Internal Battery Mod for Korg NTS-1 Synth

Integrate an internal battery in your Korg NTS-1 to make it the perfect portable synth

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When I just got my hands on the Korg NTS-1 mini synth, my first thought was: « Why isn't there a battery in this thing? »

This small synth has everything needed for making blips and blops on the go: powerful programmable oscillators and effects, a touch ribbon keyboard with arpeggiator and a speaker. But no built-in battery 😞.

Months later, I finally took the time to fix this, and here's the result.

If you have the required tools, this mod should cost you about 10$ of materials (excluding the Korg NTS-1 itself of course).

You'll need to print the replacement side planel using a 3D printer. If you don't have a 3D printer, you can ask a friend who have one or find a fab lab near your home.

With this mod, I usually get about 4h of battery life (I used an old battery, so your mileage might be better). The battery can be charged with a separate micro-USB port, and the battery power can be switched on/off. Just make sure you don't leave battery power on while providing power with the regular micro-USB port at the same time!


Side panel replacement

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 34.26 kB - 07/18/2022 at 12:00


View all 10 components

  • NTS-1 as a portable effet processor

    Yohan Lasorsa07/19/2022 at 06:46 0 comments

    The NTS-1 is not only a good synth, but also a very capable effect processor, and having a built-in battery makes it the perfect companion of your pocket operators!

    Just grab an audio cable to connect the two, and it's perfect for a quick jam on the dinner table, like I did here! 🙂

  • Update about the NTS-1 USB vs battery USB

    Yohan Lasorsa07/18/2022 at 12:12 0 comments

    I received a comment on Reddit asking if it was possible to rewire the battery input to the USB of the NTS-1.

    Well, I initially looked into doing that, but since the battery output is already connected to the NTS-1 USB power line, it would create a loop. I'm afraid it would require a different battery management system to do that (some battery management systems use the same lines for input or output).

    I may be possible by designing a custom PCB to to break the loop and allow the current only in one direction (either charging the battery, or powering up) but that's beyond my current skills. If anyone has ideas on how to achieve that, let me know :)

View all 2 project logs

  • 1
    Prepare the Parts

    The first step is to disassemble your Korg NTS-1 and remove the main board. You don't need to unscrew everything for that, you only need to remove the back panel and loose the screws of the side panels where the connections are to be able to remove the board.

    Then you have to pry open your USB battery to extract the USB board and battery out of the casing. You can use a small flat screwdriver for that. Once the case is open, remove the battery carefully as it's usually glued to the case.

  • 2
    Solder Wires to the Board (1/2)

    Let's start with soldering a red wire to the right pin of the green electronic fuse marked wit "1x1", located on the left side of the micro USB port on the NTS-1 board.

    Make sure to not put too much tin, to avoid shorts with nearby components.

  • 3
    Solder Wires to the Board (2/2)

    After that, solder the other end of this red wire to any side pin of the power switch. Pick a second red wire, and solder one end to the center pin of the power switch.

    Then flip the NTS-1 board, pick the black wire, and solder one end to the USB port bottom pin (left or right side will do).

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