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  • Newbie help needed, Allen Digital Computer Organ

    Have a few newbie questions and this seemed like the place to ask. Need some help identifying an Allen organ.

    The tag underneath says 224-RTC AC-8716

    Any assistance tracking down some sort of manual or guide would be greatly appreciated.

    I have photos I can post.

    This is our church organ, no one with the church knows how to play, so I'm taking it upon myself to hunt down a tutor and start learning.

    What are some general maintenance things I should check with the organ itself?

    What would be a good home size practice instrument to pick up? I see Craigslist and Facebook listings fairly often of organs that can be had for the low low price of just picking it up.

    Much thanks in advance.

  • #2
    According to the list, an Allen 224 is a 2-manual MOS-2 instrument with AGO pedals and 22 pistons. I'm not sure what the "RTC" stands for, but possibly that it has a Tone Card Reader?

    David

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
      According to the list, an Allen 224 is a 2-manual MOS-2 instrument with AGO pedals and 22 pistons. I'm not sure what the "RTC" stands for, but possibly that it has a Tone Card Reader?

      David
      It does have a tone card reader.

      Thanks for the info!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
        According to the list, an Allen 224 is a 2-manual MOS-2 instrument with AGO pedals and 22 pistons. I'm not sure what the "RTC" stands for, but possibly that it has a Tone Card Reader?

        David
        David, I'm pulling deep from my memory about RTC. I think it indicated a Roll Top Console. Allen

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ArcadeSage View Post
          Any assistance tracking down some sort of manual or guide would be greatly appreciated.
          Manuals and guides are available for purchase on Allen's website: https://www.allenorgan.com/store/ownersmanualsmos.html.

          Originally posted by ArcadeSage View Post
          This is our church organ, no one with the church knows how to play, so I'm taking it upon myself to hunt down a tutor and start learning.
          It would help if you could provide your approximate location (i.e. State or Province). My plan was to create a triangle of help for those churches needing organists:
          1. They would find a pianist willing to learn organ,
          2. I would give him/her lessons, and
          3. The church would pay for the lessons as long as the person agreed to play for the church.

          To date, I've had no takers. Oh, well. It was a nice idea!

          Originally posted by ArcadeSage View Post
          What are some general maintenance things I should check with the organ itself?
          You should check the card reader battery(batteries) first of all. If it/they hasn't/haven't been removed from the board that processes the card reader data, it is well-known that these batteries develop leaks which can cause damage tot he board. The solution is to remove the battery to an off-board location (i.e. floor of the organ), and solder leads to where the battery was formerly mounted.

          Other maintenance recommendations are mentioned multiple times on the Forum. Check out JBird604's posts for those recommendations.

          Originally posted by ArcadeSage View Post
          What would be a good home size practice instrument to pick up? I see Craigslist and Facebook listings fairly often of organs that can be had for the low low price of just picking it up.
          Pretty much any 2-manual instrument with AGO dimensions (i.e. 32 concave/radiating pedals) should be sufficient. Most people opt for Allen or Rodgers, as they have historically had the better reputation. Other, more recent organ manufacturers who have also begun establishing some better reputations for sound quality, build quality, and usefulness for practice/church purposes.

          Hope this helps, and welcome to the Forum!

          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)
          • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks so much for the info.

            I'm located in West TN and have a couple local leads on tutors. Hoping to get in touch with them in the next week to see what we can work out.


            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
            Manuals and guides are available for purchase on Allen's website: https://www.allenorgan.com/store/ownersmanualsmos.html.

            It would help if you could provide your approximate location (i.e. State or Province). My plan was to create a triangle of help for those churches needing organists:
            1. They would find a pianist willing to learn organ,
            2. I would give him/her lessons, and
            3. The church would pay for the lessons as long as the person agreed to play for the church.

            To date, I've had no takers. Oh, well. It was a nice idea!

            You should check the card reader battery(batteries) first of all. If it/they hasn't/haven't been removed from the board that processes the card reader data, it is well-known that these batteries develop leaks which can cause damage tot he board. The solution is to remove the battery to an off-board location (i.e. floor of the organ), and solder leads to where the battery was formerly mounted.

            Other maintenance recommendations are mentioned multiple times on the Forum. Check out JBird604's posts for those recommendations.

            Pretty much any 2-manual instrument with AGO dimensions (i.e. 32 concave/radiating pedals) should be sufficient. Most people opt for Allen or Rodgers, as they have historically had the better reputation. Other, more recent organ manufacturers who have also begun establishing some better reputations for sound quality, build quality, and usefulness for practice/church purposes.

            Hope this helps, and welcome to the Forum!

            Michael

            Comment


            • #7
              You got good advice from Michael ( as always ), but I think he mistyped when he wrote Card Reader Batteries, as there are none. I'm pretty sure he means Memory Backup Batteries. But his advice is all quite correct regarding the memory batteries.
              Regards, Larry

              At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 ! ), E-5AR ( X 2, 1 parts, 1 not ), D80 ( parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( parts ), EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
                You got good advice from Michael ( as always ), but I think he mistyped when he wrote Card Reader Batteries, as there are none. I'm pretty sure he means Memory Backup Batteries. But his advice is all quite correct regarding the memory batteries.
                Larry, you're mistaken here. My ADC4000 had a battery on the TG5 card which is the Alterable card. It enables memory for the last card read into the system. If the battery is good the card will remain when the organ is turned off and will be retained for use the next time the organ is turned on. Without the battery the alterable system has no memory. I did not find it to be a useful feature and with consideration of possible damage from battery corrosion I removed it. Of course, if someone wanted to retain the feature it would be good practice to locate the battery elsewhere.
                Sam

                Allen ADC5400, Allen ADC4000, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
                Past---Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sam,

                  Thank you for the correction ! I had no idea that the TG5(s) for the Alterables might have a battery. That is what makes this forum so wonderful - learning all these interesting little bits of information that are pretty obscure.

                  I'm gonna have to look at my ADC6000 now, to see if it has them. I think it does not, or they are long dead, because mine does not retain the Alterable voices when shut off. As with you, that never bothered me, and I just figured that was how it was designed, just like all the MOS organs are.

                  I do think it is odd that Allen would have two different memory batteries : one for the Capture memory, and then one for the Alterable memory. Perhaps that was an improvement they made along the run of the ADC series. I'm pretty sure mine is a 1984 model, so it may may not have that setup.
                  Regards, Larry

                  At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 ! ), E-5AR ( X 2, 1 parts, 1 not ), D80 ( parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( parts ), EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Larry, if your 6000 has a card reader then it might still have the batteries in the cage. You will want to get them moved asap. The card reader batteries are in the cage and if they leak they can damage the backplane board and brick the organ.
                    Sam
                    Home: Yamaha P22 and a modified Allen ADC-4500 ... for now.
                    Church: Allen MDS-5
                    Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, Chorus/Mixture TC Generator, ADC TC Soundfont, and MOS TC Soundfont

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The card memory battery is on the USAV card in the cage, right beside the TG-5 cards. Allen warned us 20 years ago to get those batteries out of the cage. Please do so if it's not been done. The MDS at church was down for two months after battery leakage that happened years ago eventually destroyed some back plane traces. Took me weeks of intensive work to find the damage and repair it.

                      Batteries were also on the DM3 capture board, and hundreds of them were destroyed by battery leakage before we got most of them removed to external packs.
                      John
                      ----------
                      Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                      Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                      Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
                      Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is going to be a dumb question, but how do I access those boards? I'm confident in my soldering ability to relocate the battery if it's there, just need to know how to get in and look for it without breaking something.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ArcadeSage View Post
                          This is going to be a dumb question, but how do I access those boards? I'm confident in my soldering ability to relocate the battery if it's there, just need to know how to get in and look for it without breaking something.
                          ArcadeSage,

                          Do you have a contemporary console (looks modern in style), or traditional, probably B-style console? The answer to the question I posed will determine how you open the console to locate the battery. If it is the traditional style console, you simply lift the lid, and along the back (hinged) rail, you'll see the model/serial number tag, and a couple of wing nuts holding the back of the organ on. If you turn those wing nuts so they will clear the rail (be careful to protect the back, should it fall outward). That will provide access to the back of your MOS-2 organ.

                          Once you provide the information given above, we can help you further. You could also share photos of your organ, and we can help much better when seeing the photos.

                          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)
                          • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is a photo.

                            https://imgur.com/gallery/cR8bwgi

                            It has a roll top.

                            Hope that helps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcadeSage View Post
                              It has a roll top.
                              ArcadeSage,

                              That means your organ probably has the B-style console, and the instructions I provided below will be valid.

                              Once inside the back of the organ, you will see several boards inside similar to what you see here: https://www.organforum.com/gallery/d...um=36&pid=1141. Depending on the size of your organ, you may have doors that can swing out to reveal other computer cards for the organ. You will be looking for a card with batteries on it. If the repair has already happened, it will be wired to a battery box in the bottom of the console. From what has already been stated, I think I remember that the MOS-2 organs did not have batteries for the card reader memory. IIRC, that was a later (ADC) feature.

                              Take some photos and share them, and perhaps that will quicken the pace to discover what needs to be fixed.

                              Hope that helps.

                              Michael

                              P.S. Be careful of static charge when dealing with the boards. It's Winter.
                              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)
                              • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                              Comment

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