Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

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Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:33 am

I got an Atari 520STfm, SM124 and big box of software on craigslist for $100. I took it home and tried it out to find a few issues:

1) The floppy drive didn't work. It would make a few noises during bootup but wouldn't respond at all while the computer was on, so I figured the drive was the issue. Got a 1.44mb drive out of an older PC lying around, bridged pins 10+12 solder side on the floppy drive so the ST would think it was Drive A. Hooked it back up with the new drive, and I get the sounds of it trying to load! Awesome :lol: Also I can get the option to format a floppy now, whereas I didn't have that option beforehand with the stock drive, so that's some improvement.

Unfortunately I can't format a disk (it'll tell me the disk is write protected and then that it had an error) and if I try to open it from the icon on the desktop I get the fated "Drive A: Is Not Responding" error. I checked the mainboard and the floppy cable looks okay. Not quite sure where to go from here.

2) The picture on the monitor can get jittery and the geometry goes a little wild for a few seconds every 10-15 minutes or so. Is this more likely to be a monitor issue or a PSU going bad?

This is my first ST, but I'm not going to give up easily! It seems like the system can see the floppy drive since it starts up and makes noise at boot and even gives me the option to format, but trying to open the disk or get info from the File menu results in the Drive not responding error. I won't be too upset if it means I have to put in a floppy controller that runs at 16MHZ but I hope I didn't overpay for what I got! :oops:

edit: Two more things -- one, this replacement drive is some no name drive so I guess I'm not that surprised it's not working right. I will get a Sony MFP920 but I got a little confused while searching around here, is there more modification that needs to be done to get one of these running in a STFM vs a STE or is it the same procedure for both? Also, both drives will make a grinding noise as soon as I put a floppy in, regardless of whether or not the data cable is connected. Also I was going to install some new RAM onto the motherboard but it looks like there are actually 32x 256K modules installed!! Can't run SysInfo because of the lack of floppy capabilities right now but really excited to see if the Atari sees all 8MB RAM (or if this is part of my woes, I thought the 520STfm could only take up to 4MB?)

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:30 am

Just a quick reply, others will surely chime in with more details:
1) The modifications to the drive depend on the make of the drive itself. In my machine there is a replacement Mitsumi, which required some soldering. Other drives might simply work with a jumper. Check your drive. Also note that even if you have a 1.44Mb drive, the computer will see it as a 720Kb drive, unless: 1) You have the latest TOS version AND ; 2) An hardware hack is applied.

2) Can't help with the monitor.

3) STs cannot have more than 4Mb ram unless an hardware hack is applied (it's a limitation of the memory controller.) If those chips are really 256K, probably you have the hardware circuit modification.

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:26 pm

OK thanks. I ended up cleaning the original drive completely and it works fine. I do plan on replacing with a 1.44mb soon when I get around to flashing a chip with a newer tos.

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:32 pm

zonky900 wrote:OK thanks. I ended up cleaning the original drive completely and it works fine. I do plan on replacing with a 1.44mb soon when I get around to flashing a chip with a newer tos.

Note the new TOS is not enough. You will need a hardware hack, which I am not even sure can be done on non-STe machines.

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby DarkLord » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:48 pm

Of course you can!

http://exxos.www.idnet.com/IMPULSE/atari/last/store.htm

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=14999&p=215714&hilit=exxos#p215714

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18847&hilit=modifications

Some threads are a bit longish, but you should read through so you can get an
understanding of what is involved.

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby wongck » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:50 am

The STFM will only do 720KB floppy without hardware mod as posted by DarkLord.
The TOS 2.06 will just enable the 1.44MB formatting utility and possible other support, does not make non-mod ST reads 1,44MB floppy.

Some floppy drive will auto detect your floppy, and so 1,44MB floppy will look like 1.44MB floppy to it regardless of what the OS tells it to do.
The way around this is to block the floppy 1.44MB identification slot (I'm not sure what it is called... a hole ?)
Look at the Atari Forum wiki on where this "hole" is.
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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:05 am

Hmm, well what if I just put in a new modded Sony drive and don't do the 1.44mb mod as it looks rather involved (so lazy :coffe: ), i can live with DD floppy until i can track down a better ST. Unfortunately I'm in the USA where it seems like ST's are a little harder to come by and I think shipping from exxos will kill me :lol:

But just to be clear does exxos' 1.44mb drop in board only require 3 wires be attached, and is the switch you drill into the back necessary or is that just for using 2 drives? I can remove an IC and attach a few wires but the price is what's holding me back, as an Ultrasatan is going to end up being double a 1.44mb kit :/

[s]I can open floppy disks and stuff on the STfm but not format them... my windows computer can read 720k floppies but not format them (without the tool to format atari floppies), and the STfm can't format one as Dual Sided at all. The progress bar doesn't even move, I just wait for the "Drive A not responding" error.

If I try and format a disk as single sided the progress bar will go all the way, but it'll hang at the end and give me the drive not responding error too.

Even if I format a disk as 720k under Windows and copy on the files I want, it will show up as an empty floppy in Atari. Doing a "get info" on the floppy drive gives me no info.

Is this my drive's problem, do you guys think my STfm would format a disk fine as 720k if I threw in a Sony drive?[/s]

wongck wrote:Some floppy drive will auto detect your floppy, and so 1,44MB floppy will look like 1.44MB floppy to it regardless of what the OS tells it to do.
The way around this is to block the floppy 1.44MB identification slot (I'm not sure what it is called... a hole ?)


In this case would 1.44mb read/write (or just read) be possible even with TOS 1.0x?

By the way... can I check TOS version without a tool? It sucks not being able to get any software onto my ST :(

Edit: I do not have a lot of confidence in this stock drive Chinon F353AT, the STfm can't even read 720kb floppies created from a blank floppy image in FloImg1. I also tried the test disk image from the site and that did not work either. I always get an empty folder when trying to open the floppy and get this for Disk Information:

Image

Edit 2: After much deliberation/googling/trying to get the Chinon drive to work, I concluded the heads are either damaged beyond repair or out of alignment. I think this explains the inability of it to format a disk or read data from any disks, including Atari ST disks which I know are good and work in other machines. A MPF920 was $6 shipped and hopefully will solve my woes...

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby wongck » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:55 am

In this case would 1.44mb read/write (or just read) be possible even with TOS 1.0x?

No, without the mod, the ST can only do 720kb.
You may need to trick the floppy drive to into believing that the 1.44mb diskette is a 720kb diskette by covering the hole.

I would suggest that you get one of these instead of fiddling with old floppy drives.
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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:51 am

I have tons of 720k floppies around, no need for me to use my 1.44mb's for that.
Good to know though. I've been thinking about getting a HxC but it's $110 versus $6... i'm sure i'll get one soon enough though...

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby wongck » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:31 am

zonky900 wrote:I have tons of 720k floppies around, no need for me to use my 1.44mb's for that.
Good to know though. I've been thinking about getting a HxC but it's $110 versus $6... i'm sure i'll get one soon enough though...

Yeah, it's not only cheaper,it also will make use of your tons of floppies. :wink:
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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby Guest » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:48 pm

i see no kits available now for this task
but more people prob need it
perhaps someone can make up a board ppera solved the read write 60ms access problem in ttl
but he didnt yet make a kit or full schematics
although i am sure he could do this
also i dont know why someone doesnt make a deal to produce some kit for 1.44mb {ste}
tos2.06 for st/f/m is a must or it cant be done

its not easy without solders and perhaps a new floppy controller

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby Guest » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:59 pm

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=24467

i am doing this ...!

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby DarkLord » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:43 pm

Sean (Ralcool) made a kit that works fine with machines with TOS 1.4.

Used it with my STacy before I added the PAK board and it worked great.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18847

Just follow the links on the first page.

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:44 pm

Hey everyone :coffe:

So I finally got my MPF920-Z in the mail and threw it in my STfm. I did make sure to move the jumper and put that one wire on correctly. The floppy drive is very quiet but tends to make a grinding noise before saying "Drive A is not responding" while formatting. Also noticed it almost always boots nearly instantly with this drive installed.

I wired it up right and I was able to format a floppy but it still says "Drive A is not responding" when the format is finished. Also will say "This disk has //0/(0(+-* bytes available to the user".

Could it be a power supply issue after all? Screen has a lot of vibration/jitter while STfm is accessing the floppy drive.
Given I seem to be getting this same behavior across 3 different floppy drives, what are the chances the FDC is shot or my problem lies elsewhere? Or is there something else I should try out?


Also is the power supply cage supposed to get REALLY hot...? 8O

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:35 am

you need to move over wire ten on the cable
youll see wire 12 on the drive you have is DS {Drive select 1}

you need to connect it to drive select 0 on the stfm
this is where wire 10 normally connects on older drives
as they had two drive select wires before
and mostly just use a physical drive as drive 1
because a pc cable for the floppy has a twist in the cable this changes the signals round physically
just as you must do

i do it about half way down the cable
use a sharp knife to take wire 10 and 12 out from the others
then cuts them and peal them back to the headers join the right ones up

you can also do this on the underside of the pcb on the floppy header

or at the back of the drives pcb i would do this to the drive unit
avoids cutting cables
as wire 10 in your new drive is not connected a simple solder bridge from the headers pin 10 to 12 will work

it will only matter when you connect an external drive up if you do
what disk select pins it then uses
again it must use physical drive1 but using DS1 also


psu:
take the lid off and take a sharp macro picture of it in good light
and post < = 300K image jpg
lets see if there is any obvious bits need checked out
both sides and a good idea of the pcb
to see if there is any solders need fixed up
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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:39 am

I don't want to cut up the floppy cable itself.
Forgive my ignorance but these are the points I am to connect, right?

Image

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby Guest » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:18 pm

take another picture without the red circle

the pins you use are correct in the picture
however there are some resistor link pads obscured by the red circle to adjust the ID JC30 JC31 {god old JC!!!}
think you may need to adjust them ..

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:43 pm

simbo2 wrote:take another picture without the red circle

the pins you use are correct in the picture
however there are some resistor link pads obscured by the red circle to adjust the ID JC30 JC31 {god old JC!!!}
think you may need to adjust them ..


Already took care of those :)
thank you :)
Just wanted to be sure the pins were right so I didn't have to cut up my floppy cable :coffe:

Much appreciated again!

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Re: Atari 520STfm Floppy+Monitor Woes (maybe more woes)

Postby zonky900 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:56 pm

The floppy drive still doesn't work right :coffe:
Can I test the floppy cable somehow?
Followed the directions in the MFP920 thread/this thread totally but just run into the same errors
I'm not sure what else would be the problem.
The floppy cable only goes in one way.
Its not upside down is it? The floppy cable would have to be modified


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