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Thread: 8” CDC Floppy Drive Repair

  1. #1

    Question 8” CDC Floppy Drive Repair

    Hey,
    Just today, I got my hands on this cool 8” drive that I plan to use with my Zenith Data Systems Z-110 to transfer data between 5.25 and 8 inch disks.
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
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    When I bought it, I already knew that it was very dirty, and that it was also missing two capacitors for the power circuitry, which I have already bought and am replacing tomorrow, but there are a few more issues that I had not anticipated that I could use some advice to try and fix.
    First, the belt on the back of the drive had become brittle and snapped. I’m not sure where I can get a new belt or what kind I need. Also, the power switch on the front of the enclosure doesn’t click back and forth like it should, and instead loosely moves between the on and off positions, as if it’s not catching the physical switch mechanism. I’d love to know what kind of switch I could use to replace it, and if there is a way that I could short past the switch until I get a replacement. I have photos of the belt and switch attached below. Just ask if you need any more info or photos!
    Thanks!
    Belt (w/ 8” disk for scale):
    image.jpg

    Front of switch:
    image.jpg

    Back of switch:
    image.jpg

  2. #2
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    The switch looks like an ordinary illuminated rocker switch Like this However, you'll need to measure the hole size to get an exact fit.

    As far as the rest of the drive goes, it would be helpful if you could post the model on the nameplate. CDC made endless varieties of these things.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    The switch looks like an ordinary illuminated rocker switch Like this However, you'll need to measure the hole size to get an exact fit.

    As far as the rest of the drive goes, it would be helpful if you could post the model on the nameplate. CDC made endless varieties of these things.
    The switch looks good, thanks. I’ll be sure to measure it.
    Here’s a photo of the information on the drive, made by Magnetic Peripherals, Inc, which was a subsidiary of CDC. I drew over the image to make the stamped-in numbers more readable:
    37B31C4B-06EE-482F-B94E-99A758FA0563.jpg

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Thanks for the manual. I can’t seem to find much information on the belt. Do you know where I could find a potential replacement?

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    It's not going to be easy. If I recall correctly, these are rubber-reinforced fabric belts. At this point, they're probably strictly a custom item. There is a forum member, MicrocomputerSolutions, who specializes/specialized in repair of 8" drives. If he's still around, you might drop him a PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    It's not going to be easy. If I recall correctly, these are rubber-reinforced fabric belts. At this point, they're probably strictly a custom item. There is a forum member, MicrocomputerSolutions, who specializes/specialized in repair of 8" drives. If he's still around, you might drop him a PM.
    Thanks, I did that. Apparently he hasn’t been online in months. Any other potential solutions in case he doesn’t reply?

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    Well, there's this old discussion from Lorne on Herb Johnson's retrotechnology site.

    The guy referenced by Lorne is isellprojectorbelts and is still doing business. He won't know from beans about CDC drives, but if you provide him the exact dimensions of your belt, he might be able to find a replacement.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the info! I was able to find a part number for the belt and contact a company that reports 11 in stock, so I’ll have to wait for a reply. I also contacted isellprojectorbelts.

  10. #10
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    Good luck! It sounds as if you've got a handle on things.

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