Questions about updating original VG-8

Started by TrainWreck, July 13, 2022, 02:37:09 PM

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TrainWreck

I have an original VG-8.  I managed to find an S-1 card and updated it to S-1.  The firmware version is now 2.04.

Now I am trying to update it to EX and have run into a problem.

I have read through the forum thoroughly on this topic and have found conflicting info.   Some have said that the VG-8 has less physical memory than the VG8-EX and therefore can't be updated to EX, only to S-1.

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This old post implies that a VG-8 CAN be updated to VG-8EX

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This post seems rather well informed and the poster says that the VG-8 and VG-8EX  both have the same amount of memory.

" regards to actual ROM and RAM differences between VG-8 and VG-8EX: there are none. Both have 512kilobytes of flash memory for program and presets, and a tiny 32kilobytes battery-backed SRAM chip for user programs"

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So I decided to try the EX update and see what happens.  I inserted the S-1 card and prepared the VG-8 to update via MIDI.  I then attempted to play the 4 EX midi files into the VG-8 using Midiox.  The 1st file loaded perfectly then the VG-8 prompted for the 2nd file.  When Midiox reaches the end of the 2nd file, the VG-8 does not prompt for the 3rd file.  It hangs at 52% <BFF00>.  If I play the 3rd file, the VG-8 says there is a Midi error and to power off.  Since the memory is erased I have to reload the S-1 update.

I have seen a reference to a program made by Tim Noonan that helps with this procedure but it appears that it is not in the Downloads section of this site.  Tim recently gave permission to a user to post it but it looks like this hasn't happened yet.

Could someone please confirm whether or not the EX update is actually possible with an original VG-8?

Thank you.   

TrainWreck

#1
Thanks for the reply.

After I made the OP, I kept researching and I found Roland's PC SMF Update Application on their website.  They also have the VG-8EX files as well.

Using this utility instead of Midiox, I was able to load all 4 of the VG8EX101 midi files into my VG-8 with the S-1 update.

Now, when I power on the VG-8 while pressing Shift + Play, it says:

Roland VG-8EX
System Version 1.01

Banks C, D and E are present with 32 presets each.

As far as my VG-8 is concerned, it "thinks" it's a VG-8EX. 

I won't dispute that there are hardware differences between an actual VG-8EX from the factory and an original '95 VG-8 updated to VG-8EX v 1.01.  It would be crazy if there weren't improvements.  I'm sure a "real" VG-8EX does sound better than a '95 VG-8.  It absolutely should. 

However, as far as firmware is concerned, you can most certainly load VG-8EX firmware onto an original '95 VG-8 provided you have access to an S-1 card.

I realize the VG-8 is a literal relic at this point and there may not be many people trying to update them, but if there are, hopefully this is helpful.

stingfan24

I, too, am looking for the S-1 update card, either to buy or rent. Thanks all!