Nord's classical Virtual Analog Synth Nord LEAD 1/2/2x/3/4/A1 and Nord Rack versions

Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby fantomaxis » 17 Oct 2016, 02:41

Hi guys
I'm new here, from Oz, I've had my NL2 for 15 years, but have't used it for a 10 years (traveled far away!) anyway, I finally got it back but it needs some TLC, it powers up fine, plays sounds and all knobs are ok, however few of the buttons aren't working well or not at all, do you think a simple spray/contact cleaning would work? or is it better to have it serviced? or is it....THE END :?
Last edited by fantomaxis on 17 Oct 2016, 05:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)


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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby fantomaxis » 18 Oct 2016, 08:22

Ok, so my research has led me to believe that the switchbuttons are tact switch, which are very hard to clean, as you have to take them apart. So they would have to be replaced by a competent technician (as in...not me)
Now the only place I managed to find those buttons was on Syntaur, anyone knows of a different place?
I have also contacted the Nord repairer here in Perth (Australia) and I know it's gonna cost me a LOT!
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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby pablomastodon » 18 Oct 2016, 19:54

Not sure where your research took you, but that is incorrect info. Those switches are very high-quality German brand, Marquardt, with gold-plated contacts and it is very simple operation to open them for cleaning purposes. First you'll have to have complete access to panelboard assembly. Remove all knobs, remove upper chassis, remove panelboard from underside of upper chassis. Then you will see tiny latches on the lateral sides of the switches. By squeezing slightly, these unlatch and the plastic cover will easily lift off to reveal the contacts beneath.

"Series 6450" is the Marquardt part designation, with different suffixes for differently colored switch covers. Your favorite websearch engine will be your friend in finding a source for these.

Bless, Pablo
bun fyah weh fyah fi bun

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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby fantomaxis » 19 Oct 2016, 02:02

Oh, I guess I shouldn't believe everything I read on the net then! I know your credentials so I know you are indeed trustworthy! Thanks for that Pablo
Do you think they can be cleaned to restore contact or do they have to be changed? Reading your method, it seems I can access the contact location without soldering and indeed clean manually.
I really appreciate the answer! :thanks:
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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby fantomaxis » 21 Oct 2016, 06:19

Ok, for those who wonder what the inside and the buttons look like...
Image

The buttons are actually quite easy to open, the copper strip is easily taken out, I cleaned the contacts as much as I could with Isopropyl alcohol, there was quite a lot of oxidation on some of them.
All buttons now work at least, still not perfect as some need a gentle double tap. Next mission is to fix that dead key!

Another big Thank to Pablo :yourock: !
Last edited by fantomaxis on 21 Oct 2016, 06:48, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby Ledbetter » 21 Oct 2016, 07:26

If it's a problem, open it back up and clean the balky contacts with a paper towel wet with whatever you clean the contacts with, which probably should NOT contain anything petroleum-based. The alcohol you originally used is fine, should be kept away from the rubber until dry, generally.

There also specially-made "Contact Cleaner" products available at electronic supply shops, etc., which should also, generally be kept away from rubber. Avoid the products that leave behind a corrosion-resistant coating, as these can attract dust.

Great thread, by the way, thanks for the photos.
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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby fantomaxis » 21 Oct 2016, 08:07

Ledbetter wrote:If it's a problem, open it back up and clean the balky contacts with a paper towel wet with whatever you clean the contacts with, which probably should NOT contain anything petroleum-based. The alcohol you originally used is fine, should be kept away from the rubber until dry, generally.

There also specially-made "Contact Cleaner" products available at electronic supply shops, etc., which should also, generally be kept away from rubber. Avoid the products that leave behind a corrosion-resistant coating, as these can attract dust.

Great thread, by the way, thanks for the photos.


The funny thing is when you 1st clean the contacts it looks fine, but then, the green oxide comes back as it dries out. I had quite a build up on some, there was no chance those buttons were ever gonna work without a good clean. So if you do it, make sure it's as clean as possible before putting it back together.
Also a quick note RE the pitch bend, when screwing it back together, be careful not to dislodge the contacts which are next to the screws, easy to dislodge them (I know... I did it :oops: , thankfully it doesn't affect the functionality)
My NL2 was made in 1998 as seen on s sticker on the board itself, it's pretty obvious every owner will have to go through the same cleaning at some point, and if I can do it, anyone can as I'm not into electronics at all!
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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby daveholiday » 22 Oct 2016, 00:33

Just a bit of trivial information...Brian from Abstract Instruments used the same buttons in the Avalon Bassline. I have always liked the feel of the buttons on my Nord Rack...now I have them on my Avalon Bassline as well!

Any other gear use them as well?
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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby Ledbetter » 22 Oct 2016, 11:18

Paper towels are slightly abrasive and will help remove the oxidization better than cotton cloth. I've also used a rubber pencil eraser. If none of that worked, I would try 1500 grit emery cloth, very carefully.
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Re: Nord Lead 2 faulty switches (buttons)

Postby fantomaxis » 22 Oct 2016, 15:27

Ledbetter wrote:Paper towels are slightly abrasive and will help remove the oxidization better than cotton cloth. I've also used a rubber pencil eraser. If none of that worked, I would try 1500 grit emery cloth, very carefully.

Good to know, it's much better now, I hope I won't have to resort to using emery cloth though!

Also, quick question, is there a way to initialise/reset the NL2? like resetting a program? I have't found anything in the manual so far (though reading it now, I realise how many good features I had missed before! :facepalm: )
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