Support / FAQ
Support / FAQ
This is a FAQ and troubleshooting guide with answers to general product and service related questions. If you are encountering a problem, not to worry, Tiptop Audio is here to help. If this support document does not correct the issue, please contact Tiptop Audio Support and we will be happy to assist you. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buchla & Tiptop Audio
Buchla systems use stacking banana cables for patching control voltages and Tini-Jax cables for audio. In the 200t Tiptop Audio’s Stackcables are used for both signals.
In the Buchla world, audio jacks have metal nuts and CV/Gate are colored banana nuts. In the 200t that aesthetic look is maintained, but since the 200t takes advantage of shielded audio jack and Tiptop Audio Stackcables, that isolation of audio and control signal is no longer needed. Patching audio and CV/gate to each other is now possible adding a world of cross patching not originally available on these modules.
One important specification to note though is that the Buchla control inputs have a range of 0 to +10 volts but the audio signals only go to +5 and -5 volts, so when an audio signal is patched into a CV in it will sweep only half the range. For example, using the audio output of the 258 VCO into the CV stage addressing input of the 245 sequencer will only address stages 1-3. Using an amplifier or offset module like the 257 can change the range to cover 0 to +10V.
The 200t modules work best driving CV/Gate/Audio inputs of around 100kOhm. Output resistance is typically in the 499-1kOhm range.
From time to time we will add optional modifications here.
Modifying the colored switch caps: Switch caps are made using hot air blowing technique. It’s a very old production technology and results in large tolerances. At the factory we sort them however if you feel your cap might be too long, you can pull it out, compare it to the toggle switch shaft and if it is longer than the shaft you can cut it to better match the shaft size.
The original Buchla 200 modules were designed for low quantity hand built production. The 200t is produced with modern processes and with that tolerance control comes into play. Some of those tolerances are addressed on the factory floor using hand measured components and some using the on board trimmers. For VCOs we do not suggest changing the 1V/Oct trimmers as they were calibrated using high precision instruments. Other trimmers can be adjusted and their functionality is described in each module user manual.
The 200t series integrates original Buchla standards into Eurorack. CV Gate and Triggers are standard Buchla 0-10V levels.
Audio output of VCOs can range 8-11Vp.p which is around the typical 10Vp.p Eurorack levels. Note that audio signals are bipolar, a 10Vp.p wave means -5V to +5V.
The VCOs have a standard Eurorack 1V/oct input for pitch control.
One important specification to note is that in the original Buchla 200 CV/Gate and Audio are separated and cannot be cross patched. In the 200t they can, but be aware of the voltage differences between the two. More on that in the Patch Cable section.
Below are part numbers for some of the parts that might wear over time. Online shops like mouser.com carry them.
Momentary white push switches (281/245): TL2230OAF140
Latching white push switches (257/292): TL2230EEF140
Two position toggle switch: 200MSP1T1B2M2QE
Three position toggle switch: 200MSP3T1B2M2RE
Q: In cycle mode at audio rate generator 1 and 2 and generator 3 and 4 could affect each other’s pitch slightly, is that normal?
A: Yes that is normal and is due to the internal connection between 1&2 and 3&4. Also note that the 281 is not designed to be an audio VCO and does not have typical VCO circuits like temperature compensation or linear pitch tracking.
Q: I noticed that the 281 does not work with one of my passive “LPG” Eurorack modules but does with other types of module, why is that?
A: Passive “LPG” designs short the output of the 281t and it cannot drive the circuit. This places tons of stress on the output circuit of any module and these passive “LPGs” should be avoided
Q: Why are there transistor parts on the back PCB that do not have components installed?
A: These parts allow us to swap between versions of transistors based on part availability
Q: Is the control FM linear? What about the audio input FM?
A: The control FM (black nut) is logarithmic response. The audio FM (metal nut) is linear FM
Connecting Modules to Power
The module will have the power ribbon cable correctly connected to the circuit board when shipped from the Tiptop Audio factory. If the cable is removed at any point, use the following instructions to make sure the cable is connected properly before reconnecting the module to power:
1. Locate the power header on the rear of the module circuit board. It may have one or two rows of pins and 5 or 8 pins per row. Make sure the header is not labeled SyncBus.
2. Check the circuit board near the power header for printing that says ‘Red Line’ or ‘-12V’. This may be faintly printed so use good lighting and a magnifier to locate it.
3. Plug the cable into the power header so the red line on the cable lines up with the label printed on the circuit board. Make sure that all of the pins are covered by the connector.
Here are the three types of power connectors available on Tiptop Audio modules:
The red stripe on the cable indicates the negative (-12V) power line, and is used as the primary method of orienting power connections in Eurorack. All Tiptop Audio modules have this red line indicator printed on the circuit board and ship with cables with a red line on one edge of the ribbon.
All Tiptop modules have cables been designed to fit into this type of keyed header. Our uZeus Flying Bus cables and Mantis power boards both use these headers. There is only one way to plug the cable in so this eliminates the possibility of plugging in modules backward or offset.
Many power bus boards do not use the keyed/shroud header and just have the pins on the board. For these boards it is very important to double check the power connection to avoid potentially damaging your system.
1. The Red Stripe -12V indicator should always line up with the bottom pin or the one labelled “Red Line” or “-12V”.
2. Check that all of the pins are covered by the connector before powering on. Offsetting the power connection by one row of pins can also result in damage to the system or module.
Most Tiptop Audio modules have protection circuits that will keep your module and your power supply safe even if the module power cable is connected in reverse.
The uZeus and Mantis both come with keyed connectors that let you connect the module in one way only. All Tiptop modules come with a power cable with the key in the correct direction to match the uZeus and Mantis. One common mistake is to unplug the module power cable from the module end, the connectors on the modules are not keyed. Some rules are:
When you disconnect a module from power, disconnect it from the power bus board end, not the module end.
Most mistakes happen when moving or adding modules in a case, so on power up watch the LEDs of the power supply with your hand on the power switch ready to turn off if necessary. If on power up, one or more LEDs are not turning on or are less bright than the others, immediately turn off the power. The LEDs indicate the power status, and act as a reminder to double check your connections. Catching a problem with the power and shutting power off fast enough can save the life of a reverse powered module.
You have installed the alternate firmware ‘ArpitiZer’ which changes the QuantiZer into an arpeggio generator. To return to the standard QuantiZer functions install the main firmware. Download Standard Firmware
Yes, it was discontinued in 2021 due to parts availability and cost.
If you are encountering a problem with your Mantis case, not to worry, Tiptop Audio is here to help. This guide will help you diagnose and work through the most common causes of malfunction and get it working again. If these steps do not correct the issue, please contact Tiptop Audio Support and we will be happy to assist you. email@example.com
Section 1 – Basic Connections
The Mantis bus board is built with keyed power connectors to prevent plugging the power cables of your modules in reverse and potentially damaging the module. Most Eurorack modules include keyed power cables which have a notch on one side and a red line on the edge of the ribbon cable that shows which side will be connected to negative (-12V) power. The keyed power connectors on your Mantis bus board will ensure that the red line on your cable aligns to the right side on the lower connector row and downwards on the upper connector rows. Some Eurorack makers might have the key on the reverse side. Should you encounter such a cable in your system, we highly recommend that you discard it to prevent any possible damage. Most power connectors found on Eurorack modules will either use a keyed connector or a line printed on the circuit board labelled “red line” or “-12V” to indicate the proper way to align the cable. If the proper placement of the red line is at all unclear, please contact the maker of your module before connecting it to your Mantis Case to prevent possible damage or malfunction. As a reference, look at the cable that came with your Tiptop Audio Eurorack module and refer to the diagram in the following link for safe and proper power connections. Here is a link showing the Mantis red line (-12V) for all it’s power connectors.
The power jack on top of your Mantis is for use when the case is lying flat. The power jack on the bottom of the back of the case is intended for use when setting the Mantis to the 45 degree or 90 degree upright position. Using the bottom power jack when the case is upright allows the power adapter to lay on the table which prevents strain from the weight of a hanging power supply.
On the center of the bus board are printed white arrows indicating the three sections. Each section provides up to 1000mA on its +12V rail and is independent from the other sections. On the left side are LEDs, one for each section, indicating the power status.
The top row has two sections, A and B:
Section A – Upper left side +12V 1000mA
Section B – Upper right side +12V 1000mA
Section C – The lower socket row +12V 1000mA
The -12V and +5V are shared with all three zones.
This connector is a SyncBus connector, which offers the future possibility of synchronizing Tiptop Audio sequencers in separate Mantis cases with expanded capabilities compared to using simple patch cables. Here is an example of possible use: Two band members are playing their modular systems live, and each one uses a Mantis case with a Circadian Rhythms Sequencer. In addition to clock, reset, and first step, SyncBus could also synchronize the presets and groups of the two Circadian Rhythms using very high precision parallel digital addressing. Although we haven’t fully developed the cable to connect two cases with SyncBus, we have made several prototypes and wanted Mantis to be future-ready as we develop these potential capabilities. Only connect to the external SyncBus connector using genuine Tiptop Audio products.
The bus board also has pins labelled Sync Bus to potentially connect to the back of Tiptop Audio Modules in the future. Only connect these pins with genuine Tiptop Audio products.
Section 2 – Issues Connecting Modules
Make sure the power switch on your Mantis case is off when adding or removing modules. We recommend mounting, plugging in, and testing the power to your modules one by one. As you will see from the following examples, if you install and test your modules as you go it becomes much easier to isolate a potential power problem.
This is an indication that the fuse built into the external power adapter is tripping.
Most of the time this is caused by one or more modules shorting the power. The external adapter is trying to increase voltage and as it senses a short, it cuts power. This will happen repeatedly until the short is removed.
Start by removing all modules, then reconnect them back one at a time with power, do this until you find the module that shorts the power.
The Mantis is supplied with a 3000mA power adapter, which is plenty of power for a case of its size. If the total power consumption of current your modules exceeds 3000mA (all power rails summed together) that will cause the external power adapter to trip as well. While this is very unlikely to happen, if it does, Tiptop can offer a custom made power adapter with higher current rating. For custom orders please direct your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an indication that the regulation circuit fuse of this section is tripping.
Most of the time this will be caused by a module(s) shorting the power. The regulation circuit is trying to increase voltage and as it sense a short it cuts power, this happens repeatedly until the short is removed.
Start by removing all modules from that section, then reconnect them back one at a time with power, do this until you find the module that shorts the power. If this does not work,continue reading below.
The Mantis can supply up to 1000mA of +12V for each section, if the sum of +12V current consumed by the modules connected to that section is higher then 1000mA that will trip the regulation fuse as well. If that is the case try moving some modules to other sections to lower the load on this section.
This indicates a short on the -12V power rail, and the -12V fuse is tripping. Start by removing all modules, then reconnect them back one at a time and check if the case powers correctly. Do this repeatedly till you find the module that shorts the power.
This indicates a short on the +5V power rail, and the +5V fuse is tripping. Start by removing all modules, then reconnect them back one at a time and check if the case powers correctly. Do this repeatedly till you find the module that shorts the power.
Remove all modules connected to the bus board and power the case again. If the lights turn back on, it is an indication that one of the modules is causing an error, put them back in one at a time to find out which one. If the lights are still off after removing the modules it’s an indication of a possible problem with the regulator board. Please contact us for further assistance and direct your email to: email@example.com
Section 3 – External PSU and Power Switch/Jack
Yes, you can. It must be 13VDC. A higher voltage is not recommended. Tiptop can offer a custom made power adapter with higher current rating. For custom orders please direct your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please get in touch with us.
Look for a power bank that can supply a voltage anywhere between +13V to +15V DC, 13V will be ideal, 15V is also ok if you are not using more than 2000mA total. Look for one that has an output 2.5mm barrel plug with a positive (+) center pin. As for the current capacity, this is based on your system power consumption vs. the power bank power capacity. It is recommended that you contact the power bank maker directly and give them your details such as the total power your system needs (all power rails summed together +12V -12V +5V) and the voltage range +13V to +15V. With these details they will be able to tell you how long you will be able to run your system and if there are any other issues to be aware of. A Tiptop user (Thank you Daniele) has positively recommended the Aceyoon Power Bank 50000 mAh. This model comes with DC output plugs and can deliver 15V, this power bank is available through Ebay and the European Amazon online store. Be careful to set the power bank to 15V or 13V voltage before connecting it to Mantis, as higher voltages will burn Mantis’ power regulation circuit and create excessive heat and smoke, please take caution.
Mantis has two power jacks, one at the back and one on the bottom. If you should encounter a problem with one of your power jacks, try plugging your power adapter into the other one. If it works, you can use that power jack in the meantime as you troubleshoot the faulty jack. If both power jacks do not work, the problem is elsewhere.
Power jack failure could happens due to the power plug getting hit, bent or when repeatedly plugging in when the switch is turned on, or due to repetitive power shorts. These can cause the jack internal contacts to bend, come loose or oxidize, causing an intermittent power loss between the external power adapter and the Mantis power circuits. If that happens, we recommend to replace the socket or the entire bus board, whichever is easier for you.
If you are experienced at soldering you can replace the power jack yourself, either contact us or look for CUI DC power jack part number PJ-002BH. These jacks are available through Mouser, Digikey and other electronic components retailers. For Mouser, type in their search: 490-PJ-002BH. Please note, replacing the jack by yourself is at your own risk.
If you are unable to solder it yourself, then an easier option is to have a new bus board shipped to you. Replacing the bus board is very simple and only requires several screws to be removed to swap in the replacement bus board. It is important to try remove the power regulator first. The power regulator is glued to the base to prevent it from disconnect during shipping. Please follow these instructions. Click here for instructions. If you are unable to take the power regulator out please let us know so we can get you a bus board with a new power regulator installed. If you got the power regulator out please let us know you need a bus board only. To get a new bus board please contact email@example.com
If you are experienced at soldering you can replace the power jack yourself. To replace the power switch yourself, look for E-SWITCH rocker switch part number R1966ABLKBLKGR. These switches are available through Mouser, Digikey and other electronic components retailer. For Mouser, type in their search: 612-R1966ABKBKGR. Please note, replacing the switch by yourself is at your own risk.
If you are unable to solder, an easier option is to have a new bus board shipped to you. Replacing the bus board is very simple and requires several screws to be removed and swapping in the replacement bus board. It is important to try remove the power regulator first. The power regulator is glued to the base to prevent it from disconnect during shipping. Please follow these instructions. Click here for instructions. If you are unable to take the power regulator out please let us know so we can get you a bus board with a new power regulator installed. If you got the power regulator out please let us know you need a bus board only. To get a new bus board please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The longer the wire the higher the Ground noise will be.That is the physics of cable resistance. Tiptop Audio power adapters are all made with short and advanced spec wiring as audio quality is our top priority.
Some users had experienced power up issue with the power adapter that shipped during the end of 2021. If you experience strange power up issues please check the serial number on the adapter, it should be located on a long white sticker below a barcode and start with C2134. Free adapter replacement are available up to one year from date of purchase of your Mantis. Replacement is available only to adapters sold with Mantis and not adapters sold separately and only to the original buyer. To get a replacement please either contact the shop you bought it from or fill up the form below.
ONE & TG-ONE
Sorry we cannot help with that. The TG-ONE was a limited edition and includes paid licensed audio material that we cannot share.
The CV input on ONE is a modulation source and not a 1V/octave pitch source.
uZeus Power Support
If you are encountering a problem with your uZeus, not to worry, Tiptop Audio is here to help. This guide will help you diagnose and work through the most common causes of non-operation and get it working again. If these steps do not correct the issue, please contact Tiptop Audio Support and we will be happy to assist you.
To diagnose the most common problems, first unplug all the modules connected to your uZeus, power it on and check if all three lights turn on with relatively same light intensity. Then start reconnecting your modules one at a time to see if the problem continues. It is possible that one of your modules is shorting the power, a cable is connected improperly, or a module is defective. The goal is to try and isolate the specific module that is causing the problem. Look at some of the examples below as they might help you to pinpoint your issue and find the solution.
This is an indication that the external power adapter fuse is tripping.
This can be caused by one or more modules shorting the power or that one or more modules require very large amount of current to charge their capacitors on power up (inrush current). It can also happen if the total power consumption of all the modules together is larger then the external power adapter maximum capacity.
Most of the time switching to the Tiptop Audio uZeus Boost power adapter will solve the problem of inrush current. This Tiptop Audio uZeus Boost power adapter is more powerful in general and can provide more current upon power up to help charge large capacitors.
Remove all your modules, turn the uZeus on to see that all three lights turn on normally. Now start adding the modules back one by one until you find the one causing the issue. Make sure the power cable of that module is oriented properly or contact the manufacturer of that module for further help.
For full power cycle: If the lights flash on power up but do not flash when you add the faulty module (with power on) this indicates an inrush current problem upon power up. If that module shorts the power, this indicates that either the power adapter is overloaded or that this module or module power cable is defective or plugged in reverse.
This is an indication that one or more of the modules is shorting the power. Remove all your modules, then turn the uZeus on to see that all three lights turn on normally. Now start adding the modules back one by one until you find the one causing the issue. Make sure the power cable of that module is oriented properly and contact the manufacturer of that module for further help.
There are two parts to determining if the uZeus can provide enough power: the external AC/DC power adapter and the individual power rails of the uZeus.
To calculate the load on the external adapter, you need to sum the amount of current your modules will consume from each power rail. These are the +12V rail, the -12V rail and the +5V rail. To do that you will need to check the product page or manual of each module to find its power draw for each rail and add them together. Follow the example below for this process:
Our example system will be : Z3000 + Z2040 + Z4000
Z3000 : +12v = 50mA, -12V = 25mA, 5v = 0mA
Z2040 : +12v = 20mA, -12v = 20mA, 5v = 0mA
Z4000 : +12v = 34mA, -12v = 18mA, 5v = 0mA
Total +12V rail is 50mA + 20mA +34mA = 104mA
Total -12V rail is 25mA + 20mA + 18mA = 63mA
Total +5V rail is 0mA
Total power draw = 104mA + 63mA + 0mA = 167mA
Now that we know the totals, we can compare them to the limits of the uZeus power rails and power adapter. The current draw of your system cannot exceed the maximum current capacity of the external power adapter OR that of the uZeus regulator circuits. With a proper external adapter the uZeus regulation circuits can provide up to 2000ma from the +12V rail, up to 500mA from the -12V rail and up to 170mA from the +5V. The adapter must provide power exceeding the sum of all currents of all rails, so for the above example system we need an adapter that is 104mA + 63mA = 167mA or higher. So as long as our adapter current rating is larger than 167mA we are ok.
Let’s make another example, we call it system A
Power adapter 3000mA
Although the power adapter is larger then the sum of all currents (1100 + 650 + 20 = 1770mA) this system won’t work because the uZeus can only provide up to 500mA from the -12V power rail. In that case another uZeus is needed for this system.
Let’s make another example, we call it system B
Power adapter 1000mA
Total power draw: 1570mA
This system won’t work either, but this time it is the power adapter that is less than the sum of all currents. Also, the +12V rail is over the 1000mA limit when not using the Boost adapter. In this case getting the 3000mA uZeus Boost adapter will solve both problems.
As explained above, you will first have to add up the power draw of each connected module to the uZeus. Each module can draw from the +12V, -12V and/or +5v power rails. It is highly recommended to use the numbers provided by the manufacturer on the product web page or user manual. Third party websites may have incorrect information. The uZeus user manual provides additional information on how to monitor the temperature of the uZeus, which is a good way to estimate how loaded it is.
The uZeus max ratings are:
+12V : 1000mA (2000mA with uZeus Boost adapter)
-12V : 500mA (420mA with the jumper installed)
+5V : 170mA
Tiptop offers two adapters for use with the uZeus, the 1000mA and 3000mA uZeus Boost adapter (The 4600mA Zeus Studio adapter is not recommended for the uZeus). The 1000mA adapter is good for small systems and tight budget, and is also the adapter supplied with the Happy Ending Kit. The 3000mA uZeus Boost adapter provides more current and lower voltage, which helps run the uZeus at a lower temperature and extend its life, as well as increasing the uZeus maximum power capacity and the ability to provide much higher inrush current, that is the current withdrawal spike that can occur on power up. More on that later. The 3000mA adapter comes rated at 13.5V and as of 2022 a newer model is rated at 12V.
Yes, this AC to DC converter is specifically designed to give the maximum amount of current from the +12V power rail of the uZeus. We do not recommend going beyond 1000mA on the uZeus +12V rail with other AC/DC adapters.
This indicates that the system is drawing much less power than the power adapter’s capacity. This underloaded condition causes the power adapter’s internal switching mechanism to work close to the human hearing range, resulting in a high pitched sound. This is nothing to worry about, and it will completely go away once you add more modules so the power adapter reaches typical working conditions.
No. The uZeus Boost adapter gives you more current for the +12V, not the -12V. It does however run the -12V regulation circuit slightly cooler which helps extend its life.
Yes, the Mantis power adapter and the uZeus Boost adapter are the exact same adapter that work for both products. We are calling it the uZeus Boost/Mantis adapter, some retailers may label it different.
Look for a power bank that can supply a voltage anywhere between +13V to +16V DC. Look for a power bank that has a 2.5mm barrel jack with center pin positive. As for the current capacity, this is based on your system power consumption vs the power bank power capacity. It is recommended that you contact the power bank maker directly and give them the details such as the total power your system needs (all power rails summed together +12V -12V +5V) and the voltage range +13V to +16V. With these details they will be able to tell you how long you will be able to run your system and if there are any other issues to be aware of.
We recommend that you use it with a genuine Tiptop Audio power adapter, as these adapters had been specifically designed and tested thoroughly for best performance of your uZeus. Tiptop Audio offers the smaller 1000mA power adapter and the larger 3000mA uZeus Boost/Mantis power adapter. If you’re planning to use the uZeus with other adapters make sure that adapter can provide voltage between minimum +13V to maximum +15V DC. Make sure the connector is a 2.5mm barrel jack with center pin positive.
The -12V regulator of the uZeus uses 12 solder pins that are far off from each other, this makes removal of this part very difficult. We do not recommend attempting to fix uZeus when the -12V regulator has died.
The longer the wire the higher the Ground noise will be.That is the physics of cable resistance. Tiptop Audio power adapters are all made with short and advanced spec wiring as audio quality is our top priority.
Zeus Studio Bus
This could be due to a cold solder joint of one of the DC800 pins. To fix that use a solder iron to resolder these pins to the pcb. First let the iron warm up for about 5 minutes, then heat up each pad/pin and apply fresh new solder. Give the iron time to heat up the pins and don’t worry from overheating as the PCB acts as a heat sink and will cool down your iron.
The best way is to measure the +12V and -12V and +5V to make sure they are on and working within tolerance. Use a volt meter, set it to DC VOLT. Most Metters have a range switch, set yours at 15V or higher. Connect the black cable to a GND pin and the red to the +12V pin and then to the -12V pin and then the +5V pin. Click here for instructions
Taking into consideration your meter tolerances, good results are:
+11.6 to 12.4V
-12.4V to -11.6V
+4.6V to +5V
If your meter reads +15V on the +12V pin try replacing Q6 with KSD880 TO220 package.
In case -12V is acting strange and soldering the DC800 pins are not fixing the issue then try to replace:
Q7 KSD880 TO220 package
Q3 PN2907 TO92 package