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Thread: Issues with Floppy-Controller and Drive on Olivetti ETV 300

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    near frankfurt/m, germany

    Default Issues with Floppy-Controller and Drive on Olivetti ETV 300

    I have two ETV 300: with one drive, fully operationally. one with two drives, power supply dead. Additionally an extra ETV 300 mainboard with graphics card and floppy controller. Graphics card and floppy controllers are add on cards which are plugged into slots on the mainboard.

    ETV 1:
    Floppy Controller 1
    Floppy Drive A1

    ETV 2:
    Floppy Controller 2
    Floppy Dribe A2 and B2

    ETV 3: (only boards)
    Floppy Controller 3

    So I took the 2nd floppy drive (B2) from broken ETV 300 (2) and put in the first (1). B2 is detected, but can not read. A1 drive still can read and write. So I put extra floppy controller 3 in working ETV, now both drives can read, but B: only for a while, after some accesses it fails. So I put floppy controller 2 from defective ETV 300 (2) in the working one. Now I could read from both drives A1 and B2, but write fails on both. Today evening I wil try what happens if I put drive A2: from defective ETV (2) in working one (1) instead of A1. So i should have floppy A2, B2 with floppy controller 2 in ETV 1.

    And if that does not help, no idea yet, I want ETV 300 with two fully working drives. Maybe you wonder, but ETV floppy controller has four potentiometers onboard which could be something to adjust floppy drive operation, I havent't touched them and I have no idea how to set them up.

    An ETV 300 service manual may help to explain about setting up 2nd floppy and these potentiometers, but I haven't one. While driving to office I remembered that somewhere I should have service manual for Olivetti DU 116 floppy drive, that is external floppy drive for ET 116 typewriter. Similar to Commodore VC1541 it has it's own Z80 processor and is connected to typewriter via RS232 and it is using the same ALPS drive like ETV 300 and Commodore floppy (but Commodore floppy does not use the shugart interface boards, but controls the drive mechanics directly). ETV 300 can read DU 116 disks. So maybe that service manual tells something about these potentiometers, even if the DU 116-controller board is different. I have to check this evening.

    Anyhow, if someone has any kind of idea, everything is welcomed.

    Maybe even Apple II users can help, the ALPS drive was also used in some Apple II dual floppy drive and the Apple IIe. Maybe they know these potentiometers as well?
    Last edited by 1ST1; September 19th, 2018 at 12:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaffee, MO


    I've loaded your Extracted Files to Dropbox. You can get the files from this URL

    There is full documentation included for every step I did and how I did it. Just select one File in a ZIP and plow through the .TXT file. If you have some known
    good files that you need transfered, I'd like them to do a test to see if I can insert them in the .RAW image, then rebuilt the tracks, and append them to a known
    good FM track 0. Then you should be able to boot the floppy. You may have to locate someone with a Linux Box to write the Image to floppy.

    You will likely have to use Google Drive or Dropbox to transfer a ZIP with .COM files as gmail doesn't allow ZIP's with .COM files anymore.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    near frankfurt/m, germany


    I have downloaded then and will have a look tomorrow.

    Today I fixed the floppy issue. When I removed floppy A2 from ETV 2 I discovered that four pins of the beckmann pullup resistor for shugart bus have been removed as this ETV 2 once had two drives and the 2nd was already terminated. Anyhow, as I lalso had to remove drive A1 I inserted drive A2 to ETV 1 and tested again with controller 2. Reading was Ok, writing was fail with both drives. Then I inserted again controller 1, and now both diskette drives are fully operational.

    On an archive provided by Enrico I found a software called When I start, it's complete in italien and keyboard layout also changes to italien what can drive one crazy. But it's interesting, becuase it can convert ASCII txt file to MWP (1st menu point) and MWP to TXT (2nd). So I was able to transfer an ASCII art graphics into MWP and print it on my ET 121.


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