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Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

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Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby Marcin_Siejka » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:29 am

Hey everybody!
I need ya all help again...
I have to replace 3.5" floppy disc drive in my Akai MPC 60...
Now i dont want to spend more than £20, so all that stuff from MPCStuff and VST Service its not for me...
Can any one tell me which drive i should buy and where from...
So far i found this article:

The Floppy drive

Q) I'm having intermittent problems in accessing my floppies

Q) My AKAI is reporting that the floppy is not recognized/formatted but it works fine on another machine

Q) Can I replace my AKAI floppy with a normal PC floppy drive?

A) Unfortunately, like all mechanical "friction" devices, the floppy drive tends to fail after some prolongued usage. This is due to the head positioner (corkscrew / Archimedes screw) tolerances and due to dust/oxidization buildup on the heads (especially if you smoke and are in a dusty room or use low quality floppies). Intervening with a isopropyl alcohol and a head cleaner will seldomly help as the tolerances have become so large that the mechanism is not able to "go where it wants to precisely" anymore. If one insits, this can also ruin the data on a previously "healthy" floppy - so do not insist when writing to a floppy if an error occurs. Change floppy disk and try again and read the data back to check it's integrity.

AKAI's floppy standard (you can skip this paragraph if you're not interested)

Before I venture in explaining what how to change and set the new floppy, I'd like to mention a few words on why the floppy unit in the AKAI's are not "PC compatible" out of the box. Many years ago (around 1971 if I remember correctly) the first 8" floppy units appeared made by IBM and subsequently made/copied in the east used by the first machines (not necessarily PCs). This was the beginning of the floppy era standard, based on serial signals similar to the I2C concept. Infact, all the lines in your floppy flat cable have a different purpose, each to select or enable a function like step the motor, enable the writing, check if the floppy is inserted and see if it is high or low density. The actual data is pulsed on one single line when written and another line when read from so it is a purely serial concept design. In these 34 lines that go to your floppy, 18 of them are ground and 3 are not used. This leaves us with 16 real signal lines. Pins 10, 12, 14 and 16 are the drive select (A/B) and motor select (A/B) lines which activate and enable Floppy A or B as per standard (each floppy controller was designed to support a max of 2 drives). If you have noticed, floppy flat cables have a twist in the last most upper connector where usually floppy A is connected. The twist involves exactly these lines including their adjacent grounds (from 10->16 included). What this twist does, is switch drive enable and motor enable signals so that the last floppy receives these signals switched around. This is so that, without any "human" intervention, all floppies can be set the same way from the factory and by simply choosing the connector one assigns it the drive letter (A or B) as the twist takes care of switching the signals.
With machines only using 1 drive, it is easier to leave the cable untwisted instead of wasting time (and money) adding the twist as there is no need to intervene in the future anyhow. This means that the single floppy on that cable would be seen as drive B according to this standard - so the floppy drives were set to be seen as drive A internally. Now as time went by, it became clear that for PC users the standard was floppy cables with the "twist" as they would by default have the possibility to add a second floppy. So to "cut the production costs" floppy drive companies started producing "fixed set" floppy units around the late 90s without the possibility to be easily reconfigured. This explains the jumpers on older versions of floppy drives and why "standard current day" floppy units have none and having been replaced by simple bridges. However, it is still possible to find user configurable floppy drives from some manufacturers at request as of course custom made machines need to be custom configured. Apart from the drive select and motor enable lines to even complicate your life further, the original floppy units had also assignable line matrixes and configurable "active high" or "active low" jumpers. The lines/jumpers that interest us are the "floppy detect" and "Drive select" ones.

Replacing the AKAI floppy

As you may have understood by now, the AKAI cannot accommodate a standard PC floppy drive "as it is". However, if your floppy drive has jumpers or sliders you can easily move 2 jumpers and you're on track again. If you cannot find a configurable floppy unit, you can try to locate an old 286/386/486 PC which most probably mounts one and replace the "cannibalized" old PC with a new one which you can buy for a few Bucks/Euros. FYI the Amiga 600 or 1200 series also has a correctly set Floppy drive that will work "as is" in the AKAI - then again, you will be left with an Amiga without a working floppy! You cannot use older Amigas as they used Double Density drives (800K) that wouldn't be a good solution with the already little space a 1.44MB floppy can give you for samples. "All this is well" you will probably mumble "but which jumpers must I set to get the damn PC Floppy to work on my AKAI?". Unfortunately it is not so straight forward as it might look - it really depends on what floppy drive you have found with configurable jumpers or sliders.

There are so many versions of these that I lost count - I have seen over 50 different floppy pcb layouts in the last 15 years, from the more bulky to the more advanced with less components, some adopting a matrix of pins with jumpers, some sliding switches and some a combination of both. Usually located near the back of the floppy where the connector and power connector is near the step motor, they can also be found underneath the floppy near the edges settable using a pin to slide the switch. Here are 2 pictures just for an example to get an idea of what they look like; the top being a jumper matrix fashion layout and the bottom being a slider switch layout.

The jumpers/sliders to change are 2: one selects which drive enable line it will use and one selects what line will be used for floppy detect. The Drive Select jumper is rather easy to find as it is usually labeled "DS": DS0 (for Drive Select 0) and DS1 (for Drive select 1) - you must move it from DS1 to DS0.
Now for the trickier part: you have to change the Floppy Sense or Disk Change to Ready signal. This may be labeled DC/RY. This is a deviator type jumper or slider (usually 3 pins, 1-2 for one setting and 2-3 for another) but can also be a 2pin jumper *or* a "rotatable" jumper if located in a jumper matrix (check 1st pic). This means you need to rotate a jumper left or right 90 degrees from it's default position around one of it's 2 pins. This simply modifies the pin 34 signal (which is usually Disk Change) and reassigns it to send the "Ready" signal.

Well that's it. If you manage to reconfigure these 2 settings, you have a perfectly compatible AKAI (and Amiga) floppy unit which you can use again.

One last note: if you don't have any reference on your floppy for this DC/RY jumper, you may discover it by trial and error - I did this many times as it took me less to try the 3 or 4 settings than to understand where the jumpers went and study the pcb. A good hint on knowing that you hit the right jumper is that when you move it your AKAI shouldn't report a "floppy not ready" or similar error when you have a floppy inserted. Infact line 34, which the AKAI interprets as the Ready Signal is (before the re-configuration) the Disk Change signal. As they behave with inverted logical values (one is active low the other active high) if you leave no disk in the drive, the AKAI will think that the drive is ready and try to read from it! So this will give you some feedback on the jumper you are toggling or moving if it stops doing that (you may have hit the jackpot).

Good luck.

But this is not really helpful...i need to find NEW Floppy Drive for my Babe...Thanks in advance
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby PetiteAnnonce21 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:20 pm


Floppy drive for MPC60 =>
If you want to modify yourself drive =>

Wish this can help you. :-)
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby PetiteAnnonce21 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:31 pm

New link for modding yourself :

Sorry for double post, impossible to edit my last post (edit delay has expired).
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby forumuser823072 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:41 pm

Thanks, the replies above and links were really helpful when I had to find a replacement floppy drive for my own Akai MPC 60. The French web page listed Samsung SFD-321B floppy drives as a verified model that can be modified for the Akai MPC 60. I found a couple of used SFD-321B floppy drives and the modification was easier than I expected, although some soldering is required:

- Open the aluminum case of the SFD-321B floppy drive: this requires removal of four screws on the bottom case half and one screw on the top case half. After the screws are removed, the aluminum case comes neatly apart. To make it easier to assemble later, take a mental note of how the case halves are connected before dismantling it.
- The DS0/DS1 "jumper" is simply a solder connecting two pins. Since the floppy drive was originally in a PC, the solder is set to to DS1: the middle pin is connected with the right pin by solder, while the left pin is free. Remove that solder, so that the right pin is free from the middle pin, and solder a new bridge between the left pin (marked as DS0) and middle pin instead.
- Changing the "Disk Change" signal to the "Ready" signal is done by desoldering a zero-ohm SMD resistor from the location marked "DC" and resoldering it a location next to its previous location, marked "RDY".

That's it! However, I recommend testing the SFD-321B floppy drive in an old PC computer first, to verify that the drive is actually working before modifying it. One of the drives I bought seemed to be working first, but wasn't able to read any floppies. Fortunately, I had an old desktop PC with a floppy drive, so I could try the floppy drives in the PC first to check which ones were working and which ones were not. Instructions for how to modify the drive can also be find in the manual for the SFD-321B floppy drive, which is available online.
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby relativenormality » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:06 pm

Hi forumuser823072,

Can you offer any further insight into this Samsung floppy?

I have sourced 2 off eBay and modified them as you suggested

The DS0 / DS1 trace layout is slightly different on each model that I have but I have soldered a short on both different version and still getting "There is no floppy in the drive" :(

Mine is an MPC-60MK1 is that what you were using your SFD-321B as well or was it the MK2?
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby relativenormality » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:02 pm

Just want to follow up on the Samsung floppy for anyone reading this.

So - as above after making the changes it still wouldn't work on 2 drives - did I really have 2 duds?

No - it turns out that I had the floppy cable the wrong way round - and you might too....


Because the floppy cable has a notch in it and the floppy drive has a female receptacle for the notch to stop you putting the cable in the wrong way round....Turns out this is not correct as far as the MPC-60 Mk1 is concerned. I put it in backwards and it works so the notch on the Samsung floppy is not applicable.

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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby zenguitar » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:32 pm

Thanks for coming back with your solution. Well done :thumbup:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby nathanscribe » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:54 pm

It's getting to the point where these old drives and floppies are struggling, isn't it. I've just bought one of those GoTek USB drop-in replacements for my old Mirage, haven't installed it yet, but I do have a GoTek on my old DOS PC and it works a treat. Main problem is going to be getting any old samples I want to keep off the old floppies and onto the USB. If that's even possible.

Sometimes, restoring the old tech is the better bet...
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Re: Akai MPC 60 - Floppy Disc Replacement

Postby ken long » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:30 am

nathanscribe wrote:Main problem is going to be getting any old samples I want to keep off the old floppies and onto the USB. If that's even possible.

A mate did this a few years back. Loaded the sounds from floppy then switched to the Gotek to Save. Patience is key here.
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