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Roland AT30 Sticking Keys and Weights Dropping Out

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  • Kurzweil
    replied
    I believe that I simply used RTV, latex caulk that is, with a caulk gun. Very inexpensive and not destructive if you get it onto the wrong something.

    I would think that most of the early organs with the defective glue would have already failed by now. The ones I ran into, an AT-80 and an AT-30, were five to ten years gone. Another reason to consider doing the repair is that most of the bad capacitor units have already failed also. If your AT-30 still works, it may do so for a long time. And this is a labor-intensive, but very low cost, repair.

    These instruments are basically computers. Hence, an electronic failure will generally take the entire thing out. The only other significant failure points would be keys and pedals, namely the little circuit boards with the velocity actuators. That stuff is fairly lifted from their synthesizer production.

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  • afuller5
    replied
    Hi all,

    For what it is worth, I have a first-generation AT-90. I have not had problems with the glue nor the bad capacitors that plagued 1990s and 2000s electronics. Mine is one of the first AT-90s produced. It had the gray foam "D-shaped" actuators for the pedal contacts. These actuators would flex and slide off the contact even when a pedal was depressed. These had to be replaced by the black "o-ring" actuators shortly after I purchased it new in 2000 from an organ shop. (Actually, Roland made be a brand new pedalboard!) In my conversations with Roland US, they thought all the pedalboards on the early AT-90s had already been repaired. Mine was somehow missed.

    Later,
    Allen

    Here is a picture of the gray foam actuators on a Rodgers W5000 which is essentially the Rodgers version of the AT-90.

    Leave a comment:


  • SteveEss
    replied
    Thanks guys - I'll print out this thread and keep it with my manual if it ever should occur. I love my AT30 and would hate to lose it - not much in the way of lower end Ateliers available in my part of the US.

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  • andyg
    replied
    Two part epoxy seems to be a common choice for the re-gluing.

    Pot luck? Probably the right words, though it does seem to be very common. Roland sold a lot more synths and digital pianos than organs so it's not surprising that most of the info on line is found on synth forums.

    Leave a comment:


  • ButterFingers
    commented on 's reply
    SteveEss, I think it is just pot luck. I had an AT30R for years and never had a problem. Should it happen in the future though god forbid, then follow Kurzweils advice above. Don't trash the organ, they are to many already being thrown away. It started happening a few weeks after he bought the organ from The British Heart Foundation, it seems to be the heat of the organ when it is turned on after around 20 minutes. Rest of the organ works fine and it a nice sounding little organ for anyone to start on.

  • ButterFingers
    commented on 's reply
    Kurzweil thank you, this is valuable information, I want to preserve as many organs as I can, and just for the sake of sticking keys I will help my pupil strip the organ, at least it will give me insight into a common problem so if I see one in the future with the same I will know what to do. Although it might be just as well my pupil just buying another, to take it and dump it is unnecessary. To glue the weights back in do you recommend Gorilla glue? The glue dripping out of these is pink, under the keys it is black.

    I will send a message to him tomorrow so should he need further information, I do hope you do not mind me asking.


    Yours very thankfully

  • ButterFingers
    commented on 's reply
    Andy thank you, I will help my pupil strip the organ and completely strip out each key and weight. Despite this type of organ being worth very little, it is worth preserving and improving so it won't happen again and give him years of enjoyment. I would hate to see this organ taken to a skip just because of a key sticking problem.

  • SteveEss
    replied
    Any insight into how these symptoms arose in the first place? My AT30 has none of them and I'd sure like to keep it that way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurzweil
    replied
    This is in my wheelhouse. The glue I ran into was purple but otherwise the same. I tried many different chemicals and the winner was, wait for it: Drano! Powder or liquid. The active ingredient is Sodium Hydroxide(caustic soda). You make up a weak solution (one teaspoon full in a half quart or so of water - I guessed at it). You then drop the (previously removed) keys into the solution. The next morning you will have squeaky clean keys and slightly rusted steel weights. Any weights that are still mounted will usually drop free overnight in the solution.

    Disassembly is a lot of work but mostly due to the large number of keys, namely 61 plus 49 - just a lot of the same thing repeated. Everything comes apart with no great difficulty. I suggest doing one manual at a time and the lower one is the easiest because nothing else is attached to it. Half the screws are from above (the rear of the keys) and half are gotten to from below. But first you have to expose it. To get the upper manual assembly out of the way, first remove the top (three screws from the rear, cover slides forward and lifts off). Then the sliding key cover. There are two light-colored inserts in the track on either side (single Philips screw) and it rolls right out. Then a screw on either side near the wood dowel upon which it hinges. Don't worry about the roller tension. It is relaxed when the keys are covered and will thusly take care of itself when reinstalled. Keybed wiring is a pair of push-on connectors that aren't as fragile as they appear.

    The keys sort of snap out, as I recall, and the white ones must be removed in order to free the black ones. Kind of brings to mind some social issues that have been rather large in the American southeast. About the only tool required is a couple of screwdrivers. You will gain a close relationship with your Atelier by the time this is done. You can listen to a book on tape or a no-action TV show during a few evenings and get it all done.

    Leave a comment:


  • andyg
    replied
    This issue affected many Roland products of that era, organs, synths and pianos. If you google something like "roland red glue" you'll find a lot of info on various forums. At one point Roland were offering a free keyboard replacement but that option disappeared years ago and buyers are now on their own.

    It's a big job, involving dismantling everything, removing the gungy melted glue (heating with a hairdryer and using isopropyl alcohol seems to be one method, but there are others using various caustic chemicals), then removing the weights from every so far unaffected key (same method), cleaning everything up, repairing/cleaning/replacing key contacts as required and finally re-gluing all the weights with something like epoxy and reassembling everything. Some people have simply junked everything and bought replacement keybeds. Two problems with that: 1) keys and contacts for old models are not always available and 2) they would cost more than the organ is worth - which is, as I'm sure you're aware, very little.

    I can't speak for the effectiveness of any of this, your friend will have to read through the information and decide what to to do. Consensus seems to be that it's unwise to buy a Roland from that era unless you know that the glue problem has been sorted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Roland AT30 Sticking Keys and Weights Dropping Out

    Hello everyone, I am posting a new message on behalf of one of my pupils who is asking for help. Recently he bought a Roland AT30. All working but a problem has started. Below the keys a black melted looking substance has started forming which is leading the keys sticking down and resisting returning, some are worse than others, this is on both manuals. It seems to happen when the organ has been turned on a while. Also the weights underneath the keys have also started dropping out as well. What I want to know is what can be done, how do you clean this out and what with, and what sort of glue should be used to stick the weights back.

    I am also not sure how to get to the keyboard and lift this out, so any information and pics would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.
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