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Viewing topic "Flash Board issue"

     
Posted on: September 29, 2018 @ 11:46 PM
gondo
Total Posts:  42
Joined  03-15-2009
status: Regular

I have Yamaha 1GB and 512MB flash boards installed in my XF6, the 1GB bought years ago and the 512MB within the last year. I made fair use of the 1GB board not long after buying it, but I haven’t done much involving them the last few years, even after adding the 512MB. Never had a problem with either board.

I’m probably going to be loading things to the boards again soon, so I checked their contents yesterday and decided to format them as kind of a reset in preparation for the upcoming activity. There was no previous content on either. I formatted the 1GB board (FL1) first and it took several minutes to complete, which I thought was unusual. Then I noted it showed a Total Size of 510M, half its capacity. The 512MB board formatted normally (quickly) and showed the same size of 510M.

Very concerned, I opened up the flash board panel on the bottom to have a look. Both boards look normal, nothing unusual. I first swapped the boards to the opposite slots and powered up again. The keyboard showed the unformatted flash board message for the 1GB board, unusual since I just formatted it, so I formatted it again. This time it went faster but again showed total size of 510M. I removed the 512 board to see if that would change anything with the 1GB board, it didn’t although the unformatted flash board message did not appear again after boot up. I swapped slots again and formatted both boards, no change, still the 510M half capacity for the 1GB board.

So is my 1GB defective? Sure looks that way. Can anything be done? I really need that 1GB of space. I imagine the board is out of warranty so replacement by Yamaha is likely out of the question.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

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Posted on: September 30, 2018 @ 06:47 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  10344
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This might take a few back-and-forth posts before we can pin down what’s happening. There could be a simple explanation. The following is from one of my previous posts:
----------------------
The problem might be a connection issue. The electrical connectors used by the flash modules have 120 contacts. In order to make reliable connections, pressure has to be applied evenly when mounting a module. If it’s somewhat off-angle, even if the screws are tightened, it’s possible for some connections to not be made correctly. Pages 76-77 of the XF Owner’s Manual explain the procedure for installing the modules. I’d suggest that you remove and reinstall the flash module. Pay particular attention to step 4-2 on page 77. It’s important to press at the center of the module as shown in that step - the operative word is “firmly”. Tighten the screws snugly and evenly.

See http://www.motifator.com/index.php?ACT=39&fid=161&aid=14978_PgVaxXCcGUsXGlsDXz0b
----------------------

Please try that and let us know if there’s any change. We can go on from there as necessary.

By the way, formatting time can vary, depending on previous usage/content of the module.

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Posted on: September 30, 2018 @ 03:09 PM
gondo
Total Posts:  42
Joined  03-15-2009
status: Regular

Thanks for the reply. I have reinstalled the 1GB board numerous times in both slots according to your instructions and the diagram sent, still showing 510m. I inspected the flash board metal contacts as well as the Motif slot ports, all look good.

I imagine it’s possible half the flash memory went bad, just seems really unusual.

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Posted on: September 30, 2018 @ 03:52 PM
5pinDIN
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gondo - 30 September 2018 03:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. I have reinstalled the 1GB board numerous times in both slots according to your instructions and the diagram sent, still showing 510m. I inspected the flash board metal contacts as well as the Motif slot ports, all look good.

OK, you’re welcome.

 

gondo -

I imagine it’s possible half the flash memory went bad, just seems really unusual.

This is the first time I’ve heard of such a problem.

When the XF reports the capacity, it hasn’t actually tested the memory in any manner. It just reads the CFI information from the module. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Flash_Memory_Interface)

Please bear with me on the following, even if the questions seem a bit unusual…
1) Can I presume that the 1GB module (FL1024M) indicated 1022MB after formatting at some time in the past?

2) A 512MB module (FL512M) will have only one side of the board populated. Both sides should be populated on the FL1024M. Is that the case with your 1GB?

Questions 1 and 2 are just to make sure that the “1GB” module is actually an FL1024M, and not just a mismarked FL512M.

There are diagnostic tests built into the XF. Once you verify that the 1GB module really is one (yeah, I know, but I’ve got to ask), I’ll explain how to run testing.

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Posted on: September 30, 2018 @ 06:01 PM
gondo
Total Posts:  42
Joined  03-15-2009
status: Regular

Well, this is embarrassing and also upsetting. Bear with me…

Thanks to your #2) above, I just discovered the 1GB flash board is actually a mismarked 512MB, it only has the 4 memory chips on the connector side like my 512MB board. It was installed many years ago and I now recall I didn’t install it myself in the Motif XF, a friend did as I was leery at the time of opening up the Motif and messing around inside. I don’t remember anything said about something amiss with the board, I just started loading stuff and never had an issue.

I got the courage up to install the 512MB board about a year ago, watched videos carefully to make sure I did it correctly. I do remember formatting it but obviously didn’t take note of anything else as all seemed well. I didn’t think I needed the 512MB but happened to find a great deal on some package on Ebay that included it, so I figured more memory would be a good thing in case I ever needed it.

I hadn’t used the Motif hardly at all since then but recently started looking at some sound/sample packages that mentioned sample megabyte size and the flash board(s) required to load them. That got me thinking about how much flash memory I had installed, so I first read a little bit about the flash board settings in the Motif, then started poking around in the Motif Utility menu and that’s when I discovered the Total Size for FL1 and FL2 was the same - 510M. I somehow failed to notice this when I installed the 512MB board, but knowing me, that doesn’t surprise me ;-).

I was more curious than upset at this point, so I braved opening up that Motif bottom panel again and removed the 2 flash boards for inspection and reinstall. Sure enough, the supposed 1GB board had “FL1024M” stamped in the top right of the label/non-connector side but of course I totally didn’t realize the 4 memory chips were missing on that side. I proceeded to do all the board swapping/reinstalling as mentioned, with the Motif dutifully reporting the 510M total size for each board every time.

So I really feel like an idiot for missing this and almost didn’t follow up here due to embarrassment, but on the other hand, I originally paid for a 1GB flash board and got a 512MB without knowing it (albeit through my own ignorance).

At least the mystery is solved but I’m not happy about it :-(.

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Posted on: September 30, 2018 @ 06:07 PM
gondo
Total Posts:  42
Joined  03-15-2009
status: Regular

Perhaps this begs the question, are there documented cases of this happening to others - mislabeled flash boards? If needed, I can submit a photo of my 1GB board as proof of the error, although it appears I can’t post a photo here.

Thanks 5pinDIN for your time and information, as painful as it was for me ;-).

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Posted on: September 30, 2018 @ 07:25 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  10344
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gondo - 30 September 2018 06:01 PM

Well, this is embarrassing and also upsetting. Bear with me…

Thanks to your #2) above, I just discovered the 1GB flash board is actually a mismarked 512MB, it only has the 4 memory chips on the connector side like my 512MB board.

Sorry that your module is mislabeled as an FL1024M. When the unpopulated boards are made, they have the markings for both FL512M and FL1024M, sort of like this:
[FL512M|        |FL1024M]
The serial number label goes on after the module is completed, and is supposed to cover the type that it’s not, leaving the correct one exposed, as in the attachment to this post.

 

gondo -

So I really feel like an idiot for missing this and almost didn’t follow up here due to embarrassment, but on the other hand, I originally paid for a 1GB flash board and got a 512MB without knowing it (albeit through my own ignorance).

Please don’t blame yourself, few people would have known. The question is whether this situation was due to a manufacturing error, or someone’s chicanery by moving the serial number label.

 

gondo -

At least the mystery is solved but I’m not happy about it :-(.

I sympathize.

 
 

gondo - 30 September 2018 06:07 PM

Perhaps this begs the question, are there documented cases of this happening to others - mislabeled flash boards? If needed, I can submit a photo of my 1GB board as proof of the error, although it appears I can’t post a photo here.

I took an educated guess at the possibility of mislabeling, since I knew how the modules are identified. I’ve never heard of this actually happening before.

You should be able to attach a picture, as long as the file size isn’t excessively large and the file extension is acceptable. If you ZIP anything, and it’s less than 20,000kB, it should post. Of course, a smaller size would be preferable for those of us on dialup.  :-)

However, I’m not sure what it would prove, due to the ease of the serial number being mislocated.

 

gondo -

Thanks 5pinDIN for your time and information, as painful as it was for me ;-).

You’re welcome, and sorry that my suspicion was borne out.

Image Attachments
FL1024M ID marking.gif
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Posted on: October 01, 2018 @ 10:08 AM
gondo
Total Posts:  42
Joined  03-15-2009
status: Regular

Dialup is still around?? ;-)

See attached photo - the serial number sticker is slightly skewed but doesn’t appear it’s been tampered with. However, I imagine someone with a steady hand and good pair of tweezers could relocate it without too much difficulty.

I could see where someone would try to sell it fraudulently on a place like Ebay, posting a stock photo, and make a tidy profit given the cost of these boards. Especially selling to someone unsuspecting like me. But that just seems rather risky and I would think a fairly knowledgeable owner would catch that quickly. So I’m leaning toward it being a manufacturing error.

I imagine I have little or no recourse with Yamaha, as they can claim the label was tampered with. But in case I decide to give it a try, who would I contact? Pretty bummed about it.

Image Attachments
Yamaha 1GB Flash Board-reduced.jpg
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Posted on: October 01, 2018 @ 11:10 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  10344
Joined  09-16-2010
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gondo - 01 October 2018 10:08 AM

Dialup is still around?? ;-)

I’m pleading the Fifth.  :-)

 

gondo -

[...] I’m leaning toward it being a manufacturing error.

I imagine I have little or no recourse with Yamaha, as they can claim the label was tampered with. But in case I decide to give it a try, who would I contact? Pretty bummed about it.

I realize this is a long shot, but do you still have the box the module came in? It would normally have the serial number on a large label on one end, and on the top of the box a checkmark next to either FL512M or FL1024M. Obviously, those things should agree with the module. I suspect that the letters in the serial number could tell Yamaha which capacity module it should be, so perhaps that might help determine how this situation came about.

As to who to contact…
Your member profile doesn’t indicate your location, but the last page of the Owner’s Manual lists general contact information for most of the planet. If you get no satisfaction elsewhere, try the Main Office in Japan as a last resort.

Best of luck in resolving this.

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Posted on: October 01, 2018 @ 11:49 AM
gondo
Total Posts:  42
Joined  03-15-2009
status: Regular

Yeah, the box is long gone so no help there. I’m in the US, checked the Yamaha info at the end of the Motif XF manual, it only lists addresses and telephone numbers, including for Japan, no email addresses. I figure summarizing this in an email would be easier than sitting on phone hold and then trying to explain it to a support rep. verbally.

I found a wealth of contact info on the Yamaha musical instruments site, so will probably start there...if I want to devote the time and energy to a likely fruitless inquiry. But as you said, the tag serial number might shed some light on the situation. I might have a slim chance at recourse if it identifies with a 1GB board but I’m not going to get any hopes up. And it’s not like I’ve been deprived, although I can see now a 1GB board will be necessary to load some of the sound libraries I’m looking at.

Thanks again 5pin for all your help, outstanding! If I pursue this, I’ll post any future developments.

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Posted on: October 02, 2018 @ 09:24 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  10344
Joined  09-16-2010
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gondo - 01 October 2018 11:49 AM

[...]
Thanks again 5pin for all your help, outstanding! If I pursue this, I’ll post any future developments.

You’re welcome. Thanks for letting us know of the problem, so that other members will be aware of the possibility.

I would imagine that if there was a factory labeling error, it probably didn’t happen just once. If that’s the case, Yamaha would likely be aware of it, so contacting them might be fruitful.

If you follow up with Yamaha, please do keep us informed.

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