Hacking Retro CASIO Synth




Introduction: Hacking Retro CASIO Synth

About: Im 16 and love electronics! I love music; writing music and playing piano. I have fun with microcontrollers and playing with other stuff too. There's always new things to learn.

I bought this nice synth to a friend in need for a few bucks. It is really cool, it is kind of retro but I decided to add more retro and a pot to change tune easily. I attached some pictures.
So I'll so you how to hack it easily. This will probably work with all synths and keyboards with a tune preset.

Step 1: Materials

The things you will need:
  • X1 50K potentiometer (check your preset pot to confirm value)
  • X1 Knob (optional)

Household items:
  • Drill
  • Wire
  • Retro style wood
  • Screwdriver
  • Dremel 

Step 2: Making Space for the Pot

So go ahead and unscrew the synth. I got 6 screws, remember there are always hidden ones so check well for screws.
Then locate and drill a space where the pot will fit comfortable. 
With a dremel clean the space around the pot's place so it can fit secure. In my case it was just in a spot where the screw was so crushed the screw place away.
After cleaning procedures make sure your pot fit well enough it can move freely.

Step 3: The Pot Issue

So once you have you pot inside we have to locate the actual pot for tune. If you synth can be circuit bend in any other way, don't be afraid to try it. 
I soldered 3 wires to each terminal, about 15 cm each wire. It was pretty easy to locate the other pot. 
I went ahead and destroyed the pot with some tweezers. Remember if you do not destroy the pot you will increase the value:
50 + 50 = 100
Yo have to make sure to eliminate 50K because that is the value needed.
50 = 50

Solder to the original pot terminals, the wires, matching the polarity of the built in pot.

Step 4: Closing It Up

Tape the wires together to make sure you don't have problems later. Close everything up, put screws back on. 

Step 5: Finishing Retro Touches

To add a retro sense I found a piece of wood I didn't need so I used it to add retro felling and drilled some holes so you can still listen to the integrated speaker. 

Step 6: Wrap Up

So it's really easy to add a little something to a synth. The best thing you can decide the shape and size. You can also add a knob for the pot.
Write in the comments what you did:=)

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    It would be really cool, if you're up to it, to mod that thing with the option for a rechargeable battery. Obviously, lithium ion/polymer would be the most useful, but just incorporating a AA battery charger would be effective too (and be easier to do, since you can use the original battery holder and cover. Then it can be a really portable synth. For maximum cool, replace the power supply (since it'd need to power both the synth and recharge the batteries) and convert it to use a standard computer power supply plug on the outside (there are tons of those cable s around and they're really durable).


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice one, although I personally would have found it difficult to only mod the pitch control. did you try poking around in there?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yep, actually there are loads of resistor where you can put a pot so I'll put pictures when I finish with that.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    NICE! I have built more than a few "circuit bent " devices including an old Roland TR-505. Seeing the pictures of your casio keyboard open MADE me have to ask. :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great little project.

    I wish my old Casio CA-110 was that easy to mod.