Installing an IDE to SD Card Media Adapter in a Roland VS-840 Multitrack Recorder
Today I received a couple of new Secure Digital SD SDHC MMC to IDE 3.5 40 Pin Male Adapter Converter cards for my Roland VS-840 Multitrack Recorder. I installed the device and was able to successfully partition and initialize a 2GB Sandisk SD Memory card in the Roland VS-840. Partitions are 1GB. The VS-840 is now totally silent and I no longer get any “drive busy” errors when using the VS-640 in MT1/MT2 Song format. The installation was flawless and although there may be some future SD card compatibility issues, I have so far found most SD cards to work with the device. The person I bought the SD adapter converter card from on Ebay is http://myworld.ebay.com/leewaieshop2010/ . I attached a photo to this article of what the device looks like. Previously in another article I wrote I had purchased a couple of similar converters from an online shop called DealExtreme which had horrible service. I eventually got my money back and promised I would never do business with them again. The product I purchased above came from Hong Kong and it arrived actually in exactly one week from purchase. The service was great and I would definitely order again from this one individual.
Replacing the Zip drive with an SD Card in the Roland VS-840 works beautifully and really cleans up some of the issues I had with the unit. I’ll probably try the same SD card converter with the Roland VS-1680 and Roland SP-808. It’s likely the SP-808 won’t work as I’ve yet to hear any success stories with SD cards working in an SP-808. SD Cards do however work very well with the Roland VS-840. I use my Roland VS-840 extensively to import WAV files into my Roland VS-1680. I export WAV files into the VS-840 format using the BR WAV converter software and then import that into the VS-1680. It works great.
UPDATE #1 – The replacement of the Roland VS-840 250MB zip drive with an SD Card adapter is really working well. I am using a SandDisk Extreme III 2GB card that has a 1GB Fat16 partition. I did this on the computer using the free version of MiniTool Partition Wizard. I tested with the BR To WAV converter software and was successfully able to convert Wav files to and from the SD card. I was then able to drag and drop all tracks into Sonar which all played back perfectly and in sync. I swapped out the short IDE cable in the Roland VS-840 for a longer one. I had to use a needle to create a 40th hole in the cable as there are 40 pins on the connector side of the Roland VS-480. My cable only had 39 holes but it’s easy to puncture a hole to make it 40. I also had to wrap the SD card converter to ensure nothing touched the metal casing of the VS-840. These SD card converters MUST be shielded from the metal case properly to work 100%. I used plastic to wrap the SD card converter and it works beautifully. Finally I did some recordings in MT1 format that required some heavy reading from the SD card. I have yet to get a single “drive busy” error. Everything works perfectly and it’s all a 100% silent. I forget the unit is on sometimes…laugh. An SD Card Adapter is a definite “must” upgrade for the Roland VS-840. Highly recommended.
UPDATE #2 – I installed this SD Card Adapter into the Roland SP-808EX and it unfortunately didn’t work. I was able to turn on the SP-808 and it gave me a message that the SD card needed to be formatted. I performed “Quick Format” but after that I couldn’t create a song or do any sampling. Instead I got a no disk space error. I got really close, but I don’t think it’s going to work with this particular SD card adapter.