Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

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rich_de
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Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by rich_de » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:11 am

Posting this in the hope it might help someone some day. As mentioned in another thread about aftertouch strips, I carelessly broke off the two rubber button pusher tabs on a Fatar TP/9S key when pulling out the key. Spares are hard to come by (specifically with exactly the weight my key has), and complete replacement units are even harder to come by atm. So a fix was needed.

Just gluing on the little tabs would not be stable enough for playing, so I just used a very tiny bit of epoxy to put them back into place and fixated them while the epoxy cured. Searching for a reinforcement, I saw a cut off waste piece of the metal tape that held KF2510 crimp contacts. Being metal, and with its size and the dents and holes, where the second, larger batch of epoxy will flow into and around, it is just perfectly suited for that task. Picture attached.

So, when cutting off crimp contacts, keep a bit of the leftover tape. It might be very useful in this secondary role. :)
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FatarTP9-Fix-1024.jpg

Kevin Mitchell
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Re: Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by Kevin Mitchell » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:27 pm

That's a smart move!

Here's what I do for refurbishing keybeds.
It's good to scrap one that is beyond repair so you can reuse the keys - so you wouldn't have to find these kinds of workaround. Broken keybeds are super cheap.
A big issue with this is inconsistency with coloring due to exposure and age. Often times a scrapped keybed is more colored than others and I found an awesome method to brighten them up. Place the key(s) into a water tight bag, pour in some hydrogen peroxide and place under UV. Make sure the key is covered, shake it around every now and then if you have to. Some folks leave them out in the sun for a couple of days for a full restore. But for matching, I use a daylight CLF bulb on a desk lamp and check on it every 5 hours. Usually overnight and then some is good enough.

Oh, forgot I took this pic last time;
20210205_171133.jpg

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devinw1
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Re: Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by devinw1 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:48 pm

Nice fix, rich! Loves me some 5 minute epoxy for stuff like that. It's super tough stuff.

Kevin, I'm surprised UV helps make them whiter! Usually it is UV itself that makes resins and plastics turn yellow over time, isn't it?!

Kevin Mitchell
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Re: Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by Kevin Mitchell » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:04 pm

devinw1 wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:48 pm
Nice fix, rich! Loves me some 5 minute epoxy for stuff like that. It's super tough stuff.

Kevin, I'm surprised UV helps make them whiter! Usually it is UV itself that makes resins and plastics turn yellow over time, isn't it?!
Yup.
Years ago I was unsettled with the color of one of my white stratocasters so I started to leave it outside during the nice summer days and soaked the plastics in coffee. Now it looks like it's been sitting in a cigar shop window for a decade :lol:

I think I originally came across it on the 8-bit guy's YouTube channel. I'm not a chemist but I feel this method is reminiscent of teeth whitening methods.

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devinw1
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Re: Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by devinw1 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:43 pm

Ah I see, the UV and and H2O2 must have some kind of action to remove a very thin outer layer (the one that has yellowed). That makes sense, as the newer cars plastic headlights, if they get foggy and yellow, you can easily polish them to look like new with some light polishing compound (or even toothpaste). Of course, they eventually fade again because the original protective coating is gone and the sun and mother earth continue do their thing.

rich_de
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Re: Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by rich_de » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:23 pm

The UV + H2O2 method is a big thing in the retro computing scene known as "retr0bright". Lots of research videos on YT. Could be useful for restoring some 80s plastic boxes (effects, drum machines...). I got some 11.9% H2O2 mainly for the WHO hand sanitizer recipe when the pandemic started, but ordered well enough to have fun with retr0brighting while I was at it.

In my case, the keys are weighted with glued-in weights under the key tips, it was likely an ex-Waldorf KB37 unit, so any random other TP9 key would not have helped much, unless I messed with swapping the weight. I would not have hesitated getting a spare, but couldn't find any exactly fitting one. I made the posting mostly because of the surprise find of this mini-metal-tape material, after running around house and workshop for a while, trying to identify anything suitable for the job. It resembled some brackets on a kitchen appliance I saw which had such patterns specifically in order to to be epoxied to a glass front.

(If someone has a leftover TP/9S-37 with aftertouch and is willing to sell, let me know, I would use this good one instead and keep the repaired one as backup. As newgroove.it has run out, I already got a Novation Remote SL37 that I could butcher in dire emergencies, but I don't like the thought of doing so to a perfectly good instrument).

Kevin Mitchell
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Re: Fatar key (and other tiny broken bits) fix reinforcement

Post by Kevin Mitchell » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:44 pm

rich_de wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:23 pm
In my case, the keys are weighted with glued-in weights under the key tips, it was likely an ex-Waldorf KB37 unit, so any random other TP9 key would not have helped much, unless I messed with swapping the weight. I would not have hesitated getting a spare, but couldn't find any exactly fitting one. I made the posting mostly because of the surprise find of this mini-metal-tape material, after running around house and workshop for a while, trying to identify anything suitable for the job. It resembled some brackets on a kitchen appliance I saw which had such patterns specifically in order to to be epoxied to a glass front.
I think most TP9S keybeds around are actually weighted (those white plastic weights glued under the keys) - only saying this because I haven't seen otherwise myself, though I know they have an unweighted versions mentioned on the fatar product page. I've seen other keybeds very similar to fatar ones with metallic weights. Those keys are made in a thinner mold and are crap IMO. Forgot who made it, but I ended up tossing it even though I got it for like $12. It was only going to keep falling apart.

Last keybed I had picked up had a couple of broken weights. Could you or anyone else imagine how they broke loose while the keys stayed in tact? :hmm: Used clear gorilla glue for that fix.

Another part, under the key had a broken black plastic piece. I assume this happened from shipping as the keybed was loose so the back balance spike (don't know what to call it) for the lowest key had broke.
JB weld epoxy for that one.

I had seen your other thread btw. Not sure if anyone had suggested to picked up a long FSR and a strip of felt? I looked into this years ago when I cut a keybed down and later noticed I could have done the other end and not cut off the connector end of the FRS :doh:

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