Music Player Network

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! #3006366 09/03/19 10:33 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Let's see...
I purchased my DSI MEK late in 2004.
In 2009 the "glitch" emerged. You know the one where the parameters would slip out of place.
I was alerted to this by DSI techs saying I could convert back to PE rather than the current infinite knob tweakage.
... or they would send me enough De-Oxit to remedy the issue, albeit temporarily.
The De-Oxit worked and I was trouble free for almost 2-years!
In 2011 I moved to Florida and the MEK seemed to get worse with humidity.

I bought another can of de-oxit and it seemed to do the trick.... 6 months later, more De-Oxit!

I routinely took this thing apart to keep the glitch away. It seemed to work but was predictable which knobs or parameters would be on the fritz.

The glitches got worse. So much so that De-Oxit and other brands of contact cleaners didn't do a damned thing.
The knobs are useless. Within minutes of switching on, it is out of tune, envelopes go wacky, and trying to reset makes me reach for a hammer.

Here we are, 15 years after the initial purchase.
My option was - junk the POS! Sell it for Parts and just buy a new monosynth or dig up a Used Kawaii K3 somewhere.

I decided that the Used K3 cost as much as my original K3 in 1988 ($400) and when the MEK is working it really is great machine.

I called DSI they said $225 for the kit plus shipping. That and a purchase of a soldering kit (this should be fun) will bring the MEK back in good standing.

Today the upgrade package arrived.

It's like playing the game "Operation!" ... but for keeps!
Just remember not to solder the funny bone to the bread basket.

I will update the board with the progress on updating the glitchy board with the updated boards.

Video of the process will be forthcoming.

KC Island
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006429 09/04/19 04:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 8,803
davedoerfler Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 8,803
Originally Posted by tarkus

Video of the process will be forthcoming.

pics

sorry, couldn't resist grin


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006442 09/04/19 05:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
marino Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
Ok, since you have already made the jump, this couldn't be for you, but as a general reminder to everyone else, DSI used to offer another solution: A different set of encoders, much more reliable than the original ones. Since I prefer encoders to pots in an instrument with patch memory, I chose this path. I paid about $50 plus shipping for the entire set; you don't have to replace the boards, but I had a tech perform the surgery, as extracting the old encoders without damaging the boards is not for everyone. Installing the PE boards, on the other hand, is relatively painless; you just replace the entire boards, so very little soldering is required.

I am a bit angry with DSI because the news of this alternate solution wasn't spread enough; most users believe that the only "cure" for the failing encoders is to install the Pot Edition, which is quite expensive.
The only difference with the new encoders is that they all click, while in the original set, a number of them were free-running. A small price to pay, in my view, for having a working MEK! My updated encoders have never jumped values or needed DeOxit in eight years.

Last edited by marino; 09/04/19 05:53 AM.
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006443 09/04/19 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 16,643
mate stubb Offline
MPN Advisory Board
10k Club
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
10k Club
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 16,643
Been awhile since I heard about this problem. So the solution is to replace glitchy encoders with conventional pots?


Moe
---
"FWIW, I believe all your shafts should be the same." - miden

http://www.hotrodmotm.com
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: mate stubb] #3006444 09/04/19 05:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
marino Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
Originally Posted by mate stubb
Been awhile since I heard about this problem. So the solution is to replace glitchy encoders with conventional pots?

See my post above.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: marino] #3006468 09/04/19 12:17 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Originally Posted by marino
Ok, since you have already made the jump, this couldn't be for you, but as a general reminder to everyone else, DSI used to offer another solution: A different set of encoders, much more reliable than the original ones. Since I prefer encoders to pots in an instrument with patch memory, I chose this path. I paid about $50 plus shipping for the entire set; you don't have to replace the boards, but I had a tech perform the surgery, as extracting the old encoders without damaging the boards is not for everyone. Installing the PE boards, on the other hand, is relatively painless; you just replace the entire boards, so very little soldering is required.

I am a bit angry with DSI because the news of this alternate solution wasn't spread enough; most users believe that the only "cure" for the failing encoders is to install the Pot Edition, which is quite expensive.
The only difference with the new encoders is that they all click, while in the original set, a number of them were free-running. A small price to pay, in my view, for having a working MEK! My updated encoders have never jumped values or needed DeOxit in eight years.


When I first reported the schizophrenic encoders to DSI they asked me to ship the MEK back to them but no estimation on turnaround time. Naturally I would have to pay for shipping, insurance and the $50 for the new encoders. I passed since at the time the De-Oxit remedy seemed to be working. Ultimately,, with time and humidity and Murphy's Law - the original encoders are completely psychotic.

$250 is expensive relative to the initial purchase price, however I take an optimistic view: I've had the MEK for 15 years. If I wanted to purchase a used MEK with PE upgrade it would runb about $750-$1000.
For $250 should have a good as new instrument, however Murphy's Law looms large.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006469 09/04/19 12:26 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
[Linked Image]

Attached Files
MEK unbox2 x.jpg (69.28 KB, 171 downloads)
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006470 09/04/19 12:27 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
[Linked Image]

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006471 09/04/19 12:29 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
[Linked Image]

Last edited by tarkus; 09/04/19 12:30 PM. Reason: x
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006480 09/04/19 02:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,250
Analogaddict Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,250
Yay! I’m about to do the PE conversion too... just waiting for my tech to be available!

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: Analogaddict] #3006481 09/04/19 02:20 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Originally Posted by Analogaddict
Yay! I’m about to do the PE conversion too... just waiting for my tech to be available!


you don't need a tech to do it since the upgrade is modular. The only thing you need is a soldering set for two small steps.

see video from DSI on how to:
https://youtu.be/PGrAF50ztvc

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006482 09/04/19 02:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
marino Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
Originally Posted by tarkus
When I first reported the schizophrenic encoders to DSI they asked me to ship the MEK back to them but no estimation on turnaround time. Naturally I would have to pay for shipping, insurance and the $50 for the new encoders. I passed since at the time the De-Oxit remedy seemed to be working. Ultimately,, with time and humidity and Murphy's Law - the original encoders are completely psychotic.

Yes, they told me to ship the MEK as well... but I talked them into just sending the new encoders. Probably, the fact that I live in a different continent could have been a factor in convincing them.... smile

Btw - enjoy your "new" MEK! thu

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3006518 09/04/19 05:09 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
don't jinx it - waiting on the arrival of the soldering kit and then all hell breaks loose!


Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007149 09/08/19 05:34 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Well - the good news is I followed the steps to the PE Conversion to the letter.
The programs no longer jump or change parameters without my command.
My program changes from the original board remain intact.

The bad news:
None of the VCA or VCO filters respond.
The Mod Wheel Recalibration didn't work now rendering the pitch and mod wheels inoperable.
The Master Volume won't respond.

Since the Conversion required a bit of micro-surgery with a soldering iron, DSI should've offered a replacement master board as an option.
I have a feeling I may have fried something. again I followed the instructions to the letter.


I will be calling DSI to inform them that the PE Conversion is a waste of time and money. Hopefully I get my money back. I doubt it.
If that's the case, I will probably never purchase nor endorse another DSI product again.

Anyone want to by a slightly used PE Conversion kit?

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007155 09/08/19 07:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
marino Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
It *could* be a simple matter of updating the operating system. IIRC, the Pot edition requires a new/different OS.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: marino] #3007156 09/08/19 07:55 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Originally Posted by marino
It *could* be a simple matter of updating the operating system. IIRC, the Pot edition requires a new/different OS.

... and there is my trouble. I don't have any capability to connect MEK to Computer.
Call me a dinosaur.


I will call DSI tomorrow to trouble shoot this biotch.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007158 09/08/19 08:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
marino Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8,194
If you have OS 2.0 or higher, it should work with potentiometers. Older ones won't work. Current version is Main OS 2.2 and DSP 3.4.
You check you OS and DSP versions by holding the Reset button and pressing the Oscillator 1 button.

A simple, inexpensive MIDI/USB interface should allow you to connect your MEK to computer. Or just ask someone with a MIDI interface to use his computer for a few minutes...

Btw, everything is explained on this page - including direct links to the latest OS:
https://www.sequential.com/updating-mono-evolver-os/

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007190 09/08/19 11:18 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Yeah - I need to update the OS since I am 1.2.

Hopefully it works.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007423 09/10/19 12:02 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Spoke with Sequential support - its a one man show so be patient, but they did respond same day.
IT appears from what I described, the hardware conversion probably went well. The software conversion needs to be done.

However, if you attempt to do the hardware conversion, make sure you do the software OS upgrade before you swap out the boards.

When I spoke with support and informed them I already completed the the hardware phase, he informed me that I need to re-install the old boards in order to properly receive the software data.

He also informed me that another MEK or PEK owner did the same thing I did, but it should be ok. Just open the hood, reconnect the ribbons to the old boards and connect midi to USB.

Murphy's law says: I will most likely run into a software issue at this phase. Stay tuned.


Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007735 09/12/19 11:59 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
FAILURE

I received my chinese midi/usb cables yesterday.
Connected to a lenovo lap top running windows 7
downloaded the Midi-OX to drive the OS Files to the MEK.
No luck.

I switched over to MAC and used the SYSEX driver.
It appeared to work.

I checked parameters that were not responding, only to realize FAIL.

If anyone wants my MEK for parts and the PE Conversion board PM me and I will part with the whole thing for cheap.

Probably the last DSI product I will ever own.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007737 09/12/19 12:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 8,796
Steve Force Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 8,796
I remember doing the encoder conversion years ago, and it was seamless. No soldering was need, AFAIR.

Don't be so hard on DSI, tarkus--a lot has happened with DSI/Sequential since that board came out...

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: Steve Force] #3007756 09/12/19 02:32 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
Originally Posted by Steve Force
I remember doing the encoder conversion years ago, and it was seamless. No soldering was need, AFAIR.

Don't be so hard on DSI, tarkus--a lot has happened with DSI/Sequential since that board came out...


I wonder why no soldering on your conversion? Seems that the instructions from DSI have now rendered my MEK more useless than before.
Before I did the conversion, the encoders/values would jump or skip. At least I had some semblance of program-ability albeit frustrating.

I think DSI should either refund me for the conversion kit or provide me with a new master board at a reasonable discount.
In fact, all of this could have been avoided on their part if they had included a converted updated Master along with the PE conversion.

Am I asking too much? Probably.

I am looking at a Korg Prologue to replace the MEK

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3007968 09/13/19 07:31 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
We going one more time>
Spoke with Carson at DSI. He believes that the MIDI USB connector I purchased could not transmit the SYSEX data.
I'm out another $45 and purchased the M-Audio Uno.
He also suggested resetting the global parameters.

Saturday should be interesting.

At this point, the MEK PE Conversion is $315 total.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3008065 09/15/19 12:12 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166

I was a little harsh on DSI. I had some good times with the MEK. When it was operational, it was a great instrument.
When I was without my Triton for a about 6-weeks (getting serviced) - I played nothing but the MEK. Changed my way of thinking in terms of synthesis and soloing.
So I have DSI to thank for several years of synthesis re-education and monophonic appreciation.

nothing lasts forever.

Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3008070 09/15/19 02:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 8,803
davedoerfler Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 8,803
nice post cheers


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: DSI MEK PE Conversion Imminent! [Re: tarkus] #3008099 09/15/19 01:23 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
tarkus Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,166
FWIW -

If you plan on doing the PE Conversion, here are things you will need in addition to the DSI Recommendations:

Before you do anything, update the OS.
You will need an M-Audio UNO or something similar to execute the Sysex transfer.
Do not buy a cheap USB to Midi. While a cheap USB to Midi may work for playing applications they suck when confronted with sysex data.
M-Audio packages a Disc for driver installation. Seriously, I have three laptops in my home and none of them have disc drives...
M-Audio has the applicable software on it's website.

Tools:
Soldering kit with a needle fine tip. you will need this to remove the two micro-processors that are the size of a gnat!
Tweezers - steel em from your wife or your girlfriend. A sturdy pair of fashion tweezers (not the zircon encrusted variety of FZ lore) are far superior to the alloy tweezers that are usually in the soldering kits.
Magnifying lens, the kind a jeweler or a watch repair uses with a reference light would be optimum. Not the handheld variety.
If not, buy a pair of 1.5 to 2x power reading glasses. You will be glad you did.
I had to stack my reading glasses to locate and perform the micro surgery.
steady hands a must. lay off the coffee before you attempt this.
a solder sucker or solder wick is a must to clear the playing field.


Moderated by  Dave Bryce, Stephen Fortner 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3