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.