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View Full Version : need help with kaypro floppy drive calibration



VERAULT
April 3rd, 2018, 05:44 AM
I recently purchased a stash of Kaypro computers and spare parts. The two complete systems were model Kaypro 4/83. I was able to get the two working correctly the issue I am having is the floppy drives. These units were stored in a barn so they were pretty dirty. They use Epson SD-521 (hate these drives!) floppy drives which use a mechanical button to engage the read head and eject the disk. The mechanisms were not working at all, they needed to be completely taken apart, cleaned and lubricated. However now that the drives can take and eject a disk I find they cant ready anything! In fact they EAT my good disks! I have used cleaning disks and cleaned the heads directly. No change. I dont know if its an issue of adjustment/alignment but these drives keep eating my cp/m disks and at 15 minutes to make a new disk that is alot of time lost!

I would like to get these kaypros completed and the only thing left is the floppy drives, can you guys lend some knowledge? Here are pics of the drives:
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MicrocomputerSolutions
April 4th, 2018, 06:50 PM
Kaypro used every brand of drive that they could get their hands on.

I believe those Epson drive are standard 40-track double-sided 1/2 height drives. If I were you, I would replace them with more available, more reliable, Panasonic or Shugart 40-track double-sided drive.

durgadas311
April 5th, 2018, 05:37 AM
That is scary that the drives are physically destroying diskettes. Have you been able to visually inspect the heads? Sitting in a barn, I'd have to wonder what might have gotten deposited on the heads and was not removed by a cleaning diskette. Also, the second side heads have sharp edges and if they got dislodged by rough cleaning (could be from heavy deposits dragged by the cleaning diskette), the edges could be coming into contact with the media.

Replacing drives sounds like the safest approach. I think I got one or two replacement Epson drives for my 2X a few years back, and never used them. I'll check to see if I remember correctly, let me know if you might be interested. But you should be able to replace them with any compatible drive, although the system appearance will be altered.

VERAULT
April 7th, 2018, 07:34 AM
yes I cleaned the heads myself as I do any other drive. I dont know what is wrong with these in particular. You can literally see the rings on the disk where it attempts to read and carves into the floppy a couple tracks.

VERAULT
April 7th, 2018, 07:38 AM
Here is my concern. The kaypro drives from what I have seen have a floppy 0,1,2,3 indicator of some sort. Not all drives have that. What kind of issues will I run into if I just slap in a 40-track double-sided 1/2 height drive that doesnt have that?

Also, one of my working kaypro units has a great floppy drive, the shugart SA455-3AA. But these drives cost a fortune off ebay : https://www.ebay.com/itm/SHUGART-HALF-HEIGHT-5-25-FLOPPY-DISK-DRIVE-MODEL-SA455-3AA/182782733203?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

If I have to replace all 4, its costing me mor than I paid for both units.

durgadas311
April 7th, 2018, 09:00 AM
Yes, you're are right, later vintage 5.25" floppy drives might not have a selectable drive number.

I checked, and I have three spare Epson drives. I bought them a few years back, they were supposedly calibrated and refurbished. I was trying to fix a problem with my 2X, but it turned out not to be the drives (it was mainboard electronics). What I have is one drive still in packing, and two that I took out of my 2X but are still good. I have no use for them, so I'd probably let them go for shipping. Let me know if you are interested.

VERAULT
April 8th, 2018, 11:54 AM
Yes, you're are right, later vintage 5.25" floppy drives might not have a selectable drive number.

I checked, and I have three spare Epson drives. I bought them a few years back, they were supposedly calibrated and refurbished. I was trying to fix a problem with my 2X, but it turned out not to be the drives (it was mainboard electronics). What I have is one drive still in packing, and two that I took out of my 2X but are still good. I have no use for them, so I'd probably let them go for shipping. Let me know if you are interested.

Durgadas311, sent you a PM just let me know if you got it about your kaypro floppy drives, thanks.