Red eye


Maybe just give it some more time. I wouldn’t go over 290C or so to not burn any traces. Be quick with the solder sucker and use it once the solder melts.


Like I said, the kind of solder used in my MD will not melt below 400°C, let alone 290°C.
I will not follow the advice of giving it more time as I think this method is more likely to destroy things than higher temperature and less time.

Anyone experienced with desoldering lead free solder?


If you apply some additional solder to the pad it should assist in getting the original joint flowing at a lower temp.

This is not an easy job and the risk of damaging traces or pads is high.


That’s what I’ve tried, but my leaded solder didn’t mix with the solder on the MD. At least not at 420°C.
I ended up with a blob of solder on top of the lead-free cr*p, and I have used quite an amount of flux.

I’m starting to think that maybe 60W is still too weak for this job.
There’s also some kind of special low melting point solder, which I might have to try.


I used de-soldering braid/wick to remove the solder from my pcb.

Once again, if the iron is too hot or you leave it pressed against the pcb for too long you can risk damaging pads and traces.


Again, I am talking about lead free solder - the stuff that was used after 2006.

I used desoldering wick as well it did not work. Also I don’t understand why you recommend lower temperatures, when I’ve mentioned twice that this stuff will not melt below 400°C.
Maybe your machine is pre 2006 where the RoHS was not in effect yet, then it’s of course pretty straightforward to work on.
As I’ve said I have plenty of experience in soldering and I’ve desoldered components of pre 2006 gear in the past with no issues at all, so please don’t give me advice like this is my first time soldering.
I apologize if this sounds rude, I don’t mean it this way, but I feel I have made my situation very clear and still I am misunderstood.

So one more try: Does anyone have experience in desoldering lead free solder and can give me some useful tips? Thank you.


All of my responses above apply to the lead free solder in my MachineDrum circa 2010. I would have stated otherwise if this was not the case.

I can’t recall the reflow temp when I worked on it. It was not easy and I experienced similar difficulties to what you described.

I am currently using lead free solder in a few projects and my iron is around 320 degrees celsius.

Various online sources state that reflow temp should be lower for lead free alloys.

“The higher melting points of the typical Pb-Free (Sn/Ag) solders requires reflow to occur above 240°C. The recommended soldering or reflow profile must assure a minimum time above 240°C”

Perhaps your iron does not have an accurate temperature readout ,or the heat transfer of your iron tip is not sufficient


As a new machinedrummer, I am thinking the red display is a lil washy looking. Poor viewing angles or just the LCD contrast screw misalignment? Where exactly on the PCB is that contrast screw anyway? Are there any pics?

Secondly, do you think elektron still offers hardware repairs/maintenance for the MD in 2018?


A mkii md or mnm sold toward the discontinue date should still be under warranty so elektron should still be doing maintenance on those type of units.


the screw is under the Jogwheel. luckily you can remove it carefully without opening the MD. But i think you’ll go not far with your plan. after the Jogwheel has been replaced, i’ve adjustet the contrast already as best it was possible. there are not many options for adjustments.


was just thinking it mighta moved a lil is all

EDIT: Found the screw and recalibrated! Thanks


Hi. I have to apologize again for getting a bit angry. I have now figured out the issue. It is indeed my new soldering station. It’s an ersa analog 60 that I bought because we have ersas at work and they’re great, but this entry model, despite the similar look, just sucks, at least the temperature control side of it, or the lack of it. Today I found out it even struggles with regular leaded solder as soon as you’re trying to solder pins that are attached to the ground plane. Have to turn it up to 450°C to make it work. Very disappointing as it was not exactly cheap. Or maybe it’s a heat transfer issue like you’ve mentioned.

However I have managed to desolder the display using the hot air station we have at work. (Didn’t know we had one) I’d recommend using one of these. I have never desoldered something with 20 pins so quickly :slight_smile:
Also I could solder the lead free stuff with no issues at around 330°C with the higher end ersa station at work, so you were right. Sorry.

BUT, I have encountered another issue. The new display makes my machinedrum’s LEDs go crazy. Yes, even though the display works fine, some of the LEDs light up incorrectly and start to flash as soon the LCD is updated (when you turn an encoder for example). Like the “classic” and “extended” LEDs light up at the same time, or the “synthesis”, “effects” and “routing” LEDs will show random stuff, just to give an example. The machine works fine though.

I was really scared that I messed something up, so being a bit desperate, I’ve desoldered the LCD again and put the original one back in and everything’s fine again.
BIG relief, but still … I have no clue what’s going on here …

This is the LCD I have bought btw. Link to LCD (ABG128064A50-DIW-R)


Scary indeed ! :scream:


it sounds like that the new display drains too much power from the LEDs. it’s simply not suitable. btw…is that a MK1 or MK2 MD?


It’s the latest iteration, a MK2 UW+.

Since the LCD is not overly bright at all, I’m not sure if that’s the case, unless it has the most inefficient backlight ever.
Unfortunately I cannot find a datasheet for the LCD.
Apparently someone has used a VFD with no reported issues so the power supply must have quite some resources left.

Btw. the LEDs won’t light up at all, if there’s no LCD soldered in. I’ve never encountered a piece of gear that does that and I don’t understand how the schematics must look like to make it act like this.


Doubt that. The LEDs are likely illuminated by a scanning circuit using shift registers. Sounds like a logic problem.


Perhaps it has something to do with one of the many jumper options on the LCD. But I can’t find any documentation for this specific device so screw that.

Whatever the reason may be, at least my MD still works flawlessly with the stock LCD, so I will order one of the displays that people in this thread have reported to work.

I recommend to stay away from the display I’ve linked in my previous post. Something is obviously not compatible with the MD.


Hi. Just wanted to report that I’ve bought and finally received the adafruit display, which is actually a Winstar WG12864A-TTI-V#N, and my MD works just fine with it. No crazy LED flashing, everything behaves as it should.
It did cost me 4x as much as the previous LCD and ordering it directly from china might have been a lot cheaper, but I don’t even care. It finally works.

I’m glad this adventurous story is over without any losses.

To everyone thinking about this mod, only buy displays that have been proven to work or if you really know your stuff, at least buy one that has all possible jumper settings documented properly.



Good news ! Pics !
Do they have Red ones ?
Is it the same for OT ?
I’d like a black or red for OT !


I haven’t even soldered it in yet, as I’ve told myself that this is the last time I’ll ever solder on this machine. But it seems it’s ready to be soldered in …tomorrow, I’m too tired now :wink:
I will post better pics of the finished product.

And sorry, I don’t have any answers for your other questions, other than probably yes, but I’m not sure.