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8" Floppy Drives - 50 to 34 pin adapter options

8 inch floppy drive disk

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#1 talanthalus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 10:43 AM

Hello everyone, I did some searching and didn't find anything here, and my internet searches have turned up varied results, but I'm trying to look for the best solution to connect 8" drives with the 50 pin format to the ATR 8000 with the 34 pin format.  I don't recall if my old drives had an adapter board on them to step it down, but since I have ribbon cables a mile long that should have been for those drive cabinets back in the day, I can see it was a straight 34 pin cable.  There's some people selling boards with various capabilities, but they might not be what I need for my purposes, so I thought I'd check in here.  I'm sure only a small handful of people will have any experience with these anyway with the Atari systems. 

 

If nothing is out there, my next question would be whether there is logic in the adaptation to allow the drives to work, or if it was simply a straight cable that didn't use extra pins for additional functionality that the 8" drives may be capable of.  I think I can find schematics and make a cable if it comes to it, and maybe even off of what came with the drives.

 

Thanks for any information you guys might have to offer.

 

--Todd-- 



#2 JR> OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 11:55 AM

SWP did sell adapter boards, but good luck finding one now.  There's an article here that describes how to make one.

 

http://www.classiccm...g54306/cnct.htm



#3 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 11:58 AM

You would need an FDADAP. However, you will also need additional connectors and cables if you don't have them.

 

http://www.dbit.com/fdadap.html

 

Now, that's how you hook to a PC or a Kryoflux. I don't know about the ATR-8000.


Edited by R.Cade, Fri Feb 1, 2019 12:01 PM.


#4 talanthalus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 12:55 PM

Thanks!  From what I am seeing, there is no other circuitry involved other than to wire the pins from the 50 pin connector to the 34 pin connector, and if I'm understanding correctly, all of the odd pins are essentially just grounded together while the even pins are carrying the various signals.  As for the ATR-8000, there is no magic to that.  I recall at one point experimenting with a 3.5" floppy drive connecting to it, but I couldn't actually afford to keep the drive at the time, as I had borrowed it from work, and I had to return it.  I just bought a 5.25" bare drive as well, so I might try that out first.  I was just wanting to double check, that I won't be risking anything if I connect that drive to a common PC power supply and connect it to the ATR-8000.  Someone once, many years ago, had some serious concerns about that, but I'm not sure I see the difference between that and this industrial-sized 24v monster sitting on my dining table I'd be doing the same thing with.  This thing has no case even... 



#5 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 1:01 PM

Thanks!  From what I am seeing, there is no other circuitry involved other than to wire the pins from the 50 pin connector to the 34 pin connector, and if I'm understanding correctly, all of the odd pins are essentially just grounded together while the even pins are carrying the various signals.  As for the ATR-8000, there is no magic to that.  I recall at one point experimenting with a 3.5" floppy drive connecting to it, but I couldn't actually afford to keep the drive at the time, as I had borrowed it from work, and I had to return it.  I just bought a 5.25" bare drive as well, so I might try that out first.  I was just wanting to double check, that I won't be risking anything if I connect that drive to a common PC power supply and connect it to the ATR-8000.  Someone once, many years ago, had some serious concerns about that, but I'm not sure I see the difference between that and this industrial-sized 24v monster sitting on my dining table I'd be doing the same thing with.  This thing has no case even... 

Only if the drive does not need the TG43 signal, or the ATR-8000 generates it and you connect it. Otherwise you cannot write properly to the upper tracks where write current must be changed.



#6 talanthalus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 3:43 PM

Only if the drive does not need the TG43 signal, or the ATR-8000 generates it and you connect it. Otherwise you cannot write properly to the upper tracks where write current must be changed.

 

To be honest, I really only care about reading right now, because my primary purpose in trying this in the first place was to attempt to recover 6 boxes stuffed with disks without risking shipping somewhere and them being lost or destroyed in the process.  If someone near me had 8" drives, and I could cruise there with disks in hand, I'd abandon this whole idea.  I've purchased two drives and a power supply, but they arrived basically destroyed.

 

Also, it looks like about $60 for the nice professional looking board, $80 for a modern power supply that doesn't take up an entire room in my house and cause the entire town's lights to dim when I hit the power switch, and god knows how much I'll have to pay for an 8" drive that actually functions.  $50 for one nearest me, but the guy insists on $30 to ship, and I'd have no clue if it even works.  Good times.  I should be buying car parts instead! :)

 

--Todd-- 



#7 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 3:53 PM

 

To be honest, I really only care about reading right now, because my primary purpose in trying this in the first place was to attempt to recover 6 boxes stuffed with disks without risking shipping somewhere and them being lost or destroyed in the process.  If someone near me had 8" drives, and I could cruise there with disks in hand, I'd abandon this whole idea.  I've purchased two drives and a power supply, but they arrived basically destroyed.

 

Also, it looks like about $60 for the nice professional looking board, $80 for a modern power supply that doesn't take up an entire room in my house and cause the entire town's lights to dim when I hit the power switch, and god knows how much I'll have to pay for an 8" drive that actually functions.  $50 for one nearest me, but the guy insists on $30 to ship, and I'd have no clue if it even works.  Good times.  I should be buying car parts instead! :)

 

--Todd-- 

Find a local or semi-local vintage computer club.  :)

There must be someone near Austin.


Edited by R.Cade, Fri Feb 1, 2019 3:53 PM.


#8 talanthalus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 4:26 PM

Find a local or semi-local vintage computer club.  :)

There must be someone near Austin.

 

Good suggestion.  Atari in Austin, TX didn't maintain a really strong foothold over the years, so the one group that popped up will force me to trust in the dark side.  :)  We'll see if the Commodore guys will have a solution or even give me the time of day when they find out what I'm needing to do. :)



#9 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 4:59 PM

It's all water under the bridge now... We all get along.  No Atari/Commodore wars anymore, they both lost. :)  



#10 ACML OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 9:51 PM

I know this doesn't help with reading an existing 8" disk, but few people know that you can use a 1.2MB 5.25" dive on an ATR-8000 and format it as a 77 track 8".  I thinks its an 8" floppy and formats just under 1MB.



#11 Turbo-Torch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 10:17 PM

I don't know anything about an ATR-8000, but this is what I'm thinking of trying with my TRS-80 Model III.

http://www.dbit.com/fdadap.html

 

I have two brand new 8" drives and countless 8" floppies kicking around.  There's nothing cooler than monster 8" floppies, so getting those drives working with my Model III is on my future project list. :)







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