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Thread: Need advice on some 8 inch floppy drives

  1. #1
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    Default Need advice on some 8 inch floppy drives

    I have a seller who reached out to me with two 8 inch floppy drives to sell. I have been in the market to get an 8 inch floppy for testing for a while now. He doesnt know if they work and he only has the drives nothing else. My Actrix matrix computer has a port for 8 inch floppy drives, I am wondering if These would work. Please see the photos and any information is always appreciated.
    image1.jpgimage2.jpgimage3.jpgimage11.jpgimage12.jpg

  2. #2
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    Ah, Remex drives--among the weirder ones. Data interface to the host is an 8-bit parallel bus, so all of the data separation, etc. is done on the master. In other words, they don't interface to standard controller (i.e. Shugart SA800 interface)

    They operated on a master-slave idea, so there was a single drive that connected to the host with one cable and then a second cable connected to the slave drive. The drive label you have posted is the slave (81436-002); to actually use the thing you need the other "master" drive (81436-001).

    I'd probably pass these up. But you can judge for yourself--the manual is online at bitsavers:

    http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stut...loppy_1980.pdf

  3. #3
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    thanks Chuck. I was wondering why that drive looked so sparce... Ill ask for more photos. Lets say he has the other drive (master). What can I interface it to? Would I be able to use it on the same applications other 8 inch floppy drives would work on?
    The document states these use IBM formats for IBM systems 32 and 34, do these only work with big iron IBM systems or can they work on micro computers as well? Interesting stuff.
    Last edited by VERAULT; June 7th, 2018 at 10:01 AM.

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    The interface to the master drive would have to be to some sort of bidirectional parallel affair, such as an 8255 PPI chip. You couldn't use any standard floppy utility, such as imagedisk, as the command protocol is unique to these drives. Formats, according to the bitsavers documents are pretty much cast in concrete. So you don't want the master (-001) drive.

    However, the slave drive does have all of the standard SA-800 type signals on the interface connector, so you could use that one (the -002) drive in a conventional way and interface it to a legacy controller. For all I know, the box the guy is flogging has two slave drives--or he has just the single slave.

    But yeah, I think that you can make the slave work as a standard SA800-type drive.

  5. #5
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    Thanks again for all the info Chuck. This is something I am going to pass on.

  6. #6
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    I have a pair of Tandon 848-01 Mod IIs if you're interested. I rescued them from a former coworker. He said they were installed new and used about 6 months back in the early '80s. They haven't been run since then. Send me a PM if interested.

    Tom

  7. #7
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    The seller reached out to me again. He did in fact have the master drive as well and sent some photos. I thanked him but turned him down. If this thing is hard set to a specific format only I really dont have a use for it. Thanks for the info Chuck,

  8. #8
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    If you're only after a single drive, the slave doesn't have the single-format restriction and can be operated as a regular 8" SA800 type drive. The master drive is pretty much useless.

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