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Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

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Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby matt222 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:43 pm

Hello all. My trusty old Akai ASQ10 hardware sequencer's internal floppy disk drive has started to play up and is damaging disks and I'm loosing irreplaceable data.
I have an opportunity to buy another unit that has been fitted with a Gotek Floppy disk emulator - basically instead of inserting a 3.5'' double sided floppy, you stick in a USB stick.

Great! But how do I get the data off my existing floppy disks onto the USB?

Any disks used inthe ASQ10 have to be formatted first.


I don't want to buy he unit and find I can't get all my years of data into it

I am not interested in a computer alternative hence my dileama here


Huge thanks
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby desmond » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:55 pm

Is it possible to replace the disk drive?

Can the ASQ dump it's memory over MIDI, so you could save songs to a different storage device, or computer?
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby matt222 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:01 pm

No I don't believe it is
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:33 pm

Surely the floppy drive will be a standard unit? So replacement should be possible then moving the data would be tedious but routine? The important thing with anything that uses a propriety disk format (my old Akai DR8 and DR16 for example) is to backup to another 'ideally standard' media before the device starts failing. In the case of midi simply playing it into a different device (a PC/DAW would be most sensible IMHO) over midi is the most universally readably format.
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby matt222 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:52 pm

Problem I have is I can't risk playing any more disks in the unit as it keeps damaging them and I loose everything. Suppose ideal would be to find another unit with a working disk drive for the time being.

I remember having it serviced about 13 years ago and the technician saying then that the disk drives were hard to come by
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby desmond » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:59 pm

if it was me, I'd get model numbers etc of the disk drive, and do some online searching to see if replacements can be found, and how much they cost.

You don't need to risk important data on the new drive - just format a blank one and make sure you can save/load data reliably - then you'll know the drive is good.

If it's important data, and you only have floppies, then I'd consider that precarious and would want to get that data to some other medium, even if I had to borrow/rent another unit to copy the floppies and maybe dump the data out to some other device via MIDI.
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:07 pm

I'd go with trying to find another one then, but I'm sure there will be a way of cloning your discs to another format, you will have to embrace computers, at least for the backup, though. USB floppy drives seem easily available so all you need is a FDD clone app of which there seem to be several. I know the propriety format may be a problem but most seem to offer the option to create an image on your HDD which would give you some breathing space. Failing that some kind of data recovery service would seem the best bet.

Can you find the make and model of the FDD? I have a few in boxes in my cellar, unlikely that they will be identical but, if you are not in a hurry, I'd be happy to have a look, should I find a suitable one it's your's FOC.

Desmond beat me to it.....
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby Folderol » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:51 pm

The disk format may be non-standard, but I'll be very surprised if the drive itself was, so any reasonably good unit should work unless they've used obscure connectors.

As desmond suggested get a new blank disk and try formatting int on the machine, saving then loading again, so no risk to your files at all.
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Re: Old Hardware Sequencer ASQ10

Postby ramthelinefeed » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:28 pm

yeah, it's not that the Akai ASQ10's 3½" floppy drive is non-standard hardware,
it's just that it formats in a different logical structure to Microsoft MS-DOS.

There is at least one wacky freeware utility programme out there that will be able to read your Akai floppies if you just put them in an ordinary USB floppy drive attached to a modern computer (I remember using one!)
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