Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

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slowsound
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Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Wed May 13, 2015 10:15 pm

Hello VSE, this is my first post as a long time lurker.

On my newly bought, near-mint looking Akai S20, I am unable to format, read or write to a floppy. Upon inserting a floppy, the drive light blinks and the drive spins slowly, so it doesn't seem entirely broken, but when trying to format a floppy, I get the "ERRD" disk error message on the display, and it fails.

The floppy drive in the device is the stock Mitsumi D359T7. To rule out the possibity of the drive being broken, I replaced it with the working TEAC FD-235 (model 270-U) that I removed from my Akai S1100. The result is exactly the same: ERRD, no go.

I am using an aftermarket 10V 850mA regulated (not switching mode) power supply, which I had made specifically for this device. Could this be the problem? Everything else (sampling, playback, etc.) works, but disk operations fail with two different AKAI compatible floppy drives, so I'm thinking it might be unable to draw enough current for the floppy drive to work properly.

Any help, ideas appreciated.
Last edited by slowsound on Wed May 13, 2015 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by polyana » Wed May 13, 2015 11:12 pm

Have you tried a variety of floppy disks?

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Wed May 13, 2015 11:36 pm

Yes, I have tried three different brands. They all fail the same way.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:31 am

Any ideas?

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by madtheory » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:22 pm

Forget about the floppy, get a SCSI drive.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:27 pm

have you looked at the cables and jumpers?

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:30 pm

madtheory wrote:Forget about the floppy, get a SCSI drive.

The S20 doesn't have a SCSI port.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:36 pm

Ashe37 wrote:have you looked at the cables and jumpers?
The ribbon data cable seems in good condition, but I haven't tried replacing it, as one end of the cable is soldered to the board, making it hard to replace with a standard floppy data cable.

The Mitsumi floppy drive has only two jumper legs, with no jumper installed. I haven't been able to find documentation regarding what it does. The Teac does have a few jumpers, and from what I've gleaned reading various forum posts, they were set to work properly with Akai S-series samplers. That drive did work fine with my other S-series sampler, and didn't with the S20.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:08 pm

slowsound wrote:
Ashe37 wrote:have you looked at the cables and jumpers?
The ribbon data cable seems in good condition, but I haven't tried replacing it, as one end of the cable is soldered to the board, making it hard to replace with a standard floppy data cable.

The Mitsumi floppy drive has only two jumper legs, with no jumper installed. I haven't been able to find documentation regarding what it does. The Teac does have a few jumpers, and from what I've gleaned reading various forum posts, they were set to work properly with Akai S-series samplers. That drive did work fine with my other S-series sampler, and didn't with the S20.
yep, you covered those bases already... was trying to come up with answers...

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by polyana » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:11 pm

Are you sure of the PSU? I would think that disk use would pull more current than any other operation. Maybe the PSU you sourced isn't up to the job.

I also wouldn't presume that a floppy drive that works in one S-series model will work in another. Akai may have used a non-standard pin out/controller on the S20. Have a look at the Hxc emulator forums, there might be some info on which type of floppy controllers Akai used on their various models. Or you could get the Hxc emulator itself, although it would probably cost more than the sampler is worth...

I do have a Remix 16 myself, probably the S20s closest relation. I've never seen the particular error you're getting.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:37 am

polyana wrote:Are you sure of the PSU? I would think that disk use would pull more current than any other operation. Maybe the PSU you sourced isn't up to the job.
That was my initial theory, and a few days ago, I tested the PSU voltage with a voltmeter. The voltage hardly drops at all when the floppy is working, moving between 10.1 and 10.3 volts all the time.

I took the unit to the electronics shop that built the PSU. They performed the test as well, with nearly identical results. They also tried a switching mode power supply, which didn't work either. So I can say with some confidence now that it's not about the PSU.
polyana wrote:I also wouldn't presume that a floppy drive that works in one S-series model will work in another. Akai may have used a non-standard pin out/controller on the S20. Have a look at the Hxc emulator forums, there might be some info on which type of floppy controllers Akai used on their various models. Or you could get the Hxc emulator itself, although it would probably cost more than the sampler is worth...
You have a point there, but in my rather intensive searching about the topic, I haven't found any information indicating that the S20 is any different in the S series with regard to its floppy configuration. I'll ask around the floppy emulator forums some more. I should also mention that the three floppy drives I tried so far with the unit fail in exactly the same way: The light blinks, the floppy is detected, the drive can distinguish between a write-protected and write-enabled floppy and the unit displays a "PROT" error if the floppy is write-protected (this is important), the drive motor spins, but the read/write operations themselves fail.

I recently ordered a Gotek floppy emulator for my Amiga, which will arrive shortly, maybe I can try that as well. But currently, the strongest suspects in my mind are the floppy cable and (unfortunately) the floppy controller.
polyana wrote:I do have a Remix 16 myself, probably the S20s closest relation. I've never seen the particular error you're getting.
I've seen some mentions of the same error with the Remix 16 as well, so it must be covered in the service manual of that unit. I've been looking around for the S20 service manual, but it seems impossible to find. Please let me know if you have access to the SM of the Remix 16.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by polyana » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:52 am

I don't have the service manual, unfortunately.

Have you come across this page?
http://floppy.shugart.free.fr/page.php? ... /index.htm

Although from what you've said, it seems the drives are functional, and the cables aren't reversed, so it probably is a problem with the S20 itself. You mentioned that the cable is soldered directly to the board, possibly there's a short or acold solder? I don't know, kinda out of ideas :?

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:03 pm

polyana wrote:I don't have the service manual, unfortunately.

Have you come across this page?
http://floppy.shugart.free.fr/page.php? ... /index.htm

Although from what you've said, it seems the drives are functional, and the cables aren't reversed, so it probably is a problem with the S20 itself. You mentioned that the cable is soldered directly to the board, possibly there's a short or acold solder? I don't know, kinda out of ideas :?
I hadn't seen that page, thanks. I'll pass it on to the electronics repair shop - if I manage to actually get one to take a look at the unit at all...

I'll also recommend them to try replacing the floppy cable first.

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by ellaguru » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:08 pm

hi i got an akai remix16, alsmost the same machine as the s20. sometimes the ERRROR message happens to me, i think the floppy reader is half dead; but other times things work...

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Re: Akai S20 Floppy Disk Error ("ERRD")

Post by slowsound » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:52 pm

ellaguru wrote:hi i got an akai remix16, alsmost the same machine as the s20. sometimes the ERRROR message happens to me, i think the floppy reader is half dead; but other times things work...
Hi, thanks for your input, that could be useful. Is the error message you get on the display "ERRD"? If you get that while trying to format a floppy, does your floppy drive seem "alive" - i. e. does the motor spin and the led blink?

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