A possible replacement for disk drives ?

The Yamaha SY85 is a digital music workstation introduced in 1992. Unlike other Yamaha synthesizers of the time (SY77 and the SY99) the SY85 does not use FM synthesis. Instead, its sounds are based on samples, which can be layered and modified to create new sounds.

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BigTick
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A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by BigTick » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:16 pm

Has anyone tried this yet ?
http://torlus.com/floppy/
They have both SD-card and USB floppy drive emulators, that they say, have been used successfully to replace the drives in a number of older keyboards (E-mu emulator, Korg DSS-1, Ensoniq EPS, oberheim DSS-1 and prophet, ... )

Replacing the drive with a 32Gb SD-card, where you can select your disk images, sounds really appealing.
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by Saul » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:05 pm

Looks interesting but I would imagine it would need modifying for Yamaha's proprietary floppy pin outs.
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by tfanatic » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:09 pm

I have to sell - Emulator 24pin FDD - on the USB Pendrive memory stick, which replaces the old FDD/2DD/720kb/Matsushita EME213/24pin tape = 3.1mm ,
application : Yamaha PSR620,1700,2700,W5,W7,SY85,PSR-SQ16,MDF2, QY300 , Korg i4s , Korg X2, X3 ,X3R Technics KN2000 ,
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by EX5_etc » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:56 am

Those emulators can be found on ebay and they are not very cheap. The "inventor" can make you one to fit your special needs if you give him the proper data and specs. The USB stick emulator is a cheaper solution. As we have discussed in some other threads on this forum or here:

http://www.ex5tech.com/ex5ubb_cgi/ultim ... 1&t=000135

the USB stick emulators have been tested with various Yamaha and Korg synths and who knows with what else, and they mostly work. As long as they feature 34 pins and they emulate the 1.44M version you have a good chance of making them work for your application. Some problems do exist as I mentioned on the ex5tech thread. The USB stick emulators have a 2-digit screen and because of that they are limited to access no more than 100 virtual floppies. If the stick is less than 512MB in size the emulator will access only 63 floppies for reasons unknown to me. They work with sticks and flash cards if a USB to SD or CF adapter is used.

But, none of them will work for our SY85 because they spit out data at double the rate required by the SY85 and the SY99. I have said many times that one that might work is the 720k version. The only problem is that it sells for about double the price of the 1.44M emulator and I do not see why this has to be the case. Sending out data at half speed just by changing a line on the firmware does not justify a price increase by $40 that I see on ebay. If they drop the price to $46 (shipping included) for the 720k emulators I 'll get one, test it and report back. Or someone over here can pay $80 for it, use the 24-to-34 adapter we developed with Mike and report back to the rest of us. Your call.

We had a similar discussion on the QY700 yahoo groups and one user pointed out that by using a USB stick you have no idea what the contents of each virtual floppy are until you access them. He was correct; with a regular floppy disk you have the option to list a few things on its label, something that cannot be done with a stick. Another user over here pointed out that this problem can be solved if the USB stick is shared with a two-way switch between the emulator and a PC. That may be a good solution for someone out there. The HcX emulator may be better in that regard if it can display a catalog of contents before the host device accesses the SD card. But it does not fit where the floppy of the SY85 or SY99 or any other synth was fit in the first place.

I have replaced the 1.44M floppy of the QS300 with a USB stick emulator. I do not use a stick, I use a SanDisk 512 MB Ultra II SD card that comes with its own USB adapter. A tiny little bright blue LED on it makes the whole setup with the 2-digit emulator screen and its 2 LEDs a pretty nice serious looking upgrade to have. It would make every old synth look a little more modern too.

DrF
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by latinofromtoronto » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:54 pm

I am still depending of a QY300, since, I use it with several sound modules thru midi and it gives me an excellent result, using it to live performance and never failed, but, the floppy drive obviously got damaged after years of use, it stopped reading the disks although I could hear mechanism working, it reads "no disk".

But, if I put a blank disk, the devise will format it, save songs and read them (those disks then, will be not readable in any other QY300, possibly because the driver lost alignment or something like that).

So, I had to buy another QY300 because there are no technician available who may repair it, neither check it to diagnose the damage or even to get another floppy drive to replace it. Honestly it has been very frustrating.

I have been waiting already 5 years for a kind solution and nothing appears, nobody offer help, I don't want to trash it since I still have the second one which still works, but, some of these days, it may fail also and I will not trust in buying a third one, floppy drive have a limited life.

Surprisingly I got to know about the floppy drive emulators, which I also saw several videos on u tube where the usb floppy drive emulator get installed in keyboards of many trade marks, amazing!

But... I didn't see any sequencer adapted to a usb system... Why? There are a lot of artists working in sequence, and, we never can compare of using a computer instead a solid sequencer or a keyboard with it, which is a practical machine, easier to use without mouse or complicate screen, I guess is a personal feeling, since I have tried computers but never is the same.

If there is not someone who can help me about (I guess there is nobody), at least, I would like to know how to get another disk drive for a QY300.
What is the special thing that makes it so unique and hard to replace, repair or possibly replace it with an emulator floppy drive for a 2DD floppy disk?
I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I went to Yamaha, musical stores, private technicians, and, help does not exist to this. Why?
How can be possible that, keyboards and computers can be adapted to an emulator floppy disk and not to sequencers?

Any suggestion? Who of you has a sequencer with such of a problem? How did you solve the problem? Did you throw your machine off to garbage?
I don't think so.
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by parametric » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:57 am

Hi LatinoFT - and welcome to the Forums . . . .

The usb replacements are tempting for sure, but finding one that will work with your device can be a long haul.

They are really designed for industrial knitting machines and other such robots, and there may well be adaptors or cables required to make them I/F with your QY.

Looking at the Manual for the QY300, it appears to have a drive similar (or the same) as in my SY85.

If it is the same, it will have an internal rubber belt that drives it. Over time, these stretch, or go "sticky", and interfere with the drive's rotational speed.

These systems are very sensitive to drive speed (it is monitored electronically), and the <no disk> or <disk error> is often due to this.

On my Sy85, I opened the drive and the belt had indeed stretched. I obtained a new belt, CLEANED the pulley wheels - and the HEAD, while I had it open, re-assembled it - and I have a fully working drive again.

THIS is the cheapest solution. Take your drive out and open it and look and see if it looks like this:
Belt Drive Synth Floppy.jpg
Belt Drive Synth Floppy.jpg (85.21 KiB) Viewed 513 times
If it does then go HERE: http://www.bustedgear.com/repair_Korg_x3_drive_belt.htm

Don't worry that the QY is not mentioned. If it LOOKS the same as yours, it probably is.

MANY boards from this era - not just Yamaha - used those drives - they were the latest thing at the time . . . .

If you can IDENTIFY the model of the drive - then email Rich there and ask . . . .

If all is good - then BUY a belt . . from there . . (I did)

Follow the steps in the Korg Guide, and clean the wheels with isopropyl alcohol and fit the new belt.

That should be it.

Alternatively try here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/YAMAHA-QY300- ... 2211302871

Item is located in Utah . . . .

The QY300's original drive is a DSDD (720k) drive - i.e. NOT a HD (1.44Mb) Drive. Might be best to enquire that it will function correctly with your 720k disks . . .

It should be fine - BUT that modified drive IS a 1.44MB drive . . . .

He claims it works - and he appears to be a former Yamaha Tech. so all should be well . . .

Let us know how it turns out . .

ATB

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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by EX5_etc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:10 am

latinofromtoronto wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:54 pm
But... I didn't see any sequencer adapted to a usb system... Why? There are a lot of artists working in sequence, and, we never can compare of using a computer instead a solid sequencer or a keyboard with it, which is a practical machine, easier to use without mouse or complicate screen, I guess is a personal feeling, since I have tried computers but never is the same.
You did not look well enough... :)

If you had, you would have found two sequencers adapted to the USB system, the QX5FD (difficult) and the QY700 (easy). I did both and I have posted the results here and/or on ex5tech.com that is dead for some time now. In fact every keyboard or other device with a floppy I had has been switched to USB. The next device coming up is the AW16G. I finally was able to replace the internal hard drive with an external SDHC card but the write-up is not ready yet. It will be posted here, as always.

I don't have the service manual for the QY300 but I do have the one for the QS300 keyboard. It has been my impression (though I may be wrong) that the QY300 was based on the QS300. That keyboard has a 34-pin floppy connector so any 34-pin floppy would work. I will have to dig a lot to figure out what you can do for the QY300.

Unfortunately I am going to be very busy with my work until this coming weekend and I cannot help you much at the moment. If I find the time I'll check it out. The problem is this coming weekend we have an auto show where a 2010 Aston Martin DBS and several new Ferraris will be on display (along with the sexy ladies next to them) and I 'll have to go and take a peak. I should still have some time for you though. If I forget you remind me about it. There are many threads here I want to reply to lately but my work is taking too much of my time.

Regards,
DrF
Motif XF6, DeepMind 12D, MicroArranger, MicroKorg S, SY99, SY85, QS300, PSR1000, WX5, EX5R, A5000, TG500, TG55, RM50, QY700, QY100, QX5FD, MJC8, EMX2, YDP2006, REV500, EMP700, EQ500U, MCS2, AW16G, Axiom Pro 49 and a few other things by Behringer, Evolution, Philips, Tascam, Technical Pro, Yamaha, etc, etc,... I wish I had time to use all this stuff; I am not even pro. :-)
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by latinofromtoronto » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:05 pm

I must apologise if I wrote something wrong or didn't control my manners, first of all I'm not an English speaker, although I have already 30 years in Canada, Spanish is the common daily language, in spite of that, I effort myself the most of I can to fit in the Canadian environment.
I strongly give my huge thanks to you guys "parametric' and "EX5_etc", you really did my day with such of a wonderful surprise, you helped me very much, I feel the relief of such desperation, now, I gained two great doctors who I may consult in some harsh occasion, you really are a pro into this stuff, my respect.
I have no more words to add, I learned that I can continue using floppies still, no drama about, I also saw online that, floppies are still manufactured, bran new disks, great and specific quality, perhaps better than those I used to buy 20 years ago. Obsolete does not means death.
PS: I have two QY300, if one day I can get which emulator may work in it, I may try to get it to experiment in the one that stopped working.
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Re: A possible replacement for disk drives ?

Unread post by parametric » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:29 pm

No need to apologise LatinoFT,

You are conversing in a language which is not your mother-tongue so we understand that it is difficult for you to be precise.

You ARE making it clear enough for us to help, which is all that really matters.

English is capable of a very fine degree of description - but it IS DIFFICULT if you are not a native speaker.

You are not "ordering Coffee" here , or "asking the way to the beach" . . .

This is starting to be "Technical English" - so you are doing OK (Y)

Hopefully, you can repair your floppy drive(s) and continue with your Music.

This is the best route in my opinion - as you KNOW WELL how to use the floppy drives.

(Nothing new to learn . . . .)

Let us know how you progress. We are here if you need more help.

( I only know two Spanish terms . . . . "por favor" and "manyana" :lol: ) . . . so your English is ADVANCED . . . (Y) !

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

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