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Thank you 1050. I was having some trouble sorting out the schematic for the drive, but you pointed me in the right direction. Sadly, I measure continuity between the 6522 pin 15 and the 2797 pin 37. When I turn switch four on (to set DD mode), the voltage on that line drops from 5V to 0v. That seems right, but it doesn't work. I should likely be satisfied with the drive as it is, but I have already tracked down a broken trace, and rebuilt the power supply, and otherwise spent a lot of time cleaning and repairing the case, so now I'm being stubborn about figuring it out.

 

I would be the perfect suspect for a newbe foil. I even new better, but during the post I scrolled back to check names, and in my haste I fumbled it. My apologies to Mr. Martian. As for my game ranking, it's likely to stay pretty low. I love working with, and repairing my old computers, but I'm a spaz with a joystick. Don't get me wrong, I play games, I just suck at it.

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Quite welcome.

 

So one normally doesn't turn on MFM with a switch.

Perhaps the switch just enables MFM when it's called

for?

Most other drives work with fully mindless convenience,

the drive changes itself in accordance with the format

to do. Which reminds me, what DOS are you working with

here? Pardon if you already stated that aspect. Of

course first the DOS has to be capable of MFM formatting.

Not all were capable.

 

Reading and thinking superficially, it would appear then

that the FDC is bad when it has good inputs and won't

work. If you had a spare, it would be nice to swap out

and see if any noticeable effect occurs. The spare chip

being the hobbiest's best and fastest troubleshooting

tool. It's always a good idea to have a 2nd chip.

 

So it's actually MrMartian if one wants to split hairs

and I'm guilty too, also left end o off of combat commando.

You are NOT required to play games here by any means

so it's not a real threat and more like somebody else

having fun with the post count only. The more you post,

the better game gets slapped above your avatar. Or lack

thereof. I'm not the one that would know a better

game anyway.

 

A few days have been lost with oddly functioning

fingers too. But it's rare for me and I don't even

hope to score good or best a game either.

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Yes, spare parts for substituting is an invaluable resource. I had come to the same conclusion about the controller chip, so I pulled a WD2393 out of one of my working 1050s to try in the Rana. No soap. Stll the same. The switches on the back set the default density according to the manual. The drive is still supposed to sense the correct density on it's own. I have been using various DOSs, but mostly I have been trying to get it to work with a copy of SmartDOS 6.1 labeled for Rana systems.

 

I checked the board over again last night, looking for more bad traces, but everything seems in order. I have ordered some replacements for the XR3470ACP amplifier chip as my next best guess. This one has been a challenge. Not as much as my IBM PS2/model 30, but a challenge. It seems that even my EPROM burner is fighting back. It often corrupts the data when I read a 2732. I can erase it, and reprogram the chip, and it will work fine, but if I put it back in my burner and read the contents, it will like as not corrupt the data on the chip. This doesn't happen with other EPROMs I've used. I have no idea what's causing that.

 

Thanks for your replies. I have almost always worked alone, so having someone to bounce ideas with is just supreme.

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If you have an old reader, adjust baud rate up or down, make sure the cable is the same one you have always been using and wired correctly and not have any weak connections etc..

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Posted (edited)

I have an 8531 Rana 1000 and decided to try Mr. Martian's rom.  Took a few days to get the crystals in (anybody want a 12mhz crystal?  just PM me and I'll drop one in an envelope for you completely free).  I got them today, swapped the rom in, out of curiosity, and the drive was alive with it, at 8mhz.  It ran slow, you could tell, but it was alive, not reading on SIO, but tracking to zero, displaying the track, acting alive.  I swapped the crystal and doggone if it doesn't work perfectly as a US Doubler drive.  It reads/writes/formats in USD and is just amazing.  This is not a rumor or vaporware.  I rather expected the drive to flake out on me, didn't really expect it to work, it IS a Rana after all, but this mod is the BOMB.  Every Rana ought to have this.  It makes a barely useable drive a very very useable drive with about five minutes of work on the bench.  Of course Mr. Martian spent a bit more time than that decoding and recoding the rom for it, a thing I very much thank him for.

 

All you Rana owners, get on the ultraspeed bandwagon.  This is for REAL.  I've booted x32g and x32d spartados from it, it enters ultraspeed during boot just like a US Doubler does, acts for all intents and purposes as a US Doubler 1050.  I ran it quite a bit with Spartados X on my Ultimate 1mb 800xl with the HSIO driver enabled in the U1MB bios and it just works like gangbusters.  BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!  Encore! Encore!

 

Here's a video for you: 

 

 

Edited by Jeffrey Worley
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

I have an 8531 Rana 1000 and decided to try Mr. Martian's rom.  Took a few days to get the crystals in (anybody want a 12mhz crystal?  just PM me and I'll drop on in an envelope for you).  I got them today, swapped the rom in, out of curiosity, and the drive was alive with it, at 8mhz.  It ran slow, you could tell, but it was alive, not reading on SIO, but tracking to zero, displaying the track, acting alive.  I swapped the crystal and doggone if it doesn't work perfectly as a US Doubler drive.  It reads/writes/formats in USD and is just amazing.  This is not a rumor or vaporware.  I rather expected the drive to flake out on me, didn't really expect it to work, it IS a Rana after all, but this mod is the BOMB.  Every Rana ought to have this.  It makes a barely useable drive a very very useable drive with about five minutes of work on the bench.  Of course Mr. Martian spent a bit more time than that decoding and recoding the rom for it, a think I very much thank him for.

 

All you Rana owners, get on the ultraspeed bandwagon.  This is for REAL.  I've booted x32g and x32d spartados from it, it enters ultraspeed during boot just like a US Doubler does, acts for all intents and purposes as a US Doubler 1050.  I ran it quite a bit with Spartados X on my Ultimate 1mb 800xl with the HSIO driver enabled in the U1MB bios and it just works like gangbusters.  BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!  Encore! Encore!

 

Here's a video for you: 

 

 

I don't hear any of the RANA stutter hiccup that usually indicates it's screwing up. This thing is now reliable as well?

Edited by _The Doctor__

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On 5/17/2019 at 12:08 PM, fatwizard said:

Yes, spare parts for substituting is an invaluable resource. I had come to the same conclusion about the controller chip, so I pulled a WD2393 out of one of my working 1050s to try in the Rana. No soap. Stll the same. The switches on the back set the default density according to the manual. The drive is still supposed to sense the correct density on it's own. I have been using various DOSs, but mostly I have been trying to get it to work with a copy of SmartDOS 6.1 labeled for Rana systems.

 

I checked the board over again last night, looking for more bad traces, but everything seems in order. I have ordered some replacements for the XR3470ACP amplifier chip as my next best guess. This one has been a challenge. Not as much as my IBM PS2/model 30, but a challenge. It seems that even my EPROM burner is fighting back. It often corrupts the data when I read a 2732. I can erase it, and reprogram the chip, and it will work fine, but if I put it back in my burner and read the contents, it will like as not corrupt the data on the chip. This doesn't happen with other EPROMs I've used. I have no idea what's causing that.

 

Thanks for your replies. I have almost always worked alone, so having someone to bounce ideas with is just supreme.

BTW, WDC is making 6522 Via - compatible chips.  They claim to be drop-in replacements.

 

https://www.westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/w65c22-chip.cfm

 

Back when Bob Puff was still making the Black Box, he had a hard time sourcing the VIA, as it was no longer in production.  This was in 1993 or thereabouts.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find this VIA in production again.

 

They also make what I take to be a drop-in replacement for PIA, which is very nice.  Check the same website for that as well.

 

best,

 

jeff

 

 

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1 minute ago, _The Doctor__ said:

I don't hear any of the RANA stutter hiccup that usually indicates it's screwing up. This thing is now reliable as well?

Ah.  There is the trick!  You caught me.  I've discovered a thing about this PARTICULAR Rana, which may translate to all Ranas.  Try running your stuttery one with the skins OFF, as mine is.

 

The Head is super sensitive to the metal shield.  I can run the thing all day without a blip so long as I don't bring the shield closer than an inch from the head.  This is a problem of course, since the installed shield is like less than a half inch from the head.  I think this might explain a lot about why the rana was an unreliable drive.

 

The best way I have found to duplicate the stutter is to run RPM on the drive from the spartados command line.  It will run peachy and without a blip for hours on end so long as you don't try to put the shell on.  To duplicate the error of the shell being installed, simply set the inverted shell on top of the drive.  it will start to fault pretty quickly after you do so.  I am probably not qualified to FIX this problem, am actually very seriously considering cutting a slot in my shell two inches wide from 5cm from the back to 15cm from the back, and replacing it with plastic.  It is a kluge, but I know it will work.

 

So,  run RPM on your ran with the skin on.  It will fault fairly quickly.  Remove the skin and run RPM and it will go happily along fault-free.  Put the inverted skin on top of the drive and it will fault.  If your's does this too, then we know something about this drive no one ever knew before.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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I really think that if Rana had put a plastic shell on this drive instead of the aluminum one, we'd all have a different view of these drives today.

 

Here's a video of just what I'm trying to describe in the message above:

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

resonance could be building up in the cage so toroids on the power could be needed as well.

toroid/ferrite bead shield clips perhaps placed on the wires going to the heads?

the motor could also be propagating noise to the shield.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

taroid shield perhaps?

Do you mean TOROID?  Like a donut with some wire spun round it?  I've tried shielding the wire leading from the head, with copper foil tape, tried shielding the head itself with the same tape, tried various shapes of sheilds both grounded and ungrounded mounted atop the head assembly...  Today I tried a head-sink, inverted, taped to the top of the pressure-pad carrier, thinking the crinkly nature of the sink would perhaps interfere with the resonance of the great big mirror that the skins appear to act as, and got the same fault.  Soon as you bring that big flat chunk o' metal atop the drive, it faults.  I've run the same tests with the drive mechanism unmounted from the case, just sitting on top of the case a mile from the circuit board, waved the metal shell around every part of the drive and every cable and the only sensitive part is the head itself.  Thats where the fault is duplicated, is by bringing not a mass of metal, but a large mirror of metal into near proximity to the head.   A huge ingot of metal has no effect, but a metal shield from an 800xl will do the same thing as the original shell, or the back of an XE keyboard, or a large piece of sheet-metal....  With or without my several different kinds of jury-rigged small shields to try to alleviate this problem, the problem is the same.  At times I thought my field-expedient shields were making some kind of a difference, but I'm confident, from duplication of tests, that they were not, or in some cases made the fault slightly worse.  In the case of the copper tape, too-close proximity to the head will disable the drive entirely.  So we either cure this with some more electronics, or do what I am an inch away from doing, which is cutting a ten centimeter long by two-inch wide slot out of the top shell starting 5cm from the back of the drive, a window of sorts.  It will work then with the shell on, I'll bet my Rana on it.  I plan to place a piece of plastic in the resulting window, transparent to light perhaps, but certainly transparent to whatever RF is being generated by the head and which the head is then receiving back from the existing big metal mirror of a shell.

 

These things tell me that the RF being generated is longish-wave.  FM.  The things I've tried would have had some significant bearing on very short wave stuff, like gigahertz harmonics in the microwave region.  So this is uncomplicated, straightforward feedback.

 

best,

 

Jeff

 

Best,

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeffrey Worley
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Posted (edited)

It's late and I've sun-setted, can you please refresh your browser and check my post again... foil is not going to be useful.

The resonance issue build and seems inductive.

Toroid on power as well as the head connector at the pcb may be the answer you seek.

 

Finally, the spindle motor might induce a magnetic field into the cover as well. Make pretend it's an av media speaker for protection in that sense. Get some mu metal, NETIC, or TI shield and cover the motor..

 

A pocket magnetometer or gaussometer can be used to determine shield performance.

 

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Not sure if this is relevant but on one of my Astras there was a kind of insulating pad glued onto the top of the motor (top left, next to the capacitors) that fell off when I disassembled it. Could it be that that motor when touching the shield without that pad transmits some kind of noise into the system that causes it to fail? (Not an electronics guy at all, so please just ignore if not helpful too completely ludicrous.)

 

image.thumb.png.96684dc27d580a1726f4c482071637f8.png

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8 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

It's late and I've sun-setted, can you please refresh your browser and check my post again... foil is not going to be useful.

The resonance issue build and seems inductive.

Toroid on power and head connector at the connector block my be the answer you seek.

 

Finally, the spindle motor might induce a magnetic field into the cover as well.

 

I like the way you are thinking and have bitten.  I ordered some clip-on toroids for delivery Monday.  I'll let you know how that goes when they get here.  I will first try the head cable, then the motor cable.  If it is a magnetic thing caused by the motor, I can't think how to stomp on that but for a shield of some of that super-special diamagnetic stainless steel they use to back neodymium magnets with inside hard disk drives.  Not a lot of room atop the motor for such a thing.

 

I will report on Monday night.

 

best,

 

Jeff

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, slx said:

Not sure if this is relevant but on one of my Astras there was a kind of insulating pad glued onto the top of the motor (top left, next to the capacitors) that fell off when I disassembled it. Could it be that that motor when touching the shield without that pad transmits some kind of noise into the system that causes it to fail? (Not an electronics guy at all, so please just ignore if not helpful too completely ludicrous.)

 

image.thumb.png.96684dc27d580a1726f4c482071637f8.png

I did think of that and made sure mine is well-stuck-on.  I don't know if it is just a dust shield or if it has magnetic properties as some grades of stainless steel do.  I'm going with the easy thing right now, which is toroidal RF shielding on the cables.  I'll report on Monday if this solves the problem and on what wires I had to treat.  Oh, I don't think it is this, primarily because the Rana is known for this very stuttery problem, missing like a v8 in bad tune.  I think it is something they shipped with rather than something that has crept in with age or changes in the RF nature of the innards such as that circular cover being moved or re-moved.  I DO think that this toroidal choke idea may actually mitigate or even solve the issue.

 

Is your rana also ultraspeeded?  This is SOOOOOO COOOOL.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

 

Edited by Jeffrey Worley

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Posted (edited)

another edit... if the materials I listed are expensive these days, you might find them in magnetically shielded speakers that were used around CRT's, sensitive equipment and magnetic media, hospital shielded equipment still has this stuff in them today as well.

 

I was still doing the edit thing so I've included shielding material in my earlier post, and remember sometimes the beads need only be on just one of the wires, back when I was building some of this stuff, like putting another oscillator into an 030 falcon the bead was needed to keep just the injecting wire protected going into the system... it would eat all kinds of noise without it. with the bead on... nice and clean... This is also one of the reasons for shields to be placed on our beloved Atari's.... wanna see what you absorb from and un-shielded Atari... let alone modern day PC's? Just touch the tip of a logic probe or scope to your skin after clipping them to the machine power, ground, and shield plane. You will see enough received to send the logic probe a flutter and put traces on your scope.

 

continued rant... CMOS mmu's don't like people who don't clip in either, I don't know how many times people say it was the memory or this chip AND the MMU that was bad... well the MMU was fine till they stuck their paws in there without esd protection.... but that's another story

:)

I'll have to go in search of a RANA lying about... if it didn't get lifted with other stuff in the past.

 

I have a sneaky suspicion with the tiniest beads and the spindle shielded, the RANA can be fast, reliable, and pretty.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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10 hours ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

All you Rana owners, get on the ultraspeed bandwagon.  This is for REAL.  I've booted x32g and x32d spartados from it, it enters ultraspeed during boot just like a US Doubler does, acts for all intents and purposes as a US Doubler 1050.

Ok, before I go and kill an innocent frog: Am I right that I just have to grab a rom from this thread and that crystal, put it in my drive and then I´m done?

 

Would this one work? -> https://www.reichelt.de/standardquarz-grundton-12-000000-mhz-12-0000-hc18-p1585.html?&trstct=pos_3&nbc=1

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12 minutes ago, skr said:

Ok, before I go and kill an innocent frog: Am I right that I just have to grab a rom from this thread and that crystal, put it in my drive and then I´m done?

 

Would this one work? -> https://www.reichelt.de/standardquarz-grundton-12-000000-mhz-12-0000-hc18-p1585.html?&trstct=pos_3&nbc=1

Yes that one looks correct!

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Great, just ordered it (and some more stuff, as 25 cent versus 5.95€ shipping is not very economic ;) ).

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1 hour ago, skr said:

Ok, before I go and kill an innocent frog: Am I right that I just have to grab a rom from this thread and that crystal, put it in my drive and then I´m done?

 

Would this one work? -> https://www.reichelt.de/standardquarz-grundton-12-000000-mhz-12-0000-hc18-p1585.html?&trstct=pos_3&nbc=1

Remember, when you do this, you can plug the new rom in and fire up before you replace the crystal, so you will know if your rom is good before you do any surgery.  The rom will run the drive, act normal if a little slow, but won't communicate over sio.  Then you can replace the crystal with confidence and gogogogogogogogo!

 

I didn't even remove the board from the rana when I replaced the crystal, just desoldered it from the top side and inserted the new one.  Easy peasy.

 

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9 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

another edit... if the materials I listed are expensive these days, you might find them in magnetically shielded speakers that were used around CRT's, sensitive equipment and magnetic media, hospital shielded equipment still has this stuff in them today as well.

 

I was still doing the edit thing so I've included shielding material in my earlier post, and remember sometimes the beads need only be on just one of the wires, back when I was building some of this stuff, like putting another oscillator into an 030 falcon the bead was needed to keep just the injecting wire protected going into the system... it would eat all kinds of noise without it. with the bead on... nice and clean... This is also one of the reasons for shields to be placed on our beloved Atari's.... wanna see what you absorb from and un-shielded Atari... let alone modern day PC's? Just touch the tip of a logic probe or scope to your skin after clipping them to the machine power, ground, and shield plane. You will see enough received to send the logic probe a flutter and put traces on your scope.

 

continued rant... CMOS mmu's don't like people who don't clip in either, I don't know how many times people say it was the memory or this chip AND the MMU that was bad... well the MMU was fine till they stuck their paws in there without esd protection.... but that's another story

:)

I'll have to go in search of a RANA lying about... if it didn't get lifted with other stuff in the past.

 

I have a sneaky suspicion with the tiniest beads and the spindle shielded, the RANA can be fast, reliable, and pretty.

I've had good luck, but recently learned that one thing the MMU does NOT enjoy, permanently, is to be plugged in Backwards.  That is a write-off.  Thank goodness I have so many spare MMUs, from U1MB installs.

 

 

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Remember folks!  I have about 9 pieces of the correct 12mhz crystal, I will happily send you one just for the asking.

 

Jeff

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, skr said:

Ok, before I go and kill an innocent frog: Am I right that I just have to grab a rom from this thread and that crystal, put it in my drive and then I´m done?

 

Would this one work? -> https://www.reichelt.de/standardquarz-grundton-12-000000-mhz-12-0000-hc18-p1585.html?&trstct=pos_3&nbc=1

Here's another copy of the rom.  This is the one I burnt yesterday and is the one I downloaded from this thread.  Mr. Martian's filenames are not terribly imaginative, so I renamed this one for greater clarity, but it is his rom.

 

 

rana8031 US Mod Rom.bin

Edited by Jeffrey Worley
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34 minutes ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

Remember, when you do this, you can plug the new rom in and fire up before you replace the crystal, so you will know if your rom is good before you do any surgery.

Great, so I can grab one of my Eprom burners and start right away. Yay!

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