Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Allen R311 Intermittent Ciphers

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo wilsons1003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    33

    Allen R311 Intermittent Ciphers

    So, I purchased the Allen R311 I mentioned in the topic regarding 2 to 4 channel conversion options.

    Worked great for a few weeks. Now, power up and first few minutes are fine, but eventually I get a cipher on several notes that holds with additional notes behaving normally or adding to the ciphers. Sometimes it goes away, but other instances I have to turn off. Notes are random. Seems to play longer with fewer stops engaged and fewer notes being played or coupled with the footages.

    I have never worked on an Allen. I kept my Conn 653 going with spare boards and cleanings. Gave it to a friend as it has Artisan Midi. Still have the Hammond Elegante that takes some love now and then. I just don't know if there is a process for checking connections, unmounting and mounting boards, etc. for Allens.

    Any insight would be great. And if I need to call in service, I can ask about that 4 channel upgrade and the sostenuto.

    Thanks as always to the forum group -- not just the nicest people, but the most informed too.....

    Ron Wilson
    Indianapolis, IN
    Roland 80SL, Lowrey Sterling, Hammond Elegante, Technics SX FN3. and the new Allen R311 (plus my old gig organ, Hammond BV with Trek II)

  2. #2
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,111

    Ron,

    I ran into the same thing with one of my ADC organs after it had warmed up on stage. I was able to determine it was either the audio processing board and/or keyboard array board causing the problem, and replaced both. Everything's working fine now.

    That said, the Renaissance is a much newer technology, so if I were you, I'd wait until the techs on the Forum familiar with Renaissance technology weigh in. I'm sure John, Toodles, or others will have more relevant advice to give.

    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  3. #3
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    6,614

    Unfortunately, that sounds like a well-known "bug" in the Renaissance series. In the early years of production, power supplies were built with a potential weakness (that was of course unintentional, and only became known when failures started). It was so pervasive among Renaissance organs that Allen revised the power supply unit to prevent the problem in future production.

    As long as these organs were in warranty, Allen provided free replacement of the power supply. And for a time they continued to do so, at least to the original owners. Since you are not the original owner, I'm not sure how that will work out. You can look inside the console in the floor and find the power supply. It is a large rectangular gold-colored metal unit with numerous multi-colored cables attached to connectors on the top of it. Look to see if there is a large yellow "dot" or sticker on the top plate anywhere. If so, the supply has actually been replaced already, though it may have been just a refurbished supply and not the updated version.

    Anyway, you can try to clear it up by carefully pulling and re-seating all the cables on the power supply, and, if you're not afraid, all the cables and connectors throughout the system. (BE SURE to UNPLUG the organ before doing this. Even with the power switched off, the power supply is still live.)

    Beyond that, the only other maintenance I can recommend is to vacuum the optical sensor region at the rear of each keystick. You must be extremely careful not to bend or damage or otherwise gillfurt any of the optical vanes or sensors. But if the sensors are dusty, that could actually be as much of the problem as a faulty power supply.

    You may wind up calling in an Allen tech. Be sure to get someone who is an authorized tech, as he or she will have to get the power supply exchanged by the factory.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  4. #4
    ppp Pianississmo wilsons1003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    33

    Thanks so much for your insights, Michael and John. I am comfortable re-seating the cables. And have the miniature vacuum for this type work. Will try this out and see what happens. Last night TCM was playing Swing Time and Top Hat, have seen them countless times and the wife and I were watching shows on our DVR. But I got up and played a song each time I peaked at Ginger and Fred. Got the cypher for Bojangles of Harlem, but made it through A Fine Romance. Then good for A Lovely Day To Get Caught In The Rain, but Cheek to Cheek acted up. Meandering thoughts, but made me wonder if anyone jumps up and plays a song from a movie they are watching?!? Another thread I guess...

    One other quick note, John, you are right that the 2 channel version of the R311 is amazing. I hooked up to a set up of powered JBL speakers I use for keyboards and the mix for the ranks is very impressive. Much better than the internals. I will need to get to the 4 channel version eventually. Still working with the ensemble module to fill in for the limited spec, but what it has really sings. Renaissance technology is impressive. I never dreamed I could get such an accurate sound in my home.

    Take Care All and thanks as always for the quick replies.

    Ron in Indy

  5. #5
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,111

    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    Unfortunately, that sounds like a well-known "bug" in the Renaissance series.
    John,

    Is the Renaissance ROHS-compliant? If so, you know where I'm going with that. I'm sure your explanation is correct, but I can't help wondering if it's time for other issues to crop up due to ROHS compliance on various electronic devices.

    For the last concert, I was having an issue with one particular note not sounding intermittently. The final solution was to get rid of a filament shorting out that particular note on the keying matrix.

    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  6. #6
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    6,614

    TBH, I couldn't say whether or not the power supply weakness is due to ROHS compliance, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a connection. Soldering without lead requires a different set of skills, and builders certainly made some mistakes in the early years of ROHS. (I assume that Allen products have been in compliance for a long time now, since they ship all over the world.)

    Whatever the cause, there was some design flaw that resulted in the 5 volt section dropping significantly in output when it got warmed up. This wasn't happening when the organs were new, of course, or else Allen would've caught it in the factory. But it was something that seemed to develop after a few years of usage. One of the symptoms was random ciphers and lock-up of notes. This was probably related to the optical keying detectors -- as the voltage dropped, the light source dimmed, tricking the system into thinking that notes were being held down. And, as I hinted at above, it might have been exacerbated by the layer of dust that might have accumulated on the optical sensors or LED light sources.

    This is a whole area that doesn't affect any of the previous Allen models, as the optical keying was not available before the late 90's. I'm not sure if there were some late MDS models with it or not, but I know it was always an option with Renaissance organs. The optical system allows for velocity sensing, which of course is not possible with the leaf switches or reed switches Allen used previously. I suppose it was thought that velocity sensing was important for the MIDI voices. AFAIK, none of the native organ voices are velocity sensitive. Allen came up with the optical system because it was felt that the rubber button contacts used by most other organ builders in their velocity sensitive keyboards was too flimsy and short-lived.

    Just a year or two ago I replaced the power supply in a Renaissance organ that had developed erratic keying issues, and even though it was well over 10 years old, Allen did not charge for the supply. I'm not sure that they are still offering free power supply upgrades on all these organs, or if there are limitations. But they are certainly trying to make things right, at least with the original purchasers.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo wilsons1003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    33

    Hello All,

    Re-seated all cables & connectors. Problem stopped the last few sessions. Have not vacuumed the optical sensors yet. Michael and John's exchange helped me to understand the power supply issue when warmed up and the voltage drop causing the ciphers.

    Fingers crossed going forward, loving the R-311 and finally setting up the expander presets using the great thread on this.

    Very sincere thanks for the help.
    Ron Wilson in Indy
    Allen R311, Lowrey Sterling, Roland 80-SL, Hammond Elegante & BV, Technics SX-FN3 & Too Many Keyboards...

  8. #8
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    6,614

    That's good news, Ron. Perhaps it was nothing more than a poor connection somewhere, and you fixed it by re-seating the plugs. That simple action takes care of a surprising number of problems in the latest generation of digital organs, as they seem to require more secure connections than older organs. Perhaps there are higher operating frequencies involved in the data transfer, or there is less tolerance for voltage irregularities. At any rate, you may well have solved the problem, at least for now. It wouldn't be a bad idea to go ahead and clean up the area of the optical sensors, if you feel confident about working around that area.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo John Sievers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    6

    Would appreciate it if you would post a link to the thread on setting up the expander presets.

  10. #10
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,111

    Quote Originally Posted by John Sievers View Post
    Would appreciate it if you would post a link to the thread on setting up the expander presets.
    Is this it? https://www.organforum.com/forums/showthread.php?33857

    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

Similar Threads

  1. Allen R311 Question
    By wilsons1003 in forum Theatre Electronic Organs
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-11-2018, 04:41 PM
  2. Lowrey Promenade C300 Ciphers!
    By dread in forum Electronic Organs
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-14-2015, 01:16 PM
  3. ciphers
    By edhorgan in forum Classic & Church Electronic Organs
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-26-2013, 06:36 PM
  4. Contemplating the purchase of an Allen R311
    By healsing in forum Theatre Electronic Organs
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-01-2012, 04:36 PM
  5. Allen R311 ensemble midi consol controler 11/20/2002
    By allentheater in forum Buy & Sell Theatre Organs Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-08-2010, 09:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •