Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

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Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby Tekhed66 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi all

I just got hold of a second hand SCSI card reader for my s5000 to replace my SCSI Jaz drive ... the unit apparently came from another Akai sampler (not a s5000 though). Card reader is a Microsystems PCD-50B and it can accept several different cards (SD, compact flash, smart card etc)

I plugged in the drive and the hardware shows up on the startup screen when the sampler boots up (it shows a floppy drive icon and what looks to be a hard drive / removable drive icon)... the card reader has a startup LED which also flashes momentarily when it starts up.

When I insert a card (compact flash or SD card), the drive LED will briefly flash but when I go to disk utilities to format the card, the sampler only gives me an option to format the floppy drive (which doesnt exist anymore) but not the card reader ... the sampler says there is no disk present in the floppy drive (obviously) but it doesnt see the compact flash or SD card in the card reader either.

I was wondering if the problem might be the jumpers located underneath the reader ... these may be in the wrong place for the s5000 so I was hoping if anyone who has this model installed in their s5000 could tell me if they had to configure the card reader in any specific way?

I am totally stumped.... can someone please help?

many thanks.

ps: below is a pic of how the jumpers are currently arranged ... one set of pins are completely empty, the other has two jumpers

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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby Rasputin » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:13 pm

Those jumpers don't do anything particularly special. They simply select the SCSI ID and whether it's terminated or not.

What does that mean to you? If you've got other SCSI devices hooked to the same unit (chained) then only one of them is supposed to be terminated. Also, they'd need to be on unique ID numbers.

Assuming this is the only SCSI device hooked to the sampler then termination is the correct setting and it's already set as such. It's also jumped as ID 2, but if there are no other devices then there can also be no ID number collision.

Having said that: Look at the terminator switch at the back of the sampler.
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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby Tekhed66 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:11 am

Rasputin wrote:Those jumpers don't do anything particularly special. They simply select the SCSI ID and whether it's terminated or not.

What does that mean to you? If you've got other SCSI devices hooked to the same unit (chained) then only one of them is supposed to be terminated. Also, they'd need to be on unique ID numbers.

Assuming this is the only SCSI device hooked to the sampler then termination is the correct setting and it's already set as such. It's also jumped as ID 2, but if there are no other devices then there can also be no ID number collision.

Having said that: Look at the terminator switch at the back of the sampler.


Hi Rasputin

Thanks for your help ... ths is really frustrating... I have a scsi Jaz drive that works perfectly in the sampler but I thought a card reader might be better (more storage, less moving parts etc) ... if it ain't broke (@#$%^&*)

I've checked the sampler and scsi termination is ON.

To recap:
- I boot up, the sampler sees the drive, I can scroll to the drive in disk utilities but ONLY when the drive is empty.

- It tells me basic info about the card reader (scsi ID4 etc)

-As soon as I put a SD, CF or Smartmedia card in the reader (eg to format a card), the card reader drive disappears from the disk utilities page and only shows the floppy drive. If I press update (to rescan the reader), the sampler looks for the drive but hangs.

- If I insert a card (I used an SD) into the reader and then boot up, this time the sampler recognises the drive and I can navigate to the utilities page. I can select the card reader icon but when I press format, it says there is NO card in the reader ... if I press update (to rescan) the sampler hangs and I'm back to square one.

I've checked the scsi cable for basic errors like having the cable wrong way around (red strip IS on pin #1)... I've run out of things to check.

I read a very old post somewhere that says that even though there are 5 slots, only the PCMCIA slot is active (something to do with the firmware version and it being a 'read only' versus 'read and write')... do you or anyone else know anything about this?

WHY WHY WHY do I buy second hand stuff from eBay????????????????????????????????????????????? :( :( :( :( :( :(

Anybody else use one of these things with an s5000? I thought that there would be mobs of them out there...oh well.

thanks for your help

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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby blueknob » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:57 am

psst.. MrR, have another look ;) the drive is set to scsi id 4, I know you know this... anyway.

Just a few thoughts, what scsi id is your Jaz drive set to? Set this drive to the same. Usually it's better to boot up with all things scsi ready to roll, so put the cf card in then power up, and power up this drive first. The led flashing and the fact the Akai lists it, shows it knows it's there (a good sign). What scsi ID is the sampler? EPS16+ are fixed to ID-3, many samplers can be changed. Looks like though the cf isn't formatted, now would that be to Akai format or FAT32 (or some other computer format). I've also found not all cf cards are equal, I think it's to do with the type of on-board controller chip it uses, so do check if that type/brand of cf works with the scsi reader/Akai.

I've seen a lot of Akai knowledge on MPC forums, I would think what works on MPC will work for S series too.

It can be mixed results on eBay, I've bought a few trashed items had to bin them, but that's the way it goes. Every purchase there is a risk esp. the tech stuff. I bought a scsi ZIP drive only to discover it had that "click of death" but recenetly I've had some repeated rejects from Chinese stuff, my recent was a sata/usb interface, the included power supply couldn't spin up the drive and the replacement exploded in a big blue electical flash, it took out my fuse . Clearly both were substandard items.
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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby madtheory » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:12 am

Tekhed66 wrote:I've checked the sampler and scsi termination is ON.

Only one device should be terminated, so turn that OFF on the sampler, and leave it ON at the card reader. That can certainly cause a problem like this. But it worked fine that way with the Jazz drive you say- well that's not unusual with SCSI! Also make sure you are testing the card read with NO OTHER SCSI drive connected, just to reduce the amount of things that can possibly go wrong here.

It's not eBay that's the problem, it's SCSI. It was always a very awkward system to set up with a sampler, not least because different manufacturers sometimes did things wrong. It's been 18 years since I had a system, but I think I can profess to have gone through the correct amount of suffering to make it work. I used to have a Mac with internal SCSI CD drive, an ESI4000, a CD burner, a 2GB HD (wow, so expensive back then) and a scanner all working together, back then.
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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby Tekhed66 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:00 pm

madtheory wrote:
Tekhed66 wrote:I've checked the sampler and scsi termination is ON.

Only one device should be terminated, so turn that OFF on the sampler, and leave it ON at the card reader. That can certainly cause a problem like this. But it worked fine that way with the Jazz drive you say- well that's not unusual with SCSI! Also make sure you are testing the card read with NO OTHER SCSI drive connected, just to reduce the amount of things that can possibly go wrong here.

It's not eBay that's the problem, it's SCSI. It was always a very awkward system to set up with a sampler, not least because different manufacturers sometimes did things wrong. It's been 18 years since I had a system, but I think I can profess to have gone through the correct amount of suffering to make it work. I used to have a Mac with internal SCSI CD drive, an ESI4000, a CD burner, a 2GB HD (wow, so expensive back then) and a scanner all working together, back then.


Hi madtheory

Yes the Jaz drive works 100% ... in fact, I removed the card reader and re-installed the Jaz drive and it booted up and was recognised immediately... I could read/load from disk just as before which is a huge relief.

I left the Akai scsi termination switch as it was (ON) when I tried the card reader but I'll do as you suggested and switch it off... only one scsi device was attached to the sampler at a time so there weren't any conflicts.

The scsi channel for the card reader is 4 but I'm not sure what the sampler is set to (from memory it's pre-configured) so hopefully they're not sharing the same ID... I don't know the ID of the Jaz drive but I'll check that and maybe it will give some clues.

Yes - scsi is definitely a 4 letter word.... unfortunately all of my gear is of that vintage so bashing your head against a wall goes with the territory... I've got scsi external CD drives to use on my other gear but it's always a lottery whether it will work. My first computer way back in the day was a Mac Plus with a huge 20Mb (yes you read right) external scsi hard drive that sounded like a vacuum cleaner when it was running...

Anyway - I've got a few more leads and will have another crack at it...

Thanks for everyone's help and advice.
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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby madtheory » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:24 pm

Ah cool, you're in the zone :)
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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby Rasputin » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:21 am

Out of curiosity: You said the floppy drive was pulled. What happens if you boot with the SCSI drive but with the floppy drive also temporarily hooked up?
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Re: Akai s5000 SCSI card reader - PLEASE HELP!!

Postby Tekhed66 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:20 am

Rasputin wrote:Out of curiosity: You said the floppy drive was pulled. What happens if you boot with the SCSI drive but with the floppy drive also temporarily hooked up?


Good question... I'll have to try and find the floppy drive so I can't tell you at the moment.

The sampler looks for the floppy even though it's not there so I assume that it will read from whichever directory you point it to.

I tried re-installing the card reader using madtheory's suggestion of switching the sampler scsi termination to 'off' but no joy... still the same old story 8-( ... the reader is recognised but disappears as soon as you put a card into the slot.

My last roll of the dice is to use only the PCMCIA slot as I read somewhere that this might be ther only active read/write slot in the reader... I'm grasping at straws here but it's worth one more go... I've got a caddy somewhere (???) so until I find it I'm stuck .... hopefully I'll get this sorted before too long... if all else fails I'll sell it.
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