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Everything about the Nord Electro 2, Electro 3, Electro 3HP, and Electro 4D, 4HP and 4 SW 73.

Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby hammonitup » 07 Mar 2014, 17:57

I'd like to install the Nord half moon switch on my Electro 4 SW73. I'd need to drill and tap two small holes on the far left underside of the keyboard under the keybed. Does anyone know if there is empty space under the keys? Or are there circuit boards or other keybed mechanisms that would get damaged by drilling and installing this?
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Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73


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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby pablomastodon » 08 Mar 2014, 05:09

Hi Hammonitup,

The Nord Half Moon Switch will not work with the NE4, or any other Nord except for the C1/C2/C2D series.

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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby hammonitup » 08 Mar 2014, 18:14

i'm not sure what you mean by "will not work" because it works with my electro 4. i plugged it into the "rotor ped" input and i get fast and slow working fine. I don't get the stop roter, but i don't want or need that so, it works fine for me.

so i'd still like to know if anyone can tell me anyone knows if there is empty space under the keys or if there are circuit boards or other keybed mechanisms that would get damaged by drilling and installing the half moon switch at the very far left of the underside of the electro 4 sw73?
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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby pablomastodon » 08 Mar 2014, 18:30

"Will not work" as in provide complete half moon functionality. If you've tested it a like the way it works and don't care about missing STOP function, okay.

I do not think that the sheet metal is of sufficient thickness to allow for meaningful tapping of threads, but I guess you're welcome to try that, too.

Presumably you're talking about installing this beneath the keys, so yes, there are concerns there. There will be a finite amount of clearance which you will not want to exceed with your screw length. Since you are contemplating embarking on this DIY project, it will be best if you open the instrument up to observe this clearance firsthand. I would think that it would be a good idea to remove the keybed entirely before poking a spinning drill bit in there because once it grabs firm hold of the metal, a handheld drill bit will probably quickly get out of control, and I don't guess you're contemplating putting an upside Nord into a drill press.

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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby Mr_-G- » 08 Mar 2014, 19:18

While I confess that I haven't got a clue about the switch and the space inside the electro, to avoid making holes, can this be kept in place by some heavy duty velcro of those double-sided sticky pads? Do these switches get bashed a lot?
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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby Professor » 08 Mar 2014, 22:10

I see this as a possible DIY project. I’m looking at my Electro 3 61 and I think that it’s probable that there’s enough clearance under the keybed for some hardware to stick through in a location appropriate for a half-moon switch, assuming that the E4 is similar. However I must agree strongly with Pablo that if you intend to drill and tap into the bottom of any electronic device that you disassemble it and really analyze component placement so that you can find a location that will work. I can tell you as a career machinist (professor) that you will get the best results in drilling and tapping steel by using cutting oil on the drill bit and tapping fluid on the tap. Additionally, this process will produce steel chips that will go inside the keyboard. I probably don’t need to mention that steel chips are conductive. Thus, it’s imperative to disassemble the unit as much as possible so that it can be thoroughly cleaned before reassembly. Also, as Pablo mentioned, tapping threads into sheet metal will yield very little thread engagement with the screws, and this scenario is bound to fail eventually. If there’s enough clearance in the location that you want, then you could use backup nuts to give you solid thread engagement, but that is problematic if you intend to remove the switch, the nuts would come loose inside. The best solution would be to use threaded inserts that are pressed into the sheet metal. I have installed these on electronic device chasses in a production environment, but they require precise holes and a special press machine. Again, complete disassembly would be required. How about other fastening ideas? Velcro is probably not solid enough. Double-stick tape is an excellent idea. That stuff is surprisingly strong. I bet two-part epoxy would hold it on there permanently, no drilling required. Or, epoxy the backup nuts in place. You could machine or 3-D print a small plate with threads for the screws, and then epoxy that to the bottom so that the switch could be removed.
Last edited by Professor on 08 Mar 2014, 22:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby hammonitup » 09 Mar 2014, 20:33

love this forum! you guys have great ideas. initially i thought i'd find someone who had done this already, so they could just tell me yay or nay or whatever. since i don't really want to forge new ground here, i'm grateful for your ideas on alternate mounting methods. I will start with that click-type "velcro" and if that doesn't hold, then tap into a block and attach that to the bottom of the keyboard with double stick. i'll let you know how it goes for others to reference...
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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby Gustavo » 09 Mar 2014, 22:32

You can also glue it, might be as permanent damage as drilling into it, but if you have cyanoacrlyate glue or something relatively strong, it may be way easier if you want it permanently fixed. Also try out 3M double sided tape, I have used it for some fixtures around the house and it is very sturdy!!
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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby Professor » 17 Mar 2014, 17:43

Update

I just discovered that all three of my Nord keyboards have aluminum chassis on the underside. That sure helps in keeping the weight down. So, in my post above, please substitute the word aluminum for each instance of the word steel, and you still have all the same issues.

I made this discovery through the process of another DIY project: a system to temporarily cover the Nord, Electro 3, and Lead 4 logos on the back panels of my gig-rig. First I used black electrical tape. That worked well but I'm worried about the tape residue eventually affecting the paint. I ordered some flat back vinyl stick on sheet and cut it to size. That really worked the best but my wife is worried that the adhesive will eventually affect the Nords' paint. Then I tried vinyl static cling sheets. Those will only stick to extra-smooth surfaces and I could only find glossy black. Finally I found a black sheet of rubberised magnet material, a perfect solution except aluminum is nonferrous.
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Re: Installing Nord half moon switch on Electro 4 SW73

Postby Mr_-G- » 17 Mar 2014, 21:12

What about masking tape on the panel and then you stick the black electrical tape on top of it. The masking take is quite gentle on the sticky side, so probably less likely to damage the paint. Maybe there is such a thing a black masking tape too.

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