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XF551 compatibility question


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#1 Rachel-Emma OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 12:49 PM

Hello everyone,

I've been looking at buying an XF551 but don't really know too much about it. I've really ever known and stuck with the 1050 that was fitted with Super Archiver and the Happy Mod Boards.

Does the XF551 read US Doubler disks??? I have stacks of US Doubler Disks that my Dad made up back in the mid 80's that I would still like to use. Also, would I be able to write US Doubler disks with the use of an XF551 that is connected to an SIO2PC interface?

Rachel :)

#2 sloopy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 1:28 PM

you may be better off just getting a 1050 USD, if you mostly play games etc, the XF551 isnt that much 'desireable' then a USD 1050... but the XF551 will read USD disks, just not at high speed unless you use specific DOS'es, or mod the XF with a upgrade ROM...


sloopy

#3 Fox-1 / mnx OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 2:53 PM

With some XF's you can't flip a disk. Others will only read from a flipped disk but can't format it.

#4 texacala OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 3:00 PM

I recall reading a review that said the XF551 is significantly quieter than the 1050, and a *little* bit faster, not much though. Not sure if that helps.

#5 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 6:03 PM

Well,

- XF551 with Mitsumi drives: will read & write the backside of a disk (if already formatted); will not format the backside, however, unless it has 2 index-holes or some sort of index-hole-redirection... (e.g. Vesalia in Germany still sells 5,25" DD disks with 2 index-holes: http://www.vesalia.de/e_525disks.htm )

- XF551 with Chinon drives (also used in Amiga 5,25" drives): will not read, not write, not format the backside of a disk (no matter if formatted or not), unless it has 2 index holes or some sort of index-hole-redirection...

IBM compatible drives usually also look for the index-hole, so you cannot use the backside of a 5,25" disk on them by simply flipping them over(like you do on the 1050 floppy drive). So most 5,25" PC floppy drives behave like the XF551, which is in fact a (modded/patched) PC floppy drive...

-Andreas Koch.

Edited by CharlieChaplin, Tue Jun 7, 2011 6:04 PM.


#6 qix_maniac OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 10:33 PM

I'd go with 1050 or indus GT.

xf551 :thumbsdown:

#7 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 1:17 AM

I'd go with 1050 or indus GT.

xf551 :thumbsdown:

I had thoughts of finding a NICE XF551 but they kept getting bid into the stratosphere. Then when I get it, it's going to need mods (ROM, SIO ports reinforced) to be decent. After all of that, some incompatibilities and shit build-quality? Nah, I went 1050. Happy 1050! No issues, and a super-size of nostalgia.

#8 Rachel-Emma OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 1:22 AM

Thanks for your insight everyone :) I think I will stick with my Happy 1050 then. It is a solid and extremely reliable disk drive and I've never had any issues. I could do with another one though but don't see many about. There always seems to be a few from the US on eBay but the ridiculous postage costs put me off from buying or bidding.

#9 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 1:44 AM

I think the XF551 is getting a lot of bad press here. I've had mine for 22 years, and it was running virtually non-stop for ten of them. I cut index holes in disks so I could use the flip sides back in the day when I was using the (supplied) DOS 2.5, before MyDOS and later SDX provided access to the full 360KB. With sector skew the drive flew at the time, although more recent ROM upgrades increase performance beyond what I could have imagined in the old days. It's still quiet, the SIO ports are still solid, the case styling perfectly suits the XE, and if the mech ever dies, I have the option of replacing it with another generic part.

My recently acquired 1050, however, sounds like someone dragging a steel table across a vinyl floor, and won't read any of the double-density, double-sided disks I made using the XF.

#10 Rachel-Emma OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 2:54 AM

I think the XF551 is getting a lot of bad press here. I've had mine for 22 years, and it was running virtually non-stop for ten of them. I cut index holes in disks so I could use the flip sides back in the day when I was using the (supplied) DOS 2.5, before MyDOS and later SDX provided access to the full 360KB. With sector skew the drive flew at the time, although more recent ROM upgrades increase performance beyond what I could have imagined in the old days. It's still quiet, the SIO ports are still solid, the case styling perfectly suits the XE, and if the mech ever dies, I have the option of replacing it with another generic part.

My recently acquired 1050, however, sounds like someone dragging a steel table across a vinyl floor, and won't read any of the double-density, double-sided disks I made using the XF.


Duely noted Jon. You have obviously had bad experiences with the 1050. If I can pick up a decent XF551 then for sure I'll have one :)

#11 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 3:40 AM

Duely noted Jon. You have obviously had bad experiences with the 1050. If I can pick up a decent XF551 then for sure I'll have one :)

Not bad experiences with the 1050 - simply very good experiences with the XF551. Since I had an XF first, all my media is tailored to that unit. The 1050 can't be blamed for being single-sided and a bit noisy. I don't dislike it, but I regard the XF as a much more capable device.

Edited by flashjazzcat, Wed Jun 8, 2011 3:40 AM.


#12 Rachel-Emma OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 3:49 AM


Duely noted Jon. You have obviously had bad experiences with the 1050. If I can pick up a decent XF551 then for sure I'll have one :)

Not bad experiences with the 1050 - simply very good experiences with the XF551. Since I had an XF first, all my media is tailored to that unit. The 1050 can't be blamed for being single-sided and a bit noisy. I don't dislike it, but I regard the XF as a much more capable device.


Oh ok fair enough. My 1050 was rather noisy at first but I took the lid off and oiled the rails and several other bits to try and attempt to quiet it down and it has worked. Good old castrol oil LOL. It's very risky though and you can't put too much oil on, just enough to make it run that bit smoother. It makes all the difference.

The bottom line is I would like an XF551 for sure. I know some people say that some disks written on the 1050 will read no problem on a XF551 but some say the opposite or at least not without a couple of issues.

#13 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 3:57 AM

Oh ok fair enough. My 1050 was rather noisy at first but I took the lid off and oiled the rails and several other bits to try and attempt to quiet it down and it has worked. Good old castrol oil LOL. It's very risky though and you can't put too much oil on, just enough to make it run that bit smoother. It makes all the difference.

The bottom line is I would like an XF551 for sure. I know some people say that some disks written on the 1050 will read no problem on a XF551 but some say the opposite or at least not without a couple of issues.

Heh... yeah the rails on the XF had a fair bit of machine oil on them back in the day. I was paranoid that if the mechanism went skyward in the late-nineties, I'd have been totally stuffed. But that drive owes no-one anything. It must have done sector transfers in the order of several million.

#14 Official Ninja ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 6:01 AM

Its simple.

You need an XF551 to go with a 65xe, 130xe, or XEGS. Replace the rom with the HyperXF rom.

You need a 1050 to go with a 600xl or 800xl. Get a USD upgrade for it. (Sloopy USD works great)

Any other combination looks stupid.

Seriously though, The XF without the HyperXF rom is slow and doesn't read double density disks.
However it does read the extended density disks just fine.

#15 Fox-1 / mnx OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 7:01 AM

You need an XF551 to go with a 65xe, 130xe, or XEGS.


I prefer functionality above looks. Selecting a disk drive just for the looks is just stupid.

Seriously though, The XF without the HyperXF rom is slow and doesn't read double density disks.


A stock XF551 is faster than a stock 1050 and should read/write double density without problems.

#16 Official Ninja ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 7:12 AM

You need an XF551 to go with a 65xe, 130xe, or XEGS.


I prefer functionality above looks. Selecting a disk drive just for the looks is just stupid.

Seriously though, The XF without the HyperXF rom is slow and doesn't read double density disks.


A stock XF551 is faster than a stock 1050 and should read/write double density without problems.


Thats was a joke... Thats why the next line stared with "seriously though"...
And why would it be stupid to choose a matching accessory? Saying that is stupid, is what is actually stupid.
People chose matching accessories for most things in life.

And the XF with the stock atari rom doesn't read or write double density. I got one NIB from Best a couple months ago and went through all that...

#17 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 7:40 AM

There was one game that won't work on a '551, namely the disk version of flight simulator (something to to with the index hole or was it the disk speed)

#18 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 8:16 AM

A stock XF551 reads and writes DD (256 byte sectors) just fine, although it takes some coaxing if you're using DOS 2.0.

It may be that your DOS is not set for DD. Is there a post in AA about your problem?

Bob




You need an XF551 to go with a 65xe, 130xe, or XEGS.


I prefer functionality above looks. Selecting a disk drive just for the looks is just stupid.

Seriously though, The XF without the HyperXF rom is slow and doesn't read double density disks.


A stock XF551 is faster than a stock 1050 and should read/write double density without problems.


Thats was a joke... Thats why the next line stared with "seriously though"...
And why would it be stupid to choose a matching accessory? Saying that is stupid, is what is actually stupid.
People chose matching accessories for most things in life.

And the XF with the stock atari rom doesn't read or write double density. I got one NIB from Best a couple months ago and went through all that...



#19 Faicuai OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 8:23 AM

...I don't have anything against the XF... but when it comes to build quality (e.g. PCB traces/tracks, tolerance to repairs/handling, etc.) you need to keep in mind that it belongs to the "Commodorized" era of Atari, and most of such HW is not really built to high standards.

In this case, I would definitely have to vouch for an original Indus GT. Gram-by-gram, bit-by-bit, this drive simply has no substitute... IT continue to impress even contemporary friends of mine completely unaware of its existence. After that, then 1050+Happy, not for aesthetics, quietness, etc., but for its VAST collective support, expandability, PAINLESS degree of serviceability (can be dismantled in 3-4 mins, flat) and plenty of parts available (e.g. you can buy a working 1050 spare almost overnight).

Enjoy,

F.

Edited by Faicuai, Wed Jun 8, 2011 8:24 AM.


#20 Official Ninja ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 8:27 AM

A stock XF551 reads and writes DD (256 byte sectors) just fine, although it takes some coaxing if you're using DOS 2.0.

It may be that your DOS is not set for DD. Is there a post in AA about your problem?

Bob





You need an XF551 to go with a 65xe, 130xe, or XEGS.


I prefer functionality above looks. Selecting a disk drive just for the looks is just stupid.

Seriously though, The XF without the HyperXF rom is slow and doesn't read double density disks.


A stock XF551 is faster than a stock 1050 and should read/write double density without problems.


Thats was a joke... Thats why the next line stared with "seriously though"...
And why would it be stupid to choose a matching accessory? Saying that is stupid, is what is actually stupid.
People chose matching accessories for most things in life.

And the XF with the stock atari rom doesn't read or write double density. I got one NIB from Best a couple months ago and went through all that...


Hi Bob.

The disks are self booting DD disks.
From here: http://www.mushca.co...index.php?idx=6

So the stock XF may do DD through a DOS or software, but not by itself?
These disks auto boot fine on a 1050USD drive. Not on a stock XF.

#21 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 9:09 AM

So the stock XF may do DD through a DOS or software, but not by itself?

Any disk drive needs software (DOS) which supports the features it offers. It's unreasonable to expect an XF551 to serve up 256 byte sectors when using a DOS which works with 128 byte sectors and has 128 byte sector buffers. Use SpartaDOS or MyDOS and the XF "does" DD - all by itself.

#22 Official Ninja ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 9:18 AM


So the stock XF may do DD through a DOS or software, but not by itself?

Any disk drive needs software (DOS) which supports the features it offers. It's unreasonable to expect an XF551 to serve up 256 byte sectors when using a DOS which works with 128 byte sectors and has 128 byte sector buffers. Use SpartaDOS or MyDOS and the XF "does" DD - all by itself.


Yes. Good stuff. However the XF will not auto boot these DD disk images.
http://www.mushca.co...index.php?idx=1

I had to replace the rom with the HyperXF rom. So that would make me hesitant to just say the XF does DD with no troubles.....

#23 R6502A OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 9:22 AM

I think the XF551 is getting a lot of bad press here. I've had mine for 22 years, and it was running virtually non-stop for ten of them. I cut index holes in disks so I could use the flip sides back in the day when I was using the (supplied) DOS 2.5, before MyDOS and later SDX provided access to the full 360KB. With sector skew the drive flew at the time, although more recent ROM upgrades increase performance beyond what I could have imagined in the old days. It's still quiet, the SIO ports are still solid, the case styling perfectly suits the XE, and if the mech ever dies, I have the option of replacing it with another generic part.

My recently acquired 1050, however, sounds like someone dragging a steel table across a vinyl floor, and won't read any of the double-density, double-sided disks I made using the XF.


It's the sound that adds to the nostalgia. That's why I have 2 1050s. :-)

#24 spookt OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 9:37 AM


I think the XF551 is getting a lot of bad press here. I've had mine for 22 years, and it was running virtually non-stop for ten of them. I cut index holes in disks so I could use the flip sides back in the day when I was using the (supplied) DOS 2.5, before MyDOS and later SDX provided access to the full 360KB. With sector skew the drive flew at the time, although more recent ROM upgrades increase performance beyond what I could have imagined in the old days. It's still quiet, the SIO ports are still solid, the case styling perfectly suits the XE, and if the mech ever dies, I have the option of replacing it with another generic part.

My recently acquired 1050, however, sounds like someone dragging a steel table across a vinyl floor, and won't read any of the double-density, double-sided disks I made using the XF.


It's the sound that adds to the nostalgia. That's why I have 2 1050s. :-)


Yeah - the sound and the beige ;-)

(The XL line is my favourite - I have a stack of 1050s)

#25 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 9:43 AM

It's the sound that adds to the nostalgia. That's why I have 2 1050s. :-)

I never had XLs back in the day, so I'm enjoying the XL line for the first time now. Which is good!




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