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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:14 pm
by ʝɵʝɵ
DLovas wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:29 pm
Curious, are these cards also capable of being used to replace PCM cards? Or only the data cards? Forgive me if this is a stupid question or has been answered already.
Electrically, this is possible (there is an option to expose one 4M card rather than 16 256K or 8 512K cards). In practice however, there is no way simple way to put existing ROM data on the memory card (which you would first have to extract from another ROM card), and creating new ROM cards would require to reverse-engineer their binary format of that specific synthesizer.

Edit: More information about this can also be found on the last page of the card's manual, which is freely avaliable from the website.

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:40 pm
by dojoe
DLovas wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:29 pm
Curious, are these cards also capable of being used to replace PCM cards? Or only the data cards? Forgive me if this is a stupid question or has been answered already.
Not stupid at all :) It's been asked before but it's hidden deep inside the bowels of this thread ;)

The cards can be used for PCM data and should be compatible with PCM cards up to 4MBit. For sizes outside the 256KBit and 512KBit formats we support they need to be reconfigured, but that's documented in the manual. There are also PCM cards larger than 4MBit out there - our card will not work in slots made for these as they use a different connector.

The main problem is that there is no generic reader/writer for this type of memory card so it'll be hard to get the PCM data on there. People have successfully built such reader/writers of course but I'm not aware of any commercially available ones. The test jig I'm using to test every card we sell can certainly do this, but it's quite the opposite of "ready for market" :lol:

The most ingenuous trick I've seen so far was one person turned an original card slot and a DIP pin header into an adapter for an EPROM programmer - that's probably as simple as it gets if you have the programmer handy :)

Hope that helps!

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:38 pm
by linzo
Dear Sirs, For roland JV-1000 wich card i need? Roland M-256 ? Are they available for purchase?
Thank You

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:08 pm
by ʝɵʝɵ
Yes, cards are still available for purchase via https://sagamusix.de/other/roland_memory_cards/

http://www.rolandmuseum.de/synth/html/J ... V1000.html suggests that a M-256 card should be fine, but you can double-check the owner's manual. It should list all compatible accessories.

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:15 am
by Playkeyboardnow
The German firm Musitronics ( www.musitronics.de) did make a commercial PCM card writer for the U110/U220 type card, you could write 1, 2 or 4mb cards, for use with an Atari ST system. The system should be able to make cards for the D70 and R8 also, but there is not much info to find about this these days. They don't sell the card writers anymore but they have the techonlogical knowledge for sure...

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:35 pm
by ʝɵʝɵ
Interesting. They are still in business, so maybe anyone who's interested in the device could just send them a mail and ask nicely? :)

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:05 am
by linzo
this guys made pcm refill for korg m1
https://shop.waverex.de/waverex-the-wav ... nsion.html

it would be amazing for roland

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:22 pm
by ʝɵʝɵ
As mentioned before in this topic - it's simply not possible to offer a single product that would work with all Roland synths that can use ROM cards, just like that card doesn't work with any Korg synth. You need to reverse-engineer the card format for every single Roland synth. Once you have done that, you can actually use the card we offer here to store the new ROM cards. But we cannot do the reverse-engineering of the ROM card format for Roland synths we don't even own.

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:08 am
by noizeBot
I would like to buy one of these.
I have contacted the website but not heard back from them.
Can anyone tell me if they are still in business?

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:00 pm
by Playkeyboardnow
who did you contact? If it was Musitronics, this company is still in business but, many things on their site listed are not available anymore. And it sometimes takes some time before they answer, and sometimes there is no reply at al...

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:04 pm
by ʝɵʝɵ
noizeBot is referring to the cards being advertised in this very thread. We are not Musitronics - but we are currently struck but an unfortunate event of sickness, so replying to orders currently takes a bit longer than usual. Stay tuned, you will get your reply soon!

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:07 am
by Avro_Arrow
Great project guys, well done!

I'm interested in doing something like this for my Korg M1.
Maybe this is information you don't want to share but how
are you doing the bank switching with the two slide switches?
The memory chip has a high bank and a low bank, that is probably
half of it and probably a couple unused memory address lines...

I searched the net but couldn't find any projects that used a similar set-up.

Thanks for any info you are willing to share.
James

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:57 am
by ʝɵʝɵ
There is no secret at all. :) What we do is an absolutely common way of bank switching, so I'm surprised that you didn't find anything: Obviously the 512KB chip has a couple of more address lines than the original 32KB chip, so when the synth wants to read from or write to a specific address, the switches on the card configure the higher address lines to have a specific value (on or off), while the lower address lines are taken verbatim from the synthesizer. If there was no bank switching happening, the higher address lines would always be off and you'd only be able to read/write to the low 32KB.
The schematics for an original card are extremely simple: http://www.vintagebox.de/elek/elekd50card.html
In a very simplified view, our card just uses a bigger chip and routes a few more address lines to it. Korg cards of that era are built very similarly if I'm not mistaken. You can probably figure out what each address line on the card is doing using a multimeter, and then adapt the Roland card schematics to your findings.

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:33 pm
by dojoe
More precisely, we have two SP4T slide switches on the card.

For each of those, the 1 position is left open, and the 2, 3, 4 positions have separate lines attached to them. The switch common is attached to VDD and each of the three lines is individually pulled to GND via a 10k resistor array. This gives you a set of three binary signals encoding the switch position: 000 is position 1, 100 is position 2, 010 is 3 and 001 is 4. Let's call them S2, S3 and S4. There is no S1 signal because we don't need it below.

You can easily encode this into two address bits using two OR gates:
A0 = S2 or S4
A1 = S3 or S4

For two switches, you'll need six resistors and four OR gates, so I used the same 8-resistor array I'm using on the connector side of the card, and a quad-OR gate IC.

This gives me four additional address lines on top of the ones coming from the synthesizer, netting me 16 banks.

Hope this helps! I don't have a schematic handy right now, but I guess you'll get the idea.

Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:23 pm
by Avro_Arrow
Thanks DoJoe

That makes a lot more sense now.
You know what was throwing me off? For some reason
I thought you were using the 16A version of the memory rather than the 08A.
Dummy me.

So what is the highest address line the the synth actually uses for the memory?
A0 to A12? I'm pretty sure the D-50 and M1 are the same in this regard.

Thanks for your help.
James