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Thread: RK05 disk drive versions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Smile RK05 disk drive versions

    Last Friday I've picked up these lovely little RK05 drives... There are some differences between them.
    There are two RK05 drives and two RK05J drives.

    One of the RK05 -seems- to be converted to a RK05J. The M7702 is replaced by a M7681 and the
    M7700 is replaced by a M7680 to convert from a RK05 to RK05J. I was wondering, is the backplane kept the same?
    And is there a document which describes the other differences in detail?

    IMG_20201121_212001.jpg IMG_20201121_212125.jpg IMG_20201122_171056.jpg

    I knew these drives were coming to me and I wanted to have a simple test interface.
    DEC had the RK05 exerciser but these are probably impossible to find. So I've drawn a PCB to
    interface with the disk. The test routines are described in the RK05 exerciser documentation.
    The idea is to put an Arduino Due on the board and plug it into the drive. Or use an Unibus cable and
    two H851 blocks. Then you could use the board outside the drive. Maybe it is even possible
    to read or write disk images at a later moment. We will see how things will go...

    Originele RK05 test interface.jpg RK05 testinterface small.jpg

    But it would help to know the differences between the drive versions. And I wonder if it would
    have any influence on the test routines...

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Huisman View Post
    I knew these drives were coming to me and I wanted to have a simple test interface.
    DEC had the RK05 exerciser but these are probably impossible to find.
    I drew the exerciser once upon a time. Even ordered all the parts, chicken-head knobs and all (except the PCB itself).

    I can't help with version specific info, except to recommend browsing the ECO logs. I doubt there was much different about the interface, though, as AFAIK they all talk to the same controller.

    Vince

  3. #3

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    I agree. As far as I know (and could find in the manuals ans such) the difference is merely the improved cards (M7680 and M7681).

    And regarding the exerciser, I have only seen the (same) picture, never seen one in real life.

    Oh, and an USB to RK05 interface, I'll take 2 please!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Groenenberg View Post
    I agree. As far as I know (and could find in the manuals ans such) the difference is merely the improved cards (M7680 and M7681).

    And regarding the exerciser, I have only seen the (same) picture, never seen one in real life.

    Oh, and an USB to RK05 interface, I'll take 2 please!
    Interestingly, the RK05j "sticker" I have on one of my drives is the one on which a unit select switch was added to the front. On these pictures, one drive have that modification, but that one does not have the updated front sticker.

    But apart from that, and some other internal improvements, I don't think there is any relevant differences between the drives. I wonder if the ability to run 8 drives on a controller requires the updated cards, possible. Old style addressing have four pins. One for each drive. So a max of 4 drives on the controller. There are variants of controllers which select drives with a binary encoding on these pins instead, and allowed for 8 drives.

    As for the RK05 exerciser, I happen to have one. Never used it, though.

  5. #5

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    As for the RK05 exerciser, I happen to have one. Never used it, though.
    Are you interested in selling the exerciser? I will have to bring eight RK05 back to play and would be interested in this tool. I think Roland is also interested, maybe we could share the tool?
    greetings,
    Volker

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnupublic View Post
    Are you interested in selling the exerciser? I will have to bring eight RK05 back to play and would be interested in this tool. I think Roland is also interested, maybe we could share the tool?
    greetings,
    Volker
    No plans to sell it. In addition, I have it somewhere in Sweden, while I live in Switzerland. And with the current travel restrictions, I doubt I'll get near it for the next six months...

  7. #7

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    CCould you make a few picture of it when you are back in Sweden?
    I only know the picture form the manual.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Groenenberg View Post
    CCould you make a few picture of it when you are back in Sweden?
    I only know the picture form the manual.
    That I could. But you'll have to remind me in July, when I might be getting close. I have a lousy memory.

  9. #9

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    I also have a RK05 exerciser. Will probably get to it sometime before christmas. Will be able to take pictures.

    /Mattis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default

    Hi Volker,

    Quote Originally Posted by gnupublic View Post
    I will have to bring eight RK05 back to play and would be interested in this tool. I think Roland is also interested, maybe we could share the tool?
    Well I think you are not the only one with a bunch of these drives which need to be restored.
    That is why I want to make something easy to built for others. Another part of my plan
    is to make the RK05 boards available for testing in Vince/Warrens Flip Chip tester

    Flip chip tester.jpg

    I need more hours in a day

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

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