Memory Solutions for Synthesizers


Yamaha Forums

About Sector101...

Hi! You've landed on the "About.." page of Sector101!

What is Sector101?
Sector101 is a spare-time hobby project. My name is Brian Allan and I am based in the United Kingdom.

The products on this site are designed, assembled and tested by myself. For this I use an ESD complient PCB workstation, soldering tools, magnifiers, test equipment, and synthesizers to test the products.

These projects have been inspired by members of the forums at where I am user Shadowmask. This forum is well worth a visit as there is a collective goldmine of information about current and past Yamaha synth products. There is a huge following of the older models like the DX Series, SY & TG, and the EX Series. The forum list can be viewed here.

What is your day job?
My regular job is in the electronics industry where I have worked for over 27 years. In that time I've gained knowledge of the automated SMD (Surface Mount Device) assembly line process and PTH (Plated Thru-Hole) assembly process.

In recent years I have been involved with Test & Test Development. In layman's terms this means designing a test for a product, testing the product, and debug the product if it fails the test. The products I deal with are many and varied: High-end audio equipment, oil refinery monitoring equipment, web-based security systems, fiber-optic optical switching controllers.

A useful skill I've picked up along the way is PCB rework / repair & modification. This is where components on the PCB are to be carefully removed and replaced, repairing broken tracks and lands, or circuit modifications where tracks are intentionally cut and mod-wires routed between components. Any of these jobs can involve replacing simple thru-hole components, or the more taxing high-density surface mount FPGA and DSP devices with 100's of fine legs, or BGA devices with 200+ Ball Pads.

How did this all these Sector101 projects start?
It all started in 2006 with an idea I had about making some type of memory circuit that would work in place of the long-obsolete Yamaha SYEMB06 memory board for my SY85.

I had no schematic for the SYEMB06 so after a lot of probing on the SY's connectors and internal components I finally got a rough schematic worked out. With this info the first prototype veroboard-mounted circuit was built and working.

Around the same time there was a discussion on the YamahaForums site about re-creating the SYEMB06 module as a proper PCB assembly. As time went on I got more info about the Yamaha SYEMB06 assembly from the forum members. After some PCB design, assembly and testing the first batch of 30 SYEMB06 clones were made - and promptly sold out to my surprise.

After the SYEMB06 project came the MCD Sweet16 multi-bank card, the SYEMB05 for the SY99, and the EXFLM2 for the EX5/7/5R Series. More recently three more projects have emerged - the WaveBlade 8MB Programmable WaveCard for the SY/TG, the DataBlade16 multi-bank MCD card, and the EXM-E3 128MB DRAM module for the Alesis Fusion & Akai MPC5000.

What other services can you offer..?
Experience in my regular job and with the Sector101 projects are given me abilities in these fields:
Circuit Debugging to component level.
PCB Rework - Removal & replacement of SMD & Thru-Hole components. Repair to mechanical damage.
PCB Design - Single-sided PCB & Multi-Layer boards produced from schematic drawings.
IC Programming - EPROM, PAL, GAL, PIC, Flash.

How can I contact you?
If you want to contact me about anything please use the email address below. I will reply to your as soon as I can.

I also have an eBay account where I list some of these projects (and other items) from time to time.
Sector101 eBay My World: sector101_co_uk

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