04-18-2013 09:08 AM
This is my first post and I joined HC specifically to find this information, so I hope someone can help.
I found a keyboard the other day - the information on the underside indicates that it was made by Bontempi and the model number is given as K410.10. However, there doesn't seem to be any information on that model online.
It's about 3-4 octaves with a speaker on the right and has no buttons, not even a power switch. At the back, on the underside, there appears to be a kind of power pack (possibly removable, but no luck so far) with two ribbon-type cables coming from it. One of these has a 9-hole DE-9F plug, the other looks like a 50-pin SCSI.
Pardon my ignorance, but is this some sort of MIDI keyboard? Is it essentially useless unless you connect it to a computer?
Thanks for any information you can provide.
04-18-2013 10:04 AM
Photos would be helpful, if you can provide them. Are you sure that the D-connector on the back has 9 pins and not 15? If it has 15 pins, then it was meant to be connected to a SoundBlaster card (or similar) on a PC. that wouldn't have been unusual about 15 years ago. If it truly has 9 pins, then I don't know what it's for.
A standard MIDI connector would be a DIN-style connector, which is 5 pins arrayed in a half circle about 1/2 inch in diameter. If it doesn't have this, then it doesn't have a standard MIDI connection.
I'm at a loss to explain a "SCSI" connector, though. Is it the kind with the little wire ears on each side with the connected being mostly a slot, rather than a collection of little pin holes? Again, photos might help.
04-18-2013 11:23 AM
04-18-2013 03:07 PM
Yeah, Bontempi is mostly known for chord organs, but what would a chord organ be doing with multipin connectors and no chord buttons?
'TIS A MYSTERY FORSOOTH
04-19-2013 08:50 AM
What bizarre beastie.
My guess is that it's a keyboard for some proprietary PC music system, something clearly non-standard. That oddball connector is similar to a SCSI connector, but shorter; I think it's the same as what use to be used on printers, before USB became standard. I think we used to call them a "centronics" connector. It was the connector used on the printer side, though, not on the PC side.
Unfortunately, I think you've pretty much got a paper weight, there.
04-19-2013 08:57 AM
Ah, I think I got it.
I'll bet it's a controller meant to be used with a PC. There's very likely some piece of software needed to make it work, but you'll also need an old PC, one with a parallel port, and a serial port. That Centronics connector probably doesn't plug directly into the PC, you would instead plug a normal parallel printer cable into it from the PC. The 9-pin D connector is very likely for a serial port connection; It was a common connector for serial ports; I see that the D connector is female, and serial 9-pin connectors on PCs were male, so that makes sense.
I'm guess that wave data was fed out through the parallel port, and control data from the keyboard was sent to the PC via serial. Completely and totally NOT MIDI.
You'd need to find the software that went with it, and a PC that has the old parallel and serial I/O ports.
04-19-2013 09:07 AM
Thanks for the info.
Well, I'm thinking of hooking it up to an old PC to see what's what, but this keyboard doesn't have its own power supply, so that might not result in anything.
I still need to be remove the case entirely to see what's inside, but if it looks promising I'll try to get it running somehow and/or bring it to my repair guy and see what he makes of it.
04-19-2013 09:12 AM
I've got an old PC or two that fits that description, and very likely a parallel printer cable to go with it.
If I do manage to reanimate this thing somehow, finding the software might be a pain, since I haven't been able to find a damn thing about this keyboard online.
To a casual collector of old cast-off keyboards like me, at least, this thing has visual appeal if nothing else.
04-19-2013 09:16 AM
Can you open it up and see if there's any other identifying info inside?
Looks like you've got a little curio from the tar pits of technology there. sadly there doesn;t appear to be any sort of online resource for obsolete bontempi stuff.
Only other thing that comes to mind, which is a bit of a long shot but not much work... save a search on Ebay for bontempi and the model number, on the offchance that anyone lists one, at which point it will notify you.
04-19-2013 11:30 AM
I cannot identify that keyboard, but I did find the Bontempi group web site. The company appears to manufacture a range of instruments targeted at kids and amateurs, but the famous Farfisa is listed as one of the member companies.
04-28-2013 04:18 AM
04-28-2013 04:33 AM
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