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Thread: floppy drive trouble

  1. #1

    Default floppy drive trouble

    The floppy drive on my "AVL Road Roadrunner", which has been identified by forum member "AVL54" as a "Shugart SA400 diskette drive", has been giving me trouble. It has stopped reading disks - it doesn't even give a "disk read error" message. Please watch this short video to see how it responds when a disk is inserted and power is turned on. Here I give the head a shove first, to force it to reset...

    https://youtu.be/U0-Ssd1wtXM

    Your thoughts here are appreciated.

    Steve


  2. #2
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    It doesn't look like the disk was rotating which suggests checking the belt on the bottom of the drive.

    I am not familiar with the Road Runner.

  3. #3
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    I don't think that I've got a sample of that machine--all of the AVL samples that I have are 96 tpi.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    It doesn't look like the disk was rotating which suggests checking the belt on the bottom of the drive.
    It is surely rotating from second 8 through second 10.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5

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    Here's an image of the AVL Road Runner.
    It's a purpose-built machine designed to program multi-image slide shows of up to 30 projectors. It outputs a timecode-like signal to the dissolve units (Doves) that drive the projectors.
    It can be operated using the keyboard alone, or in conjunction with an "expansion module", disk drive and monitor, as seen here.
    AVL_Road_Runner.jpg

  6. #6

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    Chuck, the RR seems to use the same 96 tpi scheme...

    Snap 2018-08-30 at 21.56.24.jpg

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    So the drive isn't really an SA-400 (which was 48 tpi). Do we know what it is?

    I wonder how much the innards of the RR resemble that of the Eagle.

  8. #8

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    Chuck,

    The Road Runner and Eagle don't LOOK much alike - the RR is a 56k machine - it's just the keyboard unit. It can operate on it's own using a built-in one-line LCD display. The Expander unit provides more RAM and the ability to make use of a monitor and floppy drive.

    I have two floppy drives for the RR (it can only use one). The case is identical for both with no external branding other than AVL. The drive in question in this thread is #2. Hopefully this will help identify the "real" make and model. At some point soon I will open up the RR and expander cases and post images of the guts of each.

    #1 AVL_RR_floppy_1.jpg

    #2 AVL_RR_floppy_2.jpg

  9. #9
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    Unless someone jumps up and claims they know the drives intimately, you're going to have to remove the drive and read the model number off the sticker in the rear to determine what you've got. It does appear to be a Shugart SA400L, however. That would make it a 48tpi drive.

  10. #10

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    Chuck,

    YES, a closer look shows that #2 is in fact a 400L. It says as much on the upper left corner of the picture of the board. But where does that leave me? My disks say 96 TPI, they are meant for the Road Runner, but you say that the 400L is a 48 TPI drive? And, is any of that germaine to my problem? As there's no way that I am aware of to "boot to the OS" with this machine, my options seem limited.

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