Ensoniq SQ80 Issue

Hey Syntaur Forum,

Just wondering if anyone could advise me on an issue that I am having with my Ensoniq SQ80. The synth powers on fine and I am able to get sound, however the buttons on the display aren’t working and whenever i press them a number comes up on the display so i am unable to edit any paramaters or do a soft reset. Also after about 5 minutes the screen shuts down completely but the sound of the synthesizer still works. I have popped up the hood and reconnected majority of the plugs so i don’t think it could be a cold connection that is causing this problem. I know its hard to diagnose without actually seeing the synth but I thought maybe someone else has encountered a similiar problem ?

Thanks, Luke.

By showing numbers when you press buttons, the display board is showing that it is functioning correctly - it just is not communicating with the main board. And since the SQ-80 plays, that’s a good sign that the main board is working correctly, too.

The complication is that the communication path from the main board to the display actually goes through the keybed, so the culprit could be a bad ribbon cable that connects the main board to the keybed. And since you said the display shuts down completely after 5 minutes, there could be a power supply issue going on.

So for starters, make sure that fuses F3 and F4 on the power supply board are not blown. Test them with a continuity tester if you have one - you often can’t tell just by looking if the fuse is blown. And then make sure the ribbon cable to the keybed is seated firmly, and plugged in correctly. (Mis-plugging it will blow those two fuses.) Do all of this with the keyboard uplugged from AC power!

Alright thanks so much Sam ! I will pass this information on to my synth repair bloke as this is a little advanced for my knowledge. At least he will know what to look for now which should speed up the process :slight_smile:

And if he doesn’t already have it, the SQ-80 Service Manual is posted on Rainer Buchty’s site. Good luck!

Hi…in my case the synth seems to be crashing. After playing it for a minute or two it often gets hanged notes, then crashes or just crashes. By crash I mean it is still powered on but doesn’t produce any sound and is unresponsive. I wish I had a display to see what is happening when it crashes.
I can not verify the age of the battery but I do plan on replacing it. The presets are still in there but im not sure if its saving.

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