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Viewing topic "XS key stopped working"

   
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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 05:22 AM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
status: Enthusiast

I have had a Motif XS7 for four years and I use it everyday in conjunction with Cubase 6.
Today I switched it on and realized that the D2 key is not working. Its action is as usual, but it doesn’t produce sound on the XS7 nor it sends midi data.
Is there any possible banal cause for this or I have to send it to service?
Has anyone experienced this?

Thanks for your answers…

Celius

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 06:03 AM
5pinDIN
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When you press a key on the XS, it moves a pair of contacts (part of a rubber contact strip) towards a printed circuit. The contacts normally complete two circuits on the circuit board. Since one contact is longer than the other, there is a difference in time between when the longer and shorter one touch. That time determines the key velocity.

If some contaminant gets between contacts and the circuit board, the key will either not work at all or might send data at maximum key velocity (depending on which contact(s) is/are affected).

If the contaminant is loose, sometimes a quick burst of “canned air” aimed at the spaces to either side of the affected key can solve the problem. Otherwise, it will require that the keyboard be disassembled for the contacts to be cleaned.

It’s also possible for a circuit failure to cause a problem, but it’s rare.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 06:44 AM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
status: Enthusiast

Thanks for your answer, 5pinDIN. What do you mean for “contaminant”. if you mean coffee or water spilled on the keyboard, it has never happened. If you also mean dust, that’s possible. In any case what’s strange is that yesterday it worked well, while today it has stopped working abruptely. In any case I’ll try the “canned air” solution. It would be a dream if it worked, but I’m afraid that this is one of the rare cases where the electronics failed.

CELIUS

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 07:26 AM
5pinDIN
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I used the word “contaminant” because it covers anything from a spec of dust to residue due to a spill. Small light particles like dust or pollen are the most common, in my experience. My own XS6 needed cleaning after it had been sitting near an open window (without a dust cover, unfortunately) during a time of high tree pollen.

If you try “canned air”, be aware that the contacts are located near the middle of the white keys, so spraying from both front-to-rear and rear-to-front can help. Depressing the key to either side of the affected one while spraying might allow better access. Check after each spray, and don’t spray any more than necessary.

Contact contamination is much more common than a circuit failure, and the problem can appear suddenly. However, “your mileage may vary”. While the “air” approach worked on mine for a while, eventually I had to disassemble the keyboard and do a more thorough cleaning. Since then, the problem hasn’t recurred.

Disassembling the keyboard is not something I recommend to anyone who doesn’t have experience/training in such things. If “canned air” doesn’t help, or the problem returns shortly, it’s probably time for a technician familiar with your Motif to work on it.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 07:33 AM
5pinDIN
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There’s one other thing you can try, which works if you’re lucky…

Use a vacuum cleaner with hose placed as near to the key’s contact area as possible, and operate the key numerous times. If there’s just a small amount of dust lodged under the contact strip, it might be freed that way.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 10:35 AM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
status: Enthusiast

Thanks again. your answer is very clear!
I have some experience in electronics. I’ve opened the XS7 (it is not covered by warranty anymore) and I’ve realized the problem is not electronic, as you said. The problem are those rubber strips that the key pulls down when I hit it.
I’ve tried to replace the faulty one with the one of the lower octave and the problem now is on D1, not on D2 anymore.
Cleaning the two little hammers that are placed on the bottom of those strips the situation gets a little better, but I have velocity issues.
Does anyone know where can I buy a replacement?
Can any Yamaha guy answer me? It would be a dream to have it repaired by myself without waiting for months (as here in italy we are used to) for such a banal repair.

Celius

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 12:57 PM
5pinDIN
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You’re welcome.

It seems that you’ve figured out how to open the case and remove the keystoppers, keys, and key springs. Be careful when cleaning the contacts. They are carbon-impregnated, and anything too agressive will remove the conductive portion. The same is true of the pads on the pc board. Use only a dry cotton swab, or dampen it with water. If absolutely necessary, isopropyl alcohol can be used very sparingly.

There are repair kits available to apply a carbon coating to the contacts (what you are calling “hammers"). It’s not supplied by Yamaha, but available from places that sell electronic repair parts. The kit is usually used to fix remote controls, game controllers, and the like. If you decide to try that, do not apply any to the pc board, and make sure what you put on the rubber contacts is thoroughly dry before reassembling.

When replacing the contact strip, make sure that the shorter contacts are towards the front of the keyboard. A straightened small paper clip (yes, that’s the “official” tool) can be used to push the dimpled projections from the contact strip back in place.

There are three different rubber contact strips for the 76-key model - one for the low keys, one for the high keys, and ones for the keys in the middle. If you want to order one for the middle keys (a 12-position type) from Yamaha, this is what you need:
Part No. WB168800 Rubber Contact 12KEY 2M

I hope that helps. Unfortunately, I don’t know where you can order Yamaha parts in Italy.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 02:15 PM
5pinDIN
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I checked for availablity on the Yamaha US parts site. Entering “WB16880” resulted in:
WB16880R RUBBER CONTACT 12KEY TYROS2 $8.90 (USD)

Apparently that rubber contact strip is also used in the Tyros 2. Since it’s not very expensive (the price above doesn’t include shipping), if available in Italy it might just be worth getting it rather than attempting to renew the carbon.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 05:11 PM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
status: Enthusiast

Thanks again for the info. After some polishing with cotton and alcohol the situation is really better.
D2 (which is used much more) now plays well, while D1 sometimes has dynamics issues but it happens very rarely and the keyboard’s still useable.
I’ve ascertained that in Italy there’s not a central replacement parts store. I have to contact a service. Nonetheless I’m very happy to be able to repair the keyboard by myself.
I agree with you that renewing the carbon is not a viable solution. I think that placing two different heights on the two contacts will alter again the dynamics. What’s more, I’ve never done it.
Thanks again for your support. It was precious.
Now back playing!

Celius

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 @ 05:37 PM
5pinDIN
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celius - 18 August 2011 05:11 PM

Thanks again for the info.[...]

You’re welcome - I’m glad that you were able to repair the problem to your satisfaction.

Should you ever decide to renew the carbon on the contacts, you don’t have to be concerned that the key dynamics will be noticably changed. The repair material is “painted” on, and it dries to a thin layer.

Enjoy playing your XS.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 @ 01:57 PM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
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Just another help from you, 5pinDIN. Here in Italy there’s no way to receive the rubber contacts as replacement parts. So I’ll probably have to renew the carbon coating. And here’s another little problem. I haven’t found carbon coating paint, but I’ve found silver coating paint. Silver is a better conductor then carbon.
Do you know if adding a silver coating would work?

Thanks again

CELIUS

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 @ 03:34 PM
5pinDIN
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celius - 22 August 2011 01:57 PM

Just another help from you, 5pinDIN. Here in Italy there’s no way to receive the rubber contacts as replacement parts.

I’m surprised. Did you try?:
Yamaha Musica Italia S.P.A.
Combo Division
Viale Italia 88
20020 Lainate (Milano), Italy
Tel: 02-935-771

How about Mastertronics in Milano, or perhaps elsewhere in Europe?
.

So I’ll probably have to renew the carbon coating. And here’s another little problem. I haven’t found carbon coating paint, but I’ve found silver coating paint. Silver is a better conductor then carbon.
Do you know if adding a silver coating would work?

It would probably be best to find a product similar to Caikote 44, if possible:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/CAIG-LABORATORIES-K-CK44-G-/200-315#description

Such products are usually sold for “keypad repair”.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KEYPAD-FIX-Permanently-Repairs-All-Rubber-Keypads-/290556126843?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a67ea67b
They claim “Ships to: Worldwide”. Note that I have no experience with this seller or their product.

Perhaps check eBay.it for a more local supplier.

The material needs to have three basic properties:
1) It has to be sufficiently conductive.
2) It has to be somewhat flexible
3) It has to stick well, and not flake off

Silver conductive paint might work, as long as it’s applied in a thin enough layer. The end of the rubber contact has to be very clean in order to get good adhesion. Before using the conductive paint, gently clean the rubber contact surface with acetone. Don’t apply the conductive paint to the pc board contact area, and don’t use acetone to clean that surface either.

It’s very important that you wait until the coating is completely dry, not just to the touch. The conductive particles don’t connect well to each other until the solvent evaporates, and the adhesion isn’t good until then either.

Best of luck.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 @ 11:12 PM
zikerstu
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Hey great article guys! I just discovered a “Sticky” key on my XS7 that i’ve had for about 3 years now. I have been playing alot of outdoor shows this summer. In the sweltering heat into the balmy nights. Kinda strange that only one key is doing this but I guess that’s much better than 2 or more. Do you think a can of contact cleaner would be helpful or should I just try a can of air? Or is the rubber contact underneath melted into what now feels like gum underneath the “A” key?

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 @ 11:49 PM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
status: Enthusiast

If “sticky” means that it remains down after being pressed I think that this has nothing to do with my problem. The action of my key was/is perfect, while it didn’t produce any sound or midi message. Canned air works (as 5pinDIN) without opening the case. Contact cleaner has to be isopropyl alcohol and nothing greasy or aggressive, and, in my opinion, can be used only after opening the case, removing keystoppers, removing various keys and the rubber contacts. If you spray if under the key without opening you can things get worse, because probably the dirt in the upper side of the rubber strips would pour down.

Celius

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 @ 12:07 AM
zikerstu
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Yeah basically the key takes a longer amount of time to return to it’s normal uprite position. As if there was a small piece of gum underneath it. So you’re suggesting that I open it up and take a gander under the hood then eh?

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 @ 12:42 AM
celius
Total Posts:  249
Joined  12-20-2003
status: Enthusiast

The problem is totally different from mine. In any case, having seen “under the hood” how the keyboard works I think that there are mainly two possibilities for your problem:
1. the little elastic metal strip has stopped working for whatever reason (it has broken, it has been moved from its right position....
2. the plastic key is broken.
In any case you’ll have to open the case and see what’s happened.
I recommend that you have a look only if you have experience in opening such devices because breaking some wire is really easy if you don’t pay the due attention. If you still want to open the case I can help you, but I don’t think it’s wise to publish here on the forum (where someone may try to do this and have its synth damaged) so I can send you a PM.

CElius

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