Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

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Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Tacowitch » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:22 am

So I've been using my EPS 16+ (the rack version) for a little while now, and it's great. I really love this thing. Very recently, however, I noticed that I haven't been able to load any instruments from disks, even disks that were working just fine in the past. This seemed strange, considering it reads the boot disk without error. I cleaned out the floppy drive (very small amount of dust inside, read/write heads weren't dirty at all). I figure there's gotta be some kind of software/user error going on (though for the record, I did check the manual and make sure I was doing everything correctly). Any suggestions?

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by synthroom » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:09 pm

Basic things to try would be reseat the ribbon cable that connects the floppy. Do both ends a couple of times to make sure you have a clean connection.

It is interesting it can read the boot disk and not others. Perhaps the floppy is going out of alignment and there's a difference in the floppys.

Can you format a new floppy, save to it, and then read it back?
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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by JeEA » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:10 pm

I have akai samplers where one of Them had read error
It was an S2800. I pressed the head Down a bit to make better contact
to the disk and it helped. If You Can check if the head has Any
Contact with the disk. It could probably be 1 mm or less that could cause the problem

Cheers

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Jabberwalky » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:24 pm

Check continuity of the floppy ribbon cable if you can. Might have to replace the drive, or just forget about it and go SCSI.

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Yekuku » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:55 pm

Sounds like a head misalignment which is a common floppy drive failure.
Unfortunately long lost is the art of floppy head calibration, so I dont think that it is easy to find a tech to work on it.
If I remember correct, the eps+16 does not use a special Giebler floppy drive like the older ensonics, so you might be able to install a standard PC floppy and get it working by swapping some cables on the ribbon.
It is all about sharing...

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Tacowitch » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:43 pm

Jabberwalky wrote:Check continuity of the floppy ribbon cable if you can. Might have to replace the drive, or just forget about it and go SCSI.
I've been considering this, but also I just bought 50 DSDDs and I'm gonna feel so stupid if I can't actually make any use of them.

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by synthroom » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:13 am

https://syntaur.com/Items/4201.html

Wow - $90 for a used drive!

What model drive is in it - make, model, serial number.
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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:04 pm

Syntaur is pricey on everything because he knows he's the only one left with those parts.

Invest your money in upgrading to SCSI & SCSI 2 SD and sell the floppies IMO.

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by madtheory » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:58 pm

90 is about what you'd pay for the HxC floppy emulator. But you're defo better off with SCSI as jaberwalky says. I guess you need a way to get your floppies backed up though? Floppies are so unreliable now. Glad I got all of my TX16W backed up last summer to use in Cyclone.

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by synthroom » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:17 pm

I'd recommend the SCSI path as well. Much larger storage space available with SCSI over floppies.

I just bought a SCSI2SD card that interfaces between SCSI and a MicroSD card. They are about $70. I've tried it on the computer, but I've not installed it into a synth yet.
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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:41 pm

I also bought the SCSI2SD and it works with absolutely no issues (which is saying alot when the EPS16 is concerned).

I put it in an enclosure, just to give the giant SCSI cable a more robust place to connect.
Image

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by blueknob » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:01 am

My 2p I understand the floppy drive is not a common IBM PC 1.44MB type. The older 750/800kB types are needed of which there are a number to choose from. The hard part is knowing which one to get as there are little configuration switches that need to be set, not all drives have these options. I think there is a website with details. One common type was the Panasonic JU-257, but those switch settings are important. I don't fault Syntaur for their price as they know all this so would have got all this sorted.

As for not reading floppies, according to the Service Manual, the best way to test the disk drive is to format a floppy. The EPS16+ needs all sectors and does a read/write check. Repeat the test on a number of floppies. My floppy collection got runied through damp, had to throw them all away, they also caused read problems with the floppy drive, an easy fix was to use one of those disk cleaning kits which worked.
As this > http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/diskcare-flop ... 89mm-yt08j

That SCS2SD is making me want one.. or two.. or three! Looks great!!

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:08 am

at least it doesn't require weird variable spin speed floppies like Amigas do.

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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by synthroom » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:07 pm

blueknob wrote:That SCS2SD is making me want one.. or two.. or three! Looks great!!
I've got one that's going into an Emax II and I just ordered two more. Now I just need to see where they will go - K2000VP, S-760, ESI-4000 Turbo, or perhaps a S-550. I found a hard drive for the S-550 and it's the noisiest hard disk I've heard since about 1988...
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Re: Ensoniq EPS-16+ Disk Reading Issues

Post by Tacowitch » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:36 pm

Update: For some reason (who knows why), the EPS actually read a few floppies. After loading the floppy and putting a different one in, the list of instruments available to load won't update, but it'll still let me load instruments from the old disk as long as they're the same number. I'm trying to recreate whatever I did to make the list of instruments on disk update, but so far I haven't had much luck. So yeah, apparently it's reading the disks just fine?

(definitely investing in a scsi device after this though lmfao)

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