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bettablue
March 8th, 2014, 10:18 AM
Sometime in the next week or so, a friend is sending me an IBM 5150 PC with a missing full height floppy drive, or full height floppy drive bay cover. And, while I have several options to fill the empty space on the front of the PC, the one I would prefer is to install a 2nd floppy disc drive.

I just happen to have an unlabeled full height Tandon DDSD 360 KB drive I can add to the system. I also have the cage assembly from the MiniScribe HDD I replaced just recently. I'm not totally committed on one or the other options. However there is a problem. (Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for opinions/advice, right?) The floppy drive in question has already been sent to another member of the forums who really knows his stuff when it comes to cleaning and realigning these drives. In fact, the drive was sent in twice for the same issue. When attempting to load anything using this drive, the results are iffy at best. Sometimes the drive will load properly, other times, it fails. The drive actually fails more than it succeeds.

So here's my question, and where your advice comes in.

Should I -
1. simply replace the missing drive bay cover with the empty cage assembly from the MiniScribe I recently pulled?
2. try sending the drive to be checked, cleaned and realigned again?
3. find another floppy disc drive on E-Bay?

As I stated, I would prefer to have another floppy drive installed, but I'm not tied to that resolution. As far as the faulty drive is concerned, if it cannot be made to function 100%, and I don't use it, should I sell it for parts/not working, or just recycle it?

As always, thanks for your opinions and assistance. It is always appreciated.

~BB~

Caluser2000
March 8th, 2014, 10:31 AM
Option 4- put in a 16 bit multi i/o card and two 3.5" fdd drives, each fitted into half height 5.25" adapters.

bettablue
March 8th, 2014, 10:42 AM
Option 4- put in a 16 bit multi i/o card and two 3.5" fdd drives, each fitted into half height 5.25" adapters.

That would also have the added functionality to allow me to make floppy discs for use in my other systems, once I get the Packard Bell running.

luvit
March 8th, 2014, 10:43 AM
hey there, thoma;s.. try to offer the faulty drive for free (parts), whoever pays for shipping..
that is, instead of recycling/disposin'g

Caluser2000
March 8th, 2014, 11:25 AM
That would also have the added functionality to allow me to make floppy discs for use in my other systems, once I get the Packard Bell running.It'll also more than likely give you a bi-directional parrallel port and serial ports with higher baud rates for when ever you decide to try transferring files via those ports. If you're lucky you may also get a games port.

bettablue
March 8th, 2014, 11:31 AM
It'll also more than likely give you a bi-directional parrallel port and serial ports with higher baud rates for when ever you decide to try transferring files via those ports. If you're lucky you may also get a games port.

Believe it or not, I have two game port cards for the IBM PC/XT. I have one installed in my expansion unit.

SomeGuy
March 8th, 2014, 11:38 AM
Definitely don't toss it, there are parts like drive latches or logic boards that others might be able to use. Also, you might want to re-test it on the 5150. Don't know how you have tested it, but I ran in to an interesting issue where a perfectly fine Tandon TM100-2A would intermittently fail reading sectors when attached as drive "B" next to a 1.4mb drive in an Athlon based computer. Possibly a termination thing, but didn't happen to nail that down.

Maverick1978
March 8th, 2014, 08:04 PM
Tom, if it's the drive that was working intermittently awhile back that you sent to our learned friend.... well, I'd say to keep it for parts, as mentioned. I wouldn't put it in a computer again.

Drives are easily enough had from eBay. Personally, I'd just use a black FS hard drive cover and hook the LED up to something so it'll blink :) Or, as mentioned already, just put a 3.5" floppy in there. If you really wanted to get cute, you could search out the official 3.5" IBM floppy faceplate and drive that supported the original big-button 720kb drives. That would be kind've cool, though maybe not so cheap to find (last I saw the combo available, it was about $35+ship for the drive and the NOS faceplate)

bettablue
March 9th, 2014, 03:07 PM
Tom, if it's the drive that was working intermittently awhile back that you sent to our learned friend.... well, I'd say to keep it for parts, as mentioned. I wouldn't put it in a computer again.

Drives are easily enough had from eBay. Personally, I'd just use a black FS hard drive cover and hook the LED up to something so it'll blink :) Or, as mentioned already, just put a 3.5" floppy in there. If you really wanted to get cute, you could search out the official 3.5" IBM floppy faceplate and drive that supported the original big-button 720kb drives. That would be kind've cool, though maybe not so cheap to find (last I saw the combo available, it was about $35+ship for the drive and the NOS faceplate)

Howdy Mav! Haven't heard from you in a while. It's good to hear from friends on occasion.

I do think you've got something in using a 3.5" drive in the 5150, but in all honesty, I would prefer to have either a blank faceplate, or a full height drive of some kind. However, I am open to trying a 720 Kb drive if one were to be had reasonable, with the correct mounting hardware. I guess I'm being anal again because I just like the look of the original full height drives and faceplates. Alice, my 5150 with 5161 expansion unit has 4 internal drives. 2 full height floppy drives in the PC, and 2 full height hard disc drives in the expansion. That's one reason I still get private messages from members of VCF telling me how jealous they are of my system. There are other reasons too, but having all full height drives is the main one they write about.

So, do you have a line on a couple of half height floppies, besides E-Bay that is?

SpidersWeb
March 9th, 2014, 03:30 PM
I quite like powering mine up and telling people 'no hard drive in this' and the whurr of a belt driven Tandon chugging away.

The Tandon drive is a very serviceable device. If your rebuild friend had it working 100% before sending it back, it could be worth another look.
(Also, even if it's not working, it'll still look the part if installed as a temporary faceplate cover)

bettablue
March 9th, 2014, 05:55 PM
I quite like powering mine up and telling people 'no hard drive in this' and the whurr of a belt driven Tandon chugging away.

The Tandon drive is a very serviceable device. If your rebuild friend had it working 100% before sending it back, it could be worth another look.
(Also, even if it's not working, it'll still look the part if installed as a temporary faceplate cover)

I still have the option if I want to boot from floppy. I just put a floppy disc in the available drive, then the PC will boot from floppy. I still have that option with my current 5150 with the attached expansion unit too. As long as there is a floppy in drive "A", the system will pretty much ignore whatever other boot options are available. I don't know how the XT-CF Lite card affects the boot operation, but I expect with it's own built-in BIOS, the boot order can be set so that the PC boots from one device, or another, depending on the users preference. I have been reading about the XT-CF Lite on the Web, and have learned quite a bit, but I haven't seen what options can be configured just yet. I'm sure I'll come across that pretty soon though.

I am pretty excited about receiving the 5150 PC for other reasons too. Although the case will need to be repainted, the person I am getting the PC from is outfitting it pretty well. The only thing I see missing is a Mono video controller with a composite out RCA connector. The computer has a mono video card now, it's just that the controller doesn't have the composite out. I guess I'll be in the market for one of those. It's either that, or I get SOME form of video composite out. It this point, I wouldn't really care what adapter I get, as long as I can connect it to my current Mono monitor.

SpidersWeb
March 9th, 2014, 06:51 PM
Yep you'll still be able to boot from floppy. I was more meaning the whole experience though, but that may not be of interest, I think your existing 5150/5161 has more wow factor anywho.

MDA cards usually don't have composite out (I've never seen it). But you can run a CGA card at the same time and switch between them at the command prompt:

MODE MONO
MODE CO80 or MODE CO40

Computer will start with whatever display you specify using the motherboard switches, and using those commands above you can switch the DOS prompt to whichever display you want. Print your speech notes on the mono, and run a game on the projector eh? Needs to be a CGA card that doesn't have a BIOS (like some of the later all-in-one style shortcards).

Maverick1978
March 12th, 2014, 10:26 AM
I used to love doing this back in my coding days... I'd have the IDE with the code on my mono screen, and the output on the color screen. Later, when I went back to a single headed computer, we could remap some of that memory for extra "conventional" ram.

bettablue
March 20th, 2014, 10:30 PM
I used to love doing this back in my coding days... I'd have the IDE with the code on my mono screen, and the output on the color screen. Later, when I went back to a single headed computer, we could remap some of that memory for extra "conventional" ram.

I won't be connecting dual monitors to the new 5150. Instead, as I've discussed with Maverick; I will be looking at the model #, and rebuilding and refurbishing the PC to be only what it was designed to be. When I have it, and my current 5150 PC setting side-by-side, it will be an awesome display. In the photo (Which I will eventually take, you will see one 5150 built to the hilt, with CGA graphics, and as many IBM Peripherals as is possible, including the printer, monitor, expansion unit, all the way down to the floppy drives, and then some, while the other computer will have only what it had when it was offered for sale when new. If that means the computer only had a single FH floppy drive, Monochrome IBM 5151 monitor and 16Kb of RAM, then that's what it will have. Of course, being a revision B system, I know the 5150 I'll be receiving will be better than that.

I think the juxtaposition will make for a great conversation starter.