Opening up XITE

The Sonic Core XITE hardware platform for Scope
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krizrox
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Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:17 am

Probably, like many of us, I always wondered what the inside of XITE looks like. Considered opening the box many times. Didn't want to originally, because of warranty, but that's long gone now.

I had a reason for wanting to gain access to the inside. I broke one of the small TOSLINK ADAT connectors on the back panel and wanted to replace the connector with a new one. Just trying to find a part number for a replacement component was a challenge but after getting that all sorted out, I find opening the unit may be more of a challenge than originally anticipated. I never looked closely at it until now. Which makes me wonder if anyone has ever done it.

I see at least 3 or 4 instances of heavy duty pop rivets holding the case together. Not to mention all the star-shaped screws (I have a tool for that already). Two of the largest, and scariest looking pop rivets are on one of the rack mount flanges. The other side is simple hex screws. Weird. Sonic Core must have really wanted to prevent us from getting inside. My biggest fear is the pop rivets. It will require drilling them out and that is risky business indeed. Makes me wonder how they gain access at SC for warranty repairs.

So.... anyone ever been inside?

PS actually, looking again, what I thought was a pop rivet was actually just a small star screw which was easily removed. Maybe this isn't a big issue after all but there are definitely two big pop rivets on that right hand side rack bracket. I don't know if they are a necessary part of the top cover removal process or not. I might proceed until I can't and then decide what to do

UPDATE - disregard opening problems I got in. Read later updates.
Last edited by krizrox on Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by Liquid EDGE » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:32 am

I've opened it up.

Unscrewed it all (sides and bottom) slipped off case. After I had a nose at what I wanted to look at. carefully put the case back on, screwed it back up. No one would know I touched it.

Just don't force anything too much.

Edit

(The side things you talk of are just connecting the rack bracket ears to the case of the xite)

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:44 am

Ahh ok - that helps a lot thanks for responding.

Actually, I was able to open the box. It DID require removing the left and right rack mount brackets. There is a small case screw under each bracket so removing them was absolutely necessary. What I originally thought were pop rivets were actually hex screws (they just looked weird to me initially but they were definitely hex screws).

The TOSLINK connectors are mounted to a smaller PCB assembly held in place with more torx screws. Assuming I can find the exact replacement parts (working on it) replacement should be a piece of cake. The part numbers for the connectors appear to be out of production (Toshiba) so I'm looking for NOS or another replacement. Most of the distributors want to sell mass quantities. I just need one. Pricing for 1 is in the $40 USD range.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:27 am

Also, here are a few internal shots of XITE-1


Image
Last edited by krizrox on Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:28 am

Image

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:28 am

Here you can see the sort of "L" shaped PCB with the 4 TOSLINK connectors along the top right. I've already disconnected it from the frame. You'll need a #10 Torx wrench to loosen the screws (true for all the Torx screws on XITE).


Image

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:37 am

the story about the TOSLINK - I broke one of the little plastic doors (or shutters) on one of the ADAT connectors right after I first got XITE. Wasn't paying attention and must have tried to force the ADAT cable into the jack sideways or something and broke the door off. The problem... that little plastic shutter does more than keep the dust out. It acts as a little locking mechanism for the cable end. Without the door, the cable doesn't lock into place. You could probably jam a small piece of plastic or cardboard in there, but I wasn't using ADAT anyway I was using Z-Link so I ignored it. Will be replacing A16 soon. newer models dont have Z-Link capability. So I wanted to deal with that thing.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:41 am

oh and BY THE WAY.... since I had access to the guts, I thought I would eyeball those front panel input trim controls. We talked about the problem with those in another thread. I have to tell ya, that section of this puppy looks scary. The actual potentiometers are largish plastic sealed multi-pin contraptions. I wouldn't risk futzing with those things or the SMD circuitry around them. It is what it is.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by Bud Weiser » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:39 pm

krizrox wrote: The actual potentiometers are largish plastic sealed multi-pin contraptions.
I wouldn't risk futzing with those things or the SMD circuitry around them.
It is what it is.
That´s what I feared !

Thx for posting the pics.
I´d wish you´ve made detailed ones of the pre-amp/DI board too.

best

Bud

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:38 pm

Bud Weiser wrote:
krizrox wrote: The actual potentiometers are largish plastic sealed multi-pin contraptions.
I wouldn't risk futzing with those things or the SMD circuitry around them.
It is what it is.
That´s what I feared !

Thx for posting the pics.
I´d wish you´ve made detailed ones of the pre-amp/DI board too.

best

Bud

you can see most of that section in the 3rd photo. there is a little board above the frontal area which makes the pots and XLR jacks hard to see under there

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Bud Weiser
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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by Bud Weiser » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:55 pm

krizrox wrote: you can see most of that section in the 3rd photo. there is a little board above the frontal area which makes the pots and XLR jacks hard to see under there
Well, I see the board and some (gaffer-) tape sticking on top of it.
Since I moved, my XITE-1 is in a big flightcase rack somewhere between a large amount of other boxes and all is in the basement.
I´m unable opening it next future,- but I´d be interested in the specs of the pots like how many legs/lugs they have, distance of lugs, diameter of shaft and bushing, how the pots are mounted to the board, the resistance value and if it is log, lin or negative log.
I´d show it to my friend and qualified service tech when he´s available.
He´s SCOPE user himself.
Maybe a good starter finding out why it doesn´t work as expected when moving knobs.

:wink:

Bud

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:00 am

I had to go back and look again. That little board (with what appears to be gaffer tape) is a simple little PCB for the push buttons and LEDs along the top front panel of XITE. The tape appears to be there to prevent shorting out of the leads to the top case. The pots, XLRs and other components are soldered to the board beneath it.

It would be difficult to photograph the area under that little board without removing it. It's very congested under there. The two main potentiometers are sealed plastic contraptions. Difficult to get to and even if you did, not sure if replacement is a viable option unless you had the exact same parts. I'm pretty brave but I wouldn't futz with that.

Oh btw: I was reading through that other thread about the mic preamps and the pot taper and all that. The two potentiometers are definitely "through-hole" type components. Not SMD. So removal shouldn't be a problem. If that might be the road you choose to pursue. I can only visually see a pair of thin copper contacts coming off the rear of the plastic housing. Again I don't have a clear line of sight to the two parts without completely dismantling that section of XITE. The circuitry around the pots is definitely surface mount. Worst case scenario is that the pots are not the problem and the problem lies within the SMD circuitry/design. That would make modification a very risky and troublesome procedure.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by Bud Weiser » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:30 am

krizrox wrote: Oh btw: I was reading through that other thread about the mic preamps and the pot taper and all that. The two potentiometers are definitely "through-hole" type components. Not SMD. So removal shouldn't be a problem. If that might be the road you choose to pursue. I can only visually see a pair of thin copper contacts coming off the rear of the plastic housing.
1st, many thx for reply !
Yes, I thought about ordering some pot samples w/ the same resistance, replace and see what happens when different taperings are in use.
"thru hole" is perfect even distance of lugs won´t fit,- wires can be used instead WHEN the pot itself is perfectly attached to the front panel by shaft, washer and screw and doesn´t need support via the soldering lugs at all.
krizrox wrote: Worst case scenario is that the pots are not the problem and the problem lies within the SMD circuitry/design.
I agree, but up to now I´m not sure if that is really the case.

We´ll see ...

Bud

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by jksuperstar » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:53 am

Regarding the pots, I dint think they are the issue. Maybe there is a resister that is biasing the pot from reaching the full range it has. That means it could be as easy as changing or shorting an SMD resister.

And to anyone who does repair work, an SMD would be easier and cleaner to replace than through hole.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:01 am

jksuperstar wrote:Regarding the pots, I dint think they are the issue. Maybe there is a resister that is biasing the pot from reaching the full range it has. That means it could be as easy as changing or shorting an SMD resister.

And to anyone who does repair work, an SMD would be easier and cleaner to replace than through hole.
Well, perhaps. At very least removing an SMD component means not having to disassemble the entire PCB assembly. In my experience though, you usually need some sophisticated desoldering/soldering tools depending on the package. If you've had good luck with nothing more than a solder sucker and a soldering iron, I salute you lol

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:08 am

Bud Weiser wrote:
krizrox wrote:
Yes, I thought about ordering some pot samples w/ the same resistance, replace and see what happens when different taperings are in use.
"thru hole" is perfect even distance of lugs won´t fit,- wires can be used instead WHEN the pot itself is perfectly attached to the front panel by shaft, washer and screw and doesn´t need support via the soldering lugs at all.

I understand. You might at least find out if a different taper fixes the problem. That right there would answer a lot.

btw: I sent Holger an email on this topic. I don't know if anyone has actually tried to reach out to the mothership on this problem before but I'm hopeful Holger will respond with something meaningful even if it's not the answer we want to hear.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by Liquid EDGE » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:58 pm

Are you getting crackles from that Adat port? Is that why you want to change it or is it just because of the little door?

I've just set up my ferrofish today and I get occasional pops on Adat a source (Adat b is fine) It's the first time I used it. I hope it's dust, and not a faulty component!!

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by krizrox » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:52 pm

Liquid EDGE wrote:Are you getting crackles from that Adat port? Is that why you want to change it or is it just because of the little door?

I've just set up my ferrofish today and I get occasional pops on Adat a source (Adat b is fine) It's the first time I used it. I hope it's dust, and not a faulty component!!

Actually, that's an interesting response. I have a S|C A16 and use the Z-Link option. But shortly after I got XITE, I decided (just for grins I think) to try the ADAT option. I had immediate problems with crackles or pops from the ADAT B side. In fact I remember contacting Gary B about this problem and he suggested blowing air into the TOSLINK ports. Because I had no other option to check if it was indeed the XITE vs the A16, I just let it go and went back to using the Z-Link option. That was a couple years ago now. Somewhere in all this is when I damaged the one TOSLINK door trying to force a cable in there. I remember checking with Holger at SC about getting a replacement part but the request went nowhere and I didn't force the issue because I was going to use Z-Link anyway. That was then. This is now.

I've been experiencing strange occurrences of random pops or clicks on the Z-Link B side almost since the beginning. They were so random as to be hard to troubleshoot so I've just lived with the problem (I guess that's the best way to describe it). I am thinking about upgrading to one of the newer Ferrofish A16s which DOES NOT support Z-Link. Now I want that ADAT port replaced. The door acts as a clamping mechanism for the cable in addition to dust cover.

I might suggest blowing compressed air into those ports as GaryB suggested. Also I had an issue with the supplied HDMI cable that came with XITE so I'm equally suspicious about the 4 ADAT cables. I will most likely replace them too.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by garyb » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:43 pm

since the beginnings of ADAT synchronization, using a Pulsar1 and two Tango24 AD/DAs, i found that some units like one set of ports more than another. there's no logic to this and it affects all brands and models, from what i've seen. i just use the ones that work best. for an A16, i would connect all 4 cables and then try syncing to ADAT A. if there are clicks, i would use ADAT B.

if it's an 8 channel device, connect both cables.

if it's an 8 or 16 channel device that only has ADAT outputs, then that device MUST be master.
if it's an 8 or 16 channel device that only has ADAT inputs, then it MUST be slave.

if it has both inputs and outputs and both cables are connected, verify it is set to ADAT slave.
with Scope as Master, it should be click-free. if it is not, change the device to Master and then set Scope to slave to ADAT A and if that doesn't work well, ADAT B(8 channel devices will require you to switch ports on the XITE).

if it's not click-free in one of those settings, then, it's dust, or a bad cable, or a faulty device, or it's pilot error. it is almost inconceivable that both ADAT A and ADAT B would be faulty, just like on a 16 channel device like the A16, it is highly unlikely that both 8 channel sections would be bad, if the unit fires up.

remember clock is sent through the OUTPUT of any device that is the master clock source. clock always goes output to input. it's impossible for clock to go input to output.

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Re: Opening up XITE

Post by Liquid EDGE » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:26 pm

Ok so I did a bit of swapping of cables. I bought cables from amazon, £5 ones that were all gold (thought it would look nice) I'm suspecting these are just poo and don't seem to fit snugly and have fat ends that slightly push at each other when in the ports . Anyhows I switched 1 of the cables to one I had at home for the tv and sound bar (just a simple black small toslink plastic end that fits in nice and snug)..(testing it on output and input) it improved it a lot but still occasional clicking from adat a.
I'm hoping it's just the cables and a bit of dust, as I heard improvement just swapping 1 cable. Need to get some trusted optical cables from a music store and get one of those air blower things. God damn tech, such a diva sometimes to get things set up!!!!! (I really hope it's just that)

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