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Bringing new life to a Korg PolySix
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Posted by Krux on Sunday September 29, 2013 @ 01:26pm
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I love the old analogue synthesizers, the Korg PolySix being one of my favorites. Had a great sound, has some nice features for an analogue synthesizer of the time, and is just fun to tinker with.

Since it had been awhile since I had turned it, it was time for it's cleaning of the key contacts, which means opening up the keyboard.

Korg PolySix cleaning keyboard contacts

In addition to cleaning the contacts for the keyboard, while I had the keyboard open I figured it was as good of a time as any to replace the problematic nickle-cadmium battery that was prone to ruin the circuit board if not replaced. Fortunately I caught this one before it started leaking onto the board, but you can see the positive terminal was rather corroded.

Korg PolySsix 28 year old ni-cad battery

While I was tinkering I ran across a video of a guy who redid his PolySix and added a C14 power connector. I happened to have an old AT power supply on the floor being gutted for parts, so I added that while I was fixing the battery.

Korg PolySix new battery and power

And here we have the external view of the power connector.

Korg PolySix C14 power connector

The next step was to find a copy of the factor patches, since removing the battery, causes the 1kx4 SRAM to of course lose it's contents. After some digging, I turned up the following URL:

The Poly6-mailinglist digest page

Which not only had a copy of the original patches, but also a utility for saving/restoring patches for the PC.

So what's next?

Clearlywe need to expand upon the basic features of the PolySix. While I don't really want to get big into circuit bending this keyboard, figure a nice hack would be to add in additional memory banks. Jameco sells a substitute chip which I can use to expand the functionality.
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