Restoring $5 Busted Synthesizer Made Easy, Thanks To Thermal


[D. Scott Williamson] compensated $5 for a Roland JV-30 synthesizer at a garage sale. Rating! There was only one capture: it didn’t operate and didn’t include things like the ability provide. Luckily, restoring it was made simpler by breaking out a thermal digital camera.

As described, the keyboard was lacking a 9 VDC electrical power supply (rated 800 mA) with a center-adverse barrel connector. Marginally oddball, but nothing an enterprising hacker just cannot offer with. Following giving power with a bench source, not only did the keyboard not occur to lifestyle, but the energy source clamped the present attract at 1.5 A! Some thing was surely not right.

This shorted glass-bodied diode may glimpse normal to the naked eye, but thermal imaging can make it crystal clear something’s amiss.

Within, there was no seen (or olfactory) indicator of hurt, but on the lookout closer disclosed that a minimal SMT capacitor by the electric power connector was cracked in two. Correcting that didn’t bring the keyboard to life, so it was time to break out the thermal imager. Some thing was soaking up all that latest, and it’s a good bet that a little something is having warm in the approach.

The perpetrator? The reverse polarity safety diode was shorted, in all probability as a consequence of hurt by an inappropriate ability offer or a surge of some variety. Replacing it resulted in a performing keyboard! Not negative at all for $5, a diode, an SMT cap, and a small workbench time. The finishing touch was replacing a lacking slider knob, which took some do the job in OpenSCAD and a 3D printer. All round, not undesirable!

Thermal imaging employed to be the stuff of staggering rate tags, but it is downright obtainable these times, and can make it effortless to spot factors that are very hot when they should not be. And if a thermal camera’s lens isn’t what you feel it must be? It is even possible for a sufficiently inspired and well-informed hacker to modify people.


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