Reviving the Yamaha DX7s, part 3

[Note: this is Part 3 of our saga. You may want to start with Part 1]

Well, it’s all done. It’s actually all been done for most of the week, but I haven’t had time to post about it. My DX7s is totally working, and everything tests OK. And it was the pitch wheel. Sort of.

I took off the pitch wheel and took it all apart, cleaned it, made sure the little “contact” tab was bent up correctly. You can see the little tab in the center of the “round part” in the picture below (yes I took some pictures finally). The tab was flattened down a lot and didn’t seem to be properly contacting all the way around when you moved the wheel. Now it presses firmly and contacts all the way around.


After that fun, I put the wheel back together and reattached it inside the case. Then I went to hook up the wire and realized that, unlike most of the other wires in this keyboard that only have one place to connect, the pitch wheel is one of two four pin connectors in the group of them on the left side of the board (if the board is rotated so the side with the jacks is the “top”). So which one to connect it to?

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Time for another picture. The pitch wheel should be connected where the red arrow is pointing:


I put my keyboard back together, and, sure enough the Change Battery message didn’t come up (I’d just had the wheel connected in the wrong spot). Also, now when I went into the Test Mode (the Edit, 16, and 32 buttons simultaneously), it showed “Battery 3.1V OK“, which is what it’s really supposed to be, unlike the 5v I posted previously. I then went through the test mode (which I have thoroughly documented and will make a separate page about later).

So everything works, but my DX7s has NO voices on it (well, all the voice buttons have something stored in them, and one in a while the corrupted voice data results in a pretty cool noise…), and the DX7s is just not nearly as useful without sounds in it! If you want to “reset” the voices to be actually empty, you can “VOICE INIT” them by pressing Voice and then pressing the number of the voice you want to work on, then holding down Edit and pressing button 14 repeatedly until it says “INIT VOICE?”. You then press the “YES” button (twice) and it resets the voice.

There’s a LOT to these synthesizers and working on them, and very very

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little documentation about them out on the Web. Soon I’m going to condense these three blog posts and a bunch of other pictures and documentation I have (about Test Mode, where to get voices and how to install them, and more) onto it’s own page. That page will also have links to the other DX7 sites out there, including librarian software (for all platforms). Check back soon!

In the interim, I have a synth to go play with..