NOTE: For years now, I have been getting requests to help with repairs of equipment, in particular about the Novation Launchpads. I do try and help where I can but I want to share the information and experience that I am giving out. I have come to the conclusion that I need to make a platform where you can submit your problems and repairs. The platform is Fix My Stuff and is currently under development. Check it out and sign up to get notified when it will become live. If you’re a web developer/designer, please help or review the platform. Any problems email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have always wanted to have a look at the inside of the S4 controller to see what it is like. Other people online have to open them before but it’s not the same. Originally the S4 is about $700 but I had found a broken one on eBay and got it to try and fix it. Scratches were all over the controller. For about 2 months it was living under my bed, waiting to be fixed.
The other day I had enough time to look at it and open it up. Before opening, I powered it up to test it to see what would happen. When I put USB cable in, it just pushed straight through. The USB connector had pushed part and snapped the pins. There was no way of powering it and finding other problems without this. As I was unscrewing, I noticed there were a few screws missing and when I opened it there was a bit of crap inside but was pretty clean. It looks like someone tried to fix it but was overwhelmed when they opened it.
It took me a while to unsolder the USB from the board and replaced it but when I finished it and powered it, it connected to the computer after a while but did not turn on. After looking for more damage on the boards and testing voltage and signals, it seemed to be still on some type of standby mod. Looking a the repair I had done, I found what looked like a missing resistor behind the USB connector. When the USB broke, it slid back and must have snapped the component off. I started looking for images online of the USB and the missing resistor. I found one which showed a 2.2K resistor and lucky I had some. After replacing it the controller powered up straight away and is not working well. There are not many other problems with the controller except missing knobs and the top of the jog wheel. all there is to do now is to give it a clean and then it will be as good as new.
After contacting Native Instruments, they sent me a new top for the deck and now works well.