OP-Z tear down


-frame holds 2 logic boards. on the right processor board and on the left encoders boars. 2 boards are connected by flex pcb.

-flex pcb. this pcb is what you see underneath the battery and module.

-headphone jack looks like a custom component. it clips into the outer shell.

-outer shell (keyboard is permanently attached to the outer shell :confused: )

-pitchbend (located on the frame, gray rubber button is on the outer shell)

-i dont know what this cube is, but looks cool. do you know that component is this ? (located on the encoder pcb)

-processor pcb

-funky waves between 2 chips

*bending of op-z is documented here:


Are you sure the keyboard can’t just pull up over those things and pop back down over them like a snap does? I get why you wouldn’t want to try though…

At some point i want to buy a junk one for parts to try… Lol… It is worth it just to know…

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im sure. keyboard is attached with many rivets

its impossible to detach it without damaging it.
too bad, because its impossible to clean. and if you have a faulty button, you need a new outer shell+keyboard in order to fix that.
if only those rivets were screws :pleading_face:

That is just retarded… Did thru not think we would need to work on this stuff? Lol. I’m very surprised, for a engineering company this is just bad work.


I’m pretty sure they’re not actual rivets but plastic pins that are part of the main frontcover. They go through the holes and are then melted to keep the board in place. One COULD cut/break the “melting heads”, but there’s no real way to reattach them.

It’s simply the most space saving option but it’s not servicable…


I find it annoying that after a few revisions TE have not changed to small screws rather than the melted plastic, I really hate non repairable throwaway parts, quite unforgivable in this day and age IMHO, wasteful and bad both for customers and the environment.

I’d prefer that they raised the price a bit if necessary and built a better quality product, as we all agree, the OP-Z is a nice platform let down by poor mechanical design choices. I think even the Pocket Operator buttons are more durable than the Z buttons, I have 9 PO’s and all the buttons are fine after a few years of use still. Furthermore they are fairly easy to replace should the need arise.

I’d love if a third party (or TE) came up with a more durable top assembly, with reliable and serviceable buttons.

I think that the OP-Z is a bit too small too, operations are fiddly, if it was the same size as OP-1, with better buttons it would be a formidable piece, as it stands I find it a bit less enjoyable and less precise to use, purely on the physical engineering, the operating system deserves better physical controls IMHO.


If you guys can’t decide if they are rivets or plastic i don’t believe there is any way to know if they are replaceable… I get why you think that and no offense… But the only one that knows are the authorized repair facility and TE… Has anyone bothered to ask TE? In the poster of the disassembled opz they sold you could see the keyboard detached That whole point was showing it from a engineering side… So i wouldn’t jump to conclusions even if it looks that way… The plastic is very strong, they could either pop out from a special tool, or the whole thing pops out and you can forcibly pop the new one over the lips… Who knows???
Until TE says it i don’t believe it is not able to come off… But believe what you want…

just for you Kja.
i took it apart one more time, under the day light.

i was wrong about rivets being metal. they are just melted plastic shafts. but still you need a destructive force to take them apart.
…and i did:

some rivets are more loose right where the frame experience most bend, due to material stress.
the keyboard is more complex than it looks, its 2 layer folded pcb, and there also layer of clear plastic inside for LEDs.

i really did try hard to detach it in order to clean it, but i can guarantee you that its impossible to detach with out permanently barking it.

detachable keyboard assembly that you see in the promotional material is just an artistic choice, its not an actual technical drawing.


Regardless what method is used, going from reports of people that had warranty repairs the whole top assembly was replaced, from those that have posted about it.

But I agree with your earlier statement - people should be able to fix these things themselves.

Looking at the pics above it seems that there is a kapton type layer which is heat proof, and the pictures here seem to show a melted plastic technique.


I found it revealing that Cuckoo has had at least 7 OP-Z, probably due to faulty keys I guess.


Or he likes it a lot…
Anyway, try using a soldering iron to get the rivet end real hot and with pliers put it back in the hole so it melts back into place… Fixed right? Maybe that is how your supposed to fix it?

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you have to heat every rivet at specific constant temperature evenly. and even if you take keyboard out, its going to be extremely hard to put it back on the remelted rivets, because they will be way too misshaped after reheating. odds are very small that this type of operation will end up successful.

im not going to attempt that.

but i do feel your frustration Kja, everything inside op-z is modular and replaceable like lego. exempt the important thing, the keyboard, the part that has most mechanical parts inside.
hope im missing something and there is still some strange way of replacing keyboard more easily :pray:
maybe when my op-z actually brakes, i will tare of that keyboard and discover more things about it.

I mean once you have keyboard back in place the you melt them back in… Just melt the end enough to stick… But I’m nor saying you should try it… I think we need to find our how we are supposed to do it… I will write TE and see what they say.


if i was able to remove kayboard, than i would be able to spray paint outer shell in a glossy new color, like a shiny sports car paint. :star_struck::drooling_face::rainbow: oh that would be so sweet !
but dont tell that to TE :shushing_face:

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If I had a broken one I would just drill or Dremel the melted plastic caps off. I’ve done this with other stuff with similar construction. To reassemble just use little blobs of epoxy or hot glue.


Well if you are replacing the keyboard anyway i would just pull it off. Who cares if it gets messed up… And it wouldn’t take much heat to get the peices to melt back on…
I wrote TE… Who knows if they will bother to explain… I hope so but knowing them…

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Yeah, but what do you have to reassemble? iFixit offers spare parts but the keyboard is none of them. Probable because it is not meant to be fixed, believe it or not.
So even if breaking the plastic will help to get a (broken) keyboard off and back on again, there’s nothing to replace it with. All of this is pretty pointless at this moment.

True… Good point. I don’t think it is even that big a deal to replace the front really, i doubt it would be that much more money then just the keyboard. The keyboard part seems like the most complicated and expensive.

I would really like to see someone with a problematic unit disassemble the keyboard to see what is causing issues - is it worn contacts or is it dust that can be cleaned and reassembled or something else? So if it can be disassembled/cleaned/reassembled that would be very useful information, as currently there is no ‘replace the keyboard/top plate’ option…

Mine’s quite new, I doubt the contacts are worn. The shift key is a drag, it’s crucial that works reliably and it can lose connection long before the button is at the point where it feels like it’s been released.