Repairing buttons on an Elektron MonoMachine

Well, I always thought my MonoMachine was indestructible, but apparently not entirely. ….when one regularly gets carried away hammering the keys as hard as possible over the course of about 6 years anyway. Time to break out that iFixit Kit then!

First, lets pull all the knobs off and undo the 6 screws holding the top plate on. It should come right off. Note the cool old-school circuit boards inside! Here is where the key that came flying off SHOULD have been:

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Turns out these things are glued to the base via those 4 dots at each corner. They also have a little peg top centre, that in this case has broken off. Wow really must have beaten the crap out of it! Inside the key, there’s a spring and a ball bearing. An actual fucking ball bearing! Elektron weren’t lying when they said they used military grade switches eh 😉

Monomachine switch components

I had to fish these bits out of the housing so didn’t fully get which way round they went. Luckily another key was about to fall off, so I carefully disassembled:

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Ball bearing at the bottom, spring on top, little white plastic tab on the wider side of the two contacts. How does this work? No idea. Anyway, here it is:

Elektron Key & Spring

Just need to stick them back on then! I’ll save you some time here as I fucked this up twice with different gluing methods… Snap a toothpick in half, put a bit of super glue (the runny kind,  not the gel) on some card, and dip the blunt end in it. Use that to apply a dot of glue on each corder of the switch base on the PCB.

…not that I tried applying it straight out of the tube and got glue all over the place, or tried epoxy which left little stringy bits everywhere. Definitely not. Anyway, brace yourself for the most exciting pic of this post:

Glue

Wow 😉 So… with the ball bearing and the spring back in place, carefully slot the key back on. Hold it in place, then use a spudger to hold the bottom half of the assembly in place, allowing the key itself to travel back up to it’s raised position. This stops it getting stuck to the board along with the rest of it. Which would suck.

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Wait 10 minutes for the glue to set, test it works and put the lid back on! Good as new, ready to create hideous machine noises once more!

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Thank you iFixit toolkit & super glue, you are awesome.

iFixit kit

Also, thank you Elektron for making such great, durable, repairable products. This thing is built like a tank and has NEVER let me down until now. I’m amazed this is the first time anything’s broken on it tbh, the amount of hammering I’ve given it at gigs and jams over the years. Try doing a repair like that on an iPad eh. There’s a reason it cost a £1000 😉


2 thoughts on “Repairing buttons on an Elektron MonoMachine

  1. Hey,

    just found your Button replacement tutorial about the monomachine.
    I have a similar issue at the moment. A Button of my Octatrack machine broke. As I opened it up I found the same elements as you had:
    – a spring
    – a little silver ball
    – the button with the white plastic inside.

    Now, trying to put it back together, I’m not sure if I do it right.
    Does the ball just lays directly on the contacts?
    Just like that?
    Or is there something between the ball and the contact that I’m missing?

    Any help is appreciated 🙂

    cheers!
    Wenzel

    1. No I think it’s just directly on the contacts from what I remember. I’d test the assembly out before glueing it back on first though. Good luck! ☺

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