View Full Version : Should I pass up this old 800?

January 9th, 2006, 07:18 PM
I went to my favorite junk store today and found an Atari 800 in their to-be-checked area. It looked like it had been in a garage for a while, as it was full of dirt, a few of the keys were sticking and just looked like it had been in the garage for a long time. It was complete with the power supply and a broken cartridge. I can't remember which cart. The chip inside it had come loose and the screw was in place. It coulda meant that the actual board had broken. I can still go get it for $10 until Friday. I can probably clean it up okay, but would weathering like that *kill* one of these things?

Should I go back???

January 10th, 2006, 11:42 AM
Unless that garage was under water, you should be okay. The 800 is pretty rugged. Dirt probably won't bother it that much. And I've unstuck keys before on an 800XL. I imagine the keyboard on an 800 should be similar. If that cart is one of the little brown jobs, they're pretty simple too. I only have one bad cart and I think that's because the ROM chip got zapped somehow. Anyway, for ten bucks you should probably go for it. Just remember that to do anything useful, you'll want a floppy disk drive, like an Atari 810 or 1050. A floppy drive will need it's own power cube and an SIO cable.


January 12th, 2006, 12:51 PM
I decided to pass on the 800-- my friend Joe gave me his 520ST! It is missing three keys but no big deal, really. I can get them from somewhere. It has the power supply and SF354 floppy drive (no ps for it, I'll figger it out). Monitor, too, as it needs its proprietary monitor. All tested and works! ONe of these days I'll build my desk back up to have my little workstation area and hook it up, heh heh. No room right now. YAY! :D

January 12th, 2006, 05:46 PM
I guess the price was right. :-)
Oddly enough, I'm waiting for a 520ST to arrive here, same as you have, but no monitor.
(Looking at the pinouts, I think I can rig up a composite video cable).

Did you get any software with it?

January 12th, 2006, 09:05 PM
It came with the ST language disk, terminal program, art, writer, math, convert.prg for graphics, dterm, and a bunch of oteher floppies that have writing on them but I can't make out or nothing written, 10 of them.

I knew one of these days he was gonna get rid of it, I just wanted to be there when he did. He's the original owner, and he told me that he paid about $600 for it from Jenkins' computer store, now closed that was here in town. I guess it was on sale.

I still need the power supply or a pinout for the floppy drive. He probably has it and I'll look for it but till then I'll make one from a pc ps that I have here.

This is so COOL!!! new toy!

Also, I just finished watching the movie Apollo 13, and to think that this Atari is more advanced than anything onboard a thing that went to the moon...

January 13th, 2006, 03:17 AM
Atari ST power suppy pinout/adapter (at the bottom of page):

Dunno if the disk drive PSU is featured anywhere, though.

Atari ST floppy pinout:

Atari ST monitor/video pinout:

Good luck finding 7-pin, 13-pin and 14-pin DINs. Unlike the SIO connector, they should at least be available but a bit uncommon to find. I would find it a b*tch to solder a cable on a such DIN. Did Atari this on purpose, instead of using some DSUBs? Ok, the 23-pin DSUBs on the Amiga are not common either, but a bit easier to locate than crowded DIN connectors.

January 13th, 2006, 03:39 AM
The SF354 PSU seems to use a 5-pin DIN, probably the most common one! If I understand some old Usenet messages correctly, some drives seem to internally take +5V on the same pin that other drives would take +12V and vice versa.

January 13th, 2006, 06:49 AM
I made a mistake, the floppy drive has the power adapter and the computer does not. I didn't really look that closely. So I don't need the 5-pin, which I have, but the 7-pin, which I will have to find.

Thanks for those pages, the one with the power pinout I had been to but it was so frekkin big with pictures that I didn't look that hard. Thanks!

I think Atari did that on purpose. Why? Who knows. There's one electronics store in town that may have the plug I need. I doubt radio schmack will have it, but I'm gonna check anyway.

January 13th, 2006, 07:06 AM
Based on what I saw there and another page linked to it, I think that the serial and printer ports are pretty standard. I think I'll try to use my old dot matrix epson and a normal rs-232 port modem on the machine:


Near the bottom;


Only 10 and 12-17 are different. Would that cause the printer not to work? It's an old dos based printer (?) that will work on a cash register if needed. So I figure it'll work on the Atari.

The serial port is the same.

Terry Yager
January 13th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Am I missing something here? I'm looking at a 520ST, and it doesn't seem to need an external power source, just your plain-vanilla 3-prong plug. It does have a DIN-type connector for "monitor" but there is also an RCA jack marked "television" and right next to it is a channel selector switch, so it apparently has RF mod built-in too. How many different ways did they build these things? (As I've mentioned before, I'm not an Atari person).


EDIT: Just looked a little closer, and mine is a 520STfm. That must be the difference...


January 14th, 2006, 12:32 AM
I have seen so many different configurations I have lost count. Some had floppy drives built in, some had din monitor connectors, I've seen them with vga connectors (though I think that was a hack) and all kinds of other stuff. I wish it had onboard power, as I don't have the ps and the connector is special order for me here in El Nowhere. I stil have to go to Ideal, but even they only cater to the factories these days it seems.

But I'll get it and things will be good. I am thinking about getting an ethernet cart for it from one of the online stores.

Once I get a digital camera that my computer likes I'l post some pictures.

CP/M User
January 14th, 2006, 02:34 AM
I've made it my duty to have a personal grudge against STs, however I'm
not so sure about that 800. Personally I someone offered me the 800 or
the ST I'd go with the 800 (maybe not the 400 though - I like proper
keyboards personally), but hypotically perhaps a 400 from the shed
would be tougher to beat that the 800 with the dirt. STs are out - I'd
rather have an XE, but hey - that's just me! ;-)

Perhaps I would have tried to get $5 for the 800 - if it doesn't work - well
it's no great loss, $10 sounds a bit steep (never though I'd be saying that -
but it's a dirty machine - certainally a nice system with lots of software,
disk drive should get $100 don't 'cha think?)

CP/M User.

January 14th, 2006, 10:17 AM
Yes, the M in STFM stands for (RF) Modulator, that's why you find a such output. F stands for Floppy - the original 520ST (and 1040ST ?) would use an external floppy like Nathan has.

No idea about the power, maybe there were units with built-in transformator so you plug in 110/220V directly like most PCs and other computers.

In Sweden, 3 to 8 pin DINs are quite possible to find for little money. 14 pin DIN costs about $35 each (!), and 13 pin DIN may be close to extinct. On the other hand, the 23 pin DSUBs appear to be out of catalog by now, only the cover remains..

Maybe the back side of an Atari ST is so crowded that they couldn't fit anything but DINs or HD15?

January 17th, 2006, 08:57 AM
Ideal Electronics has clsed and are gone. I now have to special order everything. That's okay though. If anybody knows of a place that I can go to for special stuff that's not digi-key or mouser, I'd be grateful. I did find this:


which is great! They have everything I could ever want Atari!

January 17th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Haveyou tried Jameco?


or JDR?


January 17th, 2006, 03:27 PM
JDR didn't have the parts, they look like they sell complete items. Jameco kicked me out with some kind of firewall or server error. I'll try again later. Thanks for the links, I hadn't even thought about them.

January 17th, 2006, 03:51 PM
On the JDR site look at the left hand Navigation bar, go to the bottom where is saya electronics, they have IC's burners' and some prototyping stuff, Jameco has everything you could possibly imagine though.....

Jameco worked fine for me, It griped about me not having flash (forgot to install that on the server) but it worked.

http://www.jameco.com/ Incase I typed it wrong or something.

January 17th, 2006, 03:52 PM

Micom 2000
January 18th, 2006, 12:39 PM
Am I missing something here? I'm looking at a 520ST, and it doesn't seem to need an external power source, just your plain-vanilla 3-prong plug. It does have a DIN-type connector for "monitor" but there is also an RCA jack marked "television" and right next to it is a channel selector switch, so it apparently has RF mod built-in too. How many different ways did they build these things? (As I've mentioned before, I'm not an Atari person).


EDIT: Just looked a little closer, and mine is a 520STfm. That must be the difference...


The first Atari ST's had an external power supply and FDD. ST"M". All the floppies were 3.5 but the early ones were single density. None of the ST FDDs were high density. The commonest ST model was the "F" series which was followed by the "FM". which had IIRC stereo capabilities. The HD connector was a proprietory SCSI called ATASCI (or something like that). To connect a SCSI HD or other SCSI device you need an adapter like the ICD "The LINK". The Printer must be "Epson-compatible". Not all IBM-compatible ones will work. Finding an Atari external PSU is almost impossible since so few were made. If you could find an ST Junker perhaps you could use that.


January 18th, 2006, 12:55 PM
I found all the parts I could ever want, provided I pay near top-dollar for them.


They stock all kinds of parts, most are new and all are pretty expensive. I want the jaguar adaptd controller once I get the power supply. My friend Joe that gave it to me is still looking for it, though it could take a while, and one from Best is only $40. Not bad considering what I have seen them for. I've seen commodore 64 ps's go for MUCH more than that, and same for most of them.

Either way I'll get this thing working and then I'll start gaming and tweaking. Since I've been looking, there are lots of different things you can get for them, more if you want to build them yourself. CD-RW's, hdd's of all flavors and sizes, fdd's without limit and I've hear done person brag about his 48mhz ST. That's pretty cool, heh heh. I'll do something cool.

January 24th, 2006, 06:37 PM
I found the power supply and fired it up and the computer works great! The floppy drive seems to not work. It does nothing when it comes on, but when the computer gets turned on it spins continuously and the light does not come on. I have no mouse, so I get to use the keyboard keys (that's okay) and I have no carts. So instead of getting another fdd right now I'm gonna go for games :)

I don't know if I mentioned this, but I have an Epson printer that should work great. I don't have the printer right here so I don't know the model, but it's about the same year of manufacture, maybe a few years newer but based on the pinouts, the Atari has a standard printer port. It oughta work. But I am on the quest for carts.

Terry Yager
January 24th, 2006, 06:44 PM
I have (for sure) an external floppy for one, lemme know if you need it. I also (might) have, an Atari laser printer (if I can salvage it from ComputerHell). Again, lemme know if interested.


January 25th, 2006, 12:15 AM
The floppy drive seems to not work [..] and I have no carts.
Cool, I didn't know that the Atari ST series had a dedicated cartridge port. From a bit of googling, it appears only a few applications like MagicSac were available in this form, so maybe it is more a hardware expansion port (which also exists on the Amiga) than a traditional cartridge system.

I tried to find any references to ST game cartridges, but I drew zero. Hopefully you know better than me. I found some article how to make your own cartridge up to 128K, which may be on the small side for most ST games.

January 25th, 2006, 07:08 AM
The cartridge port is also known as the ROM port, and I found lots of carts for it on ebay, mainly in England. Looks to be about $5/game give or take. There are a few lots to be had, too.

Terry, I'm very interested in that floppy drive, please email me, dkassandra4ATwmconnectDOTcom to tell me more about it.

Terry Yager
January 25th, 2006, 09:33 AM
Ummmn, it's in the spare bedroom somewhere. I'll try and dig it out this afternoon.


January 26th, 2006, 04:20 AM
Maybe I'm more dense than usually, but I found neither Atari ST cartridge or ROM items; searched both Google, eBay US and UK. If it is not too much work, could you please point me to a URL, either a seller or an inventory?

Or maybe the Atari ST is backwards compatible with the 8-bit Atari series and/or the video games: 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, Jaguar? I somehow doubt it, but I'm far from an expert so I could be wrong.

January 26th, 2006, 05:37 AM
Just do a search on any ebay for "atari st" and you'll get some hits, some will be the carts. I just did it and it yielded results for me.

Micom 2000
January 28th, 2006, 01:12 AM
Just do a search on any ebay for "atari st" and you'll get some hits, some will be the carts. I just did it and it yielded results for me.

While carts may seem like the way to go they were not common, unlike the Atari 8 bit machines. The most common carts were like the Real-time cart or other specialised carts related to hardware functions like the Mac emulator. There is a massive amount of software out there for the ST and as an ST freak I have a very large collection of ST peripherals and software but no software games or programs on carts.

As an esoteric approach to the ST it might have value but is limited.
Your wasting your time and the power of the ST to concentrate on carts. Atari had abandoned the cart approach by that time and I believe put the cart slot in only to assuage the Atari 8-bit users and possibly provide DMA access. The only cart I have is a Mac emulator which has MAC ROM chips on it, but even it uses FD programs to access the cart. Almost all the updates involved internal or external additions such as the Xtra Ram or the Tweety board. ISTR there was also a cart to provide a thru midi port
and another for fast parallel transfer of files or something like that.

You have a very early version of the ST. Like the Amiga 500 don't expect a lot from it. Especially if you don't have a functioning FDD. Sam Tramiel always loved the idea of proprietory peripherals and except for the similarity of the Atari disks to the MSDOS system's one has to learn to work around it. eg; the LINK to attach normal SCSI HDs, Extendos to add CDs to a SCSI chain and other BS. But with the OS in ROM, GEM desktop,
and a CPU faster than most of it's era, Midi in/out, 2 color resolutions and a 3rd with the Hi-resolution mono monitor it was an impressive box.

Even C-64s don't have that many carts available and even with GEOS it's destop is pretty abysmal. The ST is remarkable but one must remember it's era. The NEXT was and still is great but compared to some of the newer systems seems limited. I love many of my old computers including the Atari 130XE and the XEGS or the Apple GS for that matter but why not operate them to the limit of their capabilities not regress to their earlier brothers. STs were 16 bit machines and the FDDs were their strength.


January 28th, 2006, 08:00 AM
Hmm, the only cartridge-like thing I can find for the Atari ST are internal memory modules.. :-) Hopefully you can obtain a floppy drive from Terry or somewhere else. Perhaps there are even service manuals or alike which would let you diagnose if and how your current drive is faulty.

Mayhem claims to have 400 different cartridges for the C64, of which some may be label, region or other variations of the same title. That appears to exclude utility cartridges like Final Cartridge, Action Replay etc. Not a bad collection.

January 28th, 2006, 08:06 AM
Luckily I have a fdd on the way. I see what you mean about carts being a waste of potential. I want to max this thing out, that's for sure. One thing, Joe told me that he used to make discs on his windows machine to get files for the atari. He would download whatever program and then walk it over and use it. He told me that the atari would see the win system disks, but the pc wouldn't see that atari disks. This seems too good to be true, but I'm gonna try it anyway.

Micom 2000
January 28th, 2006, 04:13 PM
Luckily I have a fdd on the way. I see what you mean about carts being a waste of potential. I want to max this thing out, that's for sure. One thing, Joe told me that he used to make discs on his windows machine to get files for the atari. He would download whatever program and then walk it over and use it. He told me that the atari would see the win system disks, but the pc wouldn't see that atari disks. This seems too good to be true, but I'm gonna try it anyway.

Yeah I got spoiled on the ST for transferring files off the Inet from my PC compared to the C64, Amiga, Apple, and CP/M. There are also ST programs to make formatted DOS disks that can be read by a PC. The main drawback is the limited capacity of the double density drives and the limited memory, altho because the OS is in the ROM it is still more than many of that era. There are kits to increase the RAM but up till the STe they were limited to 4 megs. Because of the built-in Midi ports the ST was especially popular with musicians There's a vast number of free music programs out there. Once you get into it you'll likely want to get an STe or Mega. I have a STf 1040 that I hacked to 4 megs and my main one is a MEGA-4 with a tweety board for stereo. Unlike the Amiga the STs Yamaha chip only had 3 channels instead of 4. The FMs and upward did have stereo capabilities.

Make sure the FDD you get is double sided, double density otherwise some programs won't work. There were a lot of hacks and add-ons for them but I would advise you to wait until you have at least a 1040fm or preferably an STe, Mega, or MEGA ste. There is also a hack for a high-density fdd.


Terry Yager
January 28th, 2006, 04:43 PM
Make sure the FDD you get is double sided, double density otherwise some programs won't work.


What's an SF354? That's the drive Nathan is getting.


Micom 2000
January 28th, 2006, 05:29 PM
Make sure the FDD you get is double sided, double density otherwise some programs won't work.


What's an SF354? That's the drive Nathan is getting.


Just checked my 2 external DSDD drives and they are both SF314. I can't remember off the top of my aged head what the SSFD was but one would assume the higher number to be a later model. I'll do a search.
They also came with a large beast of a power supply.

OOPs the SF354 is the single sided one. Sorry.



Terry Yager
January 28th, 2006, 05:51 PM
That's about what I figgered too. Oh yeah, BTW, kewl link...very informative.


January 29th, 2006, 03:05 AM
I'll be happy with ANY fdd at this point. I have to have SOME kidn of I/O for it. Once I get the fdd II'll go for the 4mb upgrade kit and some fancy rom expansion if I can find anything that's not too expensive. Definitely a modem for kicks.

I'll probably get a different machine, like you say, probably an STFM but for now I'm thrilled as heck to get this thing :mrgreen:

And yeah, nice link.

Terry Yager
January 29th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Lemme know when ya want the 520 STFM.


January 29th, 2006, 10:21 AM
When I find something to trade I'l let you know. It's pretty dry around here. I don't know what the percentage is, but less than 1/3 of the population here even own a computer(of any kind). So classic stuff is really hard to come by. It seems a shame to me, really. The things help SO MUCH (even as complicated as they are) and so few take advantage... but that's for another thread.

January 30th, 2006, 05:56 PM
WOOHOO! I got my Flashback2 today and I love it! I fondly remember the frustration in Yar's Return and the frustration in most of the other games and the thrill of victory with Combat and Combat2! Right after I got that, I discovered that there's a comp store having a big clearance and all the cables are half off. I'm going back tomorrow to get some improvised midi cables for the 520ST and see if I can't rig up a pc-atari link. We'll see what happens.

And best of all, the FB2 controllers will work on the 520ST! AFK, playing. :!:

February 5th, 2006, 10:15 PM
I've been looking al over the net for a scsi adapter for this thing. I found one but it's sold out. Is there a set of instructions to making my own anywhere? Or a third party that actually HAS them in stock? All I need is to connect some kind of hdd to the db15 scsi port on the ST. Power isn't an issue, nor is cabling or a case. I just need something like that. I mean, it's been around for a long frekkin time, you'd think that there's something out there. :?

February 6th, 2006, 07:40 AM
ACSI was Atari's proprietary hard drive connector. It is derivative of SCSI which had not been completely standardized at the time of the initial release of ST systems. Atari SH-204 hard drives have an ACSI to SCSI host adapter connected to an Adaptec 4000 SCSI to MFM adapter that is attached directly to the drive. It is possible to adapt these units to use the standard SCSI drive mechanisms of today.

The ACSI DB-19 (sorry, not 15) pinout:

No idea if you can make use of this pinout and somehow convert it to any SCSI interface.

February 7th, 2006, 12:41 AM
I can convert some software sometimes, but not that. I'l keep looking. It's not priority, just something I'd like to do.

Has anyone ever used any kind of telnet to make an ST(or something) talk to a PC when the PC was using hyperterminal? Gotta transfer files somehow.

February 7th, 2006, 12:56 PM

I decided to take the old fdd apart and look at it. I figured I couldn't hurt it since it didn't work anyway.

I found a bad belt. That might be the WHOLE problem! We'll see. I'm gonna go to a few vcr repair shops (they still exist here) and see if I can find one that fits it. It's 5" long folded and about a 1/4" wide. TOO EASY!

I'm finding all kinds of PITA ways to connect from win/dos to the ST, how about Linux? They both have terminal programs, too. Does anybody have any info? I'm searching.

Micom 2000
February 8th, 2006, 01:16 AM
Best Electronics is the most favored of suppliers.
I use a Link 2 which is an ASCSI adaptor to convert the proprietary HD port to normal SCSI and use a Syquest ez135 (or one could use an Iomega SCSI Zip) hooked up to my MegaST so I can use different set-ups on the portable disks or have space for memory-hungry midi files.
And of course have access to other chained SCSI devices such as CDs and scanners. I dont know if there are any hacks to use the paralell port for other devices than printers.

There were a bunch of ST hardware hacks including an IDE adapter done by Mario Becroft of N.Z. http://gem.win.co.nz/mb/atarihw/
but I see he no longer sells his cards. Some one in the U.K. used to supply Mario's cards and might still possibly have some stock.

There was also a very extensive ST FAQ which a quick Google didn't bring up immediately.
Possibly the atari.org page has it.

I'd imagine you might be able to do a serial or modem transfer but without an FDD you wouldn't be able to use a controlling program on your ST.

The ST FDD's were always the weakest link IMHO. I think I have 3 STfs with nonfunctioning internal FDDs. Many non-Atari FDDs(not HD) could be used in Ataris and ISTR that you reversed the data connector (I'd check this with more authoritive ST people than I). There was even a simple hack to use a 5.25 floppy.
I once hacked an FDD with allignment head problems using trial and error(I had no O-scope)
but with present prices (they were about $200 at the time) for Atari FDDs it generally isn't worth the effort.

You might also check out the Google Atari (ST or 16bit ?) newsgroup archives.

I'm not sure but I believe there was a program (Minix ?) to connect to UNIX which would imply that Linux68 would work. I believe there's lots of discussion on this in the ST newsgroups.


February 9th, 2006, 12:39 AM
Ouch. $99 usd for that adapter, out of my pricerange. They're out of stock of the $39 one, I'd get that one.

I like the selection of Best, but their prices are prohibitively expensive. They charge in the hundreds of dollars for things! I'm gonna place a (relatively) small order with them, but for the most part they're too expensive.

I've found a few places that i can get stuff from, http://www.vintagefunworld.com/ has a bunch of stuff for older computers, including the atari, and various little places around the net. That link is probably the most extensive.

And I love trading with you guys. Y'all are at the top of the list, heh heh.

One of these days I'll get some kind of hdd adapter for the atari or find a unix-style os that works out of rom.

Ataris are cool but I guess they can be difficult.

/EDIT I figured out that the FB2 controllers aren't directly compatible with the ST, the x and y axis are reversed. I'm not going to bother with an adapter, I'll just get a 2-button controller with a turbo setting, since the joystick only moves the cursor one pixel at a time when it's being used as a mouse.

February 11th, 2006, 03:18 PM
I'm a little frustrated. I got a new belt for the SF354 fdd and it seems to be working. It sees disks and got the busy light on and everything.

Everything I read says that an ST can read pc disks, but it only sees its own disks. The pc is a win2k laptop, all standard stuff. What the heck am I doing wrong?

If I could get a disk with some kind of terminal program on it I could access the pc and grab whatever files I want but I gota get terminal through the FLOPPY! ARGH!

Is there any kind of command prompt I can get to with the st? That way I can type in the commands to listen to the serial port. Jeez Louise it's frustrating.

Terry Yager
February 11th, 2006, 04:10 PM
Are you attempting to read double-sided disks in a single-sided drive? ...or HD disks in a DD drive?


February 11th, 2006, 06:42 PM
the disks are all double sided, the drive is single sided.

Micom 2000
February 11th, 2006, 09:19 PM
There's an ecellent ST emulator called STEEM. Possibly you could do some kind of workaround with that. I think the only difference with the PC disks was a header with the volume number on it. You could possibly use STEEM to use Procopy to format a single sided disk. I'd try the Atari ST
newsgroup to see if you can get a double-density FDD cheap. Your going to have to get one at some time anyway.


Micom 2000
February 11th, 2006, 09:36 PM
You might also try Bravo Sierra Computers. Possibly even contact Ben by e-mail. I know there was a hack to convert single sided to double sided.



Micom 2000
February 11th, 2006, 10:55 PM
In using Atari VT52 as the subject (the VT52 emulator came with the ST), I ran across this to use an ST as a terminal for Linux to transfer files.


Of course it won't work unless you have a working fdd.


February 11th, 2006, 11:02 PM
How do I get it to DO that? It has a built in terminal program-- how do I get to it? Do I hit a key or something as it boots up? I have the 354 drive, it works, and I would LOVE to get it to go into terminal mode. Heck, I even hae a modem I could force. But how do I get it to go into terminal mode???

I think I told y'all that I hurt my back, and the vicatin that I was prescribed makes this whole process go SOOO much better, heh heh.

February 12th, 2006, 11:39 AM
I went ahead and ordered a terminal program from vintagefun. It's an original atari floppy disk and they guarantee that everything works. And it was cheap.

I found a pinout to make a bus mouse work on the st. I happen to have an old bus mouse from a long time ago and plenty of db9 cables that i can cut up and connectors and things. The bus mouse is in a trunk under a lot of heavy things, though, and my back won't let me get to it right now. It'll pass.

There's been a lot of hacking on the st with everyone's different projects. I like it. Maybe it's the vicodin talking.

February 15th, 2006, 08:06 PM
Regardless of the candy wrapper incident, I still got yet another 354 drive from vintagefun. I now have three and they all seem to work the same way. They see there's a disk but they report no data on them. DOS reports data on all the disks I have tried. So I am gonna troubleshoot. The cable is suspect, it has a lot of bite marks from Joe's cat or whoever was living with him at the time (I mean a pet, ha ha). So I ned to find one of those cables somewhere. All three drives can't have the same flaw. I mean, the odds are against that.

Micom 2000
February 15th, 2006, 09:16 PM
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but those external floppy cables are "gold".
Harder to find than a vigin ewe in a shepherds flock.

Are you sure the disks you're using are single sided ? The "zine" disks likely had a complex method of formatting a floppy to allow reading by both SS and DS users. I think the SS were 8 sector by 40 track.

The other possible explanation is the fdd controller chip is dead. Many users replaced them with the "Ajax" chip in order to be able to use HD disks.


February 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM
All the disks I tried were at one time readable by that computer, and some were atari disks. Like the language disk. I might see about that ajaz chip you mentioned. I guess I'll check the continuity of the cable, see if it's getting through all the pins. Multimeter time!

Micom 2000
February 15th, 2006, 11:24 PM
I forget which disk that came with new Ataris that the VT52 emulator was on, ISTR that the great ST graphics program Neochrome was on the same disk. Their was also a "Logo" program that was on one disk. Possibly the language disk with Atari Basic.

I'll see about putting together that fdd hacking file tomorrow and see if the new board can handle attachments. Also pack up the 1040 and find shipping cost.


February 16th, 2006, 11:20 PM
I tested the cable with the multimeter and it checked out for continuity. The only thing left is the controller on the computer itself. I looked up those ajax chips and when I can fidn them they're expensive. IIRC best electronics wanted $60 for one. Er, I'll get a terminal car instead and figure somethign else out.

T, I am gonna be up to my ears in Ataris but that's okay. It'll give me plenty to tinker with that is relatively inexpensive and that's good news for my wife. And they stash pretty easy, too.

I was confused at first why people kept telling me to flip the ribbon cable inside the drive or install it upside down, but then T's and the moldy one came in and I saw what everyone meant. I have one of the early drives that had a very different 14-pin header type cable on the inside with the angular eject button. T's and the moldy one both have pretty standard innards, looks like.

Heck, I might get a 1050 5.25" drive to work with it.

Micom, your goodie box is getting fuller, heh heh.

February 23rd, 2006, 12:24 AM
I was putting together some stuff today and ran across mu old mitsumi 1.2mb 5.25" fdd. I got to looking at it and it has ID jumpers! Clearly marked! Definitley not meant strictly for a windows system as it has four different ID's that can be switched on. And since the pins are the same I think I'll play around by running it on the st, heh heh. I have an empty case. I'll use it to slave whatever to the st. And I know if I dig around I'll find a 360k drive that I'll set up, too. I mean, why not? I have the pinouts and I have lots of cables and pins to do it with. While i was rummaging I found a bunch of old fdd cables that I've had stashed for a rainy day.

I think I'm gonna play around with some plastic mold injection so I can make my db9 w/o the side holes. As a test I was gonna use my db9-db25 adapter to line up the pins, then squirt some oil on the female part of the adapter (or maybe I'l oil it first, it's vicodin time) and then form some hot glue around it and have some kind of strain relief. I bought some pins to make my own plugs and sockets "one of these days" so I'll just do it. I'll have some free time tomorrow evening. And I bought a crapload of pins, like a ream of 200 each of male and female.

Isn't it wonderful how one thing leads to another? I mean, when I got my first computer the last thing on my mind was plastic mold injection. Sounds like the start of a great new thread! "When you got into computers, what did computers get you into?"

March 1st, 2006, 11:44 PM
I don't know where it came from or how I ended up with it but I dug out from my box of drives an Epson SMD-340, the one that shipped with an Atari upgrade kit oh so long ago. I have most of the jumper settings, the ones that were set by atari at least. Now I have to get the ajax chip. As far as I read, the kit had in it the drive and a replacement controller chip. Sometimes it really pays to be a pack-rat!

/edit http://atariarchives.org/cfn/08/09/03/0267.php


That's where I read it.

Micom 2000
March 2nd, 2006, 11:28 AM
Wow! In following a reference in the Cheek URL about a PP Atari to PC program
"hdd_dmn", I discovered a couple of motherlode sources of ST programs.

This is still being updated in 2006


Also downloaded the hdd-dmn.lzh file. Now I'll have to see if it will work with my PP Iomega
on the p-port not needing a Linc adapter.


March 6th, 2006, 01:16 PM
The "new" 520stfm got here today and works like a champ, except for the floppy drive. It has the same symptoms of the externals so I'll reseat the chip and see what happens. The terminal cart worked great in it though I didn't try to connect to anythign yet. I haven't had a chance to get a normal fdd worked on YET cause of school, work and doc's appt's (not mine, my wife's). Not that I resent any of it, but it keeps me away from my hardware. Well, maybe i resent work a little heh heh.

Thanks Terry!

March 8th, 2006, 11:35 PM
Man, give me a little time and I can actually get things going! The ic extractor came in and I was able to reseat the chip for the fdd controller (stfm machine). The 360k drive in it still didn't work. Bad belt. I set it aside and hooked up the epson drive that I have and it worked! WOOHOO! I have a floppy drive workign in it! 720k baby!! I read and wrote to disk and it works great. Now I just have to figure out how to make it sit in the case right or make it external. It sits low in the case, so the slot doesn't line up, the button is covered by the plastic of the case. When I moved I packed up all my dremel bits so they're in a box somewhere (shoulda gotten them out by now). The cable was short and I couldn't make it work like that so now I have two feet of cable folded up in the case from an extension that I found for some kidn of tape drive. I also found a seller online that has both another epson smd340 drive and a replacement keyboard for the original st all for $20 shipped.

It has been a good day :D


March 29th, 2006, 12:23 AM
I got the keyboard and drive yesterday and put it in the ST. Works like a charm and the sticker on the floppy drive, "Atari Service Center" is just SOOO cool. I didn't realise how bad the keyboard on my st was. This one is brand new-old stock and looks and feels great. A lot like the STFM (Kudos to Terry!)