Ask the Right Questions Part 1
Back when I was in college studying electronics, the school I was attending had a talent competition one day. I brought my keyboard in to play, cheap thing only 61 keys, not even touch sensitive, but I was a poor student and it was free. I got myself set up on the stage, went to play, and got nothing. I glanced at the On/Off button, it was on, I glanced at the power cord, I had forgotten to plug it in. This demonstrates the first two questions every service person needs to ask when trying to solve a problem.
1) Is it plugged in?
2) Is it turned on?
In my years working here at Classic, I have found that very often, the solution to a problem was in asking the right questions, and those 2 questions I asked almost 20 years ago still hold true today.
1) Is it plugged in?
This is a somewhat more complex question when dealing with a multi-million dollar hand crafted pipe organ, than the keyboard a friend of your Mom gave you. The principal however, of making sure the power cord is plugged into the wall, and to the back of your keyboard, still applies.
Is your power supply good? Is it plugged into the wall (or did somebody kick it loose), is it providing a steady current? Is it sufficient? At Classic we recommend 1/2 Amp per stop. Don't forget, a good ground is part of the power supply. You don't want to spend 2 hours trying to figure out why something isn't working, only to discover that the return on a junction board 10 feet away fell off. When you are working with our Pipe Driver Board, and have a larger number of boards, a single ground wire which connects all the ground pins together isn't sufficient. We recommend something closer to a lattice work for grounding these boards, we can send you a drawing.
Is the power getting to your boards? At Classic, most of our boards have a yellow LED on them to indicate that you have power on the board, however that doesn't necessarily mean it is enough power for the board to function properly. For example, in the case of the Console Control Computer (CCC) the Power LED will come on with as little as 9V, but that is insufficient to run the processor. Grab your multimeter and measure. Many of our boards also have loops on them for +5V and GND. Measure these as well, this will tell you if the power is functioning on the board.
When I first started writing this blog posting I figured I might need two postings to cover everything, just like when I wrote about "Lesser Known Features of a Classic System". Turns out I have a lot to say on this subject. I'm splitting this up so that each posting covers one question. I have 5 questions to ask and will be posting about every two weeks.
Next Question "Is it turned on?"