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Roland Fr4x battery issue

ncskasweet6

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Hello

I have a roland fr4x that since I've had it is not able play beyond maybe an hour on battery before it dies. I invested in an expensive batter pack from accordion galllery. It lasted a little while longer and now its back to not turning on even tbought the pack is fully charged. The accordion only works for a long period of time if its physically plugged in. It also has a tendency to not play at all and requires a a full reset that loses whatever user settings I may have loaded via USB.

Any suggestions or help would be great. I feel there is something wrong. This accordion should be able to olayer much longer than it does without being plugged in.

Thank you
Nelson
 

JerryPH

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The FR-4x uses rechargeable AA batteries and those have a limited lifespan. Even using the BEST batteries on the BEST chargers, used in PERFECT circumstances, you will see battery life degrade within1-2 years and by the 3rd year, you will really need to replace them, no matter what brand.

For me, I separate rechargeable batteries in to 2categories:
- Batteries where I want maximum play time but regular recharge intervals. This is when you play regularly and recharge often.
- Batteries where I store for long periods of time (5 or more days) and do not want to charge all that often, but I don't play all that long.

In ALL cases, you want a quality charger. Speed kills. The slower you charge the battery, the less it heats up, the "fuller" the charge and the longer the battery lasts. Quick chargers can kill your batteries in a matter of a few months.

In the first case you want batteries that have the biggest "gas tanks" so last longer while you play. These are batteries like the 2650 PowerEX. I've used them for many years in high intensity photography sessions (it was common for me to shoot as many as 6000 pictures over a 2 day event). Normal batteries would last me about 750-1000 shots, but PowerEx batteries would last me in the 2500-2750 range or more when used in lower flash power settings. While using one set, I would be slow charging another at all times, but rarely needed that 3rd set even on the 2-day weddings.

Their one downfall was that if you charged them up and placed them in a closet for a month, when they came out for use, they'd be at about a 40%-50% charge, so they lose energy fairly quick over time.

For the times I had smaller events, like an engagement session, where 250-500 pictures were needed, I could use batteries like Eneloop. Eneloop batteries would get me to the 500-550 picture range before going flat, but I could recharge those several days in advance. Generally speaking they hold less "gas in the tank" but when inactive, don't lose it as much. Recharge a set of Eneloops, place them in the closet and a month later, they're at about 90% full.

Knowing the above will help you choose which battery to use based on your style and needs. In terms of chargers, I use a PowerEx MH-C800 smart charger and even in 2020, they are considered one of the top 3 best chargers on the market. For about $40, you cannot go wrong, and the 2 that I have are working perfectly now over 10 years.

No matter what battery you use, I strongly suggest you remove them if you are storing the accordion for more than a week. All batteries... let me repeat this... ALL BATTERIES have the potential to burst and leak. When they do, they leak battery acid on to the internals, and worse, its not just the acid, but the acid fumes that can cause eventual issues that can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage to your 4X.

Hope that helps.
 

Giovanni

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Hello Jerry , Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience on the subject of rechargeable batteries . I found it most interesting and it is detailed information that you will not normally find in the user manuals ..................Once again thank you .....Giovanni
 

oldbayan

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NiMH batteries can be recharged a few hundred times before going bad. In my FR-1xb I can play for several hours at a good volume with one set of batteries. Longer in my FR18 because it has no speakers. How many mAh are your batteries? I use 2800 mAh EBL batteries from amazon and they give me good service.
 

Ventura

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the smaller Rolands, 1, 2, 3, and 4, all have a pre-set minimum voltage
and as a result do NOT work like other electronics devices which
still more or less function when a battery pack has one poor cell depleting
more quickly that the others

in other words a "brown out" condition

so you can recharge, all the lights are green on your charger,
but in the device the battery performance seems to fade fast
then the box simply shuts off (even though a meter will
show the battery pack still seems to have a lot of amps left)

this is even more apparent on Lithium powered devices
that are "12 volt" which is not possible to really get with
Lithium cells, as their native voltage does not "add up" to 12
in a pack.. so once they get a bit old and lose their "top"
while still having a lot of Amperage power left, their Voltage
drops quickly below your device threshold

(even some modern Power tools have a voltage minimum
cutoff and exhibit this behavior)

one could build a battery pack (for your pocket or to slip
under the BackPad) with an extra cell, then add a tiny
voltage reg circuit to maintain a steady 12 Volt output...
(zener diode, or even just a couple normal Diodes in series
will drop the voltage just a bit for such a purpose)

8 x 1.5 volts (alkaline) equals 12 volts

10 x 1.2 volts (NiCAD/NiMh) equals 12 Volts

specs for the 4X are :
Batteries (AA-type rechargeable Ni-MH x 10)
* Expected battery life under continuous use: 5 hours speaker ON mode, 9 hours speaker OFF mode

ciao

Ventura
 

Giovanni

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Thanks for sharing this extra information with the forum ...most appreciated .....Giovanni
 

Alan Sharkis

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We can add one more line to Ventura’s arithmetic:

For alkaline AA cells — 1.5 v X 10 = 15v,

which is why you should NEVER put 10 alkaline AA cells Inthe battery holder of the FR-4x!
 

dunlustin

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Getting away from the battery discussion - it sounds as if your 4X is faulty.
Assuming you have the right rechargeable batteries none of the things you list should be happening.
Finding a Roland tech' might well be your next step?
( It's a bit odd that the OP shows no interest in any of the comments - perhaps he's on holiday?)
 

Ventura

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Hey Alan, how ya been ?

thanks for reminding us of the 15 Volt = Verboten in a Roland...
they are pretty adamant about that

now i might do an 11 cell NiMh, to equal 13.2 on a 12 volt device just
for that voltage headroom.. i doubt 1 xtra volt will fry anything..

the wall mains adapters typically output a bit above their rated voltage
and are seldom a problem, and devices that allow recharging of the batteries in place
need that for NiMh and NiCad (some battery formulas need a tiny bit higher voltage
to trick them into absorbing energy)

ciao

Ventura
 

Alan Sharkis

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Hey Alan, how ya been ?

thanks for reminding us of the 15 Volt = Verboten in a Roland...
they are pretty adamant about that

now i might do an 11 cell NiMh, to equal 13.2 on a 12 volt device just
for that voltage headroom.. i doubt 1 xtra volt will fry anything..

the wall mains adapters typically output a bit above their rated voltage
and are seldom a problem, and devices that allow recharging of the batteries in place
need that for NiMh and NiCad (some battery formulas need a tiny bit higher voltage
to trick them into absorbing energy)

ciao

Ventura
How’ve I been? Don’t ask! It’s been a frustrating nearly ten months. I had a total knee replacement in January and, although that worked out well, I couldn’t comfortably put any weight on my left thigh. So, I bought an AxE-Cord. That enabled me to practice, although the instrument could really use something like a bass strap. But by the time I could comfortably get.back to my 4x and my acoustic, I had developed a very painful trigger finger on my right hand, and the AxE-Cord’s treble keyboard lost response on all three E-flats. That didn’t get fixed until a few months went by. Now my back is out. So, every time I get to practice, it’s like starting over from the beginning. So, at 80, and still loving accordion, I guess I’ll struggle on until the next hurdle.
 

Alan Sharkis

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What is an AxE- cord ?
An AxE-Cord is an instrument made by Master MIDI of Castelfidardo and imported exclusively by Music Magic USA in Clifton, NJ. It looks like a keytar with a 41 key treble keyboard, 96 bass and chord buttons, and a MIDI controller with access to 400 sounds, of which about 100 are accordion sounds,128 are GM, and the rest are assorted sounds and sound effects, just like the Master MIDI available in the manufacturer’s midi d
for acoustic accordion, their reedless accordion, or their flat keyboard. The AxE-Cord weighs about 10 pounds. It can be worn like a guitar either standing or sitting, or can be used like a flat keyboard on your lap. It connects to its power supply/tone generator with a cable. Volume is controlled with a pedal. There are also jacks on the power box for glide and sustain pedals and headphones, but they aren’t supplied with the instrument. If you access musicmagicusa.com, you can get more information, as well as three demos of the AxE-Cord by Cory Pesaturo.
 

Giovanni

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Hello Alan , thank you for your detailed reply ......gosh I'd forgotten about the AxE-cord but now I remember seeing a demo by Cory Pesaturo that guy is so talented .
 

Keymn

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I go through batteries like water...change them 6 -12 months. Charging them 3-4 times a week...18-20 hours of playing time. note: if one of the batteries get weak in a pack, this could cause speaker distortion. With the outdoor gigs, using accordion at higher volume, 100 - 105 setting...charge them after a 3-4 hour gig. Note: I would never power any hardware on the accordion other then maybe a usb stick...?
The EQ settings at factory are quite accurate and should give clean sound no matter what volume setting with a good battery charge.
 
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Keymn

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Getting away from the battery discussion - it sounds as if your 4X is faulty.
Assuming you have the right rechargeable batteries none of the things you list should be happening.
Finding a Roland tech' might well be your next step?
( It's a bit odd that the OP shows no interest in any of the comments - perhaps he's on holiday?)
“( It's a bit odd that the OP shows no interest in any of the comments - perhaps he's on holiday)”

I know how you feel...nobody responds much to my comments😗
 

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