Question about Altec Lansing VS4121 Speaker

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No Power (LED off) in the Altec Lansing VS4121

I have an Altec Lansing VS4121 Speaker system. Recently, possibly due to some voltage fluctuation, something has gone wrong with the Speakers and they dont power on anymore. LED light remains off. I tried looking into the circuit to see if a fuse was blown and I managed to open up the woofer, and see the internal circuit, trying to trace the flow of electricity. It seems that there is voltage flowing into the right Satellite speaker. But I cannot manage to figure out how to open up/disassemble the Satellite speaker. Does anyone know if there is a fuse built into the Speakers which may have blown. Or anybody ever managed to disassemble the Satellite without damaging it?

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  • sunnys3 Apr 17, 2008

    Thanx for the suggestion.

    But I actually already checked the fuse on the power supply board inside the subwoofer case.

    The circuit inside the Subwoofer case seems fine to me.. I actually checked it out with a multimeter borrowed from a friend :D

    I see voltage flowing into the right satellite speaker... which houses the controls and on/off switch, so I thought there must be some minor circuitry in there as well...and want to check that out.

    But I cannot manage to figure out how to open up the right Satellite speaker without damaging it... cant see any screws :(

    and I dint apply too much pressure..

    The problem is I dont have an authorized Altec Lansing dealer around here... and I would much rather check out the basics myself before handing it over to another technician.

    Appreciate if anybody can help me out with this.

    Thanx

  • Anonymous May 06, 2008

    Where are the four screws securing the power supply board? No visible screws on the control unit. The main speaker has one 8 screw panel into which all cords go and four screws which don't seem to gain access to anything inside.

  • czcmd_cuarts Sep 08, 2008

    thank u very much for this column , iahve the same problem something had happened on my vs 4121 there is no power kindly help cause i believed altec lansing speaker is a good speaker and i believed that you and altec people can help me a lot.
    thank u much awaiting for your response

    cuarts.


  • Anonymous Dec 23, 2016

    It is actually attached by adhesive,it has no scew..so you need a thin metal then dismantle from a side by penetrating the metal slowly to the whole round and it will open very easily
    Thanks

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There is no way to open the satellite speaker without destroying it. I tried and found that the whole thing was glued together. Mine is now destroyed

Posted on Jan 10, 2014

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  • Mir Faisal
    Mir Faisal Apr 18, 2014

    Add a Comment.

  • Mir Faisal
    Mir Faisal Apr 18, 2014

    To open the main sub woofer u need to open the front grill and then open the speaker screws first. To open the sattellite speakers just slide in a sharp tool from the side.

  • Tej Raghav
    Tej Raghav Apr 21, 2014

    Opened mine today. It's so stupid to glue the satellite speakers atleast. The mids are too low in thse, want to do some mod. lets see

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If your VS4121 units have lost power, then why not convert them to unpowered small speakers. The small cable speaker has a red/black that when spliced creates your Pos/Neg to use. Now the large DIN cabled speaker, once spliced has 10 wires to chose from. I found that the GREEN (Pos) and the silver BARE wire is the Neg. Bingo! New life for these little units...

Posted on Mar 31, 2015

There is a fuse on the power supply board which is held in place with 4 screws. Yiu will have to unplug the sub-woofer connector to remove it.

Posted on Apr 15, 2008

  • Chris Rodrigues Jun 17, 2012

    Hey Sunnys3, did you manage to open up the satellite speakers?

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1 Answer

Is there a way to use the Altec Lansing VS4121 Subwoofer as a stand alone?


Normally these low end systems components that depend on each other and cannot be interchangeable from other system. So if one of the components (sub woofer or right control satellite speaker) breaks or gets lost the whole system is unusable...
I was in the same situation. Got a sub woofer from VS4121 without original satellite speakers. I acquired satellite speakers from Altec Lansing 251 which used same connectors but the internal wiring was different and incompatible out of the box. Speakers are also glued together so it is impossible to open without damaging it. Not to mention there is no service documentation anywhere..
But if you like electronics you can try to make something based on the information bellow:
Altec Lansing VS4121 connector pinout
If you take the male connector (from right satellite speaker) and look at the pins and number them first row from left to right pins 1-3, second row pins 4-7, the bottom row pins 8-9 and the circle enclosure as 0
0 - Ground
1 - Speaker Right
2 - Treble (seems just like voltage control but may need to be confirmed: Min=0V; Max=voltage from Volume control Pin 9)
3 - Head Set Right
4 - Bass signal (not sure what the exact original design is as I have not opened the speaker) But seems like they use 50K potentiometer and some sort of RC low pass filter configuration. When potentiometer is set to Min it is shorted with ground. When set to Max it is taking signal from Right and Left Head Set (pins 3 and 5) combined through some larger resistors and low pass filter.
5 - Head Set Left
6 - Ground for Head set (grounds 0 and 6 seems to be connected in the subwofer but within the right satelite speaker they seem to be isolated with separate leads to sub)
7 - Power ON/OFF. When OFF or head set jack plugged = 0V; When ON and head set jack unplugged = 5V
8 - 5V Power in
9 - Volume (min=0V; max=5V). It seems they use 50K potentiometer but probably anything >10k should work.
At minimum for standalone sub woofer you will need to implement:
- Power On.Off (switch between pins 8,7)
- Volume control (50k potentiometer (probably anything beteen 10k and 50k will do)between pin 7 and 0 with variable output to pin 9
- Bass control - join two resistors R (I used 7k) and lets call this join point A. Attach other ends of the resistors to pins 3 and 5 respectively. Attach 50k potentiometer (I used 10k) between point A and ground 0. Attach Variable pin of the potentiometer to pin 4 (Bass input signal). Attach capacitor C between Pin 4 and Ground pin 0 (I used Electrolytic 1uF with negative end to ground) . Resistor R and capacitor C should make simple passive low pass filter (Google for formula) that should bypass anf frequency higher than 80-120Hz to ground and feed frequencies lower than 80-120Hz to pin 4.
PS: I managed to hack 251 control satellite speaker to somewhat work with VS 4121 Subwoofer but that is another subject. All electronic parts were salvaged from old broken TV so total cost was $0 but took several days of tinkering for speakers that I could buy used for $10-20 :)

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Umm, so what's the question? The sub COULD be damaged or it could be reacting to being overdriven. Sometimes resonances form due to room- or nearby surface interactions. Try moving the sub a foot or two in each direction. Or turn the bass down.

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Hi there,
I think that some wirings inside the main woofer or the tray holding it might have loosed. It could be the speakers were accidentally dropped or anything.
You can bring it to a local store Best Buy, Staples, etc. have it checked by one of them technicians or to see if it can be put back to it's place. I'm no speakers expert but that's the only reason I could think of.
If you are comfortable opening the speaker covers and checking inside the speakers then you can also try to check for some loose parts.
Hope this helps!

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1 Answer

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Regards, Andrew

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just buy a minijack-minijack cable. It's very cheap.

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