FATAR sr1 Model TB49 MIDI Keybaord Controller.

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FATAR sr1 Model TB49 MIDI Keybaord Controller.

Post by BretAB » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:44 pm


This is my first thread in your forums. Thank you for this opportunity. Please advise if this thread should be moved to a different forum/sub-forum.

I'm making this initial post just as an "FYI" for other people who may own, or come in contact with this controller. There's very little info available for this old Fatar. I bought it back in the early 1990's to use as a controller for a Turtle Beach "Tropez" synth/sampler add-in card (for Intel-32bit PC). On the outside, this controller is very simple.
Here's a top view pic:
Here's the business-end view:
(Almost) makes you nervous with all those port options doesn't it?
For the record, the power port requires a 5.5mm x 2.1mm (ie. OD x ID) style male power plug.

Here's the rear label:
I plugged the FATAR into an old Casio CTK-501 that has midi ports (I still had the manual, which described it’s MIDI capabilities. ). For the record, the power supply for the CTK-501 has a non-standard 9vDC positive ground (ie. the outside of the barrel is positive, not negative as usual). You can pay extra for one of these power adapters, or just cut the cable on a standard negative ground adapter and reverse the wires. I'm using a 9vDC (positive ground) 1.0A adapter for the CTK-501.

Was I surprised what came of the Casio! I forgot the FATAR was touch and velocity sensitive. Whoopee! Did you ever play a Hammond B3-like organ sound with touch sensitivity? It's a whole new world : ) I didn't even have to tweak the Casio midi setup: It's set to look for midi on Channel 1, and we can now assume since mt setup worked, the FATAR outputs on Channel1 (I might be wrong here, based on my newbie knowledge of how the midi channels work). Meanwhile back at the ranch . . .

Another reason I'm making this post is to thank Gianni Giudici (Studiologic Brand Manager) for his help. He and his technicians recently helped me with the FATAR power input specs. They confirmed that the old Fatar TB49 MIDI controller does use a 9vDC (not 9vAC) utility power adapter (standard plug: ie. center pole positive and outside of the barrel is negative). The whole 9vAC vs 9vDC was a topic of contention. As you can see in the pics, take note of the embossed “AC-IN 9V” on the power port. I originally thought this might require a 9vAC adapter (they're not common but are available). The label on the back also adds to this confusion when it shows “Input VAC”. VAC means vAC to me and most people I would think. Imho, it should have said “DC-IN 9V” on the case, and “Input VDC: 9V 0.3A” on the bottom label. Btw, I'm using a 9vDC 0.200A/200mA (didn't have a 0.300A/300mA), and the FATAR seems to work just fine (with 10ft midi cable).

Here's an email I was going to send to Gianni, but I decided the content might better help the synth community if I included it with this post:
"I still had the manual, which described it’s MIDI capabilities. Now I had a device to test the FATAR. I've also received the two new male-male midi cables I ordered. I plugged midi out on FATAR to midi in on the Casio, set Casio to midi mode, but sadly, no sound from the Casio :( Then I noticed the midi cable doesn’t seem to be seating fully in the FATAR. Sure enough, today’s midi cables are a bit wider that they were back in the 1990’s. Rather than grinding down the O.D. of every midi cable connector I ever buy, I carefully used a Dremel with a barrel cutter (to do the sides and top) and a 1” cut off blade (to finish the sides and remove the bottom) to make the midi port hole on the Fatar’s case a little bigger. See the "business-end view" pic above. My "mod" looks nicely curved and better in real life, as the photo gets us pretty close where we can see some of the details of my craftmanship (haha). Btw, the original hole in the case was a simple round hole. In addition to being a bit taller and wider, My new hole is open at the bottom to accommodate today's larger diameter midi cable connectors at that bottom hole location."

Just another side note: Fatar is still in the keyboard business (ie. fatar.com). They appear to make the keyboard assemblies that many keyboard instrument manufacturers use in their retail keyboard instruments. They's still in Italy. My experience is not to waste your time contacting them about their legacy products:
They don't return (or even acknowledge) your inquiries.

Sorry for the elongated post. In addition to getting my feet wet here on your forum, I wanted to make a brief historical record of the FATAR sr1 Model TB49 MIDI Keybaord Controller.

As usual, your comments, criticisms, corrections, suggestions and general cannon fodder are always welcome : )

Regards . . .

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