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SY99 Backlight Replacement - SUCCESS!!!

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  • SY99 Backlight Replacement - SUCCESS!!!

    Hey, this is mostly a "pat myself on the back" post, but I thought I'd put it up here in case anyone else is interested... I bought a Yamaha SY99 used about a year or so ago and I love it to death...Awesome synth, great keys, stellar sound. The unit itself was a little rough but I have put up with the little things (sticky buttons, dead backlight, dead WAV backup battery, general dirtiness in between the keys) in favor of the amazing sound and feel.

    Anyway, I decided that I wanted to get the backlight fixed at one point and since I have a little experience at being technical I decided to do it myself. I called up Telesis and ordered a backlight EL strip from them (about $40 including shipping). The tech there suggested I simply send in the display and have them do the replacement, and he was VERY helpful in describing the pitfalls of this particular install when I told him I wanted to take the DIY route. I got the part a couple of days ago and waited until this morning to give this thing a shot.

    I've taken every synth I own apart at one point or anther just on general principles, but this one was a nightmare. Be prepared for a LOT of work, and be VERY organized if you are going to crack open an SY99. It took about an hour to actually get to the display assembly and I had to take nearly every part out of the machine to get there. Once there though, the rest was cake... The guy from Telesis suggested a trick to keep the LCD and panel bezel aligned while doing the replacement (worked perfectly) and I was able to unsolder the old EL panel and resolder the new one in place in minutes. Reassembly went quicker than disassembly (knowing how things fit back together by this point really helped) and the unit powered back up just fine.

    Lo and behold, I can now read the display in a dark room!!! I also managed to clean the keybed, button pads, sliders, wheels, etc while I had the beast open, so it feels like a new board. I still need to replace the batteries (there are two - one on each main board) but I will wait until I get a couple of sockets instead of just soldering the new batteries directly back to the main boards in case I ever need to replace them again in the future.

    Many thanks go out to the guy from Telesis (sorry I never caught his name) for his help and advice.

    I took a lot of pictures of this process while I was doing it (mainly to cover my butt in case I messed up and forgot where to put something back). I was curious to know if there are any other SY99 owners (or SY77, as it is probably really similar) who would benefit from a tutorial on how to do this? I was thinking about putting one together, but probably won't waste the time and effort unless someone else might benefit from it. Please let me know if anyone thinks they might like to see how it was done.

    Thanks!
    bax

  • #2
    *raises hand and dances in his seat like he has to pee*

    ME!!!!!!!




    Analogia

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    • #3
      AK - Man, I figured since you are practically a deity around these parts you'd have already done this yourself about a meeeeeellion times by now

      Glad to know someone is interested, so I'll start working up the walkthrough. Hopefully tomorrow won't be too busy and I can get it done by then, but I'll shoot for no later than a week or so to get it online. I'll post back here when it is up with a link...

      Thanks!!!
      bax

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      • #4
        lol, i've already shined a little pen light on the display a meeeeeeellion times, if that counts for experience
        Analogia

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        • #5
          I know what you mean about that...mine is in the middle tier of my keyboard A-frame and really hard to see. I was seriously considering mounting a light bar under my top tier synth or something goofy like that to light up the SY display, but this pretty much solves the problem

          Thanks!
          bax

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          • #6
            I have a wavestation keyboard that needs a new backlight and it is also a nightmare to get to. I started opening it and realised how much more work it would be to get to and turned back.

            -Sheryl

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            • #7
              Dugman -

              Thanks a lot. We've had a number of SY, TG, EX and other owners looking for this kind of information at EX5Tech. Matter of fact, there are about 10 threads in our forums on this subject. It's alway nice to hear about a vendor (Telesis) that offers good service, too.

              If you ever put together a detailed step by step tutorial with pictures, I'd love to post it at EX5Tech too, with your permission. I'll even offer my help if you'd like to consolidate it into a nice high quality PDF.

              Oh, and congrats on the successful surgery!

              - - - - -

              Sheryl -

              Here's a link to a topic at EX5Tech in which a member shared some info regarding replacement backlights for a Wavestation:

              http://www.ex5tech.com/ex5ubb_cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=21&t=000040

              Hope that helps.
              Ski
              www.ex5tech.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Trillian
                I have a wavestation keyboard that needs a new backlight and it is also a nightmare to get to. I started opening it and realised how much more work it would be to get to and turned back.
                FWIW, I'm no tech at all but did it on mine, and everything went fine. Ordered the backlight from http://www.midi-rakete.de

                Just like Dugman suggested, I took a lot of digital pictures to make sure everything goes back to where it belongs. And had the schematics from the excellent Ben Hall's website displayed on the computer.

                This website about taking a 01/W apart also helped quite a bit since it features a lot of pictures as well, and the WS looks pretty much the same from the inside (same Yamaha keyboard with sticky keys problems).

                Just managed to get an extra screw at the end of the process with the WS.
                Never mind, I just wanted an avatar | Custom scripts for Greasemonkey

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                • #9
                  Ski - I would be honored for you to put this tutorial up at EX5Tech - GREAT site BTW... I've been lurking there for a while especially for the Evolver forum discussions. That will probably be my next synth

                  Anyway, things got a little hectic for me today so no luck on putting stuff together but I should have time this week to get something done. I'll definitely post back here when it's ready.

                  Thanks!
                  bax

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                  • #10
                    Quick questions, guys:

                    1) Do all "colored" LCDs have a colored backlight/LED that gives it that tint?

                    2) If so, can most synths be modified to have different colored displays by just replacing the backlight, putting aside all required modifications to reach that end?

                    Thanks in advance!
                    Tips for Buying Synths from eBay
                    Replacing Soldered Battery w/ Replaceable Kind

                    "All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be" Pink Floyd

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                    • #11
                      Scuby - I kinda wondered about that too...In my (limited) experience, I have only seen EL strips that are "white" although they really look pale green to me when the light is on. That said, I have a couple of synths with "colored panels" (Alesis Quadrasynth with a yellow display and Kurzweil K2600 with a blue display).

                      Just by looking at those displays with the snyth turned off, I would have to guess that the colored displays probably use a "white" EL strip that is enclosed in some kind of tinted covering (laminated plastic maybe) that changes the color of the light that shines through the clear LCD. Either that or there is some kind of "gobo" or colored piece of plastic between the EL strip and the LCD.

                      These are just my guesses on the subject, so if anyone else actually knows, please educate us ignant folk

                      Thanks!
                      bax

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                      • #12
                        Hey Bax,

                        I've seen a few places that sell custom-sized EL strips of most colors, including red, blue, and I think yellow and others. If not, one could always use the readily-available, colorful EL tape (with perhaps a tiny diffuser dealie in front to rid the display of any dark lines resulting from the overlapping tapes, as these are not as thick as the ones used in synths).

                        Definitely an area I want to explore.
                        Tips for Buying Synths from eBay
                        Replacing Soldered Battery w/ Replaceable Kind

                        "All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be" Pink Floyd

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                        • #13
                          Fair enough, although I think I'd probably try some kind of cellophane foil or colored saran-wrap or something instead of tape. I dunno...all I do know is that I'm happy enough with the regular colored light...

                          My tutorial (at least the first draft of it) is done, and as soon as I get a chance to get it posted to my site I will put up the link here. Should be sometime tonight.

                          Taking Ski's advice, it is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format and weighs in at about 800Kb for easy downloading. The graphics aren't totally hi-res, but I will zip the individual 1600x1200 pictures up and make those available if anyone wants them.

                          Thanks!
                          bax

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                          • #14
                            Sounds good!
                            Tips for Buying Synths from eBay
                            Replacing Soldered Battery w/ Replaceable Kind

                            "All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be" Pink Floyd

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                            • #15
                              Ok folks...here it is:

                              Yamaha SY99 Backlight Replacement Tutorial

                              This is a link to my SY99 Backlight Tutorial Page. There are two things of interest there. I might expand this into a larger page in the future with patches, another tutorial on how to replace the batteries or other web links, but for now this is what you will find there:

                              1) An Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the tutorial (16 pages, about 800Kb)

                              2) A ZIP file containing all the raw photos of the adventure. Be warned, please only download this if you really need to, as it is almost 40 Mb and contains no text or explanation - only 49 raw 1600x1200 photos. This is beneficial if you want the hi-res pictures for "zooming in" purposes, since the tutorial only contains the low-res pics.

                              Please feel free to drop me an email or post back here if you have any questions or comments (besides snide remarks about my complete and utter lack of web design skills, OK )

                              Thanks!
                              bax

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