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I've had my old serial EPROM programmer for years, well... decades and last week, I bit the bullet and replaced it with something a little newer. Instead of having to hunt down old 'windowed' EPROMs, I can now offer a firmware update service providing the latest devices.

Firmware update service

I don't often get asked for firmware but when I do, I'm usually able to oblige as over the years, I've built up a small repository of firmwares for various machines.

EPROM blower hardware

99% of the time, I'll use EEPROMs (electrically erasable programable read only memory) for my firmware update service. These devices don't have the window associated with older EPROMs and don't need exposure to ultra-violet light, to be erased. They're also considerably cheaper and from a programmer's point of view, a lot more reliable.

EPROM programming software

I guess the hard part for end-users, is identifying the firmware version inside their machines. Some machines display the version when they boot but many don't and the only way to find out, is to open up the box! I understand that can be a bit daunting for some, so for a small fee, I'm happy to do that for you, if you can get to me.

If you want to try this yourself, then you're looking for a chip which which will be in a socket. It may have the firmware version just written on a label that's stuck on top of the chip and covering a little window. Some companies Roland used a coded label as shown below right.

Firmware EPROMs in Sound Lab SST-19 (left) and on Roland MKS-80 voice-board (right)
Firmware EPROMs in Sound Lab SST-19 (left) and on Roland MKS-80 voice-board (right).

The EPROM label on the left shows the date (4th November 1987), followed by a 'M' which I'm guessing to be the actual version. The EPROM on the right is on the voice-board of a Roland MKS-80 Rev 4 and the label indicates that the firmware version is 1.1.

Both images show older devices which have windows under the labels through which exposure to ultra-violet light is used to erase the device. So don't peel the label off!

To take advantage of my firmware update service, please just message me with your requirements and I'll see what I can do.