New Misa Kitara-like

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

giovamono wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:30 pm Hello everyone, I own a Misa ri Bass and unfortunately I too have encountered problems with the touch. Unfortunately the HF804F-V1.3 panel is not around, I tried to contact Michael from MISA but he couldn't help me. Has anyone who has the same problem found solutions?

Best,

Giovanni

Hello Giovanni.

Welcome! :D

Do you have a blue USB cable?

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by warbear907 »

Does anyone on here have any advice for a screen issue on the kitara. I have a kitara that I bought about 10 years ago from Sweetwater. I’m the original owner. I used it once or twice and it has been in the box ever since. I wanted to sell it, and I just took it out of the box and powered it up and the “Ball” seems to be stuck in the corner of the screen.
Any advice? Is this something that misa digital will fix?

If you email me I can send a video of what the screen is doing.

Any help would be super appreciated.
tyrbjorn907 (at) gmail.com

Very respectfully
-TB
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by warbear907 »

Disregard my last. I used a hairdryer for a couple minutes on the corner that was giving me problems and my Kitara is now working 100%.

With that said, is anyone in the market to by a Misa Digital Kitara? It is number 0057 out of 1000.

I’m wanting to sell to buy or trade for an old fender jazz or P bass.

Let me know.
Very respectfully,
-TB
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by zenguitar »

Welcome the SOS forums :thumbup:

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https://www.soundonsound.com/readersads/free

Andy :beamup:
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

For several months I've been trying to beg, borrow or steal one of those custom USB cables to upgrade my Tri-Bass, without success. However, I recently came across a similar-sounding version on Alibaba that looked worth a try.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 97886.html

I got hold of one of these and dug the Tri-Bass out of storage today to see if it might work. But sadly, it's now developed the dreaded screen flicker. :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAlmJCxsH48

Disappointing. Oh well. I thought it was only a matter of time.

I might try the hairdryer treatment described above. I was interested to hear that it worked; I've heard this recommended for other touchscreens and once suggested to someone that they try it on their Kitara, but it's the first success story I've come across. Not sure if the "ghost touch" problem on these is the same as the "flicker" problem, but I'll give it a go.

I blame the British weather. Need to sort out a pad in Greece.

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

There are three screws on the back which can be loosened with an allen key, and then the screen lifts out. Here's an exclusive; AFAIK this is the first time someone has posted pics of the inside.

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The bundle of red wires heads off towards the 60-odd capacitive touch sensors in the neck. I'm thinking, Teensy, touchscreen, 8x8 button matrix.

I tried blasting it with a hairdryer for ages to no avail. There's also a touchscreen hack that involves showing it the business end of a piezo oven lighter, so I just ordered one of those to try. But this might be another rebuild.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by Folderol »

That's a nasty nest of caps there :(
And what's that thermistery thing doing?
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

They all go the same way. The general consensus is that the touchscreen goes bad, but the part is no longer available and no-one's ever figured out if there's a compatible alternative. So if the piezo trick doesn't work I think it'll need gutting and starting again.

https://aliexpress.ru/item/2055851748.h ... 4376593901
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

*sigh*

Oh dear; this Misa Tri-Bass is such a sickly child.

* * * * *

Capacitive touchscreens are a horrible amalgam of glass, LED displays and digitisers, glued together in a sandwich. Something goes wrong with these old discontinued ones, but the jury's still out on exactly what.

It looks like chronic "ghost touch" to me; the thing seems to detect multiple touches when there aren't any. There are various hacks for touchscreen ghost-touch issues. Some involve hairdryers (passim). These melt the glue between the layers. You might then try pressing them together, or pulling them apart. I tried hairdrying it until it was hot to the touch and applying pressure, which did nothing. I'm waiting on delivery of a suction cup to try pulling them apart.

Another alternative is piezo; YouTube videos abound of people torturing touchscreens with oven lighters. I tried this yesterday but it seems to have done more harm than good; I can't even turn the thing on at the mo. I'm going to try leaving it on charge for a few hours.

Rebuilding could be a challenge. Construction details are vague. The best source of information is probably the patent, which reveals that the mechanism for reading the fret sensors is based on scanning and I2C. But exactly what and how are anyone's guess; it would probably be easier to start over.

If I can turn it on again, I've discovered there's a mode of operation which is still available, and which reads note-on/note-off from the fretboard with no need to interact further with the epileptic display. I could work with that. Just need to turn it on again. If I can't get the Misa logo by the end of the w/end I might try Synth Restore.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

This is my last post on the Kitara, just to wrap things up in case any wandering MIDI minstrels stumble across the thread.

I don't know if they'll ever release a new one, but I reckon all the old ones go the same way. If you find a working one, you should be prepared for it to develop screen flicker at some point.

Capacitive touchscreens are tricksy things. I've tried all the home remedies to no avail; I've subjected it to hairdryers, oven lighters, pressure and suction, and none of it has made any difference. The "tails" are hard to handle; no compatible digitisers can easily be found, and you'd need considerable expertise to adapt a different type.

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Rebuilding it entirely would be difficult because even the fretboard scanning is complicated, inaccessible and undocumented.

* * * *

I've rationalised it like this. Consider a vintage Alpine White Les Paul. Over the decades, they take on a dirty cream colouration. But nobody minds that.

Likewise, the Misa Tri-Bass takes on its own vintage characteristic, in the form of a defective, epileptic screen. But via the "fretboard trigger" mode, it's still possible to wring some notes out of it. And in a perverse way, I still like it.

The 'button' fretboard implementation makes it possible to play polyphonically on a single 'string' in a way that's not possible with other approaches. But although other button types are available, like the Ztar, the touch-sensitive capacitive approach is nice (even without the sensitivity upgrade; I've given up on ever acquiring the cable) - and it's unique in that respect.

This is a dumb "look it flickers but it still works" demo showing that with a bit of MIDI note filtering there's life in the old dog yet. (The mode that enables you to play via the fretboard also has flickering touchscreen pads playing other random low notes you need to screen off.) Some day I'll do something musical.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN3LtEhRdKQ
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by resistorman »

Thanks for the wrap-up, I enjoy your explorations quite a bit :thumbup:
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

BJG145 wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 3:01 pmI've given up on ever acquiring the cable

I might have a new lead on a blue USB. Keeping everything crossed.

:tongue:
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

I know I said I wasn't going to post any more about this. I lied. But...the legendary blue cable arrived today! I've spent years, travelled round the world, trying to find one of these.

It came in a ridiculously large box, with an optional accessory...

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...another Tri-Bass.

This one has "ghost touch", like the first. But as I've said, they all do. Or will all do. It's predestination.

I don't care about that; I have a workaround via note filtering on the red screen. But the firmware update has become a bucket-list experience for me, and I've got another shot.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

OK, this really is the end.

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The firmware upgrade actually worked. I wish you could have seen it. It was old school, like spewing out Linux or something on the PC's console window. The fretboard plays way better now. Happy days. :D

So, time to move on to the next thing on the bucket list...

...oh...no, that was it.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by resistorman »

BJG145 wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:39 pm So, time to move on to the next thing on the bucket list...

...oh...no, that was it.

mmmhmmmm :mrgreen:
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

I just came across a new video lamenting the Kitara's technical problems, and introducing its spiritual successor, the Mosi Nova.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1V0VbC ... iguitarist
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

How did I miss this? Mister Misa is back in town. :thumbup:

Misa Triwave

Looks like the original designer has taken inspiration from the Mosi clone he assisted with, and gone from touchscreen to touchpad. The touchscreen caused all the problems, so this is understandable.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by fazibear »

Hi. I'm just another broken kitara owner. Don't want to mess with old hardware anymore. Trying to figure out something with Pi. Unfortunately stuck. Need to figure out how the neck works. There are 2 options.
1) Use own microcontroller and scan with my own
2) Try to figureout how existing one works (looks like i2c)

Even checked source code, but unfortunately it's kernel extension named keyboard144.ko. The source is not included.

Did anyone tried to crack neck protocol? Use the neck with different SOC?

thanks for your reply
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

fazibear wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 8:45 pmDid anyone tried to crack neck protocol?

I think you're right and that it's I2C. But I'm not aware that anyone has ever repaired a Kitara/Tri-bass in this state, and I don't think anyone still knows the implementation details, including the inventor. (I asked him once and he said it was either SPI or I2C, but I came to the conclusion it was I2C.) You'd need to try and crack it with a logic analyser.

Alternatively, you could go the whole hog and rebuild the fretboard as well. I tore one of my faulty Tri-basses apart for research, and sometime I'm planning to rebuild it from scratch with RPi/Teensy as you suggest. So far I only got as far as a Fiverr quote for the new cap touch fretboard PCB design, and a name...the vdoBass. :D

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(I arranged an I2C cap-touch test board which worked OK. Must get back to this project, but the gadget budget is a bit hammered at the mo. The Kitara is a different kettle of fish of course, with a fretboard based on microswitches I think, but there are various Internet projects for inspiration.)

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