3.5" to USB?

Has anyone ever attempted to replace the EXP3's 3.5" drive with a USB slot. Autoparks are advertising a 3.5" 1.44MB Upgrade Floppy Drive to USB Flash Drive Emulator (circa $20)

With our elderly EXP3 back in use - this would make life a lot easier. I use the EXP3 simulation software ate home and want to experiment with Personalities and it would be great to record a show at home like I do with our ELE2.

  • See here that relates to Express but the same does hold from EXPN:

    ETC does not officially support replacing the floppy disk drive with a USB floppy disk emulator.

    ETC has done very limited testing, but there may be issues with replacing the disk drive with a USB floppy disk emulator. The Express console requires the floppy disk drive to boot within a certain period of time upon power up. If the emulator cannot boot in time, the console will not be able to use the emulator drive. ETC does not currently replace floppy drives with USB floppy disk emulators, but can repair systems with them already installed.

  • OK thanks. I didn't really expect ETC to support such. This is a legacy board after all (though it works a dream). As we often do not have a disk in the drive I'm not sure if the "boot up time" comment really holds. Your message starts with "See here . .. "  was this meant to be a hyper link?  I think the best bet is for me to buy a 3.5' to USB drive and see what happens. I'll post what I di and the results here for others to see. Thanks again for your help.  

  • Hi Robert,

    The "boot up time" refers to the emulator itself booting up. I worded the original article the previous post came from a bit weird, so I'll need to fix that.

    Regarding replacing the floppy with a Floppy-to-USB emulator, it can be done. I've seen a few Express consoles with an emulator installed, and they work well in breathing new life into older hardware. I've briefly tested an emulator with an Express, Expression 3, and Insight 3, so far.

    The Expression 3 and Insight 3 had a couple hiccups in that the emulator would occasionally drop out or be inaccessible.

    The emulator may also have some jumpers that will need to be set, which might be further explained in any user manual that comes with the emulator. Since I've currently only tested with the Gotek Floppy-to-USB emulator, I only know the jumper settings for that. And I had to guess and check with those jumper settings.

    Also, you'll probably only want to format any USB drives with the console itself. I had a bit of trouble formatting a USB drive on a PC that the console can see.

  • All points taken. 3.5" emulator to USB on the way now. Will post results. Thanks for the formatting heads up.

  • Just to close this out. We successfully installed a very inexpensive 3.5" to USB box.. The Box is the same dimensions (right down to the anchoring holes and screws) and accepts the same power and data cables making the operation very easy. The board powered up in the usual time. We were  able to format a USB stick and save and read show files with no problems.

    Although it was a larger capacity USB drive the console formatted (as one would expect) to 1.44Mb, but it was readable on a Window 10 desktop. In case any ones interested the saved show file is named "EXP2.SHW" (a binary). 

    Next job is to make some personality profiles at home and take them in, to try out. 

  • I’d be interested to hear the name of the device you used and where you got it from,

  • Well the full title reads; "Floppy & Tape Drives-3.5” 1.44MB Sfr1m44-u100k Updated Version USB Flash Disk Floppy Drive Emulator + CD Screws Black" its supplied by Cusco and has a "Yohoo" label on top.

    The front has the USB slot, a LED readout panel and some buttons on the front. But as they're hard to see under the consoles overhang I didn't touch anything other then attach the cables and screw the unit in. That was the toughest part; Holding the console up (with an open lid) while screwing the box down.

    Oh yes, nearly forgot; cost me $33 on Amazon. Used it a lot over the past few days. Works a charm.