Technical Services

Last update:12-Jan-2024

Hardware Circuit and PCB Design / Fabrication

I am experienced with design of digital and analog hardware and the related PCB design, ready for manufacture. This includes prototype board R&D and small production runs.

I also offer all the related Software Services including embedded system firmware design and testing.

Please contact me directly to discuss your requirements.

Electronic Hardware Repairs

I have a lot of experience with fixing equipment, and these days many items only a few years old are not repairable by the manufacturer, usually because spare parts are no longer available.

Often I am able to help.  Please note that all repairs of older equipment are strictly on a time and materials basis.

Here’s some recent hardware repair examples:

Kawai FS650 synthesizer with broken keys

FS650 with broken keys

FS650 with broken keys

The FS650 was an inexpensive device, and this one seemed to be about 12 years old. The damage shown here is mechanical only, the keys when pressed produced the correct sounds. Each octave consists of a set of three key pieces that clip together, but Kawai don’t even list the FS650 anymore. Locating used components is not economical due to search difficulties and shipping costs. The keys were white when new, but age and UV have yellowed the keys.

FS650 with keys repaired

FS650 with keys repaired

Roland Rhodes 760 Refurbishment

Roland Rhodes repair project

Roland Rhodes repair project

This 1988-vintage MIDI keyboard / synth had several problems, with the main one being two dead keys. The 760 was dismantled and cleaned, a section of the flex circuit under the keyboard was restored, some key hall effect switches and front panel control covers replaced.

Roland D10 Synthesizer Refurbishment

D10 refurbishment project

D10 refurbishment project

This 1992-vintage MIDI keyboard is somewhat similar to the Ensoniq ESQ-1. Several effect switches were stuck or intermittent, so the owner had us open the unit and check for dirt and anything needed after more than 20 years of use.

Ensoniq ESQ-1 Synthesizer

Ensoniq ESQ-1 analog synthesizer repair project

Ensoniq ESQ-1 analog synthesizer repair project

This 1985-vintage MIDI unit was acquired in Australia and brought to Canada in a non-functional state. The unit was disassembled and the problem located: some acidic liquid (orange juice, Coke?) had been spilled on the keyboard, and 5 sections of circuit board copper tracks had been etched away. The tracks were rebuilt and a 120-240 Vac transformer kit provided to run in Canada. The ESQ-1 has been functioning perfectly for three years.

Update October 2015: Another failure of the keyboard PCB occurred that took some time to locate. The trace was cracked under the circuit board conformal coating. A keyboard schematic was developed to trace this. The image below is 1040×912. Right click if you want to save it.

ESQ-1 Keyboard schematic

ESQ-1 Keyboard schematic

Older Amplifier Repairs

I have successfully serviced amps that no-one else wanted to …

  • a 1992 vintage GBX Custom Bug with blown power transistors and severe hum problems caused by previous replacement of incorrect value components. We had to locate a circuit schematic and verify it for the GBX.

  • a Behringer KX1200 keyboard amp also with severe hum issues caused by inappropriate connection to DC powered equipment. A small section of the preamp circuit board had burned off, and this was identified and repaired.

  • A Fender FM100H had several tone controls with the knob pulled out of the potentiometer. Replacing the potentiometers requires that all the knobs to be removed to access the circuit board, and several more potentiometers were damaged, despite all care being taken. The repair ultimately required replacement of seven potentiometers and three knobs.

Mechanical Repairs, Design and Fabrication

A lot of cheap stage equipment is very light weight and does not always provide good value for money or protect your valuable instruments as well as you might like.

I have (re)design, repair and fabrication capabilities, with machine shop, welding and painting services.

Projects include …

  • manufacture of custom stable and robust PA stands
  • design of mic extendable boom stands, up to 4.5m, fixed or rolling/lockable models.
  • refurbishment of solid base mic stands with new extension rods and standard mic thread adapters
  • custom keyboard storage boxes

KeyboardBox_2 KeyboardBox_3

My labour rates are very reasonable. Please note that all repairs of older equipment and custom design / fabrication are strictly on a time and materials basis. Clients are required to sign a Work Order and in most cases provide a retainer fee (typically the estimated cost of materials and some labour) before work is started. Like all paid services provision, full payment is required on completion of the work, unless other arrangements have been made.

If any of these services is of interest to you, please contact me directly, and we’ll see what can be done.

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