Upgrades: The Emax II was designed to be expandable. You could add memory and use a variety of storage media.
Disclaimer: You should never perform any repair on an Emax or Emax II if you are not well-experienced in electronic repairs.
Diagnosis Mode: The Emax and Emax II have a hidden menu where many of the hardware diagnosis procedures are kept. Select the MASTER module. Choose option 9. The display will give you a choice of 1-8. Again, press 9. When prompted for a password, enter 3629 ("EMAX" on a telephone touchpad). These functions include disk and memory testing functions.
Disclaimer: Be warned that most of the hard drive utillities will erase anything stored on your hard drive. Use at your own risk.
The following information on Memory for the Emax II is mainly for archival purposes now. At this point E-mu no longers offer any upgrade kits. There is only one source I know that can provide Emax II memory and that is Sound Logic. They offer the 2Mb upgrades for those user's who already have an Emax with the memory daughterboard (typically means you have a minimum of 3Mb or 4Mb already). The key to this is that they have the fabled install disks. the cost is $98 per 2Mb kit +s/h.
The Emax II memory upgrades do not simply include some DRAMs and an install disk to write to the E-prom within the unit like originally thought. They also require the addition of some memory expansion PAL's and if your upgrading a 1Mb or 2Mb unit you also must install an expander daughterboard.
Checking how much memory
To check how much memory you have in your Emax II first you will need to Erase All Memory (MASTER 4) and then check your Memory Remaining (MASTER 2). The remaining memory will be displayed in 16 bit SAMPLES, not bytes, so double the numbered displayed to determine the amount of memory in bytes.
Example: my Emax II displays, Sample: 2097108, which means I have a 4Mb unit.
OOP E-mu Memory Kits
The prices given were current back
in Aug. 1, 1996 and were based on installing them at home. It required
a Phillips Screwdriver, Wire Cutter, IC Remover, and Needle Nose Pliers,
(some upgrades also require Soldering Iron and (2) 10 ohm resistors).
E-mu no longer offers any kits.
There also was a KIT 2217 which is needed only for the 1Mb Emax II. The kit replaces the 64K RAMs on the motherboard making it 2Mb and costs the same as a KIT 2208. If you have a 1Mb or 2Mb Emax II you must purchase either the 2232 or 2216 kit before you can install the 2208 kit.
From E-mu Samplers List member Arturo Morales regarding his recent KIT 2216
Well, I made it... it took a call to EMU and waiting on hold for about 20 minutes, but now I have 4 megs of RAM... Here's the scoop: I got:I also from another list member, Caesar, and he agreed about the difficulty in getting the board installed.
If a high pitched hum is being generated by the LCD. It's caused by the backlight portion vibrating so fast that it actually produces an annoying whine. There are two things you can do. You can either purchase a new display or you can do a little mod to the display.
If you place a little piece of cardboard (like a matchbook cover) between the LCD display and the board it sits on, the whine will disappear. The only bummer is, its really hard to get to the LCD. You will need to take the keyboard assembly out, then the main CPU board, then the front pannel board. Basicly everything but the output board.
the DS/DD floppy drive of the Emax and Emax II is not a standard PC floppy drive. The main difference here is that they can have their ID# set to 0 where standard drives nowadays are hardset to ID1. Your best source for replacement floppy drives is Route 66 Studios. They also offer blank DS/DD diskettes $11 for 50.
The Emax II has an internal power cable for a drive, and a 50 pin SCSI connector is located on the edge of the digital PCB, near the external SCSI connector. Adding a drive is simply a matter of plugging it in and formatting it.
Beware of some drives, in particular Maxtor drives. Some drives seem to be too slow powering up and if the drive is not ready when the Emax II looks to it for the operating system, so the Emax II won't boot up. I had one of these drives and the best work around I came up withwas to assign a SCSI device number not in use as the boot drive (SCSI 0 is the floppy drive and SCSI 1 is your internal drive.) What will happen is that the Emax II will try to locate the non-exsisting SCSI device for approximately 10 seconds and when it fails it will default back to SCSI 1 and by that time the hard drive is powered up.
Warning! The Emax II can only format up to 540Mb on a hard drive, anything over that will go unused. Originally it was thought that if you had 8Mb of memory and since the Emax II can store 100 banks you could go up to 800Mb, this is incorrect. This is a Operating System limitation and since E-mu have no plans of anymore software revisions any space over 540Mb will not get formatted although the drive should still be usable.
Someone at E-mu reported that they had a lot of luck with old Mac drives especially out of Mac II's and Quadra's.
Drives submitted by fellow users:
These drives are known to be compabitle.
From E-mu Systems UK:
Submitted by users:
WARNING! do not try to replace your floppy drive by installing an internal removable media drive, the power supply of the Emax II can not handle the demands and will burn out.
I have had several reports from users who say they continue to have intermitten problems trying to use a Zip drive. Syquest went out of business. To get one you need to check out online auction sites like Ebay and UBid.
But let's say you find one used and they don't have an OS disk to boot from. Right before the Emax II was discontinued E-mu ran a "factory upgrade" program where you could send in your Emax II and they would bench test the unit and upgrade it to stereo and/or upgrade the RAM. A fellow Emax II users says that when he "played dumb" and asked E-mu how he could tell if his unit was mono they said all of the earliest produced Emax II units had the blue lowmount SCSI connector mounted below the output jacks. Of course, this test doesn't work if the previous owner had the factory upgrade performed because they didn't replace the SCSI connectors.