hot air gun.

Rob

Top
#73959 - 22/02/2002 09:30 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Personally, I'd like to see Brian take a stab at grayish translucent buttons.

I agree. I would also like to see purple ones. I seem to remeber early sketches of the Mk2 with a blue screen and purple buttons and knob. I think that would look wicked awesome.

I am very clumsy when it comes to soldering, but if Rob is right about the solder paste I might be willing to try this mod.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

Top
#73960 - 22/02/2002 09:48 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: robricc]
LTJBukem
enthusiast

Registered: 18/07/2001
Posts: 299
Wasn't someone going to make some flourescent ones, that gave a nice hint of blue. I spotted some powder a while back that could be added to the mix. This would work for me, as I'm officially the worst solderer I know
_________________________
LTJ

Top
#73961 - 22/02/2002 09:58 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: rob]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Actually, the paste is still an absolute pain. What makes the job much easier is plenty of SMT flux - you can buy pens of it for about $5. Ok, the amount in a pen is enough for about 100 players, but if you drown the component in flux, you have far fewer problems with solder bridges, believe me.

Hugo

Top
#73962 - 22/02/2002 10:04 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: altman]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
I have a question for the empeg guys...
Obviously this hack voids warranty...
but is there any chance something could be done that would allow this hack to be done by someone "licensed" that would allow the rest of the player to still be under warranty?
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

Top
#73963 - 22/02/2002 11:04 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: guardian__J]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I'll answer this for the Empeg guys just because I've seen their answers to a hundred similar questions.

No.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#73964 - 22/02/2002 11:08 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tonyc]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
I can assume as much...just wanted to hear it from them...
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

Top
#73965 - 22/02/2002 11:29 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: guardian__J]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
The real problem is finding someone insane enough to actually want to do this to a bunch of players. Not sure if Brian will end up doing it or not.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73966 - 22/02/2002 11:33 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
dang...I really want this...it looks so good...
just don't think I'm ready to void my warranty already...
I wish I could buy an extra empeg...
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

Top
#73967 - 22/02/2002 11:35 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
In fact, I think the slight difference in hue looks really good, and now I'm curious to try it with blue buttons and a green screen.

Hmm, not so good. The problem is that the knob sits atop a section of the colored faceplate. So you have green backlighting shining into blue plastic. This dims the light of the knob too much. So your button plastic really should match your face color, at least with this pass of the knobs.

Now, if Brian came up with a way to distribute the light more evenly, and we did gray translucent buttons, I think that would work. We would have either a slightly-colored knob when the lights were on, or we could mask off that under-the-button section of the faceplate with black tape and depend upon the knob collar to collect the button light.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73968 - 22/02/2002 13:13 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
bmihulka
enthusiast

Registered: 15/06/1999
Posts: 259
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Thats on thing I was going to add to the howto. On my first player I cut away around the screen. But if you do this make sure you don't go too far or white light will bleed between the knob and facia. I'm still working on the diffusion part and practically any color should be possible to make.
_________________________
Brian

-See my empeg <a href="www.hulkster.net/empeg" target="_blank">here</a>-

Top
#73969 - 22/02/2002 15:16 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: guardian__J]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK
Erm, no.

Rob

Top
#73970 - 22/02/2002 15:17 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: rob]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
damn....it was worth asking though...
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

Top
#73971 - 22/02/2002 15:40 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
tracerbullet
addict

Registered: 08/01/2002
Posts: 419
Loc: Minnesota
What about.... colored LED's?

Top
#73972 - 22/02/2002 16:01 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tracerbullet]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yes, colored LEDs are possible. You would simply replace the LEDs in Brian's kit with the desired colors. Note that the ones to fit in the buttons are small ones, not the usual Radio Shack size. And the ones on the knob-board are tiny SMT diodes, I don't think you'll see those on the shelf at ratshack, either.

The problem with colored LEDs is thus: It makes it hard to change colors. Remember, I had to desolder one of the button LEDs when I made a mistake in my installation, and let me tell you, it was a PAIN.

Whereas, if you use white LEDs, you can change button colors as easily as you change faceplates. You have to buy an extra set of buttons, but I'll tell you, whatever Brian is charging for extra sets, it's worth it.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73973 - 22/02/2002 16:12 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
jane
enthusiast

Registered: 10/10/2000
Posts: 350
Loc: Copenhagen SW, Denmark
I have actually soldered a DIMM-memory socket to a board by hand... using a microscope, that was really really hard work... but it trained my soldering skills ;-)

Marius (Escort Cab + Mark II)

Top
#73974 - 22/02/2002 16:13 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: jane]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
So you'll be doing this hack ASAP, then?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73975 - 22/02/2002 16:13 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: rob]
jane
enthusiast

Registered: 10/10/2000
Posts: 350
Loc: Copenhagen SW, Denmark
Hot air guns may be dangerous... I remember hot-air-desoldering an entire PCMCIA-card when all I wanted was one of the components.

The solder-metal melts very easilly...

(I haven't looked at the empeg board to see how difficult it is... yet...)

Marius (Escort Cab + Mark II)

Top
#73976 - 22/02/2002 16:15 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: jane]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Good point. I wouldn't recommend using a hot air gun on your display board. Wouldn't want the whole thing coming apart before your eyes.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73977 - 22/02/2002 16:18 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
jane
enthusiast

Registered: 10/10/2000
Posts: 350
Loc: Copenhagen SW, Denmark
Well... I'll wait until I can buy the kit, I think :-)
(And get access to a microscope and a tiny soldering iron, may have to wait till I visit my company's office in Norway again)

Marius (Escort Cab + Mark II)

Top
#73978 - 22/02/2002 16:22 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: jane]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
I didn't need a microsocope, just a steady hand and a little experience with solder and flux. And a good feeling for how to "blob" the solder in such a way so that it sticks to the bits you want and not to the bits you don't want.

I do admit that I was pretty nervous the whole time. I was afraid that I would lose one or more of the SMT components due to a sneeze or something. They are so tiny that I would never have found them if they had fallen into the carpet.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73979 - 22/02/2002 18:47 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
loren
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/08/2000
Posts: 3824
Loc: SLC, UT, USA
Alright... i'm on the button waiting list... While i'm waiting, i'm going to do about a hundred practice tiny solder joints on some old boards i've got laying around in the closet. I wanna try solder paste... never used it. I must have translucent backlit buttons!!! I've been waiting for those suckers for over a year.
_________________________
|| loren ||

Top
#73980 - 22/02/2002 23:20 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: loren]
lothar
member

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 107
Here here loren!

I can't wait to take on the so called soldering "nightmare" that Tony has so vehemently articulated for us. Bring it ON!!!

(Apparently Tony has not yet grasped the basic concept of magnification by way of refraction lenses which comfort the aging ocular when soldering tiny electrical components) ((<jokingly of course>))

(Anxiously awaiting the most revered and talked about enchanting bliss of light filled night navigation EVER!!!)

=o)

woohoo!

Top
#73981 - 23/02/2002 07:48 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lothar]
justinlarsen
old hand

Registered: 31/12/2001
Posts: 1109
Loc: Petaluma, CA
looks like ill be doing this hack.. im half way confident.. ive soilder in a mod chip in my playstation 2 with the 8 wires.. and that was so-so ive done it about 5 times.. for friends and becuse one wire got loose once.. so im down for sure on the skills just wait till brain throws it up publically.
_________________________
---- Justin Larsen

Top
#73982 - 23/02/2002 15:15 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lothar]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Magnification was not the problem. My eyesight is fine, I had no trouble SEEING the flea-sized components. It's the relative size of the tools involved and the dexterity of the tool operator in question here.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73983 - 23/02/2002 16:11 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
Laura
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/06/2000
Posts: 1682
Loc: Metamora, IN
I hope someone decides to do this hack for x amount of dollars. My solder skills are sadly lacking, only used a solder iron a few times and I woundn't trust my eye sight on something that small.
_________________________
Laura

MKI #017/90

whatever

Top
#73984 - 24/02/2002 12:16 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Oh oh, not another "I can do a mod chip" thread about to start. The SMT parts here are smaller than any mod chip installs I've ever seen. I usually let my younger brother handle the soldering stuff like this. Mostly because I find it too tedious.

A better comparison to this project is replacing the LEDs on a Nokia phone. If you can do that (screen and face diodes) then you will be able to handle this kit.

Bruno
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

Top
#73985 - 24/02/2002 12:31 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: hybrid8]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Glad you said what I was afraid to say, Bruno, thanks.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73986 - 24/02/2002 12:40 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
The file attached to this message here is a photo of what the player now looks like sitting on my desk as I type this.

Aiyeeeee! That is so horribly excellent. I fear that if I can not have this tomorrow, in green, I must instead take that old sword out of the hall closet and kill myself.

I am way too old, infirm and clumsy to attempt this. Gad, for SMT stuff like this, don't the big boys use micro remote control arms and such?

A thought: if Brian was willing to do a series of these, might it be more efficient to do in a big batch -- like in the back of a stolen fiber-splicing van at an owners' meet? Would it help if part of the cost went to a plane ticket?

Ooooh, me want, me want so bad.
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

Top
#73987 - 25/02/2002 05:04 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: jimhogan]
bmihulka
enthusiast

Registered: 15/06/1999
Posts: 259
Loc: Lincoln, NE
In reply to:

A thought: if Brian was willing to do a series of these, might it be more efficient to do in a big batch -- like in the back of a stolen fiber-splicing van at an owners' meet? Would it help if part of the cost went to a plane ticket?




I was actually thinking about an offer like that. Of course it would have to be after the meet so only a select few would have it done;) I'll think about it more, but I do know that people would have to prepay for it.
_________________________
Brian

-See my empeg <a href="www.hulkster.net/empeg" target="_blank">here</a>-

Top
#73988 - 25/02/2002 20:02 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I would happily ship my Empeg to the west coast meet and pre-pay if you could do this. Count me in.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#73989 - 25/02/2002 20:53 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
ElectricD7
member

Registered: 31/01/2002
Posts: 135
Loc: Indiana, USA
count me in on this as well. I cant solder for s*it, but I would gladly pay an expert to tackle it for me.
_________________________
ED7 --------------------- 20G Mark2A SN#: 010101680 1997 Chrysler Sebring LXi

Top
#73990 - 25/02/2002 21:13 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
It occurs to me that I may have been doing brian a disservice by describing the difficulty level of the soldering job. I wouldn't want Brian to lose out on any sales just because someone who's perfectly capable of doing it is scared to do it.

On the other hand, that resistor pack really is a bear to get right...

Anyone else have any advice to offer in this area?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73991 - 26/02/2002 02:37 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
justinlarsen
old hand

Registered: 31/12/2001
Posts: 1109
Loc: Petaluma, CA
if you have tweezers and a good iron.. it shouldnt be that hard for anyone with stedy hands
_________________________
---- Justin Larsen

Top
#73992 - 26/02/2002 12:51 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
lectric
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/01/2002
Posts: 2081
Loc: New Orleans, LA
I'm just not so sure I'd trust my empeg to anyone else's hands but mine... If I screw it up, oh well, I screwed it up, if YOU screw it up, well that's different entirely.

Top
#73993 - 26/02/2002 17:42 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: rob]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
Regarding Rob's post about solder paste, in the UK the stuff here is what you need (ok, there's probably enough in the 25g syringe to upgrade every Empeg ever shipped).

It's known as solder cream and (arguably) will work well with indirect heat from a soldering iron, essentially you probably won't make direct physical contact with the Resistor Pak or PCB tracks (which is a good thing ) - you just hold the tip of the iron as close as you need until the solder flows
around the joints. None of this is anything you should practice with a near priceless EOL display PCB though. If you're not sure if you're up to it then resolder the VCR a few times until you're good at it .

Regarding the heat guns mentioned, for general workshop low pin-count repairs a hot air gun is perfectly adequate (and preferable to a soldering iron for this type of work) but I'm talking about something with a nozzle diameter of 2mm rather than something resembling a paint stripping tool - not the kind of thing many of us keep at home.

Rue


Edited by Rue (26/02/2002 17:46)

Top
#73994 - 26/02/2002 18:01 Soldering tips web page? [Re: AndrewT]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA

I would like to locate a web page that gives clear instructions and tips on how to hand-solder SMT components. Then we could link people to it.

I'm looking for something that is complete, well organized, and clearly illustrated. I did a web search and found a whole lot of crappy "soldering tips" web pages. There were also a few nice ones but they were concerned with a more generic kind of hobbyist soldering.

Anyone have any good links?

_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#73995 - 28/02/2002 15:03 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
So.. Brian:

Any idea why the simple version (dunno about the other) of the kernel buttonhack code causes the "long press of Source" to "double click".. ?

I've observed the button consistently sends press/release/press/release when the buttonhack is enabled, and works normally otherwise..

???

Maybe Hugo knows?

Top
#73996 - 28/02/2002 15:32 Re: Soldering tips web page? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada

Top
#73997 - 28/02/2002 15:41 Re: Soldering tips web page? *DELETED* *DELETED* *DELETED* [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Post deleted by mlord


Edited by tfabris (28/02/2002 16:09)

Top
#73998 - 28/02/2002 15:48 Re: Soldering tips web page? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
This link is excellent -- the definitive guide to hand-soldering SMT parts.

http://www.geocities.com/vk3em/smtguide/smtguide.htm

Top
#73999 - 28/02/2002 16:08 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Any idea why the simple version (dunno about the other) of the kernel buttonhack code causes the "long press of Source" to "double click".. ?

Having you say this, Mark, is akin to my auto mechanic staring at my engine and saying, "gee, Tony, any idea how to fix this?"

I mean, if there's anyone besides the Empeg team who knows all about the kernel, it's you.


Those were great links to SMT pages, Mark! That's exactly what I was looking for but could not find. Thanks!

Brian: You ought to link those from your instruction pages.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#74000 - 28/02/2002 16:37 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
why did tfabris delete one message?
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

Top
#74001 - 28/02/2002 16:42 Re: Soldering tips web page? [Re: mlord]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
Those links made very interesting reading, excellent.

Regarding the oven (toaster) technique, I think it's important to remember those guys were working with bare PCBs without plastic switches or glass displays. Switch bodies are usually made from thermo-plastic and will melt, I imagine a VFD would probably crack.

Rue

Top
#74002 - 28/02/2002 16:48 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: guardian__J]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
why did tfabris delete one message?

Actually, Mark deleted the message first. It was an outdated version of one of the links. In a subsequent message, he posted a newer, better link.

When Mark deleted the message, it left a placeholder behind which said "message deleted by mlord".

I thought that, since I was an admin, I could clean up the thread by deleting the message completely and that would leave no debrid behind. Well, it still left debris behind, only now the debris makes it look like I was censoring Mark. Actually, I was just trying to clean up a bit of a mess.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#74003 - 28/02/2002 16:50 Re: Soldering tips web page? [Re: AndrewT]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yeah, agreed. Not only would the switches melt and the VFD crack, but all the other components would fall off of the board. Not desirable.

People, if you do this mod, you must use a fine tip soldering iron, do not use hot air or ovens.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#74004 - 28/02/2002 16:57 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
thanks for replying here so others wouldn't also think Mark was being censored...he's loved here and it might tarnish his image...
Maybe you and him could be in the new Fox show...
from my brother that works at ABC:
In reply to:

Fox announced a gem of a new program entitled ... CELEBRITY BOXING.
Hold off the applause.
Two of the 3 matches have been set for Thursday 3/13 8PM:

Tonya Harding (Ice Queen) v. Amy Fisher (Long Island Lolita)
Danny Bonaduce (Partridge Family) v. Barry Williams (Brady Bunch)



it could be battle of the FAQ Master vs. the Kernel Lord
sounds exciting...
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

Top
#74005 - 28/02/2002 17:09 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: guardian__J]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Heavens, no!! We'd just sneak off to the pub while Nancy and Tonya slugged it out!

Top
#74006 - 28/02/2002 18:54 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Yes, after a meet would be a great time I would think for someone who's got a reputation enough that we'd trust to void the waranty on our empegs to earn a few bucks and a lot of goodwill. I'm a college student in berkeley and would be happy to volunteer my appartment as a support group for people who are about to start soldering the perfectly good display board of one of their most treasued posessions.

I'd love to have butons that light up at night, but I've only attempted two soldering projects, one of which being a compleet failure, and the other being dribbling solder onto the wires of the wiring harness durring my empeg install, so even if i was the last person on earth I wouldn't try this one myself.

Another Idea: I know there are places in San Francisco that do cell phone mods for a fee. From the discription it seems like these are fairly similar? Anyone know of any good places that might be willing to do this? What's gonna happen if they screw it up? Will the whole thing not work, or will you just loose the hope of ever having the Glorious Backlet Buttons?

Top
#74007 - 28/02/2002 19:10 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: matthew_k]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5287
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=480&item=PS-131&type=store

Worst case scenario (and not that unlikely, either!): the irreplaceable display board is damaged, so no more display -- and possibly even the amplifiers won't power up because the empeg's display module controls the amplifier power-sense relay.

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

Top
#74008 - 28/02/2002 19:47 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tanstaafl.]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Didn't know whether to post here or technical but since this is devoted to the backlit buttons thought I'd try here. OK I'm an idiot! Doh! I ordered all my components.... got them... began soldering... actually successfuly got the chip soldered to the board then realized Oooops the LEDs I ordered were too big... So ordered 3mm LEDs and figured in the meantime I'd simply put my Empeg back together until the new parts arrived. I pluged in after testing to make sure I had no shorts on the resistor and to my glee the display indeed worked..... until shortly after boot then blam... shutdown, unplug, plug back in, the same thing. So I thought oops I forgot to install the latest and greatest hijack so loaded that up (which was odd, no LED blinking just darkess on the screen but can still load hijack via logo editor?) anyway, still no dice. Have I fried something or do I need to cease all empeg related activity until I can get LED's that fit??
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74009 - 28/02/2002 19:50 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
loren
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/08/2000
Posts: 3824
Loc: SLC, UT, USA
ruh roh....
_________________________
|| loren ||

Top
#74010 - 28/02/2002 20:54 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: loren]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Well, so I went back in and simply removed the chip to my utter sadness... still the same thing....
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74011 - 28/02/2002 20:59 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Wheew.... took it back to the original software version and now it seems to work... they may be cool but don't think I'll try that again!
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74012 - 28/02/2002 21:04 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Maybe it was just a corrupted download of the hacked kernel file?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#74013 - 28/02/2002 21:32 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
maybe, however it was doing it before I loaded the new kernel, right after reassembly
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74014 - 28/02/2002 22:17 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Wow.... this really sucks... whenever I try to load 2.00 beta 11, it does the same thing as above. So far only 1.03 works! Bummer
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74015 - 01/03/2002 02:01 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
justinlarsen
old hand

Registered: 31/12/2001
Posts: 1109
Loc: Petaluma, CA
hrm.. who knows what you did.. do you have a back up.. check the board to make sure u have no soilder over lay on another pin that could make something weird..
_________________________
---- Justin Larsen

Top
#74016 - 01/03/2002 06:53 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
I think I'm just going to leave it alone and try sending it in for repair... I put 2.00 beta 11, and the same thing happened, I opened hyperterm and got no errors or anything then after the screen blanked I hit enter and the display appeared? Then I took it out to my car this morning and realized the display was extremely dim (even with dimmer settings turned all the way up)
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74017 - 01/03/2002 07:47 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: matthew_k]
puckalicious
member

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 171
I don't know if anyone other than Tony has taken this on, but I am about 80% through. I did the knob portion first on wednesday, that was actually pretty easy. Last night I did the button resistor pack, man what a bitch that is! Tonight I will finish up with the button led's and test it out. I am assuming my work so far is ok because I don't have a continuity tester or multimeter. It all looks good under the magnifying glass though.
For people nervous about trying this, don't be. You can't screw anything up except the VFD, be very careful when bending this sucker! If you mess up with the solder, just desolder and start over. It took me at least 4 tries to get that damn resister pack on and I don't know for certain it's on right. But my confidence is high, repeat, confidence is high.
Just try it and if you are scared by the flea sized components as Tony said, maybe Brian will give you a refund if the kit is unused?

Top
#74018 - 01/03/2002 07:57 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: puckalicious]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
:For people nervous about trying this, don't be. You can't screw anything up except the VFD, be very careful when bending this sucker! If you mess up with the solder, just desolder and start over.

Um... I disagree with ya? My unit is pretty much whacked now, granted it seems to be isolated to the VFD however being that the project is EOL, it's pretty much unknown whether or not you can even get a replacement VFD? Now I'm in the process of trying to get repair but I've gotten no response. If you occasionally solder things and aren't used to a soldering iron, even if you think you can do this... think twice... I've been soldering for years, everything looked good on mine under a magnifying glass, however now I'm waiting for repair. I'm not saying I think this hack is bad idea, on the contrary I think it's really really cool, however I felt confident and things went bad.... Just a warning... don't do this unless you know what your doing... don't do this if you think you know what your doing.. only do this if you KNOW you KNOW what your doing.


Edited by lopan (01/03/2002 08:23)
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74019 - 01/03/2002 09:14 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
Is it absolutely essential to bend the VFD back? I.e. what about simply de-soldering and removing it?

Rue

Top
#74020 - 01/03/2002 09:25 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: guardian__J]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
thanks for replying here so others wouldn't also think Mark was being censored...

As far as I know, not a single person has been censored on this board. There were a few threads that were closed (maybe 2?!) and asked to "take it to the off-topic forum" but no one has even been denied the chance to speak their mind. Even a troll or two! Of course... I'm thinking we have a new troll on the board... but I'll leave it at that.

At one point, some members, including myself, were practically begging Tony and others to start moderating this board. Wisely, they didn't and just let things sort out. Even Osama got bored and left.
_________________________
Brad B.

Top
#74021 - 01/03/2002 09:37 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: AndrewT]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
bending the VFD isn't a big deal at all, it's the easiest way to access where you need to solder. You probably could remove it, but that would involve A LOT of soldering, which you might want to avoid.
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74022 - 01/03/2002 09:58 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yeah, just bending the VFD is much much easier than desoldering it.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#74023 - 02/03/2002 10:26 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
puckalicious
member

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 171
In reply to:


Um... I disagree with ya? My unit is pretty much whacked now, granted it seems to be isolated to the VFD however being that the project is EOL, it's pretty much unknown whether or not you can even get a replacement VFD?




It seems you just repeated what I said after you disagreed with me.
Well I finally finished everything this morning and it looks real nice. Many thanks to Brian for selling this kit and Tony for trying it first. Would definitely like to see some gray translucent buttons.


Attachments
74832-empeg-lightedbuttons2.JPG (695 downloads)


Top
#74024 - 02/03/2002 10:51 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
mtempsch
pooh-bah

Registered: 02/06/2000
Posts: 1990
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
however being that the project is EOL, it's pretty much unknown whether or not you can even get a replacement VFD?

The display itself is a component that is still available from various places - the rest of the display board is another issue though...

/Michael
_________________________
/Michael

Top
#74025 - 02/03/2002 11:10 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: puckalicious]
Nosferatu
enthusiast

Registered: 24/08/2001
Posts: 344
Loc: France, Champagne
How did you obtain Red Colored Buttons ?

I have a Red Fascia and I'd like to have this kit also.

I know Brian sells its but I want to know if we can ask for custom color leds ...
_________________________
Empeg IIa - 10 Gb - Red Fascia - Tuner, the day is coming - I Will Strike From the Grey -

Top
#74026 - 02/03/2002 12:05 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: puckalicious]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
I don't really understand what I repeated? You made it sound kind of easy and that the VFD was no big deal, I simply said "It's not that easy" and I didn't realize VFD's were easy to replace. But good job! Looks nice!

Michael, what places offer replacement VFD's besides the guys at empeg themselves? (just curious as to if theres a vendor in the US that I can buy from)
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74027 - 02/03/2002 13:53 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
mtempsch
pooh-bah

Registered: 02/06/2000
Posts: 1990
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
No idea where to find it in the US - do a web search for Noritake (brand) and MN12832E (model), or try contacting any of the US addresses listed at http://www.noritake-elec.com/sales.htm This is for the raw display, glass and leads to be soldered to the board (no integrated driver electronics).

If that doesn't help, a friend of mine bought one from somewhere for a project for his computer. I could ask him where he got it...

/Michael
_________________________
/Michael

Top
#74028 - 02/03/2002 14:38 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
beaker
addict

Registered: 19/08/2000
Posts: 588
Loc: England
I had to replace the VFD when I dropped my MK2. You'll find a thread about it here. I got mine from Empeg although I could probably have got it from Itron (UK) but I might have had to buy more than one. I see Noritake Itron have some sales offices in the US so you might be able to get one from them. Also linked to by mtempsch in the previous post.
_________________________
Marcus 32 gig MKII (various colours) & 30gig MKIIa

Top
#74029 - 02/03/2002 14:48 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mtempsch]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Thanks but that really doesn't help being that the VFD works it's the board itself (probably should've specified that), IR doesn't work, extremely dim, things like that.... Talked to tech support, they said I probably either damaged the power circuitry or did something bad to the dimmer. Thats kinda what I meant when discussing the fact that the project is EOL... Sorry I probably should have been more detailed in my description of the problems I've run into now. But thanks anyway.
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74030 - 02/03/2002 20:21 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: puckalicious]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Damn, it's scary how well everything in that picture matches! Very nice.

BTW, for anyone else, the LEDs are a fairly standard part (around here anyway) and are available in a few colours. YMMV though, because some are known to be brighter than others. I put some smokey white ones into my PC late in 2000 that are very (VERY!) bright. I have a smoke-coloured lense in front of them and they still light up a large area when I turn the lights off in the room. Without the lense they're like spots coming off my computer. (BTW, they're the same LEDs Apple uses in some of its G4 machines - they've also used the larger ones at times).

This is one sweet kit. Glad Brian went through with it after breifly mentioning it long ago. BTW, Brian, if you reading, do you have anything installed with only 2 LEDs on the rotary knob you might be able to get a picture of? (That question can go out to anyone I guess)

Bruno
All typos left in to be corrected by Bitt.
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

Top
#74031 - 03/03/2002 01:02 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
justinlarsen
old hand

Registered: 31/12/2001
Posts: 1109
Loc: Petaluma, CA
hey lopan did you doubl cheat the soilder points? make sure none are touching each other.. and if your not scared about bring the iron back.. try the simmer fix.. i mean you got next to ntohing to loose if it fails.. they have a video for it as well.. its worth a shot you know?
_________________________
---- Justin Larsen

Top
#74032 - 03/03/2002 09:38 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
I'm almost positive thats not happening, I removed the chip and then did short tests on all the solder points before I reassembled. I might crack it open and check again.
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74033 - 03/03/2002 11:31 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
I've now got pretty much the same problem here. Solder points are all good, everything triple-checked with a suitable ohm-meter, the buttonhack LEDs all turn on/off just fine on command from (customized) Hijack. But display is now very dim, standby LED is on when display is on, off when display is off, and the unit ignores the remote.

Soldering job was as close to immaculate as possible by hand, but something somewhere is unhappy.

I'll track it down eventually.

-ml

Top
#74034 - 03/03/2002 16:57 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
Measure the voltage at TP1, on the rear of the display board at the top. It should
be 60v, plus or minus about 2 or 3 volts.

pca

_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

Top
#74035 - 03/03/2002 17:17 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: pca]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
>Measure the voltage at TP1, on the rear of the display board
>at the top. It should be 60v, plus or minus about 2 or 3 volts.

Mmm.. 35VAC. And only 4VDC on the +5VDC points.

So both onboard supplies are running on the low side. I wonder where the control point is?

-ml


Top
#74036 - 03/03/2002 17:32 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
If you're getting 4v on the 5v rail, you may have blown something on the main board - check the 3 fuses on the main board near the display connector. These are only generally blown if the display board connector is plugged in a pin out.

The low voltage could also indicate a high current draw on the display board due to a short.

35v explains the dim display, but you need to look for the reason why. I can't remember the 60v display cct off the top of my head, but it may use the 5v supply divided down as a reference, which would mean if 5v dips, so does the 60v supply.

Hugo

Top
#74037 - 03/03/2002 17:33 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
And TP26 appears to be the 12V master supply, measuring 10.8VDC when the display is on, and roughly 0VDC when the display is off.

-ml

Top
#74038 - 03/03/2002 17:45 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: altman]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
>If you're getting 4v on the 5v rail, you may have blown something
>on the main board - check the 3 fuses on the main board near
>the display connector. These are only generally blown if
>the display board connector is plugged in a pin out.

Hugo, you're a god!

The three little white fuses all look fine to the eye,
but the one closest to the rear docking connector shows
infinite resistance -- the other two are fine at 0 ohms.

Do these just feed directly to the ribbon cable header
for the display board? If so, I'll check for shorts
on that line before blowing the replacement fuse.

I don't think I ever plugged the connnector on wrong,
but anything is possible at this point. I'll pick up
a replacement fuse tomorrow and see if things behave any better.

Thanks!

Top
#74039 - 03/03/2002 18:14 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
So both onboard supplies are running on the low side.

The SMPSU chip is powered by the 5v rail, so if this is low the calibration will
be completely off.

As a further test, measure the voltage at TP37 (next to the inductor on the back
of the PCB). This should be around 14-15v, as it is the DC input line direct from the input jack via a diode or two.

Check pin 2 of PL2 ( second from the left, looking at the PCB from the back). This
should be 5v.

All the pins on the side of the resistor pack nearest the center of the display board
are connected to 5v. Check this voltage as well, it should be 5v.

If it isn't, unplug the display board, turn the empeg on, and check the voltage on pin
16 of the display connector (third from the left end, bottom row, looking from the
front of the empeg). This is the main 5v rail to the display board. Also check pin 14
(next pin on the right) for 3v, and either pin 19 or 20 (left end of the connector) for
the DC IN voltage of around 14v. If any of these voltages measure 0v, one of the
main fuses has blown.

Assuming the 5v supply from the empeg main board is present, measure the
resistance from pin 16 of the ribbon cable to any pin on the center-pcb side of the
resistor pack. This should be near enough 0 ohms. If it isn't, the likelyhood is a
burned out or damaged track.

Also, what value resistor pack has been fitted? It should be 1K. If it is
considerably lower than this, it is possible that the IR PIC could be damaged due
to overcurrent, which would kill the dimmer, the IR recieve, and the switches.

Pca
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

Top
#74040 - 03/03/2002 18:39 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: pca]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Okay, the fuse nearest the docking connector is blown (Hugo also just now suggested checking those). What capacity replacement should I use?

The resistor pack for the LEDs is 560 ohm per leg. I've verified no shorts etc. on the installation (the parts are all listed on Brian's site at http://www.hulkster.net/empeg/buttons/ledhowto.php3).

I'll do the other measures, and look for a short on the line connected to the blown fuse, when I get back to the machine later tonight.

Thanks!

Top
#74041 - 03/03/2002 18:40 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: altman]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Got a suggestion for replacement fuse rating? This is for the fuse nearest the rear docking connector.

Thanks

Top
#74042 - 03/03/2002 18:54 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
The fuses are 1A 1206 surface-mount ones.

The question remains, of course, why the fuse blew...

pca

_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

Top
#74043 - 03/03/2002 19:11 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: pca]
Anonymous
Unregistered


How is Pixels doing?

Top
#74044 - 03/03/2002 20:03 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Too cool, just checked mine and it is indeed the small white fuse closest to the connector on the display board side... I can also verify that, YES like an idiot I plugged the display connector in wrong... Thanks guys, anyone got a digikey part number for that fuse?
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74045 - 03/03/2002 20:09 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Will this work? I just ordered these off digikey heres the description
FUSE 1.00A 63V FAST 1206 SMT

Thanks
Brett
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74046 - 04/03/2002 02:09 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
That's the one.

There seems to be a common thread here, ie people plugging the display board in
incorrectly. I would suggest that anyone else doing the button mod check very
carefully that they have the ribbon cable header connected properly before
powering up for the first time. It sounds obvious, but it's easy to do unless you
check visually if you're not used to it.

Luckily it seldom causes anything other that a blown fuse, but a) they're a pain
to replace if you don't have the experience, and b) it can be more serious if
you're unlucky, up to and including zapping the SA1100.

pca

_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

Top
#74047 - 04/03/2002 02:16 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: ]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
How is Pixels doing?

If you're referring to the little illuminated dots on my monitor, they're pretty good.

If you're referring to the small furry cat that runs my life, she's doing fine as well.
She just got me out of bed to be fed, sneered at the food I gave her, and left the
house. This is normal. She merely wants the assurance that I have done my job.

Most of the rest of the time I am allowed to sit down and have her sit on me, so
that's OK

pca

_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

Top
#74048 - 04/03/2002 02:24 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: pca]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
There seems to be a common thread here, ie people plugging the display board in
incorrectly.


Brian, any chance of putting, on your page, a huge supergigantic blinking message with three layers of javascript messagebox confirmations saying "you must plug the display board back in correctly or you will blow the internal fuses and ruin the display board"?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#74049 - 04/03/2002 08:44 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
Brian, any chance of putting, on your page, a huge supergigantic blinking message with three layers of javascript messagebox
confirmations saying "you must plug the display board back in correctly or you will blow the internal fuses and ruin the display
board"?


Perhaps including a spare fuse in the LED kit would be an idea too?
_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

Top
#74050 - 04/03/2002 10:00 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Works fine now with the fuse replaced (thanks Hugo, pca).

The odd thing was, I did check for proper alignment, but probably muffed it because I had left the hard drive connected, and the drive cable obscures the view just enough..

Now for some dimming capability..

-ml

Top
#74051 - 04/03/2002 10:47 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
loren
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/08/2000
Posts: 3824
Loc: SLC, UT, USA
grrr... i want my buttons!! =] The suspense is killing me.
_________________________
|| loren ||

Top
#74052 - 04/03/2002 11:19 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
bmihulka
enthusiast

Registered: 15/06/1999
Posts: 259
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I have a semi-large message about it, but I guess I'll have to increase it.
_________________________
Brian

-See my empeg <a href="www.hulkster.net/empeg" target="_blank">here</a>-

Top
#74053 - 04/03/2002 20:52 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Mostly it just needs to emphasize the left-right alignment, noting that the connector has more holes than there are pins on the mainboard.

I fussed hard with the front-to-back alignment (the usual error with most things), and didn't notice the lower pin count on the mainboard, since they were partially obscured by the HDD cable.

Oh well, no harm done, and I know about it now. Silly me.

Cheers

Top
#74054 - 06/03/2002 08:05 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK
Err... both the connector and the header are 20-way! There are no extra holes. IDC connectors just happen to overhang somewhat on each side, and can be fitted offset by virtue of one pair of pins sliding up the side of the connector.

Rob

Top
#74055 - 07/03/2002 14:43 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: rob]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
Just wanted to post an update, got my fuses today, and replaced the blown one on the connector board... Whalla... everything works great again, thanks for the pointers and helpful hints guys..
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74056 - 08/03/2002 02:45 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
justinlarsen
old hand

Registered: 31/12/2001
Posts: 1109
Loc: Petaluma, CA
so lopan u going for round 2 or are you just ging to have mark the lord do it for you?
_________________________
---- Justin Larsen

Top
#74057 - 11/03/2002 08:47 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
I thought about it, I shake way too much, for 50 bucks I can have mark do it and not worry about killing anything. So I think I'll put down the iron and let someone who knows what their doing take over.
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74058 - 11/03/2002 15:54 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
justinlarsen
old hand

Registered: 31/12/2001
Posts: 1109
Loc: Petaluma, CA
ya, might as well.. thought mark did the exact same thing to his player that you did circuty just seems to hard to fry to me.. maybe im just a teen who thinks hes invicible, who knows..
_________________________
---- Justin Larsen

Top
#74059 - 11/03/2002 18:17 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: justinlarsen]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Well there ya go.

But now I know and can avoid the most common error, and I still have the trouble-shooting skills to counter most anything else that could go wrong. The $50 is not exactly a profit margin of any kind for me, just enough to keep the mailbox from getting overly crammed with packages.

Cheers

Top
#74060 - 13/03/2002 13:22 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
After getting the run around from UPS about customs issues, I went home and performed the hack myself... for the most part it works I got it all soldered up and realized that I'd soldered both top and bottom LED's wrong and damaged one of the solder points on the top... I did get it to light up, however I can't adjust the dimness now.... So basically three of my buttons work the way they should and the top one just stays really bright all the time. I need to stay away from the soldering iron from now on.
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#74061 - 13/03/2002 15:10 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: lopan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Yeah. For future reference, Priority Post generally out-performs UPS when shipping to/within Canada (as does just about any service other than UPS).

Cheers

Top
#74062 - 13/03/2002 23:15 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mlord]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
I've been playing with my portasol and an old GFX card tonight. It seems that hot air reflow is the way to go with this iron.
I managed to cleanly de- and re-solder several of these resistor networks on a board that is denser than the display panel. Two of these networks are literally within their own width's distance of a plastic connector, and the connector came away virtually unscathed after 4 passes of the iron. I don't have any qualms about taking this method to my display board. If there'd been a 561 network on the GFX card I'd have snarfed it and done it today, but I wasn't so lucky.

My only question is whether the solder already on the pads is going to be enough to reflow, or whether I'm going to have to stick some paste on..., oh and trying to decide whether to get blue or red buttons.

Does anyone know how well the red buttons match to 98-02 VW intrument panel's red?

_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

Top
#74063 - 03/04/2002 17:29 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: tfabris]
Ruffles
member

Registered: 29/03/2000
Posts: 106
Loc: Seattle, WA
Is it still possible to get the light kits? I sent Brian email a couple of weeks ago but I've not heard anything.

Top
#74064 - 03/04/2002 18:32 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: Ruffles]
mandiola
enthusiast

Registered: 26/12/2001
Posts: 386
Loc: Miami, FL - Sioux Falls, SD
Same here... and im itching to get my empeg to look like the pic tony took with the neon red faceplate.

-Greg

Top
#74065 - 04/04/2002 10:00 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: mandiola]
bmihulka
enthusiast

Registered: 15/06/1999
Posts: 259
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I have not replied because I only email as kits become available. I should start getting them out faster after this weekend.
_________________________
Brian

-See my empeg <a href="www.hulkster.net/empeg" target="_blank">here</a>-

Top
#74066 - 16/06/2002 11:13 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
snoopstah
enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/2002
Posts: 324
Loc: Squamish, BC
Are the button kits still going strong? Not heard from anyone who has received them recently. I ordered mine ~3 weeks ago - I'm not bugging you or in a hurry for the kits, just want to make sure they're still in production!

Cheers,

A.
_________________________
Empeg Mk2a 60G with amber lit buttons kit - #30102490

Top
#74067 - 16/06/2002 14:30 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: snoopstah]
bmihulka
enthusiast

Registered: 15/06/1999
Posts: 259
Loc: Lincoln, NE
They are still comming. Unfortunatly one of my molds expired and it takes a couple of days to make a new one.
_________________________
Brian

-See my empeg <a href="www.hulkster.net/empeg" target="_blank">here</a>-

Top
#74068 - 16/06/2002 15:36 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
snoopstah
enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/2002
Posts: 324
Loc: Squamish, BC
That's great. Is there anything else we can do - I for one would be willing to pre-pay for them if the cost of this new mould is going to temporarily put you out of pocket at all.

A.
_________________________
Empeg Mk2a 60G with amber lit buttons kit - #30102490

Top
#74069 - 13/08/2002 12:07 Re: Backlit buttons by Brian Mihulka [Re: bmihulka]
Mr_Maniacal
new poster

Registered: 21/04/2002
Posts: 6
I was wondering how fast you get those out because I have requested a set of buttons and knobs back in april or may. Thanks

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >