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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
Lexicon Vortex Repair
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Lexicon Vortex Repair
Subject description: encoders kaput
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I got a free Lexicon Vortex because two of the three encoders were on the fritz. After ignoring the warning that the encoders were unobtanium, and finding that to actually be the case, I came up with my own solution to the problem:

https://plus.google.com/102657837209811792502/posts/JBjb1sB3KHR

I haven't done a complete put-it-all-back-together test, but I expect to in the next few days. I wanted to stick my toe into the water and see if there would be any interest in the community at large for a solution to this problem without being able to buy the actual encoders.

the TLDR version is that I have a standard hex encoded switch/encoder, driving a PIC, driving transistors to emulate the original switch.

If there's enough interest, I'm interested in possibly making PCBs.... If not enough interest to be worth all that, but someone still needs help I'll be happy to share my stripboard layout and code. Testing the waters first though...

And no, I'm not going to post to Muff's until I've actually put it all back together and confirmed it, so this is sort of "pre-release" cos I know this community is not nearly so overwhelming Very Happy.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good news, it works!

Bad news, the knobs don't fit and I broke an encoder trying to force it!

Embarassed
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KingVidiot



Joined: Jun 23, 2014
Posts: 5
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's good to know there's a fix if I need it.

I picked up an old Vortex online that was in good shape, so for now I'm good. Thanks for sharing that info.

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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I never followed up, but yes, it works. Main downside is that the rotaries I used wouldn't fit the original knobs, so I just used standard heptagon knobs
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KingVidiot



Joined: Jun 23, 2014
Posts: 5
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice work, the boards are very clean.

I'll take the specs, part list, etc. if you have it handy. I may need it in the future. Smile

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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am travelling right now, so not handy. If I don't remember to post something this coming weekend, poke this thread again and I'll see it and take are of it.

The circuit itself is trivial, the hard part was figuring out the right encoding.

I've considered making PCBs and selling PCB+chip sets, but my Eagle/DipTrace/etc chops are not very good.
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marcfox



Joined: Jul 27, 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Leeds, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd like to buy some of these! I love my vortex but she's become unplayable due to the rotary encoders dying. Might you be able to craft me three of these and send them over to the UK?
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marcocet



Joined: Aug 01, 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Brooklyn NY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Count me in too. I've been looking for a solution for well over a year now. I'd be totally comfortable building it myself if you'd share the schematic!
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's the source, this is currently coded for a PIC16F88 which is just what I happened to have on hand. I want to try recode for a PIC12F615 (got a bunch of these to use as noise generators using the Electric Druid code) and hopefully also work on using low-power mode so I'm not constantly sucking current just to do a wait loop.

Code:

/*
 * File:   vencoder.c
 * Author: petehartman
 *
 * Simple program to take std hex rotary switch input and translate it to drive
 * open collector outputs that follow the Vortex custom rotary pattern
 *
 * Used with appropriate hardware, this allows replacement of unavailable
 * rotary with standard rotary + PCB
 *
 * Created on November 17, 2013, 11:03 AM
 */

#include <stdio>
#include <stdlib>
#include <xc>

#include <pic16f88>

/* MCLRE_ON RA5/MCLR pin is MCLR (master clear)
 * CP_OFF Code Protection off
 * CPD_OFF Data Code Protection off
 * BOREN_OFF Brown Out reset off
 * WDTE_OFF Watchdog Timer off
 * PWRTE_ON Power on timer on
 * LVP_OFF Low Voltage Programming Enable
 * FOSC_INTOSCIO OSC pins are both I/O functions, use internal oscillator
 */
__CONFIG(MCLRE_ON & CP_OFF & CPD_OFF & BOREN_OFF & WDTE_OFF & PWRTE_ON & LVP_OFF & DEBUG_OFF & FOSC_INTOSCIO);
#define _XTAL_FREQ  8000000

//translation table, may need to rotate these values so they line up
// inverting the second nibbles, since this is going to open collector
static unsigned char table[] = {
0x04, 0x06, 0x07, 0x05, 0x01, 0x03, 0x0B, 0x09,
0x0D, 0x0F, 0x0E, 0x0C, 0x08, 0x0A, 0x02, 0x00
};


volatile unsigned char index;

void setup(void) {
    // for PIC16F88
    ANSEL = 0x00;
    OSCCON = 0x7C; // 8MHz, PWRTE from primary, frequency stable?? OSC defined by FOSC
    OSCTUNE = 0x00; // run at calibrated frequency
    OPTION_REG = 0x80; // disable PORTB pull ups explicitly; maybe use |=

    CMCON = 0x07; // all digital for PORTA
    TRISB = 0xFF; // inputs, probably redundant
    TRISA = 0x10; // outputs

    // first read
    index = PORTB;
    index &= 0xF0;
    index = index >> 4;
    PORTA = table[index];
    // enable interrupts
    // INTCON = 0x88; // set GIE & RBIE
    RBIE = 1;
    ei();
}

void interrupt ISR(void) {
    if (RBIF) {
        index = PORTB;
        index &= 0xF0;
        index = index >> 4;
        PORTA = table[index];
        RBIF = 0;
    }
}


int main(int argc, char** argv) {

    setup();

    for(;;) {
        //loop forever
    }
}
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DipTrace does not have the Grayhill 25LB22-H switch that I used, and I'm not having much luck finding any hex encoded rotaries in the libraries, so it may be a bit before I can make a full model.
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melittophily



Joined: Jun 18, 2015
Posts: 5
Location: us south

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I made an account just to bump this thread and throw my severe attention into. This has been happening to Vortexes since not long after they were discontinued and its a tragedy to lose these things, both personally and in weird audio mangling history. I have kept mine tucked away and periodically checked on whether there was anyone who loved it enough to invest in 1000 Digikey encoders and slowly get a piece of it back on Ebay. I never found anything new until now. I read your thread on G+ and saw your newer schematic and well, I just want to say I would gladly pay you for your labor/product to get mine back to life and I really think many, many others out there would if they were aware. I think we just resign ourselves to it being lost but still can't trash it. I'm still desperate though and I need my vortex now more than ever. I can solder a thing or two but I don't think I could build this from scratch.

Let's just say that I would buy an old PC to control it with RS232 serial port and a DOS program if that would do the job. Vortex forever.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I appreciate the interest. I have a large number of projects in the fire, so this has languished in priority, but I will try to bring it forward.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So my backlog is starting to lighten and I'm coming back around to this project....


Looking at the space available, I really want to do this particular one in SMT (except for the encoder itself, of course). But that leaves me with the question of how do I make it so that the PIC can be programmed.... The whole point of SMT in this instance would be low profile. Normally for programming I see headers which are *not* low profile...

Kicking it around in my head, it seems perhaps the best route would be to have a header in the same vicinity as the encoder, which would give me "cover" for the height of the header, but I'm curious if anyone has any other suggestions....
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melittophily



Joined: Jun 18, 2015
Posts: 5
Location: us south

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:25 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elmegil wrote:
So my backlog is starting to lighten and I'm coming back around to this project....


Can't offer any technical suggestions, just commenting to say I'm tracking this thread and here to cheer you on.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I have a potential SMT layout. I'll need to order some prototypes and do some assembly to ensure it works/is workable (fits in the space available etc), and that could be a few weeks yet (as in 4 - 12 weeks).

In the mean time though, some market research questions:

1) would you buy a bare PCB and source your own BOM, knowing that you'd be doing assembly of SMT parts (SOT-23 and 0805)? And you'd have to have a PIC programmer of some sort; I included a header for the PICKit 3.

2) Would you buy a PCB with the SMT parts pre-populated, but source your own through hole parts (3 headers, 2 sockets, and a hex encoder; the encoder is the most expensive single part)?

3) Would you buy a kit? SMT assembly yourself, or just a kit with the SMT done and the other parts?

4) Would you buy a pre-made item that you would still have to wire into your Vortex?

5) What would you consider to be a reasonable price for such a thing? I have a rough target price in mind, based on parts costs, and my labor to do all the assembly. If this were to get bigger than a few dozen units I'd probably have the SMT stuff done at the fab, no idea how that would affect price.

I'm just looking for ballparks to see if I'm going to offer something at a price that works for me only to find nobody values it that much...
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melittophily



Joined: Jun 18, 2015
Posts: 5
Location: us south

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

1 Beyond my capabilities, would have to find a tech
2 Yes
3 If SMT were pre-soldered
4 Yes
5 Hard to say. right now I don't know if I could justify it for more than $75-85 but that's just because of my personal situation and respect if your work on this demands more for it to be worthwhile.

Feels like I'm going back in time here, but I'm betting the Looper's Delight mailing list might still be a good place to pick up interest. If someone had pulled this off 5-10 years ago I think there would be little question about it selling well, there's just been time for some people to give up on it.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I will hold off on the broader interest checks until I have a working prototype Smile

But that's definitely in mind...
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1983
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 16

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well this still makes (sloooowwwww) progress.

I got a line on a grey coded encoder that I was told was a drop in for some other Lexicon gear, I thought maybe I'd get lucky, and it would also work for the vortex. It's a MUCH sturdier encoder than the grayhill ones I have referenced previously.

Unfortunately it is 1) inverted (closed when the other is open, and vice versa) from the original, and 2) offset (position "1" when mounted to the panel has the encoder at a 45 degree angle from square) from the original.

HOWEVER

Having it made me revisit the idea of how this could work, and even with the inversion and offset, this is a better solution than I had before. Primarily because, while I still need a PCB to do the inversion, and it can't be mounted directly to the encoder because of the offset, I no longer need a PIC. I've built it on a .8" x 2.25" piece of scrap stripboard. I can mount this on the inside of the face for both the presets and the values, and if I made a real professional PCB, I'm confident I could make it much smaller and get it to fit next to the other encoder as well.

See the attachment for a photo; on the right, the encoder with the PIC, on the left, the new encoder and the much smaller stripboard.

Works flawlessly.

The encoder itself, like the grayhills, requires making the mounting holes slightly larger, and unfortunately my source on ebay didn't include nuts, so I have to dig around through my various castoffs to find a nut that will work. But a nice piece of quality double sided tape and the nut, and I've got this well licked.

ALSO unlike the grayhills, the original knobs fit these encoders!

So overall, despite not being what I had hoped, a net win.


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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some of the details. Needs a diagram of the far left encoder, it's layout is different from the others in terms of the 4 resistors you see on these.


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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is the encoder I used, it is much more sturdily built than the Grayhill I used previously. The Gray encoded equivalent from Grayhill is exactly the same physical package as the Hex one, so not great.

This one also fits the original knobs...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/172420972797?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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Location: Chicago
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, so we have actual PCBs.

I'm thinking $5 each plus shipping. Overseas shipping is pretty spendy, I was spending average of $13 per to ship a 5"x5" PCB anywhere outside the US. This could probably go a bit cheaper, but not sure by how much.

Domestic shipping on the other hand isn't too bad at all.

There is one outstanding significant issue to resolve before I will be comfortable saying go, send me orders, and that is mounting of the main PCB.

This thing is tiny, a little double-sided tape on the lower, inner lip of the front part of the enclosure will be more than sufficient. I also have mounting holes in case someone wants to come up with a way to do it more securely.

But the main board is held to that front panel piece by the encoders and the pot on the far end, and that's it. If you have to replace all three encoders, having the main board held on by a single pot is bad business, any significant shock (in other words, any gigging at all) and you'll break the pot, the PCB, or both.

There *is* a mounting hole at the opposite end of the main PCB, but nothing to screw it into.

I'm curious what people's opinions are about these kinds of spacers:

https://www.bestbyte.net/atx-motherboard-standoff-support-spacer-flat-bottom.html?utm_source=google_shopping

With some glue you could put this through the main board, glue it to the top lip of the panel piece, and I think it would have the right spacing.


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Airlock



Joined: Apr 06, 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nicely done! I don't need these as yet for my Vortex, but I'll take a full set of these if you need buyers now.
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melittophily



Joined: Jun 18, 2015
Posts: 5
Location: us south

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, I was just thinking about this and wondering where you were at with it. I'm definitely still interested!
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