Thursday, 15 September 2011

Out of Action ...

A whole month without a blog entry :( I must be slipping. I started typing this last week but for one reason or another I've only just gotten back into the authoring seat. Here we go ..

There is a better clip on youtube showing the disassembly of a BCD2000 but embedding is disabled [here:]

NEW BCD2000 Upper Front Top

What's been going on then? The most notable event was Saturday 27th August where after a few too many beers I wasn't careful and pulled the BCD2000 midi controller off the surface it was sat on via a cord wrapped around my foot. All I remember is getting up from my pew and yanking a cable with my foot and the crashing sound of a controller hitting a hard surface. So my DDJing has been out of action since then until today (15th Sept).

NEW BCD2000 Upper Front Bottom

When the controller first hit the floor all that went through my mind was "it's fucked" .. It couldn't have been very fucked though because it was still plugged into my netbook and tunes were still playing. After placing it in a recovery position I tried a few controls and things still worked but then I noticed the Master Volume and Headphone pots had had their bezels pushed in which meant they probably got hit pretty hard on impact.

BCD Upper Front Top (2011[1])

I carried out the cosmetics immediately even though it was around 1, maybe 2 a.m. at the 4HF Studio. Cheers for the tools shotty, even if there was an element of reluctance on yor part. Unfortunately the problems were beyond cosmetic. The impact of the potentiometers hitting the ground caused component damage :( Turning the Master resulted in an extremely loud crackle which was totally unacceptible. Likewise, the Headphones volume control also delivered a very loud crackle to the cans which was very annoying. I don't think it's possible to DJ a set without using these controls at all, so the problem had to be solved.

BCD Upper Front Top (2011[2])
I left it a week before attempting the intricate desolder job and dismantling of the faulty components. Friday the 2nd of September was where it all went skewed. I removed, repaired and re-inserted the Master Volume pot successfully but after testing I found that the Headphones pot was still faulty. This was a bit of a bummer because the soldering job that I did was a mess considering I've worked in the field of electronics in a previous life which demanded a high level of soldering skills. Removing the component a second time might have damaged the copper track and this was what I was dreading. I got to work with my huge shovel tip soldering iron which admitedly in hindsight was the totally wrong iron tip for the job. The damage I anticipated happening, happened. This was not a good sign.

BCD Upper Front Top (2011[3])

To cut a lengthy story short, I've had to improvise and attach jumper leads to the component in question (2011[3]). With a little bit of tweaking I've been able to get the controller working to a satisfactory level. I was on the verge of fully replacing the controller and still have it in my mind to acquire some new kit. It would be nice to get another 9 months of play out of this BCD before giving it back to it's owner. Oh, by the way, I told the owner exactly what happened and how I planned on fixing it and/or replacing it. Seems there are no hard feelings and there's an acceptance that accidents do happen, even involving me.

I'm now in position to churn out a mix. I've spent some time refining my track collection while the controller has been out of use. I've moved a lot of tracks around and have arranged for some to be deleted. I'd like to bring the amount of tracks down to a managable 1000 or so, but the varying genres is what keeps the numbers high. This will take much more work as it's not easy deciding what to keep and what to kick.