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Is it possible to patch wrong? And damage a module?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Is it possible to patch wrong? And damage a module?
joesdeals
I am new to eurorack,

I am just wondering if there is any possibility of me screwing up patching something wrong.

for example taking a cv out into a cv out or cv in into a cv in.

maybe taking a cv out into the left mono out of a headphone module.


I am wondering how durable are modules or are some fragile and can break?
J3RK
In general, most things will be pretty forgiving. A lot of IO is protected, most modern op amps used for these have output protection, etc. Most inputs will be conditioned in some way.

Generally, you don't want to connect outputs to other outputs. Otherwise you should be good.

When possible, read the specs for a module, so you know what ranges the IO is expecting for normal operation. That said, you shouldn't need to worry much about damage.

The biggest thing to watch for is connecting the module to power properly in your rack/case. That's where damage can occur in a lot of modules.
Yes Powder
It's not completely outside the realm of possibility, but unless you're using an old paperface Serge you probably don't have to worry about it.

I still wouldn't go patching inputs to inputs, though…
nigel
Yes Powder wrote:
It's not completely outside the realm of possibility, but unless you're using an old paperface Serge you probably don't have to worry about it.

I still wouldn't go patching inputs to inputs, though…

Outputs to outputs. Patching inputs to inputs is harmless.
Yes Powder
nigel wrote:
Yes Powder wrote:
It's not completely outside the realm of possibility, but unless you're using an old paperface Serge you probably don't have to worry about it.

I still wouldn't go patching inputs to inputs, though…

Outputs to outputs. Patching inputs to inputs is harmless.
l

That’s what I meant, thank you
Cybananna
As was said, there’s always the possibility but I’ve been using modular for 10 years or so and have made every patching mistake you can. I’ve never damaged a module from it. Don’t lose sleep over it. Just unpatch it a soon as you see it and go on
EdBrock
Just be extra careful when making your own adapters.....


Pelsea
The accepted wisdom is all patching is safe, except patching output to output, which is a holdover from an ARP manual from the 70s. Modern designs are protected against that, but we still enforce the rule because:

A) It won't work the way you think it should.
B) No one wants to feel responsible if something bad happens against all the odds.



modularblack
EdBrock wrote:
Just be extra careful when making your own adapters.....




I knew they hide 50hz oscillators in these damn wall sockets. The signal is a bit too hot for my mixer but I've got myself a flying attenuator, so its all nice.
lisa
Pelsea wrote:
The accepted wisdom is all patching is safe, except patching output to output, which is a holdover from an ARP manual from the 70s. Modern designs are protected against that

Well, I saw a video from some trade show where the guy from Dreadbox couldn't demo their latest semi modular box because someone had accidentally patched an output to an output and killed it.
DIY_geek
IMO, it's completely unacceptable for a system to be damaged by patching outputs to outputs. Even patching between brands that use different power supply voltages. No excuse for it that I can see (obscure high voltage systems - if they exist - excepted).

I avoid cranking the steering wheel on my truck around while not moving (because it's so much more work for the power steering), but I don't expect it to break if I do. Same goes for modular.

I wish me thinking fragile systems are stupid was assurance that they don't exist....
ranix
an output should be guarded by an op amp buffer like a TL072 http://www.ti.com/product/TL072

the purpose of the op amp (operational amplifier) is to buffer the signal leaving the module. The op amp senses the voltage on its input and, without sucking any current from the input, provides that same voltage on its output using current from its own power supply. That should usually result in the op amp being destroyed in the event of a failure, instead of any of the sensitive electronic components behind the op amp. When the failure happens, the sensitive electronics aren't affected because the excess current (and heat) is all being drawn from or sinked into the op amp.

The op amps are usually socketed in DIP chip carriers so they can be easily removed and replaced.

It is not healthy to drive an op amp into a dead short, but doing this for short periods of time will probably not damage it unless it overheats. Driving two outputs together is driving two op amps into each other, and if one is high while the other is low (because they are processing audio signals) this counts as a (brief) dead short.

The TL072 and its sisters like the TL074 are very popular and inexpensive and easily replaced. I usually keep a few around for emergencies and for experiments.
nigel
DIY_geek wrote:
IMO, it's completely unacceptable for a system to be damaged by patching outputs to outputs.

Well, yes, it is unacceptable, and it's also fairly unlikely (as others have noted). But you can avoid it just to be safe, and you're not missing out on any useful features. (As Pelsea pointed out, it won't work the way you think it should.)
deepblackjoe@gmail.com
what about grounding two separate systems together? does it matter or does being plugged into the same powerstrip do the same thing?
DIY_geek
nigel wrote:
(snip)
Well, yes, it is unacceptable, and it's also fairly unlikely (as others have noted). But you can avoid it just to be safe (snip)


Hey all... sorry if my post made it seems like it was common to blow up modules with outputs-to-outputs. I agree 100% w/Nigel - it's not. I've never seen it happen. Just saying that if it does, it probably shouldn't have.

Plugging in a high power/low impedance source like a headphone amp or loudspeaker amp is definitely less-nice and not entirely "fair", but even then, the typical output resistor is likely to save the output stage of the module. More elaborate protection networks to protect against outlier cases are plausible, but not so common.
nigel
deepblackjoe@gmail.com wrote:
what about grounding two separate systems together? does it matter or does being plugged into the same powerstrip do the same thing?

A question which has been asked and answered in detail many times on this forum. Short answer - your 0V lines need to be very well connected. For a longer answer, search for (almost any of) Graham Hinton's posts.
joesdeals
Thanks guys, sounds simple enough Mr. Green
joesdeals
EdBrock wrote:
Just be extra careful when making your own adapters.....




That is pretty funny and scary at same time razz
studio1dk
Allen Strange mentions non linear mixing (connecting several waveforms by using a multiple) in chapter 11 in his book: Electronic music (second edition)

Keld
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