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Thread: Disassembling FATAR keyboard to clean - Help!

  1. #101
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    Putting it all back together

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    Now that the weights are fixed its time to put it all back together again. Wait ! before doing that, take this opportunity to look around and do any other maintenance work that needs to be done. Its not often that the keybed is completely apart so check the felts, the key posts, the towers, aftertouch ribbons etc... You might also want to take the contacts PC board apart and clean those out also - go back to page 1 of this thread, Toddskins has it all laid out for you !

    Putting back the rod that holds the keyweights in place can be a bit tricky, you need to work slowly and very carefully. Also, you may need to file or grind (to a slightly conical shape) the inserting end a bit; the rods I had were blunt and had a burr so it would have been very difficult to put them back in smoothly.

    Position one weight at a time, rotate while pushing rod back in. When rod gets too short to grasp, lightly tap rod forward. Apply a very light coat of teflon lubricant on the rod to make it slide more easily. *** DO NOT *** apply excessive force - crunched felt, bent rod or broken tower posts could result ! Take your time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails re-ass-annot-jpg  

  2. #102
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    Conclusion: Final assembly and testing and... surprise!

    The keybed is reassembled, the keys are all tested and everything looks fine for final assembly and testing.

    Upon initial testing everything went well, almost. I originally had the highest B and C (B7, C8) that were intermittent. When I took the PC Board apart, everything looked fine and the board was a 2001 issue, it had already been replaced once because the other board is the original 1997 issue.

    On testing, those two notes were still intermittent and had to be hit real hard to work. Since the side bell / panel was off, I started looking at the way the key was plunging on the rubber contact. Everything was fine ! It was then that I noticed that the front of the keybed wasn't laying completely flat ! So it seemed that it was bent or slightly twisted after all. Now how could that have happened ? The exterior enclosure is in pristine condition, not a single scratch or dent, anywhere ! Then I noticed something else: the power transformer brackets were very crooked on one side. So the only thing I can come up with is that this K2500 was shaken or hit very hard somewhere, at some point in its lifetime and thus, the keybed got twisted. And that my friends, was the most likely source of 80 % of the keyweights being too low and hitting the assembly and frame. That also solves an initial question I had in post # 93: "why is the weightline sloping toward the right ?" - because the frame is bent on the right side, that's why! The worn felt accounted for only a small porrtion of the problem.

    To test that the frame was indeed causing a problem with the B7 C8 keys, I vise-gripped the keybed to the bottom of the enclosure and then tried out the keys. Eureka, they work ! The only way I could think of fixing this quickly was to drill a hole toward the front of the keybed frame and bolt the two parts together. It works ! There already is a screw that holds the keyframe to the enclosure but it seems it is just too far away from the edge & the end to straighten the keyframe properly. If you do notice a bent frame in your Kurz, whatever you do, don't try to straighten the frame by hand and don't just drive screws anywhere. It may look like a simple stamped metal beam but it is a precision part not to be fiddled with. Trying to unbend it will likely cause all sorts of other alignment problems afterwards.


    So there you have it.

    My K2500XS is reassembled and "like new" for a good while I hope. Now to get back to the real reason why I bought this thing: to enjoy practice and play music. Remember, I'm a techie but also a wannabe-musician ! Wish I would have gotten the urge sooner ... How sometimes life changes us

    Jay
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bent_frame-annot-jpg   bent_xfo-annot-jpg   frame_fix1-annot-jpg  
    Last edited by JaydeeMtl; 12-29-2010 at 07:30.

  3. #103
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    Great 'Ole Synth
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails k2500_end_annot-jpg  

  4. #104
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    I found a site, I believe, that has keyboard parts, especially the keyweights that have been being discussed. I have not called it yet to verify their current status, but this seems to be a good find. They list most every conceiveable part for all the name brand manufacturers:


    Instrumental Parts - Source for Pro Audio Spare Parts - Numark , Akai , Alesis , Roland , Denon , Pioneer , Technics and more

  5. #105
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    Hi Toddskins,

    I spotted them befoer doing my maintenance but at 17$ a weight X 88 it wasn't an option !!

    J

  6. #106
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    Hey JaydeeMTL,

    Doing a lot of study, too, on Fatar Keybeds, fixes, replacement parts, etc., and found a guy by the name Techeverlasting who wrote about the subject matter you just did. Read his comment at the bottom of the page. He says something about replacing the weight using a plier, but it is difficult, and something else about 2 metal poles. Do you know what he is talking about?

    Read here: Fixing clacking Fatar keys - MusicPlayer Forums


    FYI Good news - I read that the new PC3X keybeds are using a new design Fatar TP-40 which has one solid contstuction for the whole weighted piece, eliminating the lead weight inside the plastic container problems.

  7. #107
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    Hi Toddskins,

    You're pulling my leg Toddskins! I'm sure that having worked on those keybeds before, you know what poles
    he's talking about (Hint=post 101). When I was doing research on how to fix my keybed, the thread you
    mentioned came up on the "Google is your friend" search result. His solution was intriguing and I might have
    tried it if only *one* weight was broken; but I knew that because of age, it was best to really dismantle
    everything and inspect for damage. Damage I did find, and lots of it, if you read my entire story starting
    on post # 89.

    I suppose that if you remove the red felt liner assembled to the keyweight, that it *may* then be possible,
    with a pair of pliers or lots of human force, to squeeze the weight back onto the "pole". I predict
    difficulty in putting the felt back in its proper position afterwards though, and it would then need to be
    glued somewhere back onto the weight. It may also be next to impossible to put the rubber holder holding the
    felt back onto the front of the weight. In any case, I wouldn't risk trying to stretch the keyweight nylon
    seeing the part's age.


    If I were a machinist, I wouldn't have fixed my keyweights, I would have done exactly what Fatar did on
    their newer keybeds that you mention (I haven't dismantled one yet) - I would have machined new weights out
    of an alloy and made it one piece, a much smarter way to do things and minimize breakdown and maintenance.
    While I was at it, I would also have tried to make graded weights like they have on some Yamaha & other
    manufacturer's keyboards. If that worked then I would have made a small business out of it... imagine all those
    still good K2500's & K2600's collecting dust because the keyweights are almost unavailable now

    My K2500XS has been in use for a little over 1 month now and the repairs seem to be holding up quite well.
    For curiosity's sake I will open the keyboard again in 6 months and check out if the repairs were worth all
    the time and trouble. Do you still have your K2500 ?

    John

  8. #108
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    John,

    I see now that you too, mentioned the rod, or pole, in the plural. But I only see one rod that the key weights get threaded by. Is there a 2nd? I thought there was a single rod threading all 88 key weights. Is it divided in half, thus there are two individual rods?

    Also, I ordered that glue called "Plastic Surgery". I will be taking my K2500XS apart again, in a couple weeks and tackling this issue. I do not look forward to it at all, but when I am done, I'm going to do my best to make sure that the keybed is better and stronger than when it was first manufactured.

    All in all, I got 10 solid years of playing mine without a key weight problem, but now I have 3 keys with that echo feeling in them (the weight having come loose/broken). If this Plastic Surgery glue owns up to all the positive claims I have read (not a single bad one!), then I will end up gluing every single key weight in all those critical places you identified in your photo (A, B, C).

  9. #109
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    Hi Toddskins,

    There are two rods holding the keyweights. The split between the two rods is around middle C if I remember correctly so they are different lengths. From either left or right side, grab the rod with a pair pf pliers and gently twist / turn the rod onto itself back and forth while pulling it out of the tower posts. You'll find the split point when you hear oen of the keyweights gently "plop" down onto the chassis. Pull the rod out completely and note which end goes back in first for reassembly, it may need to be filed down a bit (read my previous posts starting around # 100). You can dismiss the use of the pliers once you can grab the rod comfortably with your bare hand, it is easier to continue pulling! Do read post # 101 on reassembly, it is a critical and delicate step.

    I read that "Plastic Surgery" really is excellent for this kind of job. I couldn't find any around my area so I settled for what others also found to be good, the "J-B Weld" glue. The whole process of checking every weight with a magnifier and then fixing the broken or about-to-fail, weights is a tedious, time-consuming and boring task! Pay attention to hairline cracks - you can spot them because they form a sort of "fracture line" that is lighter in colour than the rest of the nylon around it. That kind of crack also sometimes doesn't yet reach any edge, but it is a sign of impending failure and its best to "bridge" the closest spot where you can put some glue. If a weight has fallen off completely, dab all the surfaces with glue and reassemble it, making sure you first roughen the nylon a bit where the pieces will meet. Don't be tempted to rush through it though; I mean, the whole keybed is apart and just doing that (and putting it back together again afterwards!) is pretty time consuming and beleive me, you don't want to have to take it all apart in 2-3 months because another weight is on its way out.

    I hope all goes well with your repair. If you do this just for yourself, it is well worth it! I don't think such a large undertaking would be profitable for a prospective paying customer, its probably less expensive to buy a new keybed, provided one can be found of course - Doepfer may have some suitable replacements and maybe they are less expensive in the US, I dunno, but here in Canada the price is rather high.

    Let me know how it goes!


    John

  10. #110
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    Key bed weights

    Ok, so I took it all apart again to fix 3 key weights that I knew for certain were giving me issue, and to do maintenance on all the weights, based on JaydeeMtl's (John) recommendations.

    The good news was that I did not have any broken weights. Instead I had 3 of those plastic casings holding the weights, with broken tabs [see picture].

    I found the tabs for 2 of the casings, but not for the 3rd. These missing tabs from the casing caused my notes to feel like there was an echo in the key when playing. I would strike the note (C4, G4, or D5) and there would be an after effect. Now I see that the weights sitting on the pole are able to pivot, and when notes are struck hard, the tab acts like both a shock absorber and a brake. Without it, the weight will bounce a little more. This is what I was feeling.

    The glue called Plastic Surgery is pretty amazing. I spent a couple hours trying to think up a solution to glue a piece of plastic from around the house as a pseudo tab. What I found was an old belt clip for a device (not unlike a cell phone clip for you belt). The plastic is very hard and durable. I contemplated junk like plastic cassette tape holders, etc., but they are too weak, and shatter too easily. The piece of plastic I used came from a bend, thus providing me extra strength - essentially, a 90 degree, right angle turn, so that when I glued the one layer against the casing, it had a lot of support [see photos].

    Turns out that the plastic I added, piggy-backed onto the casing, was too thick and caused a gap inside the key bed, so I had to file it down using a metal file, which did the trick.

    I added glue all over the 88 key weights, as John had shown. Small fractures, and areas that looked like adding glue might add strength, and especially all around the Tabs. I play hard, and those tabs must take a lot of abuse. Adding more glue around them, should strengthen the joints, on all sides.

    Regarding Plastic Surgery glue: I filed that added piece of plastic down after it had been glued down and it would not budge. I pushed the file against it as hard as I could, back and forth for 20 minutes, and it remained solid. Likewise, the 2 tabs that I had found, glued on tight against the casing, and are very strong.

    You were right John, about filing down the ends of the poles into conical shapes. Threading the weights with the poles seems like the most difficult part of this whole thing, as the red felt inside the weights do get stuck and pushed. It's not until the end, when you seemed to have figured out the trick of it all to make it go easier, but by then you're already done.

    One last point regarding Plastic Surgery Glue: There is very little glue in that container. I used 3 of them. Don't let the size of the glue container fool you, as there is only about a teaspoon of glue in the whole thing. But the glue is freaking amazing. It's kind of like liquid plastic, and it begins to harden in a few seconds, then a few minutes, and very hard after an hour. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET THIS GLUE ON YOUR SKIN! It got on my fingers, and it's not fun at all trying to get it off.

    I'll post once more tomorrow, after I put everything back together, and see how it plays. This is a 3-day process, and the more you look over the weights, you see more areas of possible fractures that should get more glue.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_1-jpg   img_2-jpg   img_3-jpg   img_4-jpg   img_5-jpg  

    Last edited by Toddskins; 02-22-2011 at 17:47.

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