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Thread: Truth on ZIP drives

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbbrutman View Post
    Nobody is disputing the quality of the information. However, the original post was clearly asking about the click of death, not the varied ways in which wall wart power supplies fail.
    Bad wall warts (the linear type specifically) can cause ZIP drive malfunction or death, it's related to the discussion. If the output voltage is too high, but not high enough to kill the drive outright, it can cause erratic behavior.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I'm not so sure about your diagnosis. I'll check the components later, but I'd put money on the transformer output being within spec. This design literally "cooks" the capacitors contained within.

    Measuring the output of an unregulated DC wall wart will always show a voltage above the nameplate. I've got one such in front of me, used on a CO monitor--nameplate is 12VDC, 500 ma. No-load output is 17.6VDC. That's just the way they're designed. The Zip wart is a rather elaborate regulated design--no linear IC there--the output is through a power NPN transistor. It's very different from the usual run-of-the-mill DC wall wart.
    This might be true on AC transformers, but not unregulated DC transformers in my experience.

    I've bought new unregulated DC transformers and the voltage on the nameplate is what I'll get on the output within +/-5% most of the time, even unloaded.

  2. #22

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    Once again, I'm not disputing the quality of the information here, or that wall warts can cause Zip drives to go bad. But the OP in this thread is asking about the click of death. So please start another thread for the wall-wart discussion.

    And this is part of the reason why it's so important to have reasonably good topics on threads. "Truth on Zip drives" is not very descriptive.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Bad wall warts (the linear type specifically) can cause ZIP drive malfunction or death, it's related to the discussion. If the output voltage is too high, but not high enough to kill the drive outright, it can cause erratic behavior.
    I'll defer to Mike and start another thread on this when I get a chance. Right now, I'm on a junk cleanout and have the usual big-box-o-wall-warts and will take some measurements when I get the chance. I've got some questions about the general topic that could do with discussion.

  4. #24
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    I'll add that I've got lots of Zip disks and several drives and have never experienced the click-o-death. That includes handling customer disks as well.

    Maybe I've just been lucky or I have the better-engineered drives.

  5. #25
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    6 of one a half a dozen of the other, I suspect.

    I was happy to never have it on any of my early Zip drives until the day they all started doing it. None of mine were ever subjected to harsh conditions or foreign disks.

    Oddly I pulled them out of storage after fifteen years and one just worked and has been working since. I've no idea why. It was one that wouldn't do anything beside click of death when I put it in storage.

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