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NathanAllan
December 18th, 2006, 10:05 PM
I broke out the 520 again in an effort to get the floppy drive working. I replaced the belt with a new one, and put everything back together again. The light stays on the fdd but nothing comes on the screen. I *could* replace it with a Epson SMD-300 (the upgrade drive for the Falcons) but it would have to be external and use a really long rigged fdd cable. I could also adapt the smd to the ext cable using all those female pins that I picked up a while back. It would only be a temporary fix, though. The pins won't hold forever just dangling.

I've been keeping my eye on ebay for external drives but they're few and far between.

Suggestions?

Nathan

carlsson
December 19th, 2006, 01:07 AM
Frankly, I have never looked inside an Atari STFM, but considering how most of the computers of the day use 3.5" mechanisms similar to eachother, is there only one type of internal drive that fits and works?

Maybe you can get some ideas from here:
http://www.joogn.de/atari_fd.html

Thrashbarg
December 19th, 2006, 02:31 PM
From what I remember about my 520STFM, it used a drive almost exactly like a PC drive, pinouts and everything.

NathanAllan
December 19th, 2006, 07:20 PM
"Almost" but not quite. The pinout is the same but the drive in mine is very thick, about 1/2 as big as upir garden variety fdd. power, same, data cable, same, floppy face, different. The button is in a slightly different place, so it doesn't line up with the hole in the case. And only two of the screwholes line up and it sits a lot lower so the slot and button don't line up unless you adapt it with spacers or something. This is the one inside the case, not external ones. They're different, too, but not going there. And I think the cables are flipped. Not sure on that one though.

I'll take some comparison pictures, but later, I'm washed out today.

Micom 2000
December 20th, 2006, 08:59 AM
Even if the FD isn't working you should get the GEM display which is in the ROM, it just wouldn't boot from an empty or faulty FDD. It should default to the screen display after a numerous audible attemps to boot. Try re-seating your ROMs. STs were notorious for that. One old trick was to drop them from about 18" onto the floor or desk. I can imagine where that originated from, a disgusted user, but it did work occasionally when it was badly-seated ROMs.

Lawrence

Thrashbarg
December 20th, 2006, 02:15 PM
"Almost" but not quite. The pinout is the same but the drive in mine is very thick, about 1/2 as big as upir garden variety fdd.

Maybe you could cram a PC one in there? :P

nige the hippy
December 20th, 2006, 02:57 PM
at least pop a PC one in there on a flying lead, to see if it really is the problem.

NathanAllan
December 20th, 2006, 11:35 PM
I'll pull the drive back out tomorrow and see if that helps. I did the drop on it once and it fixed it then, and that was bout a year ago. If the thing wakes up then there's something up with the drive. I've pulled out the guts from that 354 and see what I can whip up with that, the drive and a drive cage that I have saved for projects. I like that, "flying lead." It's flying alright, right out the slot! With the 354's guts I can actually use the external plug and cable. I know my drives work, I've had it up before but I needed the space (on the kitchen table) so I had to tear it back down. Maybe I'll be able to make something a bit more permenant this time.

It's frustrating but all I got is love for it.

Micom 2000
December 21st, 2006, 09:41 PM
Somehow Nathan I wonder if we are on the same page. What I said was that whether or not your FDD is working you will get the familiar to us STians
the Gem desktop, not a blank screen on your monitor. ! The Boot-up first checks for a FDD and unless it is interupted by a HD program directing it to search for a Hard-drive it goes to the Rom which displays the Gem desktop.

If your FM doesn't display the GEM desktop it isn't gettinng past the RAM BIOS and your worries about your FDD is nonsense. As I suggested it is a RAM problem, the most usual fault being RAM seating. Did I miss something ? Perhaps you described not a blank monitor screen, but an inability to affect it. Perhaps you should be a little more clear.

I am perfectly willing to help you and might even give up one of my treasured FDDs, but only if I discern that you do really have a FDD problem.

Lawrence

NathanAllan
December 21st, 2006, 10:44 PM
Okay, maybe I wasn't clear. I know the computer works, that's for sure. I yanked the fdd out today and it booted up fine to the TOS screen. Just to make sure I put it back in and got a white screen, no bee icon or anything. I thought it was the new mouse I got but tried that too and the mouse is fine. So when I put in the drive that goes withthe machine, whitescreen. I tried with the external guts+epson drive, and once got a whitescreen, checked the jumpers, still got a ws, then flipped the cable. The TOS booted but there was no drive present. Tried a few different jumper settings, still nothing --but TOS booted. I guess the guts are differnet for the 354's as the 314's.

I understand what you say about it not getting past the ram or getting to the rom. And the ram is not seated in, it's soldered, so it seems to be a floppy problem. I mean, I can't figure anything else out. With the stock drive in I get a whitescreen and with it pulled I get TOS on screen, no problem. With the external drive, nothing happens. The thing powers up and acts like it wants to do something but I get nothing.

I found the attached doc online and copied it from the page. I was following instructions as per it for jumper settings and suchlike.

I have a couple of ideas for getting from one computer to another. I could stay using a null modem and my terminal cart, but I would rather have something else.

I am considering getting a SatanDisk; it is a gadget that lets you use the ASCII port to read/write to memory cards.

Lastly I am thinking about the NetusBee, cart port gadget that has ethernet and USB on it. The usb here wouldn't be real fancy, and would be basic connectivity for say, a cd-rom and maybe a thumb drive.

I'm also waiting for someone to get back to me about a 314 over at atariage. He said make an offer and I offered $30. This is for a basically untested, yellowed drive with no power supply. I have a ps from the 354 and a new belt and I can't think of what else it would need.

So your advice and offer is not falling on deaf ears, Micom. I hear ya but wouldn't want to ask you to give up a drive if I can find another way. And this idea of a distributed OS via joystick port is really interesting (from the other thread).

Nathan

NathanAllan
December 22nd, 2006, 02:13 AM
I remembered one more thing. When I hooked up the drive before, I was using the ST, not the STFM. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

NathanAllan
January 16th, 2007, 07:10 AM
Another question about these machines. I am getting a 520 STFM soon (being shipped now) and it has a working fdd onboard (WOOHOO!). Does anyone know of a way to make that drive accessible from the other two?? maybe like a share or a networked drive? can it be shared through the ascii port? There are plenty of ports on that machine. It'd be really cool to have a lan party ST style. But with only one floppy drive and three (practically) stock ST's how can it work??

atarimuseum
January 25th, 2007, 12:50 PM
There used to be such a box by a company (name escapes me) essentially allow ing you to switch between 2 ST's to share a single drive one at a time. You'd have to do some digging back into some old issues of STart and see if you could locate the company name and maybe google around for anyone selling one or keep an eye on Ebay.

It was a simply mechanical swtich box, nothing fancy, I forget all of the lines it would switch over, just a few, so you could probably make your own if you wanted to have some fun doing a weekend tinkering project.


Curt

NathanAllan
January 26th, 2007, 06:27 AM
It sounds like a pretty simple idea: printer switch box with some fdd cables with DB25 cables on one end. Simple concept, anyway.

I was thinking of something more networky, maybe a ram disk on one of the machines via the SatanDisk. I dunno, just brainstorming. I wish Ranji would undertake this project, seems their type of thing. Maybe MPFOS(multi platform floppy OS). Anyway, now with school back in full swing I have no time do work on it. Ah well. Such is life.

NathanAllan
January 27th, 2007, 02:10 AM
Does anyone know much about parallel port floppy drives? I've mentioned it before, and would like to try to make a ppt floppy work on an ST. Just an idea.

BTW, does anyone know what's going on with atari-forum??

Micom 2000
February 1st, 2007, 11:38 AM
Re: Connecting STs and ethernet, etc.

http://cd.textfiles.com/ataricompendium/FILES/INTERNET/OTHER/

atarimuseum
February 2nd, 2007, 08:14 AM
There were several firms that did it on the PC's, I remember installing a lot of Parallel to SCSI converters for PC users who wanted a CD-ROM drive waaaaaaay back around 91-92 or so...

Should be possible on the ST, perhaps a little googling may turn up such info.

Is there a particular reason you want to do this?

Curt


Does anyone know much about parallel port floppy drives? I've mentioned it before, and would like to try to make a ppt floppy work on an ST. Just an idea.

BTW, does anyone know what's going on with atari-forum??

NathanAllan
February 2nd, 2007, 10:08 AM
Should be possible on the ST, perhaps a little googling may turn up such info.

Is there a particular reason you want to do this?

Curt

Just to have a floppy drive and be able to get files to it. Plus, I have about a ton of pc hardware that is usable and ready to be hooked to something. So I guess no particular reason, but I need access to some kind of thing to let me get the machines open to new data to come in(and try to not have cables snaking through the house). I might break down and buy a satandisk.

I just had another 520stfm come in, and it has a working fdd in it (other one didn't) so I have a little relief. It's kind of frustrating.

Nathan

Terry Yager
February 2nd, 2007, 08:13 PM
I have a (non-vintage) Dell Lattitude CPi, which has a floppy that can be used in the swap-bay, or, with appropriate cable, jacked-into the parallel port. Other than that, I have little or no experience, although I have used a parallel <--> SCSI adaptor for many years, mainly to add CD to old machines.

--T