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Yamaha DX21 screen replacement - OLED screen in and working
Old 1st August 2014
  #1
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danielb's Avatar
Yamaha DX21 screen replacement - OLED screen in and working

Hi all,

Today I successfully replaced the screen in my Yamaha DX21 with an OLED.

I managed to find an OLED screen that is exactly the same size as the original LCD. It is also driver-compatible:



14 solders and a bit of faffing later, it was in and working. It looks great:





As you can see, the difference between this and the old non-backlit LCD is huge. Mine had developed a nasty black border where the display didn't work too.

I epoxied the plastic window to the case. Previously it was stuck to the actual screen with double sided tape. There is a bit of excess glue which I'll scrape off with a knife once it's completely dry.

D.
Old 1st August 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Looks good.

Any details on the display, make/model, supplier, specs, driver type, any other colours available, etc.?
Old 1st August 2014
  #3
Gear Nut
 

That looks amazing! Nice and clear. The DX21 was my first proper synth, and I used to program some amazing sounds out of it, mostly by happy error I may add! The only minus was that the lack of velocity response from the keyboard really held up my playing technique....
Old 1st August 2014
  #4
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danielb's Avatar
It's called an Electronic Assembly EA W162-XLG.

Details are here:

http://www.lcd-module.com/fileadmin/...doma/olede.pdf

D.
Old 1st August 2014
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Sexy as hell. Do you happen to know if this also fits a DX7?
Old 1st August 2014
  #6
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danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Sexy as hell. Do you happen to know if this also fits a DX7?
Thanks...

I've been wondering the same thing. I don't know for sure.

I've also been wondering whether it would be reasonably simple to replace the 40x2 screens in the DX7II and the TX802.

D.
Old 1st August 2014
  #7
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flat's Avatar
Very nice indeed.

I wish I could invert the display on my JD-800 but I think those screens are non standard size.

Great result
Old 1st August 2014
  #8
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Oh wow!!! The DX21 was my second synth and my first synth I used in a band. It was amazing the cover tunes I managed squeeze out of this instrument. Of course in my ignorance of youth I traded a Mint condition used KORG Mono/Poly for it.
Old 1st August 2014
  #9
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shabbyroad's Avatar
I'd like to do something similar with my DX-7. There's a kit on ebay but shipping outside the US is quite expensive. Would like to try sourcing elsewhere (UK/Europe) if possible.
Old 1st August 2014
  #10
Oh, the DX21 was my first synth I bought together with a TR 505 around 1986. Old memories coming back
I had not idea that some people still using the DX21 and also replace components like this display
Old 1st August 2014
  #11
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Oh that is very cool
Old 1st August 2014
  #12
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EofN's Avatar
Beautiful, great work! The DX21 is a great little synth, one of the best 4 op FM you can get due to unison mode. My first synth was a DX27 (R.I.P.) which is very similar, but sounded so thin until I built an Arion Flanger into it's side panel.

PS be careful getting the glue out with a razor, according to SOD's law this is the part where you foul it up after everything else went so well
Old 1st August 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 

omg wow. thanks. my dx21 has the black bleed, but still usable, for now. i bet this should work in the dx27 with a cracked in half screen i have as well.

i'm a lot more motivated to replace screens with backlights burnt out know that i know oleds might work on them. wonder what happens if you use the wrong size screen...?
Old 1st August 2014
  #14
Nice! I've been interested in doing this for quite some time. That looks really sharp. I just put a new LCD in the Dx7, and it's pretty cool.
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha DX21 screen replacement - OLED screen in and working-dx7lcd.jpg  
Old 1st August 2014
  #15
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danielb's Avatar
Thanks everyone.

I bought this DX21 new in 1986. This was the first time it's ever been opened since it was new.

I wouldn't say I use it much, although I think it is a great and underrated synth.

If anything, I wanted to fix it myself to gain a bit of confidence in my soldering abilities, so that in the future I'll be able to fix stuff that I do use myself.

It still has a single key that doesn't work at all. Otherwise it is in practically perfect condition.

D.
Old 1st August 2014
  #16
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shabbyroad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
Thanks everyone.
It still has a single key that doesn't work at all. Otherwise it is in practically perfect condition.

D.
I'll bet that key is easily repaired.
Old 1st August 2014
  #17
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danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbyroad View Post
I'll bet that key is easily repaired.
I'll get to it one day.

It will probably be quite simple but will probably involve taking the DX21 completely apart to get at the keyboard.

D.
Old 1st August 2014
  #18
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D_Davis's Avatar
 

That looks great.
Old 1st August 2014
  #19
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EofN's Avatar
Just for comparison, here's an LCD I replaced in a DX21 with LED lighting.

Old 2nd August 2014
  #20
Thanks for the details! I will definitely use my DX-21 more if I can see it in lower light.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #21
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danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EofN View Post
Just for comparison, here's an LCD I replaced in a DX21 with LED lighting.

That looks really good.

The reason I went for an OLED, despite their being more expensive, is that first of all I think they look better, but also because the OLEDs have 14-pin connectors, like the original LCD. With the backlit LCD you have to find a way to connect the two backlight power connections.

D.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #22
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EofN's Avatar
I agree, the OLED looks better, kind of reminds me of a VFD. Next up, VFD upgrade for the DX21 anybody??? That would be awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
That looks really good.

The reason I went for an OLED, despite their being more expensive, is that first of all I think they look better, but also because the OLEDs have 14-pin connectors, like the original LCD. With the backlit LCD you have to find a way to connect the two backlight power connections.

D.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EofN View Post
I agree, the OLED looks better, kind of reminds me of a VFD. Next up, VFD upgrade for the DX21 anybody??? That would be awesome.
Now that really would be something...

D.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #24
Gear Head
The industry standard display controller is called HD44780 for character displays. There are HD44780-compatible VFDs out there from Noritake-Itron, Futaba and others. I'm not sure they come in the 80x44 form factor used in the old DXs, but you can fit an 80x36mm display in there too. Shouldn't be too hard to just get one and try.

Gonna treat my Waldorf Q rack to a nice 2x40 OLED they sell at TME Europe.
Any old synth with a so-so LCD can be upgraded. Some like the Casio CZs and Yamaha DXs even lack backlights and that doesn't cut the mustard in this day and age.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 
danielb's Avatar
Actually there's one here that looks like it would fit exactly, and work. the model number is CU16025-UW2J:

Noritake Itron VFD CU-U Series LCD replacement

https://www.noritake-itron.jp/eng/pr...16025-uw2j.pdf

Also, according to this:

http://www.reflexmusic.de/DX7/Yamaha...ification.html

it looks like the screen that I use would work in a DX7, although apparently you would need right angled I/O pins.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #26
Gear Head
Yup! That's the good Noritake-Itron stuff

You can attach a strip of a normal 0.1"/2.54mm angled pin header to the display PCB. It lets you keep the female pin header connector of the Yamaha display cable. Here's a link: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/553

These are available for cheap everywhere electronic components are sold. There are similar solutions for socket headers but those might be a little more expensive.

There's no obvious reason as to why the suggested VFD wouldn't work. You can always try fitting it in some other piece of gear if the DX won't cooperate for some reason.
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