ESQ-1 Keybed Cleaning

I just recently picked up a metal case ESQ-1. It seems to be in good shape, save for the battery. And the key contacts are acting and looking a little on the grungy side, though they’re acting a little better with use. What’s the collective wisdom on cleaning them? Contact cleaner? Alcohol? Continue mechanically working them?

Thanks in advance,

congratulations on your new keyboard I am actually restoring my esq 1 1988 version with the plastic case not the nice metal case like your own. in regards to cleaning pass on rubbing alcohol it should be less than 70% however try a plastic cleaner. get deoxit for cleaning contact cleaning i used whoosh cleaner with a micro fiber cloth its non alcohol and won’t damage the plastic keys a little can of air doesn’t hurt to blow everything out and off the board and the keys. as for the battery i like to work with original equipment i ordered 2 Panasonic br 2/3 3 volt battery I got a cr123 battery holder. advance warning make sure you get a ground bracelet to protect your board from static discharge! the grocery list you will need is desoldering wick it is a thin copper foil that will protect the board for soldering i ordered the cr 123 battery holder on amazon this way you don’t have to keep soldering the battery to the board. it could be attach with a tiny zip tie or the thin Velcro strap so the battery doesn’t come lose. last the eight capacitors for the power supply they have to be replaced too they are 30 years old. I ordered them from mouser electronics go for the Panasonic fm or fc radial capacitors at a 105 Celsius rating these are the items c1 3300 uf 25v, c8 3300 uf 25v c17 4700 uf 16 v, c 18 4700 uf 16 v 4 large psu eletrolytic capacitors 4 small psu eletrolytic capacitors c10 100 uf 35v c11 470 uf 63v c12 220 uf 35v c 13 470 470 uf 63v aslo they have 5000 hour usages; go for the japan made product it is tier 1 rating for quality cost $11.58 cents. micro center had nte capacitors i avoided them they are not good for such a nice device you want to keep. check this guy out on YouTube Bradthx also check out ensoniq esq 1 battery replacement that guy and others will give you the diy tricks of the trade as well as recapping capacitors. syntaur has a lot of parts battery mart has the original Panasonic battery. good luck and enjoy the sounds you can create

Thanks for the tips. I’ve got a battery and a can of Deoxit on order. The caps in there aren’t showing any signs of bulging yet, but I do plan on replacing them as a precaution anyway. (And as it turns out, Mouser is who I most often order from too.) Now, I just need to figure out if I can put in the brass nuts for the top panel. Mine has the screws going directly in to the plastic and two of the screw holes are stripped. For completeness, when I opened it up, I discovered that it has the sequencer expander cartridge in it, and it came with a couple of third party sound cartridges: Maartists MusicPack ESQ and Patch/Works QSpectrum ESQ Super Performance Cartridge.

thanks for the advice on maartists music pack i will check it out, i have all the cartridges and a 20,000 expansion cartridge. one of the guys on you tube from the uk he recommends turn the screw two turns counter clockwise then turn clockwise to avoid striping the treaded hole. I made another trip to micro center for Velcro tape 1,2 mm , micro zip ties for the battery holder for a cr123 battery. desoldering wick 2.5 mm so i don’t damage the board or components hakko tip cleaner for soldering iron, anti static strap, 1 ic extractor. my aunt’s husband he is a big computer guy he recommender the desoldering wick i’m referring to it because one of the guys in the forum had the experience of using a soldering iron that was to powerful damaging the board. i have a battery operated soldering iron from RadioShack that i use to salvage good headphones that have a short putting a gold one on where the short was. i have the plastic case esq-1 I would have to double check to see if it has metal or it is plastic. i would hold off on the brass nut if lowes or another retail chain who has an item that can be flush and would have an item that is a metal treaded piece or will not damage the housing. enjoy the music, no problem we esq-1 user need all the advice we can get

sorry the video is by markusfuller on you tube putting a cr2032 coin cell battery that’s the guy explaining about screwing in the panel back to prevent cross striping. I’ll stick with the Panasonic br 2/3 3 volt battery that came today from battery mart $10 i ordered 2 of them. thanks for the info you got a gold mine with that cartridge I will check my inventory to see if I i have it but i found someone who has it for sale.

recently acquired a ensoniq sd-1 lots of cleaning and surprises, my esq-1 has metal inbeded into the plastic housing the ensoniq sd-1 has it too. it turns out that one of the screws head was stripped i used a Sears torx bit to remove it. a similar screw of similar features i will have to get at lowes if i can’t buy it here at synthur.

Very cool. As a quick followup, Today, I finally got a chance to replace the battery and clean the keyboard contacts. I used some dexoit and a toothpick to just give the bus wires and springs a little rub down. Everything seems to be happy now. No more battery warnings. All the keys seem to be responding well. And running the filter calibration, everything comes up in range. So here’s another happy ESQ-1 owner.

wonderful news to hear glad it worked out, just so happen i replace my battery its dated 10/1987. I put in the new battery holder with new Panasonic battery and a strip of Velcro to strap it down till the next time it has to be replaced. probably will print a label on my machine to remind me when the battery was installed. strange it booted up with the current update 3.5 os i ordered eproms here on syntaur a waste didn’t expected in 1988 or 1987 that it would have the current operating system. also it says battery low after the new one was install then the message disappears. I have a second hand ensoniq sd-1 she sounds good just some minor fixes to restore I’ll recapped the power supply and the esq-1 when i get the capacitors from mouser i will make another video. we esq-1 ensoniq owners are an exclusive club to a company that was made in America. I really missed them if I mad the money I would open back up 155 great valley parkway Malvern Pennsylvania to start the synthesizer company back up. glad everything work out enjoy the music.