White Whale not sending clock signals?

Hi all,

Recently picked up a used White Whale. It was working fine… Last night it froze up… It appears it won’t send out clock signals…

When I turn on the modular all 5 right hand led’s are orange and stay stuck that way. If I plug in the monome it shows the sequence but nothing moves…

If I plug an external clock into the “clock in” on the WW it will work as expected.

I’m just starting to learn WW so perhaps I have it stuck in some mode unknown to me? I’ve verified -12v connections and tried cycling power, and attaching to different power connections in the modular.

Any ideas what might be going on?

I’m using the Intellijel 7U 104HP case by the way.


Is the four from the right, top row button half-lit? There is an alternative firmware that allows you to stop the internal clock. If it’s fully lit the internal clock is running, half-lit it’s stopped, and plugging in an internal clock overrides this. If that’s not the case, then perhaps reinstall the current firmware?

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@GoneCaving that button you mentioned wasn’t lit at all… I think I had the standard firmware loaded.

I went ahead and downloaded the current standard firmware and re-flashed and installed via the monome.org instructions to WW ver 1.5. All terminal results were “successful”.

Still nothing… If I clock from an external source everything appears to function correctly, although I still have some testing to do…

Is there a way to test if something has failed with a diagnostics port or something? I have a lot of electronics gear and I’m not afraid to dive in with some guidance!

Thanks all

This is a shot in the dark but are you sure you have enough +5v power? Being one of the older modules it does pull on the +5v line for the grid.

Does the the clock out work when there is an expernal clock input?

Is it possible the clock in jack is broken or has a loose solder joint? IIRC that jack is a switching jack so that it is possible to detect when a cable is plugged in. If the switching part isn’t working then that could cause the behavior you are seeing

Is the back cpu board firmly plugged into the front control board?

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@ngwese Thanks for the input.

Positive I have enough +5v w/ the Intellijel case.

If I use an external clock source the clock out on the WW will trigger an EG w/ the correct time, no triggering if using the WW built in clock source.

I removed and remounted the circuit boards just in case.

I have to investigate the broken/stuck jack possibility… Not sure how to do that other than some jiggling or just replacing the jack outright.

If anyone has other ideas, let me know.


it does sound like the external clock detection (which simply detects if something is plugged into the ext clock input) might not be working properly. also, there were some changes made after the official 1.5 release, not sure if that could be related. could you give these 2 firmwares a try?

whitewhale.hex this is the latest master build (so, 1.5 plus all the changes that were added since then)

whitewhale.hex this is the same as the one above but with the external clock detection disabled - this one should react to both internal and external clocks regardless of what’s plugged in into the ext clock

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@scanner_darkly Now I’m getting somewhere… Thanks!

The first firmware didn’t work at all… The external clock would no longer send triggers in and the built in clock didn’t work either… All LEDs including the A & B were lit…

The second firmware worked. It confirms that the internal clock is working fine.

The only problem is the one you mentioned, it reacts to both internal and external clocks now. So when I connect an external clock it now blends the internal and external.

What component does the external clock detection? Is it the 3mm jack? Or something else? Would it be possible to order parts on Mouser/Digi-key and replace? Or is there another kind of firmware fix for something like this?

Thanks for helping me get up and running, much appreciated!!! But I would love to properly fix it now.


tbh it sounds like there is something else going on. although it’s strange the 2nd one worked. i’m afraid i won’t be able to help after this point as i’m not familiar with the hardware side of things. pinging @tehn

edit: to elaborate a bit (sorry, it’s been a long day at work) - it’s strange that the 1st one didn’t work at all, but possible that it’s still the ext clock detection not working, not sure. the 2nd one was indeed to see if it would react properly to internal clock if detection was completely disabled, which seems to be the case. so i’d check that jack and soldering around there.

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@scanner_darkly Yeah, I thought it was strange the first firmware didn’t work, unless updates to that aren’t compatible with whatever version of hardware I have, not sure how to check that. Not sure if there were even iterations of hardware concerning WW.

I’m going to try and flash it again tonight with the 1.5+ firmware just to make sure it wasn’t a transfer error or something like that. FYI, I did try the standard 1.5 firmware and it worked, just with the same original problem.

At least things are being narrowed down which is great. A big thanks for helping!


i doubt there were - in any case there shouldn’t be any compatibility problems.
hope you get your issue resolved!