Memory Solutions for Synthesizers

About Sector101...

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

Who runs Sector101?
Sector101 is run by myself - Brian Allan. I am based in Northern Ireland. The Sector101 website and the projects here are a spare-time hobby.

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 synthesizer units to test the finished product.

All these projects have been inspired by members of the forums at YamahaMusicians 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 30 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, and 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 the SY85 and TG500.

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 YamahaMusicians site about re-creating the SYEMB06 module as a proper 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 SYEMB06 clones were made.

After the SYEMB06 project I created further products:

MCD Sweet16 multi-bank MCD memory card for the Yamaha SY/TG/RM/RY
SYEMB05 512KB expansion for the Yamaha SY99
EXFLM2 16MB Flash expansion for the Yamaha EX5/7/5R Series.
WaveBlade 8MB Programmable Wavecard for the Yamaha SY/TG/RM/RY
DataBlade 16 / 32 multi-bank MCD memory cards for the Yamaha SY/TG/RM/RY
EXM-E3 128MB DRAM module for the Alesis Fusion & Akai MPC5000
SIIEX24 24 Voice expansion board for the Novation Supernova II series.
SR-JV ROMulator - a programmable SR-JV card for the Roland JD / JV / XP / XV Series.

I also offer a Repair Service for the Novation Supernova II series.

Can you make a clone of the XYZ board for my Synth..?
If I can get hold of the original product and the parts can still be sourced then it can be done. For me it is all down to available spare-time. Complex boards can be very time-comsuming to reverse-engineer and re-create so a better bet is to look on eBay and such places to grab an original board for your synth.

To make a clone project cost effect I'd need to make a lot of them, probably 100 units minimum so demand will need to be there. If you only want 2 units the price will be too horrendous to consider!

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.

If you need assistance with any of the above I may be able to help - I'm not restricted to Synthesizers!

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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