Canon Cat floppy drive replacement?

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Santo Nucifora

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Sep 17, 2017, 6:21:03 PM9/17/17
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Does anyone know if there is a replacement for the Canon MD-3301 floppy drive?  I have a Cat that has the front eject button missing and the drive itself is non-functional.

Did these drives ever go in any other equipment?

Thanks,
Santo

Jonathan Gevaryahu

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Sep 17, 2017, 8:12:13 PM9/17/17
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As far as I'm aware, no.

The Canon Cat's floppy drive is a weird, single sided double density 3.5" drive (holding ~360k of data in theory, ~256k in practice), and I've only ever seen SSDD 3.5" drives in 2 other pieces of equipment, and I'm not sure if either of the other drives is canon-made.

The cat floppy drive also uses a flex cable for a connector instead of a standard 36pin ribbon cable, plus I believe it needs /READY on pin 34 instead of /DISKCHG (much like yamaha and amiga 720k floppy drives need). Dwight Elvey built a circuit to simulate the correct signal by combining /DRIVESEL (from cat), /MOTORON (from cat) and /INDEX (from drive) so other drives which do not supply /READY can at least 'fake it' enough to work.

You will also need to desolder the flex cable from the back of the destroyed cat 3.5" drive, and make an adapter from that flex cable to a 36pin floppy cable.

The canon cat actually will use* a double sided drive, if installed.
*It will only use side 0 under normal use, but you can select side 1 using commands in FORTH, and it will treat it like a different disk. (In fact, the cat can technically support two different drives on the same cable, as well, although I believe both drives share a /motoron signal?, again it will not use any drive or disk side except drive 0 side 0 by default.)
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dwight

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Sep 17, 2017, 10:56:04 PM9/17/17
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On can use a non-DriveReady\ type drive with modifications to the firmware. I have used to circuit as well to use 720K drives.

Some of the older drives have jumpers to select the right speed and the ready signal I've used these.

The original drives had a failure mechanism that will cause 100% of the drives to fail.

The back of the rail that guides the head assembly is held on by a piece of nylon. This gets old an brittle. When it fails, the rail will offset enough to make it so that the head catches against the floppy's case. Most without thinking will yank the drive out destroying the head.

I recommend to anyone with these older Canon drive to make a more permanent repair to the rail mounting before using it much.

You can still make an adapter to wire a newer drive but it is a hassle.

Dwight



From: cano...@googlegroups.com <cano...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Jonathan Gevaryahu <jgeva...@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2017 5:12:04 PM
To: cano...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [Canon Cat] Canon Cat floppy drive replacement?
 

dwight

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Sep 17, 2017, 11:05:08 PM9/17/17
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Sorry, I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't proof read my post.


On can use a non-DriveReady\ type drive with modifications to the firmware. I have used the circuit as well to use 720K drives.
Some of the older drives have jumpers to select the right speed and the ready signal. I've used these drives but they are hard to find.
The original drives had a failure mechanism that will cause 100% of the drives to fail.
The back of the rail that guides the head assembly is held on by a piece of nylon. This gets old an brittle. When it fails, the rail will offset enough to make it so that the head catches against the floppy's case. Most, without thinking, will yank the floppy out destroying the head.
I suspect your drive suffered this fate.
I recommend to anyone with these older Canon drive to make a more permanent repair to the rail mounting before using it much.
You can still make an adapter to wire a newer drive but it is a hassle.
Dwight


From: dwight <dke...@hotmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2017 7:56:03 PM

Charles Springer

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Sep 18, 2017, 12:26:50 AM9/18/17
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I have a couple of early originals. I will take some photos and get part numbers. They might be the single sided.

-- Charlie

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Simon Crum

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Nov 7, 2017, 10:16:20 PM11/7/17
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I might have just done this. :-( 
After many years in storage, I revived my faithful CAT. I put a disk in. Saw a long lost story I had written. Was happy the CAT worked. Then the disk was jammed inside.
Now when I put the disk back in, the CAT thinks it is blank. 


On Sunday, 17 September 2017 20:05:08 UTC-7, dke...@hotmail.com wrote:

Sorry, I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't proof read my post.


Can I tell physically if the head is destroyed?

Simon
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