Power/USB connection hacks?

Since the beginning, the only frustration and trouble I’ve had with my standalone Pyramid mkI is the USB/power inlet that is just not sturdy enough. The only thing keeping this connection in place is the soldering on the PCB and I actually had to resolder this after it partly came off and now it came off again. When the cables wiggles, power drops and I loose my work. This is a request/question directly to the Pyramid team @squarpadmin: do you have any suggestions on making this more stable? I bought my Pyramid February last year and I never considered this a warranty issue because it’s just part of the design.

Hi @bparticle
Can you please send us an email at contact(at)squarp(dot)net, with your problem, so the team can solve your issue?
Since MK2 versions, the USB connector have been upgraded and is more robust. Sometime, the problem can also come from a bad USB cable.

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Thanks! Just sent the email :wink:

I’m worried about this too. @squarpadmin is it possible to get the USB connection serviced if need be? I tried gently proddinig at it with a bamboo skewer and the connector itself seems sturdy, but if it comes loose in the future?

if you have an issue you can contact squarp via the contact form

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I’ve had this kind of issue with some of my other synths too. If you’re regularly plugging and unplugging the device the wear is too much for the solder for the more simply connected jacks.

One suggestion is, if you can do less plugging/unplugging (maybe once you get your pyramid fixed since its already loose) you win. So like, I do this by building a board that I fix the pyramid and other synths to (i use velcro), and then prewire like the AC power (so think like a guitar pedal board but with your pyramid). At least, if that would work for your setup, you could potentially reduce wear and tear on the usb in.

I also think you should still email squarp btw, i’m now thinking that maybe the some day mk4 will have that fixed and it will be the reason I want get it :slight_smile: Anyways, hope that helps.

Korg stuff with the micro USB is the absolute worst for this. Had to replace a couple of things in the past because I’ve completely snapped off the USB socket, and as the connections are so thin, the tracks usually completely come off the board, and you cannot resolder them back on.

At the moment, my Pyramid is firmly entrenched in the studio and there’s no likelihood of it leaving any time soon. However, if I was planning on gigging with it, or continuously connecting and disconnecting the power, then I might consider something like this mini USB extension cable

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/usb-extension-cables/1116755/?cm_mmc=UK-PLA-DS3A--google--CSS_UK_EN_Cables_%26_Wires_Whoop--USB+Extension+Cables_Whoop--1116755&matchtype=&pla-319568834331&gclid=CjwKCAjw_o-HBhAsEiwANqYhp4RxX-IWwsEiSgvOQFVb_4M4a_NzXXug3utjvOQS1zQayDmiV6Y5MBoCwigQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I would keep the extension cable permanently plugged into the Pyramid, and be connecting power to the other end of the cable. I do something similar with USB dongles.
Hope that helps,
Phil

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Im not sure there is a big issue here… the OP was 3 years ago, and I dont see other posts having similar issues - also, squarp already indicated this was improved from mk2 onwards.

for sure, usb connections are not designed for 1000s of matings, so if you are doing it a lot , I think @Squ1ggle suggestions of a using a usb extension cable makes sense.
or of course, leave the pyramid side plugged in, and disconnect at the other end.

i guess, if you are diy inclined, you might be able to pop open the pyramid and use some hot-glue to give some physical support. (assuming you are out of warranty :wink: )

mk4, who knows… it sounds like mods were done in mk2, so perhaps thats considered enough.
if there is ever to be a Pyramid 2, then I suspect Squarp would move to usb-c.

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I disagree that it (the mini usb power adapter) is enough. There are plenty of devices out there that have an alternative port for power (i.e. barrel connector), if that is all that is needed. Sure, you should be able to power over usb as well, but it seems like that is a somewhat special case compared to running the unit standalone and choosing not to interface with a computer. The fact that the OP’s post was years ago doesn’t affect the fact that this is still a concern and current issue for many users, regardless of an MK2 fix. I would argue that an MK4 should have a dedicated power port so that if someone wants to use the device w/ exclusively midi gear they can. That is specifically what the included mini-usb-based power adapter is for.

I also think it’s too much to ask users to “be gentle with the delicate usb connectors”. Music tech users are over this, specifically bc of the boutique series. I have used usb type b connections in countless forms of gear over a 20+ year lifespan without issues.

if you wish to make a suggestion send it to squarp via the contact form

Thanks - will do. I think it’s worth mentioning that I have never had this particular issue with my OP-1. For whatever reason, the mini-usb jack TE used (and possibly the cable connector?) has always been rock solid. And I can’t think of another unit that I have plugged/unplugged more frequenty over the years. BTW MK3 user here.

IMO the micro USB connector in general is pragmatic. And I’m actually glad that Squarp designed the Pyramid with the more robust mini USB vs the flimsy micro variant as I’ve had zero issues with mine, but then again it rarely gets to travel.

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yet, only today, Ive seen someone complaining the usb on their op-1 is very flakey - so I guess ymmv

anyway, my point previously, was (and still is) not that I agree with the decision to use mini usb (or any other usb) , but rather there is nothing we can change about it on our current units.

so no point in complaining about it, rather we have to do what we can positiively
and the options for this , appear to me to be…

  1. talk to squarp directly about it…
    so IF they update the pyramid (or other products) they can bare in mind your thoughts.

  2. if you have a currently problem with your usb - contact squarp
    they are very good at resolving issues (see various forum posts)

  3. preventiative action - easy
    use a usb extender so you reduce wear on connector.

  4. preventative action - diy
    perhaps look at suppporting with hot-glue - voids warranty, do at your own risk, untested :wink:

also, lets not overblow this issue… Ive had my Pyramid for years, and its not been an issue, and I do not see it often reported as an issue on this forum … so it appears apart from the OP (3 years ago) its not that common.

I do understand your concern, but its seems (if I read you post correct) you dont have an issue today…
also as you can see from various forum comments, Squarp are exceptional at helping users who have had (hardware) issues in the past, so IF this becomes a problem Im sure they will help you out.

Agreed that it is one of the lesser evils.

I reached out to them on 7/15 via their support form to no avail. How long would you wait? Two weeks? @squarpadmin @Thibault_Squarp

its summer holidays, perhaps things are a bit slower :sunglasses:

do you actually have an issue? is it not working?


or is this just a suggestion?

if its just a suggestion, then not sure really there is much to add…
who knows if squarp are even planning on a new revision/versionof the pyramid, and in what timeframe.
if/when they do, then its likely the SoC they will use will be different… and they will assess their options when they re-do the design.

as I already said… I would expect, a new version would use USB-C, thats the trend (beyond music tech) .

(Im not sure they add a DC jack, the issue is , if you do then there is an expectation of a PSU - which pushes up cost, and changed in packaging… but who knows, depends how many have requested this)

but lets face it, we dont know,
… and, ultimately very few (if any) companies talk about future products in advance.

so other than acknowledging your suggestion and thank you for your input - I can’t see them really telling you much more.

FWIW, they now got back to me. Yes, I have an issue or I wouldn’t be posting.

ok, but thats not what you said in your original post … you said you were ‘worried’ about it - not that you actually had an issue with it.

anyway… hope you get if fixed soon - Squarp are really good at that side.