Casio Synthesizer Rescue Repair

Casio_Keyboard-Transparent.pngWhen I’m not playing with Linux things, I am often noodling around with other machines, appliances or electronics. I have developed this delight in fixing things which has turned into this sense of, “I can fix it” attitude toward just about anything.

I only wish I had a magic hammer…

Recently, a neighbor was telling me that within a few hours of her eldest son unwrapping a birthday gift of a long sought after musical instrument, some horseplay rendered it inoperable. I told her, “I can [probably] fix it.” Grabbed my little electronics tool box and moseyed my way over to her house.

20180330_175105.jpgThis Synthesizer is a 61-key, Casio CTK2400. The back of this machine had only two ports, a 1/4″ (6.35mm) and a USB Type-B receptacle. No Midi or separate line out. Looking inside the jack, there were the remains of A TRS 1/4″ to 1/8″ headphone jack adapter which broke off inside of the keyboard. It broke off in such a way that the portion inside could not be easily removed. The tip of the jack was stuck inside of the socket which deactivated the internal speakers.┬áMy observation of the portion that had broken off of the adapter made very apparent that it was poorly manufactured as the ring detached itself from the sleeve. I tried a few “of course it won’t work” action to remove the tip, then decided it was time to open the keyboard up. After removing several screws to expose the main board, I discovered that the headphone socket was enclosed on the board so I could not push anything out from the inside.

socket-switch.png
Expected socket configuration.

I was expecting to see something open and exposed so I could just, knock out the bits similar to what is pictured on the inside of the keyboard but was greeted, instead, with a plastic, closed off box that looked to be sonic welded shut. The keyboard was then reassembled.

Swing and a miss…..

I put the keyboard back together to use a pair of tweezers and a screwdriver to dig out the broken bits. Nearly everything came out but just the very tip of the jack. I was at a loss of what to do next and I did some searching on the web of varying key terms and eventually found how someone else used super glue and an ice pick. I had the super glue but not the ice pick .

 

Headphone Jack tip

I took a very small slotted screwdriver, generally used for working on small electronics, put a glob of superglue on the end and pushed it carefully against the remaining jammed bit inside the keyboard and held it firmly in place. I waited for a few minutes and slowly, carefully pulled out the 1/4″ tip.

Success!

I plugged in the keyboard to make sure it worked after all the probing, digging and tugging. Sure enough, it worked just fine, I noodled around with it a bit and thought, “What a nice little synthesizer.” Regrettably, I have buried that musical talent many years ago.

I returned the keyboard, now in proper working order to its owner. It was great to see a the expression of joy come over that kid’s face as he could once again play his brand new instrument.

The Curiosity Bug Bit Me

I had to learn about this keyboard, what was that USB port for and is it something Linux friendly. I downloaded the manual on the machine where I learned that this is some form of USB MIDI interface. Doing some further search where I landed on the Arch Wiki and it had a lot of good information on it. That is, unfortunately as far as I will go with it as it is not my machine to mess with. I was very encouraged that, although not often in the Linux spotlight, there looks to be a lot of effort in this area of the arts.

Final Thoughts

Fixing electronics and appliances, even basic issues brings about quite a bit of satisfaction. Restoring happiness to a kid on his birthday is just the best. I am grateful that the internet has empowered and made it easier to fix things, you know, when you get into a bind.

Music creation on Linux is a thing and I hope to see it continue to be an area of active development. Perhaps, one day, I might be able to dust off what little musical talent I have and dovetail it into my Linux hobby.

External Links

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_MIDI_keyboards

Headphone tip removal

 

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