stock photo from wiki
This tiny synth/sequencer’s biggest claim to fame was it’s portability. Basically, it’s got 30 pre-GM instruments and one drum kit with 26 sounds, some of which aren’t all that bad. It’s sequencer is handy too. You can read more about this “walkstation” here.
I thought I’d open it up and see what I can see. After poking around for a bit, it was clear that many interesting features are hibernating on this little device. Here it is jacked up on my workbench, many wires for the bends are already in place. I used an experimenters board for wire management:
(Click pic for a close-up of board)
There’s tons of good circuit-bends in this little box. It’s all very small though, so it’s sort of an advanced project, but definitely worth the work.
After deciding which bends to keep, I would need to build a breakout box that’s larger than the unit itself, so I just recased the whole thing. I made a new control panel out of plexi-glass and mounted the QY10 right to it.
Here’s the rear of the panel, QY10 faceplate mounted to the front, main PCB underneath, switches, LEDs, & pots are all in place and wired up, just need to connect the main PCB wires that are hanging loose to all the new controls.
I recased the works in a small suitcase.
3 output jacks and the midi hardware are mounted at the rear of the case.
The switch matrix works sort of like a patchbay which allows for easily creating large numbers of multiple bend combinations. Each switch has 2 LEDs to indicate status.
The right side of the case has the volume controls, 3rd output audio source selector, 2 distortions, sound scrambling controls and ground-bend amount.
I used detachable hinges on the upper half of the case so it can stand alone as a table-top synth or be it’s own carrying case with room for the power supply and whatever wires I might need.
I will eventually put a battery pack, an amp and some speakers in the upper half of the case and maybe a Highly Liquid relay kit too to trigger other toyz and make this QY10 the ultimate portable groovebox.
IC4 or 5 is the voicing chip for the QY10 (anyone know for sure?), I soldered all my wires to connections on these 2 chips, but mainly to IC4 as access to these was easiest. Messing with some pins will cause it to crash and some others will wipe the memory clean, but it’s a pretty robust chip, I haven’t blown it up yet.
Stick to these notes and you and your QY will be fine.
IC4 = sleeping giant
The switch matrix:
On IC4, pins 27-36, and 38-53 can be directly connected in any combination (I’ve found so far) without crashing and can also be connected to ground.
Pin 37 can be connected to the above pin numbers, some of the pins will create really cool stacatto notes (short blips). Don’t connect this pin to ground, it will crash. below in forum post #63, arsenlives experienced a fatal perma-bending crash with pin 37. Until we have definitive information, I suggest avoiding this pin altogether.
Sound scrambling mode:
Connect pin 14 to ground. I control amount with a 100k pot for coarse tuning in series with a 1k pot for fine tuning.
Connect either pin 28 or 29 to ground. I used a switch to select between them and 2 1k pots in series for amount.
Resistors near the volume slider on the board limit the volume of your QY10! Get a serious boost in your output by simply bypassing R10 and R17 or replace them with smaller value resistors.
Check out how to replace the internal battery in your QY10, here.
The very brave Concretedog has become the first to attempt my mods.
Check out his QY10 here.
Ian Brown went nuts with his mod job, tons of controls on his attached control box and look at that breakout box!