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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
My DIY Yamaha RX5 programmable waveform cartridge: RX5USB
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject:  My DIY Yamaha RX5 programmable waveform cartridge: RX5USB Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure this is the right category to post this, sorry if it isn't.

So, I love my RX5, but I became quickly limited by the small amount of onboard sounds, so I started searching for waveform cartridges.
I quickly found out that there were few of them, and they were rare and expensive.

I know quite a bit about programming, electronics, and that sort of stuff so I thought: what if I could make a programmable waveform cartridge?

Waveform cartridges

I bought the cheapest cartridge I could find: the RX5 ROM, which apparently was sold with the RX5 itself, and started to dump it.

Inside there's two 1 Megabit mask roms of relatively standard pinout, each chip contains an independant sound bank.

Sound banks format is relatively easy to understand: there's a header with one 32 bytes entry per sound, sample rate is 25Khz, and samples are either 8bit or 12bit signed PCM (two 12 bit samples being packed in 3 bytes).

Hardware

My design is based around a "Teensy++ USB Development Board" ( http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensypp_pins.html ) and a 4 Megabit flash chip: the SST39SF040 ( http://www.kesaitech.com.cn/gb/files/39SF040_020A_010A.pdf ).
The flash chip replaces the 2 mask ROMs, and the Teensy board is used to program it through USB.
I took advantage of the ridiculously small price difference between 2 Mbit and 4 Mbit chips to add a "side" switch to my design, so that you can change which pair of banks the RX5 will access.

Here's the current schematics: http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-16/rx5usb_sch_rev1.1.pdf
I also designed a PCB board: http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-16/rx5usb_pcb_rev2.8.pdf

The schematics work on breadboard, but I haven't tested the PCB board yet (still being printed).

Software

I also coded a computer app to edit and program the sound banks, it's in lazarus (object pascal), Windows only right now, but it shouldn't be very hard to port it to other systems.

Here's a video where I demonstrate it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zNYN3vE_iY (it's in French tho)

By the way, one nice feature I added not long ago: it can import Fairlight CMI IIx voice disks ^^

Project files

The whole project is under GPL v3 license, and is hosted on github: https://github.com/gligli/rx5usb
I'm quite close to a first binary release, which will probably happen this year.

My breadboard prototype:
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Here are 2 audio demos:
http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-02/camarche.mp3 (my sampled voice, and TR707 samples being played by the RX5)
http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-13/fairzero.mp3 (me noodling some famous Fairlight sounds with a MIDI keyboard attached to the RX5)

Contributing

So, all of this is free and gratis, and I hope it will be usefull to others Smile

Right now it needs testing, reviewing and all that stuff...

I also hope someone will dump the Yamaha WRC cartridges, so they are available to anyone, and that sound banks made with my app will be freely available, tho You are free not to release them.

Phew that was a lot of typing ! Smile
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seaweedfactory



Joined: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 61
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

.
Last edited by seaweedfactory on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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andrewF



Joined: Dec 29, 2006
Posts: 1174
Location: australia
Audio files: 4

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great job - well done
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Bogus Noise



Joined: Jun 03, 2009
Posts: 59
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, nice work!
_________________
Circuit Bent Sonic Absurdity:

www.bogus-noise.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/user/BogusNoise
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aladan



Joined: Aug 13, 2011
Posts: 49
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi gligli, this is great!
I have a few RX5s, and would be interested in being able to load new sounds. One of my RX5s already has the Robin Whittle mod (EPROM chips added internally) with some extra sound banks available.
I would be happy to be a beta-tester for you. I have a spare teensy already - once you have confirmed the PCB layout works could you send me the .pcb file so I can get one etched and build the interface?
Thanks,
A.
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, thanks!

I got my printed PCB yesterday from a friend, it didn't print very well but I fixed the damaged tracks, should be ok as a test PCB still.

PCB files are there: https://github.com/gligli/rx5usb/tree/master/board_sch (I used KiCad) , I'm fairly confident with it, but yeah it's quite logical I test it first Smile

Still, It's cool you want to test it, that's what it needs the most right now Smile
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I confirm that revision 2.8 of my PCB (the one that's on my github) works Very Happy

Actually plugging it into the RX5 stressed me a lil, but it went well Smile

Also I had a few occasional sound clicks with the breadboard, but none yet with the PCB.
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi again,

As promised, here's the beta 1 archive Smile :

http://dl.free.fr/vFdvp09Sj (also attached to this post)

There should be everything you need inside, in English and French.
For those who want to test it, please report any unclear, false or buggy stuff you could find, that's what a beta is for Smile

I won't make fully assembled cartridges or even PCBs, but anybody can, even if they sell it.
They only have to publish their changes under the same license I used (GNU GPL v3).


rx5usb_beta1.zip
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Mr. Pete



Joined: Mar 17, 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you Gigli ~ Merci beaucoup
i LOVE my RX-5 Cool

Does anyone run your Editor Software under OSX on Mac? any special requirements or instructions on how to do it?

many thanks, PETE

https://soundcloud.com/misterpete
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Hollywood



Joined: May 22, 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm very interested in this, I'd certainly buy a pcb if someone made one! Also, I have the WRC-04 cartridge, how would I go about getting the data off?
*edit* So it looks like rom ripping is somewhat beyond my capabilities...
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Hollywood



Joined: May 22, 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:47 am    Post subject: Housing? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So, I'm getting the parts together to build one (or more) of these, but I'm at a loss as to how to house it... I want to use the machine live so it's a serious consideration before I use the PCB layouts here... any ideas?
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Fernández



Joined: Oct 21, 2013
Posts: 1
Location: spain

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: it's posible? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, in new here and sorry about mu english. I follow this theme and in very interesantes. I hace a rx7 and I want to add it more wounds. My cuestión is if I could make easyly a similar cartridge with this PCI.

VIA VT6212L

Thanks


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le captain



Joined: Jul 19, 2014
Posts: 1
Location: belgium leuven

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hey,

Is there any chance of buying one of those cards?
Or getting the pcb for download (i did not manage to download any kind of gerber file from github)

PS: I love the rx5!
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