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  • Allen ADC 6300A DK Memory

    Recently I changed the two batteries on my ADC 6300A DK. Batteries are for the card reader and quad capture memory system. The organ was off but plugged in, memory not cancelled with a few stops pulled. To be safe, I used very small end-to-end connectors and heat shrink so as not to risk solder damage to a circuit board.

    After changing the batteries, when powered back on the memory system was a mess. Select any memory location, A - D, general, divisions and nearly all stops, card reader tabs, coupler tabs and general tabs was on. To clear the issue, I went through all four memory banks, generals and divisions making sure every stop and rocker tab were re-set to off. All locations cleared and work correctly with one exception. Select Memory A, General 1 and it turns on the Swell blank and Tierce stop, Great Rohrflute stop and Choir blank and Flageolett stop.

    I have re-set that memory A, general 1 to all off. Power down, back up and that memory has set itself back to the 5 stops being on. If I re-set that memory to a different selection of stops and cycle the organ off/on, you get a little bit of both. Most of the five are back on with a few of the new selected stops - not all.

    Is there a process or piston combination that would correct this problem?
    Stan
    ---------
    Allen ADC-6300A DK

  • #2
    Stan,

    I apologize, I do not have an answer for this one. You have officially made me curious to find the answer.

    The only thing I can think of is perhaps there is a bad ground somewhere? My ADC-4300DKC will sometimes not sound the Octave 4' on the Great when it is pulled, but other times it will. All I think I've ascertained so far is that there is a bad ground inside the back of the console, and it appears to be related to my wayward Octave 4'.

    Best of luck with the solution.

    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)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Stan,

      does the ADC 6300A DK have the two memory option - the ADC 6000 has a key that selects one of two memories. If yes do both memories show similar symptoms?

      Mark

      Comment


      • michaelhoddy
        michaelhoddy commented
        Editing a comment
        An Allen 6300 would have the USCP-series quad capture board, not the DM-series dual memory in most of the earlier organs.

      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Mark,

        The ADC-6000 is an earlier model with a double memory (DM) board in it-only A & B options. With the iteration of the later ADC organs (ADC-x300 series), Allen added memory capacity to the quad memory systems (ABCD).

        Michael

    • #4
      I am not aware of any secret button press combinations that will erase all of the piston memories or reset the board memory. I would think that when you power up the organ, the processor on the USCP board would go through a power-up sequence so that should not be the problem. I guess it is possible that when you connected the new batteries that the connection was not instantaneous and somehow wrote information into the memory chips but obviously that should be over-written when you set a blank combination.

      What type of rechargeable batteries did you use? NiCad, NiMH, Lithium? Have you checked the voltage on the new battery pack when the organ is off? The USCP combination memory and the card reader use a different number of cells. The USCP uses two cells and the USAV uses three. Is there any chance you put the wrong battery pack on the USCP board?

      Could you be a bit more specific about how you changed the batteries? Did you physically remove the USCP board from its mount on the organ? Had the batteries already been removed from the actual PC board and you just connected the new batteries by connecting onto existing pigtails soldered onto the board? Or did you remove existing batteries on the board and solder pigtails to the boards? This information will help us understand how much you handled the USCP board.

      In looking at photographs of my USCP-2 board, it appears there are two chips in sockets, one of them being the EPROM specific to your model organ and the other being the microcontroller. It might be worth taking those chips out of their sockets and re-seating them - with the power off and using anti-static precautions, of course.

      The other thing you might try is to disconnect the new batteries and then reconnect them firmly, trying not to break/make the connection more than once. I used mating connectors on my new battery pigtail wires so I don't have to un-solder anything from the PC board any more.
      Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        It would be informative to switch out the USCP board and see what the result is. I would be curious to see if the issue resolves with a different board. If so, then if the EProms are removable, does the issue move with the EProm switch (if possible).

        Michael

    • #5
      I'm finding this thread interesting because I had a similar experience to S. Crandall when I changed the batteries on my ADC 5400. My first task after I got the organ was to change the batteries. I did so with the organ unplugged and the board removed from the cage. I assumed that the settings of the former owner would be lost in the process. After changing the batteries I reset some of the pistons to my preferences and they worked fine. However, the next time that I used the organ the settings had reverted to those of the previous owner. I cleared all the pistons And again made some changes. They worked fine for that session but at next power up the old settings reappeared. I did this a number of times and after several resets part of my settings would appear but not all. The Swell stops cooperated but Great and Choir had mixed results. After a few days And many resets all of the old settings went away and my settings held. Evidently the capture memory has some capacity for retention even without power. Or, do I have a haunted Organ?
      Sam

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

      Comment


      • AllenAnalog
        AllenAnalog commented
        Editing a comment
        1) Let's not confuse the two boards with batteries in this discussion. The USCP-2 4-level capture memory board is not a cage board, it lives on a hinged panel above the cage. The USAV board is for the alterable stops and lives in the cage. As noted above, they take a different number of cells in their battery packs.

        2) USCP-2 boards are not that easy to come by so switching it out with another one may not be possible without great expense. Your capture action will not work properly if you substitute a board with the wrong organ model EPROM installed on it; the correct model chip must always be in that socket.

        3) There is a wire-wrapped connector on the edge of the USCP-2 board that should also be carefully checked to make sure it is firmly seated and none of the wire-warp pins are bent and touching.
        Last edited by AllenAnalog; 07-28-2019, 06:33 PM.

      • samibe
        samibe commented
        Editing a comment
        I second checking the edge connectors. I'd also try reseating the eproms.

    • #6

      Allen, To answer the questions you have, I replaced a 2 cell (2.4v) NiCad with a 2 cell NiMH. The correct battery. I also changed out the other one to the card reader but it's under the cage. The USCP-2 is the card on the hinged board above the cage. The old battery was tie wrapped to the board. I slid it out and clipped the leads at the battery. Then used very small end-to-end connectors and heat shrink to connect the new battery leads to the existing leads coming off of the board. The new battery fit nicely back into the tie wraps. In changing the battery, I did not remove or unplug the board and did not use a solder iron.

      I have a idea of what to try but want to run it by you first. With the organ on reset all existing memory to all stops to off in general and divisions. Reset the stops on Memory A, Channel 1 (the problem channel) to off. Then clip the positive battery lead and turn the organ off. Give it a couple of minutes then re-attach the battery lead and turn it back on. Would this be an acceptable way to try and reset the card?
      Stan
      ---------
      Allen ADC-6300A DK

      Comment


      • #7
        Setting all piston memory to off before you do anything else is probably a good move.

        With the power off and while you have the positive lead of the battery disconnected, I'd still be inclined to see if there is oxidation in the pins of the two socketed chips. If you are not comfortable removing them entirely and getting all of the pins back into the sockets, just use a flat blade screwdriver to slowly, gently and evenly lift each end of the chips slightly out of the socket - alternating ends as you do this.

        Then push each chip back in evenly and firmly until it is re-seated fully in the socket. Be sure to check that each pin is in the socket and not bent. A good light and magnifying glass can help with this procedure. Work slowly, as these chips are not easily replaced.

        You will most likely hear some snapping when you first start to lift the chip - that is normal since those pins have been in those sockets since the late 1980s. That may clear any oxidation between the pins and the sockets.

        Even though you did not remove the PC board for your battery replacement, I'd still recommend pulling off the edge connector with the wire wrap pins, inspecting it and re-seating it back on the board. In fact, you might even try this before you do any other work.
        Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

        Comment


        • #8
          Just a thought - did you charge the cells before fitting (ideally you should perform a charge-discharge-charge sequence to condition the cells)?
          The charge circuits on the Allen boards only provide a very small trickle charge current. To ensure a good charge on virgin cells, you need to leave the organ powered on for 10 or more hours.
          The SRAM on the USCP-2 requires at least 2.0v for memory retention drawing 50 uA (per chip).
          Incidentally there are special NiCd batteries for 'Extended Service Continuous Charge' such as 'Sanyo Cadnica NiCd Rechargeable' Mfr. Part No. F734A0542. Cost £3.55 in UK - less than $5.

          Comment


          • #9
            I will re-seat the connector first. Then do the re-set and power down with the lead lifted. In the process I'll carefully check the chips. There is a very busy day ahead so it will be this evening before I have sufficient time. I'll report on the results tonight. Thanks for the help.
            Stan
            ---------
            Allen ADC-6300A DK

            Comment


            • #10
              A couple of thoughts and comments:

              1. Never a good idea to be replacing components with the organ plugged-in.
              2. These circuits are vulnerable to static discharge. Make sure you touch a ground point to discharge yourself before doing anything.
              3. The backup batteries serve to retain memory when there is no power to the organ, such as when it is not plugged in. They shouldn't be necessary if the organ is receiving power even if it is off, but they might need to be in the circuit.
              4. It is normal that the settings become scrambled when the board is not powered by either the power supply or batteries. Cutting the batteries out the circuit may have resulted in a such a loss of power.
              5. The EPROM on the capture board maps the serial data to the specific stops and pistons in the organ model. This map will be the same for all memory banks, so if the problem is with a single bank, it's unlikely related to this chip.
              6. Because the problem is associated with a single bank and piston, I suspect this problem is due to a bad RAM chip on the board.
              -Admin

              Allen 965
              Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
              Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
              Hauptwerk 4.2

              Comment


              • #11
                Allen specifically states not to use NiMH in place of NiCd. The boards are designed to trickle charge NiCd's and will eventually kill NiMH cells.
                td
                Servicing electronic organs since 1969.

                Comment


                • AllenAnalog
                  AllenAnalog commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Tell me more about this. Was there a service bulletin you can post on here? Based on JBird's experience using NiMH batteries (which are a lot easier to find than NiCd these days) that is what I used on my ADC-5300.

                  They've been in the organ for two years now and since my instrument is currently in storage on the other side of the state, it can go 3-4 months without being turned on. When I go over there I turn on the organ to charge the batteries for 5-8 hours and find that both memories (capture and alterable) are still intact.

                  I've not looked into the details of the charging differences between the two different battery chemistries. Can you elaborate a bit on the problem with the Allen charging current?

                • Admin
                  Admin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  NiMH cells have a higher self-discharge rate than that of NiCds which might be a problem if the batteries are charged only when the organ is on rather than when it is plugged in. On the other hand NiMH cells usually have a greater storage capacity, so it might be a wash as to which provides the better service, especially in this application.

                  As tucsondave points out, the other major factor is the difference in charging specifications.

                  This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of NiCd compared to other battery chemistries.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel-cadmium_battery

                  From the article:
                  Also common among older NiCd chargers are the so called “overnight” chargers which charge batteries at a low rate as long as the charger is plugged in. This type of charger can fully charge NiMH batteries, but it might take a very long time to do so. It's possible that an old NiCd charger could take as long as 48 hours to fully charge new high capacity NiMH batteries! This type of charger is not likely to damage NiMH batteries unless the batteries are left in the charger for weeks at a time, but it may not be very convenient to use. If you have this type of charger you can get an idea of how long you'll need to charge your batteries by using the calculator found above. ”
                  The longer charging time required for high capacity NiMH cells coupled with the fact that according to jbird604 the ADC batteries are only being charged when the organ is actually turned on, might be the potential problem Allen is attempting to avoid.
                  Last edited by Admin; 07-29-2019, 01:20 PM.

              • #12
                As with my persistent use of Vaseline instead of expensive cleaner/lubes, I use NiMH rechargeables for all rechargeable applications, including Allen organs originally equipped with NiCads, because they are readily available and cheap, and because I have never experienced a failure or problem with one. I have put NiMH packs on literally scores of Allen MOS, ADC, and MADC organs on all the various memory boards used over the decades with complete success. So I don't think Stan created any problems by using NiMH.

                Keep in mind that ONLY the ancient, tottering old DM, DM-2, and original sequential memory systems charged the batteries when the power cord was plugged in with the organ switched off. ALL organs with DM-3, USCP, MADC CP, and all other modern memory systems only charge the batteries when the organ is switched on. So it makes no difference if the cord is plugged into the wall socket or not when you are changing the battery on anything other than the old DM, DM-2, or sequential.

                And BTW, I wouldn't recommend trying to change batteries on an old DM or sequential with the cord plugged in. It's just too easy to short out something. So as a rule you should just unplug any MOS or ADC organ to change the batteries. Be prepared to reset your capture settings, as they will be totally scrambled with random on/off conditions as Stan described. That was completely normal and to be expected.

                One other battery note: On all post-ADC Allens -- MDS, Renaissance, and later -- batteries are NOT rechargeable. All these organs use the "MN" capture system. Most MN boards use a simple BR2032 coin cell. And as long as you are careful, you CAN change the battery with the organ plugged in and turned on, thus saving your capture settings and other configuration data, as long as the battery did not run down completely.

                A few Allen memory boards, such as the wonderful DM-4 (drop-in replacement for all DM, DM-2, and DM-3 boards) and certain very recent "MN" type boards, require NO BATTERY at all. Let's hope that this is the future of capture memory!

                Stan, I agree that cleaning up the connector and loosening and re-seating the socketed chips and/or EPROMs on the USCP board might solve your problem. Also double-check all the connectors on the USCM board. But you may in fact have a defective RAM chip, and if so, best bet is to learn to live without that one piston.
                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


                • myorgan
                  myorgan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Are you back now, John? Any more updates on your trip?

                  As you can see from this thread, we sorely missed you while you were wandering abroad. I hope it's welcome back home! Thanks for weighing in on this thread-especially regarding the NiMhH & NiCad interchangeability.

                  Tucsondave, do you have the name of the Allen source of information (i.e. Audio manual, etc.)? You've given excellent advice in the past when it comes to official Allen recommendations/cautions, and have saved me much consternation and grief. Thank you!

                  Michael

                • Admin
                  Admin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My concern on replacing components with the organ plugged in is about personal safety, not equipment safety. Popping a battery out of a holder is not likely a problem, but cutting wires, soldering, or inadvertently touching the wrong spot could be painful, if not deadly.

                  There is a Forum article on electrical safety that members are encouraged to read
                  https://organforum.com/forums/articl...ctrical-safety

                  While we're on the subject, it should be mentioned that as stated in the Organ Forum Terms and Rules that all members agree to when registering, https://organforum.com/forums/help#c...ew/general_tos, The Organ Forum assumes no responsibility for injuries or damage that might occur due to information or advice provided by members of this Forum.

                  Stay safe.
                  Last edited by Admin; 07-29-2019, 12:25 PM.

                • jbird604
                  jbird604 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'm still in the UK for a couple more days, then flying home Thursday. Haven't been able to spend much time on the computer, but looking forward to being more involved in the forum when we return!

                  Admin -- I certainly agree with you on battery changing. When a battery change requires cutting wires and/or soldering, the organ should be unplugged. It's only the modern MN-based Allens with the coin cell batteries that don't require such measures -- the battery can be easily popped out of the holder without touching or shorting anything, and if the organ is powered on during the change, you will preserve not only the piston memories but also the configurations such as MIDI assignments, custom crescendo sequence and tutti, general and divisional assignments of the pistons, and many other things that can be customized on the MN-based organs.

                  BTW, I know that tuscondave speaks with authority about Allen's battery recommendations. I remember seeing that advisement, but as I said, I go with what is available, and have never had the first hint of any trouble with a NiMH battery used in place of a NiCad.

              • #13
                The verdict is in.... Made sure every stop, coupler, G1, G2 and so forth and saved it all the way through the memory banks. Opened the battery lead and powered down. In the process I cleaned and reinstalled the connector. Pushed on the chips to make sure they were seated ok. Didn't work. There is a change. Only three stops, Swell blank, Tierce and Great Schalmel come on as saved after the organ is powered down.

                I'm inclined to take John's advice and live with that one bad memory location. It would not be worth the expense to do a service call and/or change out the board. Otherwise, this organ is in perfect condition.
                Stan
                ---------
                Allen ADC-6300A DK

                Comment


                • don60
                  don60 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would be warming up the desoldering station to change that RAM chip. I presume it is a commodity number that can be purchased new or surplus.

              • #14
                "Let's hope that this is the future of capture memory!" [flash memory that does not require battery backup]

                Johannus has used flash memory to retain voicing and capture settings for as far back as I can determine, certainly in excess of 25 years. Their main boards had no batteries of any kind on board, a big advantage in my book.

                Comment


                • #15
                  don60 commented
                  Today, 03:30 AM
                  I would be warming up the desoldering station to change that RAM chip. I presume it is a commodity number that can be purchased new or surplus.

                  "Let's hope that this is the future of capture memory!" [flash memory that does not require battery backup]
                  You could kill two birds with one stone -

                  there is a new technology "FRAM". It is used in among others MACs to store configuration data. In those applications a Serial-I2C interface is used. However it is available in a 28pin DIP package, pin compatible to the KM6264AL's on the USCP-2 (assuming the typical !CS mode 'pin 20' is used).

                  The specific device is the Ramtron FM1608-120-PG - unpowered data retention >= 45 years.

                  Although the device is 120nS vs the 100nS of the KM6264AL-10, the minimum read/write cycle time of the TM7001 microprocessor on the USCP-2 is 400ns when run with the maximum 10MHz crystal.

                  On the USCP-2 from the visible top layer power tracks it appears that only the top RAM chip is backup powered so only one required (less than $4 on ebay!).

                  Anyone adventurous?

                  Comment

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