Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

Shipping 8" drive...looking for 8" floppy template

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Shipping 8" drive...looking for 8" floppy template

    I'm shipping an 8" floppy drive, and I'm looking for 8" floppy disk template, so I can make some cardboard cutouts to protect the internal mechanisms from damage during transit.
    Does anyone know where I can find a template?


    retro computing at: dead

    Do you have any 8" disk laying around? One clever shipper just used a cereal box and traced a disk when they shipped mine. Worked fine.
    Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


      Check if Bitsavers has a copy of the manual for your drive. It may include special shipping information like locking the drive heads in place. I remember some manuals include a sample template for the shipping blank which can be handy if there are any special tabs needed to keep the shipping blank from moving.


        I've seen one in my vintage stash but more immediately I have the IBM spec dimensions of the 8" floppy:

        Edges are 8.000 +/- 0.015 inches or 203.2 +/- 0.382 mm
        The center hole is 1.500 +/- 0.001 inches or 38.1 +/- 0.025 mm (centered as 4.000 inches from the edges).

        I was surprised to see a PDF in my floppy drive archives with the dimensions of the protective carrier cutout. I'll see if I can locate that. I have that computer offline for maintenance but I pushed backups elsewhere.
        Last edited by JDallas; November 22, 2014, 09:22 AM.


          Don't get too wrapped up with protecting the heads. The truck drivers are pushed to squeeze every spare second out of their deliveries. The personnel in the sorting facilities likewise. Yes, they will throw your flat screen TV over the gate rather than make the trip up the drive to the house. The old iron we love to tinker with is at once very heavy and very delicate. Your drive is going to get tossed across the room to land on a pile of other people's stuff. My H27 arrived with the approved inserts in place. The heads are fine. Both drive doors are punched in 1/2 to 3/4 inch in the middle courtesy of United Parcel Smashers.


            Hey, thanks guys,
            That's some great info.
            Unfortunately all my 8" floppies are still in transit.
            What I may do is take JDalla's specs and draw a template up myself. Gotta be better than nothing.

            Thanks again.

            retro computing at: dead


              Hi All;
              JDallas, "" -reference: Shugart, Format Manual, 8 Inch Floppy, December, 1981, Shugart, 475 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale, CA, 94086
              (a hardcopy from my days a SD Systems, but the document has so many errors its a disservice to release it to the vintage community) ""
              I would ASK You to Release it anyway, Maybe some of Us could Help You get it back to descent shape.. I know I would be interested in it, no matter what shape it is in..

              THANK YOU Marty


                Originally posted by Nama View Post
                Hey, thanks guys,
                That's some great info.
                Unfortunately all my 8" floppies are still in transit.
                What I may do is take JDalla's specs and draw a template up myself. Gotta be better than nothing.

                Thanks again.

                Are they all the same? I have one for Tandon TM-848's but it looks pretty specific with cutouts and an extension to retract the head, etc.


                  The Tandon blank is shown at in the file called TandonTM848_ShippingCarton.pdf

                  Has other useful information as well so good download even for people not shipping drives.

                  I think other 8" drives came with shipping blanks with changed placement of tabs and holes and a past thread covered the Helios drive which was very different from other 8" drives. I had a DEC RX-02 but I completely forget what preparations were needed for shipping.


                    Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
                    The Tandon blank is shown at in the file called TandonTM848_ShippingCarton.pdf

                    Has other useful information as well so good download even for people not shipping drives.
                    Looks almost identical to mine although mine has different jumper settings; like most floppy drives the TM848s came in several different versions...

                    Exactly 8" square BTW.


                      You don't have to use a shipping disk to protect the heads. The heads are lifted off the disk surface when the drive is not powered by the headload mechanism. all you need is something to keep the heads from clapping together in the case that the drive received a heavy shock. Better than a shipping disk is a floppy disk turned 90 degrees (sideways) so the slot in the jacket does not line up with the heads. The disk's jacket, the blanket inside, and the disk will cushion the drives head/s.

                      Some drives have a provision for a shipping screw that is screwed in after the drive door is closed. You just need a hole for the shipping screw (if your drive can use one).

                      You can also take a 8" square piece of cardboard and put a hole in the middle so the cardboard does not interfere with the spyder clamp. Does not have to be a precision fit hole.

                      To keep the door closed if you don't have a shipping screw, on drive that have a push in button/lever door release like Shugart SA-80X, 85X, and 90X, you can take a double thickness of cardboard, put a slit in it, and slide it under the door lease to lock the door closed.

                      Roll the head carriage all the way to the inside track.

                      To protect the outsides of the drive, roll the drive up in a piece of cardboard (like a burrito) sized to overhang the front and rear of the drive by at least 1" on each end. Tape the cardboard tightly so the drive cannot slide out. Get a box that leaves at least 2-3 inches on each side for packing peanuts. Do not try using air bubbles/bubble wrap, all they will do is pop due to the weight of the drive, leaving the drive unprotected.