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Old 8th September 2009, 08:39 PM   #1
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Default Repairing an apogee duet

I bought an Apogee Duet some months ago and I've been very satisfied with its sound. However, the FireWire cable that shipped with the duet was of really poor quality, cheap cables sold on retail stores can be 10 times ticker than the one sold with this "high-quality" piece.

Hadn't the power wire shorted with the data wire, ruining both the FireWire card and the duet I wouldn't be writing about cables!

The TSB41AB1 FireWire receiver seems to be the only damaged part in the board. I have ordered a couple that will hopefully arrive tomorrow. The problem is that they are encapsulated in a 48-pins SMD package that probably will be extremely hard to solder.

I have looked around and it seems there are three ways to go: "Magical" solder flux, a hot-air soldering station and SMD ovens, but I'm pretty disoriented in what to choose. I need to solder a single-chip and this will probably be all my SMD work for years so I'm not considering expensive equipment. The board is already populated.

What would you suggest to desolder the bad one and solder the good one?

Thanks!
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Old 11th September 2009, 11:22 PM   #2
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I attach a picture of the Apogee board and a picture of the chip that needs to be replaced.

This is the SMD soldering video I plan to use as a reference for repairing the Duet. Is there any chance for me, with no experience in SMD work, to get this working?

http://www.curiousinventor.com/guide..._Soldering/101

It's a good opportunity to deplore the customer service from musicstore.de . They tried to avoid repairing it by asking me things that weren't on the emails they had sent to me, were quite unkind and treated me as if I was a complete ignorant and all the failure was mine.
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File Type: jpg apogee_board2.jpg (228.2 KB, 329 views)
File Type: jpg chip.jpg (50.7 KB, 267 views)
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Old 12th September 2009, 09:27 PM   #3
Theo404 is offline Theo404  United Kingdom
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Neat video...

The way I find easiest for desoldering smd chips is to make a tool out of bent copper that fits all the pins at once, heat this with a blow torch and flux and wet with solder... press it on the pins and the part comes straight off. Admittedly this is easiest with chips with pins on only two sides, but with a little work something for four sides could be fashioned.
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Old 27th September 2009, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionomolo View Post
I attach a picture of the Apogee board and a picture of the chip that needs to be replaced.
This is the SMD soldering video I plan to use as a reference for repairing the Duet. Is there any chance for me, with no experience in SMD work, to get this working?

I found this by googling. But I will ask my questions after giving you my opinion. I suspect your chance of replacing a 48 pin chip on your first try at surface mount board work is close to zero.
The chances of pulling up a pad, shorting pins, and open circuits is very high even after several trys on board work.
Get a good magnifing glass. Also, I usually just clip the pins off the old component, pry it off if superglues, wipe down pads with solder wick and a 12 watt needle tip, tin the pads if possible, tin the pins, and then start soldering it in.
I sweat the whole time like George Bush shopping at a market in Kabul. Even with SOIC8 chips.
My recommendation is to get the replacement part and take it to a professional for repair.
I only used those Apogee cables to connect my FW800 HD to the FW400 backup drive. The gauge was way too small for connecting the Duet to the main drive or for connecting my Mac Mini to the main HD.
Found some really nice short cables locally, and ordered more from www.monoprice.com. These are thick, maybe 6 mm OD so hopefully the wires are thicker, along with the insulation. The Apogee cables look like spaghetti.
Now my question. How did you get the controller knob off to get the boards out? I pulled mine apart to add magnetic shielding to the case, and a little mechanical dampening. Want to replace the LM833 opamps. Thinking of putting LM4562 in for the I/V opamps and OPA2107 for the output stage. And maybe bypass whatever type of ceramic SM caps they are using to block DC on the output. With single rail supplies, they are unavoidable.
But I got scared at getting the knob loose to start working over the boards.


George
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Last edited by planet10; 27th September 2009 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 27th September 2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panelhead View Post

This is the SMD soldering video I plan to use as a reference for repairing the Duet. Is there any chance for me, with no experience in SMD work, to get this working?

I found this by googling. But I will ask my questions after giving you my opinion. I suspect your chance of replacing a 48 pin chip on your first try at surface mount board work is close to zero.
The chances of pulling up a pad, shorting pins, and open circuits is very high even after several trys on board work.
Get a good magnifing glass. Also, I usually just clip the pins off the old component, pry it off if superglues, wipe down pads with solder wick and a 12 watt needle tip, tin the pads if possible, tin the pins, and then start soldering it in.
I sweat the whole time like George Bush shopping at a market in Kabul. Even with SOIC8 chips.
My recommendation is to get the replacement part and take it to a professional for repair.
I only used those Apogee cables to connect my FW800 HD to the FW400 backup drive. The gauge was way too small for connecting the Duet to the main drive or for connecting my Mac Mini to the main HD.
Found some really nice short cables locally, and ordered more from www.monoprice.com. These are thick, maybe 6 mm OD so hopefully the wires are thicker, along with the insulation. The Apogee cables look like spaghetti.
Now my question. How did you get the controller knob off to get the boards out? I pulled mine apart to add magnetic shielding to the case, and a little mechanical dampening. Want to replace the LM833 opamps. Thinking of putting LM4562 in for the I/V opamps and OPA2107 for the output stage. And maybe bypass whatever type of ceramic SM caps they are using to block DC on the output. With single rail supplies, they are unavoidable.
But I got scared at getting the knob loose to start working over the boards.


George
I got it done at the university lab by an expert as I suspected my chances where close to zero. Fortunately the guy agreed to help and did only ask for a couple of beers. Now it works like if it was new : ).

I pulled the knob and when I put it in place again it was still firm. I don't know if it will resist many replacements without becoming loose but it worked the first time.

The capacitors inside the apogee duet look anything but audiophile quality, really, but I believe this board has more layers than a motherboard and I'm not taking the risk.

Thanks for your note, sure it will prevent many ruining expensive gear thinking it's easy to replace those chips.

I'm still angry with people at musicstore.de. Some time ago I bought a 50€ Creative usb sound card at the local supermarket and got a better technical service than the one I got at music store after buying a 450€ piece of hardware. They treated me as if I was dumb, they saied I was a liar for not having mentioned the cable on my first post and finally they wouldn't reply to my emails at all.

Last edited by planet10; 27th September 2009 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 6th October 2010, 09:08 AM   #6
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hey mate i know its a little late from when this happened to you but this happened to me the other day! and was wondering would it be the same problem, because i had a fight with the importers here in aus. because they were also being really rude, anyway was wondering where i could buy those chips from and if its the same fault
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