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Thread: Microsolutions Backpack disk drive on XT? Power Supply?

  1. #1

    Default Microsolutions Backpack disk drive on XT? Power Supply?

    Hi all, I recently obtained a Micro Solutions Backpack 3.5" external floppy drive in a lot of stuff off Craigslist, which is cool because i'd been after one for a while now, unfortunately it only came with a data cable and no power supply. Does anybody happen to have one that could tell me the specs of the power supply? It seems to be a mid-90s model in a plastic enclosure. No markings anywhere regarding power supply type or polarity. I've searched old forum posts and gotten mixed replies as far as power supply types and basically NO mention anywhere, including the archived Micro Solutions website regarding the polarity of the plug.

    Additionally, before i try too hard, the idea was to used it to add 1.44mb floppy capability to older computers that generally dont support it. I've seen mentions that it should theoretically work on an XT, but was wondering if anybody has done it successfully.

    Also any software, namely DOS drivers, would be appreciated. As i said, i've spent a little time researching so trust me, i've read what i can so far!

    Excited to get this thing working!

  2. #2

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    These are commonly used with XT's. I have a few. For the one for which I didn't have an original power adapter I use an 18V/24V RadioShack switchable DC adapter (set to 18V) that came with a variety of plug head and use the one that fits the BackPack.

    Regards,
    Mike

  3. #3

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    Happen to recall what the polarity was? Thanks!

  4. #4
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    My Backpack 3.5" external diskette drive is a model 014350, pictured at [here]. (DOS driver is there too.)

    The following picture is of the power supply that Micro Solutions supplied with my model. 5 VDC @ 1600 mA. Inner contact is positive. Outside diameter of DC plug is 4 mm.

    The driver CD that Backpack supplied with my unit is at [here].

    I use it with my IBM 5150/5160/5170.


    Last edited by modem7; June 10th, 2018 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Added: I use it with my IBM 5150/5160/5170.

  5. #5
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    A previous thread here indicates that there are 4 different Backpack floppy designs using different power supplies. http://www.vcfed.org/forum/archive/i...p/t-19835.html

    I have a set of backpack drivers from 1996. I don't know if those will work with an XT. About 27 MB for a complete set including manuals and all devices or 857 kB for just the diskette drivers.

  6. #6

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    I have 2 of the same model 014350 drives that modem7 has and pictured on his website, Though both of mine were supplied with 14 VAC 800mA PSU's, To quote from the BPGUIDE -
    Compatible Power Supplies for Backpack Diskette Drives
    • All backpack 5.25” Diskette Drives (Models 1231, 3631, and 012525) use a 12VAC or
    13.7VAC power supply. Connecting a lower voltage power supply could cause a “Not Ready
    Error” or similar error message.
    • All backpack 3.5” Diskette Drives (Models 1430, 2830, and 014350) use a 9VAC power
    supply, although some were manufactured with, and are compatible with the 13.7VAC power
    supply.
    Though the copy of the guide i have may be an older one.

  7. #7
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    To the best of my knowledge, the drivers for the parallel port Backpack floppy drives are compatible across the entire range of models. The "conversation"/protocol hasn't changed a bit.

    I've written about this, provided a basic driver for DOS and posted the source, commented on the "unknown" switch on the SETID utility and noted that the PCB on the Backpack can support up to 4 drives.

    I'm not sure what else I can do for people looking for information other than to recommend a search of the forum (and for heaven's sake, don't use the "built-in" search; it's horribly broken and has been for years. Use a decent search engine such as Google and use the site:vcfed.org search term.)

    Finding information on the web has never been so easy.

  8. #8

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    Hey all, i powered it up with my 18v power supply and it works great. Slow, as i'd expect, but reads and writes disks flawlessly. Thanks for the help. Highly recommended solution for using HD 3.5 disks on an XT.

  9. #9
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    I'd drop that 18V down to about 9. The reason is that the difference between what's needed for a 3.5" drive (5VDC) and what you're supplying is dissipated in heat by the 7805 regulator. That heat has to go somewhere--and heat is the enemy of electronics.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I'd drop that 18V down to about 9. The reason is that the difference between what's needed for a 3.5" drive (5VDC) and what you're supplying is dissipated in heat by the 7805 regulator. That heat has to go somewhere--and heat is the enemy of electronics.
    i've got tons of 9v power supplies. i'll try it out. thanks for the advice!

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