ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

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ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby techie_alison » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 pm

These drives are fitted inside the Atari Megafiles 20 and 30. The 225 is an MFM drive. The 238R is an RRL, whose only difference is an increased sector density. MFM drives *can* be used as RLL drives although it isn't guaranteed. Some PC controllers would refuse to format MFM drives as RLL drives. The Megafile will format the ST-225 as an RLL drive which effectively makes it identical to the ST-238R. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE SECTOR DENSITY.

The ST-225 is quieter than the ST-238R, and is also documented as being much more reliable. The ST-225 was the drive which built Seagate's reputation back in the 1980's, and the ST-238R/251R were the ones which almost destroyed it.

BOTH drives may be used with the Atari Megafile mainboard even though it may be marketed as being RLL. The Megafile 30 contains the Adaptec 4000/4070 chipset, the 4070 being the RLL element.

It may be necessary to initialise some drives with the Supra drive utilities first, as the Atari ACSI utilities can refuse to acknowledge a drive previously fitted in a PC. The Supra utilities just carry on formatting regardless.

The ACSI WINCAP file is modified by removing the @ character from the beginning of lines. This will enable the format options to appear as checkboxes.

Code: Select all

#100 Mb :mn=MEGAFILE 100:md#0:pt=25-25-25-25:dp#0x6333:
#150 Mb :mn=MEGAFILE 150:md#0:pt=37-37-37-37:dp#0x6333:
30 Mb :mn=MEGAFILE 30:hd#4:cy#615:rw#615:wp#615:pt=10-10-10:sp#26:dp#0x6333:
20 Mb :mn=MEGAFILE 20:hd#4:cy#615:rw#615:wp#615:pt=10-10:sp#17:dp#0x6cdb:
#20 Mb :mn=SH205:dp#0x6cdb:
#20 Mb :mn=SH204:dp#0x6cdb:


The following details the ST-225 drive;

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                              ST - 225

       UNFORMATTED CAPACITY (MB) ________________25.6
       FORMATTED CAPACITY (17 SECTORS) (MB) _____21.4
       ACTUATOR TYPE ____________________________STEPPER
       TRACKS ___________________________________2,460
       CYLINDERS ________________________________615
       HEADS ____________________________________4
       DISCS ____________________________________2
       MEDIA TYPE _______________________________OXIDE
       RECORDING METHOD _________________________MFM
       TRANSFER RATE (mbits/sec) ________________5.0
       SPINDLE SPEED (RPM) ______________________3,600
       AVERAGE LATENCY (mSEC) ___________________8.3
       INTERFACE ________________________________ST412
       SECTORS PER DRIVE ________________________41,820
       TPI (TRACKS PER INCH) ____________________588
       BPI (BITS PER INCH) ______________________9,827
       AVERAGE ACCESS (ms) ______________________65
       SINGLE TRACK SEEK (ms) ___________________20
       MAX FULL SEEK (ms) _______________________150
       MTBF (power-on hours) ____________________100,000
       POWER REQUIREMENTS: +12V START-UP (amps) _2.4
                           +12V TYPICAL (amps) __0.9
                           +5V TYPICAL (amps) ___0.8
                           TYPICAL (watts) ______14.8
                           MAXIMUM (watts) ______33
       BUFFERED STEP PULSE RATE (micro sec) _____5-200
       WRITE PRECOMP (cyl) ______________________300
       REDUCED WRITE CURRENT (cyl) ______________N/A (616)
       LANDING ZONE (cyl)________________________670
       IBM AT DRIVE TYPE ________________________2


The following details the ST-238R drive;

Code: Select all

                            ST - 238R

       UNFORMATTED CAPACITY (MB) ________________38.4
       FORMATTED CAPACITY (26 SECTORS) (MB) _____32.7
       ACTUATOR TYPE ____________________________STEPPER
       TRACKS ___________________________________2,460
       CYLINDERS ________________________________615
       HEADS ____________________________________4
       DISCS ____________________________________2
       MEDIA TYPE _______________________________OXIDE
       RECORDING METHOD _________________________RLL (2,7)
       TRANSFER RATE (mbits/sec) ________________7.5
       SPINDLE SPEED (RPM) ______________________3,600
       AVERAGE LATENCY (mSEC) ___________________8.3
       INTERFACE ________________________________ST412
       SECTORS PER DRIVE ________________________63,960
       TPI (TRACKS PER INCH) ____________________588
       BPI (BITS PER INCH) ______________________14,740
       AVERAGE ACCESS (ms) ______________________65
       SINGLE TRACK SEEK (ms) ___________________20
       MAX FULL SEEK (ms) _______________________150
       MTBF (power-on hours) ____________________100,000
       POWER REQUIREMENTS: +12V START-UP (amps) _2.4
                           +12V TYPICAL (amps) __0.9
                           +5V TYPICAL (amps) ___0.8
                           TYPICAL (watts) ______14.8
                           MAXIMUM (watts) ______33
       BUFFERED STEP PULSE RATE (micro sec) _____5-200
       WRITE PRECOMP (cyl) ______________________N/A (616)
       REDUCED WRITE CURRENT (cyl) ______________N/A (616)
       LANDING ZONE (cyl)________________________670
       IBM AT DRIVE TYPE ________________________*


The following is the actual installation notes from Seagate for the above two drives. This is listed here as the information is becoming almost impossible to find, and is provided for preservation.

Code: Select all

S T 2 2 5 SEAGATE

                                                      Native|  Translation
                                                      ------+-----+-----+-----
Form                 5.25"/HH              Cylinders     615|     |     |
Capacity form/unform    21/   26 MB        Heads           4|     |     |
Seek time   / track  65.0/20.0 ms          Sector/track   17|     |     |
Controller           MFM / ST412           Precompensation   300
Cache/Buffer               KB              Landing Zone      670
Data transfer rate    0.625 MB/S int       Bytes/Sector      512
                      0.625 MB/S ext
Recording method     MFM                            operating  | non-operating
                                                  -------------+--------------
Supply voltage     5/12 V       Temperature *C        10 45    |    -40 60
Power: sleep              W     Humidity     %         8 80    |      5 90
       standby       14.8 W     Altitude    km    -0.305  3.048| -0.305  9.140
       idle               W     Shock        g        10       |     40
       seek               W     Rotation   RPM      3600
       read/write    33.0 W     Acoustic   dBA
       spin-up            W     ECC        Bit
                                MTBF         h     100000
                                Warranty Month
Lift/Lock/Park     NO           Certificates     CSA,TUV,UL478,VDE           

**********************************************************************
                        L   A   Y   O   U   T
**********************************************************************
SEAGATE  ST213/ST225/ST225R/ST238R/ST250R  PRODUCT MANUAL 36025-003

  +---------------------------------------------------------+
  |                                                         |XX
  |                                                         |XX J2
  |                                                         |XX
  |                                                         |XX
  |                                                         |+-16
  |                                                         || |J7
  |                                                         || |
  |                                                         |+-2
  |                                Resistor        +-+      |XX
  |                                Termination     | |      |XX
  |                                Pack            | |      |XX
  |                                                +-+      |XX
  |                                                         |XX J1
  |                                                         |XX
  |                                                         |
  |                                                         |XX Power
  |                                                         |XX J3
  +---------------------------------------------------------+



**********************************************************************
                      J   U   M   P   E   R   S
**********************************************************************
SEAGATE  ST213/ST225/ST225R/ST238R/ST250R  PRODUCT MANUAL 36025-003

 Jumper setting
 --------------
 x = Factory setting


 JP7  Drive select  Configuration Jumper block
 ----------------------------------------------
      +-------------+------+------+------+------+
      |Drive Select | 9-10 |11-12 |13-14 |15-16 |
      +-------------+------+------+------+------+
      |Drive 4      |CLOSED|OPEN  |OPEN  |OPEN  |
      |Drive 3      |OPEN  |CLOSED|OPEN  |OPEN  |
      |Drive 2      |OPEN  |OPEN  |CLOSED|OPEN  |
      |Drive 1      |OPEN  |OPEN  |OPEN  |CLOSED|
      +-------------+------+------+------+------+
 The Drive Select line enables the controller to select and adress
 the drive. Control cable interface options may use either a daisy-
 chain or radial configuration.


 JP7  Manufacturing test
 -----------------------
 x     7- 8   OPEN  Do not install a jumper on the Manufacturing Test
                    jumper on the user configuration jumper block.
                    This is a test function and used during the manu-
                    facturing process ans is not recommended for field
                    use. When the pins are shorted, the stepper motor
                    will continuously seek between Track 0 and the
                    maximum cylinder and will ignore control signals
                    via the interface.


 JP7  Write Fault
 ----------------
 x     5- 6   OPEN  The Write Fault signal may be internally latched.
                    It may be enabled by shorting pins 5-6 at J7. This
                    latch may be cleared when Drive Select goes false
                    (if selected). The standard configuration, with
                    the shorting block removed, causes Write Fault to
                    go false when Write Gate goes false.
                    Not required for standard operation.


 JP7  Recovery Mode
 -----------------
 x     3- 4   CLOSE Recovery Mode is a read/write head microstepping
                    option on the ST225R and ST250R. It is enabled by
                    shorting pins 3-4 at J7. THE ST225R AND ST250R ARE
                    SHIPPED WITH THIS OPTION ENABLED.

 Recovery Mode is initiated when the controller asserts the Recovery
 Mode line true at the interface. This changes the step line to a
 microstep function after 100 nsec. A step pulse will now cause Seek
 Complete to go false 100 nsec. after the drive receives the pulse.
 The drive then microsteps off-track using the optimum algorithm,
 allowing time for the read/write heads to settle and then takes the
 Seek Complete line true.

 The controller may then read data. If data is not read correctly, the
 controller may issue an additional step pulse. Up to 2 microstep
 algorithms may be accessed before the sequence is repeated.

 When data is read correctly, the controller exits Recovery Mode by
 taking the Recovery Mode line false at the interface. The drive will
 then return the heads to the nominal position by taking Seek Complete
 false, allowing time for the heads to settle, and resasserting Seek
 Complete.


 JP7  Radial/Daisy-Chain Mode
 ----------------------------
 x     1- 2   OPEN  Daisy-Chain-Configuration
                    A Daisy-Chain configuration allows connection of
                    a maximum of two drives on a common control cable.
                    A separate data cable is required for each drive.
                    The last drive in the chain (physically farthest
                    from the controller) requires termination. All
                    other drives should not be terminated. The maxi-
                    mum permitted cable length from the controller to
                    the last drive is 10ft (0.31m).
       1- 2   CLOSE Radial Configuration
                    To configure the drive radially, install a jumper
                    on pins 1 and 2 of the user configuration jumper
                    block. If you configure the drive radially, leave
                    the resistor terminator packs installed on all
                    drives. Each radially connected drive has its own
                    control and data cable. Drives in this configu-
                    ration always remain selected.


 J3  DC Power and pin connector assignments
 ------------------------------------------
      +------------+   pin 1    +12 VDC
      | 1  2  3  4 |   pin 2    +12 VDC Gnd
      +------------+   pin 3    + 5 VDC Gnd
                       pin 4    + 5 VDC


**********************************************************************
                      I   N   S   T   A   L   L
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SEAGATE  ST213/ST225/ST225R/ST238R/ST250R  PRODUCT MANUAL 36025-003

 Notes on installation
 =====================

 Drive mounting
 --------------

     horizontally             vertically
   +-----------------+   +--+             +--+ +------------------+
   |                 |   |  +-----+ +-----+  | |                  | x
   |                 |   |  |     | |     |  | x+----------------+x
 +-+-----------------+-+ |  |     | |     |  | ||x              x||
 +---------------------+ |  |     | |     |  | ||  x          x  ||
                         |  |     | |     |  | ||    x      x    ||
      x           x      |  |     | |     |  | ||      x  x      ||
 +------x------x-------+ |  +-----+ +-----+  | ||       xx       ||
 +-+------x--x-------+-+ +--+             +--+ ||     x    x     ||
   |       xx        |                         ||   x        x   ||
   |     x    x      |                         || x            x ||
   +---x--------x----+                         |x                x|
     x            x                           x++----------------++x
      UNACCEPTABLE!                                UNACCEPTABLE!
      Never install PC board on the Top!

 The drive may be mounted horizontally with the PC board down or on
 either side. Mounting vertically on either end is a prohibited orien-
 tation.
 The drive should not be tilted front or back, in any position, by
 more than 5*. For optimum performance, the drive should be formatted
 in the same position as it will be mounted in the host system.

 The mounting screws must not exceed inside the mounting feet more
 than 3.2 mm, measured from the outside surface of the foot.


 Interface and Recording Method
 ------------------------------
 The ST213 and ST225 are designed for operation with the ST412 inter-
 face with  MFM encoding at 5.0 MBits/sec. data transfer rate. Opera-
 tion of a MFM drive with a RLL controller is not approved by SEAGATE
 and will void the drive warranty.

 The ST225R, ST238R and ST250R are designed for operation with the
 ST412 interface with Run Length Limited (2,7) encoding at 7.5 Mbits/
 sec. data transfer rate.


 Radial/Daisy-Chain Mode
 ------------------------
 The Drive Select line enables the controller to select and address
 the drive. Control cable interface options may use either a Daisy-
 Chain or Radial configuration.

 Drives can be configured in either a daisy-chain or radial mode.

 The resistor pack must remain installed on the last drive in a chain.

 The resistor pack must remain installed on all radially-selected
 drives.


 Shock and vibrations
 --------------------
 All shock and vibration specifications assume that the drive is moun-
 ted in an approved orientation with the input levels at the drive
 mounting screws.


 Read/Write Head Park Zone
 -------------------------
 ST213/ST225/ST238R
 The read/write heads may be parked by issuing a seek to any cylinder
 between 615-670

 ST225R/ST250R
 The read/write heads may be parked by issuing a seek to any cylinder
 between 667-670

 At power-on the drive will recalibrate to Track 0. If the heads are
 parked while power is still applied, any step pulse will cause the
 unit to recalibrate to Track 0.


 FCC Verification
 ----------------
 These drives are devices which are intended to be contained solely
 within a personal computer or similar enclosure and not attached to
 an external device. As such, they are considered to be subassemblies
 even when individually marketed to the customer. As a subassembly, no
 Federal Communications Commission certification of the device is re-
 quired.


 DC Power Requirements
 ---------------------
 Power may be applied or removed in any sequence without loss of data
 or damage the drive.


 Input Noise
 -----------
 Maximum permitted input noise ripple: 100 mV (peak-to-peak)
 Maximum permitted input noise: 20 MHz.
 Ripple measured at the host system power supply across an equivalent
 8  resistive load on the +12 V line and an equivalent 3  load on the
 +5 V line.


 DC-Unsafe
 ---------
 A DC-unsafe condition is defined as DC voltage input to the drive
 outside the specified tolerances. This condition will cause a micro-
 processor reset.
 This will prohibit writing, but will not directly cause a Write Fault


 Handling and Static-Discharge Precautions
 -----------------------------------------
 After unpacking, and prior to system integration, the drive may be
 exposed to potential handling and ESD hazard. Do not touch the drive
 connectors or board components or without observing static-discharge
 preferred. Handle the drive by the frame only. Always rest the drive
 on a padded surface until it is mounted in the host system.


 Auto-Truncation
 ---------------
 The drive will enter the auto-truncation mode if the controller
 issues an excessive number of step pulses, which would place the
 read/write heads outward beyond Track 0 or inward beyond the
 maximum data cylinder.

 With auto-truncation active, the drive will ignore additional pulses,
 take control of the actuator, and recalibrate the heads to Track 0.

 Caution: If the controller is still issuing slow-step pulses after
          the drive issues Seek Complete from auto-truncation mode,
          the drive will either reenter auto-truncation mode with
          Direction In true.


 Precompensation
 ---------------
 For optimum performance, precompensation is recommended for the ST213
 and ST225 on tracks 300 through 614. Twelve nsec. is recommended for
 both early and late bits.

 Some controllers provide a default precompensation setting from cyl-
 inder 128 to 256. The ST213 and ST225 will perform satisfactorily at
 these settings.



**********************************************************************
                      F   E   A   T   U   R   E  S
**********************************************************************
SEAGATE  ST213/ST225/ST225R/ST238R/ST250R  PRODUCT MANUAL 36025-003

 Media Defects
 -------------
 A media defect is a read error when the data, which has been
 correctly written, cannot be recovered within 16 retries.
 A printout will be provided with each drive shipped listing the
 location of any defect by head, cylinder, sector and byte. The defect
 map will specify the number of bytes from index. For MFM this will be
 based on 1.6  sec./byte. RLL encoding is based on 1.056  sec./byte.
 Some drives will have the defect map fixed to the drive top cover.

 ST213  There will be no more than 11 defects total per drive.
        Cylinders 0, 1, 2 and 3 will be free of defects.

 ST225  There will be no more than 21 defects total per drive.
 ST225R Cylinders 0, 1, 2 and 3 will be free of defects.

 ST238R There will be no more than 33 defects total per drive.
        Cylinders 0, 1, and 2 will be free of defects.

 ST250R There will be no more than 42 defects total per drive.
        Cylinders 0, 1, and 2 will be free of defects.


 Access Time Definition and Timing
 ---------------------------------
 Access time is defined as the time from leading edge of the last
 step pulse received to Seek Complete (including setting). The step
 pulse period must be 5-200  sec.

                                          | ST213  |        |
                                          | ST225  | ST225R |
                                          | ST238R | ST250R |
        ----------------------------------+--------+--------+
        Track-to-Track         msec.      |  20    |  20    |
                       Average msec. typ. |  65    |  70    |
                       Average msec. max. | 150    | 165    |
        Latency                msec. avg. |   8.33 |  10    |
        ----------------------------------+--------+--------+


 Bit Jitter
 ----------
 Bit jitter reduction determines the relationship between the leading
 edge of read data and the center of the data window.
 The data separator must provide at least -40dB of bit jitter
 reduction at 2F with an offset of less than 1.5 nsec. shift from the
 center of the data window.


 UL/CSA Listing
 --------------
 The drive family is listed in accordance with UL 478 and CSA
 C22.2 (0-M1982), and meets all applicable sections if IEC 380 and
 VDE 0806/08.81, as tested by TUV-Rheinland, North America.

 Reliability
 -----------
 MTBF           100,000 Power-on hours
 PM:            Not required
 MTTR:          30 Minutes
 Service life:  5 Years



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SEAGATE   SUPPORT SERVICES

 Seagate Technology
 ------------------
 Technical Support Services
 If you need assistance installing your drive, consult your dealer.
 Dealers are familiar with their unique system configurations and can
 help you with system conflicts and other technical issues. If you
 need additional assistance with your Seagate(r) drive or other
 Seagate products, use one of the Seagate technical support services
 listed below.

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 services, providing answers to commonly asked questions,
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 self-help service by dialing 408-456-4496).


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 Location                       Telephone number                FAX number
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 Japan                          81-3-5462-2904;                 81-3-3462-2979


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Postby jd » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:54 am

I have a megafile 30 that is VERY temperamental I have to use a combination of AHDI, HDdriver and ICD pro utils to format the thing (if i keep trying them all in turn it eventually gets recognised so i can format it).

Then it seems fine for a few days, putting apps on it etc. then after a few days of inactivity, boot it up and the ST is unable to recognise it. I then have to go through the same process again to get it to work.

I look forward to your in depth analysis of the megafile alison.

Anyone have any ideas on my strange megafile??

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Postby unseenmenace » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:58 am

I'm no expert but it sounds like you need a new drive to me
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Postby techie_alison » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:05 am

I've seen this strange behaviour with drives long long ago, where you format them fine and install your O/S, and everything works until you switch them off. And then... they lose everything. That was a 120MB MFM Tandon full height 5 1/4" one in the 80's. Haven't a clue why they do it. But it is definitely the drive. Occasionally they will remember but you have to keep on continually switching the thing on and off.

My guess would be to write a specific WINCAP entry and change the size a bit. Say less heads or 17 sectors. Really it's just about playing with it to get it to work. Whether you're meant to do that is another matter, but if it works... :) I think that's what I did with the Tandon. It did work in the end.

Try sticking this in;

Code: Select all

30 Mb :mn=3H17S:hd#3:cy#615:rw#615:wp#615:pt=10-10-10:sp#17:dp#0x6333:
20 Mb :mn=2H17S:hd#2:cy#615:rw#615:wp#615:pt=10-10:sp#17:dp#0x6cdb:

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Postby jd » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:20 am

techie_alison wrote:I've seen this strange behaviour with drives long long ago, where you format them fine and install your O/S, and everything works until you switch them off. And then... they lose everything. That was a 120MB MFM Tandon full height 5 1/4" one in the 80's. Haven't a clue why they do it. But it is definitely the drive. Occasionally they will remember but you have to keep on continually switching the thing on and off.

My guess would be to write a specific WINCAP entry and change the size a bit. Say less heads or 17 sectors. Really it's just about playing with it to get it to work. Whether you're meant to do that is another matter, but if it works... :) I think that's what I did with the Tandon. It did work in the end.

Try sticking this in;

Code: Select all

30 Mb :mn=3H17S:hd#3:cy#615:rw#615:wp#615:pt=10-10-10:sp#17:dp#0x6333:
20 Mb :mn=2H17S:hd#2:cy#615:rw#615:wp#615:pt=10-10:sp#17:dp#0x6cdb:


I'll try that, many thanks.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Lando_C » Wed May 14, 2008 4:36 pm

heat issues!

if you start a cold direv and format it , it will work fine though the format and the first half hour or so, then gradually become unreliable. let it cool down and it's fine again until it warms up.

if you have an "overheated" (warm) drive and format it, it will work nicely until you turn it off and seem dead the next day when you want to boot it. in this case, let it spin at idle for 15 minutes then try to boot from it.

my megafile 20 behaves this way, and it took me quite a number of reformats to figure out. what you want to do is let the drive warm up, format it at normal operating temperature, and live with the "warmup before boot" time. the megafile case really needs its fan, but the fans become sluggish or stop with age :(
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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby jd » Thu May 15, 2008 6:30 am

I've posted the same in another thread but exactly what happens in my megafile, only comes out with the sun!! :)

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Rat boy » Tue May 20, 2008 11:40 pm

Sorry Alison, but where is the data to back up your statements?

My job 1989/90 era was assembling these drives into systems, formatting, supplying software for, and all technical support and returns for these systems, and various other mods, inc memory upgrades, and processor mods and selling the things.

I worked for Third Coast Technologies. Anyone heard of them? Dig an old Atari Format magazine up and look for an advert.

Oh, and the piccy of the top of the hdisk (3rd pic); it has LOADS of errors from manufacture!!! No wonder there are issues with it!

So I ain't gonna dig up links for every point like every other time I post disputing something. I BUILT and SUPPORTED the systems you talk about, so if you know better...YOU post the links to your 'facts'.

Now, I ain't being rude, I ain't contradicting you, but I have built many THOUSANDS of systems with these drives in, for Atari themselves, the software devs at the time, and I suppose many people will still have a system that I BUILT on here to this day.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby karlm » Wed May 21, 2008 2:50 am

Ratboy - just wondering if you have any of the info from those days still. Software, drivers, schematics, etc. are always welcome here. Obviously the MFM/RLL drives themselves these days are very hard to find good ones, but anyway.

Cheers

karlm.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Rat boy » Wed May 21, 2008 3:17 am

karlm wrote:Ratboy - just wondering if you have any of the info from those days still. Software, drivers, schematics, etc. are always welcome here. Obviously the MFM/RLL drives themselves these days are very hard to find good ones, but anyway.

Cheers

karlm.


I've not done much digging Karl, into the 'current' driver support etc..from ICD, but from what I read, they seem well supported? I dunno?

But regarding the software - I actually wrote a greeter that was in the Auto folder, (pretty tame stuff), so it just said 'Welcome to Hdisk or suchwith' ! before the Atari booted..

I balanced the best driver, for whatever hdisk was sent to a customer, as for example, a latter driver would result in many lost sectors on a new hdisk, due to the driver being inadequate..? It wasn't the case that every customer got same setup..

ie you order an ST256(M) - you get a (if I recall) a 60Mb Hdisk, with latest drivers etc - beesknees!

if customer 2 orders a 60Mb hdisk, then they might get a 2x30Mb hdisk - Tandon(!)..different sound, (voice coil activated heads), and takes time to 'wind up', ((they LOOK VERY cool to look at BTW with the external voice coil stepper motor!) - <<chirp chirp cheep cheep, grind rotate, click click!>> cool!

ST165 = 3.5" footprint; ST265= 5.25" footprint, same size, "R" at the end or nothing at the end = RLL drive..ie 'the R' lol! and nothing at the end means RLL...MFM ended "N" at the end..so what Alison says..I dunno..

RLL controller=standard control->SCSI->RLL control...so what Alison says...(??)

How she refers to reliability/sound levels...dunno..

Regards 'stuff'....if you ask, I'll supply. Simple. No drivers to hand, but sure there may be something in the loft. If you recall my memory bad - many years have passed! - then I'm sure I can be of assistance. Popular opinion seems to suggest I'm '???' but if you have a specific request, then more than able to supply, I'm sure. (sorry - but admin suggest I'm rude, but when I was at cutting edge, working with both Atari and Amiga and the Journalists that reviewed, and attending shows to highlight new technology at the time, I find it rather degerate to suggest suggestions as ((OP)) above!)

One of my first suggestions was to update the 'wiki' if needsbe...but admin warnings and 'spam', have discouraged me thus far...

Anyways - late for me Karl...sorry for rambling...if you need specifics..if ANYONE needs specifics.... :wink:

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby ijor » Wed May 21, 2008 4:31 am

Hi Ratboy,

Sorry Alison, but where is the data to back up your statements?


Would you mind being specific. What exactly she said that you think it's wrong?

ST165 = 3.5" footprint; ST265= 5.25" footprint, same size, "R" at the end or nothing at the end = RLL drive..ie 'the R' lol! and nothing at the end means RLL...MFM ended "N" at the end..so what Alison says..I dunno..


Hmm. Seems you don't remember very well...

Nothing at the end might mean, well, anything. It depends on the year. Earlier drives (pre RLL era) are, of course, MFM. But on the overlap period, when both RLL and MFM drives were available, nothing usually meant MFM, not RLL. The "N" at the end on Seagate drives didn't mean RLL, but SCSI. It is true that most SCSI drives at the time used RLL encoding, but certainly not all RLL drives were SCSI.

RLL controller=standard control->SCSI->RLL control...so what Alison says...(??)


I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. But if you mean that every RLL controller is SCSI, this is certainly wrong.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Rat boy » Wed May 21, 2008 4:46 am

So I ain't gonna dig up links for every point like every other time I post disputing something. I BUILT and SUPPORTED the systems you talk about, so if you know better...YOU post the links to your 'facts'.


My own quote - you obviously didn't read this; or much of my origional post, as you post incorrect information again!

An 'R' at the end of the drive identifier identified RLL, as discussed, NO letter at the end was the same as, because MFM came out later, can't ident an identifier if it don't exist! ie the N bit..

How can anything refer to anything refer to pre RLL if the standard didnt exist?

I didn't imply that every RLL controller referred to SCSI, where is the DATA that you refer to? Post links, info, stats, please?

I'm basing my opinions on my PERSONAL experience of building these FOR ATARI, NOT GENERALISING.

Re-read the post. I built these systems. Did you? If you have useful info to add, then add it. if not shut up, until you do the research.

Come back when you supplied the tech support.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby techie_alison » Wed May 21, 2008 8:58 am

Ratboy,

We appear to be having this conversation again...

Nobody has anything against you, but what you keep on doing (repeatedly) is harping on about how much you know and how competent you are; WITHOUT ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTING ANYTHING.

If I'm right, then whey hey. If I'm not, then help us out. Don't just say how wrong we are, and how much experience you have. That helps no one.

We're not trying to split the atom or build a nuclear bomb here, and with all of the equations which come with it. We're a group of people who enjoy fiddling about with old computers.

Please, contibute. We NEED your knowledge. We don't need your finger pointing attitude though. And if you would kindly stop digging at Simbo and Ppera at every opportunity. I had thought that you had got over that a few weeks back.

We want your information. It isn't a competition. And there is no prize. We're all here for enjoyment.

Friendly Regards,

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby ppera » Wed May 21, 2008 9:08 am

Well said, Aly :angel:

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby PaulB » Wed May 21, 2008 2:12 pm

Exactly!! It costs nothing to be nice! The whole idea of a forum is that if you disagree with someone, you debate it via posts, proving your point and such. If you're right, you'll come through in the end. But calling people f*ckwits and c*nts doesn't get you any fans and too be honest, in a non-internet situation would certainly get you a punch in the mouth.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby jd » Fri May 23, 2008 2:51 pm

PaulB wrote:Exactly!! It costs nothing to be nice! The whole idea of a forum is that if you disagree with someone, you debate it via posts, proving your point and such. If you're right, you'll come through in the end. But calling people f*ckwits and c*nts doesn't get you any fans and too be honest, in a non-internet situation would certainly get you a punch in the mouth.


totally agree.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Rat boy » Sat May 24, 2008 3:24 am

techie_alison wrote:Ratboy,

We appear to be having this conversation again...

Nobody has anything against you, but what you keep on doing (repeatedly) is harping on about how much you know and how competent you are; WITHOUT ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTING ANYTHING.

If I'm right, then whey hey. If I'm not, then help us out. Don't just say how wrong we are, and how much experience you have. That helps no one.

We're not trying to split the atom or build a nuclear bomb here, and with all of the equations which come with it. We're a group of people who enjoy fiddling about with old computers.

Please, contibute. We NEED your knowledge. We don't need your finger pointing attitude though. And if you would kindly stop digging at Simbo and Ppera at every opportunity. I had thought that you had got over that a few weeks back.

We want your information. It isn't a competition. And there is no prize. We're all here for enjoyment.

Friendly Regards,

Alison


What information would you like to know? Where to start? I've stated my experience several times now, I ain't gonna post some random information that nobody asked for, I have spoken to a mod about doing a wiki previously, but I just find that its dangerous to post information, when there is no basis to that information. But on the other hand, to state claim, and make statements that are incorrect is worrying. So it ain't up to me to rectify, its for you to justify the claims you make.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Greenious » Sat May 24, 2008 4:14 pm

Rat boy wrote: An 'R' at the end of the drive identifier identified RLL, as discussed, NO letter at the end was the same as, because MFM came out later, can't ident an identifier if it don't exist! ie the N bit..


MFM/RLL refers to the encoding of the data on the magnetic disks.

MFM was first. RLL came later, and was a revolution, since it increased storage space by 50%, without actually increasing the bit density on the magnetic media (and that's why you can reformat MFM drives to RLL)

The interface... that's another story, and it's not RLL or MFM, it is ST-506. (even though the encoding method was important back then.)

This info is all over the internet, I recommend wikipedias articles.
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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Rat boy » Wed May 28, 2008 5:17 am

OK - bear with - I'm recalling from nearly 20 years ago here....

The drives that were installed, and far cheaper had the 2 flat connections. Thats RLL? wrong? right? These drives were cheaper, and older spec, and very hard to make reliable, or daisy chain via the ICD controller that needed an extra controller added to make them work.

Now - all these drives, with the twin connectors for data, plus the power connector, were marked up either with an R at the end of the model name..or had no identifier at the end of the model name.

Now when these NEW MFM drives came out, that connected directly to the ICD controller, and were easy to format, install and manage, and daisychain, and worked faster, and were better built, and were always larger in size, and didn't have external voice coil actuators, and were far more reliable (the OLD type as referred to)..and had far less returns or failures..

The drive types always had the drive identifier, because they were new..and had a 50 pin scsi connector, mainly seagate in manufacture..

So from what I read - RLL is the NEW format...and MFM is old? So what I built was wrong? Where am I misunderstanding the concept? I miss a point somewhere. Like I say - its been many years since I was liasing with ICD and Seagate.Tandon/Quantum etc...

Like I say, I've the technology to write a wiki, just need to base it on fact, and since time and beer (mainly beer!) has corroded my memory, need to clarify certain points.

I've worked on all hdisks from Winchester 8" manually reset head to 2.5" lappy drives...confused.

The thing thats confusing is the fact that the 2 connector type hdisks were labelled "R"...and MFM disks are labelled "M"... :roll:

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Lando_C » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:51 pm

old MFM and RLL drives have *exactly* the same 2 connector style cables.

the seagates with a "N" on the end, that would work directly with ICD controllers, are RLL drives with built-in "SCSI to RLL converter", so to speak, and have a single cable connector. Modern harddrives all have "ide to RLL" or "sata-to-RLL" or "scsi-to-RLL" built into them, in a way. RLL is still today the most common magnetic format in harddrives, though the interfaces are different. see for instance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run_Length ... 2C7.29_RLL


MFM or RLL in the atari megafiles is decided by the controller card in the bottom of the megafile case, a megafile 20 has an adaptec 4000 MFM controller, megafile 30 (according to allison) and probably all newer megafiles have a adaptec 4070 RLL controller. Therefore, any disk will be smaller in a megafile 20 case than in a megafile 30 case, (if it works at all) and the other way around. RLL puts higher demands on the drive mechanism, and will be less reliable if tried on a MFM-designed drive.
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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby techie_alison » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:25 pm

Tell you the thing that I wonder... You can specify the sectors per track when using the ACSI utilities. Such that with the 4070 RLL controller, you can specifically specify 17 SPT and it'll format to that.

MFM was 17 sectors per track. RLL was...26.
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Lando_C
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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Lando_C » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:08 pm

Yes, thats possible, but then you will only be using about half of each track, leaving a gap from sector 17 to 26, and the disk will still not work in a mfm drive.

MFM uses 5? Mhz transfer speed and RLL 7,5? Mhz (anyway faster than MFM), plus RLL is a more efficient encoding. it is similar to DD/HD floppies in that respect, a different bitclock in the different controllers.
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ijor
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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby ijor » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:12 pm

Lando_C wrote:MFM uses 5? Mhz transfer speed and RLL 7,5? Mhz (anyway faster than MFM), plus RLL is a more efficient encoding. it is similar to DD/HD floppies in that respect, a different bitclock in the different controllers.


MRM and RLL are encodings. Encodings don't have a specific number of sectors or bitrate. They are just different ways of storing or transmitting data.

In the case of disk drives, the data bitrate is determined not only by the enconding, but also by the density and the rotational speed. You can say, if you want, that a specific drive would have X bitrate at MFM, and Y bitrate at RLL (Y being = X*1.5). But whatever the X and Y values, they would be specific to that drive. The only constant across different drives is the relation between both of them, 1.5.

DD/HD is not a good analogy. They both use the same encoding, MFM, but at difference density. A better analogy might be, perhaps, SD vs. DD. In this latter case they use different encodings (FM vs. MFM).

Regarding RLL being used in modern drives. This might be true if you take RLL in the broad generic sense (Run Length Limited). But "modern" RLL is completely different than the RLL 2,7 used at that time.

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby Lando_C » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:21 pm

yes, modern RLL schemes are more complex than the old ones..

My point was to try and help people separate the physical interface from the magnetic encoding in the drive. It's bad luck that the ST-506 interface have become "synonymous" with the MFM or RLL encodings.
UK 1040 STF, SE kbd, SE tos 1.04, gotekHxC+floppy B internally, ATX psu on the side
DE Mega 1
SE Mega 2, no keyboard
SE Mega ST 4
Megafile 20 with 2 MFM drive mechanisms (80+20 meg) in hacked case, ATX psu on the side
Megafile 30
Megafile 60
SM124, SM125, finlux 19 inch TV RGBscart
PC Intel i5 8G ram many disks
5xRaspberry pi

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Re: ST-238R ST-225 Megafile 20 30 MFM RLL

Postby ijor » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:58 pm

Lando_C wrote:It's bad luck that the ST-506 interface have become "synonymous" with the MFM or RLL encodings.


Yes, most of us use to call ST-506 drives as MFM or RLL drives.

Btw, re-reading my previous post, it was, at least, a bit misleading. The bit-rate is not really a constant for a specific drive. In first place because drives might have zones with different densities (actually, zones is an attempt to approach constant linear density which provokes variable radial density). Most drives with an embedded controller (IDE/SCSI, etc) have multiple zones.

And in second place because the bitrate and the density depend actually on the controller. Conceivable, different controllers might use different bitrates.


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