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Unique S-100 computer (Z-80/Vector Graphic/Micropolis)

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    In the dialog box that comes up in the terminal emulator when you send the file, make sure the "Binary" check box is selected.

    Mike

    Comment


      Ah didn't even see that checkbox, that did it - the program is running! Will try creating a disc later today.

      Comment


        Thanks, this is really exciting to see it actually executing a program! I can't get the drive to seek on the first step. I entered 0 <ENTER>, and it'll just say "seek to track 0 failed" - I don't hear the drive spin up or anything. I tried 1-3 also, same results. I attached a picture of how the ribbon cable connects. I highlighted the arrow of the cable which is on the notched side of the edge connector. On the other end of the cable there is a plastic divider so it can only be plugged in one way. Do I have the cable attached the right way? I'm afraid to flip it in case that could cause problems. Or should I just try reversing it?
        20200511_141648.jpg 20200511_141700.jpg

        EDIT: Also, here is a closeup of the FDC address jumpers in case that may be a problem.

        20200511_143930(1).jpg
        Last edited by nullvalue; May 11, 2020, 11:53 AM.

        Comment


          Well after posting those pictures I noticed the edge connectors looked pretty dirty. I cleaned them up and retried the program. Now when I run the program and enter drive 0, I do hear the drive spin up! I have a brand new hard sectored disk in the drive. However it still gives me "seek to track 0 failed".

          Comment


            Send me a picture of the 4mhz jumper area shown here: https://deramp.com/downloads/vector_...%20Jumpers.jpg

            What speed is your CPU running?

            Mike

            Comment


              Originally posted by deramp5113 View Post
              Send me a picture of the 4mhz jumper area shown here: https://deramp.com/downloads/vector_...%20Jumpers.jpg

              What speed is your CPU running?

              Mike
              Here is the speed jumper area:
              20200511_194127.jpg

              The crystal attached to the Z80 is 8mhz.

              Comment


                The CPU speed is set by jumper area A on the COU board. Both 2 and 4 MHz use the 8 MHz xtal. But if this was all working before as a system, most likely the CPU is at 4 MHz like the FDC is set.

                With power off, manually rotate the head worm gear so the head is clearly not at track zero. Then run the program. Does the head move at all after you select the drive in PC2FLOP? Do you have more than one drive? Did you try both drives as an option in PC2FLOP?

                Mike

                Comment


                  This may be helpful to know but this system was found complete with everything except for the FDC board. That I had to purchase on eBay (vintage computer museum). I have no idea as to it's condition or what system it was pulled from. It was really odd - the ribbon cable was just dangling inside the chassis. The dual drive was there - but no controller.

                  Yes I have the Micropolis 1053-II, which has two 5 1/4" drives. '0' spun the top drive. Curiously, '1' also spun the top drive, not the bottom as I would have expected. '2' and '3' also spun the top drive.. I will open it up and try your experiment.

                  Edit: The head mechanism is not moving at all. Belt & disk spins, but no head movement. Occasionally I hear a squeaking/squealing sound like something is trying to move. Could the stepper motor be seized?
                  Last edited by nullvalue; May 12, 2020, 05:18 AM.

                  Comment


                    I have not had much problem with the stepper motors (head movement) in the Micropolis drives, but it could certainly be stuck or have failed. How hard is it to manually rotate the worm gear and move the head on each drive (with power off)?

                    Note that the hub motor will typically spin on both when either drive is drive is accessed. The hub bearings in those Micropolis drives are often bad. Remove the belts and see how freely the hub spins on each drive.

                    Mike

                    Comment


                      Thankfully, the hubs do seem to spin freely and smoothly, I don't feel any binding or grinding. With power off, I can rotate the worm gear using just my fingers fairly easily. I tried with a disk in both drives, 0-3, no options produced head movement on either drive. The squeaking sound I hear may just have been coming from the hub. On closer inspection, I don't really sense the stepper motor engaging in any way.

                      Comment


                        Sounds like you'll have to start diagnosing drive operation then. Now that you have the unit open, do both drives spin when either drive is selected? With power applied, can you still rotate the worm gear on each drive with your fingers or does it feel like it's being held in place now?

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by nullvalue View Post
                          Edit: The head mechanism is not moving at all. Belt & disk spins, but no head movement. Occasionally I hear a squeaking/squealing sound like something is trying to move. Could the stepper motor be seized?
                          Through rough handling in the past the leadscrew can actually pop out. Perhaps imagine a dislocated joint. Can you see that it is seated correctly at both ends. If you send the right signals you might get a tiny amount of movement when it is in that state.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by exidyboy View Post
                            Through rough handling in the past the leadscrew can actually pop out. Perhaps imagine a dislocated joint. Can you see that it is seated correctly at both ends. If you send the right signals you might get a tiny amount of movement when it is in that state.
                            I'm pretty sure it's in the right position. I took the whole thing apart, cleaned and regreased everything.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by deramp5113 View Post
                              Sounds like you'll have to start diagnosing drive operation then. Now that you have the unit open, do both drives spin when either drive is selected? With power applied, can you still rotate the worm gear on each drive with your fingers or does it feel like it's being held in place now?
                              Yes if a disk is in the drive, both drive hubs spin regardless of which number I enter. Yes, when power is applied, I can no longer move the worm gear.

                              Here are some pictures of the inside of the drive - if that helps any:

                              20200512_175012.jpg 20200512_175021.jpg 20200512_175233.jpg 20200512_175042.jpg 20200512_175100.jpg 20200512_175154.jpg 20200512_175914.jpg
                              Last edited by nullvalue; May 12, 2020, 03:02 PM. Reason: Added pictures

                              Comment


                                Do your drives start spinning only when they’re selected and then stop after 4-5 seconds, or do they run all the time like an 8” drive? When the drive is selected by PC2Flop, do you hear the head load?

                                Mike

                                Comment

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