Monday, September 29, 2014

Kurzweil K2000 - Replacing the Floppy Drive with a Gotek USB Floppy Emulator

Hi there - My Kurzweil K2000 floppy drive recently died on me.  I searched high and low on the internet for a modern replacement and was surprised to see how little information is out there.  This post will walk you through how I replaced the floppy drive with a cheap floppy emulator from Amazon.  I plan to add pictures and more direction on using the software.  Stay tuned and enjoy.

Things You Need
  1. Floppy Emulator
  2. Phillips Screwdriver
  3. PC
  4. USB Floppy Drive
  5. WinHex Software
  6. USB Floppy Manager II Software
Floppy Emulator
There are a ton of options coming out of China.  From what I can tell they are all basically manufactured by the same company.  What I learned...
  • SFR1M44-U100K / This model only works as a replacement for 1.4 MB floppy drives.  It was perfect as a replacement for the floppy drive in my K2000.
  • There is another variation out there that starts with SFRM72.  There are intended to replace 720kb floppy drives.  I plan to try one out on a Sequential Circuits Prophet 2000 in the near future.
  • If you buy the emulator that I liked to above it will come with the software that you need.  It's not the greatest but it does work.  Both programs are built for Windows XP.  If you have a newer version of windows you will need to run the software in compatibility mode.
  • The JUMPERS...  Probably the most frustrating thing for me to figure out.  You need to make sure you have a block in the "MO" and the "JA" positions on the floppy emulator.
Kurzweil K2000
This part is easy.
  • Unplug the synth. 
  • Flip the synth upside down on a soft surface.
  • There are 6 screws that you need to remove.  One in each corner and two in the middle.
  • Carefully lift the bottom of the synth and flip it away from you.  There is a cable connecting the two parts together.  Be careful and take your time.
  • Locate the floppy drive.  Carefully remove the ribbon and power connectors from the drive and unscrew it from the bay.  Once the screws are removed, take the floppy drive out of the synth.
  • Make sure you have set the jumpers on the floppy emulator to the "MO" and "JA" positions.
  • Insert the new floppy drive emulator into the bay and screw it in.  Carefully connect the ribbon and power connectors.
  • Flip the bottom of the synth back onto the top.
  • Replace the 6 screws that you removed earlier.
  • Flip the synth back to it's normal position and plug it in.
  • Insert a usb thumb drive into the usb port on the floppy emulator.
  • Hold down the two buttons on the emulator simultaneously and power on the synth.  Keep holding the buttons down until you see the LED display on the emulator start cycling through numbers.
  • Release you hold on the buttons and wait for the emulator to finish it's cycle.  When it is complete it will read nothing but zeros on the display.  Congratulations.  You've just formatted your thumb drive into 100 1.4MB floppy disks.
  • Take a break and pat yourself on the back, your done for now.
What Next?
  • At this point you should be able save programs onto your thumb drive the same way that you used to do with floppy disks.
  • The buttons on the floppy emulator allow you to choose which floppy you want to read / write from.
  • Of the two buttons, the one of the right allows you to advance 0-9.  The button on the left allows you to advance the "tens" column 0-9.  By using a combination of the buttons you can cycle through 100 "disks".  Starting with 00 and ending with 99.
The Rest
The software that came with your floppy emulator is a pain but it does work.  I've provided the basics below and will add more detail to this blog as time allows.
  • WinHex allows you to take any Kurzweil K2000 floppy disk and save it as a .img file on your PC.
  • USB Floppy Manager II allows you to save these images onto your USB thumb drive.
Going through this process gave my K2000 a new lease on life.  I really like having access to all my floppys in one place.  I wish you great success.