I’m at work, sick as a dog, replacing the mounting bolts of our surround speakers in our mixing rooms. I hope everyone is having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, and maybe even making music with their favorite synths!!

When I get a minute or two I’m finishing up my final batch of OB-Mx voice boards that I started building over 6 years ago. I put them on hold since I didn’t have any CEM3374’s or CEM3382’s to finish them. But thanks to John Leimseider in Canada, and Vintage Planet, I’m going to have another 12 voice OB-Mx to play with.


I have just recieved a shipment of ASR-10 SCSI boards, so if you’re interested send me a message with the contact form and let me know your PayPal address if different than your regular e-mail. The price is 299.00 USD plus shipping (10.00 USA and Canada, 15.00 rest of the world).

I’m having my boards assembled at a factory now, instead of building them myself, so once I’m sold out it takes longer to get new ones.

Here’s a short summary of where I’m at with my current projects. I’ll be moving (finally) and won’t be set back up until mid December at the earliest. That means that once the existing stock of kits is sold out, there won’t be any more until early next year.

DSS-1 upgrade: 7 kits available now, another 20 after the new year. After that I’m going to focus on the DSM-1 upgrade.

ASR-10 SCSI kit: 30 being built, expected availability 11/15/2013

ASR-10 Digital I/O kit: 15 available. Still have to figure out the rack ASR problem with overheating.

EPS-16 SCSI kit: 20 available

Prophet 3000 memory expansion: being beta tested. Basically working but having some issues with memory test giving false errors.

Prophet 2000 memory expansion: Not started, but I think Wine Country Productions have them in stock

Korg DSM-1 upgrade: Being researched, I’ve got the code around 30% disassembled and commented. After that I have to decide which microcontroller I should use.


I’ll soon be moving to a new house, and until then I’ll be suspending work on all projects. I’ll have some upgrades available in limited quantities. Also, I’m currently preparing to have all my board assembly done by another company. I’m just not able to keep up with the backlog of orders.

I’ve also sold out of the modified DSS-1’s. I won’t be selling any more of these myself, but I have several sources that can modify a stock one for you. I have around 25 kits left, and after that there won’t be any for a while, as I’ll be focusing my efforts on the DSM-1. Please feel free to submit ideas and enhancements.

The Prophet 3000 memory upgrade will need some more R&D. It’s passing some tests and failing others. I’m not sure yet if it’s an issue with my board or the P3000, but it seems like the additional DRAM chips need to be buffered similarly to the original DRAM chips. Have to dig out the logic analyzer and see what’s going on.

I’ve completed another batch of DSS-1 upgrade boards, but they tend to go pretty quick, so let me know if you’re interested. Also, I’ve just received another 30 boards for the ASR-10 SCSI upgrade. I’m now looking into having them assembled by another company. The reason for this is twofold. First, having the boards assembled on an assembly line is more reliable than hand soldering. Second, I currently only have 2-3 hours a week to do any sort of PCB assembly. Each SP-3 board, for example, takes almost 2 hours to assemble start to finish.

I’ve also had a couple of requests for the SP-4 SCSI board for the TS-10 and TS-12. If I have enough requests (more than 10) I’ll look into making those too.


Last night, I got the boards for the memory expansion module for the Prophet 3000. I built a couple up and they work! All four banks check out in both the Voice chip and DMA chip tests. One of my P3000’s (the rev B, with the I-627B already installed) is having issues with bank 4 when tested with the DMA chip. The Rev B unit had the RAS signals switched around so that you could get two banks of memory without needing the upgrade board, the downside being all of the track cutting and jumpers. The rev A unit (which most P3000’s are) is working flawlessly with both the I-627B daughterboard and the memory expansion board. It works fine with the 3.0B OS, not so much with the WCP1.6A OS. So, there’s a bit of a catch-22: If you upgrade to the I-627B and 8 Meg, you may not be able to use SCSI, but if you stay with the I-627A, you can’t expand the memory. Once more testing has been done, I’ll contact Wine Country and see if they can modify the OS to work with both SCSI and the I-627B. The existing SCSI implementation is pretty limited, as far as I can gather: You can’t actually format the drive on the P3000, it has to be pre-formatted on a Mac with OS 7.x (who even has one of those these days??). The actual problem with WCP1.6A is with loadingĀ some floppy disks, so maybe SCSI will work – once I can get a properly formatted drive.

Pictures to follow….

I just got the boards back from PCBcart for the I-627 transition board. I’ve built one prototype, and will test it this weekend.

The website has moved to a new host, so there may be some interruptions over the next few days as I sort things out.

UPDATE: Things appear to be working OK now.

UPDATE 2: The adapter works perfectly!! However, I still have to test it with the expanded RAM module which is still a few weeks away. Currently I only have 1 bank of memory installed.

I’ve completed designs for the Prophet 3000 I-627 rev B memory controller adapter in collaboration with Martin Day in the UK (thanks Martin!). Martin successfully upgraded his 2MB Prophet 3000 to a 4MB unit.

A bit of history: The first revision of the Prophet 3000 (most of which were shipped to Europe) had a first generation custom voice controller chip, the I-627. This chip takes the sound data from RAM and generates 8 voices worth of sample playback. The first generation chip (in a PGA style package) has problems using multiple banks of memory, which is why most Prophet 3000’s only have 2MB. After Yamaha bought Sequential in 1988, they redesigned the I-627 and changed the package to PLCC. The main PCB of the P3000 was redesigned for the PLCC I-627, and these units can be expanded to 4MB.

The corrected I-627 is available from Wine Country Productions; however until now there was no solution to retrofit the first generation Prophet 3000’s. Additionally, the schematics were updated for the new I-627 pinout on one page only, and the rest of the schematics refer to the old PGA I-627. Martin identified the pinouts for the PGA I-627 and cross checked the newer PLCC I-627. He constructed an adapter board for the newer I-627, but unknown to him, there are several errors in the schematics which prevented proper operation. Luckily I have one of each revision of Prophet 3000, and was able to find the errors. It appears as though there was a documenting error with the newly revised I-627. Two power pins were swapped (which Sequential solved by physically removing the PLCC socket contacts for those pins), and the RAM bank select signals were out of order (which they solved by cutting the PCB and using wire jumpers). With the newer units, they reassigned the banks so that banks 0 and 1 were on the PCB and banks 2 and 3 were on the memory expansion connector. I don’t know if Sequential ever made a memory expansion board, but if they did they are very rare.

I’ve completed a design for a memory expansion board which will require the I-627 rev B adapter board for older units. If all goes as planned, this set of boards can be installed without any soldering or modification of the main PCB. Stay tuned!