If you are one of the millions and millions (getting cheeky with it) of loyal MPC 60 fans, you certainly have read the initial installment of this pimp my MPC series, MPC 60 II: Operation Restoration Part I. As fate would have it, I finally got around to installing the upgrades that I ordered for my beloved MPC 60 II. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much luck as I had wished for with the Gotek USB Floppy Emulator. But I can say that other members on the MPC-Forums.com have had great success. I’m not as lucky.
So I finally received the needed parts for the completion of my MPC 60 II Restoration. They sort of trickled in one by one. First I received the black thick pads from MPCStuff.com. Although I was tempted to crack the 60 open and install them I really didn’t want to have to open this thing up too many times. So I waited.
A week later or so I received the solder-less backlight from the UK. The cat that I copped it from carries solder-less backlights for various MPC models. He’s a really cool guy and a great resource for those planning to venture into the world of MPC 60 rescues.
Then I received the Gotek USB Floppy disk drive emulator. It took approximately 2 weeks to arrive. I copped it on Ebay for $28. It was shipped from China. This piece was probably the one I was most excited about at the time. I cant imagine having to hunt down and buy 1.44mb floppy disks. I’m not too keen on the extra clutter. But truth be told if the Gotek USB Floppy emu joint didn’t work but I will not be deterred. I still plan to make good use of my MPC 60 II. Their are options.
So let’s get to it.
Replacing an MPC 60 II Backlight
I copped the solder-less backlight replacement kit from my man Mathew White of Retroillumination out of the UK. When I first decided to replace this backlight I’d heard there would need to be some soldering done. I hated the idea although I was down to do it if needed. But then someone put me up on these solder free back lights. My only hope was that Mathew had back lights for my specific model MPC 60 II. I reached out to Mathew and I was in luck. I ordered it and if I recall correctly it arrived within a week.
First things first, I removed the screws from the MPC 60. There are 3 on each side, 4 on the bottom front and approximately 5 on the back panel. The top plastic cover slides right off at that point. Because there are wires connecting the screen and other inner parts towards back of the top panel I usually lift the front panel first. That works fine for replacing the floppy drive but for easier access to the backlight and screen its best to disconnect the three cables connecting the top lid to the various boards of the MPC. Once those cables are disconnected, the top lid slides completely off.
With the top off I was able to slide the backlight out while following the cable to its connector on the main board to disconnect it. Sliding the backlight into place was easy enough and connecting the attached wire was as simple as it was to disconnect it.
Installing USB Floppy Emulator for MPC 60 II
Having the top off of the MPC 60 II I took the opportunity to install my other parts. The old floppy drive has four screws attaching it to the chassis. The screws were removed from the bottom of the chassis. Being the same size and form factor, the new USB floppy emulator screwed right into place. The last piece to attaching it was to connect the ribbon cable to main board.
As for actually using it I’ve not had the best of luck with it. The usb floppy emulator comes with software that allows you to format a usb flash drive for use with your MPC. It sees the flash drive as a stack of 100 floppy disks. Navigating thru the flash drive in increments of one or ten you can select disk 1, 2, 3 or disk 10, 20, 30 etc.
The fam bam over at MPC-Forums.com have a Gotek Floppy Emulator for MPC60 and unlike the lemon I received, it recognizes the usb stick. Mines counts up to 99 from the emu drive itself, as it should. But my MPC 60 II fails to see any thumb drive as a valid disc. Oh well, moving on…
But on last note and newly learned development before moving on… I’ve just learned that the Gotek Floppy emu may only work with OS 3.10. I’ve obviously not installed OS 3.10 as of yet so this is an opportunity to test it again when the 3.10 OS roms are installed. Stay tuned. There will be a part 3.
Installing Thick Pads for an MPC 60 II From MPCStuff.com
The good folks at MPCStuff.com sent me a fresh new set of black thick pads. They were pretty simple to install but not as simple as it would be in newer MPCs. On a newer MPC you’d take the taop lid and sides off and there you have the pads ready for replacement. On the MPC 60 ii, I had the lid off already but there were several data cables to remove. There is a metal plate over the top of the pads holding it in place. On the plate there is a board where two data cables connect. Removing the cables from that board actually give you the ability to lift the metal plate out of place after removing the screws that hold it in place. Once you done so, the pads are exposed and ready for being replaced. You’ll want to pay close attention to any notches and “what-nots” that indicate the proper way to place the pads back into place. Now reverse engineer your way back out of there.
Cleaning an MPC 60 II
Lastly, after taking a bit of advise from the MPC community (@MPC60champ & MPC-Forums.com) I went out and bought some Deoxit to clean corrosion. Actually, I bought something similar to Deoxit because my local hardware didnt have Deoxit. I bought “Ideal” an electronic switch and contact cleaner that is essentially the same as Deoxit. My man @MPC60champ advised “What you do is spray the tact switch, slider, rotary encoder, pad sensor and let it settle then wipe off.” So when I pulled it all apart, thats exactly what I did. It really is that simple. But I also took the time to blow air all around inside to get rid of dust before using the electronic switch and contact cleaner.
If memory serves me correctly I made certain to tighten any screws and nuts on knobs etc. which keep my knobs from wiggling. They are all pretty stable and firm yet smooth now.
Now, having shared all of that… It turns out that the floppy emulator must have been a bad one because it never worked. Well it powered on and it reads that the thumb drive was formated and it counts up and or down thru the virtual discs. The problem is that it does not truly read the disc. The MPC says no disc. Same results with several different thumb drives of various sizes.
Long story short. I ordered the Lotharek SD Floppy Emulator REV F., which is more expensive ($150) but it is certainly well regarded and is said to have great support. In addition, I bought the Roger Linn 3.10 OS update roms. Part 3 coming up when the final batch of parts arrive.
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