• Personal,  Synths

    The “Industry”

    I was watching several videos about Knobcon, a synthesiser event in Chicago) as I had friends there and I found it really quite enjoyable to see them talking about and showing their latest products. What was disappointing, but not entirely surprising, was to learn that my ex company are still using my old name, in person and online. Sure enough after a quick google there are videos online showing this, followed with multiple “corrections” in the same video. Now for those who don’t know I transitioned over 6 years ago, and it was something that had been in the works 2 years before that. My business partner at the time…

  • Personal

    GRC and Suzie

    My Partner and I are concerned about the growing right wing (or fascist) government and their policies. So before they make it impossible to do so we have both applied for our Gender Recognition Certificate, or GRC. This allows us to change our brother certificates and use our new names to get married, rather than our old names. The process is quite intense, you have to provide 4 pieces of evidence of your new name for each of the last 2 years , from different companies e.g. bank statement, driving license, insurance, etc. Its actually a lot, remember the 8 should all be different and cover each quarter of the…

  • Personal

    Please meet Suzie

    It’s been a while since I shared my life with a dog, the last being Stevie who sadly died at 12 in 2015. At my day job, Space Forge (awesome company) we’re allowed to bring in dogs, and one of the people has been bringing in her pup Sunny (below) and I love dogs, I love playing with them, fussing them and being around them. And for several months I’ve come to realise how much I would love to share my life with a dog again.So I began looking, and sending my partner Jayne pictures of various dogs, then one day, by pure chance I found a picture of Suzie…

  • Personal

    Life

    Things have been a little hectic of late so I’ve not been able to do much with the fairlight, but I do now have the chip for the light pen. So I will be working on that in the next few days. Due to the rise in hate in the media, both social and so called “news” I’ve left social media, twitter and facebook. The UK is getting worse and worse for hate and bigotry, have a look at this article from myGwork – Record Rise In Homophobic And Transphobic Hate Crimes Across UK (mygwork.com)That’s just the tip of the iceberg sadly, most LGBTQ+ people don’t trust the police and…

  • Synths

    Synth DIY UK

    Finally, after a two year hiatus Synth DIY UK returned and it was a really great event.Lots of catching up with old friends and making of new friends. we had a turn out of around 40 people which is good and we even raised £200 for our chosen charity. Of course on the evening alcohol was consumed, good food eaten and lots of catching up. The event, and more correctly, the people really lifted my mood and made me remember what a wonderful community it is. Below are some of my pictures and you can find more on the Synth DIY UK gallery page The event is open to the…

  • Fairlight,  Repairs,  Synths

    It’s ALIVE

    After swapping the dead -12V 2A fuse, I powered it up and everything stayed on for about 30 minutes. So I decided to attach the monitor, keyboard and alpha-numeric keyboard and see what happened and sure enough, we have life! Super exciting! Keep in mind this Fairlight hasn’t been powered on for over 20 years!So next the big step, let’s insert a system disk, now I’ve no idea if the disks still work or if the drives have died (I can hear a motor but that’s all), and as I say, it is 20 years old. Yes! it booted much to my amazement, and what’s more I can even load…

  • Fairlight,  Repairs,  Synths

    No longer blowing fuses, but….

    Having swapped out the bridge rectifier for a high power one and used nice high grade thermal paste I was able to power up the PSU and sure enough, it worked, I can measure the voltages and the mains fuse does not blow. Awesome, I’m really chuffed with this. So I assembled everything (about 2 hours) and powered her on.Only to discover another fault… ARGH!!! Sadly, the -12V rail is dead… Now I’m imagining the worst, so I decide to check the -12V fuse and well, it’s blown. Upon checking someone has replaced the 2A anti surge fuse with a a 1.5A standard blow fuse. So I power off, quickly…

  • Fairlight,  Repairs,  Synths

    We have a winner!

    I finally decided I could no longer avoid removing the PSU from the case to check the capacitors, rectifiers and transformer.Now if you recall I had a problem with the scan of the service manual in that the colours of the wires were not clear. I asked on the facebook group and David Cilia kindly took a photo of the area I was interested in and it’s so nice to see the colours. David also sent me pictures of the full page (left hand side and right hand side), Peter Welik also sent me another picture of the page I needed, wonderful! So please give his web site some love,…

  • Fairlight,  Repairs

    Pop goes the fuse

    I’ve been doing some more work on the Fairlight and trying to figure out what is causing the fuse to keep blowing. This time I’ve been hunting for the power supply, and it’s an interesting hunt. First step is to remove the back panel, which I’ve done before, lets reveal part of the power supply, the part with all the heat sinks and big power transistors used for the linear power supply. And yup, they are big, keep in mind this thing has a LOT of power, 24V at 5A, 12V at 2A, -12V at 2A and not forgetting the 5V at 16A, yes 16amps! That is a lot of…

  • Fairlight,  Repairs

    Fairlight, an interesting discovery

    So I decided to check a few of the PCBs, now this is a IIx so it should have voice cards with CEM3320 filters on, but no matter where I look I cannot find them. After a bit of digging, it seems the owner says it was a I, then upgraded to a II and then a IIx, but it looks like they kept the voice cards from the I. This uses a switched capacitor style VCF (top left using a 4066 and a 4136 quad op-amp). A friend shared a picture of his Fairlight II voice board and the CEM3320 is on the bottom left (you can see the…