Today I did two things on my DMX that should have been done long ago.
First task was to solder in a new battery. The old battery was removed a couple of months ago, but I never put in the new one (bought from Electrongate). Since I don’t think it’s a good idea to solder the new battery in the same spot due to possible leaking disasters, I soldered two new wires. The battery was then placed in the bottom right corner and insulated with tape.
The next thing to do was installing the Midi upgrade from Electrongate. My Midi upgrade was actually a special order – normally you place the Midi jacks on one of the walnut side panels. I didn’t want to do it for two reasons;
- I prefer to have all connections at the rear and second
- And most important – mine are mint. It would be shame to drill in them
So I mailed Paul, the owner of Electrongate, asking if it was possible to get the Midi jacks in a breakout box instead. To avoid drilling holes, Paul made a special cable that goes from the Midi board to the 12-pin Molex that was used for triggering. Then the breakout box was connected to the trigger Molex. A very neat solution – the trigger in functionality was sacrificed – on the other hand I don’t need it when I have Midi.
Installing the kit is fairly straight forward, there’s an excellent guide with photos that is very simple to follow (so I didn’t take any photos). My DMX had the memory upgrade board, in the guide the upgrade is performed on a non memory upgraded DMX, so there were some differences, however – they are pointed out in the text. The Midi board replaces the memory upgrade board and a bonus is that the Midi board actually upgrades the memory as well.
The installation procedure is mostly about taking chips from one place (the main board or memory board) and putting them on the Midi board. I recommend having both an IC puller and a small flat screw driver for this. The hardest part of the upgrade is soldering two tiny wires (“E1” and “F1”) to the main board. It was hard because in one case you have to solder the wire directly to a copper lane, in a very tight place. Another challenge is to cut the copper lane next to it, and then avoid soldering the wire over the cut so that the cut isn’t cut anymore.
I’m not a soldering expert, but if you know someone that can do it for you, or if you live close to Paul, pay him to do it for you! It took me a couple of hours, and I wasn’t very comfortable cutting and soldering on such an old expensive piece. On the other hand, doing such stuff is the best way to learn.
I took the DMX back to the studio and connected the Midi – it worked flawlessly! Even though the DMX is very fun and easy to program, it’s just more convenient to have Midi. I really feel that I have to modify my Boss DR-110!