White plastic three conductor plug connects the
power and vibrato input to the tone generator card
White plastic single conductor plug sends signal from
the tone generator to the bass tone/pedal circuit
|If your V303E Vox Super Continental has keys that have tones that seem to be an octave or more too high, and if readjusting or replacing the divider bias control didn't correct the problem, chances are you have a problem with one of the six divider circuits found on each tone generator card. This web page is designed to help you diagnose, and possibly even repair this V303E Super Continental problem on our own.
The Vox Showroom and North Coast Music accepts no responsibility for personal injury or damage to property while using this information to attempt an organ repair. Proceed at your own risk.
First, turn on the organ, connect to an amplifier and pull out only the 16' and ~ drawbars for the upper keyboard. All other drawbars should be pushed fully in. On the upper keyboard, starting with the low C, which is called "C1", test each note from the lowest to the highest key of the organ, which is called "C5". Listen for any note that seems to be an octave or more higher than adjacent notes. This symptom points to a problem in the divider circuitry.
Should you find a key that has a tone one or two octaves higher than expected, you should check the higher octaves of that note as well. As the dividers are wired in a serial fashion (one feeds the next), a divider failure will also affect the tones of all the dividers after it. As an example, if the second divider is malfunctioning, and not dropping it's tone by an octave, the output of the third through sixth dividers will also be off by one octave.
Here is an hypothetical example of a typical divider problem. When testing the organ, you find that the frequency of the "C2" tone is the same as the "C3" key. "C1" produces a tone one octave higher than expected but "C4" and "C5" are working fine. These symptoms point to a defective divider in the "C" tone generator card.
An oscillocope is helpful, but not necessary, to diagnose a defective divider. Start by locating the "C" tone generator card in the organ. The C tone generator card can be identified by the letter "C" which can be found on a label on the card (see photo, lower at left). This card will have the defective divider. Assuming you have an oscilloscope, prepare to start the diagnosis of the problem by attaching the ground lead of the scope to the organ chassis.
Starting with the "socket" pin for the 1st divider (see bottom of photo at left) and the with the organ turned on, probe all six divider output pins of the tone generator with the oscilloscope. The 1st divider will have the highest pitch or frequency. As you move through the dividers from one to six, you should observe a one octave drop from one divider to the next. In other words, the output of the 6th divider should be five octaves lower than the output of the first divider.
Using the "C2" and "C3" example above, it would be likely that you would not observe an octave drop between the the 4th and 5th divider. It is likely that the transistors may be bad on the 5th divider. While it is somewhat possible that there is a bad capacitor or resistor in the divider circuit, it is more likely that the transistors may be bad on the 5th divider. Replace both transistors on the 5th divider, referencing to the drawing at at left, and recheck the organ. If it still doesn't work properly, you may also need to change the transistors on the 4th divider.
What transistor do you need? You may replace any of the transistors on a V303E tone generator board with an NTE102A transistor, available for about $3 each from such suppliers as www.mouser.com or www.newark.com. Don't go overboard with this, though, I never recommend replacing all the transistors on these cards.
Transistors have three leads - base, emitter, and collector. When replacing, these must be installed in the correct order. You might want to purchase the Vox V303 schematic from North Coast Music to help you, click here to go to the North Coast Music Continental Organ schematic web page.
If you don't have an oscilloscope, no problem. Click the "Jump" button at the bottom of the page to view the next page, which offers a way to diagnose a tone generator divider problem without test equipment.