The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5985
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Re: Can't Believe What Has Just Booted Up On My Bench!!

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:11 pm

Off topic:

I deleted a few posts that were also off topic ;)

Please keep posts on topic, thx.

On topic:

This is really exciting news, Dan. I envy your adventure.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Can't Believe What Has Just Booted Up On My Bench!!

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:27 pm

meatballfulton wrote:Off topic:

I deleted a few posts that were also off topic ;)

Please keep posts on topic, thx.

On topic:
This is really exciting news, Dan. I envy your adventure.
Well if I'm honest I'm as terrified as excited with what is a truly exceptional project - it feels a bit like I'm tightrope walking at the moment as there is rather too much hanging in the balance in the way of unique digital artifacts that need to be transferred/imaged/backed up onto modern media before its all lost to oblivion and GDS is no more.

The hope is (and its now looking promising) that I can manually construct virtual disks of the system and factory library and fit an HxC disk emulator as I did with the Synergy II+ to very good effect but things are made more tricky because of the 8" drives. Fortunately the HxC is so well supported now by Jean Francois and his helpers that even the Fairlight Series II can now be retrofitted with the system so there really is hope.

The real beauty of this system is that once its installed it can be used to make as many real disks as you like - precisely what I can now do with the Synergy including countless copies of the system and voice disks for other owners all backed up on modern SD cards. Since I made the virtual Synergy disk images, two other owners are now using the same system and images.

User avatar
synthroom
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:16 pm
Real name: Kirk
Gear: Fairlight IIx(!), JP-8, D-50, S-50+550, S-760, JX-3P, JD-800, EII, Emax II, Mini, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1, Pro-One, Performer, K1m, K5m, few other things.
Location: pdx
Contact:

Re: Can't Believe What Has Just Booted Up On My Bench!!

Post by synthroom » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:10 pm

Here's a page with photos of the Pentium system I put together to image my 8" Fairlight floppies:

http://synthroom.com/fairlight-cmi/fair ... k-imaging/

It was not too hard to do as I was lucky that the floppy controller in my circa 1996 AT&T PC talked to a Fairlight-compatible 8" floppy drive that I bought on Ebay. (I didn't want to use one of the floppy drives out of the my IIx in case I screwed up the drive.) I bought a little Meanwell PSU to power the freestanding 8" floppy drive and I soldered together a new floppy cable/adapter to go from the 34-pin floppy cable on the PC to the 50-pin connector on the 8" floppy drive.

Then is was just a bunch of time sitting there imaging 150+ floppy disks into the PC and then converting the images with the HxC software which was the easy part since they already had the Fairlight floppy protocol programmed into the HxC software.
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
EII, Emax II, Minimoog, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1 (broken...), Pro-One, Crumar Performer, K1m, K5m, MS-2000B, Virus KC, a few other things.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Can't Believe What Has Just Booted Up On My Bench!!

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:23 pm

synthroom wrote:Here's a page with photos of the Pentium system I put together to image my 8" Fairlight floppies:
http://synthroom.com/fairlight-cmi/fair ... k-imaging/

It was not too hard to do as I was lucky that the floppy controller in my circa 1996 AT&T PC talked to a Fairlight-compatible 8" floppy drive that I bought on Ebay. (I didn't want to use one of the floppy drives out of the my IIx in case I screwed up the drive.) I bought a little Meanwell PSU to power the freestanding 8" floppy drive and I soldered together a new floppy cable/adapter to go from the 34-pin floppy cable on the PC to the 50-pin connector on the 8" floppy drive.

Then is was just a bunch of time sitting there imaging 150+ floppy disks into the PC and then converting the images with the HxC software which was the easy part since they already had the Fairlight floppy protocol programmed into the HxC software.
I am hoping to do something very similar (if I can't get access to the original data from the US) but using the Kryoflux disk imaging system which I believe has been successfully used with 8" disk drives (eg. Shugart SA851).

I only have two disks at this stage - a very badly work system disk and a demo voice disk - both delivered to Klaus as part of an update in 1980. If I can't retrieve the contents of the original system disk then I will have to reconstruct a system disk from the booted system and copy over the files one by one to a fresh disk. One the bad disk is carrying the correct version of the OS so it is all hanging in the balance at the moment.

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by Bitexion » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:00 pm

I find these ancient digital monsters very fascinating. But I will never even see one in the real world.

There's also that synth that was famously used for effects in the first Star Trek series with 30 oscillators and a CRT screen, that cost $30k and there was only made a couple and they hardly worked at all. The name escapes me..there was a funny cartoon strip with the Pack Rat from keyboard magazine about it.

It's that mad scientist vibe where someone decides to just make it because they CAN, not because it's necessary or even likely to work well.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:00 pm

Bitexion wrote:I find these ancient digital monsters very fascinating. But I will never even see one in the real world.

There's also that synth that was famously used for effects in the first Star Trek series with 30 oscillators and a CRT screen, that cost $30k and there was only made a couple and they hardly worked at all. The name escapes me..there was a funny cartoon strip with the Pack Rat from keyboard magazine about it.

It's that mad scientist vibe where someone decides to just make it because they CAN, not because it's necessary or even likely to work well.
Con Brio ADS100?

To my amazement I have just found the original missing joystick floating around on its wires undamaged inside the keyboard console!!

Image

User avatar
synthroom
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:16 pm
Real name: Kirk
Gear: Fairlight IIx(!), JP-8, D-50, S-50+550, S-760, JX-3P, JD-800, EII, Emax II, Mini, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1, Pro-One, Performer, K1m, K5m, few other things.
Location: pdx
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by synthroom » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:28 pm

I have a Kryoflux as well - I've imaged about 500+ Emulator II floppies with it. I went with the ImageDisk setup for the Fairlight as I needed to output some disk images ONTO floppy, as well as image floppies into the computer. I don't think that the Kryoflux was able to do that when I looked into which way to go.

If you need help imaging, let me know. I've still got the all the stuff to do it with.
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
EII, Emax II, Minimoog, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1 (broken...), Pro-One, Crumar Performer, K1m, K5m, MS-2000B, Virus KC, a few other things.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:32 pm

synthroom wrote:I have a Kryoflux as well - I've imaged about 500+ Emulator II floppies with it. I went with the ImageDisk setup for the Fairlight as I needed to output some disk images ONTO floppy, as well as image floppies into the computer. I don't think that the Kryoflux was able to do that when I looked into which way to go.

If you need help imaging, let me know. I've still got the all the stuff to do it with.
But the HxC can easily write new floppies in a two disk setup such as EII, Fairlight and Synergy...

This is how I made new system disks for the Synergy.

AlanC3
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:53 pm

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by AlanC3 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:36 pm

Bitexion wrote:I find these ancient digital monsters very fascinating.
The thing that intrigues me about some of them - and the GDS / Synergy in particular - is that they offer methods of synthesis that haven't been seen since because, as Dan said, they'd still be expensive and difficult to implement.

Think of the variable sample rates used by the PPG Wave and Synclavier: nobody did that again, despite the sonic advantages, until the Modulus 002 came along. Same for the GDS / Synergy / Mulogix: I don't believe anyone has ever done their combination of additive plus frequency & phase modulation again despite the fact it seems incredibly expressive - listen to Wendy Carlos creating hybrids of acoustic instrument simulations on her Secrets of Synthesis.

I'm going to be watching this thread with great interest! :D

User avatar
synthroom
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:16 pm
Real name: Kirk
Gear: Fairlight IIx(!), JP-8, D-50, S-50+550, S-760, JX-3P, JD-800, EII, Emax II, Mini, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1, Pro-One, Performer, K1m, K5m, few other things.
Location: pdx
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by synthroom » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:51 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:
synthroom wrote:I have a Kryoflux as well - I've imaged about 500+ Emulator II floppies with it. I went with the ImageDisk setup for the Fairlight as I needed to output some disk images ONTO floppy, as well as image floppies into the computer. I don't think that the Kryoflux was able to do that when I looked into which way to go.

If you need help imaging, let me know. I've still got the all the stuff to do it with.
But the HxC can easily write new floppies in a two disk setup such as EII, Fairlight and Synergy...

This is how I made new system disks for the Synergy.
True - but I didn't have an HxC in the Fairlight at the time. So I had to write images to floppies to play the disks.

Now I have JB Fairlight's HxC adapter in my IIx - it's wonderful!
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
EII, Emax II, Minimoog, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1 (broken...), Pro-One, Crumar Performer, K1m, K5m, MS-2000B, Virus KC, a few other things.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:56 pm

synthroom wrote:
HideawayStudio wrote:
synthroom wrote:I have a Kryoflux as well - I've imaged about 500+ Emulator II floppies with it. I went with the ImageDisk setup for the Fairlight as I needed to output some disk images ONTO floppy, as well as image floppies into the computer. I don't think that the Kryoflux was able to do that when I looked into which way to go.

If you need help imaging, let me know. I've still got the all the stuff to do it with.
But the HxC can easily write new floppies in a two disk setup such as EII, Fairlight and Synergy...

This is how I made new system disks for the Synergy.
True - but I didn't have an HxC in the Fairlight at the time. So I had to write images to floppies to play the disks.

Now I have JB Fairlight's HxC adapter in my IIx - it's wonderful!
Yes - I'm just toying with the idea of using the JB's adaptor kit to fit in the GDS although I might chose to hide the HxC behind a fake disk fascia like I did on the Kaypro hooked to the Synergy - you'd never know it was there.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:14 pm

I really must get some sleep - been up a crazy number of hours with the GDS but will leave you all with the write up for day one of the restoration project which is still in its feasibility stage but after being pleasantly surprised by the condition and completeness of the keyboard console I'm pretty sure this one is a starter...

Some of the test gear in my new synth workshop (much has been used in my sound design!)

Image

Yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster ride...

I stripped down the entire IMS8000 host computer to nothing but a large empty metal chassis and managed to greatly improve the appearance of the rear panel with a significant amount of metal polish and gave everything a good clean along with replacing several broken SUBD locking posts and amazingly managed to find an identical fuse holder cap to the one that had smashed from a piece of kit from the same era I had only scrapped last week!

Image

I then scanned all of the S100 cards on both sides for posterity and as a record of the position of all the factory fitted green wire mods and gave everything a visual check including the two drives and the PSU chassis.

Image

The metalwork internally is in very nice condition with the nickel plating still nice and shiny. Everything is present and complete in the system unit (I now need to do the same with the keyboard console this afternoon – UPDATE: it is 100% complete and original).

I fired up the 115V cooling fan – quiet with good bearings. I fired up the 220V spindle motors on the drives – run ok but then noticed the head on the A drive is rather worn.

Image

I then wound up the (linear!) PSU in isolation on a variac after a few mins sitting at 25% and all the rails were good. I need to look into replacing the stud mounted (50,000uF!) caps at some point but fortunately the large PSU chassis is pretty easy to remove.

Image

I decided to slowly reassemble everything but excluding all the custom synth boards.

I then turned my attention to the ADDS Regent 20 serial terminal but very quickly after removing the lid I discovered that some tech had clearly been in there some time before and come to the same conclusion... at some point someone has dropped the terminal and broken the neck pcb and the glass pip clean off the back of the picture tube (CRT = RIP!) – more on this towards the end.

So realizing the original terminal is never likely to run again without either a replacement tube or a donor monitor chassis I set about finding some appropriate cables to attempt to emulate the terminal instead on a PC. At first I thought the GDS used a current loop serial interface but it turns out everything is set to standard RS232 at 9600-8-E-1 (thank heck!)

Since the A drive heads seemed worn I reconfigured the B drive as A and reinstalled it.

After a few more checks I plucked up the courage to slowly fire up the reassembled computer and nothing much seemed to be happening for quite some time and I was starting to get really depressed thinking we have a basket case on our hands until I noticed after some probing around that the floppy controller card was firing a 5V signal at the solid state relay in the PSU that is supposed to enable the 220V floppy drive spindle motors but the motors weren’t starting up despite me knowing they were good. I temporarily wired this over and started the system again (update: I have a new SSR on order [yup – like the console switches and knobs, they still make them!]) – the heads suddenly zeroed themselves after a reset so since I was now using a drive with shiny heads I decided to chance putting a disk in and after a little fiddling with HyperTerm to my amazement the system booted with a GDS prompt!!!

So I decided I’d only do this once before taking the disks to a specialist but this boot (amazingly) was off the really worn disk and so with the OS still running I swapped over to the voice disk and ran a DIR on that too...

Image

So now at the very least I have the OS build vers and disks contents from both disks.

Todays Update: Stoney thinks he’s found copies of the original programs and voices in digital form and hes going to copy them over a sever soon. I have also managed to find a box of still sealed 8” disks and what I’m now hoping to do is boot the system enough to format a new disk. This would give us a decent blank boot disk to image for HxC system. If that was successful then I can do a very similar exercise to what I do to make the virtual disks on the Synergy by hand copying the programs back on to a virtual OS disk image. The sheer beauty of this method is that if it works then I can use the HxC to make a real OS disk – this is what I can now do with the Synergy and can make as many copies of the system disk as I want :-)

The contents of the demo voice disk is fascinating (it is the very update disk detailed in the letter to Klaus from Tom Piggott at Crumar in Jan 1980 with all the paperwork) – it has suddenly become apparent to me that many of the stock Synergy sounds (some of which are brilliant) clearly had been programmed well before the Synergy was released.

There also at least some hope now that the disk contents can be recovered using modern inferred bit transition oversampling techniques should Stoney fail to find any files (the disk is not in good shape at all and is very badly scuffed – I managed to make some utils work but the main VOICE and PERFORM programs are producing disk errors on loading)

But still – this is a lot of progress after only a days (intense!) work.

Needless to say I’m now treating the two disks like gold dust.

Regarding the terminal – I have found a company that can sell me a new direct replacement CRT for the original. Expensive but it would be a great shame not to have an authentic ADDS Terminal.

Furthermore I have found a company who are able and willing to make a backup of the boot PROM on the I/O card – Stoney does not have a copy – if this PROM fails it’s game over so it’s really important I get this done even if I have to drive it there in person as nothing I have will touch an old three rail 2708.

This project is now starting to feel doable and I was extremely excited to witness the system booting. There is, however, a lot to do.

In terms of what is to come – I need to replace a heck of a lot of old axial and jelly bean type tants both of types that are known to be failure prone (and indeed what killed my Synergy in the first place!), replace the very scary 50,000uF stud mounted caps in the linear PSU, image the ROMs, hand reconstruct working system and voice disks from various sources, fit an HxC disk emulator having imaged everything, find a replacement for one of the 8” drives, fit a new CRT to the ADDS terminal and assess its condition which I’ve just sourced, fit a new SSR to the spindle motor control, have a missing metal trim strip fabricated for the front of the keyboard console, have the rusty CPU top panel and trim bead blasted and powder coated, have the faux wood end caps at least fixed up a bit (they look nasty rather than nicely aged), give every pot and panel a really good clean, remove and test all of the DRAM chips etc etc...
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
tim gueguen
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:31 am
Location: the Canadian Prairies
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by tim gueguen » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:50 pm

Are any of the other GDSs still operational? Apparently Wendy Carlos still has hers running. Chris Franke of Tangerine Dream had one, which reportedly was in use until at least the Legend soundtrack, and was MIDIed at some point. I wonder where it ended up.
Keys: Realistic Concertmate 500, Korg K25, Korg Micro X

Guits: '86 Fender Japan '50s Reissue Strat, '80 Aria Pro II TS-300 Thor Sound

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dani Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by HideawayStudio » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:02 am

tim gueguen wrote:Are any of the other GDSs still operational? Apparently Wendy Carlos still has hers running. Chris Franke of Tangerine Dream had one, which reportedly was in use until at least the Legend soundtrack, and was MIDIed at some point. I wonder where it ended up.
I'm not even sure Wendy's is operational - she has hasn't fired hers up in quite some time.

The most amazing thing....

This one here was Klaus Schulze's (complete with original paperwork and an even more rare than rare 220V version) and I know who now owns the GDS keyboard console that matches your description above.. also from Germany - so here we have both TD member's old GDS systems accounted for.

User avatar
synthroom
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:16 pm
Real name: Kirk
Gear: Fairlight IIx(!), JP-8, D-50, S-50+550, S-760, JX-3P, JD-800, EII, Emax II, Mini, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1, Pro-One, Performer, K1m, K5m, few other things.
Location: pdx
Contact:

Re: The Crumar GDS Restoration Blog...

Post by synthroom » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:34 am

Thanks for the write-up! It's really interesting reading! I love the scans of the cards!
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
EII, Emax II, Minimoog, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1 (broken...), Pro-One, Crumar Performer, K1m, K5m, MS-2000B, Virus KC, a few other things.

Post Reply