Delta 66 woes

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Delta 66 woes

Dave Phillips
Greetings !

My audio device has been an M-Audio Delta 66 + Omni I/O breakout box
that has served me well for many years. Alas, something is now causing a
severe problem with it. When I turn the unit on in the morning the clip
and input lights are solid red and green and remain so for up to five or
more minutes before they go off. Adding to that, my portable room heater
is now causing a terrible hum through my speakers. I tried another
heater, got the same results.

So, is the problem likely the Delta card ? I have a replacement for it
that I could swap out, but I thought I'd check with the experts first.
Or should I get an electrician to check out the wiring in my room ?

I can have sound or heat in my studio but not both at the same time. Grrr...

Season's Greetings to all LAU/LAD members !

Best,

dp
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Re: Delta 66 woes

David Kastrup
Dave Phillips <[hidden email]> writes:

> Greetings !
>
> My audio device has been an M-Audio Delta 66 + Omni I/O breakout box
> that has served me well for many years. Alas, something is now causing
> a severe problem with it. When I turn the unit on in the morning the
> clip and input lights are solid red and green and remain so for up to
> five or more minutes before they go off. Adding to that, my portable
> room heater is now causing a terrible hum through my speakers. I tried
> another heater, got the same results.

Differential inputs no longer differential?

> So, is the problem likely the Delta card ? I have a replacement for it
> that I could swap out, but I thought I'd check with the experts
> first. Or should I get an electrician to check out the wiring in my
> room ?

Sorry, no idea.  The hum could be a wiring problem, but the "solid red
and green for 5 minutes" thing does not seem like it unless the wiring
problem disturbs the connection to the PC in a manner making an initial
firmware download (does the card have such a thing?) fail again and
again until the checksum is ok.

> I can have sound or heat in my studio but not both at the same time. Grrr...

Frankly, temperature control always been in conflict with recording for
me.  The low frequency of an air condition or the metal retensioning
clicks of a radiator are not what you want in a recording.  Nor
refrigerator noises.

> Season's Greetings to all LAU/LAD members !

And many returns of the season!

--
David Kastrup
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Re: Delta 66 woes

Len Ovens
In reply to this post by Dave Phillips
On Thu, 19 Dec 2019, Dave Phillips wrote:

> My audio device has been an M-Audio Delta 66 + Omni I/O breakout box
> that has served me well for many years. Alas, something is now causing a
> severe problem with it. When I turn the unit on in the morning the clip
> and input lights are solid red and green and remain so for up to five or
> more minutes before they go off. Adding to that, my portable room heater
> is now causing a terrible hum through my speakers. I tried another
> heater, got the same results.
>
> So, is the problem likely the Delta card ? I have a replacement for it
> that I could swap out, but I thought I'd check with the experts first.
> Or should I get an electrician to check out the wiring in my room ?

"clip and input lights are solid red and green" These lights are on the
omni I am guessing and so likely the problem is with that box rather than
the D66 card itself. Using mudita24 (not envy24control) on the Analog
Volume tab do you see high level in? (the level for the input is in text
just under the port name (ADC1-3) and can be reset with the "Rest Peaks"
button in the lower left corner) If there is no level or -inf it shows
"(off)". If you are seeing the same high level right after turn on, try
disconnecting the omni i/o and see if the levels are now (after reset)
"off". This test should show that the problem is in the i/o box.

The most likely thig to be wrong is a capacitor. With the i/o box open
find a larger cap probably close to where the power comes in and after
warm up try spraying this with some kind of "freeze spray" to see if the
problem comes back. replace tha cap that when chilled causes the probalem
to come back. Probably replace the power supply cap just because...
(higher value is ok)


--
Len Ovens
www.ovenwerks.net
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Re: Delta 66 woes

Anders Hellquist
+1 for dying capacitors.. that is IMHO the most common problem in equipment.

If capacitors can not filter out electrical fields, you will have lots of hum and buzz.

/Anders

On Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 19:04 Len Ovens <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 19 Dec 2019, Dave Phillips wrote:

> My audio device has been an M-Audio Delta 66 + Omni I/O breakout box
> that has served me well for many years. Alas, something is now causing a
> severe problem with it. When I turn the unit on in the morning the clip
> and input lights are solid red and green and remain so for up to five or
> more minutes before they go off. Adding to that, my portable room heater
> is now causing a terrible hum through my speakers. I tried another
> heater, got the same results.
>
> So, is the problem likely the Delta card ? I have a replacement for it
> that I could swap out, but I thought I'd check with the experts first.
> Or should I get an electrician to check out the wiring in my room ?

"clip and input lights are solid red and green" These lights are on the
omni I am guessing and so likely the problem is with that box rather than
the D66 card itself. Using mudita24 (not envy24control) on the Analog
Volume tab do you see high level in? (the level for the input is in text
just under the port name (ADC1-3) and can be reset with the "Rest Peaks"
button in the lower left corner) If there is no level or -inf it shows
"(off)". If you are seeing the same high level right after turn on, try
disconnecting the omni i/o and see if the levels are now (after reset)
"off". This test should show that the problem is in the i/o box.

The most likely thig to be wrong is a capacitor. With the i/o box open
find a larger cap probably close to where the power comes in and after
warm up try spraying this with some kind of "freeze spray" to see if the
problem comes back. replace tha cap that when chilled causes the probalem
to come back. Probably replace the power supply cap just because...
(higher value is ok)


--
Len Ovens
www.ovenwerks.net
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Re: Delta 66 woes

Dave Phillips
In reply to this post by Len Ovens
Hi Len,

On 12/19/2019 01:04 PM, Len Ovens wrote:

> On Thu, 19 Dec 2019, Dave Phillips wrote:
>
>> My audio device has been an M-Audio Delta 66 + Omni I/O breakout box
>> that has served me well for many years. Alas, something is now
>> causing a severe problem with it. When I turn the unit on in the
>> morning the clip and input lights are solid red and green and remain
>> so for up to five or more minutes before they go off. Adding to that,
>> my portable room heater is now causing a terrible hum through my
>> speakers. I tried another heater, got the same results.
>>
>> So, is the problem likely the Delta card ? I have a replacement for
>> it that I could swap out, but I thought I'd check with the experts
>> first. Or should I get an electrician to check out the wiring in my
>> room ?
>
> "clip and input lights are solid red and green" These lights are on
> the omni I am guessing and so likely the problem is with that box
> rather than the D66 card itself. Using mudita24 (not envy24control) on
> the Analog Volume tab do you see high level in? (the level for the
> input is in text just under the port name (ADC1-3) and can be reset
> with the "Rest Peaks" button in the lower left corner) If there is no
> level or -inf it shows "(off)". If you are seeing the same high level
> right after turn on, try disconnecting the omni i/o and see if the
> levels are now (after reset) "off". This test should show that the
> problem is in the i/o box.
>
> The most likely thig to be wrong is a capacitor. With the i/o box open
> find a larger cap probably close to where the power comes in and after
> warm up try spraying this with some kind of "freeze spray" to see if
> the problem comes back. replace tha cap that when chilled causes the
> probalem to come back. Probably replace the power supply cap just
> because... (higher value is ok)

Btw, the unit showed the same behavior when I plugged in a floor fan on
the same line. And at this point it's misbehaving even when the room
heater is turned off, so yes, I'm thinking that the Omni I/O is busted.
Fortunately I have an older simple break-out connector for the card,
I'll take a look at the box in the meanwhile.

Thanks for the tips, Len, I'll let you know what happens.

Best regards,

dp
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Re: Delta 66 woes

Fons Adriaensen-3
In reply to this post by Len Ovens
On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 10:04:09AM -0800, Len Ovens wrote:
 
> The most likely thig to be wrong is a capacitor. With the i/o box open find
> a larger cap probably close to where the power comes in and after warm up
> try spraying this with some kind of "freeze spray" to see if the problem
> comes back. replace tha cap that when chilled causes the probalem to come
> back. Probably replace the power supply cap just because... (higher value is
> ok)

If this is a faulty cap (and it may very well be), then cooling it
isn't going to help. Look for traces of leakage. If there is any,
replace the cap.

There's a lot of HW that uses switched PS today, which means some
caps will be on the 'hot' (i.e. mains voltage) side. Trying to fix
those is not something I'd advise, unless you know very well what
you are doing. Better replace the whole thing.

There may be other causes for this sort of problem, e.g. bad ground
connections due to corrosion.

Good luck,

--
FA


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Re: Delta 66 woes

Dave Phillips
In reply to this post by Dave Phillips
Greetings,

Great thanks for the help, folks ! I've switched out the Omni I/O for
the simpler box, audio is back on track now. Clearly the Omni is the
culprit, it lit up when there was nothing connected to it. It's a handy
unit, I'd like to keep it so I'll see about getting it fixed.

Ah, warmth and noise, it's all good again.

Best regards,

dp
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Re: Delta 66 woes

Tim-2
On 12/19/19 4:36 PM, Dave Phillips wrote:

> Greetings,
>
> Great thanks for the help, folks ! I've switched out the Omni I/O for
> the simpler box, audio is back on track now. Clearly the Omni is the
> culprit, it lit up when there was nothing connected to it. It's a handy
> unit, I'd like to keep it so I'll see about getting it fixed.
>
> Ah, warmth and noise, it's all good again.
>
> Best regards,
>
> dp

If the lights, and others, are as bright as they usually are,
  and are not flickering or cutting out, the power supplies are
  likely mostly OK since the lights are powered from a low voltage,
  meaning voltages that are higher such as the ones powering
  the operational amplifiers driving the LEDs and processing
  input are likely OK too.
Also, op-amp power supplies can vary quite a bit, being low or
  having moderate ripple, before they start to do nasty
  things like that. I note that it does this with no input,
  so lack of supply headroom wouldn't likely be a problem here.

Always good to replace some power supply capacitors, but...

The immediate problem may be one or more small electrolytic
  input coupling capacitors to the op-amps, leaky or weak,
  passing Direct Current to the sensitive op-amp inputs,
  slamming their outputs full on, lighting the lights.
Very easy to check with a can of freeze spray or compressed
  air duster turned upside down, with the plastic 'straw' given.
Leave the unit on until working (or speed up the process with
  a hair dryer on the caps).
Then give the caps near the op-amps a short freeze blast,
  as if the unit was starting from 'cold'. If the caps are
  the problem, you'll soon notice if those lights come on again.
No physical contact required.

Anything else unusual to report?

Good luck with the venerable unit. Hope it's not expensive
  if you take it somewhere. It should be repairable, trust me.
Virtually all symptoms like that are.

Send it to me if no-one else will touch it. Canada, eh?

"Don't fear the repair"

And may your noise always have warmth ;-)
Tim.
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Re: Delta 66 woes

Dominique Michel-3
In reply to this post by Fons Adriaensen-3
Le Thu, 19 Dec 2019 21:48:29 +0100,
Fons Adriaensen <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 10:04:09AM -0800, Len Ovens wrote:
>  
> > The most likely thig to be wrong is a capacitor. With the i/o box
> > open find a larger cap probably close to where the power comes in
> > and after warm up try spraying this with some kind of "freeze
> > spray" to see if the problem comes back. replace tha cap that when
> > chilled causes the probalem to come back. Probably replace the
> > power supply cap just because... (higher value is ok)  
>
> If this is a faulty cap (and it may very well be), then cooling it
> isn't going to help. Look for traces of leakage. If there is any,
> replace the cap.

I have a Siemens documentation for their best quality
electrolytic capacitors. It date from the time Siemens/Fujitsu was
making the best electrolytic caps of the world. It is written than,
after 10 years of service, you you want to be sure the caps are still
in the range of their specification, you have to change them in all
cases.

Old caps are a major cause of failures in electronics, especially into
cheap electronics where it is a real nightmare when it is a lot of them.
As are contact corrosion and bad soldering points.


--
If you have a problem and you are not doing anything to fix it, you are
at the heart of the problem.
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