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Bad Key on ZR-76


smooveface

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I've got an Ensonuiq ZR-76 with a bad key - when you press the key you don't hear anything - but for just this one key. I've seen a few postings in the past about this being a commom problem where all you had to do was clean the contact point. I think I can do this. I've built a PC from scratch before:)Anybody have any experience with these sort of things and how I should go about doing this and things I need to be careful of? I would imagine I need to make sure I was grounded and all of that. I just don't want to go in there are screw something else up in the process.
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I've opened up a KS-32 and replaced keys and just the other day opened up an MR-61. Ensoniq stuff is well designed and you should be able to unscrew 4-6 screws and flip the lid and have the keys exposed. They're easy to take out to clean or replace or just to clean the contact points. You don't have to worry so much about grounding yourself unless you're installing expansion boards or messing with the computer bits.

Gig keys: Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Crumar Mojo 61, Crumar Mojo Pedals

 

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Originally posted by niacin:

I've opened up a KS-32 and replaced keys and just the other day opened up an MR-61. Ensoniq stuff is well designed and you should be able to unscrew 4-6 screws and flip the lid and have the keys exposed. They're easy to take out to clean or replace or just to clean the contact points. You don't have to worry so much about grounding yourself unless you're installing expansion boards or messing with the computer bits.

Thanks for the replies on this. Much appreciated. This is a COOOOOOl board!

 

The keys on my ZR-76 are weighted. I was able to pull the keyboard assembly out of the casing, I'm just not sure how to remove indivual keys. They all seem to be connected together. What I've found is the offending key now seems to be making contact with the contact point. THe only think I see now is when I press the key down as it returns to its original position it makes a clunking sound. Almost like there's an issue with the weight part. Would I just need to replace that key?

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HA HA HA ... I have the MR76 and it's a BEE-ATCH to get at the keybed. Worst synth I've even dug into, total opposite of Sequential Circuits. Hopefully the ZR is better; they don't use the same keybed part. Getting it apart is a real nightmare, and I'm pretty handy and take things apart all the time. There was one screw (on a cheek block) that I was barely able to get out (had to bend plastic to get a screwdriver on it) and was unable to find any way to put back on.

 

So, don't expect it to be a walk in the park, but don't be afraid to give it a try as long as you're not a walking disaster with tools.

 

Whoever, I believe there are no contacts at all; I think it's a Hall effect sensor. In other words, the proximity of a magnet causes the circuit to trigger. But I could be wrong.

 

It's a Fatar keyboard, if that helps.

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Originally posted by learjeff:

HA HA HA ... I have the MR76 and it's a BEE-ATCH to get at the keybed. Worst synth I've even dug into, total opposite of Sequential Circuits. Hopefully the ZR is better; they don't use the same keybed part. Getting it apart is a real nightmare, and I'm pretty handy and take things apart all the time. There was one screw (on a cheek block) that I was barely able to get out (had to bend plastic to get a screwdriver on it) and was unable to find any way to put back on.

 

So, don't expect it to be a walk in the park, but don't be afraid to give it a try as long as you're not a walking disaster with tools.

 

Whoever, I believe there are no contacts at all; I think it's a Hall effect sensor. In other words, the proximity of a magnet causes the circuit to trigger. But I could be wrong.

 

It's a Fatar keyboard, if that helps.

You're right, it was a bear getting the assembly out. Actually, it doesn't sound as bad as the MR. I had to use press down this piece of plastic to dislodge the key. After peeling back the covers, it looks like the weighted portion of the key (not sure what it's called) is making a cluncking sound when it goes down. I think it's because of the felt strip underneath it that passes At any rate, I got the key off.

 

I'm going to poke around in here for a bit.

 

Thanks again

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Yup, a problem with these FATAR keyboards is that with enough heavy playing, something breaks and after that the flyweight slaps CLACK when you strike a key. However, this particular damage doesn't affect the sound coming out the line out jacks. It doesn't feel nice, but it doesn't affect playing if you don't let it psych you.

 

Hope you find the broken part and can fix it!

 

And yes, I'd heard that the ZR wasn't as bad as the MR. Just a rumor, though.

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Originally posted by learjeff:

Yup, a problem with these FATAR keyboards is that with enough heavy playing, something breaks and after that the flyweight slaps CLACK when you strike a key. However, this particular damage doesn't affect the sound coming out the line out jacks. It doesn't feel nice, but it doesn't affect playing if you don't let it psych you.

 

Hope you find the broken part and can fix it!

 

And yes, I'd heard that the ZR wasn't as bad as the MR. Just a rumor, though.

The feel is driving me crazy and I cant figure the problem out. Any ideas on how to fix this?
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I fixed a couple of mine by taking the fuzzy side of some adhesive velcro and sticking a small square on. Don't remember whether I stuck it on the flyweight or the key, but it helped a lot. I did that to 3 keys that were broken. However, it was a temporary fix because eventually (say, after a year) the velcro must have shifted off the correct spot. Also, I now have a whole mess of broken keys.

 

Given how hard it is to get at the keyboard, I'll wait a bit and then maybe try again. This time using bigger pieces of velcro, and sticking them where the flyweight strikes rather than on the flyweight.

 

And I'm kind of getting used to it. But it isn't a nice feeling, and kind of hard on the fingers too. Playing "quietly" isn't quite as quiet as it should be!

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Originally posted by learjeff:

I fixed a couple of mine by taking the fuzzy side of some adhesive velcro and sticking a small square on. Don't remember whether I stuck it on the flyweight or the key, but it helped a lot. I did that to 3 keys that were broken. However, it was a temporary fix because eventually (say, after a year) the velcro must have shifted off the correct spot. Also, I now have a whole mess of broken keys.

 

Given how hard it is to get at the keyboard, I'll wait a bit and then maybe try again. This time using bigger pieces of velcro, and sticking them where the flyweight strikes rather than on the flyweight.

 

And I'm kind of getting used to it. But it isn't a nice feeling, and kind of hard on the fingers too. Playing "quietly" isn't quite as quiet as it should be!

Lear,

Thanks for the reply. I actually found and old Ensoniq tech who was willing to rebuild the entire keybed for me - no thanks. He did say he'd sell me the weights so I can install them myself. The question is how hard would it be to replace them myself. Hmmm. I'll wait on this one myself. At first my biggest concern was there was a key that did not make a sound at all where I had the problem. After going in and pulling the keyboard out, somehow I resolved that issue. Thats was my primary concern.

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I was able to get an entire new set of keys for my KS32 several years back and I think it was either $100 or $200. I put them in and it wasn't all that bad. They have now got the flops like Jeff's and it is distracting when you want to play soft. All that clicking and clacking going on.

Jimmy

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good news bad news.

 

Good news is that I was able to pull my whole MR76 keybed out and fix all my clacking keys. Last time I had it open I guess I just didn't realize how close I was to having the whole keybed out. This means that if I ever want to (and they're still available) I can get a new keybed and install it myself.

 

I had to do something because one of the broken plastic parts that causes the keys to clack had gotten wedged under one key, making it play funny (feel wrong).

 

While I had it all out I was able to get a good look at just what breaks & stuff. To fix a clacking key, I took the key off and pressed a piece of soft adhesive velcro on the underside of the key. I put as big a piece as would fit, about 1/2" x 1" -- earlier I'd stuck small squares there and the fix didn't last very long. Hopefully these pieces will last longer.

 

I found that it's possible to move the flyweights, but not particularly easy, and with some possible wear on one part, so I didn't move the clacking flyweights to less-used keys.

 

Now the bad news. The sensor for the key is a pair of hall-effect sensors. At least, I think that's what they are. Same as you find if you take a modern foot pedal apart: black rubber "boots" with little round magnets in that move when pushed from above, and below that the circuit that detects the magnet. What I've found with these things is, when I take 'em apart, they never work again. Now, usually they're dodgy to begin with or I wouldn't take 'em apart. But the bottom line is I'm not able to fix them by doing anything simple.

 

Also, these sensors are embedded into a big part that runs the whole length of the keybed, and it doesn't look feasible to exchange a broken one with a good one. Nor could I find any way to look under the black rubber part (other than pulling it off, which I'm sure not going to do on a working key!)

 

There are two sensors at different heights, signalling when passes. Velocity would be calculated from the time interval.

 

My guess is that you'll need a new keybed to fix the broken key. If there were a number of keys that didn't work, chances would be better that reseating the connectors between keyboard and circuit boards would help. But with just one broken key this is unlikely. There far fewer than 77 traces on the cables, meaning that there isn't one wire per key plus ground.

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