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Allen R-250 Battery Replacement

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    Allen R-250 Battery Replacement

    Is the combination backup battery for an Allen R-250 located in the gold colored main box where the audio output card is located? Also, if the organ is powered on while swapping the battery will the settings be retained? I'll figure the battery type out once I find it. Thanks in advance.

    #2
    The battery is located on the MN board. It has an aluminum coversecured by several screws. Some of the screws you can see from the front and there are some on the top and possibly sides. The screws on the top and sides just need to be loosened while the ones from the front need to be removed. It could be an MN4, MN5 or MN5A board. there is labeling on the MN cover regarding battery replacement. I'd recommend the battery be replaced with the organ off, some on this forum may differ with me. The battery may be one of 2 types - CR 2023 was the original type used or BR 3032 if the MN board has been replaced.

    Comment


      #3
      It's tricky for sure. Because Allen has used at least three different batteries on the MN boards since their introduction about 1990 (wow that was a long time ago!), I normally carry around a little collection, including the CR2032 (which seems to be on about 90% of them) and the old 2/3AA or "123" lithium cell, which I think was used only on the very first version of the MN board, but that board was used in a lot of organs over a period of several years. There is another coin cell, just a tad larger than the CR2032, don't recall the numbers, and I have one of those in the bag too.

      It feels a bit dangerous changing the battery with the organ plugged into the wall, with the battery being just a tad awkward to remove. Use a plastic tool so you'll be sure not to short anything in the process, and be very slow and careful. I have never damaged an MN board, though I often feared that I would.

      I believe that if you change it with the organ plugged into the wall you will preserve your combination memories and you will preserve any customizations in the MN programming, such as MIDI configurations, custom crescendo sequences, custom piston assignments (each piston can be a general or a divisional, at your choice -- read the manual to see how this is done), whether or not certain stop are on capture, etc.

      Right now, I can't confidently recall whether or not Allen recommends changing the battery with the organ on or off. Perhaps the owner's manual will tell you. If not, bring your question back here and I will do some research.

      SOME of the MN boards require that you "re-initialize" the board after the battery is changed, but only if it ran down completely and lost its default programming. This process is described in the Console Controller manual that came with the organ. Doing this will reset the MIDI options, configuration of the crescendo and tutti, the piston assignments, the stops on or off capture, etc., to a default condition. It will NOT make any changes to any custom voicing that may have been done in the past though. Your voicing is safe until the board or the cage get changed out, which is an unlikely event.
      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


        #4
        This is great. I'll be at the organ mid next week and will do some inspection and report back.

        So the question is powered on or powered off.

        you795a, if powered off the settings will remain or will they be lost?

        jbird604, the manual simply states " If your battery needs replacement call your Allen tech".

        I feel like that's excessive for just a battery.

        Comment


          #5
          jbird604, the church is still saying this is the "New Organ" so it can't be that old

          Comment


            #6
            If the organ is powered off the settings will be lost. If you keep the power on, you risk the chance of shorting something out like Jbird604 said. If I were you I would write down all the settings, capture pistons in each memory, etc. then turn the organ off and change the battery. If you are referring to having the organ plugged in and the organ off and changing the battery, all settings will be lost. If you are referring to having the organ turned on and changing the battery, the settings should be kept but you risk the chance of damaging some expensive circuit boards if you short something out. As far as the age of the organ, That model was built around between 1998 to 2001, then Allen came out with the R250B. When I had to change a battery at the factory, I always did it with the organ off. I know at the factory there wasn't anything what was set by an organist though, they were all default settings. Hope this helps.

            Comment


              #7
              If there hasn't been any servicing done to the organ, the battery should be a CR2032. Jbird604 is correct in that they also used the 2/3AA or "123" lithium cell. If I recall correctly, they were used on the MN-1 board. MN-2, MN-4, MN-5, and MN-5A used the CR2023 battery until the later years of the MN technology. I believe that any boards that went in for servicing have had the battery upgraded to the BR 3032. That could have been around 2007.

              Comment


                #8
                I'll go with you795a's recommendation -- turn the organ off first, in the name of safety. The piston combinations will have to be reset, but that isn't a big deal. If the battery has run down completely they are lost anyway.

                The various custom settings that I mentioned above will also be lost, but it is fairly unlikely that anything has been changed from factory default. I remember making several changes to the default on my own R-230, for reasons that mattered to me, but I had very specific requirements. For example, I had the "console off" and "external on" tabs re-purposed to enable headphone practice, so I needed to configure those two tabs to be "not on capture" so the speakers wouldn't pop every time I hit a piston while practicing with headphones. I also had a custom crescendo sequence set up. But many owners never use any of the customizations available.

                Once you change the battery, IF you find that anything doesn't work right -- for example, if some of the general pistons now behave like divisionals or vice versa -- or, if you use MIDI expander voices extensively and they don't seem to work right, or they don't save properly on the higher memory levels -- then you may need to "re-initialize" the MN board using a routine on the Console Controller panel, as described in your user's guide.

                My memory on this is foggy. I know that SOME of the older MN boards always required the "re-initialize" when the battery got changed, while newer ones do not. But I can't tell you whether or not your organ requires this. You'll definitely notice that things don't work right, if the MN needs the process done.

                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


                • you795a
                  you795a commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree with you about the custom settings. Not many people used those custom settings. As far as the Re-initializing of the MN board, I am not sure either if it will need to be reinitialized. I am drawing a blank on that. And like you said, if the battery is completely run down, all settings will be gone.

                #9
                I finally was able to get to the organ last night and I found the battery without much trouble. It's just a CR2032 3V. I'll pick a battery up and swap it out and report back. Should be simple.

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