CF Conversion on MRS-1044

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codekiddie
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CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by codekiddie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:13 am

Hi all Zoomers.

Thought I would post my CF conversion for an MRS-1044 story.

I managed to get an MRS-1044 off eBay back in October, but only after buying it did I realise that the USB interfaces were rare to say the least. I saw one on eBay for £200.00 which was a lot more than I had paid for the MRS!!!

Then I found this forum, and saw the work that Chisel had done with a Hard Drive CF card replacement, and subsequent posts from him and Lucas, and suddenly all didn't seem so bad.

I read that the conversion seemed to rely of the type of IDE-CF converter purchased and also the type/size of CF card as well, but was not put off by this possible pitfall. I found an eBay member here in the UK, (seem to use eBay a lot recently), who sold IDE-CF converters for only £1.99 + 0.99p P+P so thought I would give it a shot and if it didn't work I would not have lost much.

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The original hard disk was 20Gb, and I didn't want to lose much space doing the conversion and I found a 16Gb CF card from a company called MyMemory - http://www.mymemory.co.uk and at the same time I also purchased a USB CF card reader from them. The CF card was £19.99, (now costs £20.99), and the USB CF reader was only £3.99 and still is. These prices included P+P as well.

Being an engineer by trade, (software and hardware), I had little problem with opening up the MRS and having a go. Ten screws later the bottom was removed, and a couple of screws after that, the power supply lifted out of the way.

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I removed the hard disk and changed the jumper setting to make it a slave drive, and connected it to my PC and copied the contents of the hard drive to the PC hard drive for transferring to the CF card later.

Since I did not want to modify the case of the MRS in any way I had hoped to install the converter where the USB interface would normally plug in. I noticed that there were two rails where the USB PCB would slide into place and for some reason lady luck was on my side as the IDE-CF converter PCB was exactly the same width!!!

To stop the converter from moving I simply used some small cable ties to hold it to the rails.

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I bought a power converter cable to connect to the hard drive power cable at one end, and the IDE-CF converter the other.

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Unfortunately the original IDE cable connectors were too tall to be able to use, but I had a spare knocking around with a lower profile, so used this instead.

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I next plugged the CF card into the USB card reader, and then into my PC. I formatted the CF card as explained in the earlier posts, and copied the files I had saved from the original hard drive to the CF card.

I unplugged the CF card from the USB card reader, having safely removed it first under Windows, and plugged it into the IDE-CF converter. I then checked all my work on the MRS and when happy that I had done all I was meant to, switched her on.

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To my delight the MRS booted up, although noticeably slower than the hard disk, and eventually showed the last project I had been working on.

I played about with the MRS, recording a track or two and playing them back, checking the drums, bass and effects were all available and all was well.

I then switched off, put the hard disk back in place for safe keeping and put it all back together.

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I have had no problems with the conversion but, as explained in an earlier post I read, the MRS was reporting an incorrect size for the disk space available, which was possibly why the bootup sequence was taking longer than the hard disk had.

I have since read another post on this forum, regarding formatting the drive using the MRS itself, so after a backup, (which is now a very simple procedure), I formatted the CF card using the MRS, copied the backed up files back to the CF card, and now the MRS reports the disk size as correct - Result!!!

I have now been using the conversion for a couple of months and have had no issues with it at all. In all, the conversion process only took me about an hour or so, and I would like to add my thanks to Chisel for the original posts on how to achieve this.

I have also written some software, to convert the MRS .DAT files to .WAV files, rather than using the Audio File Manager which I found rather painful to use. For details of this, have a look at this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15859

Regards

Phil
Last edited by codekiddie on Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by jules_802 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:23 am

awesome post, phil. thanks .... and well done!!

jules.
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by surfercook » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:55 am

That is some nice work, codie! I def would not have been able to convert! I was barely able to grasp memory and PSU upgrade on my PC! :?
codekiddie wrote:I have also written some software, to convert the MRS .DAT files to .WAV files, rather than using the Audio File Manager which I found rather painful to use.

This I find especially interesting...works w/any ZOOM recorder, specifically the MRS-8? I think the raw audio files for the MRS-8 are ZAF. I'll check it out. Converting them w/ card manager is a bit tedious. But I've been doing it for so long now it just routine to me. Started w/the PS-02 manager like 5 yrs ago and now I'm using the one for the MRS-8, which at least has a more pleasing interface.

I tried your converter after reading the PDF...does not work w/the ZAF's. :(
Is it hard to mod your program for us MRS-8 users? It sure is a quicker way to convert to .wav files. Nice little converter you designed, codekid. :agree: Sure would be WAAAY quicker than the ZOOM slowpoke.
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by lucas » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:10 pm

Welcome to the forum & nice work on the conversion!
glad to hear it worked with the first converter you tried. :)
I tried 3 different CF converters and the only that worked was the one like Chisel's.
I finally sold my 1608 awhile back, but the CF card was more convenient for me than the USB connection.

I had 3 different 8GB cards and split the projects up between them since it's easy to swap out when needed.
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by codekiddie » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:15 pm

Hi guys.

Thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated.

Surfercook, I have written a new AFM replacement program, which now works with several recorders, including your MRS-8, which can be downloaded here:

http://www.philchris.co.uk/zoom-convert ... onvert.zip

Enjoy.

Best regards

Phil
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by Cheryl30* » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:49 am

Phil - you rock! I think that is an awesome conversion you did. I wish I could do it to mine. I'd be scared just to open the box! I'm sure I would mess something up. Do you know if there might be anyone in Calgary - Alberta that might be able to do this kind of thing for me??? What if I showed this to the service department at a music store. Do you think they could do it? Thanks.
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by codekiddie » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:24 am

Cheryl30* wrote:Phil - you rock! I think that is an awesome conversion you did. I wish I could do it to mine. I'd be scared just to open the box! I'm sure I would mess something up. Do you know if there might be anyone in Calgary - Alberta that might be able to do this kind of thing for me??? What if I showed this to the service department at a music store. Do you think they could do it? Thanks.
Hi.

Thanks for your comments about the conversion - much appreciated. I live in the UK, so I couldn't say where you could go locally, but you would be better off going to a computer service place, since you are basically changing the hard disk to something else, which should be fairly routine for them.

Please feel free to use any of the pictures I have uploaded in order to help you achieve this.

With the MRS-1608 though , don't you have the ability to save your data with the backup facility using the CD-ROM?

Good luck, and let me know how you get on, or if you need any more advice on the modification.

Phil
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Re: CF Conversion on MRS-1044

Post by lucas » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:54 am

codekiddie wrote:With the MRS-1608 though , don't you have the ability to save your data with the backup facility using the CD-ROM?
I know this an old post, but I just re-read this thread and thought I should respond this question.

Yes, the MRS-1608CD has the ability to back up to CDROM, but it is a very slow process, especially if you need to back up more than one project or a project with a lot of tracks and takes.
Large projects and/or files can get split up over multiple CDs, slowing the process even more and making the back-up more complex.
Once the CD back-up is done, you still need to transfer the files from the CD to PC, which has a slower read speed than a CF card.

There any many benefits to the removable CF card conversion, but essentially it helps by:
- easy removal for replacement or back-ups
- eliminates the CD back-up step on the MRS
- keeps all the project files together and makes the back-up simple.
- transfers files to the PC much faster than a CD does.
- quieter than a hard drive, is just as fast and produces minimal heat
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