So to start out I bought my Monomachine MK1 second hand a little over two years ago, It was my first Elektron box and I absolutely fell in love with it the day I laid my hands on it. Since then I use my MNM frequently, Even though I went on to get all of the other Elektron boxes (OT should be here in a week!) I still use my MNM in almost everything I do so I was pretty devastated when it broke.
Basically I turned it on a couple of nights ago and after a few minutes it froze (never had that happen before!) So I power cycled it and same thing…Worked for a few minutes and then froze…power cycled again and it wouldn’t get past the boot screen so then I rebooted it into the test screen and the test came back okay but still was a no go after reboot. I did a soft reset and that got it past the boot screen but then it froze again…power cycled, and again it wouldn’t get past the boot screen so I tried to a factory reset it froze at boot screen, tried to reload the OS…Froze!
After some research I turned up literally 3 or 4 threads on the subject (None of which were resolved)
I contacted Elektron, They got back to me and said that it’s hard to tell what would cause the issue without seeing it and he listed a number of things it might be (hardware wise) but then told me that the parts for the older machines were harder to come by so a repair from Elektron if it were to turn out to be something like the main board would not be likely plus it’s well out of warranty.
So I decided to crack it open myself. I have very little tech skills in this regard but do know the basics, I used to work QA for another major hardware company and I’ve always had the (bad?) habit of opening up and checking out every vintage synth I’ve ever owned lol
So like any good “technician” I opened a beer before opening the unit.
I referred to an old post on the elektron-users forum (I think it was ‘Why you don’t want to take the knobs off your machine’ something along those lines)
In the post the guy used a credit card and butter knife to get the knobs off.
I started there. After that there are are 6 main screws holding the faceplate on and then maybe 8-10 screws holding the main board in place.
Once the faceplate is off and the main board is unscrewed there are three cables attached to it, One on the left hand side (black with white clips) and two on the right hand side (Orange with yellow clips)
Easily the most scary part of this whole ordeal is getting the knobs off, It’s not really that difficult but they are on there unusually tight. The key is prying them off while still retaining even pressure on the opposite site of the knob so you don’t snap the plastic potentiometer or pull it off of the board. I’m sure there is a more appropriate tool for this job than a butter knife and credit card but I had to work with what I have.
Once the unit was opened I noticed that one of the cables that connected to the main board was loose (One of the orange cables with the yellow clip) so I made sure everything was clipped in tight, looked for corrosion around the battery or PSU and did a general check of the hardware, Nothing was out of place.
So I carefully put the unit back together:
So I jammed with it for a couple hours after that and kept it running overnight with a all 6 tracks running, lots of p-locks and midi clock in/out.
Woke up this morning and it was still running
I’m going to let it run for another 72hrs of heavy use and another 20 power cycles to declare it repaired officially.
If all goes well I’m going to assume that it was that loose cable causing the issue somehow. It is quite likely though because this happened after rearranging my studio in which I took my MNM and MD out of one of those two tier stands to have them side by side with my other Elektron boxes instead.
I noticed when the unit was open that the rackmount screw holes in the MNM align with one of those orange cables and maybe the screws that the stand came with are too long and pulled the cable halfway out?
I don’t know but that’s the best I can guess.
I’m just happy my MNM is back up and running so fingers crossed it stays that way!