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Ripping Apart a Korg KAOSS Pad [Without Killing It]

Now that I’ve already let the cat out of the bag (previous post), I will be reconstructing exactly how I managed to get the touch pad out of Korg KAOSS Pad without damaging ANY of the incredibly small and delicate internal bits.

The first step is to remove the back plate of the unit. This is done by removing the four screws that hold it in place. Please note, you probably should find a safe place to keep all of the little bits that you take out of the unit, as you WILL be reassembling it at some point in the near future.

Now you are faced with an incredibly complex looking internal unit. The various write ups I’ve read feature some variants regarding how the internal PCB boards look, and mine was no different. From the picture below, you can see that the innards of the unit are divided into four separate PCB boards, all of which must be carefully removed in order to gain access to the touch pad.

In my case, it was easiest to remove the components in the order numbered in the picture.

  1. PCB 1 was fastened with two screws.  Remove them and set them aside.
  2. PCB 2 was also fastened with two screws.  Remove them and set those aside, as well.
  3. PCB 3 was fastened with six screws, three inside of the unit, and three more on the outside back of the chassis, plus the grounding screw (picture below).  If you haven’t figured it out what to do yet, stop reading and take up a different hobby.

    Once each of the above boards were unfastened, you are able to bend them out of the way.  Note, they will remain physically attached by the gray, pliable, ribbon cable that you can see in the pic.  Bend them carefully out of the way in order to gain access to the screws for PCB 4.  PCB 4 is secured by a total of nine screws.  Make sure you find them all, or the board will crack when you attempt to remove it from the chassis.  Note:  All of the screws for each of the PCBs are the same size.  Don’t worry about keeping them separate from each other, as they are interchangeable. 

    Before you remove the PCB boards from the frame, you must first disconnect the KAOSS Pad controller ribbon from the main controller board.  As you can see from the picture below, the pad is attached to a white connector that is in plain sight.

    To remove this connector, simply grab both ends, and gently work apart.  Note, you will encounter a good deal of resistance.  Don’t fret, just be persistent and they will come apart.  Be very careful you do not crack the connector that is attached to the main system board!  Once the connectors have been separated, you can then feed the ribbon cable through to the back of the unit.  You will need the white connector later, so put this somewhere safe.

    Now you must carefully remove the innards from the main housing of the KAOSS Pad.  Like the first three PCBs, you will not be able to completely remove this as the wire that powers the external numeric display attaches the boards to the frame.  You will have enough slack in that wire, however, to rotate the PCBs out of the way of the touch pad mounting brackets.

    Once you’ve rotated the PCB boards out of the way, you will see the back side (this sounds dirty) of the touch pad controller.  The controller consists of three separate components, mounted to the frame by four brackets.  Remove the two screws that secure each bracket, and you should be able to easily remove the touch pad control layers from the face of the unit.  I, immediately, put these control layers into a ziplock baggie to prevent dirt or dust from fowling them up.

    That’s it!  Your touch screen is separated!  Now you can use it to measure and mark the body of your guitar in preparation of cutting a big hole in it…  Feel free to put the main KAOSS Pad back together, with the understanding that you will have to pull it apart again to solder new control wires and connectors at a later time.

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