Better fix it before it breaks!

It is only the most important part of my setup. The launchpad for triggering songs and samples and visuals. And ok, I broke it… again! This time just before a live show. How did it happen? A fall from the stand with the cable connected ripped the connector from the internal circuit board. First my Ableton Push some time ago, now my Novation Launchpad. Now let’s fix it before it breaks!

In the picture above you can see my attempt to fix this before it happens again. I glued a plectrum to the bottom side of the new Launchpad where the connector is. I hope this effectively catch some of the impact to the connector if it falls or bumps. In a live situation I will also tape it with duct tape. My advice is to check all of your gear for protection of connectors. I am quite happy now that my 19 inch rack mountable stuff is now solidly protected in a case.

Of course, I shall not rest before both the Push and the old Launchpad have been fixed again. In both cases these are connectors soldered to the surface of the circuit board. So if you drop the device or it bumps against something solid it kind of gets torn and ripped off the surface. In the end it this is a cheap way to manufacture a device. The alternative would be to protect the connector or wire it separately. The manufacturers of these devices do take this into account and ruggedize the connector a little bit.

I already bought some stuff to make this work. So here is my stuff to fix it. Soldering something surface mounted manually is hard. My alternative is to wire the connector. It will be ugly, but if it works it it works and I hope these will find new use in the studio. Throwing away this beautiful gear would be a waste! But: better fix it before it breaks!