Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Yamaha shut down all support - let this instrument live on here!
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poijalicious
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Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Just bought a seemingly well cared for tenori-on from ebay and I'm sad to report the jog dial is defective. It's selecting items in a given menu randomly, sometimes skipping several items ahead, sometimes skipping backward, sometimes not moving at all. I was wondering if anyone here has some insight about fixing this issue? I hate to send it back, but it looks like I'm going to have to.

While I'm asking, I wonder if anyone has input about the tenori-on's durability / reliability in general. Are they well made, or are they prone to failure? I've wanted one forever, finally decided to spend the $$, but now I'm wondering if it's such a good idea.
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thorselleck
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by thorselleck »

Mine has had the same problem for years, and since this encoder controls petty much everything on the Tenori-on, that makes it almost unusable... So mine just sits in a box somewhere, waiting for a miracle to happen. But, on a positive note, apart from this huge problem, the rest is working perfectly fine after more than 10 years.
Yamaha stopped all support and there are very little resources around. I've been looking from time to time for a way to maybe replace this encoder, even if it has to be one mounted externally, but I've never found anything.
In my opinion, it was an interesting controller when it was released, but there are far better options nowadays. As an instrument, it was fun to use for a while, but not mind-blowing either.
So, unless you find a way to fix that encoder problem, I'm really not sure if it's worth keeping it.
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pikablue
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by pikablue »

I'm sorry to hear that you are having some difficulties.

I personally don't have a good sense of what fails in these devices, apart from the switch (usually mechanical failure) and sometimes the LED solder joints (an easy reflow fix). Perhaps it is worth starting a thread to collate the information to see if someone can be persuaded to start a TNR repair service...

In my opinion, and for what it is worth, the general build quality is good; the boards are actually nicely and sensibly laid out, the component choice is pretty high quality overall.

Anyway, more specifically:
These sort of encoders do, over time, tend to go. They are never completely fully sealed, so can accumulate dust and things. I would first try blowing some compressed air through the gap on the _right_ of the jog wheel as you look at the front, since that is where the encoder sensor actually is. This is a view from inside from the rear of the encoder; in this view the actual encoder itself is on the left.
viewfromrear.PNG
viewfromrear.PNG (99.88 KiB) Viewed 879 times

If that doesn't help, then you might try replacement. The encoder itself is actually a commercially available part normally used in car audio; it's an SRGP300100 that can be obtained from Mouser or Digikey. The TNR service manual gives pretty clear instructions on how to remove it, it doesn't look too difficult, and all that it looks like it needs would be to rewire it into its small plastic connector. See here; the actual encoder itself is WE40a
manual.png
manual.png (73.72 KiB) Viewed 879 times
However, I've tried neither of these things myself, so the usual disclaimers...

Best regards,
..pika..
poijalicious
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

@thorselleck thanks for that insight. I definitely don't want to keep it if it's not possible to fix. @pikablue, thank you for pointing out this info. I will try blowing out the dust in there and see what happens, and if that doesn't work I'm down to replace the part. I did see the service manual in another MW thread (as well as a ton of tenori downloads… awesome), and got close to figuring out the part situation but missed the key points, so thank you for clarifying. I'm glad to hear it's an available part.

At the end of the day though, I'm only willing to mess with this if I get confirmation/contact from the seller, because I don't want to do anything that jeopardizes my ability to return. This applies to cleaning or replacement, but obviously I'm only going to disassemble and replace a part if I get a significant partial refund. I've requested a return and dropped them a note describing the options (and pointing to this thread lol). If I do end up servicing it myself (I'm fairly adept at electronics / soldering / etc.) I'll post a log and images here in order to (as you mentioned pikablue in your response to my email) get this info into the public domain.

Also, thorselleck, if I end up fixing this I'd be down to help you fix yours as well ;)
Last edited by poijalicious on Fri Nov 04, 2022 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pikablue
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by pikablue »

There might even be a software fix; some users of these encoders in other applications do some careful debouncing and things in the firmware to make them more robust to skipping. I'm just having a look at the code at the moment to see if how feasible this is.
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

pikablue, I heard back from the seller and it sounds like they may be interested in having me attempt to replace the part. Leaving aside the question of what sort of refund this would entail, I need to become solid about the price for the part, as well as the feasibility of replacing it. Looking at mouser, I see SRGP300100 is not available. Digikey does not return any result using that part number, either. However, it seems to be available from eBay for around $30 shipped (from Great Britain; I'm in the US). However, the part picture does not seem to exactly match the diagram. I can see where the disc shown here matches the shape, but the diagram shows wires coming from it, and I'm curious how those would be hooked up. Do you know?

The part pic from ebay:
Image

Your page in the service manual (WE40a for those following along):
Image
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pikablue
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by pikablue »

poijalicious wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:36 pm I see SRGP300100 is not available.
Sorry, my bad. I was searching via digipart not digikey, and in my hurry didn't check stock carefully enough. You're right : the exact part is discontinued, even if the front page of the stockists site says they have it in stock, when you get a bit further in it it turns into a "request quote" which usually means they don't have it.

Aliexpress seems to have them if you can wait for them to come from China - possibly not original Alps ones.
poijalicious wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:36 pmthe diagram shows wires coming from it, and I'm curious how those would be hooked up. Do you know?
The encoder has 3 legs/bumps on each side with signals A1, A2, B1, B2, C and ground. Sometimes these are soldered to a board, but I assume in this case Yamaha have just attached (soldered?) them to the 6 wires + connector you can see. You can just about see the bumps at the bottom of the edge of your picture; I've tried to color the near side ones in here.
encoder.PNG
encoder.PNG (73.54 KiB) Viewed 803 times
FInally, I have seen people repair similar mechanical encoders before by taking apart the encoder (for example, this Youtube video ).

I appreciate that this all might be getting a bit speculative - I would try this on my own TNR, but I've had it for a long time and don't have an option to return it. So just to reiterate the disclaimer - I haven't tried this myself.

I hope that helps,
..pika..
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Definitely helpful, thank you!
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by pikablue »

Just to worry you a bit further, it's not impossible that one or both of the capacitors meant to provide hardware debounce (C314 and C315) are failing. That *might* provide a similar experience. Unfortunately these are underneath the LCD screen, so you would have to desolder the LCD board - it's not in a socket :cry: - to get to them.

But I would still suspect the encoder itself.
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Alright, I finally came to an agreement with the seller and I'm starting in on this repair. I pulled the Tenori-On apart today. This entails splitting the unit into front and back, which requires removing the screws you can see around the perimeter of the bezel on the back. At that point you can remove the back plate, which exposes the back circuit board and buttons etc.

Gaining access to the encoder required removing the back circuit board, which meant removing several screws, some securing the board and others securing the battery trays, the wires to which are routed in such a way that the trays must be removed in order to lift the back circuit board. Once everything was unscrewed, I proceeded by GENTLY lifting the back circuit board away from the front circuit board. These two boards are mated with a pin connector, one half of which is soldered to either board. You can see this connector if you lift the battery tray on the right side upward (orientation: looking at the tenori-on from the back with the encoder-bearing edge near you and the speaker-bearing edge away) and look in between the circuit boards. It's a beige rectangle about 3/4" long.

There is another pin connector to be aware of: the one making the connection between the encoder and the back circuit board. This should be disconnected before separating the back circuit board from the front circuit board. I made the mistake of not disconnecting the encoder's connector and had to reconnect the back circuit board to the front one, reconnecting that beige connector, because it was impossible to tilt the back circuit board up and away from the tenori-on with the encoder's pin connector attached.

To separate the back circuit board from the front one, I made sure to position the various wiring (to the battery trays etc.) so there would be some slack, and GENTLY pulled up on the back circuit board, making sure not to allow the pressure of pulling to cause the board to jump up suddenly when the beige connector disengaged. As I was doing this I paused at various points to check wires, making sure not to pull or scrape any against the edges of the circuit board, which might strip the insulation and require repairs; or, in the case of pulling, might loosen solder joints or break wires outright. There are ways to reposition the battery trays that makes it easier to get things apart; you'll find this out as you work. When things were finally separated, I put a protector over the back of the front circuit board and laid the trays on it, while tilting/flipping the back circuit board out of the tenori-on, laying it next to the rest of the unit ("under" in the orientation described above).

I think I got it apart without damage. There is a ziptie that pins to the front circuit board, the red wire that runs between the battery trays along the speaker-bearing edge. I didn't cut this ziptie but I thought about it. I probably will when I pull this thing apart again to actually replace the encoder, and replace the ziptie during final reassembly.

I am planning to put this back together tonight. I've ordered the only SRGP300100 I could find. It cost me $40 from the UK via eBay and it was the last one. I asked if the seller had more. If so, I'll buy a couple extras so peeps from MW can reach out to me if they run into the same issue (that is, if I wind up fixing it…).

Here are several pics of things. I took a lot of pictures for reference upon reassembly. I also organized the screws using up-facing tape to keep them arranged in patterns that will allow me to put them back in the same places when reassembling. When reassembling, I will pay attention to how I put the screws back in, making sure I don't chew up the existing threads in the holes where the screws go — these are screwed into plastic so care will be in order. I'm just saying this stuff as tips for people who may be following along in the future.

Mod Wiggler will only allow me to upload five pics per message, so here are the first few.

/// A pic with the back plastic removed, but nothing inside touched. Note the two white connectors at the bottom edge, one each to the right and left of the on-off switch (which is shown at center). The connector on the right goes to the encoder. The connector on the left goes to the batteries. It's necessary to detach the encoder's connector to effectively lift the circuit board we're looking at here. Once detached, the circuit board can be tilted back toward the camera, and lay next to the unit. I suppose you could also disconnect the batteries' connector on the left. To do so you'd also need to unwind the black wire on the left from the wire tie-down that routes it as it travels left. You can see this tie-down in the pic; it's just a piece of wire itself, soldered to the board and twisted around the black power lead to pin it there.
IMG_20221108_151535.png
/// The back circuit board lifted and turned over. This was not the 'final resting place' for the board, as I didn't like it sitting with its edge still on the tenori-on body as pictured here. Rearranging the battery trays allowed me to move it completely off the board. You need to be careful when moving this thing around, as besides being easily scratched, the screen isn't secured very firmly to the board.
IMG_20221108_152747.png
/// The jog dial with the encoder's wiring connector disconnected from the board. The encoder sits between the big silver wheel and the white plastic frame of the jog dial assembly, on the near side in the picture.
IMG_20221108_153728.png
/// The jog dial still assembly, removed from the unit.
IMG_20221108_162232.png
/// The encoder removed from the jog dial assembly, with its wiring and connector. Note the wires here are hotglued :(. Messy to disassemble, but probably more stable on the solder joints, so I'll do this again with the new install.
IMG_20221108_162536.png
Last edited by poijalicious on Wed Nov 09, 2022 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
poijalicious
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Actually there's not that many more pics I need to post here.

/// Here's a shot of the opposite side of the encoder, for wire order reference.
IMG_20221108_162614.png
/// Here's an image of the surface of the encoder where it mates up to the rest of the jog dial assembly. Here's how it works I guess ;) The black circle you see in the middle rotates within the rest of the piece; it spins in there, clicking as it goes by. You can see where it has notches on it — these match notches on the end of the large silver jog dial, which allows the jog dial to turn the black circle middle piece, which clicks as it turns. I assume there are magnets in there :)
IMG_20221108_162645.png
/// Might as well have a pic of the other side of the encoder.
IMG_20221108_162657.png
/// Here's a picture of the encoder's wiring connector. I'm including this because I want to ask if anyone knows how I can get another one of these. I would like to avoid melting and digging through the hot glue to get this one off the existing part. If I could find the same part, I could just solder it to the new encoder. That would be easier.
IMG_20221108_162709.png
IMG_20221108_162733.png
Hit me with comments/suggestions/etc.

@pikablue if you know how to test an encoder, I'd be interested in seeing what's up with this one!
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Got it back together. A 15 minute job once you know where everything goes. Starting it up, I was hoping disassembly and reassembly may have fixed the encoder. It didn't, but if I'm not imaging things, it is a little bit better… like it goes 1-by-1 through menu items for a bit longer than it did before between massive skips…
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

It definitely seems better. There's like a range on the physical encoder where it goes 1-by-1 now. When I get to the point where it starts to skip, I can buzz the jog wheel by, pin the selection at the end, and reset the position to roll backwards 1-by-1. Helpful but still not as good as it needs to be.

What do you think Pika? Is there something I can do to improve the response in the encoder? How do these work anyway? Magnets inside?
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by pikablue »

You've been busy! Thanks for posting all this information; hopefully it'll be useful for others.

These sorts of encoders are mechanical. They have little wiper arms inside which contact little patterned areas as you rotate it. The failure mode is usually that some part of the contacting area gets oxidised or some lubricating grease goes where it shouldn't, and the wipers fail to make contact; it sounds in your case like it is a particular region on the static part rather than the wiper itself.
rotaryencoder.PNG
rotaryencoder.PNG (102.01 KiB) Viewed 609 times
(from Rotary encoders ).

The best cleaning method is to take it apart and physically clean but I can't tell you how to do that with this one. I can see that there are little clips on the side of the encoder itself, perhaps they hold the cover on. Often the little wiper arms have tiny (tiny) springs to provide pressure which tend to fall out and are really easy to lose, so opening it up can be tricky. The wiper arms themselves are also really fragile.

If you can see where to do this, you might have some luck spraying some contact cleaner into the encoder itself without dissassembling it, but this might be a bit hit and miss.

If you google for "cleaning waldorf blofeld rotary encoders" there are a couple of good youtube videos on people taking apart roughly similar encoders. You scrape away and temporarily clean any grease, then clean down the disk and the wipers with IPA, and possibly a tiny bit of buffing with an eraser, IPA again, replace the grease on the actual rotating parts, and reassemble. But it's all small.

The socket is a S6B-ZR-SM4A-TF; the connector is a ZH series, 6 position, 1.5mm, female. I think you can buy these prewired. Otherwise the minimum order quantity might be in the hundreds, since they are only cents.

Best regards,
..pika..
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Yeah hopefully someone else can find it useful. As these units age, perhaps more folks will end up with bunk encoders like me and thorselleck.

It turned out the eBay auction was not in stock after all. They cancelled my order and said 8-12 weeks out they should have more. Pika, I already replied to you via email to say this, but if you have tips on where to procure, feel free to suggest.

Looks like the risk of taking the encoder apart is going to be too high for me to mess with it before I have a replacement. Since I put the tenori-on back together yesterday, I can technically get to all the menu items, although it's by no means comfortable atm because it's still jumpy. Once I get a new part and confirm it's the same (exact form factor at least), I would be willing to spray some contact cleaner in it, just for science ;). In the pic of the encoder's back side, in my post above, you can see there are a bunch of little slots on the one surface. That's probably where I'd spray? It would be cool to keep the original equipment intact, so I'll definitely try it.

As for the connector, I found an ebay auction that looks like it fits the bill. Please confirm and I'll pull the trigger. At least that way I'll have the wiring if/when I get my hands on a new encoder.
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antiphon
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by antiphon »

Just want to chime in to say my TNR-W's jog wheel has been dodgy for years. A gentle turn of the wheel leads the cursor to jump all over the place. It takes a while to nail a specific selection, but with patience I can eventually hit what I'm aiming for.

I appreciate the detailed write-ups and photos about this issue. I'm too scared to open mine up in case I damage something else in the process. Until the encoder stops working altogether, I'll keep limping along with it. Sucks because the T-O is one of my most beloved pieces of gear.
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pikablue
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by pikablue »

Oddly, the TNR stock firmware doesn't properly manage the available encoder quadrature state, so is vulnerable to skips with erratic connection in the encoder.
antiphon wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 10:25 pm A gentle turn of the wheel leads the cursor to jump all over the place.
Can you be more specific about what "jump all over the place means"? In the firmware I can see code paths where +1 "click" of the encoder could lead to +2 menu items, +1 menu item, no change, -1 menu item and -2 menu items. Do you just see +/-2 menu item skips, or is it worse than that?

In my latest firmware release (A036) I've made a first attempt at improving this by enforcing proper quadrature. I don't have a faulty encoder so can't test it, but it may help in cases where the degradation isn't too bad. I think the behavior will be that it doesn't skip as badly, but it may now feel like there are dead spots as you rotate the encoder wheel. I'd be keen to get some feedback from people who have faulty encoders, and who are able to load new firmware (despite the encoder...).

Best regards,
..pika..
poijalicious
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by poijalicious »

Just wanted to check in and say I haven't tried your firmware yet Pika. I also ordered some encoders from the alliexpress, so I think in my mind I put this on the back burner and have been looking at other stuff these last few days (like working on a guitar :)

I'll try to pivot back this week, I know it's probably annoying to have made that fix and not have it installed to see if it works on the faulty encoder!
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by antiphon »

pikablue wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 7:14 amCan you be more specific about what "jump all over the place means"?
Sure. Let's say I'm at the top line of a given menu and I turn the jog wheel to move the selection cursor down the list. Sometimes it behaves as expected (e.g. one "click" of the wheel means the cursor advances one line), but more often than not it will skip two, three, or four lines or even navigate to the bottom of the menu in an instant. That's what I meant by "jumping all over the place." There is no consistency, either. The number of lines it skips appears to be random, but it is usually more than two. When I try to scroll back up the same thing happens. If I VERY gently move the jog wheel a single increment (or so it feels) and hold it in place BEFORE it engages the next indent, I can get it to move one line at a time, but even then not always. The most I've done to alleviate the issue is the compressed air trick--to no avail.

I've followed your alt firmware with interest ever since I heard about it, but I have not installed it yet out of fear that it may disrupt something about my workflow or make playback of my hundreds of .tna files problematic. If there is a potential software fix for the jog wheel issue, though, I may have to give it a go.
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Re: Tenori-On Defective Encoder

Post by ersatzplanet »

It would be great to have the grid of LEDs take over the encoder job somehow. A vulcan death grip dual button press making the display show a line at the current menu position, then selecting a different line makes the menu move to that selection. Not perfect but a functional work around. Probably not possible though.
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