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  • Sticking notes after cleaning cage boards

    I recently posted that I obtained a new (to me) ADC 6300A DKC. The instrument has been quite delightful, but as I've gotten to know it I notice that there is distortion on many stops. I also came to notice that the distortion went away after the organ was warm. That made me think of JBird's advice on ADC's to remove, clean the edges of the cage cards, apply vaseline thinly and replace.

    I tested it on one board first, the board for the choir with the most notable distortion on the stops. It did indeed seem to remove the distortion, even when cold.

    So, with that encouragement, I removed all the boards one at a time, used a sparing amount of rubbing alcohol to clean the contact ends, applied a thin coating of vaseline and replaced them. I also "exercised" each of the little pots just a tiny bit and put them back where they were.

    I did not, as often mentioned, touch the EPROMs because I didn't have a good EPROM puller and I wanted to be sure I was doing it right.

    Now I sit here literally sick with worry. While the distortion is completely gone for the Choir, and mostly gone from the Great, I have a new and alarming problem. The stops on one card (18) for the swell all have an issue. The have a popping noise when played (very much like a Hammond, actually) and the notes sustain or stick on... never for terribly long, but long enough to make that entire bank of stops unplayable.

    I've removed and re-cleaned and replaced the 18 card several times. Thinking that maybe the "KA" card means keyboard array (I have no idea), I also cleaned and replaced that several times. To no avail.

    The only things I can see wrong with card 18 is that one of the pins on one of the EPROMs on that card is bent (see picture) But since I didn't touch the EPROMS at all, I can assume is that this has always been this way. Also the sticker fell off the EPROMs in the process, but I don't think this should affect them since it takes UV light to do anything. Just in case, I put stickers over the windows.

    I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight, this is quite upsetting. Am I hosed? Do I have to pay huge sums of money to fix this? Any suggestions?

    Tom
    Attached Files
    Hammond B-3, Rogers Allegiant 778, Yamaha YUS1-SG, Yamaha N2 Avant Grande

  • #2
    Tom,

    When I did the same thing with my ADC-4300 DKC (same generation), one card on the Great had the same problem. The notes developed a sustain. I did just as you did and removed the card, cleaning the excess petroleum jelly off the edge of the contacts where it had built up when I re-inserted the card, and re-installed the card. That solved my problem.

    However, when re-inserting the cards, I guess the pressure on the backplane caused several cards next to the ones I was inserting to slightly unseat. After installing all the cards, just give each card a gentle push to make sure they're all seated firmly, and that solved my problem. On several cards around the one I inserted, I felt a slight click as each re-seated the extra 1/16" to 1/8". Odd, but it worked for me.

    On the other topic about the sound being distorted, I also noticed the same issue with distortion on my Swell card (I believe #16), so I worked with that a bit more, and my snap, crackle, and pop are now gone. If it comes back, I'll have to try again, and perhaps send the card away for repair.

    Tom, may I suggest that you post all your efforts with your new instrument in one thread? That way I can subscribe to one thread and follow your progress as things work out for you. I have to admit, I should have with my 4300, but didn't. I hope to get a 6300 or higher someday so I have a 3-manual for practice, but until then, I'll have to experience it vicariously through your efforts. You have a nice instrument there!

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      OK everyone. I get the stupid idiot of the year award (maybe something right under the Darwin award). I was very careful to remove only one card, clean it, and put it back. So the card I cleaned always went into the empty slot, right? But Slot 9 (optional Brass Choir) is permanently empty. A brain short ensued, and the card from Slot 4 (an EG) went into Slot 9 (BC). A simple verification against the cage chart told me this. Sometimes it takes a whole night of sleep to realize the stupid things we do (or figure the solution). Haven't rechecked all the distortion yet, but definitely got rid of randomly sustaining notes. Whew! What a relief.

      Tom

      PS Michael... you're correct, putting everything into one thread would be smart. I don't know if there's a way to retitle the thread, but I'll stick with this one for now.

      Oh... but what about that bent pin on the EPROM? Leave well enough alone? Doesn't seem to be bothering anyone.
      Hammond B-3, Rogers Allegiant 778, Yamaha YUS1-SG, Yamaha N2 Avant Grande

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't ignore the bent pin issue. It could be that it makes contact intermitently but not reliably. Remove the EPROM and fix the pin. It could be your distortion issue.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a light distortion in an Allen organ that turned out to be a failing electrolytic cap in one of the audio amp channels. Never had a schematic and no longer recall the model number of the amp, but the capacitor was a long axial-lead cap that appeared to be in the signal chain rather than part of a power supply. Show me a photo and I could point to it... It's worth a try to reverse the two audio channels to see if the distortion moves to different voices. Just one more possibility.
          http://www.nwmidi.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by thadfield View Post
            Oh... but what about that bent pin on the EPROM? Leave well enough alone? Doesn't seem to be bothering anyone.
            Tom,

            That EPROM is too big an issue to solve. I think you should just give the organ to me!O:-) I've been guilty of the sin of coveting one of those for a few years now (the organ, not the EPROM). Great to hear you solved the problem with a night's sleep. I almost made the same mistake with my cage--filling in empty slots when I returned them.

            From your previous post, it appears you've narrowed the crackling down to one card only, so it doesn't make sense to mess with the amplifier until it can be ascertained the crackling applies to ALL 2 or 3 cards that speak through that particular amplifier. Less is best in this case.

            Do you have MIDI on that organ? If so, I have a request. Could you post a photo of the MIDI adapter card? I'm installing MIDI on mine, and it isn't quite there yet.

            Have a great night.

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Michael,

              This instrument is indeed a prize. You should see it. I think it's exactly the model I wanted (if anything I might like better, it would be a 5300 ... I'm not as enamored of the third manual as the extra voices the 5300 has on the two. There's one other weird thing about this model; there's no Swell Alterable Off which prohibits it from working like a floating division)

              It looks like it was in a living room for 30 years. Now that I have the boards in correctly, it's definitely improved... but not quite there. There is one stop on the great (Rohrflote) with a minor distortion. From what I can tell on the cage chart the Rohrflote and the Flute Dolce are on the same EPROM. So maybe that does need to be removed and cleaned. The EPROM with the bent leg is on the swell, so that's not causing it. I'm going to leave the organ on for a few hours tomorrow, and I betcha that the distortion goes away when it warms up.

              If so, I guess I'll have to get up the courage to remove the EPROMs, but that's scary to me. I've cracked those kinds of chips before trying to get them out (fortunately it was a cheap memory chip, not a difficult-to-replace EPROM).

              This instrument had two optional Vibratos and optional Antiphonal divisions for all manuals. It didn't have two options: No brass choir, no MIDI. I wish it had the MIDI. Being a 6300A it also had an ADR4, but that must have died at some point, because it's been removed. I replaced it with a Lexicon MX400 (4 mono channels of reverb for choir and great) and a Lexican MX200 (2 mono channels of reverb for swell). Did you buy the MIDI from an Allen Dealer, or did you miraculously find an adapter used?

              What's the 4300 like?

              Tom

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              Hammond B-3, Rogers Allegiant 778, Yamaha YUS1-SG, Yamaha N2 Avant Grande

              Comment


              • #8
                As suspected, minor distortion on Rohrflote does disappear after the organ has been on an hour. It must make better contact while warm. EPROM sockets must need to be cleaned. I'm surprised this would be needed already, since the instrument had the cage rebuilt by Allen just 6 years ago.
                Hammond B-3, Rogers Allegiant 778, Yamaha YUS1-SG, Yamaha N2 Avant Grande

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bad connections tend to pop in and out rather suddenly. If you were playing and it didn't suddenly get better but gradually, it is more likely you have a bad coupling cap that is improving as it warms up, or a filtering cap to ground that is deteriorating gradually. Non-Allen Bradley non-sprague resistors can also do this more rarely. If you don't want to play continuously, put a roll of coins on the key and read a book or something while you wait the hour.
                  EPROMS are MOS, use a static collar or room humidifer if you do decide to pry it out. I use a 90 degree bent pick under all 4 corners on 0.6" spacing DIP packages, a little it at a time.
                  city Hammond H-182 organ (2 ea),A100,10-82 TC, Wurlitzer 4500, Schober Recital Organ, Steinway 40" console , Sohmer 39" pianos, Ensoniq EPS, ; country Hammond H112

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thadfield View Post
                    As suspected, minor distortion on Rohrflote does disappear after the organ has been on an hour.
                    Tom,

                    My Rohrflöte and Flute Dolce tend to have a bit of distortion, but I discovered that's more due to the voicing than the cards or amplifiers (too much Treble and/or Mid). I think, perhaps, it's a quirk of that generation of instruments. You'll also notice that on D below Middle C (maybe Eb?) that the sample is a bit "dirty" on the Swell Trompette and any of the Alterable Trumpet-type reeds. Some people would be upset by that, but I kinda like it because it's not that much different than playing a real pipe organ where the reeds are almost always experiencing some sort of variance (tuning, voicing, shallot troubles, etc.). To me, it lends to the feel of authenticity. The other issue I've had is that I cannot seem to get the Great voiced stronger than the Swell without maxing out the amplifiers. It could be a matter of placement of the speakers, but I'll know more when I get it in a larger auditorium.

                    Originally posted by thadfield View Post
                    This instrument is indeed a prize. You should see it. I think it's exactly the model I wanted (if anything I might like better, it would be a 5300 ... I'm not as enamored of the third manual as the extra voices the 5300 has on the two. There's one other weird thing about this model; there's no Swell Alterable Off which prohibits it from working like a floating division)
                    [snip]
                    This instrument had two optional Vibratos and optional Antiphonal divisions for all manuals. It didn't have two options: No brass choir, no MIDI. I wish it had the MIDI. Being a 6300A it also had an ADR4, but that must have died at some point, because it's been removed.
                    I can just see you on the playground now, sticking your tongue in my face, chanting, Na, na, na, na, na, nah!:devil: Wanna trade?:-> I really need the 3rd manual for my literature--especially those blasted French!

                    Seriously, I'm glad you actually were able to get the antiphonal relays. My 4300 is prepared for, but the relays aren't there. I have the Chimes instead of the Hautbois, and no Vibratos, which is OK by me. I stick with the Tremulant. The digital reverb would have been nice, but I'd only have used it at home. When I use it for performance, most of the spaces are large ehough and live enough to add to the ambience on their own.

                    About the Swell Alterable Off, I think perhaps you may be having another brain cramp.;-) If you turn Alterables 1 & 2 off, then they are off. Even when they're on, one needs to use the Alterable to Swell, Alterable to Great, Alterable to Choir, or Alterable to Pedal to get it to sound on that division. Simply turn those rocker tabs off to turn them off. I'm not sure how that works with the antiphonals, though. I would think the sound would follow the couplers.
                    Originally posted by thadfield View Post
                    Did you buy the MIDI from an Allen Dealer, or did you miraculously find an adapter used?

                    What's the 4300 like?
                    Let's just say I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with a wonderful man who is an Allen service person, and is worth his weight in gold. He's more interested in seeing organs work than holding blindly to Allen's creed. I'd be up a creek if it weren't for his patient guidance from Organ 1 (MOS-2) until the present. For MIDI, I needed the 32' Pedal Reed, so I purchased an Allen Ensemble II and will have it speaking through both of the pedal channels. When I need particular stops I don't have, or need contemporary MIDI sounds, I can get them through the Ensemble and dedicate one manual to that. Of course, 3 would be better.

                    About the 4300, I tend to fall in love with it every time I play it! It is simply the most authentic-sounding, used digital, and most customizable I've ever played. I've voiced the Alterables slightly different so I can obtain slightly different effects from the same tone card, as well as to use them together with Celeste Tuning should the need arise. For the articulation, it is completely customizable (as much as it could be back then), and for the first time in a digital, I could hear the materials used in the pipe (i.e. wood or metal).

                    Drawbacks? Besides the lack of 32' Pedal Reed, it lacks a 16' stop in the Swell, and I could bear to change the 16' in the Great to something else. It also didn't come stock with a complete set of toe studs as the 5300 did, so I added 6:
                    • Recall
                    • Swell to Great
                    • Great to Pedal
                    • Swell to Pedal
                    • Tutti I, and
                    • Tutti II
                    Just Monday, my wife picked up the toe stud labels I had made. I heard Allen charges over $50 per label. My guy is MUCH cheaper and does good work--less than $50 for the lot of 6 labels. I'll be posting pictures soon.

                    Other modifications include:
                    • Adding a Sub-Woofer crossover
                    • Purchasing a B-20 and a B-40 for performance
                    • Splitting the Great from the Pedal so each manual has its own pair of amplifiers (I purchased an ADC triple amp on eBay). Organ is now 6 channels w/sub woofer.
                    • Adding MIDI, and
                    • Purchasing PP-8 speakers for each of the manual channels.
                    Future modifications:
                    • Have MIDI drive ranks from my pipe organ (presently in storage).
                    • Add Reverb which can be turned off when needed.
                    • I'd like to modify the control systems so the organ could be wired to easily switch between the present 6 channels to the original 4 channels, both with and without sub woofer. That way I can quickly modify it, install it, and voice it in different venues.
                    Maybe I'm prejudiced, but I've played a Rodgers Trillium and Baldwin digitals, as well as Allen's Quantum Heritage and Renaissance instruments, and don't care for their sound as much as the 4300. Of course, that's when Larry(?) Phelps was working there on the tonal design, so, IMHO I believe Allen reached their pinnacle in voicing during that era. Now, Allen has too many options that ignorant dealers can mess up. I haven't heard their recent custom instruments, so I have no way to compare to them. There may be something better out there, but I haven't heard it yet, though I am a bit far away from civilization here in the Northeast.

                    If you want to find out more about the 4300, just search for ADC-4300 and my previous posts on the instrument should come up. I also look forward to hearing more about your 6300 as time goes on.

                    Thanks for joining the Forum and positing about your acquisitions. I can't wait to hear more.

                    Michael

                    P.S. Sorry for the long post--you asked!
                    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tom,

                      My Rohrflöte and Flute Dolce tend to have a bit of distortion, but I discovered that's more due to the voicing than the cards or amplifiers (too much Treble and/or Mid). I think, perhaps, it's a quirk of that generation of instruments.
                      I don't think that's the same distortion I'm hearing, because it goes away after it's been on for a while. Actually, the distortion is hardly noticeable EXCEPT the reverb picks it up and amplifies it in some bizarre way that is most unappealing. With the reverb off, you don't hear it.

                      Seriously, I'm glad you actually were able to get the antiphonal relays. My 4300 is prepared for, but the relays aren't there. I have the Chimes instead of the Hautbois, and no Vibratos, which is OK by me. I stick with the Tremulant. The digital reverb would have been nice, but I'd only have used it at home. When I use it for performance, most of the spaces are large ehough and live enough to add to the ambience on their own.
                      I don't really know what the vibratos would be used for, but apparently Unity Church in Clearwater liked them. The digital reverb is critical for me, since it sounds like crap in a house without it. But I suspect the Lexicons I added are far superior to what they had in 1989. The original reverb was a mix down of all six channels, reverberated, and then mixed back in to six channels. With individual channels each having their own reverb I've found that making very slight difference in the reverb settings for each channel gives a more realistic sound.

                      About the Swell Alterable Off, I think perhaps you may be having another brain cramp. If you turn Alterables 1 & 2 off, then they are off. Even when they're on, one needs to use the Alterable to Swell, Alterable to Great, Alterable to Choir, or Alterable to Pedal to get it to sound on that division. Simply turn those rocker tabs off to turn them off. I'm not sure how that works with the antiphonals, though. I would think the sound would follow the couplers.
                      Nope, no brain cramp there. Look at the spec sheet I attached and you will see there is no Alterable to Swell (that's what I actually meant by "Swell Alterable Off"). The Alterables are ALWAYS on the Swell. I think that's weird. I'm in the middle of moving houses, but when I get it set up in the new place I'll put some speakers on the antiphonal relays. My suspicion is that the Alterables come out the Swell antiphonals regardless of what manual they are coupled to, since it's not really a "floating division."

                      Drawbacks? Besides the lack of 32' Pedal Reed, it lacks a 16' stop in the Swell, and I could bear to change the 16' in the Great to something else.
                      No 32' Pedal Reed on the 6300 either, and no 16' stop in the Swell... but the organist who had it must have really liked 16' on the swell. There weren't many cards with it, but most are 16' stops.

                      Let's just say I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with a wonderful man who is an Allen service person, and is worth his weight in gold. He's more interested in seeing organs work than holding blindly to Allen's creed. I'd be up a creek if it weren't for his patient guidance from Organ 1 (MOS-2) until the present.
                      That might be the same wonderful man who helped me figure out my 301C and made me love it (although I love this one an order of magnitude more). Maybe he'll find a MIDI adapter for me. LOL But, also, my local Allen dealer is unbelievably helpful and generous, so I've got enough help to keep me generally out of trouble.

                      P.S. Sorry for the long post--you asked!
                      Fear not; I enjoyed every minute of the read.
                      Hammond B-3, Rogers Allegiant 778, Yamaha YUS1-SG, Yamaha N2 Avant Grande

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thadfield View Post
                        The digital reverb is critical for me, since it sounds like crap in a house without it. But I suspect the Lexicons I added are far superior to what they had in 1989.
                        Yes, for a critical listening application (i.e., not in a church or auditorium) a modern reverb will be scads better than the older Allen digital units, which clearly re-quantized the sound at 8 bit resolution.

                        Quick note about cleaning contacts: unless a water-based cleaning is somehow called for (i.e., cleaning massive corrosion from a board caused by a leaking nicad battery, for example) a non-water based cleaner is better than drugstore isopropyl alcohol. So, something like Deoxit, which is petroleum solvents+an organic acids, or any of the various other contact cleaning products, some of which are just basic petroleum solvents. Water could dissolve some corrosion-byproduct salts and if it doesn't completely dry, they could cause capacitance between the contacts.
                        If a massive water-based cleaning is done, the board has to be absolutely dry before re-energizing it. Search for some posts from "DellAnderson" for details from someone who went through this process.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by circa1949 View Post
                          Yes, for a critical listening application (i.e., not in a church or auditorium) a modern reverb will be scads better than the older Allen digital units, which clearly re-quantized the sound at 8 bit resolution.
                          Originally posted by thadfield View Post
                          I don't think that's the same distortion I'm hearing, because it goes away after it's been on for a while. Actually, the distortion is hardly noticeable EXCEPT the reverb picks it up and amplifies it in some bizarre way that is most unappealing. With the reverb off, you don't hear it.
                          Y'all please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Reverb have a frequency emphasis component rather than acting on a flat frequency curve? I realize that's not a proper term for it, but I thought reverb accented the high end more than the low end of the frequency spectrum?

                          Michael
                          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've always assumed that's what the "liveliness" or "color" control effects... which frequency it's acting upon more.

                            - - - Updated - - -

                            Originally posted by circa1949 View Post
                            Yes, for a critical listening application (i.e., not in a church or auditorium) a modern reverb will be scads better than the older Allen digital units, which clearly re-quantized the sound at 8 bit resolution.

                            Quick note about cleaning contacts: unless a water-based cleaning is somehow called for (i.e., cleaning massive corrosion from a board caused by a leaking nicad battery, for example) a non-water based cleaner is better than drugstore isopropyl alcohol. So, something like Deoxit, which is petroleum solvents+an organic acids, or any of the various other contact cleaning products, some of which are just basic petroleum solvents. Water could dissolve some corrosion-byproduct salts and if it doesn't completely dry, they could cause capacitance between the contacts.
                            If a massive water-based cleaning is done, the board has to be absolutely dry before re-energizing it. Search for some posts from "DellAnderson" for details from someone who went through this process.
                            Yes, well... I'm in the process of moving and every more appropriate solvent was already packed! But, I'll do it again with DeOxit on a rag when I find that box.

                            Maybe on that pass, I'll pry up EPROMs for cleaning too.
                            Hammond B-3, Rogers Allegiant 778, Yamaha YUS1-SG, Yamaha N2 Avant Grande

                            Comment

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