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XF551 Looks new but doesnt work.


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#1 gobo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:09 AM

Hi everyone

 

       I was a long time Atari user. Was kind of obsessed. :)  I got my Atari 400 in 1981 and loved it. While I've had an Atari emulator on every computer I've ever had (from Darek Mihocka's Xformer to Altirra), I recently got the urge for real hardware again. I bought my two original machines a 400, an 800XL, and a 1050. I went a step further and even bought the Atari 800 that I always dreamed of having back in the day! My 10 year old thinks they look "Powerful". I discovered I needed an XF551 because I wanted to look at some of the old programs I wrote again but they are save in the XF551 DS/DD format. I just got an one off of Ebay sold as "in box, untested, looks new". When it came I was pretty happy because the thing actually does look new, no marks at all and no dust, even in the creases. It even has that new smell to it! Unfortunately it doesn't work. When its turned on it makes a horrible head grinding noise and that's about it. I opened it up to see if there was anything obviously wrong but inside looks as new as the outside other than it missing that small metal shield that sits on top of the upper head. Is that enough to cause the drive to not work? I slid the head over and turned it on. The head moves back to the starting position then grinds. The metal shield is nowhere to be found. The SIO port solder joints look solid. I cleaned the heads with alcohol, even though they look immaculate. Does anyone have an ideas to what could make what looks like a new drive just not work?

  Thanks for any help.

           Tom



#2 spookt OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:20 AM

Silly question but have you checked the drive ID switches to make sure it's set to drive #1 (assuming it's the only drive connected)?

#3 brenski ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:52 AM

with the lid off can you tell if the drive head is (after it's initial powerup positioning) seeks or moves with a disk inserted?

the XF551 is very quiet when "in use".

 

any chance of  doing a YT clip with lid off?



#4 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:14 AM

That sounds like a Track 0 Sensor to me.



#5 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:37 AM

That sounds like a Track 0 Sensor to me.

Me too. If the drive mech is stepping then it's probably configured right.



#6 1050 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:09 PM

That sounds like a Track 0 Sensor to me.

Me three. Stepping out to track zero would be part of the power
up drive initialization still, it wouldn't be at a part of the
code to even query which drive it was yet. So selector switch
is not in play.

Missing head cover is not an issue, just an indication that
it got buzzed off there a long time ago by this same head
rattle if it can't be found inside the case. And they do
that quite often, it's only held on there with a fly spec size
drop of hot melt glue.

Attached File  on1023.pdf   106.24KB   55 downloads

ON 1023 is likely to be the culprit and this device is only
the base unit, yours would have a soldered on flexible
ribbon connector which just might be the real issue and we
can't know that from here. You'll have to do some sleuthing
there and verify what's wrong with the zero track sensor.
You can observe the IR light emitted with the use of a cell
phone camera and then checking for voltages at the solder
points for the ON 1023 device might confirm where the problem
lies. That thin film connector can be 'released' by pulling
up a bracket handle on the plastic plug which is basically
just a wedge that forces the thin film contacts into intimacy
with the jack's rigid contacts. To often the new guy doesn't
understand that the handle for that plastic jack release
needs to be pressed back down in order for it to work again.
Or the card is not inserted correctly as in fully, etc.

Availability for the ON 1023 varies, I got ten when Aliexpress
was selling them, but they no longer do that IIRC. eBay
might have some but it's a slug fest trying to find exactly
that one.

And confirmation that this device is a drop in replacement
in the first place is still needed -- it very well may have
one or more components mounted backwards or bottom for top
as well. It's just a close match to the case so far. The
internals should work if their contact legs are in the right
places. Which is the unconfirmed part.

Edited by 1050, Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:16 PM.


#7 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:50 AM

Missing head cover is not an issue, just an indication that
it got buzzed off there a long time ago by this same head
rattle if it can't be found inside the case. And they do
that quite often, it's only held on there with a fly spec size
drop of hot melt glue.

 

My experience with the head covers is that they're mounted with small pieces of foam tape that disintegrate, like the stuff that holds those shields on the 400/800 lids.



#8 gobo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:52 AM

Wow, thanks for all the help!

 

The dip switches are set to the Drive #1 position. When I turn the drive on the head just grinds in its position sitting towards the back side of the drive. The metal cover is nowhere to be found. Seems like its not really needed. It was held on with what looks like three tiny Velcro pieces which are still there. If I slide the head up manually then turn it on it slides back to its initial position then grinds. It looks like its probably the track 0 sensor you guys mentions. Never worked on a drive before but I'm going to attempt what Dragonstomper said to do. I also bought a drive on ebay just in case that I'm hoping is the drop in replacement Mitsumi D503V. The auction was actually for a D509V3 but on closer inspection of the photos the drive is actually the D503V. Hoping the sellers mistake is real. Got it for $16.

 

Thanks again everyone for the help. Will let you know if it works.

         Tom



#9 gobo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:57 PM

Well the replacement drive came but it didn't work, just not in the same way. It actually was the Mitsumi D503V that I was hoping it was and I thought it would be an easy swap. With the new drive in the motor to spin the disc spins up but that's it. Attached to the computer it just gives a "BOOT ERROR". When I opened it up to look inside I noticed that the head on the new drive doesn't move at all. So I figured, well at least I have a new track 0 sensor, so I installed that into the original mechanism but the head still grinds the same as before. I do notice now that with either track 0 sensor the head just sometimes slides to its default position without grinding, but still the drive doesn't work at all. It acts the same if its attached to the computer or not. Would it be a good idea to try to switch out the stepper motor from the first drive into the new one to maybe fix the head not moving? Could this all be the XF551's circuitry itself? Do the solder problems go beyond the SIO connectors? I'm at a loss.



#10 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:11 PM

Just slide the sensor a LITTLE towards the center of the disk. Try it. If it works, then keep moving it back until it doesn't work, and mark that position. Now, move it forward a little at a time until it works, and doesn't work again. Mark the position where it stops working. Move the sensor to the place exactly centered between the marks.

This is assuming a commercially produced disk is in, or one formatted on a known good drive.

Also, turn the drive off and on after moving the sensor each time

You should be able to get it close enough.

Absolutely DO NOT touch the stepper motor adjustment screws unless you have an alignment disk, an oscilloscope, and some diagnostic software. Edit: And you know how to correctly use the above mentioned items.

Edited by Kyle22, Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:14 PM.


#11 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:02 AM

depending on what mode the xf is starting in at the time it is normal for it to tap the limiting bracket ever so lightly from time to time.....

the replacement mech may not have it's jumper setting on the drive set correctly....

I would not go about adjusting sensors etc. until I was sure the drive jumpered properly


Edited by _The Doctor__, Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:03 AM.


#12 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:09 AM

That piece of metal on top is needed but the drive can work and should operate without too. The top shield plate is for what we would call the backside of the floppy.

Since the drive is new but thus part is missing and you hear noise that metal thing is probably still somewhere inside the mechanism on a place where it shouldn't be.

Perhaps it is fallen somewhere in the rotating part on the bottom of the drive.

#13 gobo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:58 PM

Ok, Funny thing is even though I thought I looked thoroughly inside the drive and didn't see the top shield plate I actually found it! I saw that the disc was spinning slower the replacement mechanism I bought so I when I looked closer at the drive motor there it was wedged 90% inside it. After I got it out the drive motor works fine. I connected both the mechanisms to a PC but both just spun the drive motor, no head action at all. I think I replaced the track zero sensor from the ebay drive to the XF551 but it didn't make a difference. I say think because I am not sure which part actually is the track zero sensor. The attached pic shows which parts I scavenged off the other drive.  The attached video shows what the drive head does when its turned on. Getting a bit discouraged. I guess its time to look for another mechanism.

Attached Thumbnails

  • xf551.jpg

Attached Files



#14 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:08 AM

The black thing on your pic closest to the powerconnector is the track zero sensor.

#15 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:11 AM

When I watch the movie:

 

That is probably indeed a failure in the Track Zero sensor or the connected circuit. 

 

When the drive gets powered the drive head moves until it reaches track zero and then it stops. Since the circuit does seem to fail, the head tries to move backward when it hits the border which makes this awful noise. Don't do this too many times. That small flat cable goes into a connector. Make sure it is connected right. Watch where this finally leads to, perhaps you'll find something odd. 



#16 1050 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:43 PM

One thing you need to keep in mind is that by default all PC drives
are jumpered to be drive 1 in a zero based count system. The
XF551 is expecting to talk to drive 0 and will not communicate
with drive 1 in a zero based drive count system.

Which means you will have to jumper any drive used in the XF551
to be drive zero which is the odd man out issue. Newer drives
can't even be jumpered to such a setting anymore.

Black circled device is the track zero sensor, if you want to
test the drive in the PC you will have to jumper it to be drive
1.

Drive select jumper.jpg

#17 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:07 AM

just another typical ebay crap-sandwich .... that sure does look like a track zero sensor issue..... a really crappy old cell phone camera or even household security camera can tell you if the infrared led is putting out..... just turn out the lights and look using the camera  if you see a lightly illuminated slit or dot the led is good.... then it might be the sensor.... that can be tested by using an known good led and flooding the sensor with it.... I had and old television remote the worked for this pressing the volume up and holding it worked wonders but your mileage may vary... do both mechs exhibit the same behavior?


Edited by _The Doctor__, Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:09 AM.


#18 gobo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:55 PM

Thank you all again for the help. I tried the cel phone video trick to see if there was a led flash but I didn't see one. I also tried it on the other ebay mechanism and didn't see one either so it may be something I'm doing wrong. I also tried a TV remote to no effect. The drives don't behave the same when inside the XF551. They are the exact same model number. I think the ebay one has a dead stepper motor because when it's turned on it just spins the drive motor, no head movement other than an occasion minute slide. The XF551 original drive spins the motor head and moves the head. It looks like it wants to work.The grinding doesn't happen every time. Sometimes the head just moves to the default position quietly. This grinding happens if its connected to the computer or not so I guess that means its not an SIO problem. Strange that it happens only some of the time. It never seems to even try to read a disk though. The head always stays at default. Looking at the drive # select jumpers in Dragonstompers post, mine are different. There are 4 rows instead of 3 and drive 0 is the topmost row. You can see it in the picture in the post above. If I turn the drive on with the jumper in any other drive # position the head doesn't grind or move at all. Again funny because this thing, including power supply and manual looks new. Guess I'll try looking for another mechanism. My great deal is getting expensive!



#19 1050 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:58 PM

There will only be a LED flash with the TV remote pointed right
at the camera lens. AND you have to change a channel or 'work'
the remote too.

The XF551 track zero sensor will show a constant light although
it's in a shielded case and not much can get out. .5 millimeter
slit is all and you have to be in between the LED and photo
transistor. A small shiny bit of metal placed in the gap to
deflect the light is probably the only hope of seeing these
caged type sensors.
On the 1050 they are rude, crude, and naked, so easily seen.

I agree, very suspicious about that defect coming and going
with no reason it seems. And I'm 1050, not dragonstomper
just like you're gobo and not Space Invaders, don't worry
about it, plenty of new guys have made the same mistake.
Diagram is for another drive, sorry about that.

So you made me go find one and you have a problem.

0227172111.jpg

This is mine and your thin film connector is half length and
coming in from the side too. The entire top of that white
jack lifts up to release the thin film connector. Somehow
someone botched that one real good. Where your diagonal cut
is in the thin film is in front of the right mounting
screw in my picture. You can just see the 'pad' on mine as
it enters the jack, this is a thicker section of doubled up
thin film but on the face away from us is tinned contacts
with three divots where the jack has pressed it's contacts
into the slightly wider sections on the double thick section.

So I see writing on this track zero sensor of mime.

Stanley KU121

Doesn't seem to bring up a single thing that's related to
this and a bunch of Stanley Kubric stuff just to make it
fun.

You could desolder the jack and use point to point wiring,
there is no need of the fast assembly gifted thin film nor
it's jack in the first place.

Since the thin film doesn't come with ON1023, it would have
to be point to point wired just as above too. We do what we
have to do. Keep us appraised of developments.

#20 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 1, 2017 2:01 PM

comes and goes wreaks of bad solder joints and the xf is notorious for this... you need to reflow the power, sio connectors, and anything that looks the slightest bit suspect... remember these are thin weak PCB traces. do clean careful work and don't be afraid of flux!

Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Mar 1, 2017 2:02 PM.


#21 gobo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:00 AM

Finally gotten around to re-soldering the SIO ports. Also checked the other solder connections which looked good. No change. The ebay drive spins up when the Atari is turned on but no head movement and the original drive still grinds even though I switched out the Track Zero sensor from the ebay one into it. So it looks like two bad drive mechs I guess. Does anyone know of another common brand and/or model 360K drive that is compatible with the 551? I've been very luck so far with ebay. Kind of going overboard lately. Got a 400, an 800 an 800xl (with type 2 keyboard) and 1050 that all look and work like new. I always wanted both a 400 and 800 together for some reason! Guess I was pressing my luck and should have just bought the XF551 from Best Electronics.



#22 1050 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:23 PM

Just about ANY 360k drive for the PC will work in the XF551.
Set it to be drive 0 is about the only thing to be done.

Attached File  FD.zip   3.59KB   26 downloads

Here is a non guaranteed list of floppy drives and their
aspects. Plenty of 360K drives to choose from in there.
This list was gathered a while ago and the site it came
from appears to no longer exist.

Teac FD-55BR is a fine looking substitute for the D503.

If you live in the States I would be interested in buying
your dead mechs. Send a PM for contact info if interested.
Waiting until you have a working XF551 is more than fine
too.

#23 enito OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:46 PM

Hi dont know if can help or something , but i have the same trouble, and inspecting the board, i discovered a missing part , looks like some smd resistor or something. Dont know if this necessary but i see some photos of mitsumi and have this missing part. If we can compare photo of this area and discover how i can fix, here the photo marked red the area missed part. Thx

 

https://postimg.org/image/ow3kcg5z9/

 

 






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