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RIP XW-G1.


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My XW-G1 recently doesn't function anymore it's kind of sad cause it gave me many joys¬†ūüėĘ

I had the chance to buy a used one but it was gone before I knew it and this keyboard 

is hard to find for a long while now. Can't get it fixed anymore the PCB parts are discontinued.  

 

 

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On 4/16/2023 at 7:07 PM, Tom banjo said:

Sad --sad--I have a P1 that I love but that sampler would have been some fun-- Can you say a bit more about the failure and  pcb part-what function did it lose? condolences

 Probably the main PCB for power, I'm clueless about how it stopped doing something, The power adapter is very sturdy and applies the DC. 

Its like a fuse shorted but smd fuses are hard to spot.  Unless another replacement is available it's a display item now. 

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There is a slim possibility-even with batteries-the power jack inside might be broken-cracked solder joints are common with these jacks-and could be shorting out power to the keyboard. I'd have to look inside the Casio myself to see how the battery power wires are connected-if these are independent of the power jack connections or if there is circuit connectivity through the jack to the battery connectors. If a tiny smd blows-you will see it-I have seen these blown and these do disintegrate visibly.  Don't give up on this yet.

 

If the malfunction was in the mainboard, it would still (generally) power on, but just not go through its startup routines. Most times-the complete power failures are power supply components-and since the power supply is an external brick-there shouldn't be too many other internal components in the power chain, you need to look directly at the solder joints common to the power jack and battery wires inside-see if those + - points are getting power and check other nearby components to "circuit trace" where the power stops, if your basic +-junction  points are getting power to that board. Won't be hard to find those, but you need to know how to work a multimeter which is a good tool to learn around keyboards and etc. anyway if you have no-one around that can do that.  Not hard to work with.

 

Sounds like your power supply is OK-not sure with the Casios,  many other brands I've opened have their own internal fuses-but since you say this doesn't work with batteries either...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Remembering some golden advice and wisdom that I was taught many years ago - when looking for the cause of a problem, always start with the obvious and the simple first:

 

The G1 won't turn on, whether via batteries or via the power adapter, and the power adapter has been checked and is giving out the correct voltage. Therefore we can rule out a faulty power adapter and/ or power socket.

 

As there is absolutely no sign of life when trying to power the G1 on, that indicates that power is not getting through to the main boards.

 

Two things are needed for power to get to the main boards - a power source connected to the power input board, and a signal to tell the G1 boot up.

 

Unless there is a fault where the power enters the G1's circuits, then maybe the appropriate signal is not reaching the circuit that initiates the boot up sequence.

 

Unlike older electronic devices that have a physical on/ off switch that mechanically opens or closes the circuit, the G1, as with many modern devices, uses a momentary switch that sends only one signal when pressed. If the G1 is powered off, pressing the switch will initiate the boot up sequence. If the G1 is powered on, pressing the switch will initiate the shutdown sequence. If the switch is faulty, then the G1 will never receive the  boot up/ shut down signal from the switch.

 

Therefore I would check the power switch on the G1's front panel for continuity. You should be able to trace its connections fairly easily after some disassembly, and with a basic multimeter set to continuity mode, you can then test the switch to see if it is closing and opening the circuit when pressed/ released. If you know what you are doing, you can also use some jumper wire to jump the switch connections on the  switch circuit board (thereby bypassing the switch). If the G1 powers on this way, then you've isolated the problem to the physical switch. If the G1 still doesn't power on, then you need to start exploring deeper.

 

It's also worth pressing and holding the switch at different angles., and also rocking it around while holding it down. I had a laptop, still have it in fact, that had a dodgy momentary power switch. Trying to get it to power on was always a game of roulette. Sometimes it would boot first time, other times it would take multiple presses to get it to boot. After searching online, many laptops  that did this were supposedly affected by residual static build up. If you removed the battery, pressed and held the power button for 1 - 3 minutes and chanted magical incantations, apparently this would discharge the static build up and all would be right again. I tried this and it did sod all! Then I searched a little more and found someone with the exact same issue, and they solved it by soldering some wires to the dodgy switch and connecting them to the speaker on off switch. Their laptop now booted up first time every time.

 

This then indicated that the problem lay with the momentary power switch itself. I never did get round to jumping it to another switch, but I did find that by pressing and holding down the switch and rocking it from side to side/ back and forth, I could start up the laptop within a few presses rather than the previous many presses. 

 

Maybe you'll be lucky and find that your G1 not booting is down to a dodgy power button. Try the above, and I hope you get it fixed, because they are great synths, if a little quirky, but that's all part of their charm. 

 

 

 

 

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@ChasI've pulled it apart now lol , It's pretty much too keyboard heaven. I've cleaned the rubber switches, shorted two test solders for booting, measured the wires for the mainboard, checked capacitors, and talked sweet words to it, but still no go.   

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I have another thought-the XW-does the screen light up at all-even dimly? Regardless, there is another possibility, whether it is totally dead or not-I would guess the mainboard-with its CPU that has "embedded" firmware in ROM-meaning only Casio can restore it, as in my long ago XW-P1 that I killed by updating the firmware erroneously-might have failed somehow. I would think the mainboards in both the XW-G1 and P1 are pretty similar-especially regarding reflashing the mainboard. From my experience with my XW-P1 years back-if the firmware fails, nothing will work, it will appear dead. Given that there is power to the mainboard, and every other circuit in the XW-I would have to suspect the mainboard has failed, and must be replaced.

 

When you checked with a multimeter-did you find power is getting to other circuits? I usually just find a grounding point for a multimeter-easy to do, then touch my positive lead to various points everywhere-with power on, you should see anywhere from 1-3V DC to (I guess), 5V or 9-12V depending on where you are in the circuits. You can't do any harm as long as you are using your DC mode with the multimeter, and don't short anything else. And I have found, even the tiniest hairline crack or cold solder joint almost anywhere can stop a keyboard dead in its tracks. I have had to use high power magnifying tools to see this and have more than once found tiny cracks in solder I could not see without magnification. I don't know, my XW has been very reliable-inside looks like it would take something major to kill it.

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5 hours ago, Jokeyman123 said:

When you checked with a multimeter-did you find power is getting to other circuits? I usually just find a grounding point for a multimeter-easy to do, then touch my positive lead to various points everywhere-with power on, you should see anywhere from 1-3V DC to (I guess), 5V or 9-12V depending on where you are in the circuits. You can't do any harm as long as you are using your DC mode with the multimeter, and don't short anything else. And I have found, even the tiniest hairline crack or cold solder joint almost anywhere can stop a keyboard dead in its tracks. I have had to use high power magnifying tools to see this and have more than once found tiny cracks in solder I could not see without magnification. I don't know, my XW has been very reliable-inside looks like it would take something major to kill it.

Yes also that and appears power going from the main power board to the other ones that one was curious, it might be a crack also somewhere I could check that as well. But chances are that the firmware somehow got botched might as well. It's a curious synth board from everything I've encountered.  This fires me up some more cause I want to play with the sample looper and solo synth , Guys I'm totally fired up now haha.  

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Not having a schematic diagram it's a problem to find where the problem is. Now whe the firmware it's botched, from what I've read the backlight still lit ups. So if you see a completly dark mainboard, and there's a switching regulator for the 5V rail, and the backlight it's 5V, it could be a capacitor in the power supply.

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The disgusting thing of XW-G1 and similar modern keyboards is that they store firmware and user data within the same flash chip, that will wear out by any delete/overwrite of user data and so destroy itself. Flash is basically a DRAM with 1 year refresh cycle, i.e. it will die when stored unpowered, and the more it wears by delete/overwriting, the more it looses capability to hold data without electricity. This obsolescence atrocity functions like an USB stick, i.e. it can die of power fail (shaky contact) or accidental disconnection during write access. So it may be a good idea to always keep batteries inside (be careful to check for leaking) and power it on twice a year to permit it to perform wear levelling (if that is implemented at all).

 

I don't know if there is flash memory inside the COB cpu at all, or if it is only the external memory chip. If the latter, it can be theoretically replaced by soldering a new flash chip in (needs SMD soldering skills), but you would need to first copy the firmware (dumped from an intact specimen of the same model) onto the chip using an eprommer. The firmware is also included in the infamous update software for PC, so if not encrypted or otherwise garbled, it may be possible to extract it e.g. with a hex editor to copy it on the new chip before soldering it in.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

If all is working fine --I don't do any firmware chance taking--kinda like weighted keys--no doubt more expressive --but I learned my few chops on a CTK--so I don't need them yet--not a correct approach but  keeps things smooth

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1 hour ago, mibsonfuly said:

Hi. This week we had another case of a dead XW-P1, during a firmware update.

 

That is almost always caused by the user removing power from the XW before the update process is completed.  

 

Instructions for this update must be carefully followed to be successful.  As we have seen, many users have powered off before completing the update.  This reaction is usually triggered by panic whenever the updater application on the computer freezes for any reason.  Simply restart the updater software if this happens.  The firmware instructions are clear.  DO NOT power off the XW before the process is confirmed complete.

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I am the unfortunate one who first discovered this fatal flaw in upgrading the firmware for the XW-P1, and had to bring my XW to Casio repair facility to have the mainboard replaced.

 

Cyberyogi-the CPU in question on these mainboards (I am guessing this is the offending chip) is sealed under a glob of epoxy-I imagine it could be removed to reveal the CPU in use, but might harm the chip in the process, definitely not for a simple DIY'er. I could not determine if there was a separate firmware chip connected-I did not see anything that looked like a memory chip-again guessing the firmware may be "embedded" in this covered with goo CPU chip. Even with an eprom burner-Casio might have a lock code in firmware-to prevent reflashing this once the firmware is pooched unless it is done by Casio. Would be hard to find out unless one tried reflashing--or to even see if the complete firmware can be dumped from this chip. Certainly would be good to be able to. I am sure it will be next to impossible to get working mainboards for the XW's being close to 10 years old now, much less a replacement CPU.

Edited by Jokeyman123
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