Options for my Akai S950 SCSI, floppy emulators etc

HxC Floppy Emulator Akai Keyboards/Samplers support
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:22 am

Options for my Akai S950 SCSI, floppy emulators etc

Post by Roman »

Roman from NZ here. I bought my S950 in 94 when I was 17. I was making beats before that with an Amiga 500 and an 8 bit sound card for sampling and trackers for sequencing. Golden era baby.

After using software samplers and collecting a major facility worth of equipment and instruments, I want to make some purist hip hop Primo/Pete Rock/Marley Marl style beats.
Maybe start digging in the vinyl record shops.

I have the IB109 SCSI board. I had it working way back then. I was using a SCSI ZIP drive. I still have the drive and disks. I haven't been able to get the ZIP recognised. I get the 'Hard disk not ready' message.

From memory, I used to set the SCSI number to 6 and have the ZIP drive set to 6. It has a switch on the back with SCSI ID 5 or 6 as options. SCSI termination 'on' as well.
Then I would turn the dial on the 'select/create Floppy' field. Then it would appear ready to use.

I know it only formats 64Mb. Something about partitions. I forget how that works. But the memory is fully maxed so 2.25Mbs to save or load at a time.

I need to be brought up to date by the experts as to what I should do for optimum storage.
I don't want to have to use floppies. Are floppies even available these days?
I see S950s on eBay with CF card readers in the floppy drive bay. USB stick floppy emulators etc. SD floppy emulators.

I would love to be able to send samples to the S950 from my mac somehow. Maybe I would miss out on some 'magic' in the A/D stage. But could be cool for reCycle stretched drum break hits.

I would love to get the SCSI working again. I'm thinking of worst case scenarios of shipping it to Japan to get problem solved.

Maybe there is another SCSI option that might work. Maybe my Zip drive isn't happy. It seems ok in appearance.
I have seen mention of SCSI2SD mentioned on the net.
I see eBay auctions for S950 floppy emulators claim you can have 100 floppy images on a USB/CF/SD? That sound like more than the 64Mb limit of the SCSI.

You need a floppy drive to be able to use a SCSI HD for some reason on the S950. Would installing a floppy emulator that replaced the old school floppy drive prevent me using the SCSI because of this?
If a floppy emulator gave me a big easy storage solution and easy to back up, then that could be me happy.
Who is the experts on the S950 options these days?
Thanks y'all,
ready to get mad funky,

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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:22 am

Re: Options for my Akai S950 SCSI, floppy emulators etc

Post by Roman »

I have tried to get my old Iomega Zip scsi drive recognised by my S950 after many years of being unused.
It just gives me the 'hard disk not ready' flashing lights message.
Out of my many attempts of turning the data jog wheel to select floppy after setting the SCSI to 6, I have on about 2 occasions had the activity light of the Zip drive flash.But not fully recognised.
But for the other 50 times I've tried no flashing light on the Zip drive.

My hypotheses are:
The zip drive may not be fully functional. I could in theory test it with some other SCSI equipment.
I just now tested the Zip connected directly to my Akai Z8. It was stuck on 'searching for disks' until I ejected the Zip disk then it went to being useable. So the drive was having an effect on the sampler but not useable.
Maybe the zip drive is faulty. Amazingly you can still but a new Iomage Zip SCSI 100Mb drive from Amazon for 200 something USD.

I'm thinking I don't need a SCSI drive if I had a floppy emulator that can apparently create and hold 1000 floppy disks worth of data. I watched a youtube video where the guy has an S900 and you push the buttons on the floppy emulator to change floppy numbers.

Can the floppy emulator store 2.25Mb of a maximum memory expanded S950? Or is it limited to 1.44Mb just like a floppy?

Is there a good SCSI solution for storage with the IB109 interface which I have that isn't Zip?
Some threads mention a SCSI2SD thing.
ta limit of
If I got a floppy emulator, would I still be able to use the SCSI port. Because to use the SCSI port, my understanding is you need a floppy drive. But an emulator I would assume, would still allow this.
If I could save the S950's full memory onto USB or SD for a reasonable data limit of 64 or 1000 megs then I would have enough to sample and save and load and that would be enough without SCSI.

Is there an SD floppy emulator? Is SD better than USB stick? USB would be easier to back up to my macbook I suppose.

My (sensible) options as I understand them are:
Get a floppy emulator.
Maybe try the SCSI2SD option
Thanks for reading,

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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:44 am

Re: Options for my Akai S950 SCSI, floppy emulators etc

Post by sharkytowers »

Well, I'm the last person to ask or to give advice on technical stuff. I'm still trying to get my HxC SD emulator working perfect on my Emulator II. But... I'll be watching your thread and hope you make some progress. I have an Akai s900 I'd love to bring back into the fold. I'm thinking about using my Gotek USB emulator I just replaced out of my Emulator II ( I think I had the jumpers incorrectly configured).

Anyway... just wanted to give a shout so you didn't feel like you were alone on the mission.

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Re: Options for my Akai S950 SCSI, floppy emulators etc

Post by Roman »

I have connected the SCSI2SD drive to my IB109 interface of the S950.
It works. I have version 6 I think. Which allows all the SCSI ID numbers to be used. So you can have 7 or 8 separate drives formatted to the S950 data limit of 64 Mgs.
Which means you can utilise more of the SD G bytes available.

My screen goes into crazy character jumble when in the disk mode. I overcome this by pressing 'end' twice. Maybe my Eprom needs refreshing or something.

I haven't installed the floppy emulator yet. This one has folders and sub folders instead of just sequential disk numbers.

So yes, successfully saving and loading files to the Smart Disk drive.

You don't need to use floppies anymore DJ Premier!

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Re: Options for my Akai S950 SCSI, floppy emulators etc

Post by Jeff »

This ebayer is a scammer. Please don't promote this guy here.
He just sold a 13$ hardware seven times the original price and plus others legal issues...

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