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  • Calling all Rodgers experts

    I'm currently looking for any and all technical information regarding Rodgers old Classic Keyboard line (C-440/C-445/C-505). Some specific questions:

    What sort of key contacts did they use, and how reliable are they?
    Ditto on the pedal-board (if it differs)
    What type of switches are the stop tabs?
    What mechanism is used for the swell pedal?
    What was the method of sound generation?

    Any and all answers would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Hi,

    I will answer as best I can, in order you asked them.

    1) silicone rubber dome switches - were not problematic, but now they will be 20 or more years old
    2) magnetic reed switches
    3) silicone rubber dome switches
    4) cheap plastic pedal with a potentiometer
    5) Roland DVM - digital voice module, basically a re-packaged roland Sound Canvas made to play like an organ, sampled type technology

    In some ways, these organs felt more like a keyboard than an organ.

    The C-505 was actually not bad sounding, if you subscribe to bland is beautiful - had a 2 channel external sound system on it.

    I would say these were better instruments than the subsequent 5xx series organs Rodgers brought over from Italy.

    AV

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a c-505. Arie's right, It is bland but with good external audio including an effects processor it's much better. The expression pedals are really flimsy and need to be rigged to go slower. The midi system also bare bones. Came with a PR300s which works seamlessly with. Use that daily. Pistons won't talk to Archive boxes. They of course add quite a bit soundwise.. I got mine for $400, can't complain about that. Practice on it every day.
      Jesse
      Jesse Hargus
      Portland, OR

      Comment


      • #4
        So from that I gather that the pedal boards are quite reliable, but the keys on the manuals are potentially not (as the instrument is decades old)? Have you ever had to replace any (addressed to either poster)? Is it an extremely involved process?

        Comment


        • #5
          Ive never had a problem with anything and ive been playing it almosy daily for about 5 years. Don't know how much use it got by the church where I bought it. I even opened it up and adjusted everything I could...volume levels, chiff, reverb..... one nice thing is that it comes apart into top, bottom and pedals. Easy to move.
          Jesse Hargus
          Portland, OR

          Comment


          • #6
            Is it easy to adjust the volume levels? Was this an adjustment on the amplifier, or can you actually adjust the volume levels of individual stops (or at least sections) within the organ itself? That may come in handy.

            The reason I ask these questions is because I play one every Sunday for the time being. We are in the process of replacing it, and I'm wondering if it's worth it to acquire it as a practice instrument once it's done (the sound generation question was more out of curiosity though, I own a Hauptwerk license already, so that's taken care of).

            One more question, does anybody know what could cause these organs to shut themselves off on occasion? It has happened to me twice, luckily neither time during playing. I did notice that the second time the lights in the building dimmed, but the first time I don't think they did. I thought I might have missed it, but the other organist has had it happen on several occasions reporting no other anomalies in the church (and the timing was bad on one occasion). In both of my instances, it simply "reset" itself, so I had to do nothing but re-activate the stops to get back in order, but the other organist reported having to cycle the power switch to get it back on (may have been a panic reaction, I'm not sure, but I'm sure some stops were tried first to no avail). Could this be a power supply, or more complicated electronics? If it's the power supply, is that relatively easy to replace?

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd advise getting a serviceman right away. These organs have a couple of the problematic blu-ish filter capacitors which leak and eventually explode with a smelly blaze. These are located on the pre-amp board and perhaps in other components. One of the caps may have already leaked onto a board and be causing the intermittent outage. If left unrepaired, the cap may explode and cause considerable damage inside the console. It could even render a board useless and necessitate the purchase of a very expensive replacement board. So I'd get that checked out immediately even though the church is about to replace it. You don't want to have a stinky smoky fire inside the console!

              As to adjusting levels, if you remove the back and look at the pre-amp board (flat board on the shelf right behind the keys) you will find bass, treble, and volume controls for each of the four channels. Two of the channels are the swell stops and the other two are the great and pedal stops, so you can do some degree of adjusting to balance the divisions and tweak the tonal character, though you can't do any note-by-note or stop-by-stop voicing.
              John
              ----------
              *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know all that much about fixing Rodgers organs, but I do play a 755 Concord now and then at a church near me. If yours is the same vintage, ie : mid 80s - early 91ish with analog tone generation with computer controls, then this bit from the owners manual ( I have the PDF if you need one ) may explain it shutting off on you.

                " The organ automatically turns itself off if left idle for more than two hours. Just before turning off, the computer flashes the Tutti piston as a warning to the organist. Pressing any piston or key will prevent the organ from turning off for another two hours. This feature prevents the organ from being left on by mistake. "

                I'm not sure that I like organs that think they know better than I do, about what I want them to do. But then too, I don't like cars that automatically lock the doors on you either.
                Regards, Larry

                At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice John. The service call has been made.

                  Larry: the organ is actually a full digital, and it wouldn't have been that feature as in neither instance was the organ on for over 2 hours. Thanks for the input anyhow though.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    wondering what was the fix?

                    Originally posted by M1994 View Post
                    Thanks for the advice John. The service call has been made.

                    Larry: the organ is actually a full digital, and it wouldn't have been that feature as in neither instance was the organ on for over 2 hours. Thanks for the input anyhow though.
                    Hi, I have a 760 that's doing the same thing. It will randomly do a 'reset' clearing all the stops and couplers both while playing or not. I was wondering what fixed your problem. Thanks, JoeV

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Your 760 may have a problem with the power switch or with the power supply itself. Since it's older than the model we were discussing in this thread, it probably doesn't have any of the defective leaking caps. But the reset you describe is the result of a brief drop in power supply voltage, so brief that it might not even be noticeable to the human eye, but enough of a glitch to reset the CPU. You might have a problem with the AC outlet it's connected to, or perhaps the line cord. Check the socket inside the organ console where the power cord connects. If the electrical service to the building itself is a little unstable (which wouldn't be terribly uncommon) you could try installing a UPS device, such as those intended for large desktop computers, at the outlet where the organ is plugged in.
                      John
                      ----------
                      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        To continue the tread about power supply issues, this model used connectors between the power supply boards and the power transistors mounted on the heat sinks. Over time, the plastic on these connectors have an issue with just crumbling and being intermittent which can cause all sorts of problems. The fix is to solder the legs of the transistors to the contacts of the connectors. You might also want to clean the contacts of the CPU board found under the metal cover just above the batteries.
                        Last edited by PeteKnobloch; 12-18-2012, 08:14 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          I had a certain organ out in the field that did the same thing. It was an organ built on the Bradford Computing system, and it was built in England. Anyways, bringing it into Canada, meant doing some retrofitting to meet electrical code here. This meant adding fuses to all DC voltages coming out of switching power supplies. Well, after several years, a complaint came in that the organ would shut down, and then click, click, click come back to life. I went and babysat the instrument for a couple of hours, and nothing happened. A month or two later, same thing. This time the organ did not fail for me, but an organist who came to practice, was playing after I left, and it happened to her. I happened to have stopped for lunch just around the corner from the church, when the office called saying that the organ where I had just been went down and came back. So, I went back, and it happened a few times. What I found was that the 5 volt line, was operating just on the threshold of the computer clock working or not working. Basically the fuse was acting a little like a resistor and causing the voltage drop just enough to cause the intermittent response. I ended up just soldering a good solid wire across the fuse clips. Solved the problem.

                          It is quite conceivable that a bad connection somewhere in the power supply is the issue. Also, you may want to try plugging the organ into a different outlet. If the organ is plugged into an extension cord, use a different one, or try it without if possible. A lot of extension cords are just not very good these days. If the line voltage is not stable, you may want to put in a line conditioner. Also, if you can, check the 5 Vdc line and see if it is correct voltage or low. If around 4.7 volts, it may not work right. There may be something that is drawing too much current and pulling the voltage down.

                          AV

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks John and Peter. I overlooked possible AC power input problems because the relay didn't reset, but as you mentioned, the transient could be so brief I didn't notice it. I'll try moving the power cord to a different outlet. I had also heard of the transistor socket problem that Peter mentioned. I will definitely go in and solder those connections. The problem occurs so randomly that I haven't been able to pin it down to any particular circumstance. All the DC voltages seem to be within tolerance. I've cleaned all the contacts on the CPU and it's edge connector on the multifunction board. I've even re-heated several solder joints that looked a little questionable on the multifunction board. Very frustrating, I hate intermittents....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Arie. I've checked all the voltages and all seem to be within tolerance. The 5v supply metered at 5.1v. Unfortunately, I don't have an oscilloscope to look for transients. I'll be trying some of the suggestions posted once I get home this evening. Hopefully it will be something simple like the AC supply outlet.
                              Thanks, JoeV

                              Originally posted by arie v View Post
                              Hi,

                              I had a certain organ out in the field that did the same thing. It was an organ built on the Bradford Computing system, and it was built in England. Anyways, bringing it into Canada, meant doing some retrofitting to meet electrical code here. This meant adding fuses to all DC voltages coming out of switching power supplies. Well, after several years, a complaint came in that the organ would shut down, and then click, click, click come back to life. I went and babysat the instrument for a couple of hours, and nothing happened. A month or two later, same thing. This time the organ did not fail for me, but an organist who came to practice, was playing after I left, and it happened to her. I happened to have stopped for lunch just around the corner from the church, when the office called saying that the organ where I had just been went down and came back. So, I went back, and it happened a few times. What I found was that the 5 volt line, was operating just on the threshold of the computer clock working or not working. Basically the fuse was acting a little like a resistor and causing the voltage drop just enough to cause the intermittent response. I ended up just soldering a good solid wire across the fuse clips. Solved the problem.

                              It is quite conceivable that a bad connection somewhere in the power supply is the issue. Also, you may want to try plugging the organ into a different outlet. If the organ is plugged into an extension cord, use a different one, or try it without if possible. A lot of extension cords are just not very good these days. If the line voltage is not stable, you may want to put in a line conditioner. Also, if you can, check the 5 Vdc line and see if it is correct voltage or low. If around 4.7 volts, it may not work right. There may be something that is drawing too much current and pulling the voltage down.

                              AV

                              Comment

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