Roland VS Recorders, MC-307 & MV-8000 MV8800 Transport button repair
September 18, 2021
Faulty Play Stop Record FF RW Buttons
As these units age, more and more start showing up in “Great Condition, but being sold as/is”. Not knowing any better I hopped on a hundo dollar deal for a Roland MC-307 that the play button didn’t work. The 307 showed up, I plugged it in, it started up so I threw it in to the sh*t pile to deal with another day.
Another day started over a year ago when I finally took it apart. For one, someone had been up in there before and did a little damage, hell a lot of damage. Throw it in the thrash? Hell no. We have all been there, the hoe’s a little jacked, it doesn’t mean our love can’t bring her back! At least that was my initial thought. Once I got to the Transport switches I realized this is a place I’ve never gone and a place I never wanted to be.
what the previous owner probably already knew and I was quick to learn was the specific switch used for the transport buttons was long out of production.
So I went on a quest better yet a journey, through the hell of the interwebz until I found the light. Not only were these switches used in the MC-307, but the VS-840, VS-880, VS-890, VS-1680, VS-1880, even the MV-8000 and MV-8800 units! Roland used these switches 6 per unit in hundreds of thousands of unit! But they just failed to keep any additional stock to repair the units.
I attempted to try to get Alps to rerun productions but I was basically told to f*ck off in a very polite Japanese manor. So I tried cutting and pasting tact switches to original housings. Ultimately a bad decision. Left with the option of cuttin’ off the controls and only running the machine by midi control I left it as/is, until I ran into a Roland VS-1890 with the same problem.
Warning despite this being the only repair for transport buttons. If you break the housing you are screwed.
Unlike most tact switches being a tiny concaved little piece of copper the internals of these switches are silicone with a carbon center to make contact. The same concept is used in the SP sampler pads, or for simplicity the remote control that turns on your tv.
The basics of the repair is to either repaint carbon onto the tiny pad using something like CRC Dry Graphite Lube, or if the tiny blue pad is ripped (as all of mine were in the MC-307) the same piece can be harvested from a like part number. As long as you pull out the top part of the switch without breaking the bottom black base all is good
I use the tiny chisel shaped attachment on a swiss army knife to do this but any 1-2mm fine tip flat head should be fine. All you want is the slightest of pressure to release the tiny clip of the white piece in that little window. **On the very left hand top of the little window you can see that the black casing is not connected there for easy release. Go ahead and do it on that spot at your own risk** I try to aim a little more towards the middle. With slight pressure and pulling up softly with needle nose plyers the top portion will release. The same will need to be done to the backside, without letting the front clip back in.
Once the top piece is pulled out you can reach in with soft nose tweezers and pull out the blue silicone carbon pad pictured above. If it is ripped it will need to be replaced. If it is still in good condition it can be repainted with carbon and stuck back together. Clean out the inside of the housing and contacts with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Once, cleaned out and repainted with carbon or replaced they should be as good as new.