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Unofficial Mackie User Forums => DL1608/DL806/DL32R/ProDX Mixers => Topic started by: JohnMHoyt on November 15, 2017, 08:17:19 PM

Title: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on November 15, 2017, 08:17:19 PM
My DL32R has been misbehaving and it's time to spank it - again.

For a while now, input 5 was not working - no signal from anything plugged in, so I just avoided that for a couple months.
One of the aux outs has been down that we use for our horn section monitors - sometimes it works, sometimes not, so we moved them to another output.
Channel 12 has been up and down for months - that's been a rack tom - we just moved it to another input.
Input 8 where our Subkick was stopped working at a gig a couple weeks ago.
And the straw that broke the camel's back - the "Left" output failed during a show where we were sending a stereo feed to a pro audio company that was running FOH...... It worked at sound check, but failed during the show.   We run a stereo mix, so we had to center everything for them to hear those left channel sources.

Had it failed before the show, it would have been no problem - we would have had time to swap the output and then use the matrix to re-route the left channel to another aux. and then you would have never known from the console.

How to "fix" this situation on a more permanent basis, short of sending it in for repair?

Since this is a slow week for my band, no rehearsal, and just one show so I brought the rack in and ripped the DL32R from it and unscrewed eleventy-billion screws to remove the top.

I then *carefully* pulled each ribbon cable loose (but not all the way out) and then *carefully* slide it back into place.
This is apparently enough to clean the oxidation from the contact points and reestablish the connection.

A quick check before putting the cover back on and all is okay (for another few months hopefully)....
I believe it was about July the last time I did this. Maybe I will write the date under the cover =)

If you are losing channels on your DL32R - it's likely this same issue.   If under warranty - send it in for sure and don't do like me, put off sending it in until it is out of warranty because you are using it every night.

Want to see inside?   Go here:
https://imgur.com/gallery/xnkhL

(https://imgur.com/a/xnkhL)
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: Weogo on November 16, 2017, 04:07:31 AM
Hi John,

About six months after getting my DL32R I opened it and reseated one ribbon cable, for an output issue.
That was more than a year ago.
Since then, all good.

Good health,  Weogo
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on November 16, 2017, 05:02:38 AM
About six months after getting my DL32R I opened it and reseated one ribbon cable, for an output issue.
That was more than a year ago.
Since then, all good.

I believe this is the 4th time iíve had to do this.  About 3-6 months between repairs.

So, thatís 1-3, plus a rehearsal per week.  Or, 4 to 8 moves per week.  About 200-400 miles per week in the back of my car.   

Whatever the cause - movement, temp changes, air quality - mine suffers from it =(

Compared to the old analog Yamaha console, which had maybe 6 years, 2500 shows, saw three countries and 20 states, was manhandled, rained on, beer spilled in it, used hot dessert sun and freezing cold, once fell off the lift gate (in a road case) and a lightning strike to a rack on stage that was directly linked to that mixer via a 200ft snake...  only suffered a single broken knob, and a couple scratchy faders...   

The Mackie has never been bumped or manhandled...  zero beer or moisture exposure. Only used in a smoky venue maybe 4 times..

Yamaha analog wins the tough category.

Presonus loses bigger - had one that died after a power surge - it was 2 months old.  Replacement failed within 6 months - I/o board issue. Replacement replacement was sold and completely melted down on new owner within a year - out of warranty and completely dead.

I would like to get a new DL32r to replace my current one, or maybe something similar. Hopefully a little more robust.   Keep waiting for the next big thing, but no luck.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: SteveB on November 16, 2017, 11:53:10 AM
John - thanks for the picture. I think this is the problem with mine but still under warranty so will be going back for repair in the near future.
 
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on November 16, 2017, 01:10:21 PM
I so wish I had just rented a DL32R or bought a new one and sent mine in for repair.

I do know this - if it ever does it once - everyone I have spoken to has said it has done it again (except that one guy up there ^ who says he had it do it once! hehe).
So, if it were me sending it in, I would get them to say, in writing that this was going to be a permanent fix, or that they would replace it/repair it again even if it is out of warranty when it happens the next time.

The expense and inconvenience to send it in to them, just to have cables reseated like I have done - uhmmm would not be worth it.
A *REAL* fix and promise of it being permanent would certainly have been worth it.   

Good luck with yours!

Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: SteveB on November 16, 2017, 01:27:30 PM
I'll be seeing what sort of guarantee I can get that it's permanent! To be honest I'm not hopeful! Going to have to find a quite time when I can roll out the old Mix-wiz.

I thought the days of handling snakes and arguments with venue owners about finding out front was long gone.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: WK154 on November 16, 2017, 04:12:13 PM
A long, long time ago in AT&T land there was Nitrogen to keep long lines and locals from becoming a problem. I know because my company provided air dryers and detection systems for them. Then came along gel-filled lines and gone was Nitrogen and dry air. My suggestion is to pick up No-OX-ID or equivalent and apply it to the cable end (female) connector after clearing any corrosion and making sure it's dry before applying the gel. It's been in use in the power industry for many decades. This may buy you some additional time. The issue of becoming loose especially on the long 3M cables is hot glue. Behringer seems to love that and it works.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: musicman7722 on November 16, 2017, 05:30:03 PM
I just picked up a new DL32r last week you people are scaring me now :(

I recall in the PC repair world where I work when the early SATA connectors came outy were wiggling off their connectors.  Usually hard drives.  The issue was eventually fixed by adding a locking clip to them.

Also ram inside a computer can wiggle free and needs to be re-seated.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: WK154 on November 16, 2017, 08:23:47 PM
Yes there are quality 3M connectors but they cost. Mackies not about to put Gold plated lockable header connectors on this product. $$$engineering also a poor layout based on the Pic I saw of the DL32R. Better solutions also exist on board connectors.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: Rdmitch on November 25, 2017, 04:18:27 PM
I have yet to experience this issue on mine, but knowing the quick fix was reseating the cables I would not
bother to send it for repairs.  The time in transit and for them to do this task would easily be a few weeks at best.
That being the case, I could do it myself before my coffee got cold and be back up and running.
With such an easy fix....why would anyone with an out of warranty machine ponder sending it to Mackie?
Granted itís a inconvenience, but considering the other multitude of possible problems I can deal with reseating the cables  instead of some of the other horror stories I have heard from presonus and behringer owners.

Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on November 28, 2017, 09:10:10 PM
With such an easy fix....why would anyone with an out of warranty machine ponder sending it to Mackie?
Granted itís a inconvenience, but considering the other multitude of possible problems I can deal with reseating the cables  instead of some of the other horror stories I have heard from presonus and behringer owners.

Well, picture this....   The last time it failed was after soundcheck at a very high profile show.  It was working perfectly on the L+R outputs and an hour later, it was not.

We made it through, but what if I had not? I do need reliability.   While my band does play a lot of craphole bars, we also play in front of thousands of people, and I run sound with this rig for some shows which might have 10000+ people at them.  The bigger gigs are the exceptions, not the norm, but a failure can be devastating for our reputation, even on a non-profit fundraiser.

Sad to say - the audience doesn't care what the reason was it fell apart - only that it fell apart.   

Therefore, if I can scrape the funds together, I'm buying another mixer.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: Gitarzan1 on December 03, 2017, 06:55:50 PM
I've had this mixer for about 2 years now and love the functionality and ease of the GUI on the iPad.  But, I have to pull and reset the ribbon cables a lot.  I'll lose and input channel or two every 4 or 5 gigs.  I can re-patch on the spot but it's a HUGE pain in the ass.  I work with my band and a lot of other bands and if I do a show with a band before I pull and reset the cables, I have to remember to re-patch those dead channels when I recall a show for another band and then re-re-patch them after I fix it.  The unit is in a case and does not get banged around at all.  I'm very careful with my gear.

I've heard the same complaint from several other users.  I have 2 of these units (one as a backup) and I rotate them occasionally and both of them have exhibited this issue.  Glad I can fix it, but mad that I have to so regularly.

I wish there was a more permanent way to fix this connectivity problem with those ribbon cables.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: WK154 on December 03, 2017, 08:26:00 PM
I've had this mixer for about 2 years now and love the functionality and ease of the GUI on the iPad.  But, I have to pull and reset the ribbon cables a lot.  I'll lose and input channel or two every 4 or 5 gigs.  I can re-patch on the spot but it's a HUGE pain in the ass.  I work with my band and a lot of other bands and if I do a show with a band before I pull and reset the cables, I have to remember to re-patch those dead channels when I recall a show for another band and then re-re-patch them after I fix it.  The unit is in a case and does not get banged around at all.  I'm very careful with my gear.

I've heard the same complaint from several other users.  I have 2 of these units (one as a backup) and I rotate them occasionally and both of them have exhibited this issue.  Glad I can fix it, but mad that I have to so regularly.

I wish there was a more permanent way to fix this connectivity problem with those ribbon cables.
Why not try what I suggested above. A more permanent solution is solder, not for the faint of heart.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on December 03, 2017, 09:22:41 PM

Why not try what I suggested above. A more permanent solution is solder, not for the faint of heart.

If I had a backup mixer, I would be fine with doing that, but having been inside it several times to fix this ribbon cable issue, I know it pretty well and with the density of those cables and the number of solder points, I would be afraid I would bridge something and not have it tested and back up for the next show.

If it were just one cable, no problem, but there's a lot more than i would feel comfortable with without having more time.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: James91104 on December 03, 2017, 11:50:00 PM
What a most unfortunate and entirely preventable situation by design PIA. Points deduction Mackie.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on December 04, 2017, 02:22:40 PM
Just had a fella call me who found me through this forum.  He'd driving up from GA for me to look at his mixer that has lost several outputs.   
I may have just found a new source of income! hahaha
Well, if that is what is wrong with it (I say there's a 90% chance).

Mackie DL32R in/out repair - cheap - call today! bahaha
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on December 04, 2017, 10:07:38 PM
Mark drove in with his DL32R in a big rack...  I helped him remove it from the rack and popped it open.
Unplugged each of the cables and plugged them back in a couple times.

It's now working.  His has been losing channels for over a year. He thought it was due to some voltage differential until he found this thread but he was nervous about opening it up.

I ain't scared!  He's good to go for a while.

We talked about hot glue, but in looking at it, I worried that hot glue could somehow be conductive, and besides, they had not worked themselves loose at all.
His were tight against the sockets - not seeing how hot glue would help.

I didn't want to put deoxit on there either since it's not mine.   

But, there ya go.   15 minutes and a sore wrist from unscrewing and screwing.   Guess I need an electric screwdriver!
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: WK154 on December 05, 2017, 09:16:09 PM
If the cables stay put then why not try  No-OX-ID to keep it from oxidizing? Just apply with a flat blade screwdriver at the female end, but after removing most of the oxidation. Also the 3M cables are prone to relaxation and may need to be squeezed (small vice) after some time. The connector came from the telecom development main difference being stranded instead of solid core wire. Hot glue is definitely non-conductive and you apply it to tie the two plastic connectors together.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: tgath on January 23, 2018, 01:46:07 PM
Thank you for this info HotAsAPepper... I have had similar issues with my DL1608 a did a similar procedure to correct it and it worked... for a while. On my specific mixer the problem is on the Aux bus. All of them the same. My band mates do not appreciate the loss of their monitors during the show. Believe me. I constantly reassure them that Mackie is quality stuff ...and they roll their eyes.  I did take the opportunity to sign and date the PC board's metal shield while I had it apart as you said above.  I appreciate your post as it validates my (perceived) insanity... :-)  This week I bought a DL32R thinking it would alleviate the issue. Oh boy, here we go again...
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: JohnMHoyt on February 22, 2018, 05:15:27 PM
Thank you for this info HotAsAPepper...

Lost an input at the last gig...     Now to plan a time to take it apart and this time, I may try de-oxit on it.

If I can scrape together some $$, I'm going to buy another DL32r and move this one to my studio and have it as a spare...
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: Rick Scofield on January 05, 2019, 07:37:03 PM
A bit of a zombie thread, but does anyone have video of this ribbon cable reseating procedure?  Iíve done it once, but Iím not sure what I did was actually reseating anything, as I didnít fully remove the connectors. I just wiggled them, and since they didnít easily come off the board, I didnít want to force them, so I pushed them back on/in/down whatever until I was worried Iíd break something.

Seemed to work, but now months later Iíve lost another input channel and need to go in again. Want to be sure Iím doing it right and not just creating more headache than curing.

Thanks!
-Rick
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: dpdan on January 05, 2019, 08:55:51 PM
I am not posting this for the sake of taking sides with Mackie, but,,,....
knowing a little bit about marketing and profit margin,,, Mackie certainly did not choose to use this brand of ribbon connectors for the DL32R because they knew they would fail.

Then there are some folks who may think that Mackie knew that they would have a short life, but a life that is long ENOUGH to last a little past the warranty period.
I know I am guilty of that negative but logical opinion.

If Mackie spec'd to the manufacturer to use Brand X connecters, then the fault would not be the "cheap" connectors, but in fact Mackie's fault for not doing enough research on those connectors to determine their quality. In my humble opinion, Mackie did not have a couple of years to waste to determine if these connectors would eventually become intermittent.
Regardless, we all know that we live in a "throw away" world, and "things" today are just not worth being repaired when the hourly repair tech rate is considered.

So, I say all that to say this.... Y'all are not alone. I too have had to remove the lid of my DL32R and re-seat the ribbon cables, once in four years, and it is not hard to do.

When I consider how many years, and how many events my DL32R has completed flawlessly, the very occasional disappointment of a bad connection is something I have chosen to accept. That is not an excuse, it is just how I have decided to deal with the issue. There is no such brand of audio gear that is made in this country or elsewhere that is free of some type of eventual failure.
As WK mentioned earlier, gold plated connections are the best, but if Mackie used the most expensive, and most reliable components to build these mixers, they would not sell for a few grand. Even Digico consoles have major issues, so Mackie is not alone here either.

Just my opinion, and we all know about those :)
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: thedrums on January 06, 2019, 11:39:28 PM
Good information to know in case I ever have the situation come up. I had a similar situation with some outboard gear that required ribbon connection cleaning. I applied some Caig DeOxIT and no more problem.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: WK154 on January 07, 2019, 05:52:50 PM
If the cables stay put then why not try  No-OX-ID to keep it from oxidizing? Just apply with a flat blade screwdriver at the female end, but after removing most of the oxidation. Also the 3M cables are prone to relaxation and may need to be squeezed (small vice) after some time. The connector came from the telecom development main difference being stranded instead of solid core wire. Hot glue is definitely non-conductive and you apply it to tie the two plastic connectors together.


After a closer look at the pics I noticed the connections aren't the 3M type but individually crimped type single row connector. This is not nearly as good as the original (lacking a gas tight contact). There are many more reliable ways to provide the connections and they don't add any large costs to the product, some are even less expensive. Dan, China has plenty of gold so not to worry  :).  We all know that description of the problem is usually not too accurate and diagnosing the real problem can be a challenge. Unless I had a failed connection under a microscope I would only be guessing at the cause and subsequent solution.
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: dpdan on January 08, 2019, 09:10:41 AM
they got more gold than me :) but who doesn't  :)
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: Rick Scofield on January 11, 2019, 06:58:43 PM
Can anyone describe in detail the method used to ďpryĒ or remove the ribbon connection in order to re-seat it? I need to perform this again, but donít want to cause damage. Do the cable connectors come ďupĒ off the circuit board, or pull back parallel?
Thanks!
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: WK154 on January 13, 2019, 12:05:03 AM
I think the direction should be obvious so pry with the help of a flat-blade screwdriver (carefully) or nylon prying tool to remove cable. Be careful NOT to use the cable to pull it off. The connectors on the grey ones for input are of the crimp type and can easily be pulled out of the connector pin. Then I would use a Q tip to sparingly apply the following:
  https://www.sanchem.com/docs/NO-OX-ID%20A-Special%20Electrical%20Grade.pdf
to the single row male pins. If possible before this procedure corrosion removal would be best. Since I have neither the DL32R or a defective set of connectors to examine the assumption is that (SF) salt air is the cause. It could however be vibration wear with eventual corrosion  which would also require a restraint mechanism on the cable especially on the long ones. If on the other hand the corrosion is at the crimp then extracting the female socket and soldering the connection would solve the problem. I would however simply replace it with a treated cable before going to that trouble.
Yes Mackie could have done that at initial assembly time but the repair business or better yet the replacement business is lucrative as long as it get them past the Warranty period  ;D . Right Dan.

More detail here:   http://www.planetz.com/mackie-dl32r-mixer-channel-repair/
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: dpdan on January 13, 2019, 06:41:30 AM
bookem Danno  :)
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: MrDOS on May 27, 2019, 11:41:42 PM
A good bit of time has passed and it doesn't appear that anyone has posted a video.

What are days off for?  :)

https://youtu.be/O54saRk-lf0
Title: Re: DL32R channels not working - Performing surgery today...
Post by: pbuchta on June 18, 2019, 05:23:52 PM

I wish there was a more permanent way to fix this connectivity problem with those ribbon cables.

Have Mackie send you the manufacturer's part number. Replace the cables first. It may be the connectors on the board, but start with the cables.

Pete