A blog about my music, my studio and my DIY projects.
23 June 2012
RME Fireface 800 Repair
Yesterday evening is was working with Remy Stroomer in my studio on our upcoming collaboration album. When we done and still talking about all kinds of stuff suddenly a loud bang occurred in the studio, followed by another one and it smelled very burned. So something broke down, but I could see right away what. Then suddenly I saw that all the lights on my RME Fireface 800 started flickering and it went dark. I immediately cut the power from it and unscrewed it from the rack. It was very hot to start with, which wasn't a good sign. When we opened it up. The first thing I noticed was an capacitor that seem to have exploded.
It was already late so I called it a night and started looking further this morning. Since we heard two bangs I suspected there must have been another capacitor that exploded. The first thing to look at was the power supply. And I found it quickly. I expect that the first capacitor that blew was in the 48 Volt circuit of the microphone input I used last week, since that input was already acting funny. Probably after that one blew it also took one out on the power supply that feeds the 48 Volt to the input. And my suspicions were correct.
After this I de-soldered these two broken capacitor and some other ones that looked suspicious and drove to the local electronics store. Unfortunately they didn't have two of the capacitors that I wanted to replace as a precaution, but they did have the rest and most important the replacements for the exploded ones. After carefully screwing the main board and power supply back in place I first put power on the power supply without the main board attached to it. I could measure some stable voltages on the connector so I reapplied them and everything seemed to work based on the led sequence that I'm used to when it powers on.
I left it running on the bench for a while and nothing got abnormally hot or anything so I decided to put it back in place. And guess what :) It worked perfectly again. It is always nice when you can repair something like this yourself. Feels very satisfying and of course saves an expensive repair from RME. If they would actually repair it in the first place. My experiences with them are not that good actually in that sense. OK I guess I can take a cup of coffee now to reward myself :) Back to music!
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