Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

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Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Kampfkoloss » 2017-12-31 @ 17:42

Hello,

I've just registered in this forum to ask a question about a SB AWE32 CT3900 (including Soundfont-SIMMs) I've got on Ebay. After taking a close look at the card, I've seen, there is a thin green cable soldered on the pcb, connecting soldering points C46 and r13. Another thin green cable is soldered between two soldering points on the opposite side of this connection on the back of the card. I hope the pictures clarify my description. The previous owner can't remember what he did this for, so I'd be glad if any expert on this forum had an idea. I've tried to search the forum with no success. The card looks okay otherwise and seems to work alright when installed in Windows 98SE (no unofficial SP or any other modern software-stuff). Haven't tried DOS-Mode games yet. Tell me, if you need any other system or software specs.

Wish you all a happy new year :-)
Attachments
IMG_20171231_110008.jpg
Connection on the back
IMG_20171231_105938.jpg
Connection on the front
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Batyra » 2017-12-31 @ 18:49

I have seen that kind of soldered cables a few Times on Creative cards. It may be some construction mistake or something, corrected in the next revision of card. You should chceck what week is this card from - if it (compareing to some others CT3900) is an early card it may be the reason.

That just a suspicion. I'm not sure.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-31 @ 19:03

I think the same. These look like patch cables. In the past century, these were used occasionally to fix circuits.
And that little silver bloc could be an SMD resistor, by the way.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Kubik » 2017-12-31 @ 19:07

That little block is 220 Ohm resistor. It looks to me more like a home made fix, the soldering and wire laying job is a bit... amateurish :)
I'm guessing an attempt to decrease a noise level or something like that.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-31 @ 19:17

One of my AWE64 has a green patch cable as well (from factory, bought that card new in 1997). However, that looks much more professionally made than yours. So yes, looks like a home-made fix.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Kampfkoloss » 2017-12-31 @ 20:18

Thanks alot for your replies. Very helpful and competent. Now I at least have a clue what this fix could be for. But why should it be necessary to reduce the noise on this card? I thought only earlier sb-cards and the cheaper vibra cards had a noise problem. It's still a bit strange. However, the term "amateurish" seems pretty appropriate :D. I'll look what week my card has been made (by now I only know it's From 1995) and do some further research based on your input. Thanks again. I like this forum already :)
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Kubik » 2017-12-31 @ 21:18

I'm just guessing it's a noise fix, based on the fact this is in the analog part of the card, and the resistor value is too low for pull up :) but without having the card at hand and having chance to check exactly how's that connected, it's just a guess.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-31 @ 21:25

It may be a repair. The two caps which the green cables are connected to have a different top than the rest, so they are most likely not original. Maybe the old ones had leaked and damaged traces. It's certainly not a noise fix.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby chinny22 » 2018-1-02 @ 00:31

Kampfkoloss wrote:I thought only earlier sb-cards and the cheaper vibra cards had a noise problem.


Actually in a cruel twist of fate the cheaper vibra cards are less noisy. But we are talking about ISA and Creative, neither are known for their sound quality to start with.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby firage » 2018-1-02 @ 03:45

One related old thread: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50036
Creative shipped cards with green wire fixes like that. They can appear mid-run, with certain revisions existing with and without fixes applied.

This patch could be for some issue they introduced in the second board revision (029510), or pre-existing since the first rev as they look very similar. There's a photo of another: http://hw.fagear.ru/wp-content/uploads/ ... 844477.jpg

Yours is a late CT3900, since you have the CT1745A-S mixer revision. Should be a nice one despite the cosmetics.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Kampfkoloss » 2018-1-21 @ 21:18

Hello again. Sorry for my late reply, but I was quite busy lately. Thanks to all of you. I have learned alot. The links in firage's post convinced me, the strange homemade-looking fix could have been factory made. The fix in the photo under your second link looks pretty similar to the fix on my card :D Unbelievable.
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Re: Any Ideas? Soundblaster AWE32 CT3900 strange cable soldered on...

Postby Tiido » 2018-1-22 @ 15:33

These are factory installed fixes, used to correct some problem identified post assembly. Highly inconvenient for the manufacturer as they're applied by hand to possibly thousands of devices until next revision is made with the fix incorporated into the design.
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