MATRIXSYNTH: Roland JX-10: Super JX Flash Module with Vecoven 3.22 Firmware and Soundboard ROM Install

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Roland JX-10: Super JX Flash Module with Vecoven 3.22 Firmware and Soundboard ROM Install

video by thesrabbit

"This video documents my own experience with installing the Super JX Flash Module with Vecoven 3.22 firmware in my Roland JX-10. While there are other great videos about the Vecoven firmware, I wanted to make a video that showed the physical removal of all the old chips and installation of the new ones. Let me first say that I am a total amateur at DIY anything, as the video clearly demonstrates. I am not responsible if you try this and break your gear, hurt yourself, or die. For what it's worth, I did all but the latter. Fortunately the thing that I broke was the thing that I was replacing. That said, I'm hoping that the video gives you a clear understanding of what needs to be done if you decide to do this yourself. As for the actual tools and techniques, that's up for discussion. But this is the way. Or at least it's a way.

Shortly after purchasing the JX-10, I knew I needed to get the Vecoven firmware, just to have a proper MIDI implementation. I didn't realize there was a flash module option that allows future firmware updates over MIDI and provides an internal memory of 16 banks of patch storage. That's the equivalent of 16 M-64C cartridges, for a total of 1024 sounds. I contacted Fred Vecoven to inquire about my options and he recommend that I get the flash module with firmware 3.x and also the 2 optional sound board roms, so that's exactly what I did. Note: I don't have the PWM hardware mod, nor do I intend to get it in the future, so it's firmware version 3.x for me.

The idea of removing IC's from sockets and replacing them with new ones seemed on the surface to be a trivial task. But after watching one video, I was a bit intimidated, especially by the need to disconnect the flat white ribbon cable that obscures the firmware chip. This is not your average ribbon cable that is simply plugged into a socket. In fact, I don't even know if it is a ribbon cable at all, though that's what I call it in the video.

As it turns out, disconnecting the flat white cable wasn't too bad, though it was very scary when it came time to do it. I found that the best way was to gently wiggle it side to side while pulling (gently) backward. It came out pretty easy.

Far worse than anything was the removal of the IC's. Maybe the removal tool I have is not the appropriate size. It's possible that the one I have is made for small IC's only. It just feels like I couldn't get a grip on the chip at all. Like there was not enough tension. Looking back, I think a better technique would be to gently loosen the IC on each end from underneath with a small flathead screwdriver, and then use the IC removal tool to grab a hold of it and pull it out. But I'm not confident enough to actually recommend that approach. I would love to know if anyone knows the proper technique!

MIDI Mod: The Open MIDI RTC Schema didn't support the way in which the Vecoven firmware reads MIDI CC sequences. I made changes to the schema to support that and bumped its version up to 0.1.1, where it currently is at the time of this publication. I then just needed to make a couple small tweaks to MIDI Mod to support the new schema. MIDI Mod version 1.5.1 does that and therefore works with a JX-10 or MKS-70 that has the Vecoven 3.x or 4.x firmware installed.

Vecoven Super JX Flash Module:

A JX-10 Vecoven 3.x firmware and soundboard rom installation video that I used for reference:"

Roland JX-10 firmware upgrade

video by Simo Sainio

Here's a video that features the physical installation of the flash module in an MKS-70:

DIY INSTALL Vecoven 3.x SuperJX Flash Module for the Roland MKS-70/JX-10

video by #hardwareonly The MIDI Maniac

See the Vecoven label below for more.

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