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  #1  
Old 20.08.2009, 06:28 PM
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Default Virus surgery: Re-Potting 101 (warning - many photos!)

3.7mb worth of pictures loading up, might take a while. (Will take approx: 2 Mbps = 15 secs; 512 Kbps = 1 minute; 56k dialup = 9 mins).

Virus Surgery: Re-Potting masterclass!

A few may recall I had a few wobbly pots (pot = potentiometer, or to the layman, a knob) on my Indigo when originally purchased second-hand. They worked perfectly fine, but they happened to wiggle around slightly from side-to-side when touched. On closer inspection, it appeared the metal shafts on the pots affected had worked loose, quite possibly due to a bump when in transit.

So I decided to install new ones.

All pots are 10Kohm linear, but I could not manage to source the knobs from local electronics stores/catalogues. They may be custom to Access. I therefore managed to acquire four new pots from Access-Music's hardware branch [Synthesizer Service] which is based in Germany.

So here we go!:-

Disclaimer (purely to cover my own ass):- It'll void your warranty if you do it yourself, so if you don't trust the Virus in your hands get a proper, qualified serviceman to do it for you.



^ My Indigo under anaesthesia.



^ Turned over, all highlighted screws need to be removed.



^ Turned over again. The keybed now slips out!



^ The keybed is still attached via a ribbon cable, shown highlighted, so this needs to be disconnected.



^ Indigo sans keybed.



^ Two screws either side of the rear panel need to be removed.



^ Turned over gently. All highlighted screws need to be removed.



^ Turned over very carefully. The two side-cheeks now slide out either side and can be removed.



^ Indigo without keybed and side cheeks.



^ By removing the previous screws, the front fascia is also separated from the chassis. You can lift it off.

Continued...
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Old 20.08.2009, 06:29 PM
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^ Above shows the all ribbon cables and their use. The mainboard, pitch+mod wheels, and headphone ribbon cables all need to be labelled, well I did anyway in case I forgot which is which (three cables are identical), and then disconnected.



^ The front fascia on its own. All the circuitry is behind this. It's effectively a Virus B Desktop! You could make your own chassis and end-cheeks if you wanted.

I digress. All the rubber knobs need to be removed - they can be simply pulled off (as shown above).



^ The front fascia flipped over, showing all the circuitry. On the bottom right are all the rear analogue output jack sockets. On the far left are the pitch+mod wheels.



^ The same photo, but labelled using respective colours. The 'mainboard' piggy-backs onto the 'front panel fascia board' (where the knobs are), so in order to get to the underside of the knobs on the fascia board (to de-solder and re-solder them) it will be necessary to take the mainboard off.



^ This is all that remains of the (now separated) chassis itself. You can see the PSU, and the ribbon cable controller board.



^ The PSU still needs to be disconnected from the main fascia and mainboard circuitry, but what's this?



^ Seems the on/off rocker switch was slightly loose so either Access-Music or the former owner used two wooden toothpicks (I'd actually removed one in that photo) to wedge open the retaining clips of the switch more securely to the chassis. Is this done by Access and commonplace on all Indigos, one asks?



^ Looking at the rear panel. All the highlighted screws are to be removed....



^ .... followed by the screws on the front-panel fascia board itself.



^ After disconnecting the two ribbon cables (separating the mainboard from both the front panel and LCD), the mainboard can eased off of the standoffs and lifted away.

Continued...
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Old 20.08.2009, 06:31 PM
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^ ... which reveals the front panel fascia board underneath it.



^ The front panel fascia board can now be lifted out.



^ ... which leaves a nearly bare front panel (LCD shown in the middle, and Pitch/Mod wheels to the left).



^ So we finally have full access to the front panel board!

You will need (from the left):

* Low-wattage soldering iron, with a fine tip.
* Wet sponge/paper for cleaning the iron
* New pots
* Solder (not too bulky/thick)
* A bag of chocolate mini-eggs
* Solder-sucker
* A bucket of tea.
* Wire cutters or similar (not shown)



^ If you look at one of the new pots, you can see it has six legs. The hardest part in removing the old pots are the two main large legs that have kinks in them, they grasp the board holding them firmly in place in addition to being soldered in. So 1) it's harder to get all the solder out when de-soldering it (you have to suck the solder out both the bottom and top), and 2) you have to have nerves of steel when it comes to prizing the pot out.



^ Regards the four legs, I found it easiest just to use a wire cutter to cut the tops of them (shown on dotted red line) while still in situ (soldered in). Had to take great care as the wire-cutters are a little bulky and could easily scrape the board while cutting the legs off if you weren't careful. After that, de-soldered the two main legs (highlighted in yellow) using a soldering iron and solder sucker. Be careful you don't inadvertently touch the barrel of the soldering iron onto the Virus buttons or the shafts of neighbouring pots (they melt very quick! Luckily it was just a nick.) whilst de-soldering. Then had to wiggle the pot(s) out of the board, which is the most frustrating part. Once the pots are out, you can simply remove the four partially remaning legs on the board via the soldering iron and sucker. Just heat them briefly, they come out really easily. Use the solder sucker to remove any solder left behind.



^ Shows the other side of the board showing the 'footprint' of a pot before de-soldering. Two main tricky legs circled in yellow, with the four other legs circled in blue.



^ In my case I had to remove four wobbly pots - which are shown removed.



^ From the other side (I'd removed the buttons by that point, in case I touched any others with the iron by accident! They easily flick out by gently levering them.). Found soldering the new pots into the board a doddle ONLY if the holes on the board are neatly de-soldered and maximised beforehand. It's a pain otherwise, as the new pot and all of its six legs need to be properly inserted before you start actually soldering them in place.



^ All pots in place and soldered!
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Old 20.08.2009, 06:31 PM
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^ The wealth of screws needed to put the Virus back together. Found it essential to label them as they're all different.



^ Operation complete.
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PS > And another thing! Will the Ti|3 have user customisable/importable wavetables? A ribbon-controller or XY-Pad might be nice, too, please! Thanks!
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Old 20.08.2009, 07:07 PM
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Kudos, you're a better man than I! My TI Polar is back with Andertons after i found a screw rattling around inside! I miss her!

Well done, quality post. (^_^)
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Old 20.08.2009, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the very detailed step by step project pictures. I've dove into a few synths, but dont know if I would have the guts to rip a Virus down to its molecular level like you! Bravo!

Now I guess it goes on ebay with the "this synth is like brand new!", "very low usage!", "never giged with!", "I'm not much of keyboard player!", "still has factory presets!", "i think it has 64 voices, you would know better than me?!", "used on only 2 projects than sat in my studio unused!", "selling for a friend because he doesnt know how to use it!" description!
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Old 20.08.2009, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthman1 View Post
Now I guess it goes on ebay with the "this synth is like brand new!", "very low usage!", "never giged with!", "I'm not much of keyboard player!", "still has factory presets!", "i think it has 64 voices, you would know better than me?!", "used on only 2 projects than sat in my studio unused!", "selling for a friend because he doesnt know how to use it!" description!
Hehe, no, it's my master synth. I've had it for four or five years, and it's here to stay until I can upgrade it. I love it, and it's treated with kid gloves. It just took me a while to finally compile all the photos. It's in flawless condition. Studied electronics at A-level (college), so soldered a good few things in the past. It's soldered to IEEE standards!
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Old 20.08.2009, 11:32 PM
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awesome post Timo.
Glad the mini eggs were able to see you through
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Old 21.08.2009, 06:55 AM
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Excellent repair coverage! Thanks a lot Timo. It looks like apart from wooden sticks virus is very well designed compared to some other devices I have had a chance to see disassembled.
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Old 21.08.2009, 09:16 AM
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oh man...thats a lot of work for some knobs, but nice
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