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Thread: Help! My alesis IO2 has just died for no reason.

  1. #1
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    Help! My alesis IO2 has just died for no reason.

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    Hi all. I've been happily using an Alesis IO2 with the bundled version of CubaseLE for three or four years and this afternoon it's suddenly given up for no reason.

    There's no sound going into or out of it, and all the db meters have lit up red and stay that way regardless of how any of the dials are set or what I plug in or unplug. Naturally I've tried disconnecting and reconnecting it, restarting my PC, checking all my leads and anything else I could think of.

    It was working fine for playback earlier today, and was recording perfectly well on Wednesday. I've not changed anything system wise, although I think windows did it's auto-update yesterday...

    So, has anyone using this come across this one? Is it a fixable issue or should I be looking at which interface to buy next?

    How am i supposed to remember that brilliant idea I was about to lay down?

    Thanks in advance for your help

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    Mine too

    Goldilox,

    My i02 did the same thing today and I can't figure it out. I tried switching USB ports and even plugged into another computer that I have cubase on and it still does the same thing, so it makes me think it's not a software or setting problem, but rather an internal problem with the io2. My guess is something inside shorted out. I'm gonna try the Alesis website and see if they're any help. Let me know if you find any solutions.

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    tech support says

    I heard back from the Alesis tech support and they said the unit needs to be serviced. If yours is less than a year old, it's still under warranty and they'll fix it for you (assuming you have the original receipt). Number is: Return Authorization Department at 401.658.3131 x1409

    I've had mine for several years, so it's not under warranty anymore. They said electronic repair places might be able to service it. I've got a little electronic experience, so I'm going to try to fix mine myself.

    I believe that mine crapped out when I was plugging an XLR cable in, so I'm thinking that maybe one of the contacts in the XLR input broke or that one of soldering connections came loose. I'll update next week after I tear the thing apart.

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    Thanks for the info, gcalcaterra. I'd already concluded there wasn't much hope in getting my 4 year old unit sorted and spashed out on a new tascam interface which I'd been eyeing up for a little while

    Still, funny how it seems to be such a common fault.
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    Open it up and see if there is a muti pin connector that has come unseated .... you may not be able to tell by eying it you have to push down on every one of them. This is a very common problem.






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    Well, it comes apart pretty easily, but I couldn't find any obvious problems with any of the pin contacts. If anyone does try to take theirs apart, be careful putting it back together. The XLR inputs are on tall, flimsy posts and if you don't get the case lined up perfectly when trying to put it back on, you'll bend the hell out the posts and likely break all the solder contacts.

    In any case, I ended up buying the M-Audio Pre USB interface rather than dump any money into fixing the Alesis interface.

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    I recently bought an Alesis io2 on eBay that had exactly the same problem. No sound (from either input, regardless of input level) and the VU meter stuck firmly in the red for both channels. I quickly ruled out the problem being with the driver and started checking the hardware.

    The fault was with part of the power supply circuit, and it is most likely the same for any unit exhibiting this behaviour. The device needs +ve and -ve rails for the amplifiers and there was no voltage on the -ve rail. The IC generating the -ve supply had burnt out, taking at least one capacitor with it. I replaced the faulty components and it's as good as new.

    Opening the io2 is not too much trouble and to repair this fault you should only have to remove the main board (you can leave the board with the VU meter and control knobs in place).
    back 1.jpg
    front 1.jpg
    The faulty components are circled. Please note the capacitor marked X is a replacement that turned out to be too big to fit the enclosure. If you replace this capacitor it will have to be the same size as the original.

    The faulty IC
    pfni.JPG
    i discovered was marked PFNI. It's full component ID is TPS60403DBV. It is a voltage inverter, so it will create the -ve rail from the +ve rail. On the other side of the board there is a capacitor that had also blown.
    10uf.JPG
    The small black capacitor is a 10uF 16V tantalum. It's clearly dead as it has a crack across it. The orange capacitor to the left has some damage on it from the first capacitor overheating. I chose to replace it because of this and to gain better access.

    With these repairs done the unit worked perfectly. If you do attempt this repair it is fairly simple and you don't need tons of specialised equipment (I used a pair of tweezers, a pair of pliers, side cutters, a watchmakers eyeglass and a couple of gas soldering irons). Here are a few pointers that I hope will help.

    To remove the IC I found hot air worked best, as I could melt all the solder at once and lift the component away with the tweezers. put flux paste on the pads before you place the new IC. Put a small amount of solder on your soldering iron tip, hold the IC down with the tweezers and you should be able to solder it straight in. If you've used enough flux you shouldn't short across the pins and you can always clean excess flux with alcohol.

    For the 10uF tantalum capacitor, I couldn't melt the solder on both sides at once. Crushing the capacitor with pliers and removing the two halves separately worked well though.

    If you decide to remove the orange capacitor, I found it impossible to de-solder as it it soldered on both sides of the board. My solution was to cut the leads off, leaving as much connected to the board as possible. I then soldered the replacement component to these instead.

    If you use a gas soldering iron as I did, be quick. They get hotter, so you will overheat the components quicker. If you have problems with the solder not melting or not adhering, I used 60/40 tin/lead solder as I personally find it far easier to work with. If you have problems getting the new surface mount components to solder in properly, try liquid flux. And finally, if you have a multimeter to hand, this is what you should get if this part of the circuit is working.
    PFNI labelled.JPG

    Good luck.

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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by garetheld View Post
    The fault was with part of the power supply circuit, and it is most likely the same for any unit exhibiting this behaviour. The device needs +ve and -ve rails for the amplifiers and there was no voltage on the -ve rail. The IC generating the -ve supply had burnt out, taking at least one capacitor with it. I replaced the faulty components and it's as good as new.
    Good luck.
    Thanks for this useful information garetheld! Do you have any idea which variant you used as a replacement for the IC? I'm looking at Mouser. This site won't let me post a link to the page with the parts, but variants of the part number have a suffix of R, T, TG4, and G4. Or all they all probably basically worthwhile? The prices vary from $1.24 all the way up to $1.40 each.

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    Well done Gareth!

    A word if I may about DC-DC converters? These handy devices have an Achilles heel, a feedback path via a resistor (sometimes 2) that sets the output voltage. These can change in value, go high even O/C. When that happens the OPV goes ape**t and can double or rise even more in value. Consequently, any chips or caps downstream are stressed and can fail.

    Bottom line, you change the chip only to find it blows again due to a shorted IC or cap! So, measure for shorts/v low R, and isolate if you can the output line from the converter while you measure the OPV. Even better to isolate and tack in approximately the working load.

    Dave.

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    Mine just died too. Same all lights on. Only I know how I caused it. I bought a Y splitter to split my mono into both mic inputs to fill the right and left tracks in my audio track(ordered this before I realized I could just change the setting in the track to mono). Anyway, when the cable arrived, I just had to try it out even though it was no longer necessary. Stupid move. Now I hope that my limited electronic knowledge will help. I doubt it though.

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