View Full Version : 5.25" SSDD drives for ImageDisk?

February 10th, 2011, 07:05 PM

I recently picked up a Kaypro II and am planning on getting bits to some media. Does anyone have recommendations for a 5.25" drive? I'll be using it with ImageDisk/22DISK in a PC. I hear the 1.2M 5.25" drives can work if you manually change the rotation speed, however the track width is very narrow. As a result, floppies need to be bulk erased (if used) and possibly even copied again (using second drive) when in the Kaypro II. Just wondering if I would be safe with the 1.2M version since all the SSDD drives are around $40 each on Ebay.


February 11th, 2011, 05:28 AM
You'll be fine using a DSDD drive for the single-sided disks -- the drive just won't write anything using the top head. I use a DSDD 5.25" drive pulled from a beat up Leading Edge Model D in my disk imaging machine.

You're right about the DSHD drives, they do work if the floppies have been bulk erased or are unformatted from the factory. I generated several CP/M floppies using ImageDisk and 22DISK in a 5.25" HD drive, and had read success with all of them, but they were new in a factory bulk pack. Definitely pick up a DSDD drive if you're going to be writing a lot of double density floppies.

Also, grab a copy of Kermit-80 and build it for your Kaypro II -- it makes life much easier!

February 11th, 2011, 09:49 AM
SS drives can behave in two different ways, depending on the vintage. If they're very old, when SS was all that there was, the side-select signal is ignored and you simply read the same data for both sides. If they're more recent, the electronics on the PCB may decode the side-select such that you get nothing on the second side.

But gone are the days when SS drives were viewed as more reliable than DS. Head technology moved on to the point where the reverse is probably true.

If you use HD 5.25" disks for DD storage, don't depend on them being archival. There is a certain amount of "fade" that can occur, since the medium isn't being recorded at saturation levels.

February 13th, 2011, 09:43 PM
I have a few drives to choose from (ultimately purchasing one). Can anyone comment on or suggest which drive is most reliable? They are all 360K DSDD 48TPI. I'm assuming that the QUME and TEAC are the best quality models... I could be wrong though. Thanks

QUME QumeTrack 142
TEAC FD-55B-01-U
TEAC FD-55BR-506-U
Mitsubishi M4851-112U (these are the full door, not the lever style)
Mitsubishi M4853

February 13th, 2011, 10:11 PM
The QumeTrack 142's aren't up to the quality of their 8" QT brothers, although they're okay when they're working.

The workhorse of the lot are the Teac 55B's. They differ mostly in minor matters, such as the placement of the gate lever. The most common one is the 55BR and is a real workhorse.

I've got some Mitsubishis, but I don't recall their model number--Teacs have been my old reliable for decades. The FD54 is a single-sided drive; since the 55 will do the same, I'd go with them.

February 14th, 2011, 06:51 AM
Thanks. The TEACs are priced pretty high, much more then the Qume or Mitsubishi. Have you had any difficulty with your Mitsubishi?

February 14th, 2011, 06:56 AM
I just read the Qume 142 manual. I think it's single sided, because I didn't see anything mentioning it being double sided in there.


I supposed double sided isn't that important since the Kaypro II is single sided. I'm not sure what other computers other then early PCs would be using double sided disks around that time. I recall my Apple II used single sided too.

February 14th, 2011, 10:11 AM
I'm certain that the Qume 142 is a DSDD 360k HH, this is the factory drive included with my 5155. Seems to be a reliable enough beast, mine wasn't working well so I lubed up the head guides, spindle and motor bearings, and blew out all the sensors. Now it runs like brand new, smooth and quiet.

Never had actually really heard of Qume before that personally, Teac drives have always seemed to hold popularity over the rest.

February 14th, 2011, 05:26 PM
My 2 cents - since you are relatively new to the site - welcome - many of us are Kaypro users - you will find and extensive knowledgebase here on Kaypros - contribute your stuff also so it will continue to build.

As most of you know - I am a great fan of the Teacs - never even today 30 years later have ever had an issue with Teacs with a lot of hard use. So I strongly agree with Chuck.

Tandons on Kaypros ??? - Why I converted to Teacs for all my Kaypros and other computers.

Controversey - sure - do a search on this site for other opinions.

Price - just how much are you going to spend trying to get bad drives working and how much will you loose just data wise when they go bad ?

Please keep us informed about your progress.


February 14th, 2011, 06:08 PM
Thanks Folks. Frank I'm planning on using the 5.25" 360k drives only in a PC with ImageDisk/22disk. The TEAC FD-55BVs I'm seeing online are around $50/each (including s&h), while I can get a tested QumeTrack 142 for about $28 (including s&h). I'll probably take my chances with the QumeTrack and I'm not capturing data, but creating boot and application disks to use with the Kaypro II.

Thanks again

February 14th, 2011, 06:50 PM
Qume got its start making daisy-wheel printers to compete with Diablo. Many of the original Qume employees worked for Diablo.

I don't like the 142 for a simple reason--it's old-technology belt-drive, inferior to the direct-drive Teac drives. That belt (should be aging now) will eventually start slipping.

February 15th, 2011, 06:50 PM
If I had just waited 40 minutes for your post Chuck. I purchased the Qume 142. Hopefully it works long enough to make some disks for the Kaypro. Funny thing is, I saw the belt on the Ebay listing and wondered where I could obtain a replacement belt if I needed it. So, does anyone know where I can obtain a replacement belt if I need it? :)