Repairing an Electronic Organ

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Introduction: Repairing an Electronic Organ

Our unit at college found this Organ for free on Craigslist. After the sheer amazement over the fact we actually went out and got this thing wore off, I noticed that it really did not work all that well.

Some of the keys stuck, or didn't play, or played badly. I blamed the spring contacts behind the keys, so I immediately set about tearing the thing apart.

Step 1: General Warning

I'm not responsible for irreversible damage to your organ, organs, or domicile. So follow the general rule of life and don't be dumb.

Step 2: Digging In

The first effort was just to make the tremolo work again.

The tremolo is a speaker set behind a rotating foam wheel with a large slot cut out to make the sound wobble in that particular way that pipe organs do.

Our wheel didn't spin. To make it do so, we spun it manually, dislodged the nut placed on the rope, and that was all it took.

Step 3: The Keyboard.

The keyboard requires a bit more work.

First, the wood covering on the top has to be removed and the situation assessed.

Our top rank had a series of spring contacts which were moved by the wires protruding from the back of the wooden keys. The contacts were arranged with one, two, or three springs per key; and each set had a spring and two runners that all needed cleaned.
Meaning: I had a lot of contacts to clean.

Step 4: Cleaning

To clean the contacts, the best tool I found was a pencil eraser. (Unfortunately, I used up three erasers in the course of this project) Just rub the spring and runners until they look roughly shiny again, and be sure to blow away the eraser crumbs.

Step 5: And Cleaning..

Remove the top deck and keep going. I suspended mine by para-cord from my lofted bed.

Be sure not to break any wires, or there's no telling what will happen.

Step 6: And Fixing

These are the return springs that pull the key back up and turn off the note.

One had come off and needed fixing. Unfortunately, it was on the bottom rank and needed to be fixed blind.

Step 7: Reassembly

Now, put it back together. All the screws, all the keys, exactly as they were.

Thread the springs through the correct holes in the plastic movers and put the key wire back on the plastic strip as well.

Step 8: Hope and Test

Did you do it right?
Was that screw you found you left out critical?

No way to tell except to put it together, plug it in, and play every key to test it.

If a key still does not work, bend the wire on the back of the key up a little to get better contact between the spring and runner.

If no keys work, good luck. It's probably dead.

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19 Comments

Hi I just Purchased a YAMAHA YC45 D COMBO ORGAN SOME LEVERS WHERE NOT WORKING AND SOME KEY SOUNDED MUGGY, SO I DECIDED TO OPEN IT AND BLOW SOM AIR IN TO IT .. NOW I HAVE KEYS SOUNDING DOUBLE AND OFF TUNE. IS THERE A SOLUTION?

I picked up a CONN serenade but it has no power.... can anyone help me out with it..

Did you try to measure the voltage? Look for the big bulky capacitors... They are probably dead, you can change them!

I have a Baldwin Model 127w organ. It gives no response when I try to turn it on. Is there a quick fix such as a fuse that is bad or etc.? Need help. Is it something I can fix? Ltcott@aol.com

The church I attend has an old Technics E66 organ that is in need of repair. I am in search of someone with knowledge about organs

I have a baldwin organ fun machine. About 30 yeats old. Anybody know about. Only the drum beats are working now

The unit is actually called a Leslie speaker. Although not a true one like the fridge units that were sold with the rotating speaker on top and a standard speaker on the bottom, it follows exactly the same principle. I recently pulled one almost exactly the same out of an old and now defunct organ but it needs hooking up to a power supply. Have you ever worked with turning these into a standalone speaker setup?

ever see another one ill buy it...

this the one i have!!! wow i need the tremlo unit.....my repair man too it out 50yrs ago. i would like it fixed if possiable. then ill sell it...please anyone help me...

 You could add a Direct Injection, this way it is leveled for using it with "normal" guitar effectes, like a TS808 or TS9 or a flanger/phaser/delay/chorus for extra spacey effects.

I did this to an old organ that I got, chopped it up and use it with effects and all !
Sounds fantastic !