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Compatible CompactFlash cards for Hammond XK3c?


Mark Schmieder

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The user manual says go to their website. Maybe at one time that worked, but I couldn't find any info there regarding compatible sizes, types, or brands of CompactFlash for the Hammond XK3c.

 

They simply recommend the Hammond-branded HCF-32 card (32 MB).

 

Also, does anyone have enough experience with patch load/save to know how much memory one needs to save roughly twice as many patches as the XK3c can load in its preset banks?

 

And also, does anyone know what the upper limit of CF size is for the XK3c?

 

This reminds me of similar MOTIFator questions a few years back regarding SmartMedia cards...

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Steve,

 

As SanDisk is my most trusted brand, that's mostly what I needed to hear. :-)

 

If they still make small capacity CF's, I'll pick one up tonight or tomorrow at Fry's or Best Buy.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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Steve,

 

Did you mean 20 MB/s transfer speed, or 20 MB capacity?

 

The smallest I can find is 64 MB -- though there are a few super-old used ones at 32 MB and 16 MB that clearly predate the XK-3c by several years and may not be compatible.

 

According to the manual, each set-up takes 44 kb, and there are 120 of them, so that is slightly over 5 MB, making it easy to save more than two full dumps on even a 16 MB card.

 

It's too bad I don't have any CF cards left -- they were all part of my stolen camera gear last year. I can't really tell whether Type I or Type II is what is being used here, but it looks like Type II.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

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Argh; I think I just did some damage.

 

I couldn't figure out why the compact flash slot wasn't doing anything when I hit the eject button, and it looked like it came sealed, so I unscrewed to see what was going on, and then the eject button came loose (if it wasn't already).

 

Had I known the situation (it isn't shown in the manual), I would've used more force to try to pry off the plastic piece that plugs the hole, which is probably to prevent dust from getting inside when there is no CF card. I couldn't tell that in the dark, with black on black and things being tight.

 

The main problem is that, in the dark (it's hard to get good light anymore with all the energy and fire regulations dumbing down every lamp to minimum wattage, and even a flashlight is tricky as it can cast shadows), I unscrewed the wrong screw initially. I realized my error too late, and screwed it back in, but I think it may have been holding something in place that maybe is related to the CF eject button. Or maybe not.

 

At any rate, something small rattles and moves about inside now. But I'm terrified of opening up the unit, unless someone here has done that. My fear is that it might be like a Chinese puzzle, with each screw holding something critical in place that is hard to put back, or at least that it requires a specific order of assembly.

 

I can at least use think pliers with minimal force if necessary, to pull the eject button after depressing it, but I have no way of knowing if it works until I locate a CF card somewhere!

 

I'm pretty sure there was already something wrong though, as the whole reason I started working the screws was to see if something was stuck. The eject button should have been out, and should have had some springiness to it when pushed, but it was all the way in and wouldn't move either direction.

 

I guess it's easy for that mechanism to get stressed in transit, in spite of the excellent packaging. And though this one had never been opened, there was another one from sale (different vendor) that noted the CF reader was in some sort of stuck position but did work manually.

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Mark,

I've never had one of those apart. I do have an older Nikon camera that uses CF card (64 is largest it can work with), and a USB adapter for the computer.

The USB adaper is extremely simple, just a little track to slide the card in, and a connctor at the back that has two rows of small pins that plug into the CF card. It is made short enough that some card sticks out, so fingers are used for removal. The camera has a little push button, that actuates something that pushes out the card about 3/16" so it can be removed.

 

It is likely that the mechanism is not exceedlingly complex. There might be a nut that came off the other end of the bolt, or maybe a return spring. You probably can carefully open it up.

 

If it is ruined anyhow, you are no worse off. I wouild presume that the unit is available from Hammond parts as an assembly, if it is needed. Personally, I'd probably put a card in and leave it, the pins don't look to me like they would take thousands of insertion cycles.

 

Since I haven't seen their implementation, YMMV on the above.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

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Jim

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Thanks.

 

I just got back from Fry's Electronics, followed by about twenty minutes of sanity check round trip saves, changes, resaves, loads, etc.

 

Works like a charm.

 

The smallest CF they had was from Patriot memory at 4 GB ($24), which was a better bet for immediate feedback vs. waiting a week for an on-line order just to get a smaller size.

 

Well, it turns out it had no problem formatting, reading, or writing, to this card. probably it can't read or write much past 64 MB, but just because the card is overkill doesn't mean there will be a problem, as it's unlikely more than 8-10 MB would ever be used.

 

I love how Hammond implemented the save/load feature at the level of overall Setup. I changed a patch name and switched patches (I guess I should call them Combination Presets), did a card load of my saved Factory Presets Setup file, and it properly restored things as they were, even though I wasn't on that preset. So that's a relief that it's that simple.

 

As for the eject button, it only seems to work properly when there is some tension from an actual card present. It still slips easily to the side or to an angle, but it doesn't actually come out, so I don't think it would slip out in transit to/from a gig.

 

This leaves the question of the small part that rattles and moves about if I tilt the keyboard in any direction, near its base (that's where the sound is, as opposed to above the circuit boards). I don't think that happened until I loosened and refastened the wrong screw to the left of the CF mechanism, but it's hard to say. My Nord Lead 3 did that for years, yet had no known problems. I had a MOTIF that did that too. The important thing is to be gentle so whatever is moving about doesn't collide with something fragile inside the unit and cause damage.

 

Nevertheless, I am hoping someone else eventually chimes in regarding whether it is safe to open up the unit to investigate the loose part. I can't tell whether it would be safer to unfasten the "furniture" aspects of the keyboard, or the main baseplate, to start probing inside the unit for the culprit.

 

Normally I am not antsy about opening stuff up, but this keyboard has a LOT of parts and a LOT of screws!

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

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OK, I figured out what the screw I took out by mistake goes to, and I doubt it did any damage to loosen it and then refasten it. Clearly, it is holding in the three MIDI connections, as there is another screw on the other side of the MIDI section.

 

Also, the eject button can tilt to the side so it doesn't stick out while traveling, and that's how it was when I unpacked, so I don't think it was damaged either before or after I unfastened the Compact Flash mechanism. I think it has a little play on purpose, and as suggested, it's best to just leave the CF card in place, except for occasional computer safety backups.

 

My housemate and I tried to take the keyboard apart to investigate the loose item inside, but were unsuccessful in getting the back panel to come off. Nor could we figure out what was still holding the mid-section of the back panel in place, unless it is glued. The other possible options were too risky to unscrew -- especially without having confirmation we could remove and refasten the back panel or bottom plate.

 

There's a lot of engineering in this unit, and I'm impressed. For example, there's an indentation on the bottom plate that is beneath where the circuit boards are, and which protects them from ever receiving direct impact.

 

I think one would need a Service Manual to really work with this unit. I've had a couple of other keyboards like that in the past as well, that were beyond the usual simple construction.

 

Bottom line, I probably shouldn't worry, as the loose item may have already been present upon arrival, and just went unnoticed until the first time I tilted the keyboard beyond normal horizontal position. And everything seems to work. But I'll be careful during transport, so the loose item doesn't become a missile that damages other components.

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Oh, I bet the XK-3c didn't bother to update the CF reader part, which explains the 32 MB recommendation, even though that was already outmoded when the original XK-3 came out.

 

Certainly 512 MB and 1 GB was the norm by the time the XK-3c arrived, if not even larger card sizes. I remember 4 GB being the most common as long ago as three years.

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To get the top off you take the four screws across the back and the two smaller headed screws on each side of the drawbars out. The larger headedscrews (one on each end) stay in. The nut is probably rattling around and it would probably be a good idea to get it out so it doesn't get in a wrong place and short something out.

 

Searching this forum for info on replacing the tubes should give you more info about getting inside - and trying different tubes if you like. There is also more info in the XK-3 group.

 

As far as I can tell the '3c will use the whole of whatever size card you have. At ~44k per setup file that is a lot of setups in a 4G card. When the XK-3 first came out there were some issues with card compatibility due to the voltage those cards needed. The XK-3 provided 5V and some cards needed 3V. Other cards were supposed to work with either voltage but not all did. It seems that all cards manufactured in the last few years (with the exception of those made by Luxor (and possibly labelled with other brand names)) work fine. I've used San Disk, PNY and Kingston. The original cards recommended by Hammond were made by IO-Data which got out of the CF card business years ago.

 

To clarify something in one of your posts above, when you change a preset and save to a card, you are not saving just that preset you are saving the complete setup - all presets in all banks, Tonewheel settings, Digital Leslie settings, etc.

 

There is a PDF in the files section of the XK-3 group that lists all the default settings for all the presets if you are interested.

 

Good Luck.

 

 

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Jim,

 

Very useful info -- thanks a bundle!

 

I'll give another try to opening up the unit now... or maybe wait until daylight. :-)

 

I probably didn't use clear terminology when talking about the save/load, because I thought when I said Setup that this was meant to indicate the entire settings are saved or loaded. I only changed one preset, and then switched to another one, to verify that the save/load is global and not specific to the currently selected preset.

 

I am finding the XK3c much easier to use than the XK1, in terms of the menu system and programmability. The keybed also feels a lot better, and most importantly, it sounds better! Such an upgrade -- more than I expected!

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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Those directions worked -- I think in the dark, I didn't see those screws on the front before. The top came off easily based on these instructions -- and what an impressive circuit board design, with top quality components everywhere!

 

Anyway, I found the loose item, which is a small metric screw, 1 cm long, rounded Philips head at about 5 mm diameter, and a washer -- all silver-coloured.

 

I think it was an oversight on the part of the assembler, as it looks to clean to have ever been screwed into anything.

 

I'm going to keep looking for where it might go, but do not currently see anywhere on the inside or outside that is missing a screw or uses similar screws.

 

Thanks again for everyone's help with the three unrelated issues (Compact Flash mechanism; CF card type support; and opening the unit to investigate the loose screw).

 

As it turns out, examination of the CF mechanism from inside, shows it to be without damage. That's a relief!

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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OK, here's my theory:

 

The screw matches the ones on the PAH-75A board, which is the one with the 12AX7 and 12AU7 tubes on it. All four are present.

 

No circuit board or other component is missing a screw, and no other screws resemble the loose one that was floating about.

 

I think likely this screw fell during assembly and got lodged somewhere that it was neither visually noticed nor rattled or moved about, and then after being transported across country, it loosened up from wherever it was lodged.

 

In other words, I'm confident that everything is fastened properly and that stowing this extra screw somewhere "just in case" is the best response.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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Steve,

 

Did you mean 20 MB/s transfer speed, or 20 MB capacity?

 

The smallest I can find is 64 MB -- though there are a few super-old used ones at 32 MB and 16 MB that clearly predate the XK-3c by several years and may not be compatible.

 

According to the manual, each set-up takes 44 kb, and there are 120 of them, so that is slightly over 5 MB, making it easy to save more than two full dumps on even a 16 MB card.

 

It's too bad I don't have any CF cards left -- they were all part of my stolen camera gear last year. I can't really tell whether Type I or Type II is what is being used here, but it looks like Type II.

 

Glad you are figuring it all out! I have a older, less capacity card in my XK-3C and am glad to see the experts posting here (as they are know this stuff FAR better that I.)

 

I am curious just much capacity the XK-3C even needs to store a few presets since those presets cannot take up THAT much storage. Or can they?

 

And Mark, regarding your issues with the card slot--next time I suggest you get a better light but first...RTFM! :D

 

:wave:

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

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Forceman, I'm not sure what your user manual references are meant to shed light on -- I read the manual a gazillion times. The manual does NOT show the CF mechanism the way it ships, with the placeholder inside; nor does it show the eject button in its various positions.

 

The instructions for loading/saving the full Setup were trivial and worked first time. I stated this at the time, but my wording didn't seem comprehensible to some people, from what I gather.

 

I have just re-checked the entire manual a couple more times, and still don't see mention of specifics such as Type I or Type II, etc. The 4 GB card reads fine, so that's all that matters now. It was important to try to figure this out before I went shopping, but my choices were so limited at Fry's that I ultimately just had to take a chance on what they had in stock, and it worked out.

 

I am still mystified what the user manual detail is that I missed. :-) Jim helped out with which screws to unloosen to get the top off, and that came from a forum that I will probably visit soon for more XK wisdom. NOT in the manual. :-)

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Wow, the XK-3c has some serious balls!

 

I just finished reprogramming my custom XK-1 patches to the XK-3c, and the difference is much greater than I expected -- especially on driven patches.

 

As for the 4 GB card, I'll keep my eye out for smaller ones, even though it's fairly irrelevant. I won't be replacing my stolen camera for some time (I'm waiting for full-frame DSLR's to make their way into the prosumer price range), and there's no telling whether I'll have a need for CF at that point for anything other than the XK-3c, as even higher-end cameras are moving towards SD and other newer/smaller formats.

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Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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Forceman, I'm not sure what your user manual references are meant to shed light on -- I read the manual a gazillion times. The manual does NOT show the CF mechanism the way it ships, with the placeholder inside; nor does it show the eject button in its various positions.

 

The instructions for loading/saving the full Setup were trivial and worked first time. I stated this at the time, but my wording didn't seem comprehensible to some people, from what I gather.

 

I have just re-checked the entire manual a couple more times, and still don't see mention of specifics such as Type I or Type II, etc. The 4 GB card reads fine, so that's all that matters now. It was important to try to figure this out before I went shopping, but my choices were so limited at Fry's that I ultimately just had to take a chance on what they had in stock, and it worked out.

 

I am still mystified what the user manual detail is that I missed. :-) Jim helped out with which screws to unloosen to get the top off, and that came from a forum that I will probably visit soon for more XK wisdom. NOT in the manual. :-)

 

 

Oh, I was just having some fun. Guess my humor again didn't translate. sorry.. :wave:

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No, I was just honestly wondering if you saw something in the manual that I missed, given that some of the information is not in the most obvious place.

 

For instance, it mentions that you can save individual settings to CF as well, and not just overall setups, but as far as I can tell, doesn't say how. So I guess I'll visit the Hammond forum for that info.

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Martin, thanks -- as you can imagine, I didn't want to wait around for a special order to arrive (whether via eBay or elsewhere), so that I could put the XK-1 up for sale right away.

 

It's kind of the eBay seller to post a reasonable price for the set of four 32 MB cards, though. I remember how much I had to pay for older higher-voltage SmartMedia cards when I owned the Roland JP8080. Sort of like how older versions of Mac OS X cost you more than Snow Leopard. :-)

 

I don't think I'll really bother, because the 4 GB card was cheap, and I'm not likely to need to use the card much. Especially as the factory presets mostly suck, so I will primarily be replacing them and keeping a simple backup of them.

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Only Type 1 CF cards will fit in the XK-3/3c. Type II cards are too thick. As far as saving individual presets etc. to the CF card, it can't be done. Besides, trying to keep track of individual presets and which overall setups they would be loaded into and how the Bank parameters that are included in that preset would affect the rest of the presets in the Bank it is loaded into would be a nightmare.

 

There is an Excel spreadsheet file in the XK-3 group that can be used to edit setup files on a computer. The Excel file has a "Load File" button that when clicked will bring up a screen where the setup file to be edited can be looked for. The CF card from the XK-3c can be inserted into a card reader in the computer and the desired setup file loaded into the spreadsheet. All the parameters for all the presets are displayed on one large screen. Parameters can be changed individually or copy and pasted in large groups. Also, Tonewheel sets can be easily tweaked with values from a document (typed in manually). Also, complete tonewheel sets (or all tonewheel sets can be copied from one setup file to another.

 

This file is still a work in progress and Bank and Global parameters are not loaded into the Excel spreadsheet from the setup file - but they are easily done on the '3c anyway.

 

After the setup file editing is complete there is a save button on the spreadsheet that will save the setup file back to the CF card. There are also places in the Excel file for changing the setup and setup file names so the original file can remain on the card and then have the new one added with new names.

 

Note: This file is available for use at one's own risk. There is no instruction sheet although it is pretty easy to use if one has any familiarity with spreadsheets. I suggest making a copy of the setup file (saving the setup twice on the CF card) just in case. Some things to be aware of are: although the range of choices may be 1 - 4 on the XK-3c's menu screen, the data range in the spreadsheet will be 0 - 3. I'm not sure what will happen if a value outside the expected range for a parameter is entered (ie: a 4 in the example above). I think the value that is already in that parameter will not change. I have used the spreadsheet to edit setup files a number of times and it has worked well for me. There are copies of setup files where I tweaked a set of Type 1 'Wheels by hand early on ( similar to the set I tweaked in my XK-3). There is also a setup file where I copied those tonewheel settings into the Type 1 and Type 2 Tonewheels and also copied the Tonewheel settings that Jim Alfredson posted that matched his XK-3 to his B3 into the Type 1 and Type 2 sets.

 

Good Luck and have fun.

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According to the manual, each set-up takes 44 kb, and there are 120 of them, so that is slightly over 5 MB, making it easy to save more than two full dumps on even a 16 MB card.

 

This is where I thought that you thought you would be saving each preset and they took 44kb therefore you would need 5Mb to save all the presets.

 

I read this topic last night at ~2:30 AM after spending 6+ hours in a school bus loaded with high school kids. My focus and concentration may have been a little off. ;)

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Cool, and useful info.

 

I think I got lucky, as the CF card gave some compatibility number, then a comma, then Type I. I couldn't tell if it was saying it was Type I or that it was compatible in some way.

 

Kind of surprising that Fry's had an older CF Type I card type in stock, considering that pro cameras from Nikon are about the only devices left that even use Type II CF cards anymore.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

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  • 4 years later...

CF problem for Jim and others in the know...

 

I bought a 32mb CF card for the XK3 (non-C) and I can't turn on/boot up with it in. It does work (saves/loads/etc. after inserting it in after powering up) but this is a bit of a showstopper.

 

What is actually going on here and is there anyway to correct it? The CF card meets the requirements (so I thought - brand: Gigaram, type 1, 32mb and below, 1.8 MB per second transfer rate 3.3V and 5V dual voltage support).

 

Is there a particular brand name I have to buy? This is pretty ridiculous, there must be some type of resolve here. Having to pop it in and out ea time you turn it on will wear out the pin contact points in no time.

 

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I use SansDisk type I cards. They work great. Haven't checked availability in a while. I bought my cards back when I got the organ.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Come to think of it I use the cards to transfer and save tone wheelsets and the master backup files. I never reboot the organ with the CF card in the organ. Not sure why you would need to do this.

 

 

I just saw these. I wonder how they would work. 32MB Type Is are getting hard to find.

 

http://www.amazon.com/32MB-Compact-Flash-Card-BPK/dp/B0014C6V7O/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1421106068&sr=1-3&keywords=type+I+CF+card+MB http://www.amazon.com/32MB-Compact-Flash-Card-BPK/dp/B0014C6V7O/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1421106068&sr=1-3&keywords=type+I+CF+card+MB

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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The issue is that some of the cards that were supposed to be 3.3 and 5 volt compatible weren't. You could try turning the XK-3 on for a second then off for a second and then back on again (I'm not sure that is good for the rest of the electronics). That worked with some cards. Some of the private label/non-major brand cards were made by Lexar Media and they didn't work.

 

SanDisk, PNY and Kingston worked pretty reliably.

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