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 melody signal slowly fading in and out! 
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Post melody signal slowly fading in and out!
I'm seeing an odd behavior with my new Railboard, which has sounded good for the several days since I received it.

Today I experimented with active mode. I was a bit nervous because I saw where someone damaged a mixer by unplugging a powered cable from a Railboard. So to be safe, first I used a multimeter to check the cable connections, which looked normal to me:
* Tip to pin 2 bass
* Ring to pin 3 melody
* Side to pin 1 both
* No other continuities
I engaged phantom power after plugging everything into a "known good" pair of mixer channels. I heard only the bass output, and no melody at all. The R-Block light lit up and the bass signal was good, but no amount of switching or knob turning on the melody side allowed me to hear it. I turned off phantom power and gave it a minute or so before unplugging.

Later, I went back to my normal setup, a POD X3, which has two inputs, guitar and mic. I've been using passive stereo mode with melody plugged into the guitar input and bass running into an active DI box which then goes to the mic input.

When I turned everything on tonight, I still couldn't hear the melody side. I changed cables, reversed what each side's connection, and confirmed the problem was the Railboard itself. I turned all the melody side knobs back and forth, and returned them to full volume/defeat EQ.

While I was messing around trying to diagnose, the melody signal slowly faded in over about ten minutes to about half volume. Then it faded back to zero. Over the time I've been collecting my thoughts and typing this, the melody side has regained what I believe to be full volume.

I'll definitely be calling SE about this, but until then, has anyone had a similar experience, or advice to offer?

Thanks!


Sat May 13, 2017 7:39 pm
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Post Re: melody signal slowly fading in and out!
Hi.
Sorry to hear you are struggling with the active mode on your Railboard. i don't own a railboard but I did notice that you didn't mention using the XLR splitter to split the left and right channels. But you did say you used two channels of the mixer. So you probably did...

As for the strange behavior of the melody side... it sounds like each side discharged at different rates. Maybe one side flipped to the passive mode right away and the other side took quite a bit longer...

I would check with SE on the pin out of the splitter as it may not be correct. I assume (you know what they say when you assume...) pin 2 in goes to Pin 2 of bass side and Pin3 in goes to Pin2 of melody side. Not sure if ground (pin1) splits or goes to only one side...

Good luck. I hope you figure it out

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Sun May 14, 2017 9:21 am
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Post Re: melody signal slowly fading in and out!
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I should have specified that I used the splitter included with the instrument. A difference versus what you typed is that ring goes to pin 3 of the splitter input, then pin 3--not pin 2--of the melody output.

Argh, melody side not working again today, although I haven't left it plugged in as long as I did last night. Not looking forward to spending weeks without the instrument while it's back on the west coast! I'm guessing this is not a user-serviceable issue.


Sun May 14, 2017 9:47 am
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Post Re: melody signal slowly fading in and out!
I wound up detaching the R-Block and sending it back to SE. Oh well, I waited six months to receive the instrument, so I can stand a few weeks more for it to be whole again.

I did talk to Emmett, who was pleasant and absolutely committed to getting it working again as fast as feasible. I'll pass on a few nuggets of his wisdom:

* He wasn't aware of a pattern of failure of this sort. So good news: no evidence of a design weakness; bad news: lucky me!
* He suggested two ways to play the instrument while I wait for the R-Block to return:
** Lean the headstock back against a door as a resonant surface.
** Use a stethoscope! That sounds delightful, and a search reveals the idea has appeared on this forum before. I have to try this, regardless of the state of the R-Block!


Tue May 16, 2017 5:35 pm
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Post Re: melody signal slowly fading in and out!
pretensions wrote:
I wound up detaching the R-Block and sending it back to SE. Oh well, I waited six months to receive the instrument, so I can stand a few weeks more for it to be whole again.

I did talk to Emmett, who was pleasant and absolutely committed to getting it working again as fast as feasible. I'll pass on a few nuggets of his wisdom:

* He wasn't aware of a pattern of failure of this sort. So good news: no evidence of a design weakness; bad news: lucky me!
* He suggested two ways to play the instrument while I wait for the R-Block to return:
** Lean the headstock back against a door as a resonant surface.
** Use a stethoscope! That sounds delightful, and a search reveals the idea has appeared on this forum before. I have to try this, regardless of the state of the R-Block!


I'm glad that Emmett is going to get you fixed up. Sending in the R-Block is an easy enough thing to do. I actually play my Railboard not plugged in at all quite a lot. My Rosewood sounds better "acoustically" than the Railboard, but I can hear the notes being played just fine, even in a somewhat noisy environment. I noodle often while watching the news late at night, and don't plug in AT ALL.

But having said that, there's an empty file cabinet that I use as one half of a desk, with a board across it. If I put the butt end of my Stick against it while I play, the entire file cabinet will resonate as a big ole soundbox. I never had a good place to set the headstock against, and I play sitting down (mostly), so setting the butt end against something is actually really easy.

I've also set the Stick on top of a cardboard box and played that way. A stethoscope would surely work, but nothing at all works really well also, in my humble acoustic-Stick playing opinion.

You DO need to play with some amplification, or your technique will get all messed up, as I discover when I DO plug in and hear the difference in my playing style. I play too hard acoustically and then have to back off when amped. But it works for me.

And it's just a very short-term workaround, anyway. Your R-Block will be back before you know it! (Hopefully!) Best of luck!

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Wed May 17, 2017 4:53 am
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Post Re: melody signal slowly fading in and out!
Hope it works out for you dude! Good luck!

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Wed May 17, 2017 10:45 pm
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Post Re: melody signal slowly fading in and out!
Update: SE said it was faster to send a replacement R-Block than to test and repair the old one. Works for me, though I hope eventually to hear what went wrong. I received a replacement yesterday and so far all systems are go. All told I was Stickless for just two weeks, which includes shipping GA to CA and back again, so I can't complain about turnaround time.

I haven't dared active mode yet--first I want to find more concrete evidence that my cable wiring is correct.


Wed May 31, 2017 5:56 pm
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