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Fixing clacking Fatar keys


JeffLearman

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Playing hard on a Fatar keyboard causes a small plastic part to break off. After this happens, the response stays the same, but you hear (and feel) a resounding CLACK when you play a strong note.

 

The good news is it's fixable! Here's how.

 

Other than tools you need to take your board apart, and perhaps a small flat screwdriver, no special tools are required. Get some heavy-duty adhesive velcro. We'll only use the fuzzy side.

 

Take the keybed out (a bitch of a job the 1st time on my MR76, because there's a screw you can't get out without removing another screw you can't get at until you remove the 1st screw ... so after the 1st time I left that screw out!)

 

Remove the spring at the back of the key, as shown here:

 

http://learjeff.net/forums/keyboard/fatar-1.jpg

 

Press the nub at the back of the key in with a screwdriver or whatever, and with a finger lift the key from under where the spring came off. You'd see my finger there, except that that hand is trying to hold the camera.

 

http://learjeff.net/forums/keyboard/fatar-2.jpg

 

With a little wiggling, off comes the key. Wheeee.

 

http://learjeff.net/forums/keyboard/fatar-3.jpg

 

Cut a rectangle of fuzzy sticky velcro to fit and slap that puppy on:

 

http://learjeff.net/forums/keyboard/fatar-4.jpg

 

Put it all back together the obvious way, and bingo!

 

The key will feel a bit different when it stops at the bottom of a strong stroke, but it'll feel a lot more like the normal keys and won't make that horrid clacking sound!

 

The other good news is that the changes (for the broken key in the first place, and for the fixed key as well) only affect the feeling AFTER the note has played. It won't affect your playing directly -- only if the difference in feeling affects you.

 

Several other manufacturers use these same keyboards. If anyone happens to know, please let us know!

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you can also buy new weights which solves the problem. There is s little foot on the back/bottom of the weight that stops it from coming up to the bottom of the key (where Learjeff installs the Velcro). LJ's is cheaper and I can vouch for how well it works. The black key and white key weights are different.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

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Thanks for all the pointers and pictures. I had this problem on earlier Fatar 88-key boards years ago, and it's one reason I steered clear of the brand for so long. I am hoping the VMK-series, with its "Grand Touch" action, can absorb more pressure :-).

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Jim is correct that clacking is caused by breaking off of a small tab on the bottom of the flyweight (not shown above). Replacing the entire flyweight would solve the problem, but I don't see how this can be done on my keyboard.

 

Piano4u, most likely your problem is a completely broken flyweight, since it has 2 problems: clacking plus playing at 128 velocity (unless you play it feather-lightly).

 

Keys that always play at 128 have broken flyweights, not just the broken tab. I had one such key, and it was a bee-otch trying to fix it.

 

I was able to extract the flyweight for the broken key, but I had to cut off the aforementioned tab to do so. Fortunately, I was able to fix that problem, and glue the flyweight assembly back together, and (amazingly) get the whole thing back in, reassembling the little felt strap and rubber keeper at the back end ... ack. I repeat, ack.

 

And I'm pretty sure that my fixed key will break again before long.

 

I'd sure like to see what Jim's talking about with new ones. Either the new part is different, or else his keybed is different, because I can't imagine any way of getting a whole flyweight into place, without cutting steel on my keyboard. (Well, that, or sliding the whole flyweight hinge pin, which is a single piece that goes through all 73 flyweights and would be a REAL hard part to fuss with.)

 

I like the feel of the Fatar boards for multi-purpose keyboards, since it's weighted and responsive enough for piano playing, while being light enough for other purposes -- even hammond palm swipes. But it's not fast enough to do the rapid 1-note keystrokes ala Keith Emerson and others (and which Billy Joel does on piano). Well, I can't do it, maybe someone else can!

 

 

 

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I've spent a lot of hours fixing broken keyweights on the Fatar TP-10M actions used on the Kurzweil K2600Xs. There are two metal poles that the counterweights are attached to. It's possible to use a pair of pliers to remove a broken counterweight and force a replacement back onto the metal pole, but it takes a lot of force and patience. The full velocity issue could be related to debris or even dried liquid in the sensor board. The sensor board has groups of rubber pads with two contacts that the key presses in - the timing between the initial contact and the second one is what determines "velocity", and it doesn't take much to screw up this system.

 

My personal solution to these problems has been to get a K2600R and connect it to a Roland RD700SX.

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