Saturday, February 28, 2015

Keyboard update

While wandering around eBay a few weeks ago, I found a device that replaces 3.5" floppy drives. To the device it's plugged in to, it looks like a floppy drive, but on the front it has a USB slot, two buttons and a 3 digit display.

The church I do A/V at has a rather old Clavinova with a floppy drive that has never been of much use.  As this device was selling for $23, I decided to pick one up just out of curiosity.

I installed it today and it works brilliantly. You put a blank/formatted thumb drive in, then you can use the buttons to select a "virtual floppy drive" - since the thumb drive is so much bigger than the 1.4M floppies that the device is pretending to be, you get to have hundreds of "floppies" stored on the thumb drive.  The 512M thumb drive I put in appears to have 330 "floppies" on it.

The LED display indicates which "floppy" you have "inserted".  The right button increments the "1s" digit, the left the "10s" and both together the "100s".

I am hopeless on the keyboard so I just recorded a scale, saved it off, power cycled the keyboard, reloaded it and played it.  I tried recording over, then restoring and it worked as well.

This is a VERY EASY and cheap upgrade to do.  The floppy enclosure on this Clavinova is just a plastic box screwed to the bottom of the unit.  Four screws remove the box, two cables come off, four screws remove the mounting plate from the plastic box, then four screws remove the floppy from the mounting plate.  Then just reverse the procedure with the new box in place.

Floppy drive originally in Clavinova

Floppy enclosure dropped down

Floppy on the mounting plate

USB "floppy" emulator in Clavinova

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I noticed a US company make an SD-card Floppy emulator, with 2 digits, and a very high price, and it was shortly after that the 3-digit (=# of floppies emulated) started coming from China at a fraction of the price, and now USB keys are supported!

I hope the original company got some money for their great invention!

/Ward C

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