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Atari Disk Drives

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    Atari Disk Drives

    Does anyone know what the differences were between Atari's 810 and 1050 drives and competing drives from companies like Rana?

    Were they 100% compatible or did they have alternate higher-density modes?

    Thanks,

    Erik
    The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
    The Vintage Computer

    #2
    Re: Atari Disk Drives

    "Erik" wrote in message:

    > Does anyone know what the differences were between
    > Atari's 810 and 1050 drives and competing drives from
    > companies like Rana?

    > Were they 100% compatible or did they have alternate
    > higher-density modes?

    According to my book the Atari 800 & Atari 1200XL had
    support for disk drives (possibly the Atari 810 drive I
    suppose) & only allowed 88.4k per disk. I couldn't image
    a 16bit computer having much use for that. But maybe
    the Atari XE used the same drive as the Atari ST. But I
    cannot be certain.

    Cheers.
    Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

    Comment


      #3
      810-1050

      The only real difference is that the 1050 supported a new mode called enhanced density. Still 40 tracks, but instead of 18 sectors, I think it went to 26 sectors per track.

      I don't know about Rana specifically. Some other companies who made drives supported true double density, like the Astra Double D. There were various upgrades for the 1050, most of which gave you double density.

      Comment


        #4
        While packing for my move I spent a bit of extra time bagging my various magazines.

        I noticed that issue 17 of Antic (I think) was a "Disk Drive" issue. I didn't have time to research my question, but I will once I've moved and unpacked. . .

        Erik
        The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
        The Vintage Computer

        Comment


          #5
          Tsagoth is right. The differences between the Atari 810 and 1050 (besides the fact that a 1050 is a half-height drive and the 810 is not) was the format. 1050 formats 26 sectors, 810 does 18. That meant 1010 sectors on an "enhanced" density 1050 vs. the 707 on the 810. Each sector =128 bytes. You can get 127K on a ED disk, or 88K on a SD disk.

          The only true double sided, double density drive made by Atari was the XF551. And, I stand to be corrected, but I SWEAR that there was/is a conversion kit available for it to go from a 5.25" to a 3.5" disk.

          Of all of them, the Indus GT drive (DS/DD) was my favorite. It was the Caddilac of floppy drives for the Atari.

          Comment


            #6
            Oh, yeah... CP/M User: The Atari 8-bits (with the right DOS) can access up to a 16MB disk.

            Check out...

            http://home.wanadoo.nl/mr.atari/
            and
            http://www.atarimax.com/

            I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE Interface", but I think it can go well over 16MB. I just know that DOS XE, SpartaDOS, and, I think, MYDOS 4.5 can only go up to 16 megs, regardless of which particular Atari computer you are using, with the possible exception of the original 8K RAM 400's. They can too, but they have to have a memory upgrade to even load any version of DOS and have any kind of reasonable memory space left.

            Comment


              #7
              "AtariManiac" wrote in message:

              > Oh, yeah... CP/M User: The Atari 8-bits (with
              > the right DOS) can access up to a 16MB disk.

              > Check out...

              > http://home.wanadoo.nl/mr.atari/
              > and
              > http://www.atarimax.com/

              > I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE
              > Interface", but I think it can go well over 16MB.
              > I just know that DOS XE, SpartaDOS, and, I
              > think, MYDOS 4.5 can only go up to 16 megs,
              > regardless of which particular Atari computer
              > you are using, with the possible exception of
              > the original 8K RAM 400's. They can too, but
              > they have to have a memory upgrade to even
              > load any version of DOS and have any kind of
              > reasonable memory space left.

              Strewth, well it just goes to show that an old
              (nearly 20 year old book) can be well & truely
              out of date!

              Cheers.
              Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

              Comment


                #8
                drives

                Hi there,

                For the Atari disk drives have alook at the atari FAQ everything is in there + some links to pics or more info...
                More or less the same thing concerning the IDE interfaces...

                Romu

                Comment


                  #9
                  >I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE Interface", but I think it can >go well over 16MB.


                  As for info about Atari diskdrives:
                  http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit...ection-20.html

                  As for the 16MB limit, this is a DOS limit. In those days they never thought about such large volumes, and to maintain compatibility all DOS' do support ''only'' up to 16MB.

                  Back then, a special version of MyDOS claimed to have 48MB as the limit, but it was never released to the public.

                  A new DOS is in the make (albeit a while since I received the last beta-update) which is compatible with the Sparta-Dos diskstructure but with virtually no limits, however the limit will now be fixed to 64MB max.

                  Atari ST diskdrives are not compatible in any way to a standard Atari XL and XE computer. An ST drive is just a bare disk-mechanic (like Amiga/PC) while the floppycontroller is built into the computer, where the XL/XE drives are ''intelligent'' devices and have their own processors.

                  Several third-party upgrades for the XF551 do exist to attach an extra 720KB 3.5'' mechanic to the diskdrive in addition to the original 360KB 5,25'' one, but one can simply exchange the standard 40 tracks EPROM of an XF551 for an 80 tracks one to support double-sided 720KB disks. When using an EPROM which is twice as big you can easily switch between the ''old'' 40 tracks code and the new 80 tracks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Fox-1 / MNX
                    >I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE Interface", but I think it can >go well over 16MB.


                    As for info about Atari diskdrives:
                    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit...ection-20.html

                    As for the 16MB limit, this is a DOS limit. In those days they never thought about such large volumes, and to maintain compatibility all DOS' do support ''only'' up to 16MB.

                    Back then, a special version of MyDOS claimed to have 48MB as the limit, but it was never released to the public.

                    A new DOS is in the make (albeit a while since I received the last beta-update) which is compatible with the Sparta-Dos diskstructure but with virtually no limits, however the limit will now be fixed to 64MB max.

                    Atari ST diskdrives are not compatible in any way to a standard Atari XL and XE computer. An ST drive is just a bare disk-mechanic (like Amiga/PC) while the floppycontroller is built into the computer, where the XL/XE drives are ''intelligent'' devices and have their own processors.

                    Several third-party upgrades for the XF551 do exist to attach an extra 720KB 3.5'' mechanic to the diskdrive in addition to the original 360KB 5,25'' one, but one can simply exchange the standard 40 tracks EPROM of an XF551 for an 80 tracks one to support double-sided 720KB disks. When using an EPROM which is twice as big you can easily switch between the ''old'' 40 tracks code and the new 80 tracks.
                    You could technically run an Atari ST disk drive off the XF551 controller board with a ribbon cable. I used to have a pair of SF354 360K Atari ST disk drives hooked to my ATR8000 interface (great box, was a CP/M system that allowed Atari's to use its disk drive, serial and parallel ports and with a terminal software cart or disk you could make your Atari its terminal and run CP/M software on it and save your info in Atari disk format)



                    Curt
                    Curt Vendel
                    Atari Historian
                    ----------------------
                    The Atari Museum
                    http://www.atarimuseum.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "atarimuseum" wrote:

                      > You could technically run an Atari ST disk drive off the XF551
                      > controller board with a ribbon cable. I used to have a pair
                      > of SF354 360K Atari ST disk drives hooked to my ATR8000
                      > interface (great box, was a CP/M system that allowed Atari's
                      > to use its disk drive, serial and parallel ports and with a terminal
                      > software cart or disk you could make your Atari its terminal
                      > and run CP/M software on it and save your info in Atari disk
                      > format)

                      I'm guessing that if you really wanted to, you could have CP/M-68 based system running on those machines, otherwise the support for a large quantity of 8bit CP/M programs for an Atari based system would be through emulation program.

                      The CP/M-68 based system was designed for those 68000 based processing systems though.

                      Cheers,
                      CP/M User.
                      Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                      Comment


                        #12
                        True,

                        But we were discussing the Atari 8bit line of drives and computers which are 6502 based, the later Atari ST series of computers used CP/M68 and DRI's GEM to create "Jayson" the 68000 version of GEM for Atari known as TOS




                        Curt
                        Curt Vendel
                        Atari Historian
                        ----------------------
                        The Atari Museum
                        http://www.atarimuseum.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          "atarimuseum" wrote:

                          > True,

                          > But we were discussing the Atari 8bit line of drives and computers which
                          > are 6502 based, the later Atari ST series of computers used CP/M68 and
                          > DRI's GEM to create "Jayson" the 68000 version of GEM for Atari known
                          > as TOS

                          Oh okay, you'd need a Z80 cartridge, which AFAIK doesn't exist (unless a 3rd party or enthusiest did one). Well I guess if they can do a Z80 card for the BBC series computers to run CP/M, theorically Atari could do it as well.

                          CP/M User.
                          Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                          Comment


                            #14
                            For the record, there was a Z80 card for the C64 too, but I'm not sure how useful it was and whether CP/M was possible to run. Maybe if it would be combined with a much later REU memory expansion..
                            Anders Carlsson

                            Comment


                              #15
                              "carlsson" wrote:

                              > For the record, there was a Z80 card for the C64 too, but I'm not sure
                              > how useful it was and whether CP/M was possible to run. Maybe if it
                              > would be combined with a much later REU memory expansion..

                              I was almost going to mention this earlier, though a C64 is an enhanced CPU of the 6502 (6510). Rumor had it that, even though it could run CP/M via a Z80 Cartridge, it's 1 Mhz processor was a touch slow? Or was it the Disk Drive being the drawback? (Possibly both?)

                              CP/M User.
                              Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                              Comment

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