Don't forget those batteries...

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Don't forget those batteries...

Postby Thirteen » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:29 pm

Here is my annual "check your batteries" message, another Korg Polysix written off due to a CPU board eaten away this week by a leaking Nicad.
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Postby Futureman » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:52 pm

Hate to sounds like a vulture circling overhead, but If you are going to discard the carcass let me know.
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Postby Starxi » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:13 am

My polysix had been in storage for 20 years when I bought it.
It appeared that the battery had actually burst at the top and exploded, spraying acid all over the place..
Was an awful job to repair but very satisfying to finally have it working after so much circuit trace work..
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:31 am

Oh, hey Steve seeing as we're on the topic of P6's, how much do you think a non functional (likely due to battery damage) PolySix is actually worth these days? I ask 'cause I know a guy locally who has two non-functional units that I'm interested in. Don't know the extent of the damage but they've been neglected for a while I think. Lowest he'll consider is $200 each is that too much?

Also, probably a seriously dumb question but these batteries in synths are fixed charge or rechargeable? And what substitute would you recommend for replacing an original battery in an OSCar, how long do they last?

Cheers.
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Postby Thirteen » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:25 am

Hybrid88 wrote:Oh, hey Steve seeing as we're on the topic of P6's, how much do you think a non functional (likely due to battery damage) PolySix is actually worth these days? I ask 'cause I know a guy locally who has two non-functional units that I'm interested in. Don't know the extent of the damage but they've been neglected for a while I think. Lowest he'll consider is $200 each is that too much?

Also, probably a seriously dumb question but these batteries in synths are fixed charge or rechargeable? And what substitute would you recommend for replacing an original battery in an OSCar, how long do they last?

Cheers.


Most synth batteries are non-rechargeable. A very few use rechargeables, the OSCar and Polysix being two of them. If you want to replace them with non-rechargeables, it is a matter of deciding if the RAM will flatten them too quickly, (which is usually no, lithiums seem to last fine), and then removing the charge circuit from the machine, (which normally means disconnecting a diode) and then installing a lithium in place of the Nicad.

As for Polysixes, if the battery has leaked and caused damage, the first sign (apart from losing the patches) is that the button LED's start all lighting up and flashing. If you are at this stage it is repairable, but that repair could be a very long and fiddly job to do, probably more than you would be willing to pay a tech, so it would be a DIY job. I have done it quite a few times, it is a singularly unpleasant job. If you think you can handle the fine soldering, then $200 might be OK as long as you are prepared to accept that you may or may not succeed.
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:28 pm

Thirteen wrote:
Most synth batteries are non-rechargeable. A very few use rechargeables, the OSCar and Polysix being two of them. If you want to replace them with non-rechargeables, it is a matter of deciding if the RAM will flatten them too quickly, (which is usually no, lithiums seem to last fine), and then removing the charge circuit from the machine, (which normally means disconnecting a diode) and then installing a lithium in place of the Nicad.

As for Polysixes, if the battery has leaked and caused damage, the first sign (apart from losing the patches) is that the button LED's start all lighting up and flashing. If you are at this stage it is repairable, but that repair could be a very long and fiddly job to do, probably more than you would be willing to pay a tech, so it would be a DIY job. I have done it quite a few times, it is a singularly unpleasant job. If you think you can handle the fine soldering, then $200 might be OK as long as you are prepared to accept that you may or may not succeed.


Hey thanks! Yeah, I've got a lot of things that need work so won't consider the P6 'till next year, my Jupiter-6 is starting to die very slowly, which is a real bummer. It'll be fine for about an hour and then I'll be playing along and the sound will drop out (crackle/fade out) from firstly one key and then more and more untill most of they keys are crackling and produce no sound. I doubt it's the key contacts themselves because I come back to it the next day and it'll be perfect again, but only for about an hour and it starts f@#king up again...

Anyway I think next year some of my gear may have to go to your workshop Steve, it's just the postage is going to be killer, the local tech has practically given up on the biz - great timing :(
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Postby rachelp » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:43 pm

Hi Steve, you did my PolySix a few years ago. How long do you think it should be before it is replaced again?

I still need to work out how to get my OSCar to you as well!


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Postby Thirteen » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:58 pm

rachelp wrote:Hi Steve, you did my PolySix a few years ago. How long do you think it should be before it is replaced again?

I still need to work out how to get my OSCar to you as well!


rachel


Can't remember what battery I put in yours, but I doubt that it is likely to leak again this quickly.
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Postby a.d.a.m. baby » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:08 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Hey thanks! Yeah, I've got a lot of things that need work so won't consider the P6 'till next year, my Jupiter-6 is starting to die very slowly, which is a real bummer. It'll be fine for about an hour and then I'll be playing along and the sound will drop out (crackle/fade out) from firstly one key and then more and more untill most of they keys are crackling and produce no sound. I doubt it's the key contacts themselves because I come back to it the next day and it'll be perfect again, but only for about an hour and it starts f@#king up again...
:(


I've been hearing of this problem recentlyover on the Jupiter forums..
http://roland-jupiter.org/
It makes me think of the possibility of cracked solder joints on or near the PSU (this was the case for a couple of my synths) - as the machine/components gets hotter the board(s) can flex a little, moving the defective joint causing intermittent problems... just a thought.
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:13 pm

a.d.a.m. baby wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:Hey thanks! Yeah, I've got a lot of things that need work so won't consider the P6 'till next year, my Jupiter-6 is starting to die very slowly, which is a real bummer. It'll be fine for about an hour and then I'll be playing along and the sound will drop out (crackle/fade out) from firstly one key and then more and more untill most of they keys are crackling and produce no sound. I doubt it's the key contacts themselves because I come back to it the next day and it'll be perfect again, but only for about an hour and it starts f@#king up again...
:(

I've been hearing of this problem recentlyover on the Jupiter forums..
http://roland-jupiter.org/
It makes me think of the possibility of cracked solder joints on or near the PSU (this was the case for a couple of my synths) - as the machine/components gets hotter the board(s) can flex a little, moving the defective joint causing intermittent problems... just a thought.

Thanks for the info - yeah I've had a glance in the service manual and man, it is not easy Lots of digital chips of all variety in there, not a job for a hobbyist like me, but I'll look into the soldering like you say anyway. Wouldn't like to get into signal tracing this beast though. Ahh well, the cost of loving old gear ;)
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Postby Thirteen » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:59 am

There are some transistors the Roland used that go leaky and cause problems in a quite a few of their older machines, particularly 909's and Junos, and from memory there could be some in the JP6 power supply.
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:51 pm

Thirteen wrote:There are some transistors the Roland used that go leaky and cause problems in a quite a few of their older machines, particularly 909's and Junos, and from memory there could be some in the JP6 power supply.

Thanks Steve, I'll remember to check that, in any case it's a job for next year. On a side note, how do you find Roland Aus support?, I tried e-mailing them about a service manual I need and they haven't yet responded - is this typical of them? I tried once before and for some reason didn't get a response at all :(
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Postby no-fi » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:06 pm

Never rely on email to get things sorted out.

ring them.

roland spares used to be really really good, but I get the feeling they don't treat it as a priority any more....
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:43 pm

no-fi wrote:Never rely on email to get things sorted out.

ring them.

Thats pretty damn poor though, I mean the service is there to be used, they should at least have the courtesy to respond.

no-fi wrote:roland spares used to be really really good, but I get the feeling they don't treat it as a priority any more....

Unfortunately, I get this same feeling.
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Postby Thirteen » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:49 pm

The spares guys at Roland Australia have fought for years to keep spares in stock for old Roland gear, as a result they still have many older spares, unlike for example Yamaha Australia who sent everything to the tip. Best to call rather than email, they do get very busy, you will need the part number, it is asking too much to get them to go find old service manuals and look it up parts for you, they are not techs, they will find the part you need on their computer but you will need to give them the Roland part number that is in the service manual as this is how the parts are listed in their inventory, not by generic chip or transistor numbers. They are good people there, and they will help you as best they can.
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:04 pm

Thirteen wrote:The spares guys at Roland Australia have fought for years to keep spares in stock for old Roland gear, as a result they still have many older spares, unlike for example Yamaha Australia who sent everything to the tip. Best to call rather than email, they do get very busy, you will need the part number, it is asking too much to get them to go find old service manuals and look it up parts for you, they are not techs, they will find the part you need on their computer but you will need to give them the Roland part number that is in the service manual as this is how the parts are listed in their inventory, not by generic chip or transistor numbers. They are good people there, and they will help you as best they can.

Yeah, sorry I'm not having a go at them or anything, just to be clear I'm not talking of parts in my case although I'm sure they're ok for that, I'm just after a V-Synth service manual - I thought it'd be easier if they could send a PDF or something via e-mail but like I say no response after a day and they say on the site that they'll get back within 4 hours, thats all I meant. Still early days I know, but still - just wondering if it's likely that they won't respond at all.
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Postby NYMo » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:29 pm

Hi there,

They will NOT send you a service manual unless you are an authorised Roland repair agent.
(If you are...ask again !)

Cheers

N
Y
M
O
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Postby Thirteen » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:31 pm

I think that Justin ( the main parts guy) is on annual leave until the end of next week, his new trainee will be there, but things may be a bit slow at the moment....
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Postby no-fi » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:01 pm

I'm not saying you particularly need to ring roland more than anyone else - I'm saying if you really want something from somewhere, then use a communication method that's immediate and direct. With a phone call you know you've contacted someone, and you know you've communicated what you wanted to. Email isn't really immediate or direct.


I've never had a problem being allowed to buy service manuals or spare parts from roland. done it maybe 5 or 6 times all up. I always just rang up and asked for what I wanted, then either arranged postage or collection. Sometimes the spares guys are busy, and in that case I'd just ring later and sort it out then.


as for my impression that they're not so keen on selling spare parts anymore... well my last experience with roland spares was a few years ago now, while I got the bits I needed, and the manual photocopy I asked for (well.. mostly) it wasn't the same as other times I'd dealt with them.... but yeah, I could possibly have got someone on a bad day...
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:04 pm

no-fi wrote:I'm not saying you particularly need to ring roland more than anyone else - I'm saying if you really want something from somewhere, then use a communication method that's immediate and direct. With a phone call you know you've contacted someone, and you know you've communicated what you wanted to. Email isn't really immediate or direct.

Well, it is if you use it - if you never check it or respond then no wonder it's not immediate :)

NYMo wrote:Hi there,

They will NOT send you a service manual unless you are an authorised Roland repair agent.
(If you are...ask again !)
no-fi wrote:...I've never had a problem being allowed to buy service manuals or spare parts from roland. done it maybe 5 or 6 times all up. I always just rang up and asked for what I wanted, then either arranged postage or collection. Sometimes the spares guys are busy, and in that case I'd just ring later and sort it out then.

Yes, I've heard the line "you can only buy service manuals if your a tech" before too but to be honest that is not really an option for me, I've taken it to the local tech, and $80 later and he hasn't even opened the damn thing up - now he says he's getting out of the business and will only repair "warranty" items, the V-Synth being 6yrs old, he now wont look at. All in all it's a small problem and I have had endless hassles with this local tech guy - all I'm asking from Roland is a manual, it's hardly much.


no-fi wrote:...as for my impression that they're not so keen on selling spare parts anymore... well my last experience with roland spares was a few years ago now, while I got the bits I needed, and the manual photocopy I asked for (well.. mostly) it wasn't the same as other times I'd dealt with them.... but yeah, I could possibly have got someone on a bad day...

Yes well in my case, the V-Synth is hardly old by any measure - should be good support you'd think.

Ahh, f@#k it, I'll just get it here; http://www.muzikelektronix.com/sm&sch.html

And they do sell to the public, I did want to try local first but this is just a waste of time, between the incompetent tech and unhelpful Roland guys I'm getting nowhere, I've had this problem unadressed for over a year now and it's starting to shit me off.

Thanks for your help though guys I do appreciate it.
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Postby no-fi » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:52 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Well, it is if you use it - if you never check it or respond then no wonder it's not immediate :)


if you email someone, you don't know if they got the message until you get a reply. Stuff can get quickly read, put aside to answer later, and then forgotten about when other important emails come in... or, stuff can get spamtrapped. hell. sometimes even hard drives can crash.

but If you call and speak to someone about what you're looking for, you always know what's going on.


it's a small problem and I have had endless hassles with this local tech guy - all I'm asking from Roland is a manual, it's hardly much.

Ahh, f@#k it, I'll just get it here; http://www.muzikelektronix.com/sm&sch.html

And they do sell to the public, I did want to try local first but this is just a waste of time, between the incompetent tech and unhelpful Roland guys I'm getting nowhere, I've had this problem unadressed for over a year now and it's starting to shit me off.

Thanks for your help though guys I do appreciate it.


or....... you could just call roland spares tomorrow morning, speak to a person, and ask to buy a service manual. Chances are you'll have one on its way to you by the afternoon....
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Postby Hybrid88 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:34 pm

no-fi wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:Well, it is if you use it - if you never check it or respond then no wonder it's not immediate :)

if you email someone, you don't know if they got the message until you get a reply. Stuff can get quickly read, put aside to answer later, and then forgotten about when other important emails come in... or, stuff can get spamtrapped. hell. sometimes even hard drives can crash.

but If you call and speak to someone about what you're looking for, you always know what's going on.

Yeah I wasn't disagreeing, I know what you mean - just you'd expect e-mail to be fairly good, I reckon most issues have got more to do with the priorities of the person using it than anything.

no-fi wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:it's a small problem and I have had endless hassles with this local tech guy - all I'm asking from Roland is a manual, it's hardly much.

Ahh, f@#k it, I'll just get it here; http://www.muzikelektronix.com/sm&sch.html

And they do sell to the public, I did want to try local first but this is just a waste of time, between the incompetent tech and unhelpful Roland guys I'm getting nowhere, I've had this problem unadressed for over a year now and it's starting to shit me off.

Thanks for your help though guys I do appreciate it.

or....... you could just call roland spares tomorrow morning, speak to a person, and ask to buy a service manual. Chances are you'll have one on its way to you by the afternoon....

Ok, one last chance then, I'll try that and see what happens.

I'll probably still get the one at muzikelektronix anyway though 'cause I want a soft copy backup as well.
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