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 Post subject: what fried my audio interface?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:31 am
Posts: 564
Location: Baltimore, MD
Sort of off topic, but I'm hoping someone with some electrical knowledge can explain this. My interface (an audio kontrol 1) was damaged during a thunderstorm and I can't really figure out why. It happened right after a big lightning strike so presumably there was a surge somewhere, but:

The interface is bus-powered. At the time it was connected to a usb hub in my monitor, to my laptop, both on a surge protector. Via the headphone jack it was connected to some cheap computer speakers, also on the same surge protector. Via one of the outputs it was connected to a DI box (an ART cleanbox pro in particular, not sure if this is strictly speaking a DI box, but same idea) that was connected to a stereo amplifier. Thankfully no monitors were involved. The DI box is on a different outlet (with a surge protector) but I believe the same circuit as my monitor/laptop. The stereo is on yet another outlet (via a surge protector) that is on a different circuit. So, I'm just very puzzled, because the connection to the power grid is quite distant at best. Nothing else on any of these outlets or attached to the hub was obviously damaged. The DI box still seems to work (though I could be wrong about it, haven't tested very much given my dead interface). The interface itself is partly intact -- direct monitoring of a mic works, and it is still drawing bus power, but it isn't recognized at all by any computers. (Right when the strike happened the computer gave an error about a device drawing too much power and shut down the bus.)

Any ideas? Would like to know what the deal is so I can fix my setup if I'm doing something I shouldn't be. My best guess is that it has something to do with the interface bridging audio from different electrical circuits, but I can't quite see how the details would work.

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 Post subject: Re: what fried my audio interface?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:16 pm 

Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:19 pm
Posts: 871
Location: San Francisco, CA
if your surge protectors are old or cheap (or both!) they could not be doing much or anything to protect your circuits anymore. it does seem odd that your interface was damaged and not anything else, but it is possible that the surge effected your usb bus power output (from the monitor) enough to fry your interface but not anything else.

sucks, but sounds like it could have been worse!

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 Post subject: Re: what fried my audio interface?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm
Posts: 9998
sounds like it simply reached a certain age..
you do know stuff breaks sometimes..
in electronics it happens pretty often
I've had external hds die on me for no apparent reason..
other than being cheap chinese crap..

in any case I'd try to avoid using a hub in the future..

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 Post subject: Re: what fried my audio interface?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:31 am
Posts: 564
Location: Baltimore, MD
memes_33 wrote:
it is possible that the surge effected your usb bus power output (from the monitor) enough to fry your interface but not anything else.


Thanks, this sounds pretty plausible since it definitely was the most delicate thing on that hub, I was just listening to music so no other audio equipment was plugged in. (Good thing my external HD wasn't plugged in!)

3dot... wrote:
sounds like it simply reached a certain age..
you do know stuff breaks sometimes..
in electronics it happens pretty often
I've had external hds die on me for no apparent reason..
other than being cheap chinese crap..

in any case I'd try to avoid using a hub in the future..


Well, I've only had the AK1 for about 6 months. But the monitor with the hub is probably 6 years old by now, maybe it is time to stop using the hub for anything important. I'll get new surge protectors, too. (Plus in 2 months I'm moving to a place with modern wiring...)

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 Post subject: Re: what fried my audio interface?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:48 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Vienna
....a toaster maybe!? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: what fried my audio interface?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:18 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm
Posts: 9998
tylenol wrote:
memes_33 wrote:
it is possible that the surge effected your usb bus power output (from the monitor) enough to fry your interface but not anything else.


Thanks, this sounds pretty plausible since it definitely was the most delicate thing on that hub, I was just listening to music so no other audio equipment was plugged in. (Good thing my external HD wasn't plugged in!)

3dot... wrote:
sounds like it simply reached a certain age..
you do know stuff breaks sometimes..
in electronics it happens pretty often
I've had external hds die on me for no apparent reason..
other than being cheap chinese crap..

in any case I'd try to avoid using a hub in the future..


Well, I've only had the AK1 for about 6 months. But the monitor with the hub is probably 6 years old by now, maybe it is time to stop using the hub for anything important. I'll get new surge protectors, too. (Plus in 2 months I'm moving to a place with modern wiring...)

it's 6 months old ???!!!! should have some kind warranty no?

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