How smooth are your Arc encoders revolving?

I just received an Arc4 and wondered how smooth the encoders are supposed to be. Two of them are moving as if in a bed of melted butter, with a nice amount of resistance though - feels just right and is fun to play just with a finger tip.

Then one has an amount of resistance that I have to turn it with more force otherwise my finger slides over the aluminium without an effect. It is harder to be precise with it and when I just use one finger I tend to push the Arc around on the table. It does some grinding noise too.

The fourth one is somewhere in the middle.

Looks like this and I’d be interested if yours are alike:

https://youtu.be/R25kmq7wqLQ

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Mine first arrived from Control with some fairly stiff encoders. I was among the lucky few with an FTDi chip failure so I sent it back to Tehn and he fixed it promptly. He must have adjusted the encoders as well because when it returned they were smooth as silk. They still are. Maybe there is a simple way to make this adjustment? I read somewhere that lifting on them slightly may help but don’t do this until someone confirms.

@Leverkusen I’ve had similar thoughts about the 2016 arc, a couple slide almost too fast, one makes a faint grinding noise, and there seem to be somewhat irregular spots in the rotation where the tension gives or increases.

All the same I’ve been really really enjoying the arc, to the point that I recently grabbed a 2012 arc4 off the forum at a nice price (I know it’s dumb, but it matches my grid), and very quickly noticed that by contrast the rotation was incredibly smooth and consistent across the knobs. I’d been meaning to write Brian about a possible adjustment on the 2016 arc

@bradfromraleigh for me lifting the knobs changes the rotation for a short period and not in a reliable way, then they seem to settle back to their original tensions.

@Leverkusen e-mailed you, sounds like an assembly defect.

@tambouri e-mail info@monome.org as i’d recommend sending it in for reconditioning

some of the very early units have a different bearing, which was incredibly laborious to hand-tune. we designed a new bearing for more consistent assembly.

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Brian swapped the bearings out on my arc and can attest to the dramatic improvement.

Hm, mine came with one encoder hanging loose from the transport vibrations and I had to fix it following Brians advice. From what I’ve seen inside I am not sure if lifting them is a good idea on the long run.

Yes, thanks a lot! I’ll think about it and let you know.

Sent mine in and the work beautifully

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this makes no difference on the new bearing, as the greasing is on the shaft. lifting the early-version bearings disengages the knob (so very slightly) with the greased bearing, hence a discontinuity in acceleration. the issue with the original design is due to our manufacturer not being able to hit tolerances-- and we had to switch to a new producer.

that said-- i toured with the original version bearings for over two weeks playing shows every day and never had a problem. certain issues crop up in production-quantities that are incredibly difficult to foresee in the prototyping stage.

my strong advice to any future makers-- mechanical objects are very difficult to design and manufacture. code, circuit design, metal plates-- these are non-challenges. know what you’re getting into.

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I did not meant that I have seen anything horrible inside - in case it came across like that. What I meant was that it is filigree (if this is the right word) work and pulling on it might bend and warp something.

Indeed, while fixing the loose knob on mine I noticed that the center screw is slightly warped and this might be related to the impression of “irregular spots” @tambouri reported.

I although wondered if it could be caused by some mechanical warping happening while shipping (i.e. flying) due to extreme temperature changes.

Although I am perfectly convinced that it still works without issues that make it impossible to use for shows/touring.

And I can see that designing a mechanical objects is quite a task. I am thankful that you did this as it is a promising instrument and I am sure it will be great when the software is fully developed perhaps some more of Arcs potentialities have taken full effect in it.

Hi, just got my Arc4 and yes, I also have a scratchy encoder. I read somewhere that it might be a grease problem?

Now it’s running smoothly. My guess is the arc was cold and wasn’t transported horizontaly, so that somehow influenced the grease and smoothiness!

Following some procrastination on my part and an unfortunate beverage spill into my poor arc, I finally sent my arc back to monome hq. It got back to me quickly, and I could not be more happy w/ the reconditioning on the encoders. they are so smooth

thank you @tehn & co.

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