Hey again fair readers! Yes, there has already been a quick break as I have had one of my three yearly sicknesses. I was dragging my butt for the first half of the week before a trip to Ikea finished me off and I was laid up (didn’t even feel like xbox) with a nice achy body and head cold 😦 Before and after this infirmity, I had been working on a couple of projects. The first project is (was) a Kawasaki Music Station keyboard. I was really excited when I found it at the thrift store as most kawasakis are pretty easy to bend and they are friendly with the wire and use REAL components. Open one up sometime and you’ll see. This K beast has a keyboard and detachable, MPC-style drumpad that detaches! The keyboard sounds are standard noisy COB samples with a notable ghost newage pad and a 303-esque synth bass. The drumpad is okay with several different drumsets to choose from and different loops in which to lay them which gives it better than average flexibility. Particularly, there is a nice ethnic “ugh” and a some arpeggio stab thrown in there. Who has two thumbs and loves some arpeggio? This guy right here…
So I’m feeling almost giddy with excitement before opening her up and this is why. Over at secondhandsynth, Nick had some nice info on his Kawasaki dual keys and its juicy, almost pendulous clock resistors just waiting to be bent.
Mine looked of the same vintage so yeah, I thought it would be a matter of desoldering a couple of resistors and wiring up a couple of potentiometers to have control to some awesome sounds… Nope. The darn thing has crystals. (Reminds me of the Always commercials “the darn thing has wings!”) CRYSTALS!!!
I was miffed. Looked all over online and came up with a couple of tricks for three prong crystal sets and some jimmying with the capacitors may be possible, but most folks out there on the interwebs forums seemed to agree that you really need a clock replacement kit like the ones on getlofi. I messed around with the caps a little but had no usable results. Gonna see if I can dig some other crystals out of my electronic junk pile and just come back to this one. I have a couple of random crystals but want to wait until I have something closer to the value to try out. I am also too broke and cheap to do the getlofi, but may try some 555 clocking, but definitely not right now as there is too much head clutter and projects that need completion and some that need starting. Crazy I know, but that is how I work. I have found that I can keep the screws for up to four machines simultaneously sorted in my head with location lol. Anything past that and it gets hard. So yeah, Kawasaki is going on the “later” pile as I have many other willing candidates and projects in order 🙂
Stitched the Kawasaki back up and stuck her under the bed and actually got the wife out to the thrifts with me where she found an old 3M overhead projector! Immediately it brought back memories of the lights being out in class and the light whir of the fan and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…… I always enjoyed sitting behind the fan grill and looking inside. It also expelled nice warm air that always smelled like grasshopper wings or something else dry lol. Anyhoo L got her one and everything worked great on it! For once there wasn’t really a lot to do to random junk 🙂 The optics were all clear and the mirror was a little dirty but cleaned up with no problems. Even the bulb should be easy to replace as it looks similar to a lot of the newschool high intensity indoor mini lights that are all the rage with the kids. Did some vacuuming and dusting and fired her up and everything looked great…except the brown tea-colored goo stuck in between the Fresnel lens and the “stage area” glass. Apparently the writing area for the overhead is called the Stage and that will be on a quiz sometime lol. I read a couple of manuals to make sure there wasn’t anything crazy with the Fresnel before cleaning it. The BAD news is that the tea-goo is between the two panes of glass which is coated by a rubber seal all around the piece. Not even sure if they are glued together, but I’ll have to check around some more on the internet to see if there are any “tricks” to getting the goo out. I’m sure many teachers have come back from summer vacation to find this similar problem, and I doubt they were allowed to service call Bell or 3M everytime they had this happened. I’ll update with any fixes for this for internet posterity 🙂 For now, some pics of the unit. Loved the orange on it 🙂
Sorry about the jumble of pics. Figuring WP out and will probably clean up later. For now you can see most of everythingalltogether just the way WP galleries likes it lol.