Roland W30 LCD Backlight Replacement

Roland W30 LCD Backlight
Roland W30 LCD Backlight

After the success of my Yamaha SY77 “Cool Blue” LCD backlight replacement, I decided to see if I could upgrade a few other of my old keyboard if possible. Today I found a Roland W30 “White” LCD replacement backlight for a great price $26.00 on Ebay. There are other options around, but most are asking for $50 or more which I think is a bit much.

The great thing about this “White” LCD replacement, is that it should brighten up the Roland W30’s green LCD considerably. Note that this LCD backlight replacement can also be used for the Korg 01W and Wavestation A/D. I find myself playing in a lot of dark places and with the Roland W30 having a brighter display it should be more fun and less headache to work with. One BIG problem that will still exist is the power converter noise or hum in the Roland W30. I completely eliminated this whine from the Yamaha SY77 by replacing the LCD unit altogether, but I have yet to find the proper replacement hardware for the Roland W30. Until then, this White LCD Backlight replacement I bought from Ebay should suffice regarding the brightness of the display.

Once I receive and replace the Roland W30 LCD display, I’ll post some photos of before and after. As far as I know I simply need to desolder a couple of pins and the solder in the new replacement LCD sheet. Probably the most difficult or time consuming aspect will be taking apart the Roland W30 to access the LCD display. That was an all day job with the Yamaha SY77…laugh. Nonetheless, it’s kind of fun actually. Nothing beats the raw smell of those old vintage keyboards and synthesizers when you crack open the cases. Yeah right!

Enjoy! – Jim

UPDATE #1: Here is a video found on Youtube of someone replacing the old Korg Wavestation A/D backlight with a new “white” version similar to the one I purchased above. This video will show you the difference roughly of before (green) and after (white). It’s much brighter you can see. Awesome!


7 thoughts on “Roland W30 LCD Backlight Replacement

  1. I recently replaced the backlight on my W30. I found the unit a while ago and turned it on and the LCD was completely dead so I thought replacing the backlight would do it. The LCD display is super bright but I don’t see any graphics. I guess I need to replace the whole LCD unit. Probably not worth it these days since used W30’s go for about the price of an LCD assembly. Any thoughts?

    1. Hello!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I took a look at your blog and read about your Roland W30 adventure. I am not exactly sure the problem, BUT I can lend some thoughts that you may or may not know based on my experience.

      First I was curious if you can get your Roland W30 to make any sound. I know it may be difficult without a working LCD, but should you get it working, one often has to reset the outputs for the channels the samples are residing on. They are almost always set to “0” initially and it fools quite a few people. As you know the Roland W30 boots off the startup disk. It loads up the default sounds so provided your LCD works you can navigate to the Rom based sounds and test out the sound. If Rom samples sound but you can’t get the Ram samples to sound, them most likely it’s the output level settings.

      With regards to the bright LCD. I just finished repairing a Yamaha EX5 by replacing the LCD. When I first powered it up, the LCD was dark. In my case I could see faint “black” text and graphics but no bright light. I then was informed that most likely power was not getting to the LCD. In the Yamaha EX5, I had the wires crossed. Since I soldered them I had to cut and splice the other way and presto the LCD worked perfectly. My point is perhaps you are having a power issue of some sort with the LCD. Maybe the backlight is working, but the graphics are not getting power or maybe you might have placed the backlight on the wrong side? Am I correct you didn’t replace the entire LCD, but rather just the backlight sheet? Now I haven’t replaced my own backlight yet, but instructions I received recently from a backlight I purchased off Ebay said I had to be careful about where I inserted the backlight on the W30. I suppose there is a right way and a wrong way to insert that backlight…no sure. I’ll have to dig that up and double check.

      I think there’s potential with your Roland W-30, but I wish I could be of more help and specific about your problem. There is a Yahoo Group for the Roland W30 that I frequent with a few people who might be able to offer an opinion about it. Check that out if you haven’t already. If I find anything out, I’ll definitely update my post here. Thanks!!


    2. Hi,
      I think your W30 problem could be the internal battery or the lcd plug not properly seated during the replacement. Have you tried replacing your internal battery ? That is often the cause when there is a bright backlight but no text.

  2. Lorenzo

    I have a Roland W-30 with LCD broken. A while ago, while I was regulating the constrast, suddenly it became dark. In my case I could not see any text and graphics, neither the light turns on from that time. All others functionality work fine.
    Do you think that replacing the LCD blacklight or the battery can solve? Or how can I troubleshoot for understand which is the problem?
    Thank you


    1. Lorenzo – I would suggest inspecting the connections of the LCD Contrast potentiometer on the backside of the Main Board PCB. Use a magnifying glass to see if tiny cracks in the connections might be there. Reflowing solder will fix that. I have been able to repair several synthesizers and samplers by simply reflowing solder on frequently used jacks, potentiometers and power supply connections which become loose over the years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s