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Thread: Altair disk drive found (and bought) off ebay!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
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    179

    Default Altair disk drive found (and bought) off ebay!

    I was scanning ebay a few weeks back when I came accross an Altair disk drive for $210 "buy it now". I couldn't resist had to have it. Paid $370 all up for postage to Australia, which I though was great. Now, it doesn't have the controller cards, so I'm under no illusion of getting this thing to work any time soon, but I figure buying a part of history for $370 is well worth it.

    Here's some pics:



















  2. #2

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    that is a seriously good deal. congrats. i sold one just like it about 6 months ago for well over $1000.00!

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I thought it was a good deal. I found a few old listings on eaby for that kind of money.

  4. Default

    This might seem like a dumb question, but, where's the spindle drive motor? Does it have a DC drive motor on the bottom? Or is it missing, and does it belong in the empty hole in the drive chassis?

    If it's missing, will a standard spindle motor fit and work? I think I have still have some 220VAC spindle motors removed from some Shugart 8" drives when I converted some Shugart 8" drives from 220VAC to 110VAC.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, you're right, it's missing, see pic of drive below. We'll have to add one of those to the list (he he)!

    http://www.vintage-computer.com/altair8800.shtml

    Seems as if the yellow cable attaches to the spindle motor. I will inspect closer tonight.

  6. #6
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    Hold on. I just had a look at a couple of other pictures with drives more closely resembling this one and they are the same, i.e. no motor in that spot. See pic here about half way down the page:

    http://jeanies-altair.blogspot.com.a...1_archive.html

    Also I have a saved pic of another drive which shows the same gap. I reckon it's just the way this model is. Anyway, I'm at work now, will confirm later.

    Also found another here:

    http://www.vintagecomputer.net/MITS/...er-removed.jpg
    Last edited by kingchops; October 11th, 2012 at 09:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    Hi King;
    What you have is the regular DC drive, that Mits used. If you look at the other side of the Drive, You will see the Drive Spindle Motor attached/ Mounted Drirectly on the Spindle..
    Thank You Marty

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    Hi King;
    What you have is the regular DC drive, that Mits used. If you look at the other side of the Drive, You will see the Drive Spindle Motor attached/ Mounted Drirectly on the Spindle..
    Thank You Marty
    Yeah, had a look at it last night and confirmed that the motors are all there. One thing that is missing is the cross bar off the top of the drive cage. Not a big deal and would be easy to fix.

  9. #9
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    Hi King;
    Most likely Pertec used the same mounting/ holding shell for their drives, whether a DC type or an AC type.. It would have been alot cheeper.. Now look at another posting on this site, (Altair 8800 and 8" Drive) that talks about making His drive work/respond.. That way You can see if you have a good Spindle Motor, by carefully grounding or pulling high the various inputs to see what works on the Drive.. Better to check it out now, rather than find a set of Controller Cards and find that the Drive needs work or is totally bad..
    THANK YOU Marty

  10. Default

    So some (all?) of the Pertec 8" full height floppy drives used dc spindle motors like the later (to come) 1/2 height 8" floppy drives?

    That's pretty cool. I've never seen that (or it's been so long that I don't remember seeing that.

    It's been 30 years since I had my poor Altair (I got the thing in pieces, didn't have the Altair floppy drives, and never got it running). Had an IMSAI in pieces and never got that running either, LOL.

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