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Thread: Disassembling FATAR keyboard to clean - Help!

  1. #1
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    Disassembling FATAR keyboard to clean - Help!

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    I have a Kurzweil K2500XS synth, which has a FATAR keyboard in it. After speaking to a Kurzweil tech support guy yesterday, he tells me most of the keyboard manufacturers (Korg, Roland, Yamaha) buy their keyboards from FATAR (Italy).

    I have taken apart my whole synth, taken out the keyboard assembly, but then I am at a total loss on how to take various keys apart so I can clean beneath them. I have used can of air blast, and that actually worked, but only for a minute or two. After everything was back together, and I started playing, a couple minutes later that problem returned.

    A dead flea fell between the cracks of my keys and my D#4 (above middle C) plays at full volume at the slightest touch. I've learned that these FATAR keyboards have rubber contacts, and that they can be cleaned, or replaced, by a technician.

    I've read on a couple other musical sites that there are a few guys who recommend learning how to clean their own keyboards for various and obvious reasons.

    Anyone here ever done something like this?

    Trying to find a mechanical manual or schematic on this keyboard assembly has proven vain. The best I can get is from the pics from the Fatar site.


    This link is a picture of a similar FATAR keyboard that can be clicked on for large magnification:

    http://www.fatar.com/FOTO%20HIGH/TP_40_WOOD.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images touch-jpg  diagram-gif 

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    picture of rubber contacts

    I got this pic from the Midi-Store. The lady on the phone said there is no way she could know which part belongs to the specific Fatar keyboard. They just have parts for sale, and it's up to a technician to know what he needs to buy.

    Nevertheless, this is what rubber contacts look like. These 12 contacts sell for $3.99.

    I think, in the diagram or picture above (click the large magnification link), they sit on top of the green board in the assembly. But I still do not know how to take a key out of the middle of the keyboard to gain access to this.
    Attached Images Attached Images contacts-jpg 

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    can't the green board be removed from the bottom without removing the keys?? seems to me it should though it's been years since i've done one... when you get the board out pull the strips lightly to remove them and lay them out in order... there's a definate front and back switch to them... if they go in backwards you'll screw up the velocity sensitivity... to clean them use a qtip and pure alcohol... no rubbing or watered down... i get mine at a paint store it's real cheap there as it's used for thinning some paints/varnishes... when you look at the strips or the board you'll see little ghost patterns of the contact points.. it'll look kinda glazed... thats what your removing... it should look flat black... other thing i do is when reaassembling i move the switches form high traffic ares into the upper/lower most positions so they wear evenly... if ya need more PM me... good luck...
    37.8% of all statistics are made up on the spot...

    hey give a guy some room... people are trying to evolve here... for crying out loud...

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    Yes, keys do not need to be removed.

    I found a guy on another site who used to be a technician on this very issue, and he gave me some pointers. You are correct, that the keys do not need to be taken off.

    Presently, I'm in the process of cleaning the rubber contacts nows. When I get everything back together, I will come back here and post the instructions as a step by step, along with pics. I have come across several posts on the internet from people who are having issues with their Fatar MIDI boards, and don't know how to proceed.

    Hopefully, this will prove useful for other people when I get the pics uploaded.

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    How to clean rubber contacts on FATAR keyboards

    The past 48 hours I have learned a lot more about how the FATAR MIDI keyboards work, and how to do your own maintenance in cleaning them.

    My own Kurzweil K2500XS synth has a FATAR keyboard in it. I'm told that most of the synth manufacturers buy their keyboards from FATAR (Italy).

    3 days ago, my D#4 (above middle C) key began to play at full volume when I only just touched it. I knew there was something wrong with the velocity signal. I figured too much pressure was being applied at a constant rate, due to dirt or grime, to cause this problem.

    After speaking with Kurzweil Service Support, I had learned a couple things: 1) they use FATAR keyboards, and 2) the issue I had was with the rubber contacts that send velocity information. They would need to be cleaned, or replaced.

    I found a 5-year old posting on a site by a guy who used to service FATAR keyboards, especially in Kurzweils. I took a chance and send him an email thru the site I had registered on, and how glad I was when he responded just hours later, with instructional points and a photo. I then began my journey at taking apart the innards of my keyboard in my Kurzweil.

    The following 18 photos, with step by step instructions, are for any others out there who may one day need to do what I did today.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    1) Disassemble synth by taking out all the proper screws. In my Kurzweil, this amounts to some 35 screws. For the Kurzweil, you need to lay it on a soft surface upside down to take the screws out of its bottom.

    In this photo #1, the FATAR keyboard is still mounted to the bottom of the case. I show you this photo to illustrate why you cannot gain access to the rubber contacts without going further. Notice the protective steel guard rail (on the left of the photo) in front of the keys.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1-jpg  

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    #2, #3, and #4

    Keys do NOT need to be removed to clean the rubber contacts. But if you do wish to remove the keys to clean anything else under them, this is how to do it.

    You are looking at the springs at the back of the keys. These springs need to be removed for each key you wish to remove. The springs are different color and have different tensions, I believe, so make sure you put the springs back on the proper key when going in reverse. Label everything if you need to.

    The springs need to be lifted out of their holes, and they are attached at their bottoms to steel pegs (labeled "B"). I used a needle nose pliers to pull the spring hoop at its bottom, downward just a little, to release the spring off the tab.

    Pull the spring out. You need to gain free access to that plastic tab (Labeled "A" in the photo).

    Once again, you do NOT need to remove the keys do this to gain access to the rubber contacts. You may skip the next few steps if you wish, down to #12, if you are only interested in cleaning the contacts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2-jpg   3-jpg   4-jpg  
    Last edited by Toddskins; 08-17-2008 at 19:05.

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    #5, #6, #7, and #8

    These photos illustrate the keyboard still connected to the bottom casing of the Kurzweil. You MUST remove the FATAR keyboard assembly off this case. If you do not, notice the steel guard rail that hinders the removal of the keys, once you have taken the springs off, and pushed the plastic tab ("A") in to loosen the key.

    Use a flathead screwdriver, a small one, to push the plastic tab in, not too hard! If you break the plastic tab, you are screwed.

    Once the plastic tab has been pushed in, you can feel the release of the key, which you can begin to pull up on to release it from the plastic tab. Once free of the tab, you can pull the key free from its other end (the end musicians actually strike to play).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 5-jpg   6-jpg   7-jpg   8-jpg  

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    #9, #10, and #11

    Photo #9 shows the key lifted up, to reveal the rubber contact below. This is what we will be cleaning in a few steps.

    Photo #10 shows keys Middle C, C#, and D, removed. Notice again, the 3 rubber contacts that sit below the keys.

    Photo #11 - loosened keys.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 9-jpg   10-jpg   11-jpg  

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    #12 and #13

    Ok. Getting ready for the main cleaning of rubber contacts.

    Photo #12 shows the FATAR keyboard assembly, free from the Kurzweil

    Photo # 13 is the keyboard assembly turned upside down. You will need to do this, to gain access to the circuit board that runs along the bottom of the keys. The circuit board has all the rubber contacts on it. There are 2 of them, one for the top half (starting at Middle C) and another for the bottom half of the keyboard. There are 26 screws and 24 screws in these boards, respectively, holding them to the assembly. They need to be removed to do the cleaning of the rubber contacts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 12-jpg   13-jpg  
    Last edited by Toddskins; 08-17-2008 at 13:19.

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    #14, #15, #16, and #17

    Photo #14 - [The bottom (last) of these 4 pics - loaded in wrong order, sorry.] Close-up view of the circuit board. Look closely, and you see the rubber pegs of the rubber contacts coming through the board. These will need to be pushed to loosen the rubber contact, once the circuit board has been unscrewed and pulled away from the keyboard assembly.

    The top half of the keyboard has 26 little screws holding this circuit board in place. Top half starts with Middle C on up.

    The bottom half has 24 screws.

    I only needed access to note D#4, which was playing too loudly all the time. So I did not need to take off the top half.

    NOTE: There is a small ribbon with red plugs that you need to pull up and off the connector, so that you can pull the circuit board away from the other.

    In this picture, I have already pulled that plug away, and you see it hanging freely in the air.

    Another NOTE: See the red connector running horizontally, sitting on the circuit board. This connects to a ribbon that runs to the main synth computer. There is another one on the lower half circuit board.


    Photo #15 - Circuit board turned on its edge for illustrative purpose.

    Photo #16 - Circuit board removed, turned upside down now, to reveal the rubber contacts.

    Photo #17 - Same as #16
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 15-jpg   16-jpg   17-jpg   14-jpg  
    Last edited by Toddskins; 08-17-2008 at 19:00.

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