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Hi, Our frog would not boot the other day. Changed the battery and it worked fine for a couple of days and then failed again. Tried another battery as the age of the replacement was not known so a genuine brand new Duracell was put in. Worked fine for about an hour and then froze. Hasn't booted since. I figure it may be beyond repair now given its age. 

So what do I replace it with? We use it a couple of times a year for live shows running a max of 36 dimmers but most of the time it just operates 14 LED par cans as eye candy lighting before cinema screenings. The frog is set up to step via the aviation plug at the rear by a simple relay pulse. Is that something that exists on later Z88 desks?

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Hi Ian,

Welcome to the Zero 88 Forum.

17 minutes ago, Ian Garland said:

So what do I replace it with? We use it a couple of times a year for live shows running a max of 36 dimmers but most of the time it just operates 14 LED par cans as eye candy lighting before cinema screenings. The frog is set up to step via the aviation plug at the rear by a simple relay pulse. Is that something that exists on later Z88 desks?

It would be worth taking a look at the FLX range of consoles as a replacement. If the close contact remote input is a must-have, then the full-size FLX console would be worth a look...

https://zero88.com/control/flx

If you can do without the close-contact input, then the FLX S48 would be a suitable replacement. For more information on FLX S consoles see the link below...

https://zero88.com/control/flxs

I hope this helps, if you have any questions let us know.

Edward

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16 minutes ago, Ian Garland said:

 I figure it may be beyond repair now given its age. 

I would doubt that very much. I have Z88 product far older than FF (which I also have) which still works perfectly. And this is not by chance, these are very well designed and manufactured products.

It depends whether you have the will/inclination/skills to debug this further or whether you have your heart set on a new console. I understand Z88 will of course be interested in you buying a new product.

If you want to look into repairing the Fat Frog then having a dialogue with Keith @KWR88 at Zero88 or Ian Knight @iank99 in Coventry for example would be worthwhile. It depends on your location.

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Thanks for your responses. Did a few basic checks PSU and the like. Then tried to see if a FW update would help but no life from the FDD. Looking inside the red cable in the molex on the back of the drive looked like it wasn't fully seated.  have no idea why this would cause the deadness but all is now functioning as normal.

Thanks all

an

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99% of the time it’s a silly fault easily rectified! Great news. You can still look at a new console but in your own timeframe now rather than forced to act. On which note I do highly recommend the FLX range although it looks from your OP that you don’t need anything too fancy. I would have thought the FLX S24 would be more than adequate unless you need absolute individual control over those 36 dimmers. 
 

Fat Frog lives to fight another day/year/decade!

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13 hours ago, Ian Garland said:

Thanks for your responses. Did a few basic checks PSU and the like. Then tried to see if a FW update would help but no life from the FDD. Looking inside the red cable in the molex on the back of the drive looked like it wasn't fully seated.  have no idea why this would cause the deadness but all is now functioning as normal.

Thanks all

an

Glad to see you got sorted - dead Frogs are not a happy sight.

I'm guessing the displaced power cable for the FDD caused a lack of response when the drive is "polled" to see if there's a disk inserted with upgrade software - the lack of power causing the drive not to be able to respond probably threw the software in to a "loop" waiting. I would hope that the loop is only programmed to take so many cycles (some drives might be slow initialising & responding) rather than wait forever.

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27 minutes ago, kgallen said:

I would have thought the FLX S24 would be more than adequate unless you need absolute individual control over those 36 dimmers. 

Yep, sounds like a FLX S console would be perfect, other than the mention of a close contact input. This would require the full FLX.

Edward

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16 minutes ago, Edward- Z88 said:

Yep, sounds like a FLX S console would be perfect, other than the mention of a close contact input. This would require the full FLX.

Edward

Sorry Edward, you are right and you mentioned the remote switches earlier. My bad. Full FLX would seem overkill though (functionality and price). Sounds like the existing Fat Frog is a good match.

Let us know how you get on @Ian Garland and if you need any vendor or user input.

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Yes well tonight at power on the frog sat there, no displays, all LEDs on. Checked PSU and down to 10.17v on the 12v line. 5v was around 4.9. Is that enough to cause a fail?

left it for a while and eventually fired up of its own accord. Any bright ideas?

cheers

an

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12 hours ago, Ian Garland said:

Yes well tonight at power on the frog sat there, no displays, all LEDs on. Checked PSU and down to 10.17v on the 12v line. 5v was around 4.9. Is that enough to cause a fail?

left it for a while and eventually fired up of its own accord. Any bright ideas?

cheers

an

Kevin's right - the 5 volt rail is probably ok but the 12v rail will cause issues with the floppy drive as I outlined above (is there a desk lamp plugged in? If this is faulty or a cheap one then this has been known to pull the 12v rail down). I've had a quick look at the schematics for the zero88 produced boards and they do seem to rely on the 5 volt rail but there were never published schematics for the STMain (they were considered unrepairable and designed outside of Zero88 from memory) so I don't know if the 12v rail is used on the processor board for LCD illuminators and so forth.

I would be tempted to say that it sounds like the PSU itself might be failing (they do and it's a more common fault than folks realise) - a PSU from a Jester or another Frog would go some way to proving this.

I'll be frank though - if it's not the PSU & it's the mainboard failing (and again - they do) then the desk isn't really repairable because there are no spare STMains anymore (& it's not a repairable board) & you take the same risk buying a second hand Frog from eBay. 

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@Ian Garland where are you in the UK? @iank99 is in the Midlands, I'm in the South West and @KWR88 is South Wales. Do you have access to another Frog/Jester PSU? They are still purchasable as a spare as far as I know although I think they are around £90 (Stage Electrics used to list them but it seems not now).

When you say above you "checked the PSU" was this using a voltmeter across the PSU XLR pins whilst not connected to the desk? @iank99 is the external PSU a linear regulator or SMPSU? If linear then I'd expect you to measure 12V. If SMPSU then without a load (or the very small load of a DVM) then the output voltage might be unstable.

@iank99 speaks with authority but I wouldn't be prepared to write off the machine just yet.

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On 5/28/2021 at 10:59 AM, kgallen said:

@Ian Garland where are you in the UK? @iank99 is in the Midlands, I'm in the South West and @KWR88 is South Wales. Do you have access to another Frog/Jester PSU? They are still purchasable as a spare as far as I know although I think they are around £90 (Stage Electrics used to list them but it seems not now).

When you say above you "checked the PSU" was this using a voltmeter across the PSU XLR pins whilst not connected to the desk? @iank99 is the external PSU a linear regulator or SMPSU? If linear then I'd expect you to measure 12V. If SMPSU then without a load (or the very small load of a DVM) then the output voltage might be unstable.

@iank99 speaks with authority but I wouldn't be prepared to write off the machine just yet.

Yeah - the PSU's are switched mode so you won't get proper values without a load connected but to do that - ensure you've not got a desk lamp plugged in - just in case.

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13 hours ago, Ian Garland said:

Not yet but as it only draws so little power I can probably repurpose an old Laccie external drive PSU for the job and release the bench PSU from duties

Good news! If the Frog is sat in a corner and not being moved then a homebrew solution for the PSU if you have one about is going to be cheaper than buying a new spare.

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