Ensoniq SD1/32 ignored low battery for a long time now won't boot up


My SD1/32 has had a low battery for years but I ignored it and lived with having to reload patches / sequencer from disk. Today it powered up in a very confused state. After reset it worked for about 5 mins then froze. Now the display is stuck in the test mode where it shows characters following button presses. Also the disk drive light stays lit. It no longer makes it to keyboard calibration.

I just ordered a new battery from Syntaur today. Is there a likelihood that the now extremely drained battery is causing the boot issue or do I probably have another problem to troubleshoot after I get the new battery installed?

Thanks for advice in advance. There’s a lot of sentimental value to this synth and I want to do everything I can to keep it alive for as long as possible. It replaced a VFXsd (my first pro synth bought new) that went up in smoke years back.


Just wanted to follow up - after installing the new battery from Syntaur all is well. I also gave her a thorough cleaning during disassembly and all seems to be well.

So note for Ensoniq owners - eventually a dead battery may also cause boot up problems.

This is going to be a separate issue from the battery. The display being in test mode indicates that it is not communicating with the main board. This could be an issue with a ribbon cable, so unplugging and replugging the ribbons might help.

While you have it open, test each of the fuses on the power supply board for continuity.

The worst-case scenario is a main board problem, but hopefully it’s a cable or fuse issue.

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Hi Sam. While I had it open I checked all of the power supply fuses. I also reseated all ribbon connections so perhaps that was the issue. All seems to be well now. Thanks for responding!

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Great news! I hope it keeps on behaving. If it still gives you trouble, and the cable connections seem to be the issue, you might give them a quick spray of DeOxit then plug them back up.