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Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

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Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:21 pm
by JuicyLime
My Edirol PCR-30 has some keys that are intermitently not responding (ie not sending signal). It kind of feels a little like it might be just dust that has got into the circuits and action so I think I'm going to get myself some compressed air and pop it open.
Has anyone got any tips on doing this?

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:27 pm
by tomas
Forget the can of air, you need to get isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. It's the same stuff that was used to clean tape heads way back some decades ago. The usual design for the electrical contacts here is basically the same as what has been used for the buttons on calculators and TV remote controls. The buttons (keys) have a conductive and soft rubber surface that sits on a circuitboard printed with black (carbon) contact surfaces. Dirt and grime between the rubber and the carbon means bad electrical contact.

You need to take the keybed a part, so that you can get inside of the conductive rubber pads and the carbon contacts. Both surfaces should be cleaned with the alcohol.

It's not difficult, but takes some time. Putting it all back together again is probably the most complicated task...

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:33 pm
by hgavin
JuicyLime wrote:My Edirol PCR-30 has some keys that are intermitently not responding (ie not sending signal). It kind of feels a little like it might be just dust that has got into the circuits and action so I think I'm going to get myself some compressed air and pop it open.
Has anyone got any tips on doing this?

My Edirol PCR-M30 had exactly the same problem. I took the back off removed the springs and a few keys, and cleaned the contacts and the underneath of the conductive rubber strips. It wasn't difficult, but you might want to use a set of long-nosed pliers to make refitting the springs a little easier.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:47 am
by olafmol
hgavin wrote:
JuicyLime wrote:My Edirol PCR-30 has some keys that are intermitently not responding (ie not sending signal). It kind of feels a little like it might be just dust that has got into the circuits and action so I think I'm going to get myself some compressed air and pop it open.
Has anyone got any tips on doing this?

My Edirol PCR-M30 had exactly the same problem. I took the back off removed the springs and a few keys, and cleaned the contacts and the underneath of the conductive rubber strips. It wasn't difficult, but you might want to use a set of long-nosed pliers to make refitting the springs a little easier.


edirol must have some problems with their QC cause last week one key of my brand-new PCR-M30 also stopped working!
i am kind of pissed of by it, cause i almost didn't use it at all...and i don't feel like opening up the keyboard....crap

Olaf

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:24 pm
by The real musiclover
olafmol wrote:
last week one key of my brand-new PCR-M30 also stopped working!
i am kind of pissed of by it, cause i almost didn't use it at all...and i don't feel like opening up the keyboard....crap

Olaf

Brand new or used, but brand new to you? No warranty?

FWIW i've seen a few of these advertised with dodgy keys.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 7:29 am
by XLII
I've got one as well & key just seem to be slowly dying off. Infact, almost everyone I know used to own an edirol midi-key at some point and now when I go to their studios I see them collecting dust in the corner under a pile of junk.

thanks for the tips on cleaning. very useful.

tomas>>>
does it have to be that isopropyl alcohol or could I just use something strong? Like Smirnoff? :lol:

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 9:02 am
by Darclinc
What a coincidence, my Edirol PCR-30 also stopped working like this, even though it was sealed in a box in the cupboard and hardly ever used.

I eventually gave it to my brother and bought a Yamaha electric piano, which is superb and has never given any problems.

You know, as they say, buy cheap, buy twice. Based on that philosophy I'll never buy anything by Edirol or M-Audio again, ever.

D.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:29 am
by ChrisCarter
Sorry to say that the 'dead keys' symptom is a known problem with some batches of the PCR family and it's been covered in this forum (and others) quite a few times now. Roland UK (& USA?) did set up a replacement scheme a few years ago and many PCR owners simply had their keyboards replaced FOC. Unfortunately I think they no longer offer this service.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:29 pm
by Darclinc
I wish I knew about that scheme ..

Ho hum, etc.

D.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:37 am
by GaryW23
I have to occasionally take my old Roland W-30 apart to clean the key contacts, so it's not just cheap gear that suffers from this "ailment" - older gear also suffers.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:29 pm
by Prophet X
Likewise. My Z1's just lost note on/off to the middle E key, though aftertouch is still being transmitted. Fortunately I've already had the experience of dismantling & rebuilding an X3, so it shouldn't be too bad - when I decide to take the plunge! It's just a case of unscrewing the baseplate & taking out a few circuit boards & the keybed itself - and making sure that you have the space to keep all the components organised!

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:32 pm
by Interweaved
Don't use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.. I've heard this weakens plastics.

Anyhow, use a silicon cleaner for circuits or switches like one of these (these sources from google):

http://www.crcind.com.au/catalogue.nsf/web_brands/Switch+Cleaner+Lubricant?openDocument
http://www.moldsprays.com/405_contact_circuit_01.htm

In fact, the stuff you use to clean a car distributor might be fine. Check the can.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:23 am
by ainternational
GaryW23 wrote:I have to occasionally take my old Roland W-30 apart to clean the key contacts, so it's not just cheap gear that suffers from this "ailment" - older gear also suffers.


Is this a difficult job? I use my old W30 as a master keyboard and a couple of keys have stopped working: been working around this for some time, which says a lot about my 'skills' as a player, but would like to fix it. Can anyone point me in the right direction of some instructions as to what to unscrew and what to beware of? Would Caig DeOxit work as a cleaner? It seems to work wonders on most things...

PS: Think I've just found answers to these questions here

http://www.milton.arachsys.com/nj71/index.php?menu=2&submenu=4&subsubmenu=2&page=10

That looks to contain all I need to know - excellent resource.

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:04 pm
by desmond
Interesting - I have a Studiologik piano-type hammer-action master keyboard I recently got down out of the roof, to find a cluster of black notes in the middle have a dodgy velocity response (ie, soft presses don't register a note - they start triggering at about a strength/velocity level of 40-50 or so.

I'v taken it apart and checked for obvious stuff (cleaned out dust etc) but the problem persists, so I'll need to get a little more "cleaney" on the key contacts next time...

Re: Fixing dead keys on a midi keyboard

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:32 am
by adrian_k
ChrisCarter wrote:Sorry to say that the 'dead keys' symptom is a known problem with some batches of the PCR family and it's been covered in this forum (and others) quite a few times now. Roland UK (& USA?) did set up a replacement scheme a few years ago and many PCR owners simply had their keyboards replaced FOC. Unfortunately I think they no longer offer this service.

Yep, I got mine swapped in January this year, might be worth a try. The keyboard was 3 years old...