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Newly acquired Rodgers 690

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  • Newly acquired Rodgers 690

    Now that it is in my house and set up (no external speakers) I have a list of issues that I need some advice on.

    1). Low C pedal does not work. I've already determined why:
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    Half the magnet is broken off. Where can I get a replacement?

    2). Swell shoes do nothing. Literally. Listening with headphones the volume stays the same, regardless of the position of the Swell pedal, or the Great/Pedal swell. The Crescendo pedal (and the Tutti) work properly.

    3). Since the organ comes equipped with MIDI I am also plugging it into my computer and using Hauptwerk (now I have 2 organs for the price of 1):->. However, I am not getting any sound (I do when I play the virtual keyboards inside Hauptwerk). The Midi control panel in Hauptwerk shows midi messages coming in (the "LEDs" light up). However, Hauptwerk is looking for notes from Great on Ch1, Swell on Ch2 and Pedal on Ch3. When I play keys the "LEDs" for the MIDI channels are all over the place showing different channels every time I press a key. I've reset the MIDI on the organ to factory defaults. Any advice? Hauptwerk's Autodetect settings doesn't find the keyboards.:'(

    4). I hope to get external speakers eventually. Am I limited to Rodgers speakers or can I get them from anywhere, subject to certain specs? Also, the organ is advertised as having 4 channel audio (L/R for Gt/Pd and L/R for Sw). However when looking at the speaker hookups, it shows all keyboards on only Channels 1 and 2. Channels 3 and 4 are marked "Not Used." There are, however, jumpers from 3/4 over to 1/2. Do I have 2 channels or 4 for speakers?

    That's all of the issues I've found so far (not bad for the price).

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    If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
    YouTube Channel:
    Web Site (with sheet music):

  • #2
    1. See if your local hardware store has magnetic strips about the same width as the one on the pedal. The type of material used can usually be cut to length--sometimes called a plastic magnet. The system is not fussy about the type of magnet. If you can't find it locally, send me a PM with your mailing address, and I can send you a piece. As you can see, it is held on with a staple, so it's not a brittle, hard magnet material. Put the replacement on with adhesive.

    2. On the swell shoe, first look to see that the mechanical linkage actually rotates the potentiometer--the set screw might be loose, or the linkage broken.

    3. I have no knowledge of the MIDI on these models.

    4. I don't know about the specific speaker arrangement on this model, but generally digital organs require full frequency range of at least 32 Hz to the mid to high teens, rated for around 100 Watts. They do not have to be Rodgers. If you can find Allen HC-12, -14, or -15 used they are excellent speakers.


    • #3
      There are some Johannus speakers on ebay right now. Don't know if they would work with your instrument but probably would.


      • #4
        That's one of the "Cheetah" models, and I think the 690 might be the largest model in that series. A very complete spec. I think it shares the same four-channel audio processor board with the other Cheetah models, and they are configurable for either two or four channels of audio out.

        According to the Rodgers tech site, the 690 is supposed to be set up for four channels (two for the swell, two for the great/pedal), but it's always possible that it was modified by the installer or dealer who sold it, or by someone else along the way. But you might take a close look inside and see how many amplifiers are present.

        The four-channel Cheetah organs normally have two of the Rodgers modular stereo amplifiers -- each one is a stand-up assembly consisting of a large "chip" labeled "STK" plus some numbers, along with a small circuit board. The STK chip is screwed directly to a large black aluminum heat sink. One is on the far left inside as you look in from the back of the console, and the other one is back closer to the keyboards and perpendicular to the first one. If you have two of them in there, then it is a four-channel amp setup. Still possible that someone re-configured it at some point.

        Posting some pics of the various boards and stuff inside the console might tell the whole story. I had a model 580 at home for a while, and have one at the shop now, a trade-in, so I'm quite familiar with this series. The 580 I had at home was factory configured as two channels, but I made a few simple mods to separate the swell audio out from the great/pedal, then added a second stereo amp and separate speakers. Made it sound very nice.

        The expression pedals not working could be due to a wire broken off the potentiometers on those two pedals. The same driving voltage is shared by all three pedals, but it comes from the crescendo to the other two via a jumper, which could be broken loose right at the crescendo pedal.

        Not sure why Hauptwerk would not detect your MIDI signals. I briefly tried Hauptwerk with my 580, and had no problem detecting the keyboards and even the stops. Are you certain that you have the MIDI cable connected to the MIDI OUT of the organ and the MIDI IN on the computer?
        *** 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!


        • #5
          Thanks, Toodles. I will look for an appropriate magnet. My main concern was that it was a specialized magnet that may be hard to find. I'm relieved that it's run-of-the-mill.

          For the Swell Shoes, do I get at them from the back? I'm kind of assuming so. I'd take of the box-like cover off. I'll see about that next time I have time to pull the unit forward and get at the insides.

          Thank you as well, John.
          I'll post some pics of the inside when I open it up again. If I remember correctly it had two amps, located just as you described (the black heat sinks are hard to miss).

          As for the MIDI problem, I know I've got the IN and OUT plugged in correctly (double checked it) and because the LED on my small MIDI module lights up when messages are going through (there's one LED for IN and one for OUT). Also, the MIDI control panel in Hauptwerk shows incoming messages on it's "LEDs". The module is then hooked to my computer via USB cable. I might try a couple of other MIDI applications I have (MusicTime, GrandOrgue, JOrgan) to see if they work correctly or not. I have a Casio keyboard that I played Hauptwerk on using this MIDI setup and never had a problem.

          If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
          YouTube Channel:
          Web Site (with sheet music):


          • #6
            Originally posted by toodles View Post
            ... Put the replacement on with adhesive.
            Any particular adhesive? Anything I should stay away from? (I'm thinking I'll use Gorilla Glue).

            If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
            YouTube Channel:
            Web Site (with sheet music):


            • #7
              I use a free-ware application called MIDI-OX to view incoming and outgoing MIDI messages for debugging.

              Yes, you access the swell shoes from the back.

              GE Silicone sealant is always good. Sticks to most anything, cures slowly so repositioning is possible. I wouldn't use Gorilla glue. Not sure it will stick to the magnet. Contact cement would be my 2nd choice.

              I just looked at the GG website--looks like they have a variety of products. I was thinking of the polyurethane wood glue that requires moisture in the wood for it to cure when I advised against it.
              Last edited by toodles; 07-02-2018, 07:41 AM.


              • #8
                Replaced the magnet to no effect. What do I check next? I looked at the board with the reed switches on them and can't see anything wrong.
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                I've opened up the expression pedal box and checked wires, function etc, and don't see anything wrong.
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                Don't know where to go from here either.

                BTW the LED indicators for both expression shoes light up in sequence properly when manipulating them.
                Attached Files

                If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
                YouTube Channel:
                Web Site (with sheet music):


                • #9
                  Here are some shots of the amp area...

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                  How would speakers be hooked up? Is there a master volume that can attenuate the speakers (I am in my home with this...)?

                  Also, what are these for:
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                  If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
                  YouTube Channel:
                  Web Site (with sheet music):


                  • #10
                    You can try shorting the offending reed switch to see if that causes the pedal to sound. Also, try placing the magnet near the back of the reed switch to see if it causes the note to speak. If the magnet on the back doesn't work but shorting the switch does, then the reed switch is probably defective.

                    If the expression indicators work, then the expression shoe is getting its info to the control system, and the problem is internal to how the expression works. I don't know how that is handled on these models, so I can't offer help. On their analog organs, expression was handled with incandescent lamps and CdS (Cadmium Sulfide) resistive photo cells. The lamps would sometimes burn out. Perhaps these models work the same way. Look for a black rubber cylinder about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter, about 1 inch high--Rodgers used these on their analog organs to cover the photocells and lamps. A gentle tug removes them (friction fit). Then you can see if the lamps change brightness with changes in the swell position.

                    If it doesn't use that technology, I don't know what technology it does use.


                    • #11
                      Playing with MidiOx this is the output I got from the organ. What I did was select MIDI on Great and played two octaves of a C major scale starting from middle C. At the beginning the "Note Off" event just goes along about 2 times per second. When I first hit middle C is where the G 8 Note On event comes in. From there down to where "Pitch Bend" begins repeating is where I was playing the two octaves.

                      0002345F 5 -- 93 00 00 4 C -1 Note Off 00023653 5 -- 93 00 00 4 C -1 Note Off
                      00023847 5 -- 93 00 00 4 C -1 Note Off
                      00023923 5 -- 93 73 9F 4 G 8 Note On
                      00023925 5 -- C9 D8 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00023926 5 -- C9 06 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      000239E9 5 -- C9 33 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      000239ED 5 -- A7 C9 B0 8 A 15 Key Aftertouch
                      00023A10 5 -- A7 1A 0E 8 D 1 Key Aftertouch
                      00023A14 5 -- B5 E9 58 6 --- Control Change
                      00023AD3 5 -- B5 1B F3 6 --- Control Change
                      00023AD7 5 -- B5 4D C9 6 --- Control Change
                      00023AD8 5 -- B5 4D 00 6 --- Control Change
                      00023B0B 5 -- B5 06 BF 6 --- CC: Data Entry MSB
                      00023B0D 5 -- E9 B0 03 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023CD4 5 -- E9 00 D3 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023CD7 5 -- E5 C9 5F 6 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023CE8 5 -- E5 6E 87 6 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023CEA 5 -- E9 1D 00 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023DE5 5 -- 83 9D C9 4 C#12 Note Off
                      00023DE6 5 -- 83 5E 1A 4 Bb 6 Note Off
                      00023E05 5 -- E8 F5 E9 9 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023E06 5 -- E8 5F 6F 9 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023ED0 5 -- E8 53 ED 9 --- Pitch Bend
                      00023ED2 5 -- C9 5D -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00023ED3 5 -- C9 37 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00023F07 5 -- F2 A7 E9 -- --- Song Position Ptr
                      00023F08 5 -- F2 5E 1A -- --- Song Position Ptr
                      00023FEC 5 -- F2 13 1D -- --- Song Position Ptr
                      00023FED 5 -- C9 5C -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00023FEE 5 -- C9 1C -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      0002401D 5 -- EA BD E9 11 --- Pitch Bend
                      0002401F 5 -- EA 5D 6F 11 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024164 5 -- EA 00 F3 11 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024166 5 -- EA 15 C9 11 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024175 5 -- AB 00 E2 12 C -1 Key Aftertouch
                      00024179 5 -- CB E9 -- 12 --- PC: Banjo
                      0002417A 5 -- CB 5C -- 12 --- PC: Pad 5(bowed)
                      0002417B 5 -- CB 39 -- 12 --- PC: Trombone
                      00024252 5 -- CB 13 -- 12 --- PC: Church Organ
                      00024253 5 -- CB 1D -- 12 --- PC: Overdrive Guitar
                      00024255 5 -- C9 5C -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024256 5 -- C9 18 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024280 5 -- DE A7 -- 15 --- Channel Aft
                      00024282 5 -- E9 EB 03 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024349 5 -- E9 53 9D 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      0002434B 5 -- C9 5D -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      0002434C 5 -- C9 1A -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024380 5 -- E2 79 E9 3 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024381 5 -- E2 5C 5E 3 --- Pitch Bend
                      0002443C 5 -- 93 C5 C9 4 F 15 Note On
                      0002443D 5 -- 93 5E 6C 4 Bb 6 Note On
                      00024472 5 -- D4 AD -- 5 --- Channel Aft
                      00024473 5 -- E9 5D 35 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024529 5 -- D3 4D -- 4 --- Channel Aft
                      0002452B 5 -- C9 5F -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      0002452C 5 -- C9 32 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      0002454A 5 -- F2 1F E9 -- --- Song Position Ptr
                      0002454B 5 -- F2 5E 04 -- --- Song Position Ptr
                      00024626 5 -- F3 C5 -- -- --- Song Select
                      00024628 5 -- C9 C5 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024629 5 -- C9 00 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024652 5 -- 87 E9 5F 8 F 18 Note Off
                      000246E6 5 -- 87 18 33 8 C 1 Note Off
                      000246E9 5 -- BF C9 B0 16 --- CC: Attack Time
                      00024728 5 -- BF 03 87 16 --- Control Change
                      0002472B 5 -- E9 1D 00 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      000247E8 5 -- E9 73 B1 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      000247E9 5 -- C9 58 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      000247EA 5 -- C9 03 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024812 5 -- C9 0C -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024813 5 -- C9 79 -- 10 --- PC: Drums
                      00024815 5 -- E9 B0 01 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024906 5 -- E9 0E 3D 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024909 5 -- E9 58 02 10 --- Pitch Bend
                      00024AFA 5 -- E9 00 00 10 --- Pitch Bend

                      As you can see the messages (and channels) are all over the place. The Great should simply be sending on Channel 1. I've done the factor default reset for the MIDI (as described in the owner's manual).

                      If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
                      YouTube Channel:
                      Web Site (with sheet music):


                      • #12
                        That's definitely the four-channel amp set, and you have terminals in place to connect four standard organ speaker cabinets. Allen HC-15's would be great for the purpose if you can find some. The originals were probably Rodgers FR5.0 boxes, which are rarer and hard to find, but nearly identical to Allen HC-15's in terms of audio performance.

                        Somebody installed jumpers between all four common outputs, but I don't know why that would be necessary. Probably doesn't hurt anything. My guess would be that the installer went cheap on cable and used a common ground wire to run to his speaker chamber. That is poor practice, but I have seen it done many times.

                        You would connect your four speakers to the four pairs of screw terminals which are marked swell left and right and great left and right. I'd remove the black wire jumpers and use ordinary two-wire speaker cable from these screw terminals to the terminals on the speaker cabinets.

                        Be sure to observe correct polarity -- connect the black wire in each cable to the negative or common screw on both the organ and on the speaker cabinet. Otherwise you might get bass cancellation and poor sound.

                        The lack of expression may indicate that someone in the past replaced the audio processor (possibly labeled as the "four-channel pre-amp") with the wrong code or version. Perhaps a non-tech or someone without full knowledge of the way these organs are to be configured. The main differences among the different codes is the way expression is handled, and that selection is handled by a set of jumpers along one edge of the board. It has been a while since I fooled with this, and I'll have to dig out the service manual to remember it. But you have to set the jumpers to correspond to the number of expression pedals you have, otherwise there will be no expression. So that may well be the problem, since it's not a broken wire.

                        The other MAJOR difference among the board versions is whether or not the mixing jumpers are installed. If the jumpers are installed it becomes a two-channel organ, with the swell channels blended into the great. To use the organ with its normal four-speaker setup, the jumpers must be clipped out. These jumpers are hard to locate, believe me! I scratched my head for an hour before I found them when I was trying to re-configure the 580 I had at home from two channels to four.

                        If you will take some close and detailed pics of the "four-channel pre-amp" circuit board, I'll try to help you find both the expression jumpers and the mixing jumpers.

                        The four orange thumbwheel pots are the volume controls for the four channels. You can see which one affects which channel by looking at the little diagram printed on the board itself, not right beside the wheels, but nearby in an open area. You'll see that the red wheels are for the bass, yellow for the treble, and orange for the volume of each channel. You can tinker with those to get the volume and tone the way you like it. Set it as softly as you need to for the home setting, where you obviously need much less power than in a church building. When listening with headphones you have the headphone volume knob as well.

                        - - - Updated - - -

                        The more I think about this, especially after looking at your MIDI-OX results, the more I think someone may have seriously tampered with this organ, possibly swapping out several components from another similar organ without knowing how to re-configure stuff, or that not all the parts are interchangeable, even though they may look nearly identical.

                        You might not even have the correct EPROM in the console controller unit, which would account for the strange MIDI signals going out. Before you go any further, you need to get some speakers and hook them up to the four channels to determine what, if anything, actually comes out of the audio.
                        *** 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!



                        • #13

                          What version of Hauptwerk are you using?



                          • #14
                            You are a godsend. Although it sounds I like I may not be able to use the MIDI, that's ok if I have a working unit otherwise; the MIDI capability was gravy.

                            I guess I have my weekend project set up. I'll get back in to the organ and take some more pictures and post them. I'm relieved to hear that the 4 channel setup is (most likely) intact. Can I get some cheapo speakers to just verify functioning, or am I likely going to just blow them? I'm assuming minimum of 8 ohms.

                            I have one other issue. I'm getting an occasional very high pitched shrieking in the right channel of the headphones. It comes and goes randomly, starting softly then steadily increasing in volume until it is unbearable lasting between 5 and 10 seconds then disappears suddenly, for a time, anywhere between 1 and 10 minutes before repeating. But, I have also played for more than an hour without hearing it at all.

                            I have the latest free version with a couple different free samplesets.
                   64-bit Windows.

                            (P.S.: Go Leafs Go):P

                            If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
                            YouTube Channel:
                            Web Site (with sheet music):


                            • #15
                              You can use any decent speakers just for testing, but if they are lightweight units don't overdrive them. Just put on one stop per division at a time, or turn the volume way down using the orange thumbwheels.
                              *** 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!