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Author Topic: LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate  (Read 298 times)

Sven Oxtoby

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LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate
« on: August 12, 2017, 12:39:18 pm »

Hi all

I have a display error as shown in photo  (ASCII getting scrambled it seems), on the 40x2 character LCD of this old ART Pro-Gate (90's "pro-sumer" analogue 8-channel gate with nice digital/MIDI control and scene system).

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with this issue and might happen to know the most likely culprit - LCD module vs main microprocessor vs dirty PCB connectors vs PSU straying outside of some component's voltage tolerance? (I don't have extra ICs and LCDs at hand to try swapping out components one by one, and can't spend much money on fixing this.)

Searching forums and Google has not turned up anything useful.

Details:
* The problem will manifest only after some time of being powered up, if at all (heat-related?)
* The unit is rack-mounted with units immediately above and below, but it has no vents, no warnings or ventilation spec. in the user guide and the problem can still occur if I leave the adjacent units powered off.
* It may happen after being powered up for an hour, or may not happen even after being powered up for more than a day - so quite intermittent.
* If it does happen, it only gets worse with use; it is not cleared until power is cycled off.
* Once it occurs, turning some encoders can make it worse - turns more of the display into nonsense characters.  It still seems to work pass and gate audio just fine, regardless. You just can't see the parameter values you are using.
* Examples of character-scrambling in photo: "Bypvws"  should be "Bypass", "LLPT" should be " LPF", the " and # characters should all be other things. I also get quite  a few @ and % symbols and some of the very uncommon ASCII characters as well.

If this problem does not have a well-known likely cause, I will probably give the unit away to someone with more time and inclination to troubleshoot. I just thought it might be something fairly clear-cut/well known so I should ask. Thanks for any ideas  :)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 12:47:51 pm by Sven Oxtoby »
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Sven Oxtoby
Ox Audio (http://www.oxaudio.co.za)
Cape Town, South Africa

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 02:00:05 pm »

Hi all

I have a display error as shown in photo  (ASCII getting scrambled it seems), on the 40x2 character LCD of this old ART Pro-Gate (90's "pro-sumer" analogue 8-channel gate with nice digital/MIDI control and scene system).

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with this issue and might happen to know the most likely culprit - LCD module vs main microprocessor vs dirty PCB connectors vs PSU straying outside of some component's voltage tolerance? (I don't have extra ICs and LCDs at hand to try swapping out components one by one, and can't spend much money on fixing this.)

Searching forums and Google has not turned up anything useful.

Details:
* The problem will manifest only after some time of being powered up, if at all (heat-related?)
* The unit is rack-mounted with units immediately above and below, but it has no vents, no warnings or ventilation spec. in the user guide and the problem can still occur if I leave the adjacent units powered off.
* It may happen after being powered up for an hour, or may not happen even after being powered up for more than a day - so quite intermittent.
* If it does happen, it only gets worse with use; it is not cleared until power is cycled off.
* Once it occurs, turning some encoders can make it worse - turns more of the display into nonsense characters.  It still seems to work pass and gate audio just fine, regardless. You just can't see the parameter values you are using.
* Examples of character-scrambling in photo: "Bypvws"  should be "Bypass", "LLPT" should be " LPF", the " and # characters should all be other things. I also get quite  a few @ and % symbols and some of the very uncommon ASCII characters as well.

If this problem does not have a well-known likely cause, I will probably give the unit away to someone with more time and inclination to troubleshoot. I just thought it might be something fairly clear-cut/well known so I should ask. Thanks for any ideas  :)
Oxidation on the drive lines between the CPU and the display controller. Take it apart and reseat all cables near the LCD.
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Tom Bourke

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Re: LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 02:52:49 pm »

Oxidation on the drive lines between the CPU and the display controller. Take it apart and reseat all cables near the LCD.
This, plus look for bulging caps.
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Sven Oxtoby

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Re: LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 03:18:14 pm »

This, plus look for bulging caps.

Thank you so much TJ and Tom; will do! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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Sven Oxtoby
Ox Audio (http://www.oxaudio.co.za)
Cape Town, South Africa

Lee Douglas

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Re: LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 05:37:10 pm »

I have one of those. Still like it after all these years.  Before digital boards came along, this was a really cool unit with frequency keying and the like.

Anyway, you may also want to check on the internal battery, referenced on page 44 of the manual, found here:  http://www.mulhern.com/pdfs/art_progate_manual.pdf
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Just "Good Enough" isn't...

Sven Oxtoby

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Re: LCD error on an ART Pro-Gate
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 02:35:09 am »

I have one of those. Still like it after all these years.  Before digital boards came along, this was a really cool unit with frequency keying and the like.

Anyway, you may also want to check on the internal battery, referenced on page 44 of the manual, found here:  http://www.mulhern.com/pdfs/art_progate_manual.pdf

Thanks! I think I did replace fairly recently but will double-check as well.
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Sven Oxtoby
Ox Audio (http://www.oxaudio.co.za)
Cape Town, South Africa
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