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Thread: PS/2 Model 80 floppy workaround?

  1. #1

    Default PS/2 Model 80 floppy workaround?

    So, I have a Model 80-A31 with the 386-SLC "Blue Lightning" processor upgrade that has been sitting around and antagonizing me for the better part of almost two years. I originally bought this machine (alongside a P70 and 8515 display) for the price of shipping from a member on here wayyyyy back in winter of 2017 and since spring of 2018, has sat under my desk, doing nothing except looking pretty. Why? Well, unsurprisingly the floppy drive has met the fate of every other Model 60 / 80 drive out there (bad SMD caps, hurrah!) shortly before the system battery decided to croak. In other words, I have the same problem that everyone else who has ever owned one these systems has had, which is needing to run the RefDisk, but not having any damned way to run it.

    Since then I've bought eight of the older style (large button, card-edge connector) drives for twenty bucks (all dead), tried to replace the SMD caps on three of them (pulled the solder pads off of two of them, one of them "worked" but had a mechanical problem and ruined disks) and even tried to use the working drive from my 55SX by swapping the drive and it's cable into this system, which didn't even seek test on startup.

    I'd really like to get this system running again as it's an extremely unique system with a hard to find option, but instead of trying to do a fourth "hit and miss" repair on one of the dead drives again or buying another (most likely dead) one off of eBay, I'd rather try to find a temporary workaround to at least run the RefDisk and get this machine bootable again. I don't suppose anyone on here knows of any workaround or "unique" ideas to get this machine to do so, do they?
    Last edited by ButINeededThatName; February 10th, 2020 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    There is a known workaround to attach a standard 34 pin 1.44 meg drive to a PS/2. It involves making a custom cable and soldering in some pulldown resistors, but if you can solder it shouldn't be that hard. You can also try getting one of the newer style, 34 pin PS/2 half height floppy drives. I use one of those in my Model 80. I had to replace two SMD caps, but after that it worked again. I've also had two of the older style 40 pin full height drives, but even after replacing the SMD caps they didn't work either. There's a thread here and a video here, if you want further information regarding the mod.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willmurray461 View Post
    There is a known workaround to attach a standard 34 pin 1.44 meg drive to a PS/2. It involves making a custom cable and soldering in some pulldown resistors, but if you can solder it shouldn't be that hard. You can also try getting one of the newer style, 34 pin PS/2 half height floppy drives. I use one of those in my Model 80. I had to replace two SMD caps, but after that it worked again. I've also had two of the older style 40 pin full height drives, but even after replacing the SMD caps they didn't work either. There's a thread here and a video here, if you want further information regarding the mod.
    Thanks for the info on the modding a standard drive!

    As for using a later drive, should any drive work? Or is it only certain ones? I already had attempted to transplant the later style drive from my 55SX into this machine (took it's cable to use as well) and that didn't yeild any results. System acted as if no drive was installed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    248

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    I'm not exactly sure that every drive will work, but I assume most would. I've used drives from Model 90's and even one designed for PS/1's and had them both work fine. Maybe the cable you grabbed from the 55SX has a different pinout than the one you need for the 80? I would send you a pinout of mine, but my Model 80's not really accessible right now.

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