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Changing the battery in a Allen Mds40

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  • Changing the battery in a Allen Mds40

    Can anyone provide some instructions on changing the battery for the combination action. I have the battery but the Allen organ tech is completely incompetent and does not show up to appointments when he is supposed too.

  • #2
    Allen MDS models of every kind have the capture memory battery on the "MN" board, a large flat nearly-square board with a solid metal shield over part of it. The early models use the MN-1 board, later there were other dash numbers, which introduced new features, extra connections, and are not backward compatible. They also changed battery types.

    That said, all you have to do is locate the MN board, which is normally mounted on one of the swing-out panels, though in some models it is on the side panel or or elsewhere. Some MN boards have the battery mounted so you can see it and change it without removing the cover, but other versions have it under the metal shield. So if you don't see it (either a coin-cell type 2032 or a "mini-AA" often numbered 123 or 2/3AA) take off the cover and you will see it there.

    Note that either type must be replaced with a LITHIUM battery, not Alkaline, and NOT re-chargeable. This system doesn't recharge the battery, but it normally lasts for several years. Either type is of course readily available in a drug store, Walmart, photo shop, etc.

    Be VERY careful when you change it not to damage the holder and not to short it out. Be sure of the polarity, obviously. The 123 battery is held quite tightly in a stiff clip, but it does come out. The 2032 is in the typical slip-in clip. You may need to use a non-metallic tool to lift the 2032 from the clip.

    If the battery has gone completely dead, you will have to do a factory reset. If the battery is not completely dead, you can probably save your combinations and save the existing configuration data by having the organ turned ON when you change the battery, being very careful not to short anything out on the MN board with a tool!

    If you find after changing the battery that the pistons don't all work correctly -- some of them, for example, that are supposed to be divisionals may act like generals, and vice versa, you will need to find the menu item in the Console Controller called "Re-initialize Piston Configuration." The console controller user guide gives details about using this menu to restore the MN system to factory defaults, as to the way the pistons operate, the tutti/crescendo, MIDI channels, and some other stuff. If some of those settings have previously been customized for your organ, you will have to restore those manually, again following directions in the console controller user guide.

    Not brain surgery, but not always a simple pop-out/pop-in operation either. good luck!
    *** 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!


    • #3
      Also, the MN cover should have either a white label with red lettering that indicates the battery or it should be silk screened in black lettering on the MN cover.


      • #4
        Thanks everyone I was able to change it over the weekend and now have pistons again.