Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

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ScottChi
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Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:54 pm

Hello All,

I have been attempting to read some old floppy disks for my Falcon 030 before I get rid of them. My Falcon 030's floppy drive is no longer able to read them reliably. There are several floppy disks where it will list the directory, but it is unable to read some or all of the files.

I have a couple of floppy disk drives removed from PC compatible computers, so I have been attempting to use those with my Falcon 030 instead.

I know from reading these forums that the Falcon requires the floppy drive to identify as drive #0, and that PC compatible floppy drives are configured to identify as drive #1. Unfortunately, neither of the PC compatible FDDs have jumpers. So after reading some more postings, I found out that I can use a 34 lead floppy drive cable that has a twisted section. The purpose of the twisted leads is to reverse the drive identification from #1 to #0.

So I made an extension cable for my Falcon 030's internal FDD cable that has the twisted section. I have attached a photo that shows both ends of this cable. I used a crimp-on male connector to allow it to attach to the end of the falcon's internal FDD cable. After crimping it on, I used a resistance meter to verify that the internal connections are correct and match the pin numbers.

There must be something wrong with this idea, because this cable does not work at all. I tried using it with both of the PC compatible FDDs that I have.

I connected the power cable to the floppy drive unit, then attached the end of this cable that has the twisted portion into the FDD. I made sure that both cables were oriented correctly. When I powered on the Falcon 030 the drive light stayed off, and when the desktop was displayed and I selected the floppy drive A icon, GEMDOS reported that no floppy drive was connected. I powered off the unit and re-checked the original drive. Fortunately, it still worked.

So I am confused. Does anyone know if there's a problem with this approach to using a PC compatible floppy drive (one that is set to drive #1)?
Did I misunderstand how to make them work?

Thanks very much for your advice.

Scott C. in Cary, NC USA
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby MM41 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:33 am

I don't remember what wire must be twisted to change #drive (too much wire twisted on your cable)
Can you make a picture of your new fdd?
No jumper sometime just a 0 ohm resistor who must be moved and welded on the circuit.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby frank.lukas » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:56 am

Any PC Floppy will work fine when it set to DriveSelect 0. Make a good picture from your Drive PCB ...
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby MM41 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:04 am

Google search: wires 12 and 14 must be twisted to change #.
Personally i prefer modify the floppy drive :D

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:56 pm

Hello MM41, frank.lukas,

This cable is what IBM PC compatible computers used for connecting two floppy drives. The 2nd drive had a portion of the cable twisted, so that the assembly line workers would not have to change the jumpers. It must be changing more signals than the Falcon needs.

The drive is a Mitsumi D359M3. The top cover removes easily but only exposes the mechanical side of the drive (drive head assembly). The bottom of the drive, where the circuit board rests is part of the metal frame. I need to figure out how to expose the circuit board for a photo.

Thanks for the help!

Scott C.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby Atari030 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:35 pm

There are a ton of 1.44 drives you can use with a Falcon. I use a Panasonic in my tower. I have had success with Sony, Teac and Mitsumi drives as well. Have a look on the PCB, there will most likely be a pair of solder tabs or jumpers labelled D0 D1. Switch that, plug in, fire and forget. You could also grab a drive off Exxos or ebay if you aren't confident to do that. He has a new Sony drive here;

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:29 am

Hi All,

Here is the PCB for the Mitsumi D359M3. I see several places that would allow jumpering. The markings J2, J3, J4, C3, and DEN1 through DEN4, to start with.
floppy-pcb.jpg

If you know which one(s) to change let me know. I will interrogate Google and see what results.

If this turns out to be difficult, I have a second FDD I can try. It's in an old PC at the moment, but it won't be for long if needed.

Thanks again!

Scott C.
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby Atari030 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:56 am

Looks like it was only ever intended for the PC. You only need drive select to be changed.

http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?26 ... -drive-mod

Quite a bit of shenanigans. I'd probably try another drive.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby joska » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:07 am

The twisted cable works on some drives, but not all.

What *should* work with most PC-drives is to rewire the floppy cable like this:

Code: Select all

Falcon      Floppy
10 DS0      12 DS1
12 DS1      NC


Personally I'd do this on the floppy drive instead of modifying the cable.
Last edited by joska on Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby frank.lukas » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:32 pm

The Falcon has no DriveSelect B on his Floppy bus so you can make simple a solder blob between pin 10 and 12 on your Floppy PCB ...
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:40 pm

Well fate has been cruel indeed. I opened up the other old PC compatible computer I have, and lo and behold the FDD it contains is another Mitsumi D359M3! What are the chances? So I'm down to investigating to see if I can bridge the pins 10 / 12 connections, or swapping 12 and 14 in the cable.
Or, ordering another FDD (and hoping it's not the same)! A halloween-like prank on me... :-P

Thanks again everyone.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby joska » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:07 am

frank.lukas wrote:The Falcon has no DriveSelect B on his Floppy bus so you can make simple a solder blob between pin 10 and 12 on your Floppy PCB ...


I would not recommend that. What if (when!) someone forgets how this particular drive was modified and later connects it to an ST/STE? DS0 and DS1 will be shorted. Better to do it properly to avoid future confusion (and - in worst case - disaster). But yes, shorting pin 10 and 12 will work in this particular case. But better to cut the traces from pin 10 and 12 on the floppy PCB, and run a short wire from pin 10 to the other side of the cut trace from pin 12.
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby MM41 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:11 am

:oops: twisted pin 12 and 14 it's for a Midi instrument :oops:
It's 10 and 12 to change drive select.
I'm sorry for my mistake

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:58 am

I checked on Amazon, they have several bare FDDs for around US $10, for example https://www.amazon.com/Bytecc-BT-145-3-5-inch-Floppy-Drive/dp/B001GUY5HW. I have one on order. Thanks again all.

Scott C.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:05 am

Hi All,

Here is a photo of the PCB for my new floppy drive investment. The pins are reasonably well marked.
So far, I have not identified a provided means of changing the drive select to drive #0.

Shall I bridge pins 10 and 12, or is there a better way?

new floppy pcb.jpg


Thanks again for the help!

Scott C.
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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby kodak80 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:42 am

ScottChi wrote:So far, I have not identified a provided means of changing the drive select to drive #0.

Shall I bridge pins 10 and 12, or is there a better way?


If this is a Sony MFP920 drive then the SEL0 (JC30) and SEL1 (JC31) set the drive ID. You can try and move the zero ohm connector currently on JC31 across to JC30 or remove it and just solder across the bridge on JC30 connectors.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:15 am

Thanks Kodak80. Definitely seems worth trying!

Scott C.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby ScottChi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:48 pm

The new drive is installed and running smooth.

I'm very impressed that some people have the skill to reuse a surface resistor that size, it makes a grain of uncooked rice look large.
I clamped a piece of 28 gauge wire so that it crossed the pads,soldered it down, and nipped the ends.

Thanks again all.

Scott C.

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Re: Problem Replacing a Falcon 030 Floppy Drive

Postby Atari030 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:45 pm

Good stuff, another Falcon flying again.


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