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Add an internal Zip to your ESI-2000

June 15th, 2007 Andrew Martens 9 comments

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to pick up an E-mu ESI-2000 sampler (circa 1997) from a local pawnshop for $88 + tax. While it only had 4 MB RAM, it could be easily expanded with 72-pin SIMMs, and already had the “turbo” board installed – giving it some onboard effects, S/PDIF I/O, and another pair of sub outputs. I managed to scrounge up 32 MB RAM for the beast, and put my old SCSI Zip drive into an external enclosure. All was well, but that enclosure had a noisy, noisy fan and it drove me crazy.

An internal Zip drive was originally an option on the ESI-2000 (and ESI-4000), but many people chose the basic version with a floppy drive due to cost. Fair enough! I used the floppy drive to copy a number of sample sets onto the Zip, and then I set out to put my Zip drive inside the sampler. The main problem was finding an appropriate cable. E-mu used to make a particular part, but have since sold off their old B-stock to some other company that doesn’t return my emails. There are two options that I came up with.

  1. this cable will probably do the trick if you removed the bracket; I haven’t tried it, but it looks like it should work fine (though it has an extra connector)
  2. add a Centronics connector to an existing 50-pin SCSI cable

I was planning to go with option 1, but when I was buying some rack rails (see my DIY rack post) at a local shop, lo and behold they had an IDC 50-pin crimp female Centronics adapter! I actually had an appropriate 50-pin cable (missing the Centronics connector), but I had despaired of ever finding the proper part. That is but the beginning of our wonderful photoessay…
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