Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

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megavoice
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Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Tue May 19, 2015 1:56 pm

About two weeks ago the powerlight of my Mini started to flicker and few days ago it went dark completely. As many of you know that oxidations are mz favourite subject :lol: I didn`t care about as I thought it would recover, but it didn`t.
So my Mini had to lose virginity as it had to be opened up for the first time.
After putting it on my living room table and after unscrewing the hundert billions of screws I plugged into the multiple outlet strip on the other side of my room and shaked some cables in the powerlight area as assumed to work again after. So I closed the unit and plugged into the strip of my Constellation setup again. DARK........
Having done this three times I was nearly about to freak out completely, but I said to me, FU** You guy, I`ll get you.
I plugged into the outlet directly into the wall.....and....LIGHT ON............. :evil: :evil: :evil:
I took the spray again and blew about one ton into the outlet of the strip and see.........LIGHT ON now permanetly..........
I have to mention that the Mini worked fine all the time without losing any function.
My tech is also pretty weird of all about this as he said the power light is set in parallel, so it s not possible what happened here.....

One other thing I discovered also, the tranny in the powerlight area wabbled to and fro. I tightened the screws but it`s still wabbeling as it is fixed on a metal bar and this bar is connected from the front side of the panel board.......FU** !, I`ve to live with, but it`s more silent again now.
Formarly when it went loud I gave the housing a flap and it went silent then.....for a while..........
I said to my tech, probably I have ghosts in my house........
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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thealien666
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by thealien666 » Tue May 19, 2015 2:14 pm

That power light is a small neon tube. It is very sensitive to voltage levels when near its end of life, hence the flickering for a while followed by sudden death.
As for yours coming back to life, the very little loss of voltage caused by the extended cord of the power strip might have been enough to prevent it from lighting up, but directly plugged into a wall outlet brought temporarily back to life. But its days are numbered, nonetheless.

The good news is that it's easily replaceable with an identical, brand new one for not a lot of money and not a lot of efforts.

https://syntaur.com/Items/1533.html

http://www.caesound.net/minimoogpilotlight.aspx

It's also possible to find it on eBay and elsewhere...
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megavoice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Thu May 21, 2015 1:23 pm

Thank you Alain,

what GREAT and interesting informations.
But I still discovered new things with my entire Moog setup.
So to get close to what you are telling it was obviously not the spray that recovered the powerlight. I swapped the connector into the outlet of the strip most close to its power switch and the flickering was back. BUT, plugging the whole strip into the outlet of the kitchen the Mini lamp lighted up permanetly again. Weird.....
Next thing, when all being plugged in the living room outlet and pressing some "Variabe" buttons on the Poly they jumped back every time into the "PRE" mod when I switch a light on or off in my appartment or anybody else somwhere in the house. Now after plugging the whole strip into the kitchen`s one there is no jumping any more. Weird......
And at last, the T1 is humming when the strip unit is plugged in the living room and almost not humming anymore in the kitchen`s.
I went directly with the T1 in one of the PA active speakers and this way it doesn`t hum AT ALL.
I`m suspecting the tripple stip unit I`m using for beeing crappy as it`s looking like to be a sh*t piece for two and a half bucks. So I will swap it this weekend and hope.......
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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thealien666
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by thealien666 » Thu May 21, 2015 2:59 pm

Possibly a bad grounding issue with some of the equipment ? Either that, or some of your wall power outlets in your living room might have their AC "polarity" reversed (the live and neutral wires are interchanged on the plug in the wall), or the ground wire might be missing entirely ?

Anyway, I would have it checked by a certified electrician because it's a potentially hazardous situation for fire and electrocution. I've seen computers being busted (with sparks and flames) where I work because the building owner had new wall power outlets installed by an unqualified (possibly color blind) contractor in a new room that had reversed all the wires on the new plugs, and when combined with power coming from the regular part of the building, wired correctly, it resulted in a 120V AC short and blew lots of expensive equipment... :shock: :roll:

Anytime there's strange behavior with equipment depending on where it is taking its power from, the electrical wiring and grounding is suspicious.
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megavoice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Fri May 22, 2015 1:13 pm

Oh man, again you maybe VERY right, as this outlet had been replaced a few years ago by an electrician after not working.
Thank you so much for now, I`m going to give the order to let come an electritian again.....
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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JohnLRice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by JohnLRice » Tue May 26, 2015 12:45 pm

Here is something to consider that I'll expect you won't believe me, as I didn't believe another guy who told me this and I was so confident that I bet him $10 (in the later 70's when I was only making a few bucks an hour) and I LOST big time! :oops:

When neon bulbs start failing, they can flicker more when placed in dark areas and flicker less in well lit areas! it seems to make little sense or at least seems opposite of what should be the case but . . . test it out! (and it's not a variance of the house power between having the room lights on or off, a bright flashlight will prove this.)
John L Rice
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megavoice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Tue May 26, 2015 1:48 pm

JohnLRice wrote:Here is something to consider that I'll expect you won't believe me, as I didn't believe another guy who told me this and I was so confident that I bet him $10 (in the later 70's when I was only making a few bucks an hour) and I LOST big time! :oops:

When neon bulbs start failing, they can flicker more when placed in dark areas and flicker less in well lit areas! it seems to make little sense or at least seems opposite of what should be the case but . . . test it out! (and it's not a variance of the house power between having the room lights on or off, a bright flashlight will prove this.)


Well, thanks for this idea, but in more than 30 years I used the Mini mostly in the evening or at night and it NEVER flickered up to now.
But it turns out now more and more that Alain is right as regardless in what outlet I`m plugging into the light is flickering more and more and getting dark after while completely. Anyway, I nailed two Pilot lights now and they`re about to be packed. We`ll see what will happen when I`ll put one in.......

But it all remains that odd thing with the VAR/PRE jump-back when switching a room lamp on or off, but NOT jumping when being plugged into the outlet just around the corner in the same wall in the kitchen.
My tech said, one side to be considered the whole electric installation of the highrise of the 60ies is crap, and on the other side the caps of the very old PSU of the Poly are discharged pretty much and this MAYBE can be the culprit with naturally a lot of other reasons.
In the next weeks I`m going to get a high class very advanced new PSU for my Poly and I`m so hopeful that this will solve the problem.

So at the end the T1 humming........I don`t know what it can be as it had been service and recapped completely a few years ago, and as I said, plugged into the PA cab directly there`s absolutely no humming.
At any rate I`ve to send the mixer board back, as all the reverb programs of each bank have an unnormal pitch drift. I`ve never heared now in about 40 years music making of, reverb programs have a pitch shift. All my other digital reverbs in the instruments work completely straight ??????????
Maybe it`s a crappy mixerboard in total ?
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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JohnLRice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by JohnLRice » Tue May 26, 2015 1:59 pm

megavoice wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:When neon bulbs start failing, they can flicker more when placed in dark areas and flicker less in well lit areas!


Well, thanks for this idea, but in more than 30 years I used the Mini mostly in the evening or at night and it NEVER flickered up to now.
:roll: Please re-read and think about what I said. I said "When neon bulbs start failing", not when they are new. Maybe go try a couple tests to prove or disprove this is what is happening or not? 8)
John L Rice
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JohnLRice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by JohnLRice » Tue May 26, 2015 2:07 pm

Here, I found someone who made a video of the effect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4MYyyJLWQo
John L Rice
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megavoice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Wed May 27, 2015 1:26 pm

O.K. I`ve got it now. Very interesting. I`m going to do like that guy in the video this evening and see what will happen. Maybe the same.
But, the powerlight recovered completely last night after about ten minutes flickering and going dark in periods.
My theory of oxidations inside of the Mini still prevails........we`ll see what will happen in the next time.

@Alain
I talked today to our caretaker as I knew he`s an electrician and he told me that that`s not quite correct what you`ve said with the polarity.
The AC of our electricity grid has a continous pole changing of (I forgot exactly) 40 or 50 Hz. So I think what you`ve meant is the PHASE.
And this could be checked with a special screwdriver that will enlight when pushed into one of the two holes of the outlet. So when I`m right the enlightment has to be on all outlets on the same side. He will throw that thing this evening into my postbox and I`ll check immediately after.
I told him also when starting with my first band in 1975 we often had to suffer from grounding problems and often it helped only to turn the connector 180° round and put it in again. Humming often stopped after. But he said nowadays that`s not important anymore but only with old gear........
Last night I had my washing machine going at the same time having been switched on the istruments and from time to time there came a humming out depending on what the machine did. So I immediately remembered the earlier time when I was very busy with the Poly that had been plugged directly into the PA cab. When I pressed down at the same time the button of my toaster there was the same loud humming to hear till he stopped glowing although like the washing mashine had been plugged in a different outlet.
Grounding ???? I don`t know yet.........
This was also weird to my caretaker
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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thealien666
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by thealien666 » Wed May 27, 2015 4:15 pm

Since I'm not a certified electrician, I can only surmise or deduce things from past experience. Although I doubt very much that a single phase installation (like in homes) could have a phase discrepancy problem ? Unless someone has installed capacitors somewhere on the house wiring ? I don't know...
Anyway, that's why power grid and house wiring are left to certified electricians only, by law.

Another factor, in the intermittent flickering or the neon lamp, is to consider the variations of the voltage on the power grid depending on the hour of the day and local power demand in the neighbourhood.

A difference of only a few volts, up or down, relative to the standard 120 VAC might well be enough to start, or stop, the neon electrodes from glowing near the end of life of such a lamp. It can often occur on power strips equipped with such power monitoring (often inside the power switch itself). I've got a couple of those old power bars that are starting to flicker. Not surprisingly, they're about 15-20 years old.

Anyway, I'm 100% convinced that replacing the power light with a new one will resolve the flickering issue.
Last edited by thealien666 on Thu May 28, 2015 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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megavoice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Thu May 28, 2015 1:25 pm

Well, Alain, thank`s again for your thoughts, but the power lamp seems to have been recovered completely. Always after switching on and let the machine run for hours there`s no flickering any more and never returns. Maybe as I assumed the liquid of my deoxite spray needed time to creep into the chinks and gaps and between the small connectors to remove the oxidation. I had been affraid of ripping something off and did not pull any of that small connectors inside because they`re fixed so tight.
But anyway, the new lamps are on the way now and I`m be prepaired for the worst case.

As for the flickering that has been described and demonstrated by John I experimented all varieties and covered more or less the lamp but it never dakened or got out completely.
But I perceived another flickering that looks completely different:
When the light is fully on and will be focused directly with ones eyes it doesn`t flicker. But as soon as the eyes or the head are moved to and fro, and more and more quickly, the light starts to flicker, but very moderate. That`s nothing else but that frequency of the AC grit I told above of 40 Hz.

I`m going to look now into my mailbox about that tool and will do the phase check. I`m very curious about the result..
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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thealien666
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by thealien666 » Thu May 28, 2015 1:44 pm

That power on indicator lamp (neon) is directly connected (soldered actually) to the main power switch. I doubt very much that Deoxit will do anything, even if it "creeps in".
The neon turns on and off 60 times per seconds (in North America) and 50 times per second in most of Europe. So, moving your eyes quickly to and from it might create a slight stroboscopic effect.

Another factor to consider is the room temperature. Neon lights work best at higher temperatures, and often fail to light up in cold ones.
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megavoice
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Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Thu May 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Yes, exactly, I`m talking about this strobe effect.
But as for the deoxite creeping, I didn`t mean that it moved into the lamp itself, but I thought it is connected with a small plug. If it`s soldered of course spray doesn`t help........
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

megavoice
Posts: 343
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:27 pm

Re: Minimoog Fools.......or ......Voodoo...?

Post by megavoice » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:20 pm

Well, the lamp is glowing now permanetly with one exception a few days ago with two or three dropouts, but never again after, working with the Mini for hours.
So I don`t believe in Voodoo and never did.......
I succeeded to dial in the Gain of the T1 cranked up the Volume of the instrument fully and having no humming at the end. Maybe it`s a result from unplugging and replugging the connectors into the grit so often in all varieties.
But of course I`ll continue to experiment..........
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

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