Yamaha PortaTone PSR Series & GoTek SFRM72-FU-DL

By what and how to replace a faulty 3.5″ 2DD Floppy Drive (FDD) on some Yamaha PortaTone PSR Series and others Series?

This page is a recap in English of the following long article in French:

During the 1990s, Yamaha keyboard synthesizers and recorders were using the Panasonic (former Matsushita) EME-213 yn/yv FDD (Floppy Disk Drive).
According to Yamaha Japan, this FDD was installed into at least the following models of its electronic musical instruments:

  • Synthesizer Workstation: W5 v.1 and v.2 / W7 v.1 and v.2 / SY85
  • MIDI Data Filer: MDF2
  • Music Sequencer: QY300
  • PortaTone PSR Series: PSR-600 / PSR-620 / PSR-1700 / PSR-2700 / PSR-6000 / PSR-SQ16

♦ Existing alternatives to this Matsushita FDD

As we know it, the replacement by a more or less equivalent mechanical writer/reader must be forgotten because the obsolescence of such kind of technology therefore the rarity, the very high price and the poor reliability of such products.

After a market analysis, it seems that one of the possible solutions, even the best from the point of view of mechanical – electronic – software compatibility / functionalities / price / reliability / availability, is:
  • a 3-Digits 720 KB Floppy Drive to USB Stick Emulator for Yamaha – Korg – Roland Electric Organs
  • from GOTEK System
  • sold new on Amazon.com or eBay.com at 30-35 € incl. Taxes (price could fluctuate according to the Yuan/Euro exchange rate), with shipping costs included from China (PRC).
  • Please note: some unscrupulous sellers sell the same new GoTek product two to three times more expensive!

MANUFACTURER: GOTEK System – China
MODEL: SFRM72-FU-DL (the 3-digits display series) with SFRM72 = compatible 720 KB, FU = with internal 720 KB FLASH memory chip, and DL = original non-FAT system (like MSX PCs).
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure to choose this SFRM72-FU-DL model for the Yamaha products listed above and not another Gotek model that will cause only problems, or not work at all or could even seriously damage the electronics of your synth!

GOTEK SFRM72-FU-DL — Electronic diagram of the USB 1.0 / FDE 3.5″ 2DD SFRC922 motherboard (actual size 5.139 x 3.192)

As we can see on the above diagram, the GOTEK SFRM72-FU-DL has an internal FLASH memory SST25VF016B, which is optional on other models, emulating the floppy disk drive. Without this integrated circuit, the Yamaha compatible products cannot use the emulator and we will get an error message on Yamaha display panel.

GOTEK SFRM72-FU-DL – Floppy-to-USB Emulator User Manual

GOTEK SFRM72-FU-DL (3-digit) — USB 1.0 / FDE 3.5″ 2DD with its “ARM” µProcessor TM32F105RBT6 and its “FLASH” memory SST25VF016B (above the ARM on its right)

This GOTEK SFRM72-FU-DL emulator model has a built-in 720 KB Flash memory which emulates a 3.5″ 2DD floppy disk that the Yamaha products reads and writes directly as the synthesizers (listed above) did with the physical floppy drive but much-much faster. Any input or output action on a file made using the synthesizer control panel is to and from this Flash memory and not directly to-from the USB stick connected to the GoTek. Since Flash memory is non-volatile, all files stored in it are preserved when the synthesizer is turned off.

How is it working?

Yamaha keyboard synthesizer <=> GoTek internal FLASH memory (replaces 3.5″ floppy disks) <=> USB sticks (for saving and storing performances outside of Yamaha products).

♦ Yamaha PSR-620 & GoTek SFRM72-FU-DL

This GoTek USB/FDE emulator does not work directly in neither the PSR-620 nor the Yamaha products listed above. Some work has to be done before we can use it.

Yamaha PSR-620 — 61-key MIDI Keyboard – Synthesizer – Arranger – Recorder – Player

First, we need to make a Passive Adapter between the FFC (flat flexible cable) of the Yamaha keyboard and this USB/FDE. Various solutions can be envisaged to achieve this goal.

The electrical diagram below, of the Passive Adapter between the GoTek USB/FDE emulator and the PSR-620 keyboard synthesizer, was validated during my second series of tests.
NOTE: All +5V and GND (Ground) conductors of the 24-Pin FFC are connected to the GOTEK in order to avoid undesirable « antenna effects » which can randomly affect the proper functioning of the PSR-620/GOTEK couple.

Wiring diagram (final) of the passive adapter: 24-Pin FFC <=> USB/FDE 34-Pin IDC (Shugart 34) cable + 4-Pin PWR

24-pin FFC / 34-pin IDC Passive Adapter

To my knowledge there is only one Passive Adapter ‘ready-to-use’ available on the market from a German seller but it is costing +/- 30 €; i.e. the price of the GoTek emulator. And also the feedback from the users are different. For some people it is working, for others it is not working. I cannot judge about it as I have never tested this adapter.

So, my solution was to make my own Passive Adapter reusing the 24-pin connector from my Panasonic (former Matsushita) EME-213 FDD + Dupont cables + some soldering on the FFC connector pins (see below image on the right).

It’s not very difficult to realize this assembly and it’s very flexible. If needed, the Dupont cables can be replaced by a user modified 34-pin IDC (insulation-piercing contact) flat ribbon cable.

Yamaha PSR-620 / Gotek SFRM72-FU-DL — « Temporary » Passive Adapter

GOTEK internal Jumper setting / Tested and validated on Yamaha PSR-620

  • Only -S1- is in place = Drive 1 selection (see above image on the left)

Make sure you don’t miss this point by removing the default JA & S0 jumpers and then replacing them with only S1 jumper. If not, the GoTek emulator will bot be recognized and/or will not be functional.

Formatting a new or non-empty 2DD Floppy Disk?!

No more need to do it because… there is no more floppy disk! They have been definitively replaced by the internal FLASH memory of the Gotek and by one or more USB sticks of the performer.
In addition, this internal FLASH memory is always formatted by default. If you want to empty-reset its content, the easiest way is to copy the empty content of a folder (xyz) from a USB stick (previously formatted on a computer) into the FLASH (with the GoTek Units button). It’s almost instantaneous and voila.

The SAVE (Save to FLASH), LOAD (Load from FLASH) and DELETE (Erase on FLASH) operations are identical to those with a floppy disk but much more practical.

On the other hand, the FORMAT operation (FLASH formatting), as seen above, is no longer necessary with this internal memory. In addition, since GoTek does not provide any reliable explanation for it, it is best not to use FORMAT with the FLASH!

For operating this GOTEK emulator with the compatible YAMAHA products:

  • Synthesizer Workstation: W5 v.1 and v.2 / W7 v.1 and v.2 / SY85
  • MIDI Data Filer: MDF2
  • Music Sequencer: QY300
  • PortaTone PSR Series: PSR-600 / PSR-620 / PSR-1700 / PSR-2700 / PSR-6000 / PSR-SQ16

…Consult their respective user manual and the PSR-620/GoTek article link at the top of this page.

 

GOTEK SFRM72-FU-DL USB/FDE emulator or the incredible story of a small 1 GB USB stick that took itself for a set of 1,000 3.5″ 2DD 720 KB floppy disks!

When the Saints Go Marching In (Jazzy Negro Spiritual)

played on my Yamaha PSR-620 keyboard-synthesizer => Audio recorded with Audacity => .OGG file

 

Yamaha Computer Music — Computer-aided Music (CAM). It’s all about Music!