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SCSI2SD Device With MicroSD Cards
(Very compact at only 100mm x 50mm; 4' x 2')

Note: The SCSI2SD project is somewhat outdated these days due to lack of hardware availability

SCSI2SD Model: IM150402001 ‑ v5.0α with v4.6 firmware installed is the only model the following instructions and configurations have been verified and tested with for the S‑550, W‑30 and S‑760 samplers. It is unknown if anything discussed here will work with the S‑750, S‑770 or DJ‑70MKII samplers or any SCSI2SD Model other than v5.0α with v4.6 firmware

This ultra‑cool SCSI device will emulate up to four 80MB virtual hard drives on the S‑550 or W‑30. It will emulate up to four 600MB virtual hard drives on the S‑760. If you have a Mac, it can also emulate up to four 600MB virtual CD-ROM drives (click here for more info re: virtual CD‑ROM setups). When configured correctly, it is also possible to boot the S‑550 or W‑30 from the last 80MB virtual hard drive configured on the SCSI2SD chain. Same with the S‑760. Very convenient!!! Using a DB25‑F to 50‑pin adapter and a DB25‑M to DB25‑M SCSI cable, it plugs into the DB25‑F SCSI connector on the HD5‑IF card (S‑550), the DB25‑F SCSI connector of a W‑30 (KW‑30 IC Upgrade), an already connected hard drive (DB25‑M to 50‑pin SCSI cable), an already connected ZIP drive (DB25‑M to DB25‑M SCSI cable) or the built‑in DB25‑F SCSI connector on the S‑760

Configuration is very easy and it only takes a couple of minutes to setup. The only real "time burner" is having to format the four hard drive areas. The format process is still quite slow due to limitations of the ancient O/S on the sampler. For the S‑550 and W‑30, this device uses up to four separate SCSI ID device numbers for the virtual 80MB hard drives and you can choose any four SCSI ID's between #0 and #6. It has a slot for a MicroSD card which it uses for storage (I recommend using a 4GB MicroSD card [or larger] which will make archiving and duplicating your MicroSD card possible). A USB Micro-B to USB-A Cable is used to connect the SCSI2SD device to a computer for configuration and/or updating the firmware. It is important to use a quality brand USB cable. Some inexpensive USB cables do not use enough wires and they will not work properly. See the section below titled "Troubleshooting Power & Cable Issues - Item #3"

As of March 2022, the SCSI2SD is $70. You will also need a power supply, DB25‑F to 50‑pin to adapter, a 4GB MicroSD card (or larger), USB Micro-B to USB-A Cable, DB25‑M to DB25‑M SCSI cable and an enclosure (recommended). My total investment was $105 which is a little pricey. However, this device now gives me the equivalent of four 80MB hard drives with no mechanical parts to fail and a minimal amount of external cases, cables and no more NOISE! The cost savings and convenience is substantial compared to buying old SCSI hard drives

The basic steps for configuring a SCSI2SD for use with an S‑550, W‑30 or S‑760 are
  • Ensure your S‑550 or W‑30 already has a SCSI Interface installed (S‑550 = The HD5‑IF card and the W‑30 = The KW‑30 IC Upgrade)
    • When using the SCSI2SD (or any SCSI Device) with the S‑550, I only use the CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00 disk because it's the only one which allows my setup to use more than one SCSI hard drive at a time. For unknown reasons, the HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility v1.03 and CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.02 disks won't enable my setup to use multiple SCSI devices
  • Buy an S‑550, W‑30 or S‑760 compatible SCSI2SD board from ITEAD
  • Also needed are;
    • DB25‑F to 50-pin Converter Adapter (Model: IM150709001)
    • DB25-M to DB25-M SCSI Cable
    • 4GB (or larger) MicroSD Card
    • USB Micro-B to USB-A Cable (See Troubleshooting Power And Cable Issues)
    • An enclosure to protect the static sensitive components on the SCSI2SD (optional)
    • External +5V DC power supply (500mA max). The SCSI2SD has a female Molex connector on it's PCB (The same power connector found on most SCSI hard drives). Interestingly, the Molex power connector on the SCSI2SD does not use the +12V pin. In fact, it's not even connected to any trace on the board so you can get away with using an inexpensive +5V DC power supply. I modified mine to use the more common two‑conductor barrel power connector. The power specs can be found here

      F1 SMD fuse on the v5.0α SCSI2SD board

      • Note: Documentation for various SCSI2SD boards state that you might be able to power it using the SCSI ribbon cable inside the sampler. This is NOT the case with the S‑550 and W‑30. There's not enough current on the internal SCSI ribbon cable to do that. You will absolutely need to use a +5VDC external power supply. Some people have taken separate wires and connected them to various spots on the S‑550 or W‑30 Main PCB to grab +5VDC and Ground. I don't recommend this because the Roland engineers designed these samplers to work at a specific power level. The extra HD5‑IF SCSI card inside the S‑550 is already drawing additional power. This mod may work but I prefer to leave the factory power specs alone and use an external power supply. For mine, I use a regular "Wall Wart" +5VDC power supply that's rated at exactly 500mA. The small, compact type of +5VDC USB power supply used to charge cellphones, iPods and iPads will work by using a modified USB cable but, I recommend finding one that's rated at exactly 500mA. I've seen some of the cheap ones go as high as 4A which might spell disaster. Whereas S‑550 and W‑30 samplers DO require an external power supply for the SCSI2SD, the Roland S‑760 Roland sampler DOES NOT. Simply plugging the SCSI2SD into the 25‑pin SCSI port of the S‑760 will supply enough power to make the SCSI2SD work without using an external power supply. From the S‑760 Owner's Manual: "The S‑760 provides for the supply of power to its internal terminator. Additionally, it sends out power on the SCSI bus (for use by external SCSI devices). Therefore, no additional settings need be made to any of the SCSI devices in the SCSI chain."

  • Download the Firmware Update Utility Configuration Tool* from the Files section at SCSI2SD ‑ code/src wiki
    • There are different versions of software for different SCSI2SD boards
      • The version I tested with my SCSI2SD Model: IM150402001 v5.0α was v4.6

           *Download all the files in the firmware and bootloader directories plus the files needed for a Mac, PC or Linux computer

      *Note: Some users have sent me eMails saying their new v4.8 firmware upgrades have caused some issues with their samplers
                Roland W‑30:
      Unable to load and save Song/Sequencer data. An "ILLEGAL REQUEST" error message appears
                Ensoniq TS‑10:
      Numerous SCSI errors displayed

      I have tested v4.6 extensively and so far... have not found any bugs. I have not yet tested v4.7 or v4.7.1 and will remain on v4.6 since it is stable and is working fine for my needs

    The following configuration screens are from setting up a SCSI2SD for the S‑550 or a W‑30 using a Mac but they should look similar on a PC or Linux system. For S‑760 configuration setups, see the section below titled UPDATE: April 2018
  • Connect the SCSI2SD to the computer with a micro USB cable, run the scsi2sd‑util program and update the firmware
    Otherwise, you won't be able to save the configuration back to the SCSI2SD and the sampler will not see it on the SCSI chain

    Note: If you are running the scsi2sd‑util app on a Mac and you receive one or both of these error messages when trying to update the firmware;

        1) "scsi2sd-util" is damaged and can't be opened. You should eject the disk image
             You will need to temporarily change the Mac System Preferences settings in Security & Privacy to "Allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere"

        2) Unable to open "scsi2sd-util"
            Try right‑clicking on the app icon and opening it instead of double‑clicking on the app icon to open it directly


  • Set the Startup Delay to 1, SCSI Selection Delay to 255 and turn on Enable Parity and Enable Unit Attention
         (Note: Enable Unit Attention is optional but highly recommended if you will be performing 'Hot Swaps' with microSD cards)


  • Configure up to four SCSI devices and set them up exactly the same
    Select a Device tab 1, 2, 3 or 4
    Place a checkmark to Enable SCSI Target
    SCSI ID = 0 to 6 (ensure this number does not collide with another SCSI device in the chain)
    Device Type = Hard Drive
    SD card start sector = Auto (the SD card start sector value is adjusted after placing a checkmark at Auto)
    Sector size (bytes) = 512
    Sector count (the Sector Count is adjusted automatically after entering 512)
    Device size = 80MB
    The remaining parameters are arbitrary (Vendor ‑ Product ID ‑ Revision ‑ Serial Number)
    Note: In the examples shown, the reason I chose 1, 2, 3 and 4 is because I have a CD‑ROM at SCSI ID#0 in my SCSI chain


  • Save the configuration to the SCSI2SD


  • Eject the SCSI2SD device from the Desktop then physically disconnect the SCSI2SD from the USB port on the computer and exit the scsi2sd‑util program. If you are running this on a Mac, you will need to "eject" the scsi2sd‑util program. Wait 30 seconds and reconnect the SCSI2SD to the USB port on the computer. Run the scsi2sd‑util program and click on the Load from device button. This will verify that your configuration changes were saved to the SCSI2SD flash memory


  • If everything looks good, with the sampler powered OFF and all other devices in the SCSI chain powered OFF, plug the SCSI2SD into the DB‑25 SCSI port on the sampler. Insert a microSD card into the SCSI2SD. Connect the power supply to the SCSI2SD and power on the sampler. You should now be able to format the four 80MB virtual "hard drives" on the MicroSD card (or however many devices you configured). If you run into any trouble, check the SCSI2SD User Manual

Troubleshooting Power, Cable And Booting Issues

  • 1) The dreaded "Searching for SCSI2SD device \" error. The most annoying problem I have found with getting everything to work correctly was finding a compatible USB Micro‑B cable. I have six USB Micro‑B cables and only half actually work because most of these do not have enough wires connected. Most of the inexpensive USB cables are manufactured by leaving out some of the copper wires to save production costs. To make matters worse, when you plug in a cheap USB Micro‑B cable, the yellow LED power light on on the SCSI2SD board lights up to give you the impression that all is well. Most inexpensive cables will supply power but are unable to transfer data because important data wires are missing. I have found that higher quality USB Micro‑B cables do the trick (i.e. cables for the Amazon Echo, FLIR Thermal Camera and Fire Tablet work just fine). Monoprice has a huge selection of USB cables at excellent prices. I have corrected any future issues in my music studio by taking a pair of wire cutters, cutting the cheap cables in half and throwing them in the trashcan  Smiley

    2) When using SCSI2SD with the S‑550 or W‑30, a microSD card must be plugged in into the SCSI2SD device before powering on the sampler. Otherwise, the W‑30 will not boot and the SCSI2SD device will lock‑up showing only a solid LED

    3) Some S‑760 owners have reported issues when trying to supply power to a SCSI2SD device using the internal SCSI cable on the sampler. This usually happens as a result from a previous owner plugging a bad device or bad terminator into the SCSI chain and it blew the glass cartridge fuse on the S‑760 Main PCB at location F1. Checkout the S‑760 fuse section at this link about location, testing and replacing this on 117V systems only. There are two fuses inside the S‑760 labeled F1 so don't get these confused with each other. Also, this fuse is only used to protect Pin‑25 of the +5V DC SCSI circuit so it can fry and not affect other S‑760 operations. It's a stealthy one!

    4) Some S‑760 owners have reported that when using a v5.5 SCSI2SD board, the LED will remain on solid and the sampler freezes/locks up. The only solution is to supply +5V DC / 500mA using the USB port

    5) Some SCSI2SD users have reported errors after connecting the wrong sized power supply to their SCSI2SD device. Something to check would be the SMD Fuse at the upper left silkscreened as "F1" and the nearby Diode silkscreened as "D2". Sometimes these will blow if a higher voltage or excess current is applied at the power source. Check for continuity and replace one or both of these as needed. I'm not sure what the replacement P/N would be for F1. I have eMailed the SCSI2SD manufacturer but they will not release any info about part numbers. For what it's worth, I did find a SCSI2SD schematic online but I don't know if this is for a v5.0α SCSI2SD board. Fuse F1 is shown as 1.5A Hold (Resettable Fuse) and D2 is shown as a Shottkey diode. The part number silkscreened on my D2 is B340LB and is available at Mouser here

Important Things To Note
  • When booting the sampler from the SCSI2SD, the O/S contained on the last SCSI device will be used... the device with the highest SCSI ID#. For more info about booting an S‑550 or W‑30 from a SCSI device, see this info

  • The model I tested was P/N: IM150402001 - v5.0α. It's unknown if any other model will work with the S‑550 and W‑30. Other vendors are selling versions which have the PCB modified so you can't update the firmware, some versions will only work with 8GB SD cards and some are selling for $130 over what the normal price should be. I'd recommend only purchasing from ITEAD. It's free shipping to the USA and some other locations. If not free, it's usually under $5 for Registered Airmail
    (Click For Larger Image)

  • It is highly recommended to place the SCSI2SD board inside of a protective case to keep it static‑free and safe from any ESD mishaps. The perfect size is a 1590BB diecast aluminum guitar pedal enclosure. Originally designed by Hammond, high quality generic 1590BB enclosures can be found at Tayda anywhere from $5.99 (USD) to $8.99 (USD) depending on color styles. There are some very wild Day-Glo Orange and Fluorescent Green colors along with boring brushed aluminum models to choose from. The drawback to using a 1590BB enclosure is that they are very difficult to create openings for mini-USB cable, power connector, SCSI cable and microSD card access. The aluminum walls are very thick. A hacksaw and drill press are required. See a large selection of inexpensive 1590BB enclosures here

  • All testing and configuration was performed using these O/S disks
    • System for FD/HD/CD Ver.1.07 (W‑30)
    • CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00 (S‑550)
      • For my setups, the S‑550 HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility Disk v1.00 through v1.03 and CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.02 would not recognize more than one SCSI device at a time. If you have more than one SCSI device connected to the S‑550, I recommend using only the CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00 to boot your sampler, format the hard drive, configure, and save the Hard Drive and FDD system disk configurations

  • The fastest way to populate a MicroSD card with sample disks or to archive all of your samples on an existing MicroSD card is by using the "dd" command line utility. To populate a MicroSD card, the "dd" utility will do a bit‑by‑bit copy of 80MB worth of sample data onto a SCSI device in a matter of minutes. Using the built‑in FORMAT and COPY commands within the S‑550 or W‑30 menus to populate a MicroSD card with 64 floppy disks could take hours and hours and HOURS to complete. The way to accomplish this is by using ZIP or disk image files. There is a selection of 80MB ZIP and disk image files you can use at this link

  • After plugging the SCSI2SD board into the S‑550 or W‑30, It takes a while to format the MicroSD virtual hard drive partitions so have patience. After choosing the Virtual Hard Drive ID# (0 through 6) and choosing FORMAT, it takes about 7 minutes for each virtual partition. The process order for virtual partitioning using the W‑30 operating system displays on the LCD as:
    "Initialize." (Counts Down Twice From 64 To 0 ‑ Once Fast And Once Slow)
    "Saving System." (Counts Down Once Very Slow From 70 To 0)
    "W‑30 Factory Patch/Tone Copyright Roland" (Counts Down Once From 30 To 0 ‑ Saves The Start‑Up Configuration Onto The Current Partition)

? SPINNER Planning to connect additional ZIP Drives or Hard Drives? Example Setups Here

  • No mechanical parts to fail as with a Hard Drive, CD-ROM or ZIP drive system

  • Sample data from a new virtual Hard Drive or CD-ROM will load at the maximum allowable speed of the sampler. Compared to a slower external 1x speed CD-ROM or ancient Quantum Hard Drive, the load speed is a huge improvement

  • Easy to manage storage and super simple to copy and/or archive. Just pop the MicroSD card into a card reader and archive the contents using the "dd" utility or freeware. There are billions of 99¢ MicroSD to USB adapters on eBay which work very well for this purpose

  • When setting up four virtual 80MB hard drives, the large capacity enables the equivalent of storing 435 3.5" floppy disks on one MicroSD card. The MicroSD cards can be removed and replaced easily for unlimited storage. Plus, MicroSD cards are very inexpensive

  • Likewise, when setting up four virtual 600MB CD-ROM drives, the large capacity enables the equivalent of storing 3,800 3.5" floppy disks on one MicroSD card

  • Can be configured to "hot‑swap" MicroSD cards with the SCSI2SD while the sampler is powered on. Try that with a regular SCSI hard drive! On second thought... don't try that because something will probably fry  Smiley

  • No more freakin' "broken blender NOISE" from those ancient Quantum hard drives!

  • Moderately expensive @ $70 + $35 for extra parts (power supply, 25‑pin SCSI adapter, enclosure, MicroSD card, cables, etc...)

  • The operating system built into the S‑550 is somewhat crippled because the only external CD‑ROM it will work with is the Roland CD‑5 which is no longer available. Unfortunately, this means the SCSI2SD is unable to load any CD‑ROM image files on the S‑550. Likewise, the W‑30 is unable to load any CD‑ROM image files via the SCSI2SD (Although the W‑30 will work with a few third party external CD‑ROM's). The means the S‑550 and W‑30 are only able to use up to four 80MB hard drives. Luckily, this is not an issue with the S‑750, S‑760 or S‑770

UPDATE: April 2018
? SPINNER Are you using a v5.0α SCSI2SD board with an S‑550, W‑30, or S‑760? Ray Bellis has designed some very useful configuration scripts for Mac OS X and LINUX which will multi‑partition a MicroSD card into four sections. This enables you to access up to four virtual CD‑ROM's as *.ISO files (or four virtual Hard Drives) on one MicroSD card. If you are using it with an S‑550 or W‑30, a variation of these same scripts will enable partitioning for use with four virtual 80MB hard drives. Both of these configurations are useful if you plan to clone or copy large *.IMG files onto a MicroSD card. This method effectively eliminates the lengthy process of having to format four partitions separately for hours and hours using the snail‑like response of the ancient sampler O/S ‑ More Info Here

Safety Precautions
Modifications made to any factory stock equipment will always pose an element of risk. Sometimes mistakes are made which are irreversible. Improper soldering and handling of electricity can cause serious injury and damage the synthesizer. Use caution when handling static sensitive devices and the PCB. Make sure you are properly grounded, working on a static‑free workbench or table and wearing eye protection during any soldering tasks. The author is not responsible for any damage or injury resulting from this DIY info. Use this DIY information at your own risk. And, I can't stress enough, the importance of wearing eye protection while soldering. That stuff flies everywhere sometimes!

S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE

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