In recent months I’ve been learning KiCad, which is an open source EDA package available for many platforms. Version 5 has just been released, and it now imports EAGLE projects. EAGLE has been purchased by Autodesk, and they have been rapidly improving and updating the software. The only problem is that it is now a yearly subscription model, and I can’t justify spending $500.00 per year when I don’t do PCB design on a regular basis. EAGLE version 7.70 has served me well up to this point but KiCad is free and also has many of the features of the new Autodesk EAGLE. It doesn’t have an autorouter, but I’ve rarely used one in the past anyway. It does have interactive push and shove routing which I find to be more useful.
I’ve also updated the links section with a few corrections and additions.
Just received the SCSI boards from the manufacturer and they look great. This time, made them ENIG instead of HASL (better quality). And because I got more made this time, the price is now $129.00 instead of $149.00.
Send me an email (via the contact form) and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Make sure your shipping information in PayPal is up to date, and let me know the PayPal email address, and where you are located, so I can calculate shipping.
I’m currently organizing to get another batch of EPS16 SCSI boards made. I’m doing a bigger order this time so I won’t run out as quickly.
I have completely sold out of all the other boards, but will get more made, depending on customer demand. This includes the 5530 clone board and the ASR-10 SCSI and digital input boards.
I had some left over bare boards and parts from the first generation DSS-1 upgrade. It’s been quite a while since I built those, and getting all the pieces together was more work than I thought…the parts are harder to get now, the Xilinx ISE software won’t run properly on Windows 64 bit, I didn’t properly document which versions of the design files should be used, etc. Finally got them finished, though.
Many people have been asking about the new version, and unfortunately I don’t have an answer yet. I do have a large amount of the hardware design done, and getting the last of the original upgrades finished off has put me in the right frame of mind to continue on with the project. Time is the biggest resource that I lack. I’m at work 60 hours a week and unable to do work on outside projects during that time, and those of you with children know how your free time disappears on the weekends.
In the meantime I’ve started a few smaller projects, experiments really, to keep active. One of these is a digital output board, so you can bypass the DAC’s. For those synths and samplers which are mostly digital anyway. I’m going to try modifying a few of my synths and see how it goes. Will it sound better, bypassing the ancient analog sections? I’m going to find out.
Johan Sahlberg has had some ME-16 expansion boards manufactured, based on a design I did that never saw the light of day. If you’re interested, contact him directly at f_l_y_h (at) hotmail.com. He has a very limited quantity available.
Work progresses slowly on the DSS-1 upgrade. However I have almost completed the design for the new processor daughterboard.
I’ll probably end up missing the 2017 self-imposed deadline unless a miracle happens.
I just looked at the date of the last post, and it’s been well over a year. Everyone has been asking when the DSS-1 and DSM-1 upgrades will be available. To be honest there hasn’t been a lot of work done on them recently. There are several reasons for this but mostly I’ve been too busy with house renovations, family, and work. Also the new microcontroller I had planned on using was more than 18 months late (it was announced in January 2015). I have finally received some samples and will start work on it soon, time permitting. I don’t expect the upgrades to be available until the end of 2017.
As for the other projects, the ASR-10 SCSI boards are still available, as are the CEM5530 replacement modules. The EPS16 SCSI boards are sold out. I haven’t decided whether I will do another batch of them since I would rather use the time for the Korg upgrades.
People often ask how to order boards from me. What I need is your PayPal email address and your shipping address, so I can send an invoice. I only ship on weekends now as I can’t get to the post office during the week.
All of the equipment posted for sale has been sold. I’ve also stopped buying, repairing, and reselling synths as I have no time to do it and there is minimal financial return.
Nothing much new to report. School is back and my daily commute to work is 90 minutes again. Combined with the 10 hours per day, six days per week work schedule, guarantees that nothing much will be getting done for a while. The ASR10 SCSI card issue has been resolved. Supplies of the EPS16 SCSI card and DI-10 digital audio interface for the ASR-10 are running low. I’ve added a bunch of new items on the gear for sale page. I’m trying to clear out some of my less used gear.
I’ve contemplated designing a conversion kit for the ASR-10 to go from a VFD to an LCD (purple screen). Looks like they used a device with an external EPROM to emulate the functionality of the old display controller so it’s technically feasible. The only question is whether the newer LCD displays will physically fit in the space. I’d just have to get a hold of a purple screen ASR or at the very least a purple screen ASR display board. Might work with the EPS /16 series as well.
We’re having a hot, muggy summer in LA this year. I’ve been spending more time in the pool than in the workshop. However I have had a bit of time to start preparing my ASR10’s for sale. In doing so, I made an unfortunate, albeit interesting discovery.
I had made a clone of the SCSI board (model SP-3) for the ASR-10. The first batch I did used the same SCSI controller as the original board, an AM33C93 from AMD. For the second batch, I had found some Western Digital WD33C93. The EPS16 SCSI board had used the Western Digital version, so I figured everything would be cool…unfortunately not.
I had done most of the testing on a first-run ASR-10 with a mainboard dated 1992. All the testing with the second batch of SCSI cards was good. However the past week when I was preparing another ASR10, I found some issues. Although it would boot from a SCSI drive, the ‘change storage device’ and ‘copy OS to drive’ would give ‘file operation error’. Long story short, the ASR10 in question had a mainboard dated 1993 which had been redesigned. The newer mainboard did not like the WD33C93, but was happy with the AM33C93. In fact the AMD version worked properly with all revisions.
I did a bit of research and found that the WD versions had several revisions; the latest being 00-08. The chips I used were a mix of 00-04 and 00-06 which were reported to contain various bugs, although I was not able to get the specifics on what was affected. Apparently the AMD version was equivalent, or derived from, the 00-08 version of the WD controller. Perhaps the first generation ASR mainboard was designed to be compatible with the WD controller, and once they switched over to AMD, this compatibility was removed…
So…for anyone who bought the SCSI board with the WD controller (it’s the only square chip and has WD printed on it), I’ll happily replace the board or just the SCSI controller. Contact me and I’ll get it sorted out.
I’ve gone through and archived all of the floppy disks that I have. I’ve posted the DSS-1 disks as a series of .zip files. You will need to use OmniFlop to restore them to floppy disks. In addition to the DSS-1 disks, I have Prophet 3000, TX16W, and some Generalmusic stuff (S series, Equinox) images if anyone is interested.
Find the disk images at the Downloads page!
I’ve added a page for the Korg DSM-1 upgrade that I’m researching / developing. In examining the OS, I’ve discovered a few things about this unit, and I’ll try and clear up some popular misconceptions about it.
I have been getting a lot of failed sent messages due to the e-mail authentication of my hosting service. If you’ve been trying to contact me and have had no reply, it’s not because I’m ignoring you. Try sending your message again and I will try and reply asap.