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Nick Rhodes “Pixelator” Guitar repair

Nick Rhodes “Pixelator” Guitar repair

Nick Rhodes “Pixelator” Guitar repair

This unique Pixelator guitar was bought by a collector and brought to us for repair.  This was really quite tragic for the owner as it was demonstrated working before he bought it but the very first time he tried to use it, it stopped working.

The idea for this guitar came from Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran as an entry to a charity auction by Rockcoture in 2007.  This was a significant challenge as at that that time the technology required to do this was not so advanced as it is now.  He worked with company LED Effects inc. in California who designed the electronics and Sims Custom Shop in the UK who did the body work.

Being one of a kind there was little chance of success due to zero chance of any service documentation.  The best hope was to contact the original design company and ask for their help.  Well, they no longer existed but I was able to track down the former CEO Kevin Furry and ask what he could do to support us.  He did still have copies of the software that ran on the Windows PC and the documentation for it.  Unfortunately he could not tell me much about how it worked and certainly no schematic.

Things got worse.  After some testing we learned that the processor that decodes the data from the PC and that feeds the RGB LED strings was dead.  Since this contained the software to drive the Pixelator the only chance was to recreate that firmware from scratch.    It all worked out according to plan, the new processor chip was programmed and fitted and the Pixelator now lives again.

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