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Atari ST cable question

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    Atari ST cable question

    I thought its been long enough; time to give my two Atari ST computers some love. I have never been able to use my 520 ST because I never had an external Floppy drive. Well one just arrived in the mail today. An SF 354 drive to be precise. Came with the Power supply and a spare ST mouse as well! Here is the problem. Where do I find 14 pin Din cables?! Can I buy the ends and make them myself? Anyone have the pinout? Surely someone must have solved this by now. Would love to know. Thanks!
    Micks-l1600 (1).jpg

    #2
    If you're desperate, I still have one kicking around from my ST days. It's not long--maybe 18 inches or so and terminated in a DC37F connector, so standard PC external floppies can be used with it. I got sick of using the original 520ST single-sided cheap drive. The cable will allow for two double-sided drives.

    Let me know.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    Comment


      #3
      Supposedly the 354 is dual sided, thats why I bought it (according to the tech tangent videos I watched recently). What would I have to modify on the cable to make it work with this drive again?

      Comment


        #4
        Dunno, my recollection of the innards of the drive is that it was cheap and didn't use a standard (Shugart-type) connection. Beyond that, you're asking me to go back more than 30 years. The information must be online somewhere.
        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

        Comment


          #5
          The SF-354 Service Manual has the pinout for the 14-pin connector. http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/...eManual_v2.pdf


          Everything I see is that the SF-354 is single sided while the SF-314 is double sided so it might be good to open up the drive and verify whether there are two read/write heads.

          Comment


            #6
            Yeah, single-sided, low quality. I had to do some real work on the ST, so I replaced it with a external box with two NEC 720K drives. Then built my own hard disk adapter and doubled the RAM in the 520 by piggy-backing chips. For a time, I was registered in the ST developer's program--I donated a couple of large boxes of documentation to a Chicago area Atari group. They said they'd post it on the web, but I suspect that it just collected fungus in someone's basement.

            By the late 80s, PCs clearly had Atari systems outclassed and I lost interest. Never could stand the keyboard in the ST, even with "booster" springs installed.
            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

            Comment


              #7
              Could be right.. Probably are. Sounds like you have had experience in the matter. Im definitely interested in the cable. Send me a pm so we can figure out the details. Thanks

              Mick

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                Supposedly the 354 is dual sided, thats why I bought it (according to the tech tangent videos I watched recently). What would I have to modify on the cable to make it work with this drive again?
                No, that is not. SF-354 is single sided and you will nit have a lot of fun with it as most available software is on double sided disks. SF-314 is the double sided one.
                <album>

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                  Dunno, my recollection of the innards of the drive is that it was cheap and didn't use a standard (Shugart-type) connection. Beyond that, you're asking me to go back more than 30 years. The information must be online somewhere.
                  No, that is wrong. The DIN cable and the inside connector in the SF-354 box is shugart. Some SF-314 have an additional single chip microprocessor surveilling the shugart bis signals and potecting the drive from some bad action. but until now nobody found out what exactly. That chip takes some drive signals from the computer, combines them for some logics analyzing and takes over the control for these signals towards the drive. Maybe some protection that the drive does not access tracks over 80, or whatever...

                  The good thing is that you can swap the drive with a double sided one or with a Gotek with Flashfloppy firmware, and then using the game disk images found everywhere om the internet.

                  By the way, here in vcfed, you are quite alone with Atari ST computer topics, it's a good forum however, for PC, CP/M and others, but the Atari scene meets in atari-forum.com, and it's very active there.
                  <album>

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Its been a bit empty here in general.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                      Its been a bit empty here in general.
                      I think the miserable forum software has a lot to do with the dearth of participation. The forum becomes non-responsive for minutes at a time throughout the day and I cannot remember the last time a PM actually made it in either direction.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by 1ST1 View Post

                        No, that is wrong. The DIN cable and the inside connector in the SF-354 box is shugart. Some SF-314 have an additional single chip microprocessor surveilling the shugart bis signals and potecting the drive from some bad action. but until now nobody found out what exactly. That chip takes some drive signals from the computer, combines them for some logics analyzing and takes over the control for these signals towards the drive. Maybe some protection that the drive does not access tracks over 80, or whatever....
                        That was not the case for my 520ST. The floppy drive was a sheet-metal body with no edge- or header-connector. It was so terrible that I threw it out. I cobbled up a box with two NEC 720K drives with the external connector being a 34-conductor blue ribbon using a Racal Vadic modem power supply. Worked fine right up until the time I sold the system a few years ago.

                        The message that I got from the 520ST (and I did the piggyback mod to bring it up to 512K) was "Muntz!" The keyboard feel was horrible, even with third-party booster springs. And I was an official Atari developer, complete with the big box of three-ring documentation that Atari never bothered to provide binders for. I still have my wire-wrap SCSI-to-ACSI prototype card.
                        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The drives used inside the external cases are the same used in later STs that had the floppy built-in. They are all standard shugart and even interchangeable.

                          That doesn't mean very early drives may have been hard-wired, but I doubt many will run across such drives.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My 520ST was purchased from a dealer who was sent an evaluation unit early on by Atari. So probably a very early version.

                            The attractiveness of it was that it used a 68K CPU and could run Magic Sac. The rest of the unit screamed "cheap".
                            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by 1ST1 View Post


                              By the way, here in vcfed, you are quite alone with Atari ST computer topics, it's a good forum however, for PC, CP/M and others, but the Atari scene meets in atari-forum.com, and it's very active there.
                              Interested to see this discussion; glad to see you're all here.... As Verault has observed, not much activity. I am registered on atari-forum.com but that's for 16+ bit. May I ask the illuminati where to find a forum for 8-bit Ataris?

                              I just acquired an 800XL and have some technical questions about modifications: How to replace BASIC B ROM with BASIC C, if needed; how to output separate chroma signal; how to move files from Internet sites onto a 1050 disk.

                              -CH-


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