Fried USB Port - fixable?

Come here to discuss Push with other users.
For tech support, please head to http://www.ableton.com/help
Post Reply
Marcus Murky
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:46 am

Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Marcus Murky » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:54 am

Hi - my Push USB port is fried, suspected power surge while in Indonesia (same one which zapped my Macbook usb port).

I've gone through Ableton support, who have put me in touch with an official repairer in Melbourne, Australia. But their inspection cost plus shipping both ways is already more than half of what I've seen 2nd hand Push selling for on ebay. I've watched a teardown video, and can see the usb port is affixed to the logic board, so I'm guessing the whole board will need replacing and cost a fortune. And I'm out of warranty.

Does anyone know if a power-spiked USB port on this unit can be repaired without replacing the whole board?

Super sad.

Richie Witch
Posts: 1007
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:10 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Richie Witch » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:42 am

It can be--but you're unlikely to find anyone who will do it.

The reason is that the industry-standard USB interface circuit is an integrated chip with those tiny surface-mounted leads. Only a tech with aerospace-grade soldering skills can get one of these chips off the board without burning everything up. And then of course, you have to solder a new one on without burning up the new chip.

I learned all this when a power surge took out the USB port on my Focusrite interface, and since I repair a lot of my own gear, I cracked it open for a look. As you can imagine, this was a repair I decided not to do myself.

My recommendation is that if the cost of a second-hand Push is half the price of the repairs, get the repairs. They will replace the entire board and you will essentially have a brand new Push in an old case. Still seems like the better deal to me.
"Watching the Sky" ~ A 4-track EP of piano, strings, and Native American flute

Marcus Murky
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Marcus Murky » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:55 am

The issue is, I don't know what it will charge to replace the board in the Push. Not a clue. It may be nearly as much as buying a new Push when the shipping both ways) is factored in.

jestermgee
Posts: 3895
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Contact:

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by jestermgee » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:44 pm

Yeah its probably not worth it. Most of these devices are all integrated on the PCB and not easy to repair. A surge could have damaged anything there and unless its easily noticeable its the cost of another PCB which as you said, would probably be quite a bit :(

What I would suggest if its out of warranty and you are looking at another or a repair, try open it and have a look yourself. Can't hurt and you may see an obvious burnt out track or something that someone who knows solder work could patch up.

doghouse
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by doghouse » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:21 pm

Even if it is half the price of a used Push, that's still cheaper than a secondhand Push. Get it repaired.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:53 am

Marcus Murky wrote:I'm out of warranty.
What about travel insurance?
Make some music!

Marcus Murky
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Marcus Murky » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:19 am

Stromkraft: I think I get what you're suggesting, but karma is a b!tch, as they say.

(all prices in AUD)
Cost of travel each way: ~$36 including insurance. x 2 = $72
Cost of testing/assessment before repair: $165
Cost of repair: ???

So the cost of initial assessment + shipping without the actual repair = ~slightly less than half a 2nd-hand Push.

If, as I strongly suspect, the fried usb port is integrated with the logic board and thus the whole logic board needs replacing, this repair in total will possibly cost more than a 2nd hand Push.

Anyone know how much a replacement logic board costs? Then I'll be able to at least guess the total bill. (Yes, I've asked the authorised repairer for this information too)

TomViolenz
Posts: 6854
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by TomViolenz » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:37 am

Marcus Murky wrote:Stromkraft: I think I get what you're suggesting, but karma is a b!tch, as they say.

(all prices in AUD)
Cost of travel each way: ~$36 including insurance. x 2 = $72
I understood Stormkraft as asking if you had travel insurance while you were in Indonesia. You often do automatically when you pay your ticket via credit card if I'm not mistaken. In that case it's not unreasonable to assume that they would foot the bill for the repairs.


As for repairability, no matter how far out in the boonies you are, it shouldn't be impossible to find some electrician with the right measuring tools to see if the whole chip is fried or just some connector in the USB plug. In the later case it shouldn't be too hard to attach new solders and thus a new USB port to the same board. In the former (more likely) case you are SOL.

What I don't quite understand though is how a power surge would take out your USB port on Push. The only power it draws through the USB port is from your computer (and not from the wall wart). So in this case your computer should function as a pretty decent surge protector. :?

Marcus Murky
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Marcus Murky » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:16 am

TomViolenz wrote: I understood Stormkraft as asking if you had travel insurance while you were in Indonesia. You often do automatically when you pay your ticked via credit card if I'm not mistaken. In that case it's not unreasonable to assume that they would foot the bill for the repairs.
A good idea - but I'm not it applies in my case as a) I was there for 12 months - it wasn't a quick trip, and b) I purchased the Push while I was there, rather than took it with me.
As for repairability, no matter how far out in the boonies you are, it shouldn't be impossible to find some electrician with the right measuring tools to see if the whole chip is fried or just some connector in the USB plug. In the later case it shouldn't be too hard to attach new solders and thus a new USB port to the same board. In the former (more likely) case you are SOL.
I can try. I guess that's why I was asking, in case anyone else has dealt with a similar issue before.
What I don't quite understand though is how a power surge would take out your USB port on Push. The only power it draws through the USB port is from your computer (and not from the wall wart). So in this case your computer should work as a pretty decent surge protector. :?
This might make me sound stupid, but I don't know exactly what happened. It could have been one of two things:
  • Dodgy power - The power where we were staying was unreliable, brown/blackouts every week or more, switching over to a backup generator. The house was also wired badly - If I held both hands on my macbook I got mild electric tingles, and after my Raspberry Pi media centre got zapped I ran everything through a power conditioner which blew fuses several times. Nasty. I stopped using Ableton/Push for a while at this point as my wife had a baby, so didn't notice it had stopped working.
  • We moved to a different building, and in the move the cables got mixed up and a 12v/5A wall wart was accidentally plugged in to the powered usb hub, instead of the 5v 2A one.
You say the computer should act as a pretty good surge protector - you are correct! Whichever caused it, it fried the usb port on my Macbook Pro as well as on the Push. And I didn't know Push was broken because the Macbook usb port wasn't working... I returned to Australia, didn't have room in luggage for the Push, which only made it to Australia 7 months later. Tried it (macbook thunderbolt to usb adapter, plus on a windows pc), and not working - also tried different cable. :cry:

Quote for repair of MB Pro was crazy expensive, whole logic board required because usb ports integrated. Videos of Push teardown seem to indicate the same. I'd be shocked if it were fixable without a new logic board, but what would I know? Hence asking here.

Forgive the life story!

thronechild
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:56 am
Location: Saint Louis
Contact:

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by thronechild » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:22 am

For what its worth or future forum searches, I had a Native Instruments Maschine repaired by http://repairmydcjack.com/ in St. Louis. They are local to me and fixed it while I watched. Maschine also had a usb port soldered into the logic board. Today my push usb port went out after stepping on my cable accidentally so I am gonna contact him and see if he has done a push.

Marcus Murky
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Fried USB Port - fixable?

Post by Marcus Murky » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:45 am

Fingers crossed!

Post Reply