Internal harddisk for EX5R

Unfortunately thereís no option for an internal harddisk for any EX model. As you know it is possible to install a harddisk into the Yamaha A3000. The SCSI interface for the EX series called ASIB1 is exactly the same as for the A3000. The ASIB1 allows internal SCSI connections.

The following guide is for the EX5R. Everything should apply also for the EX5 and EX7 models. But you have to find a place where the harddisk can be attached.

First some general information:

1.Harddisk benchmarks

- File type: .S1M† (Samples)
- File size: 980 kByte
- Harddisk: IBM Ultrastar 9ES DDRS-34560 (4.5 GByte)


Time to load file

Time to save file

Floppy drive

2 min 12 s

3 min 51 s


43 s

23 s


34 s

23 s


28 s

18 s

Tiny Wave Editor

22 s

15 s

Comparison harddisk/floppy:

-Loading a file is 4.7 times faster
-Saving a file is 12.8 times faster !

Comparison harddisk/jaz:

-Loading a file is 1.2 times faster
-Saving a file is 1.3 times faster

The transfer rate is not an argument to chose an internal jaz drive instead of a harddisk but a hd is cheaper, more silent, you can keep your internal floppy and if you perform live nobody can steal you the exchangeable medium during the pause!


Apart from the power supply and the floppy drive the EX5R is almost empty. Nevertheless I just found one possible place for the harddrive: next to the SCSI interface; on the horizontal sheet metal. Unfortunately you canít install the exido1 (Output expander; 4 additional outputs) or the exdgo1 (Digital AES/EBU output and wordclock) anymore if you chose this solution.

3.Power supply

A harddisk usually needs 12 Volt and 5 Volt DC but the floppy power cord just delivers 5 Volt DC. So you have to take the power directly from the EX power supply. There are several power cords for the internal extensions (ASIB1 and exido1/ exdgo1). One of them seems to be unused. Itís a cable with a 4 pin connector (not the well known harddisk power connector; itís a smaller one) and it delivers the required 12 Volt and 5 Volt DC.

4.Harddisk requirements

General: Small, silent, low heat development

Bus: SCSI (of course)

Connector: 50pin single-ended

Capacity: £2 GByte (Larger harddisks work fine but you have to consider that the actual operating system version 1.10 will only address 2 GByte. Wes wrote me that it should be possible to subdivide the harddisk on a PC into several partitions and the EX should be able to recognise these different partitions.

Power consumption: approx. £10 W average (Be aware that the spin up power consumption is much higher than the average power requirements, see table below)

Data transfer rate: I wish it would matter Ö

I tested four harddrives:

Manufacturer, typ


Current @ 12 V

Current @ 5 V

Power req.

Worked ?

Quantum, old one

2 GByte

900 mA

900 mA

15.3 W


Quantum, Lightning Pro Drive

524 MByte

500 mA

300 mA

7.5 W


Quantum, Pro Drive LPS

512 MByte

600 mA

500 mA

9.7 W


IBM, Ultrastar 9ES DDRS-34560

4.5 GByte *

540 mA† R/W
850 mA †Access
2000 mA† Spin up

530 mA† R/W
400 mA† Access
270 mA† Spin up

9.1 W
12.2 W
25.4 W


* only 2047 MByte can be addressed by the operating system

Iíve chosen the IBM harddrive because it was the largest working drive.

Harddisk jumper settings

My jumper settings (I donít know the meaning of some jumpers but it worked fine with the factory settings):

∑SCSI-ID (3 jumpers): I recommend to remove all three jumpers to get SCSI-ID 0 (zero). So the harddisk is just a single step away from the floppy drive if you want to change to the harddrive via the Disk menu. This way the selection of the harddisk is faster. Prevent a ID conflict by choosing different IDs for every device in the whole bus.
∑Enable Auto Spin Up: Yes
∑SCSI Terminator On: Yes
∑Unit Attention Disable: No
∑Enable TI-SDTR: No
∑Auto Start Delay: No
∑Disability SCSI Parity: No
∑External Activity (LED): This is not a real jumper. You can drill a little whole in the front panel, push a light emitting diode into it and connect it to this Ąjumperď. But thereís no need to disfigure your lovely instrument, the operating system shows every activity of the harddisk in the display.

5.Description of the mounting

The following list contains all the necessary material and tools for the procedure:


  • harddisk, of course (hd requirements see above)
  • ASIB1 SCSI interface
  • Operation system of recent date (My V1.03 accepted only 261 MByte of the 4.5 GByte harddisk. Iíve got the newest version (Tone Generator: V1.10, Main OS: V1.0A ) now and it is able to address 2046 MByte)
  • 50 pin ribbon SCSI cable (included in ASIB1 package)
  • Small 4 pin plug
  • 4 pin ribbon cable for an adapter cable. Perhaps you can buy such a cable at a computer shop
  • 4 pin harddisk power connector
  • 2 brackets (there are standardised harddisk brackets available with prepared holes)†
  • 4 screws to attach the harddisk to its brackets
  • 4 screws to attach the brackets to the sheet metal†


  • Screwdriver
  • Drilling machine
  • Drill (∆ approx. 2 mm)
  • Cable cutting tools

For professional users the following precautions are self-evident:

  • Donít forget to disconnect the power cable from the main unit.
  • Beware of electrostatic charge of your body. Be sure to drain any electrostatic charge by touching a grounded metallic object.
  • Take care to avoid dropping screws into the main unit. They can cause short circuits.
  • This procedure might invalidate your warranty or cause damage to your instrument. Numbers in brackets mean that the described instruction is not necessary for every device. Make a backup of all your flash RAM data before you start the procedure. Itís important that you follow the instructions in the right order.

1.Disconnect the power cord.

2.Take off the cover. Be patient: there are a lot of screws (EX5R: 17 pieces!). Look carefully so that you only remove the necessary ones. Have a look at the manual for further information.

(3.)If you have to exchange the operating systemís PROMs (see above) remove the 4 big ICís near the floppy carefully and replace them. This needs perhaps some strength. They are in sockets so you donít need a soldering-iron. I really hope you made a backup because during the first startup with the new operating system the EX will initialise the flash RAM !

(4.)If youíve installed a ASIB1-Interface or any other extensions once before you have to remove them now. Otherwise you will not be able to mount the harddisk.

(5.)I removed the long panel which is for an unknown and ominous extension (Maybe MLan, who knows ?) to ensure a heat transport out of the device. This way you can reach the ASIBís termination on/off switch even without reopening the EX5R.

6.Remove the big sheet metal next to the power supply.

7.Remove the plastic prop. You wonít need it anymore.

8.Screw the harddrive into the brackets. The connectors have to point to the floppy drive.

9.Drill four holes in the sheet metal to attach the harddisk brackets. I recommend that you squeeze the metal plate into two pieces of wood and drill through this sandwich to avoid frayed holes. The wood will lead the drill and the drill wonít slip on the flat and hard surface. Afterwards you have to remove the wood of course.

10.Screw the brackets with the harddrive to this metal sheet.

11.Screw the sheet metal with the mounted harddisk in the unit at the same place as before.

12.Open the cable mount on the back panel of the EX5R and take the 4 pin connector with one red (12 Volt) and three white cables. The next step is the most critical in this procedure. If you mix up the cables you can destroy your harddisk! A multimeter may be useful to control the voltages. You have to make an adapter cable because the connector of the EX power supply is not the usual hd power plug. Furthermore this cable is too short. The following sketch shows you the function of the adapter cable:

You can renounce the small 4 pin plug by soldering the wires together
(Donít forget to insulate them!) or by using a connecting piece.

13.Install the ASIB1 as shown in the manual with one exceptions: Keep the long (48 cm) SCSI-cable.

14.Take this 50 pin ribbon SCSI cable and connect the harddisk to the extra internal SCSI connector of the ASIB1 interface.††††

15.Connect the harddisk power cord to the harddisk.

16.Youíre ready for the first test now. Be sure that you carried out every previous step carefully. Reconnect the power cord and turn your EX on. Do not touch anything inside your EX while the power is on!

17.Go to Disk >Device Format and confirm the command.

18.Go back to the disk main menu and choose Device Select. Now you should see the maximum number of MBytes available on your harddrive. Remember that the absolute maximum is limited by the operating system to 2 GByte.

19.If everything works fine be pleased! I share your happiness.

20.Make sure you didnít forget any tools or screws in the unit - after all weíre not surgeons - and close your EX. Donít use any strength by tightening the screws.

Some brainwork has to be done now: To handle your voices, waves, songs or whatever in a efficient and tidy way a logical and clear directory structure is absolutely imperative. You should know for your planning that for some obscure reason the operating system is not able to create directories beyond the third level! If you make a subdirectory in a directory and you would like to create a further directory the display will show you the error message: "Canít make directory!ď.

You will understand that I assume no responsibility for equipment damages, data losses and any malfunctions.

I would like to thank Martin Hurni of Softwind Instruments ( for his advice and support.

I hope you will be successful and that these Information help to improve the data handling of your EX.