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NEW Poly AT & MPE Capable MIDI Keyboards - Who & When ??? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 1 day ago
  #31
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AdmiralQuality's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
How hard is it to refurbish those old Ensoniq boards? I’ve got a hankering to get my old (or someone’s old) TS-10 back in the mix. I loved that little synth, and a banishment from my studio means that I need to do more in less space, and a MIDI controller that’s not making a sound seems like it should be first up against the fence in this revolution. I just don’t want to buy one and find out that it’ll take a grand to get it playing right.

[edit] I hope it’s easy! I just bought one!
I haven't done one yet. I did have an EPS for a while that I used when testing Poly-Ana's Poly-AT and it was quite hard, I had to lean on it with scary amounts of force on it to get maximum pressure, but I let it go shortly after I finished the testing.

My understanding is there's some rubber pads or bushings that have hardened and there aren't replacement parts available for them, though apparently it's possible to fashion new ones.

I've repaired ESQ-1 keyboards but they don't have pressure at all, not even channel pressure. (Their problem is the keyboard circuit board traces tend to corrode and go open, requiring lots of jumper wiring around the breaks.) The SQ-80 was their first poly-pressure 'board. That's the one I'd really like to find. I did fix the channel-pressure strip in a JX-8P once. No rubber there, its issue was the inside of the touch strip had become corroded and needed to be pulled apart and cleaned. It's glued together but I seem to recall it wasn't too hard to get apart and back together. Once I cleaned off the black corrosion it became very nicely sensitive.

Please let us know how your refurb goes if you end up taking it on.
Old 1 day ago
  #32
Lives for gear
 
DrJustice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
How hard is it to refurbish those old Ensoniq boards? I’ve got a hankering to get my old (or someone’s old) TS-10 back in the mix. I loved that little synth, and a banishment from my studio means that I need to do more in less space, and a MIDI controller that’s not making a sound seems like it should be first up against the fence in this revolution. I just don’t want to buy one and find out that it’ll take a grand to get it playing right.

[edit] I hope it’s easy! I just bought one!
I have an Ensoniq VFX SD with a defective panel board (only the display is failing, the knobs still work). I've been thinking about breaking it up and use the keybed and its controller, the "KPC" board. The small controller board does all the keyboard scanning and talks to the main board through an SPI port. I've been searching all over the net for info on this board, but I've found nothing. So as of now it'd need reverse engineering by hooking into the SPI bus to analyze the traffic, and then employ an MCU to talk SPI to the KPC and output MIDI. Nice little DIY project there.

Syntaur says this about the KPC board:
"KPC board, for Ensoniq keyboard. Several keyboards use this same PC board, but with different firmware on the EPROM chip (the socketed chip with the paper label). You may need to swap this chip from your old board for correct operation. This board mounts on the keybed chassis, underneath the keys."

I've attached a ZIP archive with the keyboard and KPC schematics from an SQ-80. This circuitry may be universal for all the Ensoniq poly AT keyboards since no model is specified on the schematics (ref. Syntaur's comment), If anybody has any more info on that, I'd be grateful!

Somebody (Fatar...) ought to pick up this principle and make a cheap, no moving parts, poly AT keybed. With a modification/extension, X/Y/Z sensing would be possible if combined with a flexible hinge mechanism for the keys.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Ensoniq_KPC.ZIP (3.84 MB, 0 views)
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