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Author Topic: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware  (Read 14361 times)

Offline Ki Choi

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Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« on: May 25, 2009, 11:57:52 AM »
Hi all:

In the middle of night excitement and carelessness, I accidently damaged one of my firmware chips in my Studer A810.

A810 IC10 (1.810.999.24) bin file is in desparate need...  It is the latest 25/91 version with checksum 9744.

As I was trying to back up my Eproms from the A810 MPU board, the IC10 must have been damaged.  I had successfully backed up the IC12 and IC14 but am in dead in the water without the proper IC10...It has checksum of 9666 now and not working...

Please let me know if you have a copy of the BIN file you can sent to me.

Thanks,
Ki
Ki Choi

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 11:41:08 AM »
I had also inquired about sourcing the IC10 firmware BIN file to other pros and Studer users who had multiple A810s.  No one had archived the various firmware versions so far...

It had occured to me - the machines like Studers that used commonly available electronics parts for their boards in the 70's and 80's can be serviced in the future with vintage parts from other electronics gear and other Studers.  However, for the firmware - it will be hard to replace once Studer officially stops supporting the analog machines in 2010.   So until then, the firmware IP belongs to Studer and can't be publically archived and distributed.

For my original needs, fortunately, Angle from this fourm had offered to loan me the MPU board with the version of firmware I was looking for and soon I will rebuild the library of 25/91 version firmware BIN files.

With unfortunate demise of the Studer List, I am considering archiving collection of different firmware versions for Studer A810, A807, A820 and other models.  So, if you own a Studer recorder and want to archive your firmware, please contact me.  I may already have the BIN files but if not, I can help you extract the data and save them as BIN files to be used later to burn replacement firmware Eproms.

Ki
Ki Choi

Offline docb

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 12:01:02 PM »
Excellent idea, Ki! Someone (yeah probably me, but I don't know how to go about it) needs to do the same for the Nagra T. Perhaps I could persuade you to show me the procedure some time.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 01:46:35 PM »
Wow! Important-important-important!
I guess this is the kind of thing that you don't really think about unless you have a machine with micro-processor capabilities. I know I used to just skip over the numerous posts on the Studer list regarding these issues. I hope to someday have these issues though. That and the fact that 2010 will be here before you know it makes this thread a very,.. can I say important just one more time?

Doc, do you know if there were very many versions of the firmware for the "T"?
steve koto
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Offline docb

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 02:38:04 PM »
Nope, I haven't delved into it at all yet. My first exposure to the idea that I'd better do something for backup came when I mentioned to Mike Spitz that I had picked up a Nagra. He says to me "Yeah, I guess that Nagra is a nice machine - until your Eprom dies."
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 03:45:23 PM »
Hi Doc,

Hope the "Eprom dies" event never happens to anyone who likes R2R machines. 

I figure all the mechanical parts can be machined with enough time and efforts and other electronics parts can be sourced one way or the other but the firmware...  I don't think the eprom will die on its own.  The issue is when one has PS failure in the machine - especially when the regulator doesn't work anymore and send higher than spec'ed Vcc to Eproms, it will fail.  Some of the younger machines I found to have CMOS Eproms.  Although CMOS chips are more stable in the properly working circuit than the older Eproms, they are more sensitiveto spikes and static electricity, in my experience. 

It would be my pleasure to show you how archive the chips when I visit.  Since you had offered to teach me on how to use the TD420 for alignment and calibration, I could do the work for you in exchange... that is if you feel comfortable about me taking out the T's eproms to extract the data...;-)

I have also contacted Richard Hess about archiving Sony APR firmware versions.  He is very interested but is cautious about the IP legality.  As long as I own the machine and not looking to commerical gain, I believe I shoud be ok.

For the Studers, the Audiohouse in Swiss still sells the complete sets of the latest firmware.  Unfortunately, the latest version firmware would not work on all the MPU boards.  So if one wants to get the older version firmware to match his/her older MPU board (pre 1988), one is SOL...

Ki
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Offline docb

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 06:04:56 PM »
Thanks Ki,

I will look into where Nagra's maintenance obligations stand. Not sure when they quit making the T, nor am I sure how many different firmware versions there may be. Maybe Dan Dugan might know...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline chrissugar

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 03:01:07 PM »
Hi Ki and all
I was thinking for a while about this subject (the perspective of not working R2R because of dead EPROM).
I have two A812 so if you can give me instructions, I can try to backup the software from my machines (and of course make them available to other 812 users).

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Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 04:45:34 PM »
First step is to identfying which version of firmware you have in your A812s.  Since there are no know record of the firmware being archived, you need to see if the version is 14/90 for A812 MkI or 15/97 for A812 MkII.

You can either take out the Master MPU card out of the rack and read the label on your firmware chips or turn the power on and monitor the LCD display for the version.  If your A812s have the latest version firmware, then we know the checksum values.  Assuming you have no Time Code or Serial Remote cards, the A812 has almost as many firmware chips as A820.  You have 5 to archive.  There are three in the Master MPU card, one in the Tape Deck Control card, and one in the Capstan Control card.

Secondly you need an Eprom programmer and Eprom eraser.  The A812s use mostly 27128 eprom chips.  These chips were plentiful in the 80's but now it is not so easy to obtain them.  I ended up going to eBay and buying them in small quantities.

Thirdly, you extract the chips from the cards and load them one-by-one into Eprom programmer and "read" its content into buffer.  You then save the buffer data as BIN file. Store the BIN files.

If you want to create back up firmware chips, you would then load the BIN files into buffer and burn using same type blank Eproms.

Ki
Ki Choi

Offline ecir40

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2009, 04:08:33 PM »
Hey Ki, what do you know about the eproms in the Otari BIII-2.

1991


2000


Brad

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 01:01:31 PM »
Hi Brad:

Although I have a BIII-2 as well, I have not had a chance to get into them to see about backing up the firmware.  Considering the BIII-2 is still a current model that is supported by Otari, the urgency is not so big.

The 27XXX Eprom chip with paper label PG16811X is the firmware.  I'll have to look at the schematics and see if there are other eproms in the deck but I would at least pull out the younger chip and back up.  On the other hand, if there are significan hardware differences due to age, then it is good to back up both.  Judging from the years and versions PG16811A and C, both deck should work with C version.

Ki
Ki Choi

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2009, 03:26:04 PM »
With help from one of the TP forum members, I have successfully revived the IC10 from the 25/91 firmware set and have finally archived the complete three BIN files.

Thus, I have archived the following firmware releases for Studer A810:

13/83
25/86
01/88
46/90
25/91

Thanks,

Ki
Ki Choi

Offline ecir40

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2009, 03:23:30 PM »
On the other hand, if there are significan hardware differences due to age, then it is good to back up both.  Judging from the years and versions PG16811A and C, both deck should work with C version.
Just an FYI I did swap the two and report no problems.

With help from one of the TP forum members, I have successfully revived the IC10 from the 25/91 firmware set and have finally archived the complete three BIN files.
Cool that you got that worked out.

Ki, can you recommend a Eprom programmer and Eprom eraser? I fiqure it wouldn't hurt to own and learn how to do this.
Brad

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2009, 04:21:01 PM »
Hi Brad:

Unless you plan to program many eproms, you can skip buying the eprom eraser.  You certainly don't want to erase the originl firmware... Considering only real source for these old eprom chips is on eBay, most of the sellers list their eproms after erasing them in their blank state - ready for use.  For normal people, one would pull out the original eproms, archive the file, and put it back into the board. If you want to take additional step then to use the files to burn new set of chips for safe keep.

The nice USB 2.0 eprom programmers goes for around $250 but will be most user friendly.  The cheaper option (~$50) is the Willem programmer common on eBay that uses USB connection for Vcc power and straight wire DB25 parallel cable for data.  The tricky part is that most laptops don't have parallel port these days anymore and the parallel port on most modern laptop docking stations don't work in their factory setting.  You have to set the parallel port in old IBM/AT mode or drag out your old desktop from the closet (PC that Goodwill refuse to take).

All eprom progammer come with pretty decent software.

Ki
Ki Choi

Offline ecir40

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Re: Studer A810 BIN file for 25/91 version firmware
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2009, 04:26:41 PM »
Thanks Ki, I 'll probably keep an eye out if a good deal ever pops up on eBay for a USB 2.0 one.
Brad