ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Troubles with your machine? Just want to speak about the latest improvements? This is the place!

Moderators: Mug UK, Zorro 2, Greenious, spiny, Moderator Team

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:34 pm

I recently picked up a new unused Elco high density floppy drive module from 1993 ish

it has 2 plugs, 1 with 3 x wires and the other with 10 x wires and is simple enough to install BUT not simple enough to work!

i'm trying with a Sony MPF drive

the best I can get it to do is either

1: work in DD like a standard Atari!

or

2: work in HD mode ONLY, won't format or recognise a DD disk

so it either works with 1 type or disk or the other!

there must be some others out there with this module installed in their ST's

I think the problem lies with the disk drive and jumpering the correct pads etc

can anyone help? :) :?:

User avatar
Greenious
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:39 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Greenious » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:06 pm

All hd-floppy mods I have seen has the floppy pin 2 configured as hd-detect, which in turn select either 8MHz or 16Mhz clock fed to the WDC.

Edit: pics of what you got would be helpful...
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:44 pm

yes I have connected the relevant wire to pin 2 of the Sony drive

User avatar
Greenious
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:39 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Greenious » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:15 pm

Disconnected (ie cut the wire) between the mobo and drive?

In that case I'd say the drive haven't been configured properly.
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:00 am

when you say cut the wire between mobo and drive then no I haven't, but then again it mentions nothing about this in the manual

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5GwSS ... ef=2&pli=1

Image

User avatar
Greenious
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:39 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Greenious » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:25 am

The manual is conflicting. It says so on page 6 (page 8 in the PDF), but doesnt say anything elsewhere.

Also it makes connections to the PSG that I don't really understand, why on earth does it connect to the lower 2 bits of the parallell port?
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

User avatar
ralcool
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:52 am
Location: Australia

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby ralcool » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:44 am

I remember it was a absolute pain to configure.

Use the 3 pin header for the density detect.. the red wire for Drive A, ground the brown wire, and orange too unless you need it for drive B.

I had to make a modification to the detect switch on my Sony... viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18847&start=375#p172156

Aparently some revisions of the ST might have pin2 of the 34pin connector grounded...so its worth checking. Its easier to remove pin2 from the ribbon cable than cut the motherboard. Use a thin blade to slice down both sides an inch or so and tease it out of the ribbon cutting the end nearer the motherboard

There a several wires on the ELCO main harness that are also not needed. Don't bother with the Violet, White or Grey wires according to the CompoUK manual.. so I didn't and it worked fine until I decided to to make my own mod instead many years later for no actual reason.

Hope this helps.
:cheers:
4160STFM, (Blitter, 4Mb RAM 72pin, 16Mhz OC, IDE, HD FDD, Quad TOS, LaScan, DS1216E Clock, AT-Speed C16, Tom Kirk PS2 mouse, MegaST Keyboard)
What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away
Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy
Don't let post count or join date fool you as to who is a newbie, and who knows what's what

User avatar
ralcool
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:52 am
Location: Australia

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby ralcool » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:36 pm

Greenious wrote:The manual is conflicting. It says so on page 6 (page 8 in the PDF), but doesnt say anything elsewhere.

Also it makes connections to the PSG that I don't really understand, why on earth does it connect to the lower 2 bits of the parallell port?


I've often wondered if they were using those bits to do alternative software control of density detect. Its not fully explained in the manual, but it is alluded to. The mod does use a GAL and anything could be lurking in its code we don't know about. It does have a driver, and a desk accessory.

I feel it was lost in translation and possibly we'll never know since that page you're referring to is perplexing, and always thought so.
Another line on page three says "Finely tuned logic in the software driver assures the drives recognize the type of disc inserted.This same logic provides a highly dependable error correction scheme."

Now that indicates the driver can do more than look at a simple switch position and switch modes accordingly. Maybe it can count sectors and software switch to HD. Usually we only use a 'driver' to simply reset the step rate to 6ms. (Which is now redundant anyway since we can do everything in hardware)

I guess I never tried hard enough.... :shrug:

:cheers:
4160STFM, (Blitter, 4Mb RAM 72pin, 16Mhz OC, IDE, HD FDD, Quad TOS, LaScan, DS1216E Clock, AT-Speed C16, Tom Kirk PS2 mouse, MegaST Keyboard)
What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away
Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy
Don't let post count or join date fool you as to who is a newbie, and who knows what's what

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:52 pm

Thanks for your replies guys

ok well I have done what Ralcool suggested

red pin from 3 way plug to pin 2 on Sony drive and the other mods shown in your pics for Sony MPF-920 Z

left off Violet / white and grey wires

still same prob!

formats 720K DD but can't see or won't format/read HD 1.44mb disks

I should also note that this is fitted to an STE with TOS 2.06 and the jumper E6 jumpered which gives the HD option on the format screen

so should I be able to use the Elco module with TOS 2.06 or do I have to use the software with it? and return to TOS 1.62?

User avatar
Greenious
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:39 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Greenious » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:01 pm

TOS 1.xx supports reading HD floppys just aswell as TOS 2. The only difference between them in that regard is that TOS2 also can format in HD.

So, your issue is purely hardware related, the board is not switching between 8/16 MHz as it should be doing.

Everything points at it being stuck at 8MHz. To test the circuit you can use a switch connected to red, switching between ground & +5. That way you can see it can indeed switch the frequency correctly. If it does... your problem is the drive for sure, not sending HD-detect properly on pin2.
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

User avatar
frank.lukas
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1445
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:33 pm
Location: Germany

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby frank.lukas » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:47 am

On normal PC Floppy Drive Pin_2 is a Input to select DD or HD Modus. Most HD Moduls need Floppy Drive where Pin_2 is a Output ...
fancy Atari Musik anDA Dance "Agare Hinu Harukana" 1998 ATARI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX10fxb5eYE

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:42 am

frank.lukas wrote:On normal PC Floppy Drive Pin_2 is a Input to select DD or HD Modus. Most HD Moduls need Floppy Drive where Pin_2 is a Output ...


yes this may explain why I can only format either DD or HD disks if I disconnect the pin 2 wire and restart the computer

SO the big question is how do I set up this Sony drive to make it work with both DD and HD disks? :coffe:

User avatar
frank.lukas
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1445
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:33 pm
Location: Germany

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby frank.lukas » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:49 am

For a test put pin_2 hi or lo and try to format a HD Floppy ...


At my HD Modul Pin_2 is

hi = DD Disk
hi = no Floppy in Drive
lo = HD Disk
fancy Atari Musik anDA Dance "Agare Hinu Harukana" 1998 ATARI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX10fxb5eYE

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:56 pm

can anyone recommend a good compatible floppy drive to use with this Elco HD module?

or should I stick with the Sony MPF 920?

User avatar
Greenious
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:39 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Greenious » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:17 pm

If you search you will find several threads on the MPF920 floppy. People have had success using them in Atari, however... There isn't just one version of it, there are several. Without specifics about *your* drive, it is impossible to say how, or if, you can make it work with your equipment.

https://www.google.se/search?hl=sv&q=sony+mfp920&rlz=&gws_rd=cr,ssl&ei=u_ZyV9aKJ4GssAGZo4iYAw#hl=sv&q=sony+mpf920+atari
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:39 am

ok thanks

well if anyone else out there has an ELCO HD floppy module i'd love to hear from you and know which drive you use successfully with it

i'm putting this on hold for now as i'm getting nowhere with it
Last edited by Chandler on Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ralcool
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:52 am
Location: Australia

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby ralcool » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:50 am

Do you have a meter or cro to check the clk frequency to the WDC while the drive is being accessed?

Do check those voltage levels, there are different things happening to make this all work.

Using TOS 2 mean no driver at all, just that the jumper adds the HD format menu. 1.6 and under need the step rate modified with the driver to work.
(For this mod anyway)
If you modified your Sony like I showed, you will see the voltage level change on Pin 2 depending on the disc like Frank showed
4160STFM, (Blitter, 4Mb RAM 72pin, 16Mhz OC, IDE, HD FDD, Quad TOS, LaScan, DS1216E Clock, AT-Speed C16, Tom Kirk PS2 mouse, MegaST Keyboard)
What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away
Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy
Don't let post count or join date fool you as to who is a newbie, and who knows what's what

User avatar
frank.lukas
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1445
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:33 pm
Location: Germany

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby frank.lukas » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:03 am

On a PC or Mega STE, Atari TT or Falcon the Computer tells over the Pin_2 the Drive what Drive mode is needed by try to read the Disk.

On a normal ST with all HD Moduls the Drive tells over PIN_2 the FDC what mode is set.


I would be nice somone build for the Atari ST range of Computer a PC, Mega STE, Atari TT or Falcon Style Modul. I think TOS 2.06 supports that ...
fancy Atari Musik anDA Dance "Agare Hinu Harukana" 1998 ATARI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX10fxb5eYE

User avatar
ralcool
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:52 am
Location: Australia

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby ralcool » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:43 am

I think that is the alternative mode provided by the elCo, but the explanation is bad in the manual.

For this the Pin 2 is wired to the Violet wire. B: drive would go to the white if fitted.

The 3 pin connector is then all grounded.

However I never tried this configuration, and the modified Sony would probably be incompatible. I no longer have the wiring hardness in my ST since I have my own custom GAL HD mod instead.

I would love to see a proper German (?) manual for this mod, it could be much more detailed.
4160STFM, (Blitter, 4Mb RAM 72pin, 16Mhz OC, IDE, HD FDD, Quad TOS, LaScan, DS1216E Clock, AT-Speed C16, Tom Kirk PS2 mouse, MegaST Keyboard)
What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away
Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy
Don't let post count or join date fool you as to who is a newbie, and who knows what's what

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:28 pm

ok well I have wired it all up with a Sony MPF 920 later model Z as per Ralcools picture below

and as you say, no violet, white or grey wire attached

use red from the 3 pin socket to pin 2 on drive

I have 5v on pin 2 when drive is trying to access HD disk

no joy though

machine works fine as standard with 720K DD disks but if I use a HD disk with high density selected from the menu it can't see the disk and just comes up with the "doesn't recognise disk" box

i'm using an STE with TOS 2.06 fitted and E6 jumpered

Image

User avatar
Fujiyama
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Norway

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Fujiyama » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:08 pm

Attempting to revive the thread.....

Chandler -did you ever get it to work?
I also have an Elco HD module (and a Sony MPF-920-1 drive), but never got around to installing it in my STe.
To those of you who's got it -are there any shortcomings to it that have been addressed in other HD modules (such as the one by Exxos or the one by Black Cat hardware)? Regarding the Exxos module there's some talk about it doing the "media change" thing (so that the computer understands that a floppy disk has been removed and replaced by a different one so it won't mess up the disk), but years ago when I modified the Sony 920 drive I believe I solved this by shorting (adding a wire across the two switch pins) the disk detect (marked "CTIN" on the drive's PCB) switch, but perhaps that was something needed for other drives.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:24 pm

nah gave up with it

User avatar
Fujiyama
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Norway

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Fujiyama » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:29 pm

Frustrating :(
Fortunately I also have a Mega STe (at present in the midst of being repaired unfortunately) upgraded to accept HD floppy drives (IIRC it was a matter of replacing a GAL chip and soldering a wire on the back of the motherboard), so that's a nice way to check if the drive is at fault.
I just checked the drives and found out the Mega STe has a Sony MPF-520-1 inside while the STe has a Sony MPF-920-E. I believe I modified them both in the same way:

a) change the drive from "Drive 1" to "Drive 0" (they used to have jumpers for this but later they just soldered zero-ohm SMD "resistors" in place which you have to desolder and re-use in the new position or just use a short wire)
b) solder a wire across the "CTIN" disk detect switch (for a permanent connection regardless) to fix the "disk change" issue (so the computer won't think the same disk is inserted when in fact another floppy has been inserted)
c) connect a wire between pin 2 (the 34-pin Shugart connector) and to the "HDIN" (High Density disk detect) switch (the switch-pin which doesn't go to GND)
d) the "High Density detect" signal is further taken from the same connection as in step c (above): pins 2 of the 34-pin connector/one side of the "HDIN" marked micro-switch. A wire from here goes to the 1.44MB/720KB HD-module board (Elco or whatever)
e) insert the 34-pin cable from the Atari into the drive, but upside down! In other words, the way it won't fit (because there's a notch in the connector that doesn't match), so you have to cut away the notch to fit it "the wrong way". It's probably a good idea to mark both the disk drive connector and the connector at the end of the cable with a blob of white paint or whatever so you won't be in doubt if you ever need to disconnect/reconnect it

Aesthetically I've also solved the disk eject button (I didn't want to butcher the outward appearance of either computer) by removing the front bezel, taking the (rectangular) PC style eject button that came with the drive away, cutting off part of the metal lug it was mounted on to allow the Atari style eject button I had from my previous (DD only) drive which came with the machine (I think it was a Sony as well). A little blob of glue helped keep it fastened to that metal lug, then remount the plastic bezel.

You've probably modified the drive similarly but I thought I'd just mention it.
When I get the Mega STe it should be interested to try both drives out there first (I can't remember if I tried them both out in that computer with HD floppies), before attempting to get one of them to work in the STe with the Elco or another HD module if it turns out to be more trouble than it's worth.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

User avatar
Bama
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:25 pm

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Bama » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:34 am

Fujiyama wrote:Attempting to revive the thread.....



Hi Fujiyama,

I had success using an epson drive with an ELCO module in a 520STfm.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=30149&p=313412&hilit=Elco+epson#p313412
:-)
BAMA

Chandler
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 am

Re: ELCO high density floppy module - anyone had any experience with this?

Postby Chandler » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:46 am

Bama wrote:
Fujiyama wrote:Attempting to revive the thread.....



Hi Fujiyama,

I had success using an epson drive with an ELCO module in a 520STfm.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=30149&p=313412&hilit=Elco+epson#p313412


I'm sure it would work with an Epson 340 as those drives are highly compatible with the Atari, only thing is they are also very hard to find! :?

it would be good to get this module working with something like the Sony MPF920 as they are still freely available and cheap


Social Media

     

Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests