Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+SY77

The Yamaha SY99 is a synthesiser combining frequency modulation synthesis (branded as Advanced FM) and sample-based synthesis (branded as Advanced Wave Memory 2) and the direct successor to Yamaha's SY77/TG77

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db7

Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by db7 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:30 pm

Hmm, unlucky. They supplied a black case according to my request: did you ask them if you could get that colour? I supposed, perhaps overly optimistically, that they simply decided to re-use an old photo but would supply the new units just as I had requested before and after I got mine working.

If they ignored that trait of the SY99, I have to wonder whether they also left the header soldered together in an unsuitable configuration, presumably from its previous life as a component for embroidery machines. As I have said, they did that with my (black) unit, but I fixed it and told them about the incompability. But even if they did leave it unchanged, all you have to do is break the trace on the underside of the PCB and reconfigure the jumpers as myself and EX5_etc/DrF have documented.

Let us know how you get on, in any event.



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Rigo
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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by Rigo » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:18 am

Not yet installed, but here is a picture of how the ribbon cable is connected. The cable is a bit smaller than the connector on the PCB, 4 pins are cut on the pcb connector.
sy99_floppy_emulator_1.jpg
sy99 floppy emulator connections



db7

Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by db7 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:03 pm

Yes, just the same as on my one and in the photo on eBay. That adapts it from 34 to 26 pins. The wires leading off on the left are diverted from the SY to the power inputs of the emulator. Said photo on eBay is what caught my attention in the first place due to its similarity to what I already knew about the conversion from posts on here and pages on Martin Russ’s website.

And on that note! I said this before, but it bears repeating: I looked at the pins that had been altered, compared them to the pinouts available for normal drives and the SY99, and could not understand what the seller had done to perform the conversion and why it worked. But it does! Clearly I lack the exact array of electronic facts necessary to figure this one out, but there must be a reason why it works.

Again, that’s after the header photographed there is set up properly, which may or may not require you to cut traces that join its pins on the underside of the board. Those pins control how Drive Select and other things like that will be set between the SY and the emulator. So, if they’re not set up correctly, it won’t work. I can’t remember the exact settings that mine uses, but they were either the same as recommended by EX5_etc, or they were very similar and can be determined through a small amount of simple trial and error. As I said, let us know what you find out about this. It should work fine in the end.



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Rigo
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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by Rigo » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:56 pm

It seems that you would like to see the other side as well ...
sy99_floppy_emulator_2.jpg



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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by Rigo » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:29 pm

I realised that I never ever saw the inside of my SY-99 ... very weird behaviour for me ! Fortunately the service manual is just a Google away. And I should go and buy a new battery for my electrical screwdriver :(



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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by Rigo » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:57 am

Before I inserted the drive into the SY99, I changed the jumpers as mentioned before ... no complaints about the drive not being ready, but not much useful happening either. So I tried with the original jumper configuration, and then I got immediately the "disk not ready" or whatever it was. Will try again later ... maybe there are some limitations that I'm not aware of (like limit of kB per folder ?), or I just do something wrong ?



db7

Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by db7 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:50 am

Have you made sure that the header for the jumpers is not soldered together on the underside of the board?

But before doing that, you might want to exhaust all the other, easier potential solutions:
maybe there are some limitations that I'm not aware of (like limit of kB per folder ?), or I just do something wrong ?
Well, the limit per folder would of course be about 720 kB, just as on the original disks. What this emulator does is, whenever you load a folder, to read the files in it and convert them on-the-fly to an image in MS-DOS format, and it’s that image that is used to respond to the synth’s requests. I have no idea how it reacts when there are too many files, but it’s not a good idea to put it into that situation in any case.

As for whether you’ve done anything wrong, who knows? You haven’t described anything about what you did, so how can anyone assess it? The emulator’s method of operation is not exactly intuitive, particularly for writing files, so for the first few times, it’s easy to get mixed up. The seller should have sent you a short guide by email (it went to my spam folder, so I didn’t notice it at first), which should explain the basics. But you could start by telling me exactly how you tried to access the drive, from turning on the SY99 until trying to load a file.



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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by Rigo » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:39 pm

db7 wrote:The emulator’s method of operation is not exactly intuitive, particularly for writing files, so for the first few times, it’s easy to get mixed up.
Just to make sure the problem was not with the USB stick, I made sure I copied some well known .txx files to some folders (either 1 big file per folder, or a few smaller ones so it was less than 720kB). For reading a file, I switch on the SY99 ((i)) I push the red button, select the folder to read from, insert the USB stick, remove it after it stopped reading (it has a flashing led in it) and the "d0" changed again into the selected folder number, and pushed the red button again. Then it's over to the Utility menu for reading ... which works fine (though it takes some time, given the +20 years old hardware).
But when I want to read another file without switching off the SY99 (following the same scenario) I don't get an updated view in the Load-from-Disk menu.
Didn't manage to get some files actually written (just got 2 empty ones), though I concentrated on the reading mostly.
Still have some more testing to do, don't know when I will do this.
(and I also changed the jumpers again, because in the positions as delivered it doesn't work ... I put them back in the original way to do some tests which failed miserably)



db7

Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by db7 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:27 pm

Rigo wrote:For reading a file, I switch on the SY99 ((i)) I push the red button, select the folder to read from, insert the USB stick, remove it after it stopped reading (it has a flashing led in it) and the "d0" changed again into the selected folder number, and pushed the red button again.
As I’ve already explained, you can leave the USB stick in. That’s what the button is for. Just use the button to change between disk-selecting and data-reading/-writing modes. There’s absolutely no need to remove the USB stick.
But when I want to read another file without switching off the SY99 (following the same scenario) I don't get an updated view in the Load-from-Disk menu.
Updated view of what? You put the disk in and tried to read one file, so why would that make another file appear, requiring an updated list of available files?

If you want to read a different virtual disk, then press the red button to exit from reading mode to disk-choosing mode, choose the new disk, and press the button again to read it. The synth will register that the disk has been changed and accordingly re-scan the list of files.
Didn't manage to get some files actually written (just got 2 empty ones), though I concentrated on the reading mostly.
And as I’ve said again, empty files will be written if you don’t ensure to remove all unsupported characters from the filename. Just set all characters to letters or numbers. The corollary of this is that the default name, which begins with a space, will not work on the emulator: instead, as I reported in my opening post here, it will create a file with a truncated name and zero size. (The 77/99 might be able to write such filenames if you were using a real disk, but the resulting files/disk probably wouldn’t play nicely with Windows/MS-DOS.)

I don’t think you have to fill the entire 8 characters because I think the synth is clever enough that, if the last n characters are spaces, it won’t try to write them, instead writing a shorter (less than 8.3) filename instead.
(and I also changed the jumpers again, because in the positions as delivered it doesn't work ... I put them back in the original way to do some tests which failed miserably)
Well, at least it seems they’re not soldering the jumpers together inside the case any more. That way the user gets to choose.



db7

Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by db7 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:11 pm

A recent post on the 77/99-specific group on Facebook suggests that floppy_drive_emulator have moved to shipping the 1000-disk firmware that somebody (somewhere, maybe here) recently said was imminent, although we’re still waiting for confirmation on whether the poster bought from that same seller.

If they did, their photo confirms what Rigo already showed, that floppy_drive_emulator still are not fitting the drives with a logical black case as default. I wonder whether they would do so if asked? I’d hope so. Or maybe not, so I could remain unique with my aesthetically pleasing emulator. :P

As for the upgrade to 1000 disks, if true, I don’t much regret buying the old 100-disk version. Will anyone ever need anywhere near 1000 disks at a once? They could carry an extra drive. Sure, the possibility is not to be turned down if free. I just doubt I’d pay more for it. I might consider getting a 1000-disk one for my SY99 and swapping the 100-disk one to the SY77 if I weren’t wanting to swap my SY77 for a TG77.



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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by ptrott » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:55 pm

I asked floppy_drive_emulator a question via ebay, and got the reply that follows. Apparently you have to ask for the black case. He says it's plug and play, so I hope that means he's fixed the jumper problem that db7 ran across.

Question: I am interested in this item. Can you tell me if it comes in a black case to match the SY77? And can you tell me how many disk files can be put on a single thumb drive? Also, is the emulator plug and play? That is, are there any modifications required other than hooking up the cable?

Response: It can be in black case.
999 disk of 1.44mb cab be on USB drive
it is plug and play
it is easy to install it. you just opec case of your sy77 then remove the floppy drive and install it into the space of floppy drive


I guess I'm going to dive in. Hats off to db7 for his research and fine posts on the subject.



db7

Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by db7 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:11 pm

Thanks for the nice compliment, good luck, and let us know how you get on. I haven’t noticed any definitive confirmation that the problem with the soldered jumpers has been addressed, so it will be good to hear what you find.



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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by V50fan » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:18 am

Will this also work in a Yamaha V50?


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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by AusDave » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:53 pm

*Subscribes to thread*

At present, my SY77 floppy drive is still working and so too are all my floppy disks (some are 25 years old!). I recently transferred all the data from these disks to my PC using MIDI bulk dumps but this emulator has got my interest. I still use my SY77 on most of my productions and having such an emulator in place of the floppy drive would certainly be more convenient than either bulk dumps or floppy disks.

Great stuff guys. I might go ahead and purchase an emulator in preparation for the conversion even if I don't do it immediately, just in case the seller stops selling these for some reason.



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Re: Ready-made + drag-and-drop USB floppy emulator for SY99+

Unread post by AusDave » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:59 pm

Just for confirmation, I am guessing this is the seller and the listing.... http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Floppy-Emula ... 1407270261
I notice that these have two digit displays (99 disks) but there was mention of the 1000 disk version in this thread earlier. Are these being sold by this seller? I don't see them in his other listings. Not that it really matters. 100 disks is AMPLE for my needs and I can always use more than one USB stick.



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