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Display TD-20 display repair

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  • Display TD-20 display repair

    I recently fixed a problem on a friend's TD-20 display. Here the procedure. Of course, no guarantees that it will fix your problem too, and do it at your own risk.

    - issue fixed: Part of the display faint.

    - tools required: philips screwdriver. Optional: small tweezers in case you "lost" a screw in the TD20; a compact flash card to backup data before the operation.

    - time required: around 1 hour if you have reasonable mechanical skills.

    - convention: for the description consider "top" the side with the display, controls etc...; the back is where you put the cable; front and bottom area as consequence

    - How to:
    - (optional: backup your data)
    - prepare a soft flat surface (e.g. a drape or a towel on a table) to avoi scratching the front ofthe unit.
    - disconnect power and all the cables.
    - remove the screws on the frontal side (to the side of the compact flash door and on the border) and underneath the unit (except the 4 screws fixing the stand support, if you have it).
    - remove the bottom cover and place the unit upside-down.
    - you can then access the "main board", be careful! you can identify the backup battery (near the front) and few "flat" cables near the back and lateral borders. If you backupped your data you may remove the battery for increase safety, othewise be careful. Always touch the metallic chassis before handling the bords (this will discharge static energy from your body), "never" touch with metallic objects or your fingers the components and the wires embedded within the board.
    - disconnect the flat cables form the board (you remove these cables by gently pulling them perpendicular from the board). Disconnect the small white connector on the back by gently pulling.
    - Unscrew the main board (should be 6 screws if I remember), and remove it gently, possibly keeping it form the border without touching the electronic components.
    - remove all the screws on the back (near the connectors).
    - remove all the boards inside except the last one (keys and control)
    - unscrew the drums board (the board where the connectors for the drums are mounted on) and remove it.
    - remove the board you find under that (it should be loosen when you removed the screws on the back)
    - unscrew the power unit (is encased in a transparent plastic box), pull it on but do NOT remove completely as a short cable keep it connected to the shassis.
    - identify the display and its board: the display is a white pastic stuff, witth a small board attached to it. A couple of very small flat cable are coming from the board, and a plastic/aluminion foil covers is on the back side.
    - unscrew and remove the display/display assembly.
    - being very very careful handling the board, disconnect the small flat cables. To disconnect these flat cables, you do NOT just pull, you must first loosen the lock (gently slide the dark part of the connecto from the white base, the lock is NOT to be removed, just "opened" around 1 mm [1/16"], until it comes to a stop. Do not force! See http://pc-level.com/2011/10/what-is-zif-connector/ or search the web in case of doubt). Once the lock is open the cables are almost loose, you should be able to disconnect them pulling with very small force. Disconnect the flat cable, then reinsert it. This is the actual operation that "fixes" the display by removing subtle oxidation from the cable/connector. If possible do not touch the part of the cable that connects the connector to avoid depositing dirt.
    - reconnect the display cable (insert the cable in the connector, then push back the lock gently). Double check to ensure the cables are "straight", otherwise disconnect-reconnect straight.
    - reinstall all the boards, screwing at least half of the screws on the back. Make sure you reconnect everything (all flat cables and the small white conenctor near the power module). To reconnect a flat cable, insert it in the connector and push it in.
    - Ensure there are not loose boards or screws inside. Reinstall the battery if you remove it. Close the bottom panel (with at least a couple of screws).
    - reconnect the unit (drums and power) and test it. Hopefully the display now woks andeverything else too.

    - if the display improved but not enough you can try repeating the operation. You can optionally try cleaning the cable using alcohol and a clean fabric, do you at your risk.
    - if something (drums, frontal control, output) does not work, re-open the unit and check (disconnect, reconnect) all the flat cables connections on the main board.

    When you are satisfied, finish reinserting all the screws.

    If it works it will save you 180$ for a replacement display

    Last edited by BarT; 02-22-14, 09:05 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks Loris,

    Mine has been tweeked for awhile I just didn't want to spring for a new one, so I tried this and my display looks like new.
    You Rock!

    Roland TD-20K, Pintech Dingbat Triggers, Mac OSX Mountain Lion, Logic Pro & Mainstage
    Ableton Live 8.3, Reaper, PC Windows 8 Pro, Sonar X2 Producer, Session Drummer 3
    Steven Slate Drums 4, Roland DT-1 Vdrums Tutor


    • #3
      Looking forward to trying this! My display has been worse and worse with every day for a month now.
      Just to clarify one thing.. My display is almost completely faint in "Kit" and "Trigger" modes and some other modes, but fairly ok in others, see a couple of shots attached.
      did you experience the same issues as well, or was the display always equally faint?

      Cheers Dennis

      KIT - mode

      Kit Inst - mode.

      Attached Files


      • #4
        That would tell me the problem is not the display itself but maybe the connection.


        • #5

          Wow..this is timely! Thx.
          My td20 display just freaked out last week. The only thing is, my problem is the bottom half of mine is filled with black verticle lines..I am inept at posting pics but will do so if needed. From my description can u tell me if your fix may work? It sounds kinda scary tho.^^ but would save me time and money, both in short supply these days. Thanks again Loris for sharing.


          BTW...that's the best first post i've ever seen anywhere...danke^^


          • #6
            Just to report on my status.
            I didn't dare to follow the instruction by Loris, but told the repair shop about this.
            they did open the module, cleaned the connectors and the screen was fine again. It cost me 150$ in Norway, but at least I have a working module now

            Another finding I had during this incident: never store the TD-20 in the temperatures below 10' Celsius! The screen is not made for this.


            • #7
              Thanks to Loris for posting the instructions to re-seat the display LCD connections - it worked perfect. I have had my TD-20 since 2004 and it started having LCD issues (dimmed 1/2 of LCD Panel) after about 3 or 4 years. It got progressively worse year after year. I had already taken the unit to one of those cell phone repair places, and they told me it was probably not the display but a capacitor or something. In any event, I could not find any replacement LCDs when I searched today - Nov 14th 2017. I really didn't want to deal with the time and cost of sending back to Roland. I was not even sure what kind of support they offer today since the TD-20 is pretty old now. I guess Roland is the only source for the LCDs?

              So I figured re-seating the connectors was worth a try. The instructions are accurate, and I had no problem taking it a part. The last part - dealing with the AC module was a little annoying. One thing I would add suggestion wise --- is that you can more easily remove some of the ribbons on the main board if you unscrew the board FIRST.

              I ended up putting the minimum of screws back - just to hold everything in case - and plugged it in, and powered it up. It worked great --- after all those years of dealing wiht this LCD. put it all back together afterwards. My only issue was at the end putting the bottom cover back on... for whatever reason it didn't seat correctly when I had the main board all screwed in. I ended up loosening some of the screws near the front - to allow me to move the board around - to fit the compact flash and head phone jack correctly into the slot. I was then able to then get the cover to fit correctly, and screwed it all back.

              Thanks again - there are not a lot of posts to be found on this subject - so I was really appreciative to see this after many years. I hope my experience helps others.



              • #8
                Great thread! thank you!


                • #9
                  Well my sons TD20 display has got very faint at one side. Just found this thread so will be trying this hopefully this weekend
                  Roland TD50x with part td20 rack and pads. SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions. RME Babyface pro fs audio interface


                  • #10
                    I just wanted to add my thanks. This trick worked great on my TD-20. Thank you!


                    • #11

                      My display had connectors I could not identify, even after looking at every ZIF I could find on the net.

                      The white part would not release either way. Then I ended up breaking one loose by trying to lift the brown tab and now it's completely dead.



                      (gently slide the dark part of the connection from the white base)

                      gently slide the dark part of the connection BACKWARDS from the white base

                      I tried to slide it UP like a ZIF I saw online.
                      Last edited by New Tricks; 09-08-18, 12:44 PM.


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          Almost 5 years later and this is still helping people fix their LED displays. Thanks very much.


                          • #14


                            • #15
                              Still fixing for people. Eventually got round to doing this on my sons td20 and as good as new. I did use a alcohol wipe to make sure and used it on all the other connectors as well. This thread just keeps on giving. Really appreciated. Thanks
                              Roland TD50x with part td20 rack and pads. SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions. RME Babyface pro fs audio interface