Upgrading and restoring Casio FZ-1

Classic synths & pianos

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Re: Upgrading and restoring Casio FZ-1

Unread post by Rara » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:09 am

I have recently learned (chatting to someone via facebook who sounds like a Casio encyclopedia I learnt a lot :-) )
of another nightmare to this synth and that is the floppy drive.

Early models of the FZ1 have a Panasonic JU-386 Floppy drive which unlike Yamaha of
the time, is a direct drive high density floppy drive. Later versions of the FZ1 had a newer Panasonic
JU-255 floppy drive, with that there was a ROM revision. So, owners of the early FZ1 need to upgrade
the ROM to run the newer floppy drive.

Earlier in this thread I thought I had a bad belt in my drive, it turned out being so clogged with dust
and debris the motor driving the disk didn't spin. I Dismantled the floppy drive and gave it a blast with
compressed air at 60psi (a bit over kill ....) all was good.

However the JU-255 drive can not be speed switched. (I haven't seen any way of achieving this)
Casio in there infinite wisdom decided to use a non standard speed and disk format for there drive.

The disk format - IBM 300rpm 512bytes per sector 18 sectors per track 80 tracks per side
Casio - IIRC 360rpm 1024 bytes per sector 9 sectors per track 80 tracks per side,
which makes it impossible to back up floppys on pc or to load any samples via disk not made on FZ1.
Even if the sampling part of the FZ1 is ignored and only the synth part is used, there is still the issue
of having a non standard floppy drive for patch storage, as there is no battery backup for the ram.

I did try HXC floppy emulator software to read and dump my floppys in the hope I might be able
to convert some of them to my SY85 instead. Even that program was having a hard time
reading the disk. I canceled the floppy dump after 45 minutes, if this was anything to go by
I'll kill the floppy drive in my XP PC trying to read and dump the disks.
I attempted fz1 floppy tools for Linux from another website only to kill my Linux PC doing it.

Having midi sample dump as the only safe way of putting samples into this thing (except the audio in)
makes this synth more than redundant. Most of the drama could be alleviated by using the HXC floppy
emulator in the FZ1, with a dead LCD there is no point.

This has gotten to a point were I am spending more time fixing than playing.
As much as I love the cold dark gritty sound, spending anymore time
trying to keep this running has become pointless.

So, the FZ1 has been laid to rest. :/:

Rara 0-)
Last edited by Rara on Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Upgrading and restoring Casio FZ-1

Unread post by parametric » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:40 pm

Very sorry to hear that the FZ has taken you to the limits of endurance over this . . .

It's almost as if it was designed to be unrepairable, from what you've described . . . .

What a nightmare - to use a non-standard drive speed. Surely using a standard drive would have been cheaper??? :roll:

When things like this happen - you start to deeply suspect the agenda of keeping "All things to themselves" -

which I HATE!

Apple did this famously with their early 800k floppy drives (VARIABLE read speed :roll: )

To my best knowledge - NOTHING was ever able to read the disks EXCEPT an apple drive . . . .

I don't know if you ever heard of Sydex? Back in the day, they made some softs that could do nifty things with Disks.

I found this in an archived document online . . .

Other Sydex Products

CON > FORMAT - Concurrent ''background' 1 diskette formatter. Features "pop-up"
operation and "hot key" activation. You’ve got to see it to believe. Supports all cur-
rent DOS formats. $15.00 ($50.00 site) registration fee.

22DISK - Transfer files, format, examine and erase files on "foreign" CP/M diskettes
on your PC. Includes tips on supporting 8" and 5.25" single-density diskettes. Con-
tains definitions for over 200 different formats. $15.00 ($40.00 site) registration fee.

22NICE - A CP/M 2.2 emulation package. Supports the NEC V-series chips or per-
forms emulation by software for both the 8080 and Z80 processors. Includes ter-
minal emulation and diskette handling for common CP/M systems. Includes
22DISK. $30.00 ($75.00 site) registration fee.

ANADISK - The compleat diskette utility. Nothing like it anywhere else; scan, edit,
repair and copy just about any kind of diskette. $15.00 ($50.00 site) registration fee.

COPYQM — Mass diskette duplicator. Format, copy and verify multiple diskettes
from a single master. Implements "no keyboard" interaction mode and drive "round
robin" servicing. Supports all standard DOS formats. $15.00 ($50.00 site) registra-
tion fee.

FORMATQM - Mass diskette formatter - format a box of diskettes at a single sitting.
Implements "no keyboard" interaction mode and drive "round robin" servicing. Sup-
ports all standard DOS formats. $10.00 ($40.00 site) registration fee.
When I first started with Computers - I was GIVEN an NEC PC8001 . . It was a CP/M beasty, with expanded

memory (to 64k :lol: ) with twin 5.25" DD Single-sided 180k floppy drives. When I eventually moved to DOS on a PC,

I used their SW to convert my data to be readable on PC Floppies . . . .

I just wonder if these old softs might enable you to get at your FZ floppies?

I still have loads of floppies from that time - possibly 22DISK and ANADISK . . . . . If I find them I could send them?

Do you know about DosBox? My partner Jan is a "Lemmings" fanatic. Her PC dual boots Win10 and WinXP

I got the Lemmings (DOS) games to run on one or the other, just fine - so these things ARE possible . . . .

I can fully sympathise that you've thrown in the towel - but I thought I'd mention it anyway ;)


Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

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Re: Upgrading and restoring Casio FZ-1

Unread post by Rara » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:27 pm


All is not lost, the synth has been sold for scrap to another FZ1 owner, hoping to take the best bits of both
and make one working synth out of the two. His is not going, neither is mine.

I don't like having to chuck in the towel on a project I started, everything considered to get around the
hurdles with this, something else was in the way. it became frustrating, that was it.

The other fault (design) with the floppy drive was, it didn't stop spinning. From the moment it was inserted
to the time you were finished with it. Before I realized this, I wondered why I killed a few disks.
Load the sounds, start playing away, a few hours later I go to save, fz1 shows disk read error.

I do agree it seems as though this format of floppy was keeping it to themselves.
Yamaha was using IBM format IIRC in the DX7IIFD at the same time. even if only 720k it was a smart move.

When working, fz1 was a good synth capable of some very chilling sounds,
it's Achilles' heel was mostly the LCD,

Thanks for the offer of the programs :) What songs I did use my fz1 in,
I can redo sometime in the future with something else.

OMG Lemmings .... I was an addict for that :lol: and commander keen 4 :-D

Rara 0-)
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