Thursday, April 30, 2015

Korg DS-8 Synthesizer Battery Replacement and Memory Recovery.

So I spotted this keyboard out of the corner of my eye at a yard sale. As soon as I saw it had a joystick I was intrigued. That it was $30 and said “needs work” on the tag cemented my desire to own it.DSC06416It’s a Korg DS-8. Pretty fancy for the late 1980’s. I did some reading at it became clear that it needed a new backup battery installed. The voices were all weird or missing and the LCD was displaying garbage characters. A factory reset restored one piano voice, but in order to load new patches (voices, instruments, whatever) I needed to replace the battery. I downloaded the user manual and the service manual.DSC06433DSC06426Joystick!DSC06385 You basically remove all the screws and the bottom comes off. It has to hang over the edge of the table so the joystick doesn’t get stressed.korg1 Korg.DSC06390 A soldered in CR2032 3V lithium battery.  DSC06395 DSC06396 FYI, you can’t solder tabs onto a lithium battery…these are spot welded. You can buy replacement batteries but I wanted to get it running ASAP.DSC06398 I used my Hakko desoldering tool to remove the old battery.DSC06404 While the desoldering tool was warm I removed the CR2032 coin cell holders from some dead PC motherboards I had laying around. Then I made some leads. DSC06408 DSC06409 DSC06412 Soldered in the holder. Now the next guy needing to replace the battery can just snap one in. You can buy the holders but why not recycle?
Coincidentally my friend Kent had the soldered in battery on his CNC mill motherboard (a 486 processor DOS based Centroid PC control…) fail this week, wiping his incredibly specific BIOS. I gave him one of the holders and he was back in business as well, although we did have to find out a bunch of detail about the hard drive, including the Landing Zone specification in order for the motherboard to see the drive.DSC06435The power cord was missing, I didn’t have an exact match so I made do with some large spade crimps that fit.DSC06442I had this USB MIDI cable on hand and tried to use it to upload some factory patches (Sysex files!) using both MidiOx and Bome’s SendSx. But it just wouldn’t work. I could play individual notes from the PC and I could retrieve data from the keyboard but it just wouldn’t work for sending data. Much Googling found some various forum threads that said that you need a better quality interface. DSC06437In what was my second ever Craigslist purchase, I found a nice guy selling an M-Audio MIDISport 2x2USB interface for about half of new price. A quick trip to town and I was in business. I forget which of the two programs I ended up using to upload the file, but it succeeded and I now have all the factory patches installed. DSC06429DSC06428Now if only I had some musical ability…

4 comments:

Neurotic INA said...

hi, i'm from indonesia. got same problem here. don't know how to upload sysex data to ds-8 using mac. hope you can help. thank you.

Felice Luftschein said...

I don't have a Mac, but a google search for:
sysex mac midi

Turns up a bunch of apps that you would presumably use with a USB/MIDI interface.

Anonymous said...

On the battery holder, is the negative two-pronged, and the positive one-pronged, or vice versa?

Nick Carter said...

The pictures show it, but I checked, two prongs positive.
Nick