repairing s-50

Pulling out your hair? Don't know what to do or where to go? Ask in here.
Forum rules
READ: VSE Board-Wide Rules and Guidelines

If your Help request has been solved, please edit your first post in order to select the Image Topic Icon to let others know your topic has been solved.
Post Reply
intelligenttelevision
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:02 am

repairing s-50

Post by intelligenttelevision » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:09 am

Hey everyone I just got a roland S-50. I got it real cheap knowing that it needs a fuse and new disk drive. Anyone have advice on getting the parts and doing the repairs myself? I'm new to this so absolutely any input would be appreciated. Thanks

User avatar
Analog Freak
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:29 am
Location: Ohio

Post by Analog Freak » Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:38 am

The fuse should not be too much of a problem, I'm not sure exactly where it is or how you get to it, (I have the Roland S-550, the rackmount version of the S-50), but anyway, wherever the fuse holder is, there should be some writing next to it along the lines of: 120V .5A. Write these figures down, and headover to your local Radioshack and see if they have a match. Make sure you don't buy slow blow fuses, those are meant for other things (without getting too technical). As for the floppy drive, the folks over at route 66 studios should be able to find you a drive for around 75 bucks. Although I can't vouch for how good their service is. Good luck with getting your Roland back to life, I love my S-550.
"All Your Synthesizers Are Belong To Us!" Literally.

intelligenttelevision
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:02 am

s-50

Post by intelligenttelevision » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:50 am

Thanks a lot for the info. Is there anyway of hooking up an external hard drive or disk drive to the unit and bypassing the internal disk drive, or even a cd-rom drive? I'm hoping to keep this on a do-it-myself low budget if I can.

User avatar
Analog Freak
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:29 am
Location: Ohio

Post by Analog Freak » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:30 am

I forget whether the S-50 has SCSI or not. Even if it does, it so old that it will probably be hard to find a compatible disk drive. It just depends on how much effort you're willing to put into it. Maybe somebody else could tell you more.
"All Your Synthesizers Are Belong To Us!" Literally.

plus321
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:44 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post by plus321 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:33 pm

Before you buy a disk drive, you should try to put one in yourself. Just try to use a standard PC floppy first and see what happens. If it doesn't work, then it is most likely that the sampler expects it to be a different drive select than it is (most floppy drives now are DS1). Some drives have jumpers that will let you choose from DS0 to DS3 and some are hardwired for DS1. If the machine expects DS0 (like the Prophet 2002, Emax, etc), then you can look at the PCB on the drive and find the surface mount piece that connects to DS1. It might look like this:
O DS0

O-----O DS1

Simply desolder the piece and put it like this:
O DS0
|
O O DS1
This might not work, I know little about these samplers, but a floppy drive is a floppy drive and the worst that can happen is it won't work, but you're already in that place so what do you have to lose. Floppy drives are cheap anyway, so if you mess it up desoldering the piece, then you are only out of about $10.

Hope this helps.

intelligenttelevision
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:02 am

s-50

Post by intelligenttelevision » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:21 am

Cool. I have a few old disk drives lying around that I will try connecting and hopefully one will work. Has anyone successfully replaced the disk drive in one of these? I've been looking all over the net and find a lot of people talking about the drives going bad, but no one saying they fixed it. Seems like a common problem on a sampler people like. I was hoping someone had put together a tutorial on it by now.

Escobar
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:45 pm

Post by Escobar » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:56 pm

The S-50 has at the rear end - hidden behind a metal plate - a data port that looks like a SCSI port. Though I don't think Roland ever implemented any SCSI drivers/routines for the S-50 as they did for the S-550. They just abandoned the keyboard infavour of the rack. It would be nice if someone could reveal the SCSI code for the S-550 so it might be possible to use with S-50. (Only my two cents).
About the diskdrive: is it possible for a newer PC-diskdrive to read the older MFM encoding scheme? If not, it won't work with a newer diskdrive. That's why you will need an older one. But I'm not 100% sure about that :lol:
There are some SCSI -> IDE adapters you can use to take advantage of IDE drivers instead of older and hard to find SCSI ones.
Roland MKS-70 | Roland SuperJX | Roland S-770 | Roland S-50 | Roland MC-500 | Roland TR-505 | Emulator III rack | Emulator II+HD | Emax HD rack | Emax Kb | Prophet 2002 | Yamaha TQ-5

plus321
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:44 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post by plus321 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:15 pm

Escobar wrote:...
About the diskdrive: is it possible for a newer PC-diskdrive to read the older MFM encoding scheme? If not, it won't work with a newer diskdrive. That's why you will need an older one. But I'm not 100% sure about that :lol:
...
I believe all floppy drives use MFM encoding (and can read it), even high density. It really makes no difference.

I'm not sure, but it seems like this sampler uses a DSDD drive (I'm guessing by the date it was released according to this site).
Like I said, I don't know if it will work, but I have replaced the floppy drive in my Prophet 2002 and in an Emax I with normal PC drives.
I feel pretty good about this sampler too, in that if you change the drive select to DS0, then a normal floppy drive will probably work. It will literally take you less than 5 minutes, if you know which end of the soldering iron to hold, to change the drive select of the drive. You may even get lucky and have a drive that handles it with jumpers.

The only thing is that the bezel on the older drives are usually bigger and so you are left with a gap, but it can be covered with a cassette tape case (black or white) which is almost exactly the same width.

intelligenttelevision
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:02 am

s-50

Post by intelligenttelevision » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:17 pm

What would be nice is if a hard drive could be hooked up and used to boot up the unit and also store samples, eliminate the touchy disk drive all together. I'm going to try some older disk drives first. Maybe consulting a someone in the computer repair world can help. Hopefully someone has succeeded at resurrecting one of these??

Escobar
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:45 pm

Post by Escobar » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:40 pm

You're right plus321, the S-50 uses a DSDD drive. All the original system/sound disks are DSDD disks.
I had to open my S-50 to resolder some of the I/O-ports as they were lose. I discovered that the "SCSI"-port was hardwired to the PCB, but it didn't say anything (on the PCB board) if it IS a SCSI-interface.
So if it's ever going to be possible to use some sort of high capacity storage medium connected to the sampler you need to alter the operating system code and/or ROM code in the machine :(
Btw, here's an interesting link to Roland samplers stuff:
http://www.generalconcepts.com/sgroup/a ... es/Roland/
Roland MKS-70 | Roland SuperJX | Roland S-770 | Roland S-50 | Roland MC-500 | Roland TR-505 | Emulator III rack | Emulator II+HD | Emax HD rack | Emax Kb | Prophet 2002 | Yamaha TQ-5

Post Reply