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#2897623 - 12/23/17 01:01 PM Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
There was a thread recently about the keybeds in various keyboards. This was timely for me, since I'm in the process of decommissioning a Kurzweil K2500 and would like to see if I can contrive a MIDI controller out of it.

If the information in that thread is correct the keybed is a Fatar TP/8 Piano.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to translate the output from that particular keybed into MIDI?

And before some wag says something silly like, "Use the MIDI jacks on the back," let me add that the keyboard is dead. The power supply was kaput. I got that going in spite of the bizzaro logic things they had hung off the 5V line (makes me wonder what they were smoking at the time). Unfortunately, there was still nothing at the MIDI output. The keyboard is somewhere around twenty years old. There's virtually no information available about troubleshooting it (I do have schematics, but there are acres and acres of parts and the problem could be anywhere), and trying to track down the problem would take so much time and effort (potentially futile effort, at that) that I can't justify further fix-it time. It'll be easier to start from the keybed and work my way out, building something new.

The output from the keybed is via a 40 wire ribbon connector. There's also an odd flat zig-zag wire that goes over to the pitch and modulation wheels. Not a standard wire.

The schematic for the keybed does not seem to be readily available. I have written to Fatar, asking if it would be possible to get the schematic. Their automated response was, and I quote:

"Invio effettuato con successo"

Which, if Mr. Google is to be believed, means, "Sending successfully"

Cool.

Now all I have to do is wait until sometime next year, after the holidays, to see if they will allow me to have a schematic...which may or may not be a "yes."

So, in the meantime, I'm asking if anyone has any advice as to how to proceed. All I want is to convert the output from the keybed to MIDI, nothing more. I am not trying to build in any synth capabilities at this time. I'm thinking that I may use this as a front end for the Behringer Model D (or ARP 2600, or...) so that will be the sound engine, so to speak.

At this time, it is not clear to me whether the D will accept velocity or...well...anything other than Note On/Note Off. After all the original Moog Model D didn't do such things. With that in mind, I'm not sure I'll need anything other than On/Off, but it wouldn't hurt, either. Brownie points for being able to somehow manage poly chaining, but I suspect that might be problematic, since there will be no internal synth; the first D (or Slim Phatty or whatever) in the chain would actually be #1, not #2, etc. Little details like that can kill a project dead.

Yes, I've searched the web, but I've yet to find anything that looks as though it addresses my particular situation. At this point I'm not even sure what questions to ask so if someone can help me focus my search it would help. Keywords? A website where someone has done something similar? Everything I've seen so far is either pretty trivial or wildly off track.

It's a nice keybed and I'd like to have a decent MIDI controller. If I can put this thing to use, it'd be nice. Kill two birds with one stone sort of a thing.

Grey
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#2897706 - 12/24/17 07:27 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
TomKittel Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 564
Maybe this is what you are looking for?

http://www.doepfer.de/MKE.htm

Merry christmas!




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#2897723 - 12/24/17 09:14 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: TomKittel]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5712
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Here's another one:

Diode Matrix Scanner

Check out their other products that are useful for interfacing with keybeds. I'm not sure this is the direction you're looking for as these products are geared toward hobbyist that want to screw around with this stuff. For you to make something useful out of your existing Kurz keybed will be time consuming to say the least - cool if that's what you want to be doing.

Btw you won't get anything from Fatar; they don't deal with the public - trust me.

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#2897738 - 12/24/17 10:47 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: Markyboard]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
One of the things I'm finding is that people assume you've got a 61 key keybed--max. With that in mind, most of the things I've seen top out at 64 contacts.

The keybed I've got is a 76. Ideally, I'd like to use all the keys, but that may not be possible. I may have to accept dead keys somewhere.

The Doepfer unit that TomKittel linked to looks as though it might go as far as 76 keys, but the English portion of the site is somewhat opaque. I'm going to download the manual at some point and see if it will answer some of my questions. Hopefully some of the insanity here will calm down in the near future.

Markyboard, the PCB you linked to looks as though it's a 64--like I said, I may have to go that route.

Another potential problem that I'm facing is the 40 pin connector. I'm not clear that either unit will take a 40 pin, but maybe the Doepfer owner's manual will clarify that. The Midi Hardware part lists an adapter for Fatar keyboards, but it doesn't look as though it's going to work with a 40 pin plug, even if I'm willing to go for 64 keys.

No, I don't have a problem hacking the ribbon cable, but I want to have some degree of confidence going in that it's going to get me where I want to go.

What I'm saying sounds as though I'm being critical--that's not my intention. I do appreciate your suggestions. I'm just not sure what's out there and how to apply it to this project.

Obviously, the Kurzweil folks managed to get the keybed to work for the K2500, both a synth and as a MIDI controller. If I could unravel the necessary subset of the circuitry and use their stuff I would, but the bloody keyboard has a dozen circuit boards and a veritable rat's nest of cables interconnecting everything with everything. The keybed ribbon cable snaked over, through, and under, to finally arrive at the Audio Board, which in turn attached, spider-like, to pretty much everything else. The MIDI jacks were on the Engine Mother Board, not the Audio Board. Where the MIDI translation took place isn't clear. Plus, there's no guarantee that those boards are functional, anyway.

If the kids would be quiet (With Santa on the way? Are you kidding me???) then I'd try to run through the schematic, but I don't recall that there was any functional block breakdown...just scads of 74xxx logic chips, and it's not necessarily going to be obvious where the MIDI stuff happens, at least to me. I'm more analog-oriented and do not claim to be able to scan a schematic, tap my finger, and say knowingly, "Yep, there's the MIDI translation."

It's early days yet, as they say. Some of the fog may yet clear. More suggestions, discussion, and perspective are welcome. I've got a learning curve to surmount and you guys are a marvelous resource. If I haven't been clear or if there's some detail I've left out, prompt me.

Grey
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#2897743 - 12/24/17 11:37 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5712
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Grey-
Unfortunately there's only so much troubleshooting you can do beyond basic power rail checking and such. Once you're in the digital domain you'll need a scope and logic analyzer to see what's going on. And without knowledge of the timing this could be futile anyway.

The architecture of the Kurz doesn't look alien compared to other synths of this complexity, but yes, it is complex; Probably beyond reach for those of us without access to the technical documents (besides schematics) and the right tools. Even the techs at Kurz and their outside authorized repair centers repair this stuff by swapping out boards - something that's likely to be costly.

But what the hell, it's always fun to look at the schematics, probe around and maybe you get lucky. At least you're dealing with low voltages. Keep us posted.

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#2897753 - 12/24/17 01:26 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: Markyboard]
mate stubb Offline
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Using modern hobbyist keyboard encoders with a fatar keybed is not rocket science. It's basically a diode switching matrix. 8 rows and 8 columns on a port gives you the ability to encode 64 keys for either top contact or bottom. Another port gives you both top and bottom contact encoding and you can output velocity.

If you can figure out what wiring the encoder board needs, and make that happen with the diode boards already mounted on the keybed, you can throw the rest of the Kurz electronics away. If the diode boards on the keybed are not suitable, you would need to either modify them or make some custom boards to replace them.
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#2897835 - 12/25/17 07:53 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: mate stubb]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Using modern hobbyist keyboard encoders with a fatar keybed is not rocket science. It's basically a diode switching matrix. 8 rows and 8 columns on a port gives you the ability to encode 64 keys for either top contact or bottom. Another port gives you both top and bottom contact encoding and you can output velocity.

If you can figure out what wiring the encoder board needs, and make that happen with the diode boards already mounted on the keybed, you can throw the rest of the Kurz electronics away. If the diode boards on the keybed are not suitable, you would need to either modify them or make some custom boards to replace them.


Aye, lad, but the thing is...some of us didn't cut our teeth on keyboards. Some of us did the string thing and are latecomers to little pieces of white and black plastic. This Kurzweil is the first keyboard I've ever taken apart, so I don't really have a clue what you're talking about. With no background in keyboards, no schematics of other keyboards to do a contrast and compare, and having spent 98% of my time to date trying to unravel that bloody power supply with its confounded "hall of mirrors" logic nonsense, I'm just now starting to decipher the rest of the circuit.

Note that the schematic I have on hand treats the keybed itself as a monolithic unit--no internals. So, I'm not sure how a keybed works, precisely. Apparently a bunch of paired switches, yes? One to establish initial note contact with a second one to define an elapsed interval so as to determine velocity? Not clear to me. Yet. I'm not averse to learning curves, but I do need hard data to feed my noggin. Right now I'm reduced to guessing, based on very scant information. And for all I know Fatar is different from other companies; their models may or may not even be consistent as to how they work. Again, no basis for comparison.

Also note that 99.999% of the electronics I've done over the years was analog (and with an eye towards lowering, not increasing distortion [or oscillation for that matter]). I can work my way through a digital forest, given enough time, but it's not second nature to me.

To add to the mess, late last night I found that the K2500 circuit was the product of at least two entirely separate design teams...who used entirely different naming conventions and schematic drawing conventions...and to top it all off, I've found at least two glaring errors in the schematic, so it may not even represent the circuit accurately.

I had this brief, foolish notion that I might either hack the subset of the circuit that creates MIDI info, or reproduce their circuit to create my own MIDI support PCB. So far, it looks as though the keybed goes to the Audio Board, then to the Mother Board, then to the Daughter Board, then back to the Mother Board. Some of that is totally, completely, absolutely unnecessary, because it's just passing through, then coming back. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Okay, the K2500 worked and was a good product, but that's a design-by-committee flub. Note that figuring this out is made more difficult because the Mother and Daughter Boards were designed by one team and the Audio Board was done by another.

Oh, and where, pray tell, is J707 on the Audio Board schematic? Granted, it was getting late, and I was pretty far gone, tiredness-wise, but I never found the stupid thing.

Never mind. It looks as though--maybe, not entirely sure yet because of the differences in naming conventions--the keybed signal goes into a big, honkin' microprocessor fairly early in the game. Ain't gonna try to reproduce that and all its support stuff--which is, basically, the entire rest of the damned keyboard.

Oi! It's enough to drive a man to drink.

I've got my car keys. Get in. We'll talk more on the way.

Grey

P.S.: One concrete question to begin with--does this keyboard (or any keyboard, for that matter) immediately convert the signal to MIDI, then generate the synth sounds based on the internally created MIDI sequences, or does it use the raw data to create the sounds and create the MIDI stream as an unrelated side chain?


Edited by GRollins (12/25/17 07:55 AM)
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#2897864 - 12/25/17 09:56 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
mate stubb Offline
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What I'm saying is discard all the internal Kurz guts and replace with a 3rd party scanner board that outputs midi.

There are general circuit diagrams out there that help you understand how they work.

Example (not embedded here because it's very wide):

https://www.midikits.net/midi_8x9_keys/keys_8x9_switches.gif

The encoder boards detect rows and columns being pulled low thru a diode connection when a switch makes contact, and then some firmware embedded somewhere interprets that into midi signals.

The circuit I showed above shows 1 set of contacts for a 6 octave keyboard. You would need to double it to produce velocity.

Trying to reverse engineer a complicated board like a Kurz without a schematic AND code dump of the operating system program is impossible for even a skilled technician.
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Moe
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#2897884 - 12/25/17 01:56 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: mate stubb]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Moe,
Thanks, dude. Much better.

Schematic I've got. Code, I don't. And honestly, since I don't know which (if any) of the boards I've got actually work, there's little to be gained by continuing down the path I was trying last night.

So, I've got a 76 key board that I need to figure out the pinout for, seeing as how Markyboard is indicating that there's little chance of getting anything from Fatar--and I've run into enough cases where people clam up when asked for info that I can surely believe it.

I think my best strategy will be to set my 8060 to beep when I get continuity and start running permutations of pins and keys. Tedious, but doable. I'll put it on a spreadsheet and see what patterns I can come up with. The good thing is that as long as I leave a trail of bread crumbs, I can do it for a few minutes, then come back to it later if I get interrupted or bored.

If there is a plug-n'-play solution for a 76, then I'll be golden--and it may very well be that the Doepfer unit that TomKittel linked to above will do the trick. The amount of time I've had so far has been spent on the schematic, but I'll see if the owner's manual for that thing will help clear up compatibility questions.

If the Doepfer won't work, then I may have to go for a 64 and accept dead keys as part of the price.

Are there any MIDI brains I can look at besides the Doepfer, or is it the only game in town?

Grey
_________________________
I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2897888 - 12/25/17 02:46 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins
Are there any MIDI brains I can look at besides the Doepfer, or is it the only game in town?


I used Midi Boutique when I built my organ midi controller. Jordan is in Bulgaria but was responsive to my communications. My project scans not only the organ keybed but drawbars and various knobs and switches. I wanted them to output specific CC messages to control my favorite organ software, and he programmed the controller to send everything I wanted.

http://midiboutique.com/


Edited by mate stubb (12/25/17 03:06 PM)
Edit Reason: wrong country!
_________________________
Moe
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Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

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#2897892 - 12/25/17 03:03 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: mate stubb]
mate stubb Offline
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In fact, here's an 88 key encoder specifically for tp8 fatar actions that transmits velocity:

http://midiboutique.com/MIDI-Encoders/mkcv88smf

This particular board is on sale for another 18 hours or so. You should email Jordan Petkov with any questions. info@midiboutique.com
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Moe
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Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

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#2897922 - 12/25/17 05:53 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: mate stubb]
mate stubb Offline
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Digging further, click the Product Downloads link on the page I linked to above. It has schematics for Fatar keybeds and other schematics to do exactly what you need.
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Moe
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#2897925 - 12/25/17 06:08 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: mate stubb]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5712
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Great find Moe - thanks!

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#2897930 - 12/25/17 07:01 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: Markyboard]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Arrrgh! My daughter is using all the bandwidth here video chatting with her boyfriend. It's taking a while to download things.

In the meantime, I'll squeeze out a quick question, since it's just text:

Given that I'm wanting to run 76 keys, is the preferred strategy to get an 88 encoder and just leave some hanging?

Grey
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#2897941 - 12/25/17 09:21 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
mate stubb Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Originally Posted By: GRollins

Given that I'm wanting to run 76 keys, is the preferred strategy to get an 88 encoder and just leave some hanging?


If you can't find exactly what you need, either use the 88 encoder and just leave some of the matrix unused, or contact Jordan and see if he can make you up a custom cut down version - might even be cheaper.

The 88 key encoder has a programmable start key which seems like it would be easy to match it with shorter keybeds.


Edited by mate stubb (12/25/17 09:23 PM)
Edit Reason: mo thoughts
_________________________
Moe
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Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

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#2898068 - 12/26/17 04:40 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: mate stubb]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Here's one for the Well, That Figures file:

I looked at the mkcv88smf that Moe suggested. Looks good. Looks great, in fact. On sale, even. I created an account and...suddenly it wasn't on sale anymore.

The only thing I can figure is that Bulgaria is ahead of me, in terms of time zones. The account creation process wants to know where you live. Once I told the website where I lived, it decided that it was past midnight in Bulgaria and that the sale was over. Simple, right?

Only, there was an active timer on the page for that item that showed that there was still 5 1/2 hours left in the sale. No matter whether I view the timer as being set for Bulgarian time or EST here in the US, it seems that the board should still have been on sale.

I've put one in my cart (hopefully, that goes in with a time stamp) and sent a note asking for clarification.

If I can get the pricing question resolved, I may buy an encoder for a bass pedal as well, unless someone has a suggestion for a better or cheaper option (the one I was looking at is E55.00, then add VAT at 20% [ouch--I'm used to 7% tax around here], and that doesn't include shipping, etc.).

This could take a while, given that we're in the thick of the holidays. I had written midiboutique this morning, but did not receive a reply today. Note that this isn't really a fuss on my part--folks are certainly allowed to be with family and friends for the holidays--it's just an observation. I looked at some other sites in the process of exploring options for this keybed and some said they won't be back until January. That may be true for midiboutique, as well.

Oh, well. It's not as though I don't have other things to keep me busy.

Grey
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#2898137 - 12/27/17 07:20 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
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Posts: 975
UPDATE: The midiboutique people responded this morning. I believe there was a coding error involved, but cannot prove it and they're not likely to admit it. If my hypothesis is correct, they put a decrementing timer on their site which keyed to local (i.e. my) time. They say that the sale was over at midnight their time. I was showing that it was going to end at midnight EST. When I registered my account, their computer took over the countdown, disabling the local timer on my PC, and since it was after midnight there, the sale was over.

I'm disgruntled, but I'll get over it.

Since the part is no longer on sale, there's no hurry. I'll take some time to mull this over. Perhaps another part will surface that will do the job (why are [nearly] all the MIDI encoders made in Europe?). Who knows, it might even be cheaper.

Grey
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#2898491 - 12/29/17 09:10 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Question for those who know Fatar hardware:

Which key contact is BR and which one is MK?

I'm reverse engineering the PCB for this keybed and there are little rubber boots over the actual contacts. There are two indentations per key. The one towards the back (closer to the electronics) is deeper--makes contact first. The one nearest the front of the keybed (i.e. closest to you as you're playing) makes contact later.

The schematic I have (which is for the 88 key version if it matters--have yet to find a schematic for the 76) shows lines for MK and BR, but there's no indication as to which is which.

Grey


Edited by GRollins (12/29/17 09:11 AM)
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#2899628 - 01/04/18 12:34 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
1) As Markyboard predicted, I have heard nothing from Fatar, at least as of this date.
2) In the spirit of fairness, midiboutique has admitted that their timer was at fault. They very graciously have allowed me a discount on my next order for discovering this for them. They were reluctant to consider the problem at first and I figured that this would be another frustrating case of being able to see something, but not being able to get others to believe me. But...I was able to prove my case and I want to make sure that they get credit for admitting something was up, rather than stonewalling.

I honestly can't blame them for being suspicious at first. I don't know who handles their website coding (in house or farmed out), but they were being told there was no way. Thumbs up for midiboutique for finally allowing that I saw what I saw. I know the way I'm phrasing that may sound like damning with faint praise, but I really do mean it. I'm just tired and I'm not as facile with words today as I'd like to be.

In any event, I am now in direct contact with Jordan Petkov (after talking to someone else for the last week or two) and we're trying to work out what this keybed needs in order to get the job done. If I'm understanding him correctly, there's a chance that Kurzweil may have ordered a non-standard OEM board from Fatar and it may take some fiddling with the wiring harness to get it to work properly. That conversation is on hold for the moment, as it's night over yonder.

I'd like to thank Dave Weiser again for his help in getting me this far. It's not his fault that the keyboard was broken and certainly not his responsibility to try to help me get it going again, but he was a champ. In spite of my frustrations with the circuit design of the K2500, that in no way reflects on Dave. And, not knowing the history of this keyboard, I doubt that the problems I faced in trying to repair it were design-related. If it was, for instance, struck by lightning, then all bets are off, no matter who designed it. I just don't know what happened; it was dead when I got it.

If I can, I'll try to breathe life into it...or at least part of it.

The saga continues...

Grey
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#2900846 - 01/09/18 09:39 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Okay, this is getting weird.

There was this restaurant back when I lived in Chapel Hill. It was an Italian joint on Franklin Street, nearly to Carrboro. The food was decent and the service was okay, but they had this one little quirk in that every single time you went to eat there, they overcharged. Every. Single. Time. Every plate was padded by a dollar or two. Always. Now, if you challenged them on it, they would immediately apologize and adjust the pricing to match what the menu said. It was predictable as hell and annoying. I eventually quit eating there after I saw that it was policy.

I'm starting to get that same squirrely feeling dealing with midiboutique. I don't want to feel that way, but...

First there was the sale timer problem. They're in Bulgaria, which as I understand things, is seven hours ahead of US EST. Fine. But...they run sales from Wednesday to Wednesday--apparently to midnight, their time. Yet the little decrementing timer that they show under the items that are on sale shows the time remaining until midnight EST, not Bulgarian time. The first time I went to order, it was past midnight their time, but the timer still clearly showed about 5 1/2 hours remaining in the sale because it was counting against EST, where I am. When I tried to add the items I wanted to my cart, they suddenly went to list price.

Hmmm...

So I wrote, asking what happened. They said what I was saying was impossible. The next sale cycle started and I wrote, pointing out that the timer was decementing against EST, not Bulgarian time. They said no way, but asked for screen shots. I then conducted a simple experiment by changing the clock in my PC. Sure enough, the timer changed in accordance with what I set my PC's time to. I sent screen shots of several different times on their timer.

They said sorry and offered a discount on my order (which I still hadn't placed because I was trying to resolve some technical questions). Wonderful. Thanks, guys.

Well, I got some of my questions resolved and decided that I'd go ahead and place an order today. To make a long story short, one of the items I'm interested in was showing on their promotion page. Cool. Added it to my cart.

It went from the sale price to list price in my cart. I know there's a problem somewhere because another item I wanted was also on sale and it went into my cart at the sale price.

I've written to them about the issue, but it's evening over there and they haven't exactly been real prompt about answering questions, even during their daytime hours. I assume that it will be tomorrow at the earliest before I hear from them.

Guys/gals, I hate to do this, but I'm going to have to raise a yellow caution flag about midiboutique. Not red, just yellow...for now. Maybe there's a rational explanation--like whoever codes their website isn't up to speed--or maybe things are done just a little differently in Bulgaria...like maybe, I don't know...maybe it's customary that you can only get one item on sale at a time or something. Maybe? Hell if I know.

Just be cautious in your dealings with them, okay? Double check your costs and billing.

Oh, and there's something else I should mention. I swear that at least one of the items I've been looking at was list priced at 85.50E. Now it shows as 85.50E on sale, with a list price of 95E. I'm pretty sure about that one, though I can't prove it. There's another item that I'm less sure about, but it looks like the same thing is happening there. Okay, so maybe this can be explained away by saying that they had a price increase and the sale prices for those particular items just happen to be the previous list prices. Maybe. But...

Incidentally, the timer problem is still there. It shows time until my local midnight, not until their midnight. They (or their webmaster) haven't fixed the problem.

Watch your step.

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2900852 - 01/09/18 09:59 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Yep. Definitely something wrong.

I've just discovered that if I'm logged out the mpc32mq is on sale at 85.50E. If I log in, it's no longer on sale--it's 95.00E.

Bait and switch?

I'm raising my yellow alert to a sort of orange color. Whether it's poor coding or bad intentions, you can't trust the pricing you see on their website.

If someone has an account with midiboutique, can you please confirm what I'm seeing. Note that the sale will officially end in about four hours from now, so if you try after that it technically will show list price anyway.

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2900866 - 01/09/18 11:03 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
stoken6 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 1699
Feels like incompetence rather than malice. Someone can't code a web page intelligently. Good luck with your project Grey, I'm watching this thread with interest!

Cheers, Mike.
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AX48.PM351.FC7.VFP2
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#2900869 - 01/09/18 11:14 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: stoken6]
GRollins Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
HANLONíS RAZOR:
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Aye, but bad programming (the timer, almost definitely...the pricing? unclear) can make your day just as unpleasant as bad intentions. And can certainly waste a whole bunch of time that I am having trouble justifying.

Surely I can't be the only one who's ever noticed anything wonky...

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2901584 - 01/12/18 08:06 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
tfort Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/06/16
Posts: 226
Adam Smith's razor: attribute anything to a company's desire to make more money, and you're probably right.

The price variance is probably intentional. Amazon varies the pricing on items they show you, sometimes lower the first time, more on an item you've looked at on a return visit. Clear your cookies and your browser web cache and see what happens.

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#2901603 - 01/12/18 08:44 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: tfort]
GRollins Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
I've got more that I could add at this point, but the story is still ongoing and I'm going to let things play out a little further before commenting. Suffice it to say that I have an mkcv96fx on order and paid for. No response from the company since their acknowledgement that I paid.

I must say that this has been an experience...one I'm not eager to repeat.

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2926515 - 05/11/18 06:44 AM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
I am pleased to report that the keyboard project is done, as of yesterday. It's turned out rather nicely (even my wife kinda did a double-take).

I still need to program the MIDI encoder board to do something useful with the mod and pitch wheels. I'd already done the programming for the keys back when the MIDI board came in--for some reason the keys were off by, like, five or six semi-tones. Annoying, but easily fixed.

I'll take pictures if anyone's interested, but there will be the problem of where to host them. I've glanced into a couple of threads wherein people were bemoaning the demise of free imagine hosting; my wife says her Photobucket account is kaput. It's not the kind of thing that I'll do often enough to justify paying for it.

If someone who has a hosting service is interested in taking in a couple of orphaned photos for this thread, I could email them.

The case is red oak with black cherry accents on the end caps--hand-rubbed oil finish. I may go back later and shoot a lacquer or polyurethane finish. The keyboard is the Fatar that I reclaimed from the defunct Kurzweil K2500. I've reworked the mod/pitch wheel unit from the Kurzweil and it's in the customary place at the left end of the keybed. The plastic facade had some odd flanges and pointy things that made sense in the context of the Kurzweil, but were in the way for my design. I cut them off, which left scars in a few places, but not in others. The unit is removable, so I may try to improve the cosmetics or even build my own control facade at some point. For now it looks okay, bearing in mind that the keybed and controls were worn to begin with, given that the keyboard was something like 20-25 years old. Old wine in a new bottle, so to speak.

The control surface also includes SW1 and SW2, which I may try to do something with. The MIDI encoder has functions that I'm not using and I may be able to hack something together by patching those into unused (but apparently fully programmable) bass pedal switch positions.

Speaking of bass pedals, I'm mulling the idea of building or buying a set of pedals and making them part of the set, but that will have to wait a little longer. I'm not sure where to get a set of good/cheap pedals. If I build them, I'll need a good source for appropriate springs.

All in all, a most interesting project. I started a thread recently about some Yamaha keybeds that have come available, but no one responded. Given that this worked out pretty well, I'm considering undertaking a Yamaha keybed-based keyboard, but I don't know that I'll use a midiboutique encoder...that was just a little too annoying.

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2926816 - 05/13/18 01:49 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
Okay, I'm admitting defeat.

I need some help with this. I've got the keyboard done and the keybed plays fine. The problem is the mod and pitch wheels. The midiboutique folks preset both of them to be volume controls. Well, to be more precise, they allow for two user programmable pots and both of them are set from the factory to be volume controls, but who the hell needs two volumes? I don't even want one. I want mod and pitch.

So...I've got P1 (Pot 1) wired to the mod wheel, and P2 (Pot 2) wired to the pitch wheel. I've got not one, but two midiboutique setup utilities and have tried both.

P1 comes set as MIDI Channel #1. The CC is set to 7, which is Volume, and indeed, it does function as volume (doesn't turn all the way off, but nearly).

P2 is set as MIDI Channel #2, and it's also set to CC = 7. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to do anything at all. Yes, I'll crack the case and make sure the wiring harness didn't come loose, but for the time being I'm more interested in getting the mod wheel going, as I rarely use the pitch wheel anyway (just as I don't use whammy bars on guitars...the effect just doesn't interest me much).

I've hunted on the web, trying to find some clear, unambiguous indication as to what the mod and pitch wheels are supposed to be set to, but...to no avail. I've tried a few things based on some of the things I saw on the web and got a really interesting sort of echo-ish sort of effect from one setting, but it was always on; not affected by the mod wheel at all.

Any words of wisdom, guys and gals? This is getting pretty frustrating.

Grey
_________________________
I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2926828 - 05/13/18 03:55 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
Markyboard Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5712
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
You probably mentioned it above but I couldn't find it. Which specific product (encoder/processor?) do you have?

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#2926829 - 05/13/18 03:57 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: Markyboard]
GRollins Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 975
The MIDI encoder is a midiboutique mkcv96fx.

Grey
_________________________
I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2926837 - 05/13/18 05:03 PM Re: Kurzweil K2500-->Fatar TP/8 Piano keybed-->MIDI [Re: GRollins]
Markyboard Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5712
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Got it. Are you using the windows software to program the pots or sending a sys ex message? If the latter what does your sys ex message look like?

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