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bettablue
July 13th, 2016, 11:30 PM
Thanks to all of who supplied info regarding my IBM 5155 portable. With everyone advising me to use a 5.25" floppy disc head cleaner, I'm asking everyone has a cleaning kit for sale. I'm really hopeful that I can begin using my new addition to my collection.

As always, I wish to say thanks to all who have sent me their suggestions

Thomas.

SpidersWeb
July 13th, 2016, 11:53 PM
Not mine, but for ten bucks...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Floppy-Drive-Cleaning-Kit-For-3-5-5-25-Drives-/191910607336?hash=item2caec379e8:g:okcAAOSwm8VU0TH q
Or for four bucks...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diskette-Drive-Cleaning-System-Kit-For-3-5-5-25-Drives-PerfectData/142050572734?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D37182%26meid%3Da3bf6aa1ecfc4e67b4b0f327c66f c70a%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D1919 10607336

Both kits do 3.5 and 5.25" drives.

Stone
July 14th, 2016, 02:29 AM
Once again, for the umpteenth time, anyone who uses floppy disks regularly needs to have a cleaning disk kit.

I started using them over 25 years ago -- when floppy disks were still readily available and recently manufactured. Even then some heads were getting fouled by the disks.

Now that all floppies are old and much more readily deteriorated it's way more imperative to have this item on hand.

It's way past time to get your heads out of the sand and accept the fact that floppy disks can and will foul the drive heads and it only takes a bad disk a second or so to do its dirty work and render an otherwise functional drive totally useless.

DDS
July 14th, 2016, 08:39 AM
"Once again, for the umpteenth time, anyone who uses floppy disks regularly needs to have a cleaning disk kit. "

Given that the kits are cheap and your time is irreplaceable why would you not have a cleaning kit as your first thing to try?

It's basic trouble shooting. Do the easiest things and/or cross off the most likely failure scenario first. As for old media degrading, this is certainly true. However I once had the first Inmac branded 5.25" hard sector floppy out of a brand new box shed emulsion all over the inside of a drive, not just on the heads. Floppy disks shed dirt. They do it when new. They certainly don't improve with age like fine wine.

IMHO if you're going to be in this hobby and fooling about with floppy disks, you have to have a floppy drive cleaning kit.

Chuck(G)
July 14th, 2016, 08:54 AM
If you're buying NOS, it might also be worthwhile investigating "baking" of disks. That's already part of the vintage audio tape community.

...and it would be best to stick with known brands, rather than "white box" brands such as Inmac or Wright-Line. Dysan, Verbatim, 3M were all pretty decent.

Wabash, Brown and Elephant were poison (at least in my experience).

If, when you insert a floppy into a drive, it emits a squealing noise, throw the disk away and clean the drive heads. The damage has already been done.

bettablue
July 15th, 2016, 08:14 PM
Thanks stone for the advice. And. Also to Spidersweb. Today I ordered a cleaning kit from the link Spidersweb sent me. As soon as arrives, I'll run it though my floppy drive and post the results here.

bettablue
July 18th, 2016, 08:57 PM
I never even thought of buying a floppy drive cleaning kit till reading the replies to my original post. I I just haven't had any trouble with my other drives after having them cleaned and realined by another member of VCF. I guess I've been lucky.




"Once again, for the umpteenth time, anyone who uses floppy disks regularly needs to have a cleaning disk kit. "

Given that the kits are cheap and your time is irreplaceable why would you not have a cleaning kit as your first thing to try?

It's basic trouble shooting. Do the easiest things and/or cross off the most likely failure scenario first. As for old media degrading, this is certainly true. However I once had the first Inmac branded 5.25" hard sector floppy out of a brand new box shed emulsion all over the inside of a drive, not just on the heads. Floppy disks shed dirt. They do it when new. They certainly don't improve with age like fine wine.

IMHO if you're going to be in this hobby and fooling about with floppy disks, you have to have a floppy drive cleaning kit.

bobba84
July 18th, 2016, 10:13 PM
I I just haven't had any trouble with my other drives after having them cleaned and realined by another member of VCF. I guess I've been lucky.

I've been unusually lucky too, all my drives just seem to work. Maybe cleaning them is a good preventative measure though...

Bobby.

Stone
July 19th, 2016, 02:40 AM
Preventative maintenance is fine but this has nothing to do with a slow buildup of crud. It is a completely different issue as Chuck notes:


...If, when you insert a floppy into a drive, it emits a squealing noise, throw the disk away and clean the drive heads. The damage has already been done.

bettablue
September 16th, 2016, 02:55 PM
Well, I am finally ready to try cleaning the two half height 5.25" floppy drives in my newly acquired IBM 5155 Portable. I was able to get a somewhat complete cleaning kit via EBay But any instructions that may yhave com with the kit are missing... So can someone tell me the the best method of using the kit for maximum resultsplease? Eventually, I'll be installing one of JJ Pierce's electronics replacement options. But, for now, I just want to get the PC working using the floppy drives it already has. Just for info, the computer does boot to BASIC the way it is supposed to do when there are no floppy discs inserted.

Lastly... I really can't wait to get everything working properly so I can have it setup and working alongside my 5150 and attached Expansion unit.

As always, thanks in advance. I look forward to receiving your responses, and getting this computer working as it should.

Stone
September 16th, 2016, 03:38 PM
I don't think you can use a cleaning disk until you can successfully boot the machine to DOS. It's just a matter of logistics. The drive can easily be made to spin via a DOS command and spinning is how the cleaning is done. Now, if you know how to issue a BASIC command to spin A: -- do it.

modem7
September 16th, 2016, 05:23 PM
I was able to get a somewhat complete cleaning kit via EBay But any instructions that may yhave com with the kit are missing...
I expect that the instructions will be the same or similar as for my 5.25" head cleaning kit.
See [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/images4/head_cleaning_kit_5.25_inch_rear.jpg)] for those instructions.

The packet referred to is a packet of isopropyl alcohol. The contents of my packets dried up long ago, and so instead, I spray isopropyl alcohol onto the disk.

I suspect that the "Discard disk after 4th use" is overkill, potentially a ploy to have one consume more product.

"USE 30-60 SECONDS"

That means 30-60 seconds of: heads are loaded onto the disk surface and the spindle is turning.

30-60 seconds is only expected to suffice for cases where the oxide build-up is light. Heavier build-up will require multiple uses. In extreme cases of oxide build-up, you may need use to a different form of head cleaning.

The situation is analogous to using a scourer to clean a cooking pot.

modem7
September 16th, 2016, 05:30 PM
Just for info, the computer does boot to BASIC the way it is supposed to do when there are no floppy discs inserted.

Now, if you know how to issue a BASIC command to spin A: -- do it.
There is BASIC code at [here (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?18749-Alignment-problems&p=125102#post125102)] that is used to rotate the spindle and step the heads to a specified track.
That will do.

MicrocomputerSolutions
September 16th, 2016, 06:52 PM
If you can get to the back of the drive and access the drive connector, turning the connector over 180 degrees with short the signals on the drive load the heads, turn on the drive select, and and spin the disk. It does this because one side of the connector is all grounded, and the drive control signals are all pull down to active. This does not hurt the drive.

If you can't get inside the computer, but the computer has a drive expansion connector that is just an extension of the cable to the drives inside the computer, you can easily make an adapter that can plug into the expansion connector and short all the pins together.

DO NOT DO THIS ON A COMPUTER THAT USES SPECIAL DRIVES LIKE EARLY APPLES AND OSBORNES AND ANY OTHER COMPUTER THAT PUTS THE POWER ON THE DRIVE CABLE. THEY USE CUSTOM LOGIC BOARDS AND SPECIAL CABLES THAT PUT THE POWER ON THE DRIVE CABLE AND YOU COULD DAMAGE THE COMPUTER OR DRIVES.

Head cleaning disks work better if the heads are stepped in and out as the disk is spinning. I like to use a drive exerciser to control the drive, so I can move the head assembly as the drive spins the disk.

A lot of cleaning disks have boxes on labels on them that you are supposed to check off when using the disk, and discard after so many uses. I personally use cleaning disks until they start to discolor, then throw them away, regardless of the number of cleaning cycles they have been used on.

Stone
September 17th, 2016, 04:14 AM
Clean Floppy Drive Heads is a program that moves the heads around the disk while cleaning thereby using the entire surface of the cleaning disk and extending it's useful lifetime.

Here's (http://www.pcorner.com/list/DIAGS/CLF152.ZIP/CLEANFL.MAN/) its particulars.

giobbi
September 17th, 2016, 10:44 AM
This is my cheap but working way to make a cleaning disk at home. I used it many times, so I'm quite sure it works fine.

http://www.verrua.org/cleaning_kit_floppy/cleaning_kit_floppy.htm

Note: don't try to make a spinning paper disk or to glue paper onto a floppy disk. Both ideas are bad, believe me ^_^

I'm using good quality, thick paper for laser printer.


As usual, sorry for my poor english... pictures should help you to understand, LOL

bettablue
September 17th, 2016, 03:43 PM
Thanks again for all of your responses. I finally got a good cleaning kit and ran it though the "A" drive. Now the IBM 5155 is working wel enough to to load DOS. Next I need to see exactly what hardware is installed. There does appear to be an IBM expansion Unit sender card. Eventually, I'll have to open the case to install one of Pierce's cards. Then I can have a more easily usable system. But that a topic for another time.

roberttx
September 18th, 2016, 08:22 AM
Not mine, but for ten bucks...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Floppy-Drive-Cleaning-Kit-For-3-5-5-25-Drives-/191910607336?hash=item2caec379e8:g:okcAAOSwm8VU0TH q

He's gone up to $15, now, but I bought one anyway - it was still a good deal.

Bizarrely, if you do a search for floppy drive cleaning kit, his listing doesn't show up in the results. Might explain why he has some left.

Stone
September 18th, 2016, 08:40 AM
This (http://www.ebay.com/itm/252109570783?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) one's only $10.

Stone
September 18th, 2016, 08:42 AM
Bizarrely, if you do a search for floppy drive cleaning kit, his listing doesn't show up in the results. Might explain why he has some left.It shows up for me:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2315708.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=Floppy+Drive+Cleaning+Kit&_sacat=0

roberttx
September 18th, 2016, 09:01 AM
This (http://www.ebay.com/itm/252109570783?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) one's only $10.

Plus $15 shipping, because of the aerosol.


It shows up for me:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2315708.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=Floppy+Drive+Cleaning+Kit&_sacat=0

And now it's showing up for me, too. But it wasn't before. eBay's search is weird.