Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartridge

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Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartridge

Postby tertiumsquid » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:53 pm

Hey all, just picked up a CZ101 and memory cart, and I'm having two problems.

First, there was no sound at all. Volume control was dead, and no amount of contact cleaner would help. For interests sake, I removed the volume slider and opened it to see if I could tweak the contacts or something, and parts of the carbon strip were actually tearing off, and the legs on the slider were green and crumbling - definitely had a drink spill. For now, I've soldered in a pair of resistors to simulate the volume pot sitting around half volume, so I can get sound again.

Second, the memory cartridge I got with it works intermittently. I've replaced the battery and can save and load tones to it sometimes, but most of the time it just doesn't work, or I'll reload the tone (without turning off, unplugging, etc) and get random junk. The cartridge slot on the CZ had two bent pins when I got it (and are now straightened), but the cartridge seems loose in the slot, so I assume that's the problem.

Third (Bonus!) problem is that the headphone jack is pretty hummy and buzzy, but the line out seems pretty clean.

What I'm looking for is a part number for a replacement volume control. It seems to be a 30mm travel (45mm overall length), and it has written on the side "5305 10KB" which I assume might be a series number followed by resistance (10k linear taper). Closest I've found is this one on Mouser, but the pinout isn't the same. I'll make it work if I need to, but would rather find one that fits right.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions or similar experience with the cartridge and buzzy headphones, please post.
Last edited by tertiumsquid on Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby rhino » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:47 am

First, welcome to the board!

Here is a listing at Syntaur for a new volume pot: (scroll down aways)

http://syntaur.com/casio.html

Keep this company on your list: they stock many reproduction parts. Never had a problem with them.
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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby rsaintjohn » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:27 pm

Check with this guy (Andrew) on eBay. I've dealt with him before and he's good with CZ parts. He has a replacement headphone jack for $2. Even if he doesn't have it listed, he may have it, so don't be afraid to drop him a note.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/blue_planet_media/m.html


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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby tertiumsquid » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:51 pm

Thanks guys, both good suggestions! Why I didn't think to check Syntaur before is beyond me.

As for the cartridge, it works properly now - there was still a pin slightly out of alignment, but now it sits in the slot properly and doesn't feel loose.

Still have buzzy headphones, but I'll figure that out when I get a better oscilloscope. The one I have doesn't capture enough detail at low voltages, and I can't even "see" the buzz at the headphone output.

Either way, this is a fun little synth, and well worth the $100 for both it and the cartridge.
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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby rsaintjohn » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:36 am

tertiumsquid wrote:Still have buzzy headphones, but I'll figure that out when I get a better oscilloscope. The one I have doesn't capture enough detail at low voltages, and I can't even "see" the buzz at the headphone output.


Just remembered something. Not sure if it was my 101 or another Casio, but I did have the buzzy headphone line problem. I tried batteries instead of AC, and the noise was gone! I'd resigned myself to the possibility that it was the AC jack, but it turned out that the culprit was the ancient Casio AD-5 adapter itself. I swapped in a generic, modern DC9V 850mA adapter and it was perfect. I've since stopped using those original "wall warts" entirely. Newer ones are smaller, lighter and don't fall out of the wall and break themselves.

So, first step, try batteries and see what happens.


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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby tertiumsquid » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:16 am

rsaintjohn wrote:So, first step, try batteries and see what happens.


Ahhh, I should've mentioned that I have tried batteries, and unfortunately it didn't help! Before I was actually getting any sound out of this, the noise changed whenever I held a key - it's a weird digital sorta noise.

I've also tried 3 adapters with it, which was my initial thought, as the first adapter I had nearby is a noisy one, but I've tried two others which didn't help either.
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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby motherman » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:12 am

Did you ever figure out the headphone noise issue? Just picked one of these up and I'm lovin it, but it has the same issue just as you described (digital kinda noise, changes when keys are pressed, battery/adapter doesn't matter). It's super annoying! Please let me know if you figured it out!
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Re: Casio CZ101 dead volume control and intermittent cartrid

Postby Rasputin » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:01 am

motherman wrote:Did you ever figure out the headphone noise issue? Just picked one of these up and I'm lovin it, but it has the same issue just as you described (digital kinda noise, changes when keys are pressed, battery/adapter doesn't matter). It's super annoying! Please let me know if you figured it out!


This is just how the CZ-101 headphone jack sounds. It's not usable for recording, just for jamming out with your bad self. I don't believe it's a matter of it being defective, etc. I think it's just how the circuit was designed and the specs of the chips, especially given that it's digital hash noise not just 60 Hz hum. I've recapped, re-shielded, re-grounded my CZ-101 and I just don't think they're going to be quiet without changing the stock circuit.

I've looked into finding a cleaner headphone amp that can replace the stock one, but I haven't come up with anything that seemed like it would work as a straight drop-in replacement.

At least it has an adequately quiet line out (which really indicates a sub-par headphone amp), so not all is lost. I'm neurotic enough to want every output on something to be dead quiet, so I understand the complaint though.
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