Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

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HumanMotives
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Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by HumanMotives »

Hello,

I was hoping to get some help because I'm stuck with an unusable PNW module after updating the firmware. Is there anyone with a similar experience that knows how to solve my issue?

I recently purchased a used PNW from a friend and it worked great. He didn't update the firmware in a while so I decided to flash it with the latest firmware version following the manual of ALM. Now my module doesn't work with an external clock anymore (everything else seems to work) and from the manual I kinda read that this may be because I installed the wrong firmware, but I'm really sure I did the process correct (multiple times now) because the firmware updater didn't allow me to flash a version that wasn't compatible with my pcb. The module gives the appearance it was updated correctly, and all other functions seem to work, except the external clock. I've also contacted ALM support but that didn't really provide a solution so I'm stuck, that's why I'm hoping to get some new ideas here.

My module:
- I have Pamela's New Workout, pcb board rev 063 (gray front, pink pcb)
- It worked with external clocks before I tried updating the firmware, so I think it's not a hardware failure
- Now the external clock doesn't work anymore, it does not start the 8 outputs "running". The clock settings screen reads "External Clock: Unstable"
- Again, before the firmware update I've used the module with external clocks perfectly for weeks. It worked fine.


Process:


- I used the GUI update method on Mac (as per the manual) and used the .bin firmware for PCB revs 62 and higher
- I select the firmware bin from my downloads folder and start the updater
- The firmware updater gives a pop up saying "Completed" after a few seconds. Sometimes it shows a blue progress bar, often not.
- I power up the module in my case and the display shows the new firmware version upon powerup and new features such as QUANT and LOGIC are now available.
- All functions of the module seems to work, EXCEPT for the External Clock to start the 8 outputs, and yeah that's THE feature I need to work because I sync pams to my Ableton master clock :)

I've tried...
- I've tried installing the "wrong" firmware for the other rev pcbs just to make sure I hadn't confused them, but the updater didn't allow it.
- I've reset all settings on the Pams to default. Did not solve my issue.
- I used multiple usb cables to see if that made a difference.
- I tried it on three different Macs using the GUI updater.
- I've tried clocks from uMidi, Tempi and Grids, and all say "External Clock: Unstable" 10bpm. and the 8 outputs don't "start"
- I have checked my Pams settings are clock PPQN 24 (not CV mode) and that the 8 outputs are not muted. Run mode is set to Yes
- I couldn't get the mac "terminal" update method to work. It gives me an error I don't understand. I'm not an ICT guy.


The firmware update process gives me the appearance of working: after a few seconds I get a popup saying "Update complete". Sometimes the updater shows a blue progress bar, sometimes it doesn't. When I power up the Pams after updating, it shows the new firmware in the display.
I'm unsure if the Pams should show up as an actual USB device in my Finder/System > It never does. Its unclear from the ALM manual if this is normal behavior. My screen remains blank when updating, that's correct with the manual.

It's a bit frustrating have a couple a hundred euro module being unusable because of a (frankly) quite spartan and underdeveloped firmware updating system. I love ALM modules and they seem like a great respectable brand, but this caught me off guard a little and its taken me a full week now to just try and get it to work.

Thanks for reading!

Chris
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megarat
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by megarat »

Welcome to MW. I haven’t encountered this issue myself, but I would double-check the clock settings (per page 17 of the manual), just in case something went wonky there and wasn’t affected by your reset to the factory parameters. (“Run” comes to mind, or a mismatched PPQN setting.)

Have you tried contacting ALM directly for assistance? I understand that their support is typically excellent.
Last edited by megarat on Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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auditorycanvas
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by auditorycanvas »

HumanMotives wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:31 am
- I've tried clocks from uMidi, Tempi and Grids, and all say "External Clock: Unstable" 10bpm. and the 8 outputs don't "start"
- I have checked my Pams settings are clock PPQN 24 (not CV mode) and that the 8 outputs are not muted. Run mode is set to Yes
How are you sending clock to it, and what resolution clock are you sending? Have you tried different PPQN settings?

Run? setting should be set to RS rather than Y.
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by HumanMotives »

auditorycanvas wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:56 am
HumanMotives wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:31 am
- I've tried clocks from uMidi, Tempi and Grids, and all say "External Clock: Unstable" 10bpm. and the 8 outputs don't "start"
- I have checked my Pams settings are clock PPQN 24 (not CV mode) and that the 8 outputs are not muted. Run mode is set to Yes
How are you sending clock to it, and what resolution clock are you sending? Have you tried different PPQN settings?

Run? setting should be set to RS rather than Y.
Hello, thanks for the reply!

I have tried different clock settings yes, and this didn't fix it. Im sending clock from Ableton (via Intellijel uMidi) into the rack. That worked fine before the firmware update by the way. To test, I also used Grids and Tempi in my rack to provide a clock, but the PNW just doesn't seem to respond to an external clock anymore.

I will check that Run setting when I am back at my studio - good tip.

thanks

Chris
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HumanMotives
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by HumanMotives »

megarat wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:48 am Welcome to MW. I haven’t encountered this issue myself, but I would double-check the clock settings (per page 17 of the manual), just in case something went wonky there and wasn’t affected by your reset to the factory parameters. (“Run” comes to mind, or a mismatched PPQN setting.)

Have you tried contacting ALM directly for assistance? I understand that their support is typically excellent.
I have contacted ALM support yes, but the support didn't immediately know what could cause or solve it.
Last edited by HumanMotives on Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by HumanMotives »

Hey guys,

I just checked in my studio based on your suggestions, and now it WORKS. Thanks so much!
So I think what got me confused was the Run setting. I assumed Y was = Yes :) I now have it on RS and that worked.
The PPQN setting before was on 24 (I think that's default right?) but that doesn't work anymore. I need to have it at 1 or 2 now to work with my incoming clock. But I think with a little more time I can figure out what the best settings are. I think the main culprit has been the RS setting.

I had hopes fellow modwigglers would be able to help and I wasn't disappointed
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by auditorycanvas »

HumanMotives wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:47 am Hey guys,

I just checked in my studio based on your suggestions, and now it WORKS. Thanks so much!
So I think what got me confused was the Run setting. I assumed Y was = Yes :) I now have it on RS and that worked.
The PPQN setting before was on 24 (I think that's default right?) but that doesn't work anymore. I need to have it at 1 or 2 now to work with my incoming clock. But I think with a little more time I can figure out what the best settings are. I think the main culprit has been the RS setting.

I had hopes fellow modwigglers would be able to help and I wasn't disappointed
Good to hear. Had a feeling that was the issue. If you have to set Pams to PPQN to 1, it means your uMidi is outputting 1/16 PPQ, i.e. the divider setting is at 6 (default)

You want to set the clock rate on uMidi to 1 (no division - 24ppq, fastest LED blink) and then set Pams to 24 PPQN - there's less lag/catch up on play, it will lock to clock changes quicker, and will typically be more stable.
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Re: Need help Pamelas Firmware update - External Clock No Longer Works

Post by HumanMotives »

Hey,

Ok awesome Im going to try a few of those uMidi settings 🙏 I appreciate your help
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