Amiga floppy woes...

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Thor Bernhardsen

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Oct 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/18/00
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I have a couple of old Amiga 500s, but the floppy drives are in pretty
bad shape. I read somewhere that the PC and Amiga floppydrives were
essentially the same, but that the controllers were different. Is it
possible to use a PC floppy drive on a 500, or is this just bull?

Maybe someone has some pointers on how to clean the floppies if all else
fails?

Thanks,
Thor.

siro

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Oct 18, 2000, 10:16:01 PM10/18/00
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> I have a couple of old Amiga 500s, but the floppy drives are in pretty
> bad shape. I read somewhere that the PC and Amiga floppydrives were
> essentially the same, but that the controllers were different. Is it
> possible to use a PC floppy drive on a 500, or is this just bull?

aminet/hard/hack/pcf2amf.lha

u just need to swap somes wires on the floppy cable.

Thor Oscar Westerheim Bernhardsen (1af)

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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Just two (stupid) follow-up questions (just to make sure =).

1. I'm guessing that unit0 is internal and unit1 is external. It's the
internal amiga floppy I want to replace, so I should use Unit0, or am I
way off?

2. Can I use the PC floppy cable (it's got one of the pin holes covered
up, i think.)


Now to make it fit in the amiga =) Let's cannibalize some PC hardware.

Thanks,
Thor.

Eelke Blok

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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From: Thor Oscar Westerheim Bernhardsen (1af) <t...@deathsdoor.com>

> 2. Can I use the PC floppy cable (it's got one of the pin holes covered
> up, i think.)

You could drill out the filled-up hole if it gets you into trouble.

Groet,

Eelke

Thor Bernhardsen

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Oct 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/20/00
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Just two (stupid) follow-up questions (just to make sure =).

1. I'm guessing that Unit0 is internal and Unit1 is external. I want to
replace the internal Amiga floppy drive so I should use Unit0 right, or
am I way off?

2. Can I use the PC floppy cable? (It's got one of the pin holes covered
up, I think).

Now to make the floppy drive fit in the Amiga, time to cannibalize some
PC hardware =).

Thanks,
Thor.

Orange

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Oct 20, 2000, 9:02:46 PM10/20/00
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2000 12:52:56 +0200, Thor Bernhardsen
<t...@deathsdoor.com> wrote:

>siro wrote:
>>
>> > I have a couple of old Amiga 500s, but the floppy drives are in pretty
>> > bad shape. I read somewhere that the PC and Amiga floppydrives were
>> > essentially the same, but that the controllers were different. Is it
>> > possible to use a PC floppy drive on a 500, or is this just bull?
>>
>> aminet/hard/hack/pcf2amf.lha

Where were you when I asked the same question some time ago? But
actually it was my mistake, becauose that question was probably asked
millions of times in here. That pcf2amf.lha doesnt seem like a
complete solution... Does it really work? What about REDUCEDWRITE
signal? READY isnt solved as well... My guess is you'll be getting
some df2: BAD stuff ...
It's amasing how aminet keeps some hacks that are VERY similar, or
maybe little complement.

>> u just need to swap somes wires on the floppy cable.
>

>Just two (stupid) follow-up questions (just to make sure =).
>
>1. I'm guessing that Unit0 is internal and Unit1 is external. I want to
>replace the internal Amiga floppy drive so I should use Unit0 right, or
>am I way off?

You need drive select 0, PC uses drive select 1 & 2 . Search for
pinouts. (sadly the guy who put pcf2amf.lha there didnt include
them...)

>2. Can I use the PC floppy cable? (It's got one of the pin holes covered
>up, I think).

And why not?

siro

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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> >> aminet/hard/hack/pcf2amf.lha
> Where were you when I asked the same question some time ago? But
> actually it was my mistake, becauose that question was probably asked
> millions of times in here.

yes, its a so common question :/

Should be cool to get a FAQ related to this NG on a web site or such.

> That pcf2amf.lha doesnt seem like a complete solution...
> Does it really work?

Its a complete solution an it work 100% ok, but, as i said in the
readme , somes old demo/game could not work cause they work with an
hardware coding that handle the READY signal, that one dont exist on
pc floppy drive and its not really used on amiga.

> READY isnt solved as well...

Dont need to be.

note: the ready and diskchange signal are doing pretty sames things, i
have make the experience to connect the RD from the floppy to the DC
of the amiga, and cut both others, it work perfect :)

>My guess is you'll be getting some df2: BAD stuff ...

not at all, pcf2amf really work. All drive unit selection wire are
connected ok (for a 1 drive system only).

> It's amasing how aminet keeps some hacks that are VERY similar, or
> maybe little complement.

Yes..i have seen it too when i have think "do its possible to use a
1.44 pc as 1.76 amiga drive ?".

But i notice that pcf2amf is not a hack that will allow u to use a pc
drive as 1.76 amiga drive, it just give u a normal 880k amiga drive.

> You need drive select 0, PC uses drive select 1 & 2 . Search for
> pinouts. (sadly the guy who put pcf2amf.lha there didnt include
> them...)

Yes my mystake. Maybe i will released a new version of that hack that
will allow to use 2 floppy drive , i dont have done cause i dont think
most of us dont play anymore with 2 floppy drive =]


A fews words about pc/amiga drive;

Shugart is the standard floppy drive interface designed by....shugart
:)

The amiga and most of others computer use that standard but when IBM
designed the "pc" they have made the choice to remove all drive unit
selection pins and make the selection by swaping wires on the
cable....they have changed somes pins position too.

But its still the shugart interface at 99% ! And thats why a simple
hack like pcf2amf can work perfectly.

Off course i dont speak about the high density mode, thats another
thing.

Thor Bernhardsen

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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---Snipping away old message---

I am truly sorry if i've fired up an old thread, but I searched on deja
and read most of the messages here and couldn't find anything that
helped.

I don't care about reading HD disks, i might care a bit about the READY
signal, but what I really care about is not getting annoying disk
read/write errors(You MUST insert volume XXYY in DF0:).

I just want to replace an old amiga floppy drive using a PC floppy drive
because a) I can't find any amiga supply stores around here anymore (I
wonder why) b) I don't want to order something from another country
because the drive may be cheap, but the shipping isn't, and c) messing
around with hardware is fun. (even though I'm not the best at amiga
hardware).

I did make the cable (I don't think I broke it) but it didn't work! I
don't want to point fingers, but i would like some helpful pointers. I
tried both the UNIT1 cable and the UNIT0 cable, I've only tried one PC
floppy drive so far, i'll try my other one later on. The only thing that
happened when I turned it on was that the Drive light was constantly on,
and it took a little while longer for the hand-with-a-floppy(tm) thing
to appear (even though I should have panicked and turned it off). I have
also periodically tried plugging the original floppy drive back in just
to make sure I haven't fried any hardware (it still almost works).

If it can be done (and if I eventually manage to do it), I will be
happy, and i'll have pictures =) what fun.

Again thanks for any help,
Thor.

Orange

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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On 21 Oct 2000 17:24:08 -0100, "siro" <si...@village.uunet.be> wrote:


>Its a complete solution an it work 100% ok, but, as i said in the
>readme , somes old demo/game could not work cause they work with an
>hardware coding that handle the READY signal, that one dont exist on
>pc floppy drive and its not really used on amiga.

>> READY isnt solved as well...
>

>Dont need to be.
I'd say it does.


>note: the ready and diskchange signal are doing pretty sames things, i
>have make the experience to connect the RD from the floppy to the DC
>of the amiga, and cut both others, it work perfect :)

F.T.Gowen says:" /DISKETTE CHANGE exists on low and dual-density 3.5"
drives, and on dual-density 5.25" drives, but NOT low-density 5.25"
drives.
Inverse of the old "/READY" signal - expected to be LOW when a disk is
NOT in the drive."
That floppy didn't have DC, or what ?


>>My guess is you'll be getting some df2: BAD stuff ...
>

>not at all, pcf2amf really work. All drive unit selection wire are
>connected ok (for a 1 drive system only).

Why have you connected READY (IN) to REDUCEDWRITE (OUT) ?


>> It's amasing how aminet keeps some hacks that are VERY similar, or
>> maybe little complement.
>

>Yes..i have seen it too when i have think "do its possible to use a
>1.44 pc as 1.76 amiga drive ?".

What I wanted to say is that there is no need for pcf2amf . Everything
needed is already on aminet. The only thing a man needs are pinouts
and to know that most of the modern PC floppys are set as drive1.(then
its obvious how the cable should look). That information could be in
some FAQ.


(to Thor: If drive LED is constantly lit, you've probably rotated the
cable)

siro

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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> >> READY isnt solved as well...
> >Dont need to be.
> I'd say it does.

Well we will not fight about that , the pcf2amf shit work ok , no need
of RD there.

If i remember well last a1200 come with a pc drive and have the RD
signal not used, thats why old demo/game dont work and why u can find
somes hack on aminet that put back the RD signal on the drive :)
RD signal is very useless theses days.

> That floppy didn't have DC, or what ?

When u insert a disk in drive both DC and RD signal become low a short
time and come back high.

The track on the pcb was totally broken and unreperable so i have put
the other :).

> Why have you connected READY (IN) to REDUCEDWRITE (OUT) ?

reducedwrite(density select) is IN :)

computer --> reducedwrite
computer <-- ready

Well there is no purpose about that, u can leave the wire away, i have
simply connected it cause it dont make prob and its nicer at my eyes
:)

> (to Thor: If drive LED is constantly lit, you've probably rotated
>the cable)

:)

I have tryed about 10 different drive it work ok , it should work with
all normal HD pc drive.

For the fun i notice that my sony pc drive is fast like a F1 !!!!
The technical specs say transfer rates 500kb/sec =] it appear to be
fast for a floppy drive !!

Orange

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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On 22 Oct 2000 17:52:34 -0100, "siro" <si...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

>> Why have you connected READY (IN) to REDUCEDWRITE (OUT) ?
>
>reducedwrite(density select) is IN :)

Ah, my mistake, someone lied to me..


>
>For the fun i notice that my sony pc drive is fast like a F1 !!!!
>The technical specs say transfer rates 500kb/sec =] it appear to be
>fast for a floppy drive !!

What drive is it?
How did you solve "drive button" problem? (I used aluminium can &
soldering iron)
What about drive cover blocking amiga cover?

Marcel DeVoe

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Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
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Thor Bernhardsen <t...@deathsdoor.com> wrote:
> I have a couple of old Amiga 500s, but the floppy drives are in pretty
> bad shape. I read somewhere that the PC and Amiga floppydrives were
> essentially the same, but that the controllers were different. Is it
> possible to use a PC floppy drive on a 500, or is this just bull?

With all the bickering going on about PC drives and your concern about
compatability with the READY signal, and the fact that you're trying to
resurrect a couple of old A500's, I must assume you want to run old games
on it.

> Maybe someone has some pointers on how to clean the floppies if all else
> fails?

So let's address this last issue since it's your most compatible solution.

One of the things that tends to go wrong with these drives is dust. It
gets inside everywhere, but usually on desktop Amigas with internal power
supplies with fans.

But A500's can still get dirty inside and be exposed to the elements that
like to corrode metals.

I must assume you've taken the drives apart and inspected them for that so
far? After cleaning out as much junk as you can with a toothpick or
some such, one of the lubricants that can be used it petroleum jelly used
sparingly on moving parts such as on the rails that the heads slide on,
and the head positioning screw that moves the head back and forth.

The heads themselves where they actually touch the floppy disks can get
dirty and cleaning them with isopropal alcohol and a swab usually does it.

The forementioned turnscrew can get clogged with dirt and cleaning the
groove in the screw is a good idea.

The disk insert and write protect micro-switches can become corroded and
their contacts intermittant over time causing the "insert disk hand" to
show up. Use a cheap multimeter (the kind with a moving needle is best)
in the low ohm resistance mode to check this.

If the needle on the meter seems to jiggle about when you push on the
switches, there may be corrosion in the contacts inside. If you have the
patience and the eye and steady fingers of a jewlerer (exagerating a bit
;) you might try prying apart the switch VERY CAREFULLY trying not to
loose the springs in the process and try and cleaning the contacts with a
rubber eraser to get the corrosion off, then glueing the assembly back
together.

Also since we're on the corrosion kick, check the cable and the contact
pins on the floppy drive itself in the back.

Can't think of too much else at the moment so if anyone else wants to
contribute.

--
Marcel J. DeVoe - mde...@shore.net - Team *AMIGA*
A4091scsi CV64 96 megs CDRW M1764-17" Catweasel FUSION/Emplant
A4000/060 CyberStorm MKII overclocked 66mhz - see "How to Overclock!"
and "DIY A4000 Tower for $45" @ http://www.shore.net/~mdevoe
Got an overclocking story to tell of /any/ kind?
Send it to me and I will post it to my "Overclocker's Web Page".

siro

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Oct 23, 2000, 9:14:57 PM10/23/00
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> >For the fun i notice that my sony pc drive is fast like a F1 !!!!
> >The technical specs say transfer rates 500kb/sec =] it appear to be
> >fast for a floppy drive !!
> What drive is it?

sony mp-f17w-85

> How did you solve "drive button" problem? (I used aluminium can &
> soldering iron)
> What about drive cover blocking amiga cover?

well that drive have any nice inclued front panel ...

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