Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

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MasterCProgram
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Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by MasterCProgram » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:43 pm

It seems that right about now in the life cycle of all the DW-8000s the internal patch memory batteries seem to be dying, which might be the case here.

When I got the synth in the mail last week, half of the patches didn't make any sound at all, and the other half, some of the voices didn't seem to work, so I thought the second DCO was out. I did a tape dump from a .WAV file, and everything seemed to work fine after that. Now, a week later, it seems the original problem has come up again, I'll press keys down, no sound, then after about 30 seconds one key will trigger, then nothing for another 30 seconds. It only happens with about half the patches on the keyboard. I will try another tape dump when I'm done here, and if that fixes it for the time being...

My guess is that as the system is powered off, the battery doesn't give enough power to the patch memory, so a little at a time, pieces of the patches are being lost, like the envelope generator (no sound) or the filter being set at zero.

Does this sound like the problem, or is this indicative of something worse, for those of you that have experience with the DW-8000?

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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by rhino » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:38 pm

Welcome to the board!

Yeah, battery is my first guess. I've repaired about 10 DW8000s over the years. The patch memory has a tendancy to go into very long envelope times when the battery fails. Try a new one first before you dig deeper.
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MasterCProgram
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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by MasterCProgram » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:58 am

Thanks, rhino. Had someone pop it open to desolder the old battery, and it turns out someone down the line had already replaced the battery, and also had soldered a battery cage on it. So the guy replaced it anyway, and I'm about to load a set of patches to see if they hold.
Last edited by MasterCProgram on Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by rhino » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:09 am

Sounds good. Diagnosing synth problems at a distance is always "iffy".
Very later DW8000 mainboards have a little transistor and resistor added...right next to the battery. I had one that in changing the battery, someone had slopped solder onto the transistor and shorted the leads. Also, check the solder on the underside of the board where they attatched the battery holder for globs and/or cut traces.
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MasterCProgram
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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by MasterCProgram » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:32 am

I asked him to double check, had I known there was already a battery holder soldered on, I would've just done this at home, but he closed it up and didn't take a good look to save me some cash. It definitely needs work other than the battery.

One thing I've noticed is wrong, and has been wrong since I got the synth was the velocity glitches out on a few patches, they sound poppy, so what I'm doing is taking the velocity sensitivity off most patches, turning the synth off till tomorrow, and seeing if any of the changes I made hold. I doubt for what I'm doing I'll really care or notice the lack of velocity sensitivity, so not a deal breaker.

Overall, super satisfied with the sounds that come out of this thing.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by MasterCProgram » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:30 am

Okay, since the battery replacement, the same problem is still happening.

What will happen is I will load a patch (or just turn the synth on) and no sound will happen. Only after a certain time the sound will fade in and 'fizzle' out at regular intervals.

The only other thing I can think of besides a botched solder on the battery is that the volatile memory might be fried.

Assuming the worst, that I'd have to replace a chip, is this thing totaled?

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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by rhino » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:10 pm

Well, damn. OK, let's try something else: Turn the synth off, hold the "5" and "8" buttons and power on. This will "clear" all data from the patch memory. Now try a tape-load again.
QUESTIONS:
(1) Do some (any) of the 64 patches play correctly?
(2) When a patch fades in, does it have the correct tone?
(3) what happens if you creat a new patch, save it to memory, then power off and on?
(4) Are you getting the correct "count-up (1 to 8)" on the display when you load from tape...and the "good" signal at the end?

Still sounds to me like the memory is not getting power from the battery. There is a blocking diode that may have died.
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MasterCProgram
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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by MasterCProgram » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:22 pm

Answers! (thanks so much for the help here.)

These answers are based on the condition of it when I woke up this morning, not after doing a new tape load.

(1) Powered it on today, only about 1/4 of the patches played correctly after being powered down for 7 hours. Odd thing is, powered off last night in intervals of 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes to see if any patches were lost, and they were all there and working fine.

(2) Today, after finding most of the patches don't work correctly, most of the ones that did make sound sort of shifted a key one direction, and would shift back. For instance, I'd be playing a C, and after a few presses it would be a D, and then would shift back again. (which to me means that some data is corrupted).

(3) Same with other patches, I'd made a nice Vangelis-y CS-80 patch that disintegrated much like the rest did. Also, had edited many of the tape load patches to get rid of velocity sensitivity, and it saved those changes just as well as everything else.

(4) Yes, I even did a verify procedure on the load I did last night.

I will clear the patches before loading again, see what that does. I certainly hope it's a simple fix either way, I'm taking it back in tomorrow, but its good to give the technician some area to focus on before I hand it in.

rhino, lifesaver, thank you.

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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by rhino » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:22 am

(5) If you load patches from tape and wait until SOME are bad, are they always the SAME patches?
Don't remember if the DW8k has 1 or two RAMS for patch storage. One could be bad and dragging the battery voltage down overnight.

(6) Do you turn the patch memory protect switch on after re-loading?

STILL betting on batt. voltage not getting to the RAM(s).
Have your tech. check the battery circuit: There is a blocking diode that prevents the batt. from discharging back into the synths power supply. Also check that that the battery holder installer did not damage a power trace.
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MasterCProgram
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Re: Korg DW-8000 needs... new battery?

Post by MasterCProgram » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:50 am

Hey!

Was checking to see which patches were dead and going through them all, and in the process, all of the patches came back over time.

Is it normal for the synth to need to 'warm up' over a period of a half an hour or more, and until then, everything sounds like garbage?

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