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Allen MDS Capture Haywire

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  • jbird604
    replied
    Yes, they're apparently quite readily available. There are a couple of problems with using them though in the MN-1 boards. First is the mounting clip, which holds the battery in place VERY securely. I've often thought I was going to break something before getting that thing extracted and the new one installed. Don't know why Allen would have used such an inflexible mounting bracket for the battery.

    Second, even though lithium batteries last a very long time and don't tend to leak when run down, we have seen untold numbers of boards in digital instruments ruined by oozing battery juice. I just like to get all batteries off the boards whenever I can.

    And changing to a pair of AA lithiums in a remote box makes changing the battery quick and easy and safe. The pair of AA's should last longer too because of their size.

    Finally, if and when the MN-1 board in these early MDS organs should develop the battery drain issue, at least the possibility exists to insert a resistor in series with the battery to extend its life.

    AFAIK, Allen has released no information as to why some MN-1 boards start draining their battery like this. But once it starts, it apparently gets worse, and batteries will last only a few days. My country boy resistor mod doesn't seem to cause any problems with the capture or sequencer memory, but it does affect the clock (which I doubt many people ever look at anyway).

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  • davidecasteel
    replied
    Those 123 batteries ought to be readily available--lots of small (tactical) flashlights use them.

    Dave

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  • jbird604
    replied
    Your MN is probably the old original MN-1, so you may have run into the battery draining issue. If the battery runs down again in just a few weeks, try my country boy fix. Can't hurt to try it, and replacing the MN board will cost a BUNCH of money.

    Keep in mind that you must always do the initialize procedure anytime the battery runs down. I believe that later model MN boards would automatically re-initialize themselves when the battery got changed, but the MN-1 for sure has to be initialized.

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  • tschnuckel
    replied
    The organ is working after doing the above. I didn't realize the MIDI Assistant only calls pistons, not individual stops.

    I had replaced the 2/3A battery a month ago. Made sure to keep the organ off until ready to swap the batteries. I went back and tested that battery after it was working again, it tested 2.866 VDC. Seems weird.

    I've thought about moving the battery holder. Lots of screws on the MN cover.

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  • jbird604
    replied
    Ted,

    I trust that you did what Dave said above and that it fixed it for you! Of course, the battery may be dead, which would allow the memory to become scrambled in the first place. If that's the case, you'll have to do the re-initialize every time you turn on the organ and reset all your pistons. Best to replace that battery.

    MDS organs used two different batteries, IIRC, over the life of the series. Oldest models with the original MN-1 board as the "nerve center" (as Allen called it) use a little 3.6 volt lithium (non-rechargeable) battery that is like a AA but shorter. I believe you can get them in photo sections of Walmart, as they were used in some cameras. Battery is called #123. (Dave may chime in with more detailed info.)

    Later MDS models with upgraded MN boards use a standard coin cell type 2032, which you can buy just about anywhere. You probably know what I mean, it's the one about the size of a quarter, might be called BR2032 or CR2032 depending on the brand. I can't tell any difference as long as the four numbers 2032 are in there.

    I don't recall which ones are which, but on some organs you have to remove the metal shield over the MN board to get to the battery, while others have the battery exposed and easily accessible for changing.

    The MDS-45 at my church has the old original MN-1 board with the #123 battery, but I long ago soldered on a pair of wires leading to a battery box and I use two Lithium AA batteries in the box. Also, our MN board became afflicted with the "battery drain" issue that caused it to sometimes run the battery down in just a couple of weeks. Allen offers no cure for this other than to sell you a new board, but I seem to have solved it by putting a resistor in series with the battery to stop the draining. I think it might be a 10K resistor. Whatever it is, it lets enough current through to keep memories alive, yet restrains it enough that the current pair of AA Lithiums has been in the organ nearly two years without running down. The clock doesn't keep time, but I never used it anyway.

    Hope you've got it all taken care of by now.

    Leave a comment:


  • tucsondave
    replied
    First thing to try is initialize everything in the console controller. Instructions are in the owner's manual which should be with the organ.
    Here's the info if you don't have it.

    td

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  • myorgan
    replied
    Nothin' like giving lots of time to help.

    Try sending a PM to JBird604 and tuscondave. They are always a ready help. Meanwhile, I'll search the Forum. I think I've heard this answer before, but it was years ago.

    Best of luck!

    Michael
    Last edited by myorgan; 11-23-2014, 07:15 PM.

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  • tschnuckel
    started a topic Allen MDS Capture Haywire

    Allen MDS Capture Haywire

    HELP!

    Last Sunday organ worked fine.

    Last night the clock is wrong, all memories locked, non of the presets are even close, EVEN the MIDI Assistant doesn't play right. The notes are there, but the stops are WAY off.

    The battery is working; the warning message doesn't appear in the console controller.

    HELP!
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