10 January 2011

New Battery for the Alesis Andromeda

The last period my Andromeda Alesis acted strangely when I switched it on. It was either out of tune, or all the presets sounded very distorted. Every time it started up it also asked to set the mod wheel in the lowest position and press a button. I started to suspect that the battery could be empty. I read on the Internet that the average life span of the battery of the Andromeda is about 4 years and I already have it longer than that. So I decided it was time to open it up.
There are a lot of screws on the back and on the bottom of the synthesizer that you need to remove before you can open it up. After that you have to be careful because there are connection between the upper and lower part of the case. The first thing I did is measure the battery and it gave about 2,9 Volts not that bad, but I decided to change it anyway. the only problem is that it is soldered to the main board. So you can't easily change it. I decided to remove the main PCB to work on it.

I de-soldered the battery and  installed a new battery holder for a CR 2032 battery. In this way I can easily change it in the future. I would not recommend this job for someone that has no electronics experience by the way. Taking the synth apart, removing the board and getting everything back together is not a very easy task. The new battery measured 3.2 Volts by the way after I installed it. So maybe the old one wasn't as good anyway anymore. After this measurement I put the synthesizer together and I switched it on. It still seems to work, but it gave the same problem as before, so I did another factory reset. I hope it will stay OK now.

After that I decided to find a new place for the Alesis Andromeda, since its place was takes yesterday by the Moog Memorymoog. I took the Roland V-Synth GT and Yamaha Motif XS6 from their spot and raised the keyboard stand a bit so that another stand could fit under it. And there was the new spot for the Andromeda :) It is a bit lower than the XS6 used to be, but the result is a way nicer height for me to play on it. Another advantage is that I can also see the display better now. And even though this is a an analog synthesizer, but as you can see on the inside there is way more digital electronics in it and no discrete electronics stuff at all, so for me as of today it qualifies as a digital synthesizer ;) OK enough about this. Mission accomplished.

9 comments:

DrNI said...

Very similar story with my Roland Juno 106, in which the battery lasted for about 20 years! But then it dropped somewhere below 2V and that was the end of it... unsoldered it and mounted a battery holder, so that it will be easier for me after the next 20 years. ;-)

It's good to keep backups of the machines... I didn't lose any important patches.

Synth.nl said...

20 years is quite long :)

Anonymous said...

opamps which are used to construct analog oscillators come in dlp packages as wel as solid state. The asics used in the andromeda contain multiple opamps. Hence the audio signal created within the 16 a6's asics is very much analogue electronically, only the control voltages are digital. It's bad juju to call your a6 digital :p but you probably knew that.

-tbone

Synth.nl said...

Well let's stick to hybrid then ;)

Anonymous said...

hybrid yes :) envelopes and control voltages are generated digitally :) How does the a6 compare to year full analogue gear sonical?
-tbone

Synth.nl said...

Oh the sound is very nice and very analog for sure, I liked especially the brass type sounds you can make with it. Yamaha CS like. But I don't have it any more. For me it was not a convenient synth to program on.

Anonymous said...

Can you please post the part number of the battery holder that was installed? Thank you.

Synth.nl said...

Sorry I don't know. I got it from a local electronics store here.

M.Retra said...

The battery holder is "CR2032 battery holder" from Radio Shack, Catalog #2700009. Price is $1.49 as of 2/6/15.