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19Echo

Astra "The One" Drive"

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Checking interest on the drive before i decide to list it. If i decide to sell it, i would prefer it to go to someone here. I can leave it in original state (yellowing) or ill be more than happy to restore it with the magic of peroxide.

Metalguy has verified the drive is in good working order. (Non Ass Rigged Certified) :P

 

Anyways if anyone is interested, pm me with any offers.

 

thanks

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Hello 19Echo

 

I'm sure a lot of us would be quite happy with some pictures as most of us have probably never seen one of these drives.

 

sincerely

 

Mathy

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gotta run and get something to eat. Ill post some pictures as soon as i get back. serial number for those interested is V10016. Model number 1001

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here are the photos as promised. The only thing missing is a small bezel that goes around the front of the case. Metalguy was going to fabricate one for me but ran out of time. I'm really not aware of what the value of it is so please dont ask me what i want for it. metalguy did value it pretty high so i am open to all offers and or trades.

 

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Yeah it's a good drive.. Mechanically/Electronically it's in real good shape.

 

It had common age related PSU issues. I replaced the Bridge rectifier, both regulators, all the diodes, and electrolytic caps. Should be good for another 20+ years now. The mech it uses LOOKS like a 1050 mech from the front, but is actually a shugart-standard single-sided mech made by tandon. SO with the right ROM, the drive should support standard 360k double sided mechs as well. Should also support dual drive mechs, as the mainboard in it is the same one used in the astra dual mech drives. So if you can get ahold of a rom dump from an Astra 2001, and burn it on an EPROM, you could use this drive's controller board (in a suitable case) to control two 360k drive mechs..

 

These drives also incorporate an MPP printer interface chip that drives the printer port on the back.

 

The Astra has no provision for any sort of "ultraspeed" as far as I know. Runs at the speed of a normal 1050 drive..

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Yeah it's a good drive.. Mechanically/Electronically it's in real good shape.

 

...

So if you can get ahold of a rom dump from an Astra 2001, and burn it on an EPROM, you could use this drive's controller board (in a suitable case) to control two 360k drive mechs..

...

 

I have the Astra Big D which is also a dual drive - wonder if that ROM would work? (I don't remember if the Big D has the Printer interface).

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Weird, I believe the 1001 is a single-sided drive, while The "One" is a double-sided drive. Your drive has both model names! Either the front piece or the bottom piece isn't original, maybe?

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It's all original.. serial numbers match, inside and out..

 

The "one" is not a double sided drive.. It's the same as the model 1001..

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According to their ads, The One is supposed to be double sided.

 

AstraTheOne-Ad.pdf

 

 

Here's another Astra ad, from Antic v5 n7 Nov 1986, page 100, where four different Astra model disk drives are described: 1001, The One, 2001, and Big D

 

Astra-Ad-Antic-Nov1986p100.pdf

 

 

 

 

It's all original.. serial numbers match, inside and out..

 

The "one" is not a double sided drive.. It's the same as the model 1001..

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Hmmm.. perhapse early on, they were the same product, and later, they expanded the features of "the one"...

 

This drive does not contain a 64k or 78k ramdisk either..

 

It does match all of the features listed for the 1001 in that ad.

 

Other possibility is that someone (other than astra) wrote in the info on that hand-written tag on the bottom of the drive. The serial numbers on the printed tag (as well as the hand written one) match the numbers inside the drive..

 

Im more inclined to believe, however, that they probably initially only had one single sided drive, and later expanded to two models..

 

The serial number is v10016... Possibly the 6th consumer 1001 sold.. who knows.. These drives were not very popular at all..

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Hey all, looks like I found 19echo's old thread about this "The One" drive after he posted about this drive on FaceBook recently, and claimed it was indeed him to started this very thread. I asked him for a photo of the internal PCB, and he shared one, which I'm attaching here to revive the thread!

 

Some things we can already tell now with the photo: Western Digital 2795A Controller, 6809 CPU, 6850 serial controller, and 2516 EPROM.. only 2KB (like the 810) - Not readable with his Ralf David burner, but maybe an 8K Atari brown shell cartridge PCB, like BASIC, Pac Man, Asteroids, then "Save Memory" with DOS like I did with the 850 ROM.

 

Can anyone identify the 28pin chip at the far right? "AMI 8451MAE, MPP-MPRNT" - I can't find much for specs on it so far...

 

Looking forward to seeing what secrets can be revealed from this rare drive. :)

post-53052-0-93543800-1557476666_thumb.jpg

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Hey all, looks like I found 19echo's old thread about this "The One" drive after he posted about this drive on FaceBook recently, and claimed it was indeed him to started this very thread. I asked him for a photo of the internal PCB, and he shared one, which I'm attaching here to revive the thread!

 

Some things we can already tell now with the photo: Western Digital 2795A Controller, 6809 CPU (like the C64), 6850 serial controller, and 2516 EPROM.. only 2KB (like the 810) - Not readable with his Ralf David burner, but maybe an 8K Atari brown shell cartridge PCB, like BASIC, Pac Man, Asteroids, then "Save Memory" with DOS like I did with the 850 ROM.

 

Can anyone identify the 28pin chip at the far right? "AMI 8451MAE, MPP-MPRNT" I believe its an SRAM, but can't find much on specs so far for size...

 

Looking forward to seeing what secrets can be revealed from this rare drive. :)

Pretty sure that chip labeled MPP is for the printer port. MPP made a few SIO to parallel printer devices, I have one that also incorporates a 64kB buffer.

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Good news folks, I've been working with 19Echo on this, and we are happy to report a successful dump the 2516 ROM of his Astra drive. (Which is labelled "Astra 1001" but oddly has a "The One" label on the bottom.)

 

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As you can see it was soldered to the motherboard, which he graciously accepted the challenge of removing since he had a desoldering station as well. He was successful, save for one broken pin which was repaired by soldering another one on top. The trick of placing the 2516 EPROM into an Atari 8K cartridge PCB (ie BASIC) worked great! We saved out $B000-$B7FF with the good ol DOS 2 "K. WRITE MEMORY" command, the resulting file from which I was then able to extract the raw 2K after stripping off the 6 binary load header bytes.

 

We can also confirm that the mech is in fact single-sided, expected for a 1001. (The "One" was double sided) Although, this suggests that the controller boards for both models were the same, and there was merely a firmware difference, or maybe even just a jumper, or some method to auto-detect depending on the mech attached. The label with " The "One" " on the bottom suggests that the cases were interchangeable, and probably got mixed up during assembly...

 

I know basically nothing about 6809 disassembly. I ran it through a pass using dasm6809 and it turned out what mostly looks like valid opcodes, but I have no insight to tell what the starting address should be, or the memory map... Hoping someone more knowledgeable than me can make out some of the drives capabilities!

 

Without further ado, I've attached some more pictures, and finally the 2K ROM dump:

 

post-53052-0-62239200-1557633856_thumb.jpg post-53052-0-41481800-1557633871_thumb.jpg post-53052-0-66713600-1557633883_thumb.jpg post-53052-0-15485100-1557633893_thumb.jpg post-53052-0-39610700-1557633900_thumb.jpg post-53052-0-70160800-1557633905_thumb.jpg

Astra1001.rom

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fooled by another old, bumped thread...never mind...I always forget to check dates before replying...I gotta start remembering! :woozy:

Edited by Gunstar

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fooled by another old, bumped thread...never mind...I always forget to check dates before replying...I gotta start remembering! :woozy:

Why the sad face? Who cares if the thread "was" old? Lots of new information here now including a ROM dump.

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Any chance of an UlraSpeed ROM? Is the hardware capable?

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Why the sad face? Who cares if the thread "was" old? Lots of new information here now including a ROM dump.

:roll: I responded to a post that was 8 years old, showing interest in buying the drive, and it turned out to be pointless since it was so old, that's why. So I edited saying I was fooled by the old post! I care, because the drive hasn't been up for possible sale for 8 years! Nothing at all to do with new information.

Edited by Gunstar
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:roll: I responded to a post that was 8 years old, showing interest in buying the drive, and it turned out to be pointless since it was so old, that's why. So I edited saying I was fooled by the old post! I care, because the drive hasn't been up for possible sale for 8 years! Nothing at all to do with new information.

Ah - sorry. I'd missed that. Must be a rare beast indeed if none have been for sale in the intervening time!

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Any chance of an UlraSpeed ROM? Is the hardware capable?

 

 

Hey look, I've dragged myself out of the boonies.. I like questions like this!

 

The drive uses a hardware UART (the 6850) so ultra speed would be difficult. But, I will look at what is possible with a hardware + software mod

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Another disk drive for Altirra? :)

 

You can already emulate this drive as it appears to be a clone of the PERCOM RFD-40S1. The ROM is 99% similar with slight optimizations and fixes, and there is some unused space at the end that contains leftover fragments from the RFD-40S1's ROM. As a clone, it has no high-speed support, no code upload, and no special commands, but it does of course support the PERCOM block commands.

 

The differences from the RFD-40S1:

  • Minor optimizations to save space: removing an unnecessary push/pop, changing long branches to short branches, and using 8-bit displacements instead of 16-bit displacements.
  • Step rate has been slowed down from 12ms to 20ms.
  • There was a bug fix to the FDC error handling, presumably for improved copy protection support. The RFD-40S1 ignores deleted sectors, while the Astra 1001 properly detects and returns them as errors.
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