Adding Compact Flash To An Old Sequencer

[Shoji] has a beloved sequencer that went out of production ten years ago. Unfortunately the storage options are also 10 year out-of-date as SCSI is the stock option for storing his loops. Using a series of adapters he added Compact Flash storage to his Akai MPC-2000 Classic. The board has a connector for 25-pin SCSI which he wired to a 25-pin to 50-pin SCSI adapter. From there he connects a SCSI to IDE board, and then an IDE to CF. Subsequent versions of the Akai Classic have floppy drives in the front left corner so he used this method to mount he CF slot. Now he’s got plenty of storage with very little change to the appearance of the looper.

32 thoughts on “Adding Compact Flash To An Old Sequencer

  1. Hah, i’ve literally done this to my Akai 5k the other week, didn’t need the SCSI adaptor but otherwise the whole thing was pretty much the same.

    I’ll have a read through his notes and add anything here that i found helpful he doesn’t mention

  2. A short length of 25 conductor ribbon cable terminated with two male DB-25 IDC connectors would have been safer and easier. Nice hack, though, if you know what you are doing…

  3. Just had a look, he didnt mention anything about the jumper settings, which caused me a few hours of grief.

    Here’s a PDF with the data about them in I’m assuming these will be much the same for all IDE/SCSI convertors.

    I found that for the IDE/CF convertor i needed to have the FlashRom mode set to ReWrite Mode (jumper pair 8 connected) the rest of it was pretty easy. I found that also the sampler gives me errors if i try to format or change the name of the card, but i can save/load samples fine

    Hope that helps some people out

  4. OP solders down onto the SCSI connector leads individual wires. This leaves a nice stub for reflections on the line between the connector pins and the external connector. Using individual wires leads to noise pick up and increased current return paths. Not exactly the best way of doing things.

  5. A dude I jam with bought a Roland S770 sampler and when it got here the hard drive (a massive 40mb!) was shot. He wound up just ripping an old scsi zip drive out of an old computer in an attic and putting it in the hard drive’s place and it works marvelously.

    1. HI colin, I have an s770 and it looks like that the internal hard drive is not a standard scsi drive.. Do you know have info on how your friend got a regular scsi drive in there? Did you have his email? thanks jeff

  6. I got an old powerpc machine with I believe a Fast SCSI adapter and drive.

    00:10.0 SCSI storage controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic (formerly NCR) 53c825 (rev 13)
    Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV+ VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
    Status: Cap- 66Mhz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- SERR- <PERR-
    Latency: 32 (4250ns min, 16000ns max), cache line size 08
    Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 23

    I wonder if I could hack in a faster memory card/ssd based storage. Adding another IO card in pci is not an option cause AIX couldn't boot from it.

  7. We do this at work all the time. We have a lot of ancient systems and we can only find the old hard drives used so we’ve been replacing them with a SCSI to IDE adapter and an IDE to CF adapter. We haven’t got to our Ensoniq midi sequencers yet but they make his Akai look like cutting-edge hardware.

  8. quit dogging on dude saying this isn’t a hack. CF is definitly an upgrade to the all mighty mpc. so what if he didn’t build the adapter, I thought I was going to be stuck with zip disk. soooo quit this isn’t a hack shit, it’ll only cause discouragement and no one cares about the labeling. if it’s cool then sweet, if it’s not your cup of tea then whatever leave it alone

  9. There’s a Microtech SCSI-to-PCMCIA adapter in my junkb^H^H^H^H^Hparts stock, which would have solved this with a far smaller kludge factor. It’s even 3.5″. Of course it will only take PCMCIA storage-type cards, but I have used it with a PCMCIA-CF adapter to read the pics from my digicam.

  10. The MPC pictured is not final stage, I used shorter SCSI cable without terminal dangle instead. (Please note that MPC2000 classic does not have an internal SCSI port.)
    MPC-2000 classic is already bulky (XL is a bit smaller) and having connecting external SCSI device is definitely turn off for most of MPC users.

    “Look at me! I hooked a VGA projector up to my MacBook by stringing some adaptors together! (would that count as a hack, really? because it’s the same thing)”
    I don’t think it is the same thing…
    (ax0n and Tim, if my customized MPC offended you, I apologize.)

  11. @Stoneshop Microtech SCSI CF adapter goes over $200 on ebay! SCSI CF reader (that works on old samplers) is very hard to find.
    @Paul By using CF card, I can import and export data between PC and MPC.

  12. I have essentially done a CF-Conversion to my Roland SP808EX; Luckly it’s zip250 is easily replaceable by a IDE-flash adaptor to allow for CF usage.

    . .sadly i almost never use the beast for anything grander than a toy; modern usb triggers + software is so much more usable.

  13. @Guy Thank you for finding the jumper settings, I was looking for the document when I was doing this project, but I could not find it.
    If you have 2.5″ SCSI CF reader, of course you don’t need the converter, but a SCSI CF reader is very hard to find.

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