Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

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Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

Postby SerialSinger » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:02 pm

Hello all, and sorry to post this again because it was erroneously put in a wrong section... :? :oops:

I recently acquired a really nice Korg A1 effects processor, and I discovered that the EPROM chip of its operating system is a "weird one", at least for the only EPROM reader/burner I usually have access to (owned by a friend of mine).

The chip is a Fujitsu MBM27C1000, apparently very similar to any (more common) 27C1001 EPROM but not identical in pins assignment.

Is there anyone here around who by chance have access to a Korg A1 *and* an EPROM reader able to read that ugly chip and obtain a binary dump?
Then we'll add the missing dump to the usual huge collection at dbwbp.com :)

Many thanks in advance!
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Re: Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

Postby Mooger5 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:00 pm

Same type of EPROMs found in the Wavestation firmware and wave data. My burner doesn´t recognize 27C1000s but it reads and burns 27C1001s. Both chips are compatible except for pins 2 and 24. They have to be swapped so the burner will take the 1000 while "thinking" it´s a 1001. What I did to update the Korg to the latest revision was risky but it worked:

I slowly lifted pins 2 and 24 of the 27C1000 so they´d stand out of the burner´s ZIF socket. After mounting the chip but before locking the socket, I sticked a piece of wire of fine gauge in the socket´s hole underneath each of the lifted pins, making sure the sleeve would prevent the wire from shorting the pin with the hole. Then the other end of the wire underneath pin 2 was attached to pin 24 and vice-versa via croc clips, and that was it. Pins swapped.
The burner then had to be told to read a 27C1001 and it worked!

Good luck.
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Re: Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

Postby SerialSinger » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:05 am

Many thanks for the hint!
At the moment I would postpone the pins bending job, but I will take note of that; I was hoping to find someone who already has the dump, because I just wish to have a backup ready to be used just in case.

Well... "ready to be used" is not the right sentence, due to that pin swapping that would be necessary to burn a replacement EPROM... :(

Maybe I will find a way to easily build an "adapter" using a chip socket to put in between the EPROM and the reader/programmer!

Why oh why Korg used those weird pinswapped EPROMs on many of their instruments at that time... :evil:
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Re: Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

Postby Mooger5 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:56 pm

You´re welcome.

Use a solderless breadboard and as many jumper wires as the chip´s pins, going to the ZIF socket.

I had came up with a less neat solution prior to this one but there´s no need to waste a good part for what is just a one-time operation.

Good luck.
Last edited by Mooger5 on Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

Postby SerialSinger » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:07 am

I think it's time for me to take a solderless breadboard, at last...
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Re: Looking for Korg A1 firmware dump

Postby Mooger5 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:10 am

You could also use an IC socket of the machined type in case the jumpers keep springing out of the ZIF. Put that socket on the ZIF, lock it, and fit the wires onto the IC socket instead, for a better grip. One meter of solidcore CAT5 cable should be enough.
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