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Korg Concerto (SQD-8 Home)

 
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SoftJunk



Joined: 01 Aug 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:57 pm    Post subject: Korg Concerto (SQD-8 Home) Reply with quote

Hello,

forgive me if this is not the correct forum section for this, but this was the closest one I could find for this topic! If so, maybe the moderator could move this topic into what the consider to be the appropriate sub forum? Thanks.

I recently discovered about 20 Quick Disks that I used in a Korg sequencer/midi recorder called the "Korg Concerto". On the underside of the unit, it also displays the name as being an "SQD-8 Home".



I managed to find one on eBay, which took a while because they seem to be pretty rare these days. I bought/owned mine in the early 90's.

Unfortunately, the drive belt was broken, which apparently is a common problem with these old Quick Disk devices. I managed to source a replacement drive belt by using a repair belt for the Nintendo "Famicom" system, which also used a similar disk drive.

I fitted the new belt, but sadly I am still seeing "Disk Error" on every disk that I've tried in it.

The Korg Concerto has 5 dip switches on the rear of the unit, which apparently put it into different states for reading different types of data (I think).

Sadly, I cannot track down the manual for this thing. I have Googled this thing to death and got nothing, even Korg themselves don't have any useful info on this thing!

Is there anyone out there that has any knowledge of this device? Anyone know what those dip switches do?

Any advice on getting this thing working would be MOST appreciated Smile

Thx.
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voip
Platinum Member


Joined: 27 Nov 2014
Posts: 2610

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe clutching at straws but.....

The user manual for the SQD-1 can be downloaded from here:

https://www.korg.com/us/support/download/manual/1/204/2305/

It details DIP switch settings for the SQD-1 but there is just a chance that these may be relevant for the Concerto.

The manual also details how to perform a head cleaning operation, which may be relevant to the Concerto, since this also uses a Quick Drive. The trouble with old magnetic media is that it tends to deteriorate over time. Deposits on the read/write head may prevent the data from being read from the disk, hence the need for a head clean, but the media themselves may need some TLC. There is just a chance that the so-called "baking a tape procedure" may make the disks usable again, if only temporarily. Here's some info:

http://www.josephson.com/bake_tape.html

I recall someone using some sort of food dryer (mushroom dryer, or fruit and vegetable dryer or something like that) in a controlled way to restore tapes. Damned if I can find anything about the original article now, though this looks similar:

http://www.tangible-technology.com/tape/baking1.html

The service manual for the SQD-1 may have some useful information, in terms of principles of operation:

http://synfo.nl/servicemanuals/Korg/KORG_SQD-1_SERVICE_MANUAL.pdf

.
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SoftJunk



Joined: 01 Aug 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi voip, many thanks for your reply.

I think you might be correct about the dip switches. There are 5 on the back of the Concerto, they look identical, and I'm pretty sure their behaviour is the same as the SQD-1. Excellent work!

Yes, there is a strong possibility of data loss on these disks. They have been stored in a safe place, but we are talking about magnetic media that is over 25 years old.

It's impossible for me to know what the problem is, is it the disk drive, or the disks themselves, or both? I guess I will have to try and clean the read head, and maybe try re-aligning it if that's possible.

There is a small slotted screw head on the motor that allows you to tweak the voltage of the motor and speed up or slow down the drive. Some people have reported increasing the voltage can yield positive results when trying to read Quick Disk data.

It's a long shot, but I will persevere. Thanks again for that SDQ-1 info, most appreciated Smile
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