USB connectors

Does anyone have a quick fix or repairing the cheap but essential $30 printer-style USB 'B' connector on the back of the professional touring product- 'wholehog expansion wing' without voiding its warranty?

Rob G


p'd off
  • If the Wing is under warrany, send it in for service.

    If it's not under warranty and you have experience with soldering multi-layer circuit boards, then it's straightforward to change the USB connector. We use a Molex 67068-8000, but you should be able to find a suitable cross in Digikey, Mouser, Farnell, etc.

    I'd love to use a more rugged USB connector, unfortunately there are no good options. You mention the Neutrik Datacons. The Ethercons are great (RJ45 connector in a XLR-style surround). But if you look more closely at the USB Datacon you'll find that it's not a real connector. You can't actually buy a cable with the USB Datacon connecor. That product you linked to is only there to allow you to install a USB passthrough in to a panel that's punched for XLR connectors.

    I'm always on the lookout for a practical ruggedized USB connector. The closest I've found is a standard USB jack with an IP68 style surround.
  • The Wing wasn't under warranty but it was on tour.

    Sending it in for a service isn't always an option especially when you have a show the night that the product fails.

    We did try to replace the connector - after contacting the company it was sub-hired from to check we were not going to void their warranty with an on-site repair.

    The runner and our tech were dispatched to a local store and found the part for a princely $2 or thereabouts, however we were unable to effect a stable repair under show conditions and not wishing to risk any further damage to the Wing it remained unusable for the last three shows of the tour.

    I suspect the problem to be one of two things, the connector itself, or a dry joint between the connector and pcb, caused by a flimsy connection being made and unmade every day which will surely lead to problems over time - there appears to be no support for that connector other than the solder that holds it to the pcb. Is there not a way to employ a kind of ribbon between the board and the back of the connector for example, a la the Hog II DMX connectors for example.
    Would this help to alleviate the problem of dry joints developing between connector and board and make the usb socket easier to change when it does fail?
    I wonder if there is a similar situation in the Playback wings, do you see the similar problems there?
  • We understand touring and the beating that gear can take on the road. When you're in a bind like that, work with support. They can arrange an advance replacement of the damaged board, or a loaner if there's one in the area.

    If you're too busy getting the rig in the air have your dealer do it for you. It's not always possible to get stuff to you the same day, but there's no need to be down for three days unless you're in a far corner of the world.
  • I remembered reading this thread and I just passed by these connectors.. they aren't industrial, but they will keep from getting hit and bending the boards.
  • Sorry to poke around in this old thread.
    My mini usb programing freezed some times, buttons stopped responding.
    I had to disconnect the usb and reconnect it and it worked.
    I found this thread and ordered the Molex USB.
    I had to cut the back open on the new Molex USB, else the back shielding had short circuited som components.
    The problem persisted in somewhat minor scale.
    Some soldering around the oscilator seemed a bit bad, so we resoldered that.
    Now the problem seem to be gone.
    May help someone in the future :)

    It's to bad those connectors are soldered directly on a circuit board.
    Wouldn't it be better if it was pigtails like the XLR for the desklight, so the circuit board doesn't have to take that much beeting and a lot simpler to change?
    Yes it would have been nice with a "XLR type" USB, but there is also bulgin, socapex..
    Just a thought