Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

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Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Mr_Mojo_Risin » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:22 am

* * * UPDATE * * * I've found the solution for this problem and it is noted in the 11th message below

- - - A question for any EPROM experts out there - - -

Has anyone successfully copied the firmware on their S-50 by burning new EPROM's?
I've been able to read and write firmware for eight of my samplers without any issues.
All have new EPROM's now except for my S-50.
I'm able to read both S-50 EPROM's and burn new ones but when I power on the S-50, it just shows a blank display.
The S-50 firmware has been verified (using mine + the one available at dbwbp.com).
I've tried using M27C128A-12F1's (brand new), D27128D's (NEC and Intel NOS) and NEC D27128D-2 (NOS).
The latter matches the exact same EPROM part number pulled from my S-50.
No luck with any of these. I'm using a TL866CS MiniPro Reader/Burner.

It's quite strange because my Alpha Juno-2 uses the same EPROM P/N as the S-50 and I was able to burn Alpha Juno-2 firmware onto an M27C128A-12F1 without any issues. This may explain why you never see S-50 firmware for sale on e-Bay or elsewhere.
Last edited by Mr_Mojo_Risin on Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Rasputin » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:55 am

I don't have any scientific reason for this suggestion, but have you tried double-size burning the ROM binary to a 27256 EPROM and using that instead of a 27128?

Just a shot in the dark. Very interested in what the source of this issue is.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Yekuku » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:47 am

Hi Mr_Mojo_Risin,
you had contacted me via pm but i could not reply to you , because your account was set not to receive pms.
On the subject,
which firmware do you have ?
I have also a TL866 , that I used to copy the S-50 firmware , the dumps were contributed to DBWBP.com via Rasputin.
Do you have my dumps ? If you do , I can guarantee that they work right.
I remember that I tried 2-3 times to write the eproms because I was having verification errors, when they were verified ok, they worked perfectly.
I can think one important thing that can stop the unit from booting up ( stuck with a blank screen), is your floppy drive working ?
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Mr_Mojo_Risin » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:08 am

Yekuku wrote:Hi Mr_Mojo_Risin,
you had contacted me via pm but i could not reply to you , because your account was set not to receive pms.


Thanks for pointing this out. I've changed my account settings.
Sheeeesh! I wonder how many PM's I've missed this past year from others! :shock:

Yes... I've verified the firmware ROM's which are v1.20 and am using the ones supplied by Rasputin (from dbwbp.com). The verification process shows success when I burn them.
And... the floppy is working fine because the S-50 powers up when my original EPROM's are re-installed.
I'll try Raputin's advice, double-up using a 27256 EPROM and report back.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Yekuku » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:41 pm

I am sorry to hear that you have problems with my uploads.
The eprom dumps that I took are named Roland S50 Firmware.zip on DBWBP.COM, how do you know it is V1.2 ?
Did you try swapping the eproms ? could it be that I wrote wrong IC number on the filenames? I highly doubt it because as I said I used these eprom dumps in my S-50 which is working without problems.
Please let me know how this goes, I am so sorry for the trouble.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Mr_Mojo_Risin » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:42 pm

Yekuku wrote:I am sorry to hear that you have problems with my uploads.
The eprom dumps that I took are named Roland S50 Firmware.zip on DBWBP.COM, how do you know it is V1.2 ?
Did you try swapping the eproms ? could it be that I wrote wrong IC number on the filenames? I highly doubt it because as I said I used these eprom dumps in my S-50 which is working without problems.
Please let me know how this goes, I am so sorry for the trouble.


I'm not having any problems with your uploads. I'm sure they are fine.
I've tried using the ones I copied and also yours. They are identical to the ones you uploaded.

The way I can tell it's v1.20 is by loading the BIN file into a text reader.
Excerpts of the code reads as follows:
S-50 MT25A S-50 System Ver. 1.00 Copyright Roland
MT25 ROM. Ver. 1.20 01 SEP/86


Also, you did not write the wrong IC numbers.
Both files are exactly the same. i.e. Roland_s50_IC64.BIN = Roland_s50_IC65.BIN
There are no differences when running an md5 checksum on these two.

corvette$ md5 Roland_s50_IC64.BIN
MD5 (Roland_s50_IC64.BIN) = 2f68b9cacf3f61d34a5930a678ec86a9
corvette$ md5 Roland_s50_IC65.BIN
MD5 (Roland_s50_IC65.BIN) = 2f68b9cacf3f61d34a5930a678ec86a9
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Yekuku » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:52 pm

this is very odd , indeed.
Did you try burning the eproms on a clean install of tl866 software or on another machine? You never know !
I had used nec D27128D, and i remember that i had a few hiccups with the programmer as I was getting verification errors at least 2 or 3 times, but once verified it worked on the S-50 without problems.
If you have time to waste, you could send me the eproms so that i can test them in my S50, reburn them with my TL866 , verify that they are working in the S50 and ship them back to you.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Mr_Mojo_Risin » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:57 pm

Yekuku wrote:this is very odd , indeed.
Did you try burning the eproms on a clean install of tl866 software or on another machine? You never know !
I had used nec D27128D, and i remember that i had a few hiccups with the programmer as I was getting verification errors at least 2 or 3 times, but once verified it worked on the S-50 without problems.
If you have time to waste, you could send me the eproms so that i can test them in my S50, reburn them with my TL866 , verify that they are working in the S50 and ship them back to you.


I will try your great suggestions and install the MiniPro software on a different computer.
When/If I give up I will accept your generous offer and send you a pair of D27128D-2 EPROM's.
I will pay all shipping costs, of course.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Yekuku » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:03 pm

I really cant think of anything else, firstly I thought that you got incompatible new eproms, but since you reburned the original eproms and the same thing happens then there are chances that it has sth to do with the programmer or the software. Could it be that D27128Ds dont like USBs 5 volt for burning? I doubt it since older OS'es burn ok.
We used the same programmer so we should have the same results, thats why I am suspecting the software.
But then again if sth goes wrong with the software the eproms should not get verified...
I wish i could offer some greater advice but I am stuck.
If you choose to quit on it, send them my way, I will be glad to help.
Good luck , and let us know what happened.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Rasputin » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:03 am

I realize this is a bit beside the point, but why are both ROMs identical checksums? I would understand doing something like that for multiple effects processor daughtercards or something, but why for the main CPU?

I would have guessed they'd have split the binary into high and low bytes. I don't get it.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Mr_Mojo_Risin » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:52 am

SUCCESS!!! :yahoo:

I guess if you spend enough hours trying every possible combination, something is bound to work.

As mentioned earlier, I've burned firmware on several samplers and synths without any issues.
Using the TL866 has been automatic... until now.
All of the default settings worked on the other EPROM's when I choose a device part number but for these D27128D-2's, I had to go in and manually change the IC CONFIG INFO.
Once I changed these settings it worked great.
Vpp Voltage: 21.00V
Vcc Verify: 5.00V
Vdd Write: 5.50V
Pulse Delay: 100us

Also, I can verify that both S-50 ROMs do have identical checksums.
And as Rasputin says, it seems strange they are not split into high and low bytes.
The W-30 and other samplers/synths have Odd and Even ROM's with differing firmware code.

Thanks for everyone's help with this!
Finally! I've spent a ton of time trying to make it work. :keys1:
Last edited by Mr_Mojo_Risin on Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roland S-50 EPROM Firmware

Postby Yekuku » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:19 am

Good work Mojo!
Just for the record, when I burned them I did not use any manual settings, just the "automated" process .
The S50 is wonderful instrument, I hope you enjoy your new OS !
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