Internal Battery Replacement

qy10 battery

What’s an internal battery?
‘Tis the small long-lasting battery hidden inside your favorite synths and drum machines and is responsible for powering the chip that stores your sequence data, instrument set-ups, user presets, everything in it but the lousy presets. So when you unplug your machine from the wall, the internal battery kicks in to remember where you left off.

When the battery dies, you’re gonna lose all your data. Most of the time you can still use your device as normal, but its just not going to store any data. You could use an external sequencer instead of the device’s internal memory. However, some machines need the internal battery to function at all. Sometimes when it dies, the battery will corrode and leak, this too is bad. Some machines also warn you that the internal battery is going, others will just surprise you.

How do i protect my data when i change the battery?
MIDI dump! This is an operation where you transfer all your data to another sequencer or computer for backup. If it goes corrupt or something, you can re-import it back to your synth/sequencer, good as new. It’s not that difficult to figure out, check your device’s owner’s manual for details. Sometimes its called a MIDI Bulk Dump.

A Tape Dump is similar, but instead of midi data, it uses audio to encode the data. Despite the name, you don’t need to use a cassette tape, any audio recorder will work. Most devices that do tape dumps will let you save, verify, and restore your data to/from the “tape.”

It’s a good idea to do regular backups of your data, especially if you’re using 10 or 20-year-old equipment.

How do i change the battery?
Well it will depend on the machine and its age. All companies have their own standards for these things, though they don’t always stick to ‘em and battery technology has advanced a bit over the past 20 years too.

Basically, open your machine, find the battery, yank it out (desoldering may be necessary), find a new one of the same type/voltage, solder it in, close it up and you’re golden.

Got any examples?
Let’s start with the Yamaha QY10.
I haven’t had to change mine just yet, but it’s come up a bit in our blog, so i’ll summarize that info here.

The internal battery is on the main circuit board.
qy10 main pcb QY10 main PCB

It’s the copper cylinder near the power switch.
qy10 batteryQY10 barrel battery

It’s a 3 volt Lithium barrel, or cylindrical battery and it’s spot welded in place. You’ll need your solering iron to remove it. Check the battery for a parts number, bk2600 blogger Gom found a Ucar 2L76 battery in his QY10, the current equivalent of this is a Duracell DL 1/3N, other equivalents are the Kodak K 58L, Philips CR 1/3/N, & Varta CR 1/3 N. There’s probably others too, just make sure you use a 3V Li, and you should be ok. These batteries are hard to find in stores, but available online. One blogger paid £10 from UK tech support, I just found one for US $5 at a battery specialist store.

If you can’t find one of these old original batteries, you can use a different kind. You could probably stack two 1.5V regular watch-type batteries in the holder, but I’m not sure they would fit precisely in place of the larger barrel. Radiosmack sells lots of flat disc-shaped batteries that would be perfect too. Just make sure your voltage is right and that you install it safely.

Here’s some photos of a disc type battery soldered to where the original battery was in a QY10.

QY10 new battery2Mahoney’s fix

Mahoney put a small 100uF capacitor in series with his battery leads, he says it prevents the battery from quickly draining. I’m not 100% sure as to why this would be nececssary though.

QY10 new battery3all taped up

You don’t want your new battery to touch any other components inside your QY10, so be sure to cover all the exposed metals with tape or something non-coductive.

Yamaha QY20 appears to use the same internal battery too.
QY20 board QY20 board

These basic principals can be applied to other machines too. I’m sure we’ll get details for other machines up here soon enough.. Justin recently replaced his Alesis HR batteries too.

Hopefully this info will help keep a few old machines out there working. If you’ve got any comments, other good info, or need help or anything, go ahead and comment below.


    Thanks Ian and Mahoney for the pics.

  • Ya, the HR-16 uses a 3.6V lithium battery, AND a static RAM chip to remember patterns and settings. I had to replace both recently. When the SRAM goes bad, the HR-16 won’t remember it’s settings after you switch to another pattern and back. And when the battery goes, it won’t remember anything after you unplug it.

  • Have you actually replaced the QY20 battery? When I had a look a one, there is a solder bridge next to it. I have a feeling that you have to disconnect the battery by sucking the solder from this bridge before you remove the battery and then resolder it after replacement. The person who gave me the qy20 for repair had fried it by trying to do it himself and I think this might have been the problem. What do you think? Mark

  • I see this post is being linked to by this QY-20 Auction. Notice it’s an auction for a QY20, but he says “QY-10″ in the description, and then links to our page on how it can be bent. (this has been happening a lot lately). There was a lot of talk about battery replacement in our QY-10 post, but neither Thom nor i have seen the insides of a QY20.

  • Justin we’ve seen the board, its the last photo above! Of course that was sent to us to help someone else replace their battery. Anyway, it looks pretty much the same as the QY10 setup, and yes, it is soldered in place.

  • Mark, where is this solder bridge? I had my internal battery replaced, it still gave the same “backup batt. low” message. So I took it back to the same place and asked them to fix it. They worked on it but it still had the same problem. I figured it was unfixable, but recently I opened it up and replaced the battery again myself. It made no difference. If there is a solder bridge required I would love to know where it is!


  • Thanks for your info on the Yamaha QY10, its been invaluable, my new battery is in, and working 100% fine.

    Many thanks

  • just got done reading some of the instrctons for battery replacement and Iwanted to know if there was ever acase where you could not remove the power source before attaching another source first so as not to interupt it to not lose memory that could not be replaced

  • Hey,

    I got the Yamaha QY-22 from my Dad with the “Backup Batt. Low” and so I ordered a new internal battery and soldered it in.
    But it didn’t change anything, same like “frank” explained three posts upper. It displays the same message (“Backup Batt. Low”) every 20 seconds.
    I don’t know what I did wrong.
    Can anyone post an image with the area around the internal battery at the bottom side of the circuit board?
    I’m happy for every helping answer!


  • Today I replace my backup battery on my old QY20 (13 years old). We got the new battery here in Cacun, Mexico in a Radioshack store (3V Litium Photo Battery CR-1/3 N, Mod. 23-265, Cat. # 23-265, USD 7.99. Prior I didnt receive any message from the gear indicating that the battery was low, but in the factory setting (pressing “+1″ “-1″ and “>” while start up) indicates that the voltage in the RAM Battery was 2.7 LOW. So I got the battery, open the case a try myself to make the change. With my 50-Watt iron I disolder the old battery and damage the printed circuit. Ok, I´m not an technician, so I don´t care a lot on that. I solder the a pair of cables to th new battery and solder it to he plate. The message was now “Backup battery low”. The solution, I solder a bridge (a new cable) from the negative side of the battery to a mass in the plate (printed circuit). The gear works Ok again. The factory setting reads a new 3.1 V.Best regards. The plate make some electric (and almost invisible) bridges from top to bottom and is very complicated. Try with a technician or proffessional is my best tip.

  • Thanks for weighing in on the subject Sergio. seems like you did a decent job. Viva la QY20.

  • Hi Thom,I call from Italy.I have the same problem.I need to replace the exausted battery of my QY 22.I have opened the QY22 and I have seen the battery,but I was not sure on what I do.I can’t see the number of battery,is the same of QY 20 or 10?

  • I Don’t know for sure if it is the same battery, but it most likely is. You’ll need to remove the old one, and this will probably mean desoldering it.

  • Evening boys! hows things going?

    one of my mates has an HR-16 he’s just bent, but the next day it was dead for some reason even though with all the bends de-activated, it was fine before switching off. now it just displays a dash – on the lcd on power up. does this sound like a symptom of a dead battery?

    happy new year to you both!



  • No. When the HR-16′s battery dies, the HR-16 still functions normally, but you can’t save patterns and settings.

    It sounds like the cable to the LCD might be loose or plugged in the wrong way. It’s an easy thing to mess up on the HR-16- there are 3 flat grey ribbon cables inside the HR-16, and no way to identify which one goes where, or at what polarity. I usually mark the cables and the boards with a sharpie before i unplug them.

    If you’re sure all the cables are correct, and you’ve checked for obvious stuff- blobs of solder or bits of wire somewhere, then there’s a chance something is fried. Did your friend stick with the 2 sound chips, or did he venture into uncharted territory?

  • there’s a couple of posts about it here.

    he said he hasn’t touched anything other than the two sound chips, but i thought if he hadn’t perma-bent by mistake, then there is a chance something just died. good idea about the lcd though, i’ll suggest that.



  • afaik the hr16 still works as it should if the lcd isn’t plugged in (mine is a bit loose and i accidently rip it out all the time). some combinations on the two sound chips (dont know which, i have a patchbay) makes it display funny characters and malfunction though, so id start there..

  • So, if you don’t replace the internal battery, all the presets will still remain? I have a Roland D-5

  • So, if you don’t replace the internal battery, all the presents will remain? I have a Roland D-5

  • Oops, didn’t think the first one went through, not 19, just 18. (Presets) sp.

  • man. slow down ;) yea. the presets will not be lost as they are not in battery-backed memory.
    Any user-saved stuff (patches, patterns, whatever) will probably disappear.
    In my experience, most units don’t require the internal battery to function.

  • Hi, first, sorry about my english.Last year, I’ve replaced the internal battery of my QY-20.I couldn’t find the original battery or similar so I used two 1,5 V AA LR6 and it was enought to put the sequencer in order. But I’ve a new problem now: LCD doesn’t run. All the features of my QY-20 are perfectly but the LCD. ¿anybody can helpme?Thank you very much

  • Hey Tuz, Make sure you’re using the right power supply. Check that the ribbon cable for the LCD is hooked up properly and securely. It could be that your internal batteries are already spent.

  • Hi Thom. Thank you for your post. I’ve checked the cables at least in more than ten opportunities and the batteries are completely new. If you think that it can be another thing,please post me. If somebody has a broken qy-20, maybe I can buy it.I think that we can use it to repair mine. Thank you

  • I also have a QY20 and over a period of a few hours the LCD display began to fade before going completely. The internal battery was showing full and all patterns etc programmed are still held, but I just can’t do anything with it now without a display. Any clues out there please?

  • Any way to add a backup battery to gear that didn’t have it in the first place?

    I’ve got a Casio CZ-1000 (similar to CZ-101) and it just uses the internal “D” batteries to remember user presets. Well, I don’t want to have to replace all those D cells, so I just use a wall wart transformer, but it loses all the presets when unplugged.

    Is there a way to add a lithium backup battery that will only power the user preset memory, so I can save presets, but not need to power the whole synth with D cells?

  • The CZ synths do have internal battery backup. Those D cells are not for memory, they are just for power. IIRC, the battery is a watch cell type. It’s used inside the CZ, as well as in the expansion cartridge. I’m not sure the exact type off hand, try checking the CZsynth yahoo group.

  • Any help out there I just bought a QY 20 with internal battery light showing should I ignore it or try to replace it myself I have found someone on the net selling battery what do you think!

    AHHHHH! should of bought a new one

  • Read the post above, it’s not a hard fix.
    If it’s out of your league, pay a friend with a soldering gun to do it for you.

  • The batteries for the QY20 are easily available for cameras in Pharmacies that sell cameras & batteries, and camera shops. Just ask for a CR1/3N lithium 3volt battery. Good luck

  • hi there i got hole of a roland d5 cheap, it all comes on nothink broken, just some of the keys wont work wan u push one and it just stays on.. but low can someone tel me this problem ? and will it cost loads to fix?

    much thanks paul

  • Hi I have a qy-8, which a slightly newer version of the qy-10, but the interface is totally different from the rest of the series. My question is this, does anyone know where the connection that makes a click when you enter something (note chord etc.) when I enter a chord, I get a very loud and annoying beeping noise. I checked the battery and it’s fine, still almost fully 3 volts after 15 years. Does anyone know how I can remedy this, I have a video showing exactly what happens here


    I’m thinking of just getting rid of the clicking noise if at all possible, and I want to know where it’s coming from. Thanks.

  • QY20:
    !!Please take into considarition that soldering a battery can be very dangeros!! Wear safety glasses!!

    Does anybody have an idea how to do it on an QY20 which originaly is spot welded and the battery can’t be solderd.

  • According to Yamaha service center the following reset procedure after changing the battery is sometimes nessecarry

    Press three buttoms together [-1] [+1] [cursor right] while switching on the QY20
    accordingly press the third yellow buttom

    It worked with my QY20, good luck!

  • I have an Alesis HR16 that hasn’t been turned on in more than 15 years. When I turned it on all I got was unreadable symbols on the LCD read out and red lights. There don’ appear to be any sounds.
    Any idea what I need to do?

  • Bob- First of all, are you sure you’re using the correct PSU?

    The battery will probably need to be replaced, but that is not what’s causing the LCD gibberish, etc.

    Open it up, but be careful to mark the grey ribbon cables so you remember which direction they go, etc. It’s very easy to mess that up. Check all the ribbon cable connections, especially the ones going to the LCD.

    Have you read thru the comments on the HR-16 page? I’m almost certain someone has written about that same problem before..

  • I replaced my QY20 battery with a standard coin type battery with 3v. I remove the old barrel battery moving the old battery slowly and breaking both connectors , then i solder the two free conectors hole from old battery one short bipolar cable and connect the poles and all its ok. I reset the QY20 with + and – keys more right button pressed when i turn on and check the full 3v. on ram battery now!

  • I have had my QY20 reconditioned(battery compartment and internal battery replaced as well as the rubber pads)but now i have a problem with the volume slider not working.Can anyone help?

  • If you paid someone to recondition it, I’d send it back to them. But why not describe the problem here anyways. What’s the slider doing/not doing? You getting any volume at all?

  • im looking for a a battery for the qy22, are the replacement batteries(Duracell CR1/3n CR 1/3n DL1/3n etc) the same length/dimensions as the original?

  • I don’t have this info. Let us know if you find out!

  • Hi, how do I reset my Roland D-5 to default factory settings. I think I may have edited the patches wrongly. Therefore it sounds horrible, like several different tones/patches of different keys sound when you press one key. I’ll be grateful if anyone can tell me how to set the old box to what it used to be. I have removed the battery overnight but this did not help

  • Hi, I acquired a Casio CZ-1 (for free!) but it doesn’t power up. I know it’s quite old and I’m wondering if a dead battery will prevent it from working in addition to the data storage issue you have mentioned.

    If that isn’t it, can you recommend a Casio repair place? I live near Cleveland, Ohio.


  • The dead battery won’t interfere with it powering on. Are you sure you have the correct power supply?

  • sorry I used an online translator, I have a qy20 which has the display off therefore unusable. Can anyone help me to have the wiring diagrams? Hello:))

  • Forget it, I found the wiring diagram of the QY20.
    Thank you

  • Please help! I have a QY20 and the LCD Display is fading out. What should I do now? What is the cause of this trouble?

  • Hi, I just got a QY20 from a friend because he thinks Im a soldering wizard.. He told me the internal battery is dead…
    OK No Problem… I can see i have to un solder that…
    havent done it yet…
    bcause when I tried it out, with batteries OR PSU, I can HEAR that it works, if I press play, BUT.. the LCD screen is dead. I mentioned this to my friend, and he said it used to be fine!!!
    So Can a screen just die thru non-use?
    Or CAN it be related to the dead back-up battery?
    Or is there a slip in the time flux continuum and everything will be back to normal by next Tuesday teatime?



  • oh dear, no one listening…

  • Mark- The LCD screen should not be affected by the battery backup. A common problem is with the ribbon cable that connects the screen to the main board. Check that cable- make sure it’s connected properly.

  • Thanks Justin, Im pretty sure I would have got a flicker out of the screen, Ive been manhandling it alot.. but Ill try popping off the ribbon cable completely and cleaning it, and popping it back… maybe its works?


  • Ive had 3 or 4 of these & when backup batt replaced screen canbe lost – resetting the qy20 sorted this on one though. (ie hold down + and – and > whilst switching on, then pressing third yellow button down). Hope this some help.
    PS \backup batt low\ warning comes on for other(non batt) errors.

  • In mahoye’s fix he says he puts a 100 microFarad capacitor in SERIES with the battery, but the picture shows the capacitor in PARALLEL, so, am I right assuming the picture is right and it must b placed in parallel?

    I replaced the qy20′s internal battery with a cr2016 (3v, lithium) but the message “Backup batt low” is still showing. I wanna try the capacitor solution but i need to know if it series or parallel (as in the picture)

  • not having any luck in clearing songs on my QY 10 machine. it says it has been cleared and that there is no data, but there still is data on. do’s anyone have a idea. thanks, tj

  • TJ- can you write new data ok? Can you try resetting it to factory settings? (don’t remember how that’s done) Did you try replacing the internal battery?

  • Has anyone replaced the Yamaha RY20 internal battery?

    I’ve opened the machine a little past the foil backing, however I don’t have much
    confidence in where or how to solder a new CMOS? battery in.

    I hear some battery’s available online fit many different Yamaha Machines like
    RX11, RX21, RX5, RX120, RY10, RY20, RY30, RX15, RX17 so perhaps someone who’s replaced one and can offer some advice.

    Also If the battery is a rounded watch style without a holder, how do you get to the solder underneath?


  • Anyone interested in repairing Yamaha Drum machine batteries should see:


  • For the people having no LCD output in otherwise working Yamaha QY20: please check that the contrast dial at the back of the machine is in right value. It often gets turned accidentally in a bag, and at the end of the range causes the display to be completely blank.

    ps. I love my QY!

  • Thanks man, felt up to it today, so tore the little bugger apart desoldered the old battery and lugs and put in an extension so the battery can be changed outside the bos, did a factory reset and hey presto, it works ! Thanks to guys like you we are able to carry out these mods etc without the price tags of techs, the web is in this respect a great thing!

  • PS, I only wanted to get to the piano samples

  • Hi ! Has anyone replaced the Roland TR 626 internal battery ? Do it need to be connected to the power supply in the same time ? Is it risk to all data information gone ? Thanks !

Leave a Reply