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String up does not work... ???


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This is the first time I did the string down, which was uneventful.

I had followed the instructions. Got to the point where I put the string thru, tie at the post, cut the lenght off . At that point the green arrow symbol is lit on the MCK. When I press the MCK 3 times / sec (half way) - the red dot next to the bottom of the green arrow lights up (just above the guitar symbol for piezo) and no winding motion is present. The DF is charged.


What am I missing here, guys?



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From the Unofficial Dark Fire Manual 1-22-2009:

-pull out the MCK and turn it counter-clockwise until the #b symbol is

illuminated blue (Blue Bank)

-turn the MCK to the revolving arrow position

-press the MCK and hold it until a green “arrow” symbol shows in the center

of the Display Matrix

-release the MCK. The Revolving Arrow LED will shine blue and all the string

LEDs will shine green

-turn MCK to the e-LED, it will shine red.

-press the MCK a few times in succession, the corresponding Powerhead will

start to turn and place tension on that string.

-once there is enough tension on the string for it to deliver a pitch turn to B-LED

and repeat, then to G-LED and so on..

-single String Up Mode can be performed for more than 1 string during the

same operation

-Note: Single String Up Mode does not target any pitch, so be careful not to

press the MCK too many times, or the string could snap from overtightening.

For E, A and D press MCK 2-3 times, for G, B and e press 3-4


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Yep! That's exactly what I did...

How loose is too loose for a string before start string-up mode?


Actually, I put some pressure on the string with my finger just behind he bridge to make a better connecton with the saddle - no dice...


Don't know if it matters, but I had spray-cleaned the guitar and lubed the nut.


I wonder, what is the significance of that pink / red dot that lights up just above the "guitar" piezo symbol after the first press on the MKC to start winding up?

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There should be some tension on each string. Here's some more info from MCK's flash cards in the DF Reference Library:


String Up Mode: Pull out the MCK and go to green bank,

turn the MCK to the revolving arrow position. Now press

the display and hold it in until the String LEDs all shine

red. Gently tap the strings against their Piezo saddles,

and Powerheads will place tension on the strings. Once

there is enough tension on the strings for them to deliver

pitch, gently strum all strings.




Single String Up Mode: Pull out the MCK and go to the

revolving arrow in Blue Bank , press & hold until a green

“cross” shows in the MCK. Release MCK & the Revolving

Arrow will shine blue. String LEDs will shine green. Now

turn the MCK to the String LED you are working with. The

String you select will shine red. Press MCK momentarily,

a few times in succession.


I don't know what that red dot signifies.

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Tried the above - Nada. But....

I just decided to carry on and put other strings on besides the 1st.

I put on D next - it worked.

And then it worked with every other string including the 1st.... Weird. I am totally lost...

Must be some kind of loose connection in the MCK?

What do you guys think?

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My own two cents:


Since the strings are used for data communication, the computer inside might need more than one, or even all strings connected, to have its data flowing properly between the motors and the cpu??

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I thought I read that the tuning info is sent thru two strings to the tuning control at headstock. Possibly, the red dot is an indication of loss of communication with the headstock, so by placing another string onto DF, you enabled the communication path.


Since we have the capability to do "single string up" and "all string up" procedures, that's good, but I can't find in the documentation where it states anything about having at least two strings on the DF for any string up mode to work. Another thing I haven't checked, but does the DF still try to do an all string up process, even if it does not have or sense vibration from another string.

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the red dot indicates "communication error".

This means that a message was sent to the neck without reply!

Dark Fires body CPU communicates with the neck CPU via the strings:

E, D and B strings = - (GND)

A, G and e strings = + and communication

Next time make sure to put on at least one of the GND strings and one of the communication (+) strings.

If you put on all strings first, you will get the best performance.

Just make sure that they don´t touch each other.



You play. We tune.

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