E-mu System E4K "ULTRACIZE" Flash RAM upgrade help

Looking for info on upgrading the E4K so that it can accept EOS above V3.0.
This upgrade was known as Ultracizing the E4K. In the rack mount versions the CPU RAM is updated with a SIMM. The keyboard variant lacks that additional SIMM slot, so there is some other method of updating the unit.

Any info is greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and happy Synthesizing!

hi flash rom needs to be 2mb variety. If you have such a flash rom board (it is a simm) then you can upgrade via floppy.

if not you need to get this board. There was a guy in germany who would send you pre-flashed boards.

Go to the diag screen and confirm which size flash rom you have first.

No. Read first post.

More details;

Unlike the rack mount versions, The E4K does not use SIMM for flash.

The E4K flash is surface mounted to the main board in two x 32-TSOP encapsulation ICs

then you need a programmer - FlashCat USB
You need a heatgun, kapton tape and flux pen.
Lift off the old chips and solder on the ‘pre-programmed’ memory chips which are the same physical footprint.

29F800 x2

I can program chips for you but you would need to do the soldering work yourself.
Its pretty easy to do as E4k is pre ROHS and so melting point is lower.

Appreciate your time and the reply.

It would seem to reason that the IC’s once installed are programmed in-situ, by booting the machine from a floppy disks that is designed to update the OS. As such, there should be no need to pre-program the IC’s. Right? Besides, this type of IC package isn’t intended for pre-programming. It’s not a PLCC, etc. This assumption follows the logic from the official “Ultracizing” methods for rack units. E-mu Mother Ship would provide their techs with an upgrade kit that provided the custom 72pin SIMMs containing the flash modules, and a disk. The module was delivered blank, and flashed via bootloader. The E4K upgrade may have never been offered in-field. There is this fellow who posted on another site;

If this wasn’t ever an Infield operation, then the “Official” info the OP is seeking does not exist.

Cumulatively have tens of thousands of hours of SMT rework experience, no issues there. However, before undertaking such a job, would be comforting to know it’s even worthwhile, as at this point it may not even be possible to perform such an upgrade on the E4K.

Q: we_robot; Are you just ‘winging it’ here, or do you speak from previous experience doing such an E4K upgrade successfully?

there is a ‘flash prep’ disk and then another with the firmware. You need a older computer that goes to DOS to write these disks correctly.

How do i know this? Because i have done it before and i’ve done it in the last six months.

I was upgrading from 4.01 to 4.61.

I do not know whether you can go from a completely blank rom. Because there is a bootloader. In fact, if you have a corrupted OS it will say insert disk for flash prep, you can barely see this because the LCD will default to extreme contrast angle in such a mode.

There are lots of board revisions each instance EIV/E64, to classic to ultra. They are not all documented in the schematics.

How do i know this? because i have worked on every iteration including ones that have been back to factory for modification.

Can the E4k go to 4.61. I do not know for sure but assume so. Because the boards in the schematic appear similar.

The info on all of this is lost as it was on the Yahoo User Group where Emu used to correspond with users and answer questions. eg. a complete aside that 4.71 on Ultra means de-rezzed filter cut off to allow for real-time resonance.

There is no reason to believe it will not work. My EIV is the earliest version and i have successfully updated to 4.61 and it had 4.01 on it from a factory installation. It probably had EOS 2.0 on it originally.

Hope this helps

My EIV was not subject to board swap it is the earliest revision of the EIV board. It cannot take the Octopus board for example, whereas the EIV in the Technical service complication of schematics does feature the appropriate connections.

To be very clear, we are talking about an upgrade from EOS 3.0b.
Since 4.01 requires more FLASH, the E4K can not be upgraded to 4.01 from stock config.

A DOS disk-image program was the old official method. If one has access to a block-level disk image, it can be copied to a physical floppy disk, or in the case of the E4K in question, a slim Gotek USB disk emulator using a specialized firmware. The GNU common utils dd program can accomplish this. I have these disk-images on hand.

from Emulatorarchive:

Big Flash EOS versions 4.01 and higher are so much bigger than the earlier releases of EOS that it needs more space in Flash (or CPU) ROM than is available in non Ultra Emulators. The existing 1MB SIMM needs to be replaced with a 2MB SIMM. This is ONLY available from E-mu Systems. It costs between $99 – $129 for the rack Emulators (depending on whether you already have the EOS link software). It comes with the latest 4.xx software. The E4K upgrades are much more expensive at up to $595. Check the E-mu Systems web site for details.If you have an Ultra, then you already have enough CPU ROM to run EOS 4.0+.

The added cost for the E4K, obvously reflected the SMD work needed, or more likely, E-Mu would just provide a customer with a new main board, and chunk the old board.

Disagree. The lack of evidence for others accomplishing the upgrade DIY since the fall of E-Mu lends to doubts about the feasibility of doing this upgrade. E-mu Systems often use programmable logic ICs to obfuscate the function of their PCBs as a means of IP protection. If the E4K “Ultra” as it may be called, required some custom PAL or otherwise to enable the expanded CPU Flash, then we’re all SOL.

Since as you stated

it came from E-mu, with 4.01. So the upgrade from 3.0 Small Flash, to 4.01 Big Flash required install of more FLASH ram. Did that process also install new PALs? Well, seems at this point we just don’t know.

I’ve never seen an EOS 4.01 update disk. Have you? Were these updates only done at the factory? Have you ever updated a machine from the Small flash version EOS (<3.0b) to Big flash version (>4.01)?

1# yes i know what you are talking about. I was referring to upgrade, it was context specific, that i undertook recently on a first iteration Emu EIV - older than your unit.

2# yes i know. but i still use old computers to produce floppy images for various instruments.

3# possibly.

4# so on this particular EMu EIV unit i know it must have gone back to the factory at least once for the larger flash simm - because it is a very early serial and does not take the analog 8 output without some board work. They did not install new Altera PLDS (not pals strictly. We DO KNOW. Why? Because if you look at the option documents for the analog outs it refers to replacing these PLDS. Furthermore, if there was any doubt, i have possessed another EIV which had the second version PLDS and had the octopus 8output board installed from factory. This is covered in official Emu document 6313 for the installation of the analog 8 output. Later this was updated to 6867 which doesn’t refer to the earlier EIV, inter alia, or the PLDs and is for the Ultras only - you can find 6867 on the internet but probably not 6313.

The PLD issue only arose because the 8 octopus and ADAT board were not available at launch in 1994 but always earmarked.

I have tried to read the 7032 PLDS but only got so far as they are the ‘classic’ altera not the ‘MAX series’ and you cannot use usb Altera Blaster. You need the LP6 ISA card but we are going way off topic. There is very scant documentation regarding the classic 7032 on the web.

5# you can upgrade, you just need to increase the Flash memory size. Forget about the PLDs they only come into play for the analog 8 option and the adat option (the adat option contains another area of Emu ASICs, essentially a mini Emu Sampler on a board, it was a very complicated and expensive solution)

EMu didn’t use the PLDS to prevent upgrade to EOS. The PLDS are involved in something else – ^^^^^ . I have swapped the PLDS between Emu EIV and it was fine.

#6 have a seen an official update disk? Yes i have. I did possess them they were titled ZD### I do not know have them anymore. No the updates were not done just at factory, they were available to download via emu.com . Go on wayback and you can find it all : EOS 4.02 Software Upgrade including the addendum manuals

Good luck

Off-topic but interesting nonetheless. Programming PLDS in the era of ISA backplane computers pre-USB. What a trip down memory lane.

Via Wayback link;

#6855 EOS 4.02 Classic Kit for E4K (with 128-voice polyphony)
Requires Factory Installation – call 888.372.1372 in the United States or Canada or 831.438.1921 (choose option 3) in all other countries.

Okay so no Programmable Logic stands in the way. But,
Seems another prerequisite we have not previously discussed is the need for the 128 Voice upgrade in a target E4K. The particular unit I’m working on does not have this option.