Hi from Croatia

New to the forum? Why not pop in and tell us a little about yourself??

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interkostal
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Hi from Croatia

Post by interkostal »

Hello to all,

I am new owner by accident. I have collected Fusion 8hd from junk. I paid something like 15 euros for it. Assuming that is dead and hoped that is not empty inside. Turning on was dead synth as I suspected. I had only backlight and sporadic button leds lit. Since I work professionally with digital and analog electronics, also did lot of designs of digital systems I gave chance to repair the HD8.
After spending some time figuring out www (What Went Wrong) and without any schematics, it took me 10 hours to understand little bit more by downloading a lot of integrated circuits datasheets. Finally after major brainstorming I have discovered one small component (single input Schmitt trigger) which is in charge of conditioning of clock signal form one of resonators to one of its CPU's. The part cost me 2 euros + 25 for shipping. Now this Alesis is brought back from total death.. So at first glance I love this synth! And now I am here, total newbie with this synth.
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parametric
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by parametric »

WELCOME to the Forum interkostal,

Congratulations on your component-level troubleshooting . . . . 8) W a y beyond anything I can do :lol:

I think you are going to like the Fusion A LOT. It WAS and still is a Giant-killer of a board . . . . (IMO)

If you <PM> me your email address, I can send you the Service Manual - YOU should definately have THAT . . . .

It has the schematics, BOMs and much else besides . . .

ATM

parametric
Alesis Fusions 8SSD + 6SSD/384Mb/120Gb SSD/Yamaha SY85/8.5Mb/1024kb/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash/Akai ADVANCE61/NI Komplete11 Ultimate/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu Mate 15.04/M-Audio MicroTrack

https://chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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Saul
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Saul »

Welcome to the forum interkostal :)

That is one amazing find! I know it needed someone with your technical skill to fix the Fusion 8HD but wow! What a result :)

There is still very little to match the Fusion, even today, 15 years after it's release.

Well done and great to have you on the forum.
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC - Dowina Marus - Dowina Puella

CASIO PX-S1000/Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap/Ibanez AE245/Arturia Keylab 61 MKII/Arturia Analog Lab 3/Arturia Piano V2/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Apple iMac 27"/Logic Pro X/Ableton Live 10/Behringer QX1202USB Mixer/Presonus Eris 4.5 Active Monitors. Whites DFX 300mm!
Jokeyman123
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Jokeyman123 »

Interkostal-interested to know-what testing equipment did you use to detect the faulty clock signal-and by resonators-do you mean the timing crystals/chip on the board? Are you using a scope?

If you read my posts-you will see I love the Fusions, and I have been busy restoring 2 Fusion 8HD's, one fully successfully, the other not quite there, but working on it, think its a defective memory chip on the mainboard or one of the Texas Instruments DSP chips not sure yet. Incredible workstation, and i've owned a few pretty remarkable ones already.

Excellent to hear from a neighbor across the ocean here, and a fellow troubleshooter. Fantastic group here definitely experienced, pro level info from the wonderful moderators who have kept the Fusion (and the SY77, EX5/7 and other older instruments on other groups-shameless plug!) alive and well.

Pay no attention to the naysayers-I have in one week-recorded 3 multi-track compositions, edited 2 sounds, loaded most of the new sounds available here, connected to USB, installed new hard drives in both, corrected an inaccurately installed keybed assembly on the one, and ordered 2 memory expansion modules for the one Fusion coming today yipee-and loving it!
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Jesse
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Jesse »

Hello, welcome to the FUSIONZONE :)

Congratulations with your diagnostics and repair of your Fusion 8HD, please post the information on this diagnosis and repair and possibly a PDF file documenting this.

Pictures of the PCB and component can be helpful to other Fusion owners.

This may be of help to me in repairing one of my 8HD's that has no working video display, I know the top half is fully functional because I have connected it to the bottom half of my working 8HD and then it works properly.

Take Care ... Jesse
Tempus & Ludwig drums, Roto Toms-Djembe, Bongo's, Ibanez Bass, Fusion8HD, SUMO300 Amps, Alesis16 Firewire mixer, AKG D112-Behringer, B2-Shure, Beta 58a mics, Win10, Audigy soundcard, Audition3 & East West Goliath sound bank
interkostal
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by interkostal »

Hello to all,

I did not expected such positive reaction, so one big thanks for it to you all.

To answer you all here is gear used to repair Fusion:

My knowledge of electronics (starting 1984 till today) :wink:
4 channel 100Mhz 1Gs DSO oscilloscope
USB microscope camera ( for reading sometimes impossible to read component markings)
Simple Fluke 77 multimeter
Hot air reflow station for SMD/SMT
Weller soldering iron
Several chemicals to treat PCB before, during, after repair
FLIR IR camera designed for electronics (it helps sometimes a lot!)

I have lot more tooling and instruments if needed but not used in this case. The real problem for me is multilayer PCB technology and therefore is nightmare to reverse engineer precisely. It is more empirically but even this is better than nothing.

I am not easy to give up on repairs. When everybody gives up, I don't as long it has sense (sense for me and mostly not for others). For some repairs I waited years and it worked at the end. Now I am working also on one synth, Roland D-70 also know as "Super La" synthesizer. Luckily I found service manual for it. Poor synth was bought for 10 euros in three cardboard boxes. It took me to get another one without casing so even in much worse condition and it was free. One was donor, or both are donors for one working hard to decide which belongs to what. It is kind of Roland Frankenstein. Of course this Alesis and mentioned Roland will remain with me for good. I love their sounds, they are somehow different to me. Few years ago I restored 1967 silverface Fender vibrolux amplifier for my sons friend. It was really nice to work with vacuum tubes again after decades. I am self taught musician making the music for myself. This is my this world escape or my relief valve after hard day... Nothing fancy, pretty much Kraftwerk, Jarre, Vangelis, Tangerine dream type of music... But not even close to their level... Lets call it my private music...

I am willing to help anybody here! Of course free of charge for labor or brainstorming. So I will never ask you anything for my work and advice... I am also enthusiast beside that electronics is my profession. I earn with other stuff which is complete different world such is high power plasma systems, Industrial lasers, automotive electronics.
I will be happy if I could help to bring other Fusions (non Fusions as well but in PM for forum rules) to life. Of course I will ask also questions and request advices too...

@Jesse
Regarding the repair, yes I will contribute the work with tutorial step by step in PDF. I will also describe the purpose and what broken component does inside fusion on the motherboard. The component exactly same type is used on various locations inside so there is more than one. I will look for it when I got the service manual.
This is very rare case to experience according the error descriptions I found here in forum posts.
Can you give me more info on video display problem?

@Jokeyman123 Can I help you with troubled board somehow. I think that I already read the post about it
https://www.alesismusic.com/viewtopic.p ... 509#p38509


@parametric
PM mesage sent. Thank you in advance. It will reveal to me how far or close I was in my head compared to the manual.

@Saul Thank you for warm welcome!

Thanks once more again to all from one island on the blue Adriatic sea..
Jokeyman123
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Jokeyman123 »

Interkostal-You are certainly more well-equipped and skilled than I, very impressive setup-I trained as a keyboard tech years ago, but have not kept up with it in a professional level. I still enjoy troubleshooting and playing. And thank you for your generous offer to help-not sure how we can work across the ocean from each other and without a schematic-at my skill level, would be impossible for me to test much of anything, even simple voltages/resistances/amps. the main Flukemeter factory in Paramus Nj, I think is still there. years back my brother gave me their best top-of the line handheld-which his frend had built there. Stupidly, I sold it when I gave up doing this as a profession-I stuck with teaching (ow!) I think in 30 years-I might have taught 1-2 students how to play something :lol: :P

I have requested a service manual, I think Jesse said he'd PM one to me, I'll check. I also sent a service request to Alesis now called inmusic brands.com waiting for their reply. And just discovered-one of the only true musical/electronic troubleshooting shops in my area on the East Coast-called TSI in New Jersey, has a notice on its website stating they are closed for business, and may be permanently due to the pandemic-so there went my one hope of having this mainboard repaired which I was willing to pay to have done-I hate letting what could be perfectly functioning electronics be added to the already over-whelmed stream of dangerously polluting electronics components. part of why I try to recycle equipment within my capabilities, and i enjoy it almost as much as playing it! If I can get a service manual-I will run some simple tests with a multimeter-been debating in investing in a good scope for years-but scopes that can signal trace at the frequencies most newer mainboards are running is a little expensive for me as a hobbyist.
Jokeyman123
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Jokeyman123 »

Hello again Interkostal-I've sent you a PM with more technical details re the mainboard-2 other questions-

1) Is it possible the mainboard OS has partially failed due to some "glitch" in the power at some point, or some other transient error-and the error is now "frozen" or saved in the OS routines since the backup battery is holding all the charges throughout the entire mainboard? Therefore...

Might disconnecting the button battery-equivalent to s computer "CMOS" backup battery for saving boot settings-refresh or delete any errors that may be simply be errors now stored in the operating system code, since my backup battery is original, and tests 3.V, is still good?

I am pretty certain that even a warm boot reset (holding the play + record buttons while powering up) would not erase any OS error that may be retained unless I can somehow "coldboot" the mainboard-which is the way I restore an older computer's original bootup routines-disconnecting the CMOS battery for the motherboard to delete any passwords, etc if the motherboard has been "locked' by user settings. I am so close to having this 2nd Fusion completely operational-i have documented my diagnostics test routines in a PM I've sent to you. thanks so much, if you can help in any way. Well worth keeping these older Fusions working-I've played so many instruments over the years-including some truly unique ones-and this Fusion is in a class by itself IMO.
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Jesse
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Jesse »

The battery is soldered onto the main PCB not in a removable battery holder :(

I am pretty sure the battery is only used to retain the Time & Date, I will check this in the near future
when I start replacing the batteries on my 8HD's
Tempus & Ludwig drums, Roto Toms-Djembe, Bongo's, Ibanez Bass, Fusion8HD, SUMO300 Amps, Alesis16 Firewire mixer, AKG D112-Behringer, B2-Shure, Beta 58a mics, Win10, Audigy soundcard, Audition3 & East West Goliath sound bank
Jokeyman123
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Re: Hi from Croatia

Post by Jokeyman123 »

Not a problem-I've replaced quite a few of these in time-I have a small drawer-full of the button battery holders-I think I have CR2025 size, I'd have to check. Can't hurt-whatever is in ROM will stay in ROM-I'm thinking discharging the RAM ships might clear this up-I've done this before on 1-2 other keyboards driven with CPUs and it worked although the chip architecture I'm sure was not the same.

I'm grasping for some way to troubleshoot this mainboard-except for the scrambled memory in the base voice engine-which is causing this failure-I have managed to get all the functions to work strangely enough. Still gets stuck loading the HG piano-if I boot through that, there it is. Even the program sounds play at full volume including the HG piano-but only in song mode, and only when I create a new track. I've PM'd Interkostal to see if he can help me diagnose this-seems such a waste that this mainboard is almost fully operational. Got to be a way to repair it-I never received a reply from "in music"-that is Numark-and TSI. TSI is done-their telephone number is disconnected-d***! If Interkostal is willing to try to troubleshoot this, I've requested his help based on some technical data I sent him-I will ship it to him-even with customs and other fees, it might still be worth it. Just a thought so far-I haven't asked him yet and would of course ask his professional fee. Short of electronics outfits in California-I know of no techs locally or even not so locally advanced/specialized enough to even attempt this. Maybe a computer motherboard repair/troubleshooter if I knew of any-in this disposable age there aren't many.
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