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Yamaha AW4416, AW2816 Low battery warning Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 5th April 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Yamaha AW4416, AW2816 Low battery warning

Hi Everyone! Please excuse my first post being slightly commercial but I think this info could benefit a lot of people!

this is mainly for UK based people...

I recently bought a Yamaha AW2816 which was fine other than the fact that it kept flashing 'Low Battery'. It turns out this problem is caused by a DS12887 clock chip which has a small lithium battery built into it. The battery is not rechargeable and has around a 10 year life-span so inevitably the batteries in the chips fitted in both the AW2816 and it's big brother AW 4416 are now reaching the end of their lives. The chip is a 24 pin DIL DS12887+ and is HARD SOLDERED onto the almost full sized main circuit board which itself has to come completely out to get to both sides. To get the main board out you first need to get two sub-boards completely out ...It's a good three hours if you are experienced but haven't done it before and pretty hairy considering the fragility and value of the hardware.
The main circuit board itself is not particularly robust either, the copper tracks are delicate and are easily damaged by repeated or poor quality soldering. The long term answer is to fit a 24 pin chip socket to allow you to put new clock chips in without tearing the board to pieces each time. It will then take the replacement DS12887+ chips which can be bought fairly cheaply.

Now the plug!
If you are not pretty comfortable with soldering 24 pin chips into boards...And although I am OK, ex-radio engineer and so on, I bottled out when I got to the main board and saw how difficult it would be to lift out and invert to get to both sides.

Fortunately for me, Arc Electronics in Southampton fitted a chip holder and a new chip for £70 which is a significant saving on the Yamaha service centre's price to hard-solder the new chip in and of course Yamaha don't fit a socket so once the replacement is in that's likely to be the last time the board will accept a new chip. Arc Electronics can get the DS12887+chips (R.S. do them along with the holders). I know this is a blatant plug (I'm not affiliated!) but it was a small price to pay to get 10 years more out of the Yamaha AND the facility to replace the chip whenever I want! Thanks guys!

All I have to do now is figure how to make the thing sing and dance for me!

BTW...Loving the Sennheiser 409 mic I blagged the other day...Lovely classical guitar recordings sitting close to the 12th fret...
Old 5th May 2013
Gear Maniac

Excellent, I have two Aw4416 and just have realized I´ll have to deatl with this maybe soon. Thanks very much.
Old 29th April 2014
Gear interested

After 15 years of use, I was getting erratic memory indications from my Ay-dub 44. Though the battery indicated it was OK, I decided it was time to change it. After reading guildbass's blog, I decided to take on the adventure myself, being that I have an electronics tech background.

***WARNING:*** THIS WILL BE EXTENSIVE. This is to give you a very clear picture of what task you have at hand, should you choose to replace the chip on your own.

DISCLAIMER: This site, it's owner(s), nor I are held responsible for any damages you may do to your machine should you choose this option. Think long and hard about what you are about to do when you open your machine.

I gathered my needed supplies and tools (flux-core solder, variable heat-adjustable soldering iron with wet sponge for removing excess solder, desolder wick, a butter knife, battery operated drill gun with low torque, cross-hatch magnetized head (or Philips screw head), a permanent marker, a heavy file for your solder tip, the replacement DS12887+ chip, a 24 pin DIL 0.6 wide chip socket, as suggested by my esteemed colleague), two cups to hold screws.

I began by removing all wiring going into the unit, making note as to what goes where, so as to make reconnection easier and less time-consuming.

I then removed the 3 blue knobs and the 1 grey knob next to the main display on the front of the unit. Then removed the 10 knobs at the top of the unit.

Turning the unit on it's face on a thick, heavy towel, I removed the 9 black screws going around the edges and the 2 in the middle of the bottom of the unit (don't bother removing the two screws at the bottom front holding the fascia to the frame). I placed them in cup one

I then removed the four screws holding the vent plate to the bottom of the unit, as they also hold the bottom to the frame. I placed them in cup two

I removed the 4 silver screws holding the Re-writer to the frame. I placed the screws in the second cup.

I removed the two black screws holding the fascia/holder to the unit's frame and removed the fascia and set aside, ensuring to place the two screws inside the fascia and to not confuse them. The threading is different for this piece and the vent plate from the rest of the other screws you will be removing.

I unplugged the writer from the unit, removed it and set it aside after cleaning the collected dust (it's been 14 years). At the top back of the unit, you are now looking at the accessory bays and PSU bracket assembly.

There are 4 outer screws and 1 inner screw that hold this bracket to the main frame. Remove them all and place them in the first cup

I carefully folded this frame down exposing all of the connectors, ribbons and cables. I removed each ribbon and cable connected to this frame, removed the frame and set it aside after cleaning it up a bit.

Exposed are two boards. The smaller board is the main processor board. DO NOT attempt to remove this board from the bigger board. Paying attention to the cabling (although the way the cables and ribbons are laid out, it would be pretty hard to screw this part up), remove each connection from the SMALLER board, except for the cable that runs from the smaller board to the board underneath.

On either side of this frame are a total of 6 black screws holding the boards frame to the main frame. Remove each and place the screws in cup one.

in the smaller board, there are 3 holes which lead to 3 screws that hold this frame to the main frame. This is the importance of the magnetized screw head. Remove these screws and place them in the first cup.

Remove two screws on the back side of the unit that help hold this frame to the main body frame.

Gently slide down the board frame and then lift up and out of the unit.

As you look at this assembly, you will immediately notice, if you haven't already, the chip in question.

In the bottom side of this unit, I located and marked this area with the word CLOCK, using a permanent marker.

I filed the tip of my soldering iron to removed any oxidized solder and debris. I turned on my iron to this highest heating setting and tinned my iron with the solder, being careful to not overdo it.

At this point, you are about to tear into the processing board of your unit. Now's a good time to go in reverse order and button everything back up if you feel incapable of pulling a chip from your board.

TIP: To make removing the solder easier, try heating up the post and placing a little solder on the post BEFORE desoldering. Not much, though. You don't want to have to remove a huge glob of solder, as too much heat to these boards begin damaging the threads (the little strands you see running throughout the board).

Carrying on, I flipped the board to the solder side of the chip in question and lay my desolder wick on the first post, being careful to not hold on to the wick too close to the solder tip (you will know immediately if you got this wrong by the onset of pain and the desire to flail your fingers about rapidly to ease the pain). As the wick heated up, I wrapped more wick around the tip to let it know I meant business. Depending on the solder/flux ratio, this removal can be difficult.

Remove the solder from each post. Once the solder is removed, you may need to take your butter knife and pry the front side while heating the posts, depending upon how well of a desoldering job you did.

***CRUCIAL:*** PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE ORIENTATION OF THE CHIP ON THE BOARD. The chip should have a dot to mark post number 1. When you remove the chip from the motherboard, you will see a number 1 and possibly a number 24.

Prepare your chip: Take the socket and have a good close look at it. There should be a notch at one end which indicates the end the chip's circle should be pointed. place the chip into the chip socket and press firmly in once you are sure of it's orientation. Get it wrong and your chip will fry and you might be in the shop for a new main board. Now once the chip is in the socket, turn the assembly over. taking note of where pin one is, you will need to count all the way around to pin 23 and bend it inwards, as there is no corresponding hole for it on the main board.

Your chip is assembled and the worst part is pretty much over.

Once again, taking into account it's orientation, place the chip assembly into the corresponding holes on the main board. You may have to heat your holes slightly to get the chips to slide into place. Be careful as to not overheat these holes. They are fragile and will leave you shopping for an old broken down AW4416 on eBay to replace it.

Once the chip is in place, flip over to the bottom side of the board assembly and heat each post and deposit a small amount of solder onto each post. Everheating your solder will boil away your flux, cook your solder and possibly damage your board, so be very careful when doing ANY type of soldering/desoldering.

Now that your chip is in place, all you need to do now is reverse your course of action that got you here.

For good measure, before you replace the main board/ CPU board assembly, clean it up a little. It has collected dust bunnies and debris throughout its years. And if you have a contact cleaner/lubricant, try spraying a little on the pots (the grey knobs you see on the main board). If there was any noise in your system before when you adjusted these knobs, the spray should clean that up for you. Your unit is back together now. Plug it back together, turn it on, let it set up, then press UTILITY,then F4 and set your date and time. MAGIC! You have just installed a new clock/battery chip assembly into your old/new unit! If you got this far without fear and your unit is still with you, congratulations.

In ten to twelve years when your chip dies again, all you have to do is get to the point where you unscrew the Accessory bracket assembly, reach in and pull out the old one and re-insert a new chip. I would mention this in the sale of your unit, as it may raise the value another $50/£35. You never know.

If you got this far and the unit goes up in smoke and you're looking for an explanation, look in the mirror. You were warned several times that this could lead to damage if you didn't follow the directions to the letter.

Old 21st September 2017
Gear Maniac

Hello, I have replaced the chip myself aswell. It was not that easy to desolder. I ended buying a ZD-985 desoldering station on ebay that works well, even you´ll need some practice with it. At this moment I have four AW4416 machines and have replaced on the four.
I printed the starsofsound indications, even there are not exactly the number of screws, but the disassemble instructions are on the service manual (page 61).

The DS1287 ship, is old, the new chip 12887 or 12887+ is the new version and fully compatible, and what´s best, the Ds12885+ is exactly the same just with external battery option (coin battery), just need to solder a crystal between legs 1 a 2.
I made this mod on my 4 machines and I put a coin cell socket (see pics) with a common CR2032 battery.
On the DS12885+, just raised pins 2 and 3 for the cristal 32.768kHz
Used this one that meet the specs required on the Ds12885 pdf and soldered easily to the legs 2 and 3 on horizontal position.

With heat shrink, and a thin cable put a coin socket just behind the CD-RW, under the vent cover, I glued it with a silicone gun (that´s cheap, and clean).

I tried removing the coin cell while the machine is on, and if go to Utility (F4) the "low battery" message appears as soon as remove the CR2032 cell, just like the original chip, disappear as soon as I put it again back.

So, just share this info, because its an even better solution than replace the chip for another 10 year of life, just for the external battery version of the same chip (DS12885), so just need to have the job one time and forever the machine will live, just replace the CR2032 cell.
On the other hand, desoldering too many times the chip will end damaging the surface.
Another option is to put a 24 pin socket, I tried on one but have to be care because if it´s not well fitted may not be a full contact and the machine doesn´t start without the chip, so I prefer soldering and only one time.
Hope it helps.
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha AW4416, AW2816 Low battery warning-dscn7321.jpg   Yamaha AW4416, AW2816 Low battery warning-dscn7322.jpg  
Old 9th December 2017
Guys any idea how long the original internal battery lasts?? Bought new no problems yet. I love the 4416 Waves Card, XLR input and ADAT card. I read the great post above but I'm not up to technical electronics. What is the cost if Yama did it?
Thanks guys and fellow 4416 'fan's (np pun int.)
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