VOGONS


First post, by Vanessaira

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Hi everyone, I am looking for some help, tips, or advice on how I should troubleshoot these two Ensoniq Soundscape cards I have. They are both identical S2000 non Elite versions.

Test PC is using Win 98SE, P2 233mhz, 128ram, Voodoo Banshee

Card A installs and gives no errors but is really quiet. Like I have to turn the speakers almost to full blast to hear albeit low.

Card B shown in picture below, gives error (also posted below) initial saying unable to communicate DMA, but no longer states this apon further reboots.
However SB/Wave functionality still works, but no MIDI. It's sound levels however are perfect and can be heard at standard volume settings.

Troubleshooting so far has been double checking setting and swapping cards back and forth. Tried contact cleaner as well no change. Also checked visually with the caps but I understand there could be an issue with one leaking underneath of the surface mounts.

Any ideas?

Swaaye if you see this I know you have experience with Soundscapes.

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An Analog Girl in a Digital World

Reply 1 of 3, by carlostex

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Card A might have leaky capacitors, or at least at end of life. I have a Roland RAP-10 i got from eBay with this exact issue, super low and noisy output. I just replaced some capacitors around output area and it improved massively. Replaced them all and now it sounds just great.

Card B, might have a broken trace or shorted contacts somewhere. You can always give it a soap and water bath and scrub it well. Then just let it dry. Then look closely for any broken traces, or corrosion. You can also apply some flux around the chips and try to reflow the solder. I fixed a non responsive card like this, though it was not a Soundscape.

Reply 2 of 3, by Eep386

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Card A, I wouldn't be so soon to blame capacitors. I'd be willing to suspect a broken solder joint somewhere on or around the many 8-pin, SOIC dual op-amps. I am not necessarily implicating the op-amps themselves: if a gain resistor has a cracked joint, that will definitely upset its gain level. What I'd do first before I break out the soldering iron though, is try cleaning the jacks with contact cleaner.
It is possible that a cap or two are bad or that an op-amp simply isn't doing its job, but I'd check for broken joints first.

Card B, I'd check for lifted/floating pins on the TTLs and the Sequoia chip. It's somewhat less likely but it's also possible that one of those LS244s by the ISA connector are bad.
It's extremely difficult to tell a pin is lifted by eye, you'll need a magnifying glass and probably an exacto knife.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁