TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

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HideawayStudio
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TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:49 pm

Hello SY/TG77 Owners.... after mentioning that I've successfully managed to fit a modern high contrast white on blue (negative blue glass FSTN) LCD module using led backlight technology in this underrated beast several have shown an interest in how to perform this upgrade. If enough find this update of interest then I will post a detailed writeup on how to undertake this project.

If you are in need of a replacement backlight on your 77 and you know how to use a soldering iron then I might suggest that you forget the idea of simply fitting a new EL backlight element - why? - well the bulk of the task will be the same either fitting and EL or a new display and the difference in results speak for themselves!! The original Optrex display wasn't particularly good even when it was brand new and any replacement EL element will fail in the same way as the original - esp. in a hot studio unlike it's led backlit replacment which should last forever.

Still not interested?... well here is a piccy of the new display working in my TG77 (which doesn't really do it justice) - you can litterally read this baby on the other side of the studio! I've now put one in my SY77 too which is a MUCH more difficult beast to pull apart and reassemble.

Furthermore - I have also fitted a modern direct drive PC floppy disk to the SY77 - miles better than the belt driven junk that was originally fitted. Like the LCD, this upgrade is a tad fiddely as Yamaha chose to use a non standard pinout which means that an adaptor ribbon cable has to be built to map the correct signals to the correct pins. This mod should also work on the V50 and probably some other Yamahas of the era.

Derek Cook has produced a detailed description on how to fit such a display in the SY77 - this is available on the net. Unfortunately, despite the same display working in the TG77, such a description is not currently available. If enough people ask then I will produce one for the TG.
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TGSY77_Replacement_Display.jpg
TGSY77_Replacement_Display.jpg (89.49 KiB) Viewed 13331 times
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by Z » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:23 pm

Will that also work for the Korg WS AD? Is there something similar for the Roland D-550?

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:27 pm

Z wrote:Will that also work for the Korg WS AD? Is there something similar for the Roland D-550?
I have an A/D and a D-550 in the studio too. I bought my D-550 many years ago on the cheap with a shattered LCD panel. I replaced the display wth a newer, compatible module. It was, however, still EL backlit and in due course I will look into replacing it with an LED backlit module. The good news is that there are a lot more equivalent character displays around like the D-550's than graphics modules.

I recently replaced the EL backlight on my Wavestation A/D but I must admit I've been curious about trying to find a modern LED backlit display for it. The problem is that several parameters must be correct for this to happen - the resolution, dot size, aspect ratio, basic dimensions, viewable area, chipset and contrast control method must be equivalent - this takes quite some research.

The other display I'd dearly like to find an LED backlit replacement for is the awful display in the AKAI S1000 which I'm sure could be transformed with a bit of thought. This is one of the main reasons why so many poor old S1000s get sold for next to nothing thesedays.

UPDATE: Having pulled apart one of my S1000s it is now clear that a nice modern replacement for the old EL display would be a very tricky project as it appears to be a controllerless module. The controller (an LC7981) is in fact located on the main board and the raw LCD data sent up the ribbon to the dot drivers. The controller on the main board is in fact quite a common one so if you were feeling really brave it might just be possible to source a display with the same controller mounted locally - then remove the controller IC from the main board and vero wire the appropriate signals across. This would be a labour of love and would require hot air reworking equipment - definitely not a job for a beginner! Having just replaced the EL backlight in the stock display on one of my S1000s the results are pretty good.

It had occurred to me that in due course I could build up a database of modern replacements for all this gear.

Another display I've transformed is the LCD in my EMAX II rack - this is now a high contrast yellow LED backlit one - the only problem is that it doesn't fit and some fairly hairy mods are required to make space for it. The problem here is that the LED backlit display is nearly twice as deep as the original EL lit one. The net result is that the entire front panel pcb must be spaced several mm further away from the front panel with extra spacers. This then means that none of the front panel switches protrude through the panel and so each one has to be desoldered and set proud of the pcb and then fixed down - this is a nightmware job but the net results can be rather nice. The only alternative would be to cut a hole in the pcb to permit the module to sit behind the pcb - this would then require all of the severed tracks to have to be reconnected with vero wire - again a horrible task! :roll:
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by Push-Pull » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:26 pm

Flag ! Lot of precious informations here. :)
The making of my modular... (ok it's in french, but the pictures are easy to understand !)

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by xpander » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:43 pm

seriously, drop some specifics- looks like an outstanding upgrade. i downloaded Christopher Baxter's "Yamaha SY99 Backlight Replacement Tutorial" some time ago, it does look harrowing to me.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by HideawayStudio » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:32 pm

xpander wrote:seriously, drop some specifics- looks like an outstanding upgrade. i downloaded Christopher Baxter's "Yamaha SY99 Backlight Replacement Tutorial" some time ago, it does look harrowing to me.
Yes - this is one of the things I'm a tad worried about. Without blowing my own trumpet too hard (of course not a real trumpet... maybe a one from an old EII archive :) ) is that I've been designing and repairing electronics as a professional for over 15 years and I'm concerned that newbie's and chancers might start tearing their beloved synths apart permanently....

That said I'd love to help preserve the life of so many synths from an era where many purist analog freaks are just not interested - h**l many don't even like DCOs let alone digital TVFs!. I tend to leave the pre-1978 stuff to the specialists however there is now a whole generation of highly collectible gear from 1978 to around 1992 that is, in my opinion, very poorly supported. The D-50s, PPG Waves, EMAXs, early Emulators, Microwaves I's and SY77s of this world -will- be valuable one day - I guarantee - it's important that they are updated NOW while compatible, up to date parts, are still available. They will all need replacement displays, floppy and HD solutions, memory, PSUs etc. I have a whole load of ideas for documenting such upgrades - just sadly very little spare time to produce them or buy up such parts for future use.

Cheers,

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by rockmanrock » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:38 pm

HideawayStudio wrote: That said I'd love to help preserve the life of so many synths from an era where many purist analog freaks are just not interested - h**l many don't even like DCOs let alone digital TVFs!. I tend to leave the pre-1978 stuff to the specialists however there is now a whole generation of highly collectible gear from 1978 to around 1992 that is, in my opinion, very poorly supported. The D-50s, PPG Waves, EMAXs, early Emulators, Microwaves I's and SY77s of this world -will- be valuable one day - I guarantee - it's important that they are updated NOW while compatible, up to date parts, are still available. They will all need replacement displays, floppy and HD solutions, memory, PSUs etc. I have a whole load of ideas for documenting such upgrades - just sadly very little spare time to produce them or buy up such parts for future use.
I think you're right, these synths are going to get harder to fix and a h**l of a lot of them need sorting out these days. A screen replacement for a Wavestation A/D would be great, the one I used to own had a very noisy inverter and a dim screen. I wouldn't mind another if I could fit a good screen on it. I think there could be a viable small business in supplying these sort of parts and upgrades to musos around the world, rather like scsiforsamplers.com, they've cornered a good little niche.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by gs » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:20 pm

Hideaway, you just inspired me to (finally!) get the LCD EL-Foil backlight replacement for my DSS-1 I've been wanting for so long. Just ordered it from Teletronics. I realized the other day I'm getting serious eye fatigue from having to squint at my VERY DIM display on the Korg. Can't wait to see the wonderful bright blue LCD just like the day it came off the factory line!
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Korg Z1, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by HideawayStudio » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:27 pm

gs wrote:Hideaway, you just inspired me to (finally!) get the LCD EL-Foil backlight replacement for my DSS-1 I've been wanting for so long. Just ordered it from Teletronics. I realized the other day I'm getting serious eye fatigue from having to squint at my VERY DIM display on the Korg. Can't wait to see the wonderful bright blue LCD just like the day it came off the factory line!


Hope it goes OK for you - it will be a lot better I guarantee - but never as good as replacing the whole display with a decent LED backlit one. LCDs have come a long way since the old days and also remember LEDs never fade but EL backlights, even replacement ones, will fade with time.

With time I hope to help find modern replacements for all of our favourite synths. The Wavestation, S1000 and D-50 are currently at the top of my list.

Cheers,
Dan.
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by Vxster » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:35 pm

I think if you do want to provide detailed instructions on this (and any other replacements) we also need to put a copy of it in the 'Show 'n' Tell' sticky thread so we don't lose it when this thread eventually drops off the bottom.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by HideawayStudio » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:45 pm

The display is based on the, still popular, Toshiba T6963C graphics controller.

Here is a brilliant guide written by Derek Cook to installing the Emerging Display Technologies type EW50340BMW Display in the SY77:

http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk/Do ... pgrade.pdf

I also know that this display will fit the TG77 as I have installed one in mine.

I purchased mine from a guy in Rochester, NY:

http://www.zinguy.com/lcdpage.htm

He currently has a couple of hundred new displays in stock and offers a very rapid postal service.

I have installed these brilliant displays in both my SY and TG77.

I have recently designed a very similar but larger display based on the same controller into a new diagnostics product for the automotive industry. I have a contact at an LCD supplier in China who should be able to help find modern high contrast LCD backlit replacements for other synths - in my case I'm interested in Wavestation, D-50 and S1000.
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by bax » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:11 pm

xpander wrote:seriously, drop some specifics- looks like an outstanding upgrade. i downloaded Christopher Baxter's "Yamaha SY99 Backlight Replacement Tutorial" some time ago, it does look harrowing to me.
Yeah - it wasn't much fun to replace that backlight, but I figured I'd document it in case anyone else got ideas about doing it - not for the faint of heart, since you really do have to practically dismantle the entire board just to get to the display :) I've been watching this thread and am starting to have thoughts of replacing the display as well as the floppy just to bring my SY up to more modern spec. Love the blue...

And BTW, awesome work, Hideaway! =D>

Thanks!
bax

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by Yoozer » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:09 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:I tend to leave the pre-1978 stuff to the specialists however there is now a whole generation of highly collectible gear from 1978 to around 1992 that is, in my opinion, very poorly supported.
How would one go about replacing the VFD in the JX8P/JX10 series? Would you have to write some kind of a translator in a programmable FPGA or whatever (probably complete overkill, doesn't matter - the parts should be cheap enough) to translate the display signals to something you could send to a 1 or 2 x 16 char display?
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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by HideawayStudio » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:12 pm

Yoozer wrote:
HideawayStudio wrote:I tend to leave the pre-1978 stuff to the specialists however there is now a whole generation of highly collectible gear from 1978 to around 1992 that is, in my opinion, very poorly supported.
How would one go about replacing the VFD in the JX8P/JX10 series? Would you have to write some kind of a translator in a programmable FPGA or whatever (probably complete overkill, doesn't matter - the parts should be cheap enough) to translate the display signals to something you could send to a 1 or 2 x 16 char display?

Actually resorting to an FPGA would probably be wild overkill - from memory a lot of the character VFDs used the same Hitachi HD44780 chipset as character lcds anyway. Actually you can still get a lot of VFD displays - the market leader, Noritake Itron still do them: www.noritake-itron.com

So what's up with the display in your JX8P (lovely synth BTW - I used to have one before I got my Super JX) - is it totally dead or just worn out? If it's dead, and the tube hasn't gone soft (check for white deposits towards the edge of the tube) then it could be the HV inverter. Generally, as long as the glass hasn't cracked, they are extremely reliable.

Speaking of a translator I have had an idea burning in my mind for a while now to produce a series of ultra high contrast OLED display solutions fitted to an ARM based translator board to fit as a replacement, possibly even with pseudo colour for selected synths, to retro fit to the larger screened classics such as Wavestation, SY77, K2000 and AKAI S1000. This would look awesome and with ultra cheap high performance ARMs and nice displays wouldn't actually be that difficult to code. If a COG display was used and the pcb mounted elsewhere in the case then it might package quite well too.

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Re: TG/SY77 High Contrast Blue Replacement LCD Module

Post by goom » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:32 am

My SY-77 LCD backlight is dead so I would be very interested in reading the notes about the upgrade.

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