Author Topic: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo  (Read 7545 times)

Offline Jermdog

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Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« on: October 30, 2012, 08:49:00 AM »
Hi all, it's been a while for me, but I stop by when I can...  I have a fix to share for surge ride cymbals with broken ceramic piezo elements.  You need to be familiar with soldering to do this.

Tools/parts:
Soldering iron with small point tip, solder
20-26awg wire (about 9")
Heat shrink or electrical tape
Small flat head screwdriver or pick tool
Foam double sided tape (about 2")
Cymbal mount felt pads (small rings of felt that go over/under cymbals)
#6 Machine screws, lock washers and nuts, or rivets and rivet gun
Replacement piezo (I used a radio shack element in a plastic housing - see below for why)

1. drill out rivets holding the piezo box onto the cymbal, drill out rivets holding the ceramic piezo and plastic ring under the bell (careful here... if your ceramic ring is broken, pieces will come flying out)
2. unscrew the jack nuts holding the 2 TRS jacks into the box
3. remove the black tape from the bottom of the circuit board (keep this to replace it later)
4. lift the circuit board gently and use a small flat head screwdriver or pick tool to gently pry off the choke strip (if you have a 3 zone).
5. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH... GENTLY on step 4.  If you break the choke strip, it will be extremely difficult to repair.
6. Gently remove the circuit board and jacks from the box.  Be careful here as well - there are two sets of wires attached.
7. Go ahead and check the wiring and solder joints of the piezo box.  Repair if needed, since you have the "hood open", so to speak.
8. Use a small tip soldering iron to remove the wiring leading to the ceramic bell piezo.
9. Remove the ceramic ring element and associated wiring from the bell.
10. Remove the stock cymbal mount (black with felt)
11. With the ride upside down, place the stock cymbal mount in the mounting holes to use as a guide.
12. Locate a suitable place on the bell to mount the new piezo - I had the best results placing it on the opposite side (rear) of the bow piezo.
13. Using the piezo as a guide, locate drill holes (the piezo I used has mounting holes).
14. Drill new holes in the bell to mount the piezo.
15. Add two layers of foam tape to the bottom of the piezo and fix to bell location.
16. Mount the piezo using machine screws or rivets.
17. Cut the cymbal felt ring in half so you have two rings, use one half under the plastic ring (replacing the space of the ceramic ring element).  Then use machine screws, lock washers and nuts (or rivets), remount plastic ring underneath the bell.
18. Solder additional wiring (and heat shrink/tape) to piezo leads if they are not long enough to reach the bow piezo box.
19. Solder leads to circuit board - look carefully at the board.  All grounds connect together on the board.  You can see the traces so you know how to connect the wiring (I believe ground is on the inside for the bell trigger).
20. Fold wire over circuit board and place into the channel on the jack side of the piezo box.
21. Carefully reattach choke strip lead (if you have a 3 zone ride).
22. Retape bottom of box using tape from #3.
23. Carefully replace board into piezo box.  This step can be difficult.  Be patient and don't force it.
24. Replace jack nuts and tighten.
25. Use machine screws, lock washers and nuts (or rivets) to remount piezo box.

Some notes... I used a radio shack piezo in a housing because the housing provides some degree (along with the foam tape) of isolation, like the bow piezo box).  I tried using a bare piezo with foam tape, but it did not provide good isolation, I got a lot of crosstalk even after maxing the zone xtalk settings.  I also experimented with different placements of the piezo in the housing.  The rear position worked 100% of the time without crosstalk - your mileage may vary depending on your module settings.

Important: Choose the correct length screws for mounting the plastic ring under the bell.  This is an important step - you are replacing the factory ring to mount the cymbal, so it's important to reuse it.  Up to 1" machine screws should work.  I say should, because the black stock mount should fit just between the screws.  I can't speak for all (some cymbal holes might be closer together) - so check to be sure before you remount.

I don't have any pictures to post at this time... I was doing this with my kids running around!  If I can get to it, I'll take some pictures of the results and post.

I've been playing on this now for about one week, with excellent results.  So far, no crosstalk and no missed hits!  I know what you might be thinking... how does he play the bell with the piezo on the other side?  Easy... I just turn the cymbal!  Kidding... You can play the bell anywhere on the front or sides and it triggers just fine.  Alesis was kind enough to isolate the bow from the bell for us using the plastic sound deadening under the cymbal... please notice that the plastic does not cover the bell.

Thanks for listening!  And BTW, using this method works to convert virtually any acoustic cymbal to an e-cymbal.  You just need additional parts for the trigger cable, box and sound deadening under the cymbal.
Strike Pro, Dm10, Zildjian Gen 16 hats, xhats and garbage cymbals, Kit Toys chinas, crash and splashes, jam dock, mixer, custom 13" tom, alesis, drum workshop and various hardware.

Offline Hellfire

Re: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 09:22:09 AM »
Good write-up. If you don't mind, I would like to make this a sticky topic. ;)
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline Trondster

Re: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:34:19 AM »
As well, see this older thread with pictures: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=754.0
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Jermdog

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Re: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 11:29:35 AM »
Thanks Trondster.  For anyone who reads this, the pics are pretty accurate except there are two jacks in the surge ride.  Just make sure you get the correct leads to the bell - it's pretty obvious when you look at it.
Strike Pro, Dm10, Zildjian Gen 16 hats, xhats and garbage cymbals, Kit Toys chinas, crash and splashes, jam dock, mixer, custom 13" tom, alesis, drum workshop and various hardware.

Offline diversity210

Re: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 03:43:07 AM »
Ive had the same problem in the past with alesis surge cymbals.  Its usually the solder points coming loose.  After you fix all the solder points and make sure its working again.  Get yourself some hot glue and cover all the solder points in hot glue.  When I did this I never had anymore problems with my surge cymbals. 

MAKE SURE YOU TEST THE CYMBAL TO BE SURE ITS WORKING BEFORE YOU HOT GLUE THE SOLDER POINTS.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 03:58:00 AM by diversity210 »

Offline diversity210

Re: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 03:52:43 AM »
oops this is an old thread.  Sorry.  I guess I should check the dates on the threads before I post.

Offline peacock_suit

Re: Surge Ride Bell Fix - Broken Ceramic Piezo
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 07:45:07 AM »
Hi. What are the symptoms of a  broken piezo on one of these types of ride trigger? Would it stop working completely or become less playable? Mine double triggers like mad unless the retrigger setting is maxed out on my io. This makes it really difficult to play.