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

Nord Lead 3 Screws?

Postby Ericb » 29 Jul 2020, 07:42

My Nords (Lead 3 and Modular) are starting to show their age. The knobs and buttons have become unresponsive and/or inaccurate. I'm in South Korea so it has been a bit difficult to find anyone to service these keyboards, so I decided to just learn and do it myself. A thorough piece-by-piece cleaning after opening up the Modular did the trick and it is now back in great shape. The Lead 3, however, has a very tight screw on the casing that is already quite stripped and has prevented me from opening up the keyboard. I first need to figure out a way to get that screw out, but then I would like to replace it. I don't even know where to begin in finding a matching screw. Is there a part number or something for those specific screws, or does anyone happen to know of a place to purchase replacements? Syntaur doesn't seem to have them. Any ideas?
Last edited by Ericb on 29 Jul 2020, 07:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Nord Lead 3 Screws?


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Re: Nord Lead 3 Screws?

Postby maxpiano » 29 Jul 2020, 08:01

Screws are just .. screws and I would assume South Korea has good enough hardware stores that can provide you the NL3's type, so I suggest you take one (of those you have unscrewed) to a good hardware store in your area and they will find the matching one.

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Last edited by maxpiano on 29 Jul 2020, 08:23, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Nord Lead 3 Screws?

Postby 23skidoo » 29 Jul 2020, 18:53

Agreed, the screws aren't anything special. As for getting it off, use a pair of pliers to carefully grip it around the outside edge, and turn. It may be rusted in place by now. If so, once you do extract it, try to lightly oil the screw and hole for next time.

The low resolution encoder and all of the switches are also off-the-shelf items you can get from any major electronics supplier, don't spend top dollar on those. Part numbers are posted elsewhere on this forum if you need them. The high resolution encoders are custom to the board, spares are obtainable from Syntaur at very high prices or you can buy a nearly identical but ever-so-slightly lower resolution (32ppr instead of 36) but otherwise identical components online as well, for much cheaper. I haven't had to replace one yet (knock on wood) but I have a couple of those standing by if I do.

If you carefully remove the top cap of the switches you can see the copper leaf spring inside. If there is ANY corrosion at all on it (it will usually be right around the area abraded by the contacts on the edges) the entire switch will need replacing - spraying with cleaner and inhibitor will only go so far on bare copper. That said, you can get some additional life by using a Deoxit GOLD (first use D5 to clean off the corrosion, then use gold 100 to protect) which will do it's best to protect the copper surface there. It's easiest if you fully disassemble the switch.

Honestly, I went ahead and ordered all new switches and just re-soldered them on my board, then treated each one with Deoxit gold to hopefully extend their service life another 15+ years. The main low resolution encoder near the display usually needs full replacement as well - these are sealed encoders so trying to clean them won't be very effective and if the seal has gone to the point that cleaning makes any difference, there's enough dirt in there that they'll wear out again quickly and eventually the plating will just be gone entirely - it's not dirt that's the problem, it's a complete removal of the conductive surfaces. So again, while you've got the board off, if you're good with a soldering iron, might make sense to replace that too, along with the switches. It was a long afternoon's job, basically, but then I'm pretty familiar with rework and would not recommend a novice attempt this at all - the PCBs are easily damaged (the traces are tiny and thin) and irreplaceable.
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