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 Fostex VF160ex Crackling and popping
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Jennifer Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:53 pm    Post subject: Fostex VF160ex Crackling and popping Reply with quote

Aloha all! My Fostex volume has diminished and there is crackling and popping/fluctuations in the line outs and in my headphone jack. I worked with it yesterday and everything was fine but I DID notice some fluctuations in volume. Today I turned it on and it's in the condition it's in now...very low volume, distorted and crackling.

Fearing my hard drive was on it's way out, I mixed down the five tunes and burned them to CD. When the CD is played back on a CD Player, everything sounds okay, though. Do you think this could be a hard drive problem or do you think some kind of module has gone bad for all the line outs? I've double/triple checked my cords and changed headphones. I've ordered another hard drive just to play it safe but wondered if you might have heard of this problem before or know what it could be. Mahalo, Jen
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JR#97 Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've got a vf-160ex. Mine works flawlessly though. My guess is the converters. If your CD was fine, it's probably not related to the monitor or headphones.

Do you get the condition on all of your programs? btw, welcome to the board. post up some tunes. Smile

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Jennifer Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JR! Thanks for the quick response. Would you explain what the converters do? Is this something that Fostex has to fix? I live on a sailboat in Honolulu and am not too eager to ship it all the way back to the mainland unless necessary. I thought I might change out the hard drive first and then if it still happens, well...my goose is cooked and I'll need to ship it. Thanks for the welcome! I don't think I can post any tunes until I have 50 posts or something...I may be wrong. I've been reading so much online today that my brain is mush. LOL! I have a few tunes on myspace but I'll post some here as soon as I can figure out this recorder problem. We're right in the middle of a project, of course. Thanks again for your help. Aloha Nui, Jen
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joro Offline






PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jennifer wrote:
I live on a sailboat in Honolulu .....................






DOH



that's it............rub it in...............




















sheesh........... Rolling Eyes
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Jennifer Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

***Grins sheepishly at joro*** LOL! Yep, on a sailboat...don't like houses much. Didn't mean to rub it in, honest... Wink
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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd bet several beers that the hard drive is fine, and your problem is in the analog electronics. The key is your living environment: if you live on a sailboat, you will have high humidity and some salt mist/fog/spray. And if there's any condensation, you'll get conductive goop (salty water makes a great parasitic resistor!) on the circuit boards, which can easily lead to noise, distortion, and wierd signal levels. I bet that you did a little recording on deck at some point- but even if the recorder never left the cabin, the salty sea air is an _bear_ of an environment for electronics.

If you have a good local tech, they can probably do a cleaning/defluxing of the boards for you in short order. You can also do a thorough cleaning of the connectors on all your cables. But if your export to CD sounded good, then the data is good- so it's not the hard disk.

You might consider getting some of those silica gel packets, and making a dry storage area/desiccator cabinet for the recorder and any other sensitive gear (mics and preamps, which need really high gains and low noise). Keeping the humidity down as far as possible for storage, and keeping them away from any possibility of salt spray, will pay dividends in the long haul.

Back in my misspent youth, I used to play live gigs called Booze Cruises on a 150-passenger boat in Boston Harbor. You can just imagine the chaos... And the salt spray just wreaked *havoc* on the gear. Pots went noisy, the PA mixer crapped out several times with bad faders and mic preamps, connectors corroded and went nasty- it was an outright nightmare. So I think your problem has a relatively simple solution, but keeping it from reoccuring will take a little extra effort... Such is the price for living in paradise: betcha Honolulu Harbor on its *worst* day is better than Boston Harbor at its best!

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Last edited by skod on Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:30 am; edited 5 times in total
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JR#97 Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are basically two type of converters Analog to Digital (AD) and Digital to Analog (DA). Since the Fostex is a digital unit, the converters convert the analog signal to digital or vice versa.

Anywho, hope it isn't too much drama to get fixed. Waiting is the hardest thing ever.

I checked out your myspace. Great stuff. Magic Eyes had a nice Fleetwood Mac to feel it. Nice job.

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Jennifer Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aloha and good morning Skod and JR! I did more reading yesterday...just what blondie needed...argh...but I learned about the AD and DA converters and agree with both of you that it's likely where the problem is.

I received a message this morning from Fostex, too and they suggested shipping it to Condor Electronics in Seattle. It was two months out of warranty...Razz Now that we've narrowed down the problem, thanks to you two, we'll see if it's something where we can order the parts and install ourselves. If not, it'll be shipped to Washington.

Skod, before moving to Honolulu, we spent 13 years onboard a boat in Florida playing gigs up and down the West Coast. The salt air certainly takes it's toll on electronics, pods AND sliders just as it does here in Honolulu. Between my Ensoniq, three guitars, electronic drums, computers, Mackie system and recording gear, the the "assult of the salt" is never ending. But, as you said...living here is much better than anywhere else so I can't complain!!

JR, glad you enjoyed Magic Eyes. Not sure if a re-make will be included in this project. I guess, I'll have to work on taxes while my recorder is at the hospital...rats! LOL! Thanks again for your input and help. I think I'll stay awhile. Very Happy

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joro Offline






PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Jennifer...
Your MySpace doesn't work for me...can you check the link in your WWW?

tanks! Wink
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teek Offline
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Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll help you bump up your count to 50 , i was a newbie , not that long ago Smile
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blue aarow Offline
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Joined: 05 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:38 am    Post subject: you need to clean the faders etc Reply with quote

If you are having erratic volume and scratchy noise problems then it is most likely a button contact switch, turn knob potentiometer and or fader problem, common with Fostex VF machines. You will need to open up your VF and get to the contact switches and faders underneath your top panel. You will need to blow out any dust and dirt first(especially remove any dirt/hair/dust in fader columns),

Secondly, you need to take some Caig D100 ( it is best to buy the 25 ml. or 5 oz. dropper bottle with needle tip, it is cheaper in long run rather than spray bottle, too much waste) contact cleaner and try to get a few drops into each contact switch and fader on the circuit board and work it in by pushing on the buttons rapidly with your finger and or by moving/sliding the faders up and down to get the cleaning fluid inside the contact buttons and contact paths. (you can find all Caig products on Amazon and eBay for best prices)

Then you should take some Caig F100 fader lube and put a few drops in the contact buttons, and faders the same way as described with the Caig D100 contact cleaner, first clean then lube. That should solve any button problems, and or fader issues. If that does not work fully then you will need to un-solder and re-solder on some new button contacts. The fader clean and lube should always work successfully on faders most of the time.

You can get some electronic parts online at eBay and other electronic supply stores if you know what you are doing, if not turn your machine into a Fostex service center.

Finally you should do the same clean and lube with Caig fluid to any potentiometers volume control knobs or pan controls that are acting up too, scratchy noise when you turn the knob, same cleaning and lubing procedure described above applies to all turn knobs and dials you have on this Fostex machine, and or any other piece of electronics gear you may have issues with.

Also it is good to put a few drops on each 1/4" plug insert and plug-in connection, also on any internal plug-in connectors on the circuit board as well, oxidation to even gold connections can occur especially if you live by the sea, or in the sea on a boat especially. Caig products will de-oxidize any analog physical moving connection problems, oxidation is what causes most audio volume and static level problems and also electronic issues.

An additional important VF machine tip:

On your Fostex VF machine push and hold down the shift/stop and track 9 buttons together to get into the VF machine Button Test Mode. You can then test all buttons to see if they are working or not and how well they are making contact by pushing down any button, make sure to test all buttons. To get out of this Test Mode hold down shift/stop and master buttons to return to normal operation on your VF machine.

Hope this helps and sorry for being 5 years too late to answer.
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
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