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View Full Version : The "Amstrad Adjusting Hammer".



Peet42
June 28th, 2003, 02:48 AM
Amstrad's early PCs (1512, 1640) featured a job lot of non-standard sized 5.25" floppy drives. Apart from being half an inch shorter than anything else easily available, they have the power and data leads on the opposite sides from most replacement parts. None of this would be a problem if it wasn't for the fact that Amstrad wanted to try to sell the machines in the USA, and the FCC weren't happy with the plastic cases. So, all internal parts, including the FDDs, were encased in close-fitting steel boxes for RF screening purposes.

This meant that when you put a replacement FDD into one, it stuck out the front by half an inch and the sockets on the back didn't line up with the holes in the metal box. This is where your "Amstrad Adjusting Hammer" would come into play. You would take the largest hammer in the workshop, along with an old flat screwdriver or cold chisel, and smash the spot-welds holding the back plate onto the steel enclosure, then hammer the "lip" round the edge flat so the new drive could slide smoothly back through it until the face plate lined up with the case. You couldn't mount the drive without the box, and Amstrad charged a fortune for the spares which actually fitted properly, so this practise was widespread amongst official Amstrad dealerships. :D

CP/M User
June 28th, 2003, 03:24 AM
"Peet42" wrote in message:

> Amstrad's early PCs (1512, 1640) featured a
> job lot of non-standard sized 5.25" floppy
> drives. Apart from being half an inch shorter
> than anything else easily available, they
> have the power and data leads on the
> opposite sides from most replacement parts.
> None of this would be a problem if it wasn't
> for the fact that Amstrad wanted to try to sell
> the machines in the USA, and the FCC
> weren't happy with the plastic cases. So, all
> internal parts, including the FDDs, were
> encased in close-fitting steel boxes for RF
> screening purposes.

> This meant that when you put a replacement
> FDD into one, it stuck out the front by half
> an inch and the sockets on the back didn't
> line up with the holes in the metal box. This
> is where your "Amstrad Adjusting Hammer"
> would come into play. You would take the
> largest hammer in the workshop, along with
> an old flat screwdriver or cold chisel, and
> smash the spot-welds holding the back
> plate onto the steel enclosure, then hammer
> the "lip" round the edge flat so the new drive
> could slide smoothly back through it until the
> face plate lined up with the case. You
> couldn't mount the drive without the box,
> and Amstrad charged a fortune for the
> spares which actually fitted properly, so this
> practise was widespread amongst official
> Amstrad dealerships. :D

Heh! Not familiar with this technique. I've only
used an Amstrad PC1512 on the outside, so
I don't really know! :-) You wouldn't do that
to one of my CPCs! 3 inches is 3 inches!

Cheers.

Peet42
June 28th, 2003, 04:01 AM
Actually, you had to do it to CPCs and PCWs too! In that case, the replacement drives were the right lenght but the ribbon cables were in the wrong place, and it was easier to knock the back off the drive cage than to cut the slot in the back a cm longer...

CP/M User
June 28th, 2003, 04:15 AM
"Peet42" wrote in message:

> Actually, you had to do it to CPCs and
> PCWs too! In that case, the
> replacement drives were the right lenght
> but the ribbon cables were in the wrong
> place, and it was easier to knock the
> back off the drive cage than to cut the
> slot in the back a cm longer...

No, well I'm fortunate not to have done
that in the 8 years I've had my CPC6128.

Just had to replace the drive belt. No
worries there! :-)

You'd have to be careful with the PCW's,
the drives in the monitor (for those not
familiar with a PCW!).

Cheers! :-)

Peet42
June 30th, 2003, 12:08 AM
Of course, you have to take the metalwork out of the PC to remove the old drive in the first place, so you wouldn't be hammering anywhere near the electronics or tube anyway. (Unless you just had a bad crash and lost your work *again*... :evil: ... :lol: )