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    Rodgers 702 fixer-upper

    I'm a long time member here,since 2008,I read and lurk but never post. Soon,I shall be the proud owner of a basket case Rodgers 702. A local church is giving it away and I will be picking it up in two days. I'm not sure what I have in store. It is supposably one of the lower end "Cheetah Models" As you can see in the photo,it definitely suffers from the "Red Goo" syndrome. I'm not sure what else is wrong with it. No speakers or amps are included and no one at the church knows anything about it. They just want it hauled away! Regardless,the information from Jbird 604 on several older threads on these "Cheetah" models will greatly help in restoring this very nice organ. Also,I noticed from the photos of other 702's is that this one has toe studs.Was that an option or is this a different model than a 702. I'll have to see exactly what the nameplate says. If I succeed,this should be a nice little practice organ. I plan to keep everyone updated and post lots of photos.
    Yamaha HX1,Korg Kronos 88,Korg OASYS 88,Roland XV88, Minimoog Voyagers.Tons of Lionel Trains.

    #2
    Toe studs were an option on the 702, a "package" from the factory available to dealers. I haven't checked out the toe studs on any Cheetah organ, but I'd assume they are simply wired in parallel with a select group of the thumb pistons.

    I believe the organ came standard with a four-channel amp built into the console, though there were also connectors for external amps. You may open it up and find that there are four sets of speaker outputs, so you only need to connect four good full-range cabinets. There are two channels for the great/pedal stops, and they need pretty hefty speakers on them, a good balanced pair, since the signal is in fact "stereo." The other two channels are for the swell stops, and the requirements are less, since there isn't much bass required from them.

    Be aware that the IC-type amps Rodgers used back then are somewhat failure-prone. They may be dead, so if you get no sound, that could be the cause. They are repairable, and new ones are available, but pricey. Rigging up to use ordinary modern amps is not too hard, and probably the way to go if the internal amps are either missing or dead.

    If there are no internal amps, there MAY be a pair of AUX outputs under the keydesk to drive any standard amplifier. Or you can use the headphone output to drive an amp in a pinch.

    Voicing is simple. The typical Cheetah model had a single audio processor board with a set of bass/treble/level thumbwheel pots for each of the four channels. You can start with setting all the pots to "12 o'clock" -- line the little arrow points all facing straight up. This will give you a neutral position to start from. Then if you want more bass, turn up in equal amounts the two bass wheels for the great/pedal channels. Remember that the two channels of each division are a "stereo pair" and should be adjusted in tandem.

    The 702 was the top of the Cheetah line, and MAY have a second audio processor board. If so, a few of the stops of each division may in fact be voiced on the secondary board. You can figure that out by trial and error.

    Best of luck. I had a 580 cheetah organ at home for quite some time, and I did enjoy it. The 702 is even better, with more pistons, an extra stop or two, and perhaps the second set of voicing pots. One of my favorites. Too bad about the keyboards. Check around. Rumors persist that Matt C. Neill may have some NOS keyboards for these organs. And other fixes are known, such as the Drano method I mentioned in the other thread about this model.
    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


      #3
      Thank you so much John! I'll certainly let you know what I find inside when I get it home. I'll post photos!
      Yamaha HX1,Korg Kronos 88,Korg OASYS 88,Roland XV88, Minimoog Voyagers.Tons of Lionel Trains.

      Comment


        #4
        The 702 is now home! The overall condition is excellent! I have the pedalboard but they would NOT let me take the bench and I even offered to pay $100 for it! The speakers are inaccessible and sealed in the walls (More on that later).

        After getting it setup in my music room/office,I connected the L&R aux. outs to one of the L&R channels on my studio mixer for testing.
        I opened the back and checked to see if I may have the bad caps that John mentioned. I have the brown caps! I looked over all the exposed boards for any debris and any faulty caps and fuses.

        None of the keys are stuck or feel sticky. There are only a few of keys on both manuals that have leaked a little of the epoxy. Nothing tacky or sticky at this point.
        The pedalboard hardly shows any wear for a 25 year old organ and the foam has not degraded. I don't think the pedals were used much.

        I powered up the organ and started testing the Great division stops on the Great manual. ALL the notes on all the great stops play,the audio is very clear and articulate with no hint of audio problems. I coupled the pedal stops to the Great manual with the Bass piston and all the Pedal stops play on the bottom octaves as designed. I will check with he pedal board later.

        All the lamps in all the stops are working and clear. This organ is extremely clean!

        Next,I tried out the Swell division stops and got nothing! I checked every stop and still - no sounds,nada! I coupled the Swell to the Great so see if the keyboard is faulty. No sound.
        I decided to check the ribbon cables and they are all seated.

        I then checked the output board with the leveling pots. Both volume pots were turned off - hmmmm,Why would anyone want to do that! I then selected a stop and voila! We have sound.
        All the notes on ALL of the Swell division stops work perfectly! No bad notes. I now have a "nearly" 100% functioning organ!

        Some of the thumb pistons on both manuals are sticky but do work after pressing a few times. The master tuning and transposer knobs work. The tutti works (Not much of a tutti) as well as the bass coupler and the melody coupler work. The Chimes work too - not super authentic sounding but not bad.

        So there you have it. I have a nearly perfectly functioning organ!

        The church was giving this away because they said it was not working and was broken- for parts only.

        The secretary told me that music director said the organ was sounding bad and there were many things were wrong with it. I've had it on for 3 hours so far and it is functioning fine.

        I have not tested the output on the amplifiers and I am not using those right now. They appeared fine with no signs of failed components.

        I did not get to see the speakers, I have a very strong suspicion that the foam surrounds may have deteriorated to the point that they were no longer functioning and were greatly affecting the quality of the sound. I cannot verify this as they are sealed high up in the walls and not accessible for servicing.

        I also wonder why the Swell volume output pots were turned off. Only someone with some knowledge of the internal workings could do this. Hmmmmmm.

        I believe the powers that be wanted something different than a classical church organ and went to great lengths to make the organ seem unplayable or broken. I've seen this before many times. I also think no one had a clue as to how to use the organ. No combinations have been set except for #1 on the generals. I'll need to test further to make sure all the combinations are working.

        BTW,The church is now using a new Roland RD2000 keyboard (A great instrument IMHO) for their services and I'm sure that they are happy with it.

        So there you have it. I got a nice nearly full functioning,great sounding Rodgers Digital Organ with only a few fixable issues for next to nothing.
        Last edited by RickyTanner; 02-13-2020, 05:11 PM.
        Yamaha HX1,Korg Kronos 88,Korg OASYS 88,Roland XV88, Minimoog Voyagers.Tons of Lionel Trains.

        Comment


          #5
          Okay,I turned off the organ while I ate dinner. I came back,attached the back and the pedalboard. Turned it on,everything is working - except the combination memory - doesn't remember when off. Must be a battery somewhere. Otherwise,you can set combinations and they stay until the organ is shut down. I programmed the tutti and it too disappeared while the organ was off.

          The pedalboard works and feels fine.

          So...I need to replace the memory batteries. Should be easy to find and replace but I don't see where they could be as of yet. Need your expert guidance here John. 😉

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          Last edited by RickyTanner; 02-13-2020, 09:20 PM.
          Yamaha HX1,Korg Kronos 88,Korg OASYS 88,Roland XV88, Minimoog Voyagers.Tons of Lionel Trains.

          Comment


            #6
            Wow! That's a great story. Glad to hear it. So sad that the church apparently wanted it gone badly enough to have it intentionally crippled. But that's just how far down the tubes church music has gone in some quarters... I've been on my soap box about that for half my lifetime and I've not done any good, so I guess it will take something big to wake up that segment of the church world to what they are doing....

            The memory battery is a small lithium 3 volt unit, soldered to one of the boards. I haven't been inside one of these in a while, and I don't recall exactly where it is, but it should be visible. It is about half the size of a standard AA battery, and the ones Rodgers used were sort of purple in color. They are lithium and not rechargeable, they just lasted a very long time. I have seen them still working after 25 years on some organs. I have bought them from an online source for a few dollars. Be sure to measure the length and get the exact one, as there are different sizes that look almost identical to the naked eye, but will give you a little grief if you try to solder in the wrong one.

            If there is a large gold-color cage in the back of the organ, the board with the battery may be inside. But I'm fuzzy on that. Some Cheetah models had the boards enclosed, but others had them simply mounted flat on the wooden shelf.

            We can hope that your oozing glue is not going to get worse. In my experience, the pink glue is the bad stuff. Once it starts to migrate out of the keys, it ruins everything. But there is a white-looking glue that also tends to drip out of the keys over time, but seems much less harmful. We have a few organs out there with occasional drips of white glue, and we keep the glue at bay by simply scraping away any blobs that get in the way of free key movement.

            BTW, I'm not absolutely sure that this 702 you picked up is in fact the one that we looked at in Searcy a couple years ago. I seem to recall that the one we saw was totally unplayable with pink glue everywhere. So there may well be another one out there somewhere...
            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


              #7
              Congratulations, Ricky! I'm delighted for you that this organ is turning out to be such a good one!

              (I'm hoping to have the same kind of success with a Rodgers 535 I'm planning to check out this coming Monday; my Rodgers Scarborough 110 yielded up its ghost most decisively the other day when we tried to fix a blown fuse...)

              Comment


                #8
                John,

                The glue is the white stuff and not pink. I've looked up inside and below the both of the keyboards and its all clean.

                I've been all though the back of the organ and opened up the large metal cage. There are two DVM's stacked one upon the top of each other. The 3V battery is in there as expected and will be easy to get to for replacing in-situ without having to remove everything. I also saw the pipe interface.

                I've not tested the two 100W amplifiers,I'm using the 1/4 in stereo outs and running those to my keyboard sound system which is powered by a 2800 watt amp with all professional grade Peavey speakers (My brother is a dealer). The bottom end is huge on this system and the Rodgers sounds great running through it.

                I'm impressed that the insides of this organ are clean and well laid out. The console materials are all hardwoods on the outer case and birch plywood on the inner supports. No cheap veneers or particle board like you see on so many sub standard organs today.

                Thanks Elsa and good luck with the 535.

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                Yamaha HX1,Korg Kronos 88,Korg OASYS 88,Roland XV88, Minimoog Voyagers.Tons of Lionel Trains.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Amazon has the exact replacement battery and it is on the way!
                  Yamaha HX1,Korg Kronos 88,Korg OASYS 88,Roland XV88, Minimoog Voyagers.Tons of Lionel Trains.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's looking better all the time! Yes, the 702 has two DVM boards, unlike nearly all other Cheetah models, which have only one. Probably provides a cleaner sound, not having to cram all the stops through the same DAC chips. Shaping up to be a super nice organ for you.
                    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

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