Machinedrum SPS1 Bug, please help!

Hi Rockaz,

I have my MD since 07 years, never had any issue. Since 02 days the MD blocks on initial screen. The screen blinks like the MD wants to start but can’t.

What I did:

  • I thought its was a software issue so I updated the MD from 1.62 to latest OS.

At the end the issue was the same but after being stuck on initial screen since 20 min it worked. I played for 05 min and the MD crashed and reboot.

Any idea? Please help
Serial of the MD is s/n f2080052545 if this can help


I don’t know what the issue could be,but you should really send a Support Ticket to Elektron HQ and, please, report something back.

I sent an email to support! Let’s see the answer! I will definitely report the answer back!

Some people are talking about changing the internal battery! what you think about that?

I actually have been having issues with my MD, where it would sometimes work, and sometimes just not boot up at all, showing a blank screen with garbled characters.

So, I decided to take it apart this weekend just to see if there was anything obviously wrong with it. In doing so, I tried removing the battery and powering it up, just to see what would happen. Lo and behold, it worked. It displayed the “low battery” message, then loaded the default factory set and worked like a charm. So, I popped the battery back in, powered it up, and loaded up a saved snapshot. Everything now seems to be working fine (touch wood).

So, I wonder if this is an issue with older units where the battery is just on the verge of starting to die and the OS gets confused. Or, it could very well be a hardware flaw. I also noticed some white caked-on deposits along the bottom of the top circuit board. Possibly due to humidity, but none of the other boards have the same deposits, so I’m not sure about that. Cleaned it all up anyway just to be safe.

So, hope that helps. I recommend trying that and seeing what happens. If you choose to wait for support to get back to you, you’ll be waiting a long time. My ticket’s been open for 2 full weeks now without an answer…

Good luck!

Here is the reply from Elektron support:

Hi Nicolas,

Our workshop do not believe it’s the battery but if you have the skill to
open the machine you can check the connectors between the CPU board, the UI
board and the PSU board.

Otherwise I think our workshop will have to take a look at the machine. I
paste the costs for a repair below.

The cost for a repair is 35 EUR / 45 USD per every started 30 minutes.
Spare parts and shipping is not included in this price and VAT is not
included where applicable. Its highly unusual repairs exceeds 1 hour.
Turnaround for repairs are 2-4 weeks after we receive the unit.


Is opening the machinedrum really hard stuff to do?

no its not hard, you may have to get the star driver for the faceplate though, and if you use an allen key (not recommended!!) be careful with the screws because if you round them its really painful. don’t be afraid to open it if the warranty is out. swap the battery and pop the connectors on and off on a couple of times… Carefully power it up while its open and see if its fixed.

if you have a volt meter you may want to test your power supply too


Thanks so much! Lets do this! :slight_smile:

Exactly - if you have the right tools (a must), then it’s a really painless procedure. The innards are basically just a bunch of bolted in circuit boards filled with IC’s. Only slight trick is disconnecting the top board from the bottom boards, as the three connecting cables are a bit short. They disengage easily enough though.

For the record, my MD is still going strong since I had it apart.