ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

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part12studios
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ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by part12studios » Sun May 03, 2015 8:11 am

Hi everyone, I have this ESI-32 that has a very dim backlight.. so I thought it would be good to fix this.

I came across this product and the price seems reasonable for sure since the unit is not easy to work with such a currently dim backlight..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/EMULATOR-ESI-32 ... 463963c046

However (and I've emailed the seller this question as well) I just wonder how involved thi would be as I certainly don't want to make it worse trying to make it better.

Is it a soldering job? easy to upgrade?

I also came across this more expensive, but noticably nicer option as well. They mention soldering but again maybe it's not that bad (though I don't have a soldering iron)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/E-mu-Esi-32-Esi ... 234fe316ee

Any advice on which route is better / easier / safer?

Thanks!
Caleb

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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by seamonkey » Sun May 03, 2015 4:44 pm

Where are you located? for some reason I thought you were here in the States.
If you are, this guy is excellent, even sends instructions
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LCD-BACKLIGHT-L ... 3f1c48b104

I got mine from here. Soldering is pretty basic.
I'm not the best solder person in the world, but I did it ok.
I did something when I was inside messing with it, now I lost volume control and it's stuck on high, but other than that works great.
Light works great now on the ESI-32.
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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by part12studios » Sun May 03, 2015 5:15 pm

Awesome I will check it out! Yeah I am just south of Boston. I've done soldering in the past I just don't own the tools and certainly don't want to risk jacking something up :-)

I need to find a turbo kit because my unit only seems to have the scuzzy and digital I/O cards installed. Aes stuff. For the heck of it I emailed Emu to see if they have the 3.X and turbo kits in stock still. Now that I know the unit actually works properly I feel much better about investing a little money into it

*siri dictated..
Last edited by part12studios on Sun May 03, 2015 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by synthroom » Sun May 03, 2015 7:23 pm

I was just thinking about this subject a couple days ago!

The OLED displays are very nice from what I've read. The one in Europe for the OLED looks like a good solution. I understand that OLEDs are good for like 10,000 hours of on-time. (That's much longer than a backlight will last.) If all goes well, I'm going to install one into my Emulator II today.

I would not replace just the backlight at this point, unless spending the least possible amount of money is important. The LCD on my ESI is fine - it's bright green-yellow, but the LCD is all dim in the bottom left and along the right. Adjusting the contrast doesn't help. I think it needs the LCD replaced.

EPR Electronics sells replacement displays for the ESI - here's the page for ESI parts:
http://www.eprelectronics.com/store/E-m ... eries-c29/
You need to find out if you have an earlier or later model ESI-32 - it matters as far as display replacement goes. It's $40 or $48 depending on which one you need. And considering how much difference there is in the price of an entire LDC display with back light vs. replacing and soldering in a new backlight, I would go with replacing the entire module as the LCD will not last forever either... I checked with EPR last week and they do have the later model display in stock (I did not inquire about the earlier one as I was interested in one for an ESI-4000.)

So for me, I guess it's do I want the factory look or the OLED look?
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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by part12studios » Sun May 03, 2015 9:22 pm

yea @synthroom yea that sounds like the better option.. but are you saying that it's a solderless solution?

I'll look into the unit soon to see what kind of display it has.

@seamonkey Yea that looks nice though, but yea i'd have to go buy a soldering iron too.. so i'd basically break even going off and buying one and the part.. plus the risk of doing real harm to the unit..

yea the backlight on mine is pretty awful and $50 or so seems totally reasonable to not just brighten but make the unit way better to look at! :)

Thanks!
Caleb

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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by synthroom » Mon May 04, 2015 2:32 am

On the ESI-4000 , there's no soldering required to remove the LCD and backlight assembly. Just about 15 or so screws. The ribbon connector has a connector on the end that slips onto posts on the mobo.

if you go with the one from EPR, check about the OS upgrade - mine's at ver. 3.01 and the last one was 3.02 and it looks like they fixed a couple bugs. Not sure I'd need it, but if I'm putting in a new LCD, then I guess I might as well put them in too. There's two chips and they are $15 ea.
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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by part12studios » Mon May 04, 2015 11:16 am

Yea that sounds like the better option. I'll research it more to find out which model I need.

I guess with the roms I'll look at upgrading if I need it. If I can get the scsi cd rom and zip drive to work with it as is it might not be necessary unless 3.x adds some other functionality to the sampler that 2.1 wouldn't have?

Thanks,
Caleb

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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by synthroom » Mon May 04, 2015 2:45 pm

Here's a link that shows all the various OS features for the ESI series:
http://synthark.com/synthesizer-museum/ ... /esi32/os/
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Re: ESI-32 backlight upgrade experience?

Post by part12studios » Mon May 04, 2015 2:52 pm

here is a link to the products I found for anyone who finds this thread in the future.. http://www.eprelectronics.com/store/E-m ... eries-c29/

so I assume mine isn't a turbo model since it is running the 2.1 right? Would all of those added filter / effects in the 3.x roms be made available to my non-turbo effects unit?

It seems like 2.1 was a good point to stop upgrading, but certainly for $30 adding a bunch of effects options would be great, but it seems like if it would add all those effects, what was made the turbo edition special?

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