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#1694690 - 12/02/20 11:37 PM 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations
DCore Offline
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Not that I am trying to buy trouble...but...I have an 880EX on its way to me and it may need a hard drive replacement. Is there a standard size, manufacturer and model number for the best candidate available? I am not thinking of going to any other format for storage so let me know what HDD options have worked well for you. Thank you!
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#1694695 - 12/03/20 12:36 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
uptildawn Offline
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First of all - the 880ex has a drive and partition capacity limit that can't be improved upon, so be prepared to work within those limits. The largest partition the drive can be formatted to is 1GB (ONE gigabyte). It has a maximum partition limit of 4, so 4 partitions of (just over) 1GB ea. That's only a little over 4GB. It was common at one time to find 6, 8, 10, 12GB drives that would have worked fine. In fact, it was common to get the machine with a preinstalled 2.1GB drive and upgrade to a 4GB drive (at 350 to 500 bucks a pop!). It may be pretty tough these days to find a drive that small, but you should try to stay as near to that as possible.

The 880ex will operate just fine with any 2.5 inch laptop hard drive that has an average access time of 13ms or less (that's a combined read/write average). Drive speed will be great at either 5400rpm or 7200rpm. Anything slower could run into drive busy messages more often that you'd want to see.

The drives that I have used in both an original 880 and 2 1680s, as well as an 1880, were usually Toshiba and Hitachi. I don't know what's around these days that I could suggest to you.

Make sure that your 880ex does indeed have an operational internal hard drive AND caddy. The caddy and bridge card are very important, so you want to be sure they're there.

By the way, if you have much trouble finding a suitable internal hard drive, it should be possible to use an external drive of some sort, as long as it's compatible with the scsi port the 880ex uses to connect external drives to.

You may find that you HAVE to consider some alternative to the internal HDD format - if so, then there's plenty of suggestions here on the Planet, as you might already be aware of - although they can be tricky to get working right with the first choice.... that's another discussion, I'm sure.

Hope this 880 works great for you.






Edited by uptildawn (12/03/20 12:40 AM)
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#1694745 - 12/03/20 11:28 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: uptildawn]
DCore Offline
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Loc: Washington State
Thank you for the encouragement and advice! I did some more research in the VS Compatibility document. One portion advises a max hdd of 6gb while another place mentions 10 gb. I know it can only use 4 ea. partitions of 1gb each, so the extra space is not going to be utilized. I also found some specific manufacturers and models to consider. There is a Hitachi 6.4gb model DK238A-65..and DK227A-41 @4gb. Prices seem to be in the $60-$80 range. Also, there are Toshiba MK4309MAT @ 4.3gb and MK6409MAV @ 6.4gb.
Prices for the Toshiba drives run from $25-$80. I also found these Toshiba options available as new/never-used while most of the Hitachi options were used/refurbished. I will heed your advice about checking for all the internal parts being present before troubleshooting this unit. There is no doubt this one has been ridden hard and put away wet. I am hoping there remains enough of the core unit to be restorable.

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#1694760 - 12/03/20 12:34 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
uptildawn Offline
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I found this website which may be useful to you in order to double-check specs on some of the hard drives you might consider - http://museum.ipsj.or.jp/en/computer/device/magnetic_disk/0093.html

The one on this page is the first Hitachi you mentioned.

Also, it appears that just entering the drive maker and model number, that a google search might bring up an initial spec result, which may be helpful. This one actually showed me part of the specs and the link to the website above.
https://www.google.com/search?ei=nC3JX_6...f=1607019937106

Hope your 880ex turns out to be worth the effort to restore. If not, you may just want to step up to a 1680 or 1880 for nearly the same money and a far easier display environment to work from, as well as the added features (although not a lot, actually). These 2 machines also use the same hard drives and can even use the same physical drive and projects as what might be on an 880ex, by "importing" the SONGS to make them editable in the 1680/1880 format.



Edited by uptildawn (12/03/20 12:35 PM)
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#1701762 - 12/05/20 07:46 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: uptildawn]
DCore Offline
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Registered: 03/02/20
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Loc: Washington State
I received the 880EX today. When powered up it loads then flashes "No Drv" continuously. As I suspected, it does not have hard drive or its caddy. I have found a Toshiba MK-6409MAV which is one of the recommended drives for this unit. The price is not too high and it is said to be new and not used. My question deals with the missing caddy. I have already surmised that the Roland caddy is near-impossible to find used or new. From the service manual, the caddy appears to be a sleeve to mount the hard drive into which then slides into the Hdd bay (allows the Hdd to make the IDE connection at the rear) and screw-mounts into the two holes at the front of the bay. How difficult would it be to fabricate a home-made caddy in order to install and use a replacement Hdd?
I am fairly certain that I am not the first person to face such a problem. And whatever happens to all the hard drive caddys that are removed along with the hdd's to install a mini card reader? Is there a caddy boneyard somewhere, chock-full of discarded caddys? This reminds me of all the 50's guitar amplifiers that had the output transformers factory-mounted to the frames of the combo speakers. When the speakers got blown, the O.T.'s were trashed along with the old speaker and an aftermarket output transformer had to be fitted.

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#1701766 - 12/05/20 08:09 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
uptildawn Offline
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The most important part of the caddy is, unfortunately, the bridge card which slides into the back of the caddy. The hard drive plugs into it and the backside of it is plugged into a ribbon cable that connects to the main circuit board of the 880.

I'm not sure what everyone else has done that's done a mod, but I always used the caddy and card to plug in the cf or sd adapter card. I'm guessing that most anyone who's done a mod has also hung onto their caddy, even if they don't use it in the mod.

I'm also unaware of how someone might connect a flash drive mod to the 880's internal connector without using the bridge card that comes with that caddy. So I'm guessing when I say that I supposed they always end up using the bridge card, with or without the caddy.

The 880 should also be able to use an external drive in a scsi case (with its own scsi to ide bridge card), or an actual scsi drive and case, connected to the 25-pin scsi port on the rear of the unit.

If you can obtain a proper external drive, there may also be a way to turn off the internal drive port in the 880's menus, so that you could operate it without an internal drive. I know the 1680 has such a software switch. Maybe it happens automatically when powering up and as it scans the various ports. I'm not sure about the 880ex, but you should be able to find out by checking in the 880ex manual(s). The pdf version is downloadable from rolandus.com under their support pages, arranged alphabetically - VS-880ex



Edited by uptildawn (12/05/20 08:11 PM)
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#1701797 - 12/06/20 02:00 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: uptildawn]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
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The internal HD connector is a bog-standard IDE header with a couple extra power and ground lines. So, any electronics hobbyist worth his salt should be able to crimp you a cable that directly connects to a drive, after a quick glance at the Service Notes.
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#1701827 - 12/06/20 09:38 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: gyorpb]
DCore Offline
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Registered: 03/02/20
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Loc: Washington State
Does the 880EX Hdd plug directly into the connector at the rear of the hard drive bay? It seems that the "bridge" as you referred to it is still there along with the ribbon cable that attaches to the board. As far as I can tell from the Service manual and internet pictures, the caddy holds the Hdd and permits the install and removal of the hard drive into the bay. The IDE connector secures the hdd at the rear and the 2 screws at the front secure the caddy to the 880 frame. The pictures I have (of the stock caddy) show a black frame that secures the Hdd with a wire flip handle at the front that allows the user to grasp and pull to remove the assembly from the recorder. The frame is cut away (relieved) at the rear to permit the IDE connectors to mate.
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#1701828 - 12/06/20 09:47 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: gyorpb]
uptildawn Offline
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 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
The internal HD connector is a bog-standard IDE header with a couple extra power and ground lines. So, any electronics hobbyist worth his salt should be able to crimp you a cable that directly connects to a drive, after a quick glance at the Service Notes.


Thanks for that refresher...... I'd forgotten that it isn't any more complex than that.
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#1701831 - 12/06/20 09:53 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8771
Loc: on land
 Originally Posted By: DCore
Does the 880EX Hdd plug directly into the connector at the rear of the hard drive bay? It seems that the "bridge" as you referred to it is still there along with the ribbon cable that attaches to the board. As far as I can tell from the Service manual and internet pictures, the caddy holds the Hdd and permits the install and removal of the hard drive into the bay. The IDE connector secures the hdd at the rear and the 2 screws at the front secure the caddy to the 880 frame. The pictures I have (of the stock caddy) show a black frame that secures the Hdd with a wire flip handle at the front that allows the user to grasp and pull to remove the assembly from the recorder. The frame is cut away (relieved) at the rear to permit the IDE connectors to mate.


Yeah - as gyorpb points out, it's not a bridge card as I was thinking before. If it is actually the connector/adapter usually used, then yes, the hdd should be able to plug directly into it. That side facing the front should be a standard 2.5" hdd female connector (44-pin, I think?). It's been so long since I paid any attention to these things...
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#1701837 - 12/06/20 10:03 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
DCore Offline
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Loc: Washington State
https://imgur.com/a/9JIWi4C
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#1701839 - 12/06/20 10:14 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
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Yes - that is a picture (pictures) of the caddy with hdd installed - but without the connector adapter. That adapter slides into that area in the rear of the caddy. It is not securely held in place by itself, but depends on being plugged into either the hdd, the ribbon cable, or both in order to stay put. If that adapter is plugged into the ribbon cable on your 880 as you suggest, then you have what you need to connect an hdd up to the machine. If you can fabricate your own version of a caddy and have a hdd, then you should be good to go.
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#1701870 - 12/06/20 01:30 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
Posts: 144
 Originally Posted By: DCore
Does the 880EX Hdd plug directly into the connector at the rear of the hard drive bay?
No. Thereís two boards: one at the back of the drive bay, and one in the drive caddy. Itís all very convoluted. If you donít have a (complete) drive caddy, your best bet is probably to directly screw a 3ĹĒ drive into the drive bay, and connect it up to the IDE connector with a ribbon cable. Some fritzing is required, but it is quite straightforward.

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#1701889 - 12/06/20 03:52 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: gyorpb]
DCore Offline
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Registered: 03/02/20
Posts: 43
Loc: Washington State
I have a 71124001 hard drive adapter board mounted in the hard drive enclosure. I have pictures of the caddy with and without a hard drive mounted and there is no second board that I can see. Also, the 880EX service manual does not show a second board in the drive caddy.
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#1701944 - 12/07/20 09:41 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
DCore Offline
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Registered: 03/02/20
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Loc: Washington State
Well, I stand corrected...it is as you described...the Hdd caddy holds the Hdd as well as a second board p/n HDP88-DLE. I found this out by seeing a listing on Ebay for a complete Hdd assy including the caddy and second board. Of course, the listing is selling for $120 and is from Japan. I don't understand why Roland did not detail information about the Hdd, caddy and HDP88-DLE board in the exploded drawing of the the 880EX from the service manual. It may have been because they offered so many options that it would have been impractical to list them all. At any rate, I apologize for questioning your knowledge. I am going to have to take a step back and consider my next move.
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#1701948 - 12/07/20 10:19 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
Posts: 144
HDP88-DLE is a separate item, and is used in many VS models, as well as other Roland gear. It is also, as far as Roland are concerned, a single, non-servicable part.
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#1702012 - 12/07/20 07:34 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: gyorpb]
DCore Offline
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Registered: 03/02/20
Posts: 43
Loc: Washington State
So, if I am seeing this accurately, the two Roland boards/cards connect the IDE disk drive with the main board. To your knowledge, can the Hdd be directly connected to the main board without using the two boards? Do you think they chose to use the two boards/cards because the connection between them was better able to endure the repetitive process of installing and removing the Hdd's? Other than that, I am at a loss to understand why they would design the system like this. My head is spinning..I am beginning to see why all the enthusiasm for memory cards and S.S drives....
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#1702029 - 12/07/20 09:31 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8771
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Looking at the small adapter board that slides into the grooves at the back of the caddy and connects to the hard drive - the main thing here is to change the pin connector type from the hd's ide-style (44-pin) to a 52-pin slim female connector. This connector plugs into a stationary vertically mounted board at the rear of the drive bay in my 1680 and I cannot see behind it. The first board also makes a vertical height change and raises the 52-pin connector - which in turn is met by the male 52-pin plug on the second board - C2 Connector Board Assembly.

Although the caddy/hd assembly is made to be removable, I'm sure Roland did not anticipate (and certainly didn't encourage) the frequent swapping out of hard drives (let alone mods to solid state flash media). But the design certainly does make doing so a more durable and robust process.

I have a few photos of my own 12GB ide drive and the 2 mods I swap out now and then in a second caddy (that used to hold a now defunct 2.1GB ide drive that came with the 1680 when it was new).
You will be able to find the photos here -
https://1drv.ms/f/s!ApQxVDASwyuYvBn1DiosFGvNbz72

I really do not feel like disassembling my 1680, or 880 to trace and photograph the connections on the inside, so hopefully there's some images somewhere on the web that shows this innards stuff in order for you to wrap your head around it.




Edited by uptildawn (12/07/20 09:47 PM)
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#1702046 - 12/07/20 11:16 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
Posts: 144
 Originally Posted By: DCore
[Ö] can the Hdd be directly connected to the main board without using the two boards?
Yes.
 Quote:
Do you think they chose to use the two boards/cards because the connection between them was better able to endure the repetitive process of installing and removing the Hdd's?
Yes.

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#1702073 - 12/08/20 09:45 AM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: gyorpb]
DCore Offline
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Registered: 03/02/20
Posts: 43
Loc: Washington State
Thank you so much for your patience in explaining the things I am seeing (and not seeing). So, if I want the functionality of the original VS-880EX, I need to have both boards/cards and an IDE Hdd, caddy and screws. This I can do for about $100. If I want to install a IDE Hdd using an IDE cable to the main board making the install more permanent/less flexible to swap drives, etc, I can probably do so for $75-$100. If I want to exchange the Hdd for a solid state storage system the cost seems to be somewhere around $150 and might also require the purchase of a hard drive caddy, the board that resides in the caddy and attaching hardware. The extra cost of this board is hard to assess since the boards are almost impossible to find.
If my thinking/or math skills are faulty, please feel free to correct them. Thanks again for your time!

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#1702458 - 12/10/20 01:24 PM Re: 880EX Hdd replacement recommendations [Re: DCore]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
Posts: 144
Your best (and cheapest) option, is probably a conversion to CompactFlash. Youíll need a 40- (or 44) pin to CF conversion board (to be had for under a dollar from Chinese eBay sellers), a cable to connect it, and a way to attach it somewhere inside the case. And a CF card, obviously.

There exist CF adapters that can plug directly into an IDE header, but I doubt youíll find one thatíll fit inside your VS.

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