VMX-2000 AV mixer – with magic smoke!


Back in the days of physical AV mixing at home, there were many devices available. I have a bit of a soft spot for these, especially when there are loads of relatively pointless flashing LEDs! I found this one in a local charity shop, sealed and unused:

Serious retro style!

So what is this for? Well, according to the blurb on the back it offers:

3-channel mixing of your original soundtrack with stereo of mono music and narration

Fade pictures and sound at the flick of a switch for step by step editing

Improves picture copy quality, with bypass and switchable input facilities

That’s more than anyone has a right to expect back in the day, right? I can just imagine how many terribly boring ‘narrations’ have been added to blurry videos of holidays from the Algarve… <shudder>

Opening the box there is a poewrsupply and some instructi9ons. Also a rather surious note:

Curious note

Now to be honest here I didn’t actually see the note before I plugged it in… Interestingly, the back of the unit shows a 12v power socket and the power supply is 15v… Hey! I’m sure it will be fine… Well, I think… <sniff> hold on! What’s that? Is that smoke? <cough> Yeah, it is!

I didn’t get a picture of it, but smoke appeared around the power switch and made my garage stink! Well, so much for my dreams of retro video editing, or at least some more flashing lights. Time to take it apart and have a look.

Old school, but I love it! Not a digital bit in sight!

So the smoke was from around the power switch and hello? What do we have here?

That capacitor has undressed itself! Disgusting! Time to whip that out and take a closer look:

So time to replace that. It is a 1000uF electrolytic at 16v. In my box of parts I have something close, a 1000uF at 25v. I’m sure that will be fine. Some quick messing with the soldering iron and lets see what happens:

It’s like nothing ever happened. Luckily because this is a relatively low power DC board there is no really high power melty stuff going on. Plug it in the fire it up (poor choice of words there I know)

Nice! I will dive deeper in this unit later and we can see what is possible with it. I am thinking a nice retro desk for controlling audio for Zoom calls and music. I also wondered if this might be useful when building out a retro DOS gaming PC that I had in mind. Perhaps into the Commodore PC10 with its Composite video out? If could combine that with an OPL3 8-bit ISA sound card, then hey!

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