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Well I finally got myself a PEB, but......

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So I came across a PEB yesterday. It was sold as is untested for $50 I figured thats less then shipping alone would be if I was even able to get a deal on ebay. At first I passed on it, but later I went back and talked him down to $40. I figured theres a decent chance I could fix this thing if it is broken. It cleaned up pretty nice a few dings and scratches. So I hooked it all up and tried to save a basic HELLO WORLD program to a blank disk. No luck I got I/O error 66. I still think the results are somewhat promising. All the lights on the PEB seemed to light up at the right times including the floppy drive led. The drive never makes the sounds I have come to expect from a floppy drive. So my initial thought is that its the floppy drive thats the issue. No problem I wanted to do the 3.5" mod anyway. I have a half height 5.25" and I'd like to have that and a 3.5". I haven't really started looking into to much yet but I'm curious if my assumption of the drive being the likely culprit is way off. Any other tips or ideas of what I can do with this PEB would be appreciated. I know this is going to give me a lot more options for my little TI and I'm very excited.

6E50E09E-8E43-4B45-ABEE-EB60C609D45E.jpg

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So I came across a PEB yesterday. It was sold as is untested for $50 I figured thats less then shipping alone would be if I was even able to get a deal on ebay. At first I passed on it, but later I went back and talked him down to $40. I figured theres a decent chance I could fix this thing if it is broken. It cleaned up pretty nice a few dings and scratches. So I hooked it all up and tried to save a basic HELLO WORLD program to a blank disk. No luck I got I/O error 66. I still think the results are somewhat promising. All the lights on the PEB seemed to light up at the right times including the floppy drive led. The drive never makes the sounds I have come to expect from a floppy drive. So my initial thought is that its the floppy drive thats the issue. No problem I wanted to do the 3.5" mod anyway. I have a half height 5.25" and I'd like to have that and a 3.5". I haven't really started looking into to much yet but I'm curious if my assumption of the drive being the likely culprit is way off. Any other tips or ideas of what I can do with this PEB would be appreciated. I know this is going to give me a lot more options for my little TI and I'm very excited.

 

 

Not a bad looking box for the price! :) :thumbsup:

I've attached a listing of the I/O error codes. One question, are you able to load anything? Is the drive attempting to do anything? Are these old & used diskettes? Once these disks start losing the magnetic media, they can damage the heads. It might be a waste of money to get a cleaning kit only to find the drive is toast. It's a judgement call. Did you personally format the disk? Did it check out okay? Any errors? Is this possibly a 35 track drive formatted as a 40?

 

Now is the PERFECT time to upgrade it you want, while it'll cost more than you paid for the P-Box, it's still a good deal to get everything in a custom setup already assembled and ready to slide into the box. A friend of mine and an Atari Age member has an auction for a dual 3.5" kit. << HERE >> I've bought lots of stuff from him, even my drives and they work perfect.

 

 

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

post-35324-0-86532700-1397413310_thumb.jpg

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Not a bad looking box for the price! :) :thumbsup:

I've attached a listing of the I/O error codes. One question, are you able to load anything? Is the drive attempting to do anything? Are these old & used diskettes? Once these disks start losing the magnetic media, they can damage the heads. It might be a waste of money to get a cleaning kit only to find the drive is toast. It's a judgement call. Did you personally format the disk? Did it check out okay? Any errors? Is this possibly a 35 track drive formatted as a 40?

 

 

Thanks for the list. Well to answer your questions there isn't much I can do with the drive at all right now. Mostly because I have no disks whatsoever for it. What I actually tried was to save to a brand new old stock DS DD disk. I have actually done a little searching since then and realize that never really had a chance of working. Looks like I got to get my hands on a disk management cart or at least extended basic. I was just mainly concerned I didn't hear that hum that I'm used to hearing. When I tried to save the floppy led lit up I heard a click then quiet a few seconds later light goes off then another click. I kinda expected to hear some buzzing in there. Anyway thanks for the help. I am pretty excited about getting this thing up and running I'm determined to one way or another.

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You probably have to format the disk before it can be used.

I replaced the drive in mine with a Tandon 360K drive and it works really well.

 

I have an old PC that runs Windows 98SE and it has a floppy controller capable of writing Single Density disks.

This is what I use to make all the disks I use with my TI99 and PEB.

With out that controller in the PC, I would have no idea how to make disks from downloaded DSK images!

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You probably have to format the disk before it can be used.

I replaced the drive in mine with a Tandon 360K drive and it works really well.

 

I have an old PC that runs Windows 98SE and it has a floppy controller capable of writing Single Density disks.

This is what I use to make all the disks I use with my TI99 and PEB.

With out that controller in the PC, I would have no idea how to make disks from downloaded DSK images!

Yea my plan is to do pretty much what you did. The good thing is that the TI can actually handle a 3.25" floppy. I'm planning on also installing a 3.25 " floppy in my pc and hopefully make some usable disks that way. The 5.5" floppy drive I got I actually bought to install in my pc in hopes of making atari disks. I found that my motherboard's bios doesn't support a 5.5 in drive. It handles 3.5" just fine though.

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Yea my plan is to do pretty much what you did. The good thing is that the TI can actually handle a 3.25" floppy. I'm planning on also installing a 3.25 " floppy in my pc and hopefully make some usable disks that way. The 5.5" floppy drive I got I actually bought to install in my pc in hopes of making atari disks. I found that my motherboard's bios doesn't support a 5.5 in drive. It handles 3.5" just fine though.

Well, the single most important thing is the fact that my disk controller can do SINGLE DENSITY. I know that the stock disk controller from TI does not handle anything other than single density.

So the controller used in the PC must be able to write it. Same goes for making Atari disk with WRITEATR. The controller needs to support single density to write using the /e option.

I think with a XF drive you can read DS-DD disks, but I haven't played with all that in a long time.

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Just having a PEB and no software is kinda like a new PC with no Install disks. It does nothing. Ninja must be using some TI-related disk program to format his TI-compatible disks. PCs normally use their own format for disks, the TI can't read a PC-format, so there must be a program he's using to create one.

 

If all you have is blank, unformatted disks, the TI requires a Disk Manager cart to format disks on its own. It can read and use pre-formatted disks, but lacking any of those, it takes more than just a TI console and PEB to get rolling.

 

Once you have that formatted, empty disk, you're at square one with needing software to store on it. You can Save your own programs easily enough and load them back in, but it takes a few essential program disks to really begin to investigate what can be done.

 

Being able to use a PC to create TI-readable disks opens up this world, if the PC can also save programs to it that you find on the internet. Without that ability or a source of real TI disks to use to get started, it's a challenge at first with getting the programs you need.

 

Funnelweb has a good suite of essential TI software to handle many of the basic tasks. You'll need an Extended BASIC or Editor/Assembler cartridge to use it. Selling the software to use tis system was Texas Instrument's master plan after all!

 

About where you are now is where I jumped in over 30 years ago. It was a lot to learn and many things like Funnelweb weren't around yet, totally new or simply unknown to me. It was great fun making all the discoveries bit by bit as I learned to do more. Today, it's pretty much all out there waiting to be rediscovered by you.

-Ed

Edited by Ed in SoDak

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........ Ninja must be using some TI-related disk program to format his TI-compatible disks. PCs normally use their own format for disks, the TI can't read a PC-format, so there must be a program he's using to create one......

 

Yes, I use a DOS program , under WIndows 98 SE called TI99-PC

 

http://www.mainbyte.com/ti99/howto/ti99pc.html

 

Again, without the floppy disk controller I use, that is on an Adaptec SCSI card and supports Single Density, TI99-PC would be useless for a PEB with a stock TI disk controller.

TI99-PC would give an error an not be able to write the 90K and 180K disk images.

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That is one very useful program--so long as you have a controller in your PC that supports the single-density that many TIs use--it also works great for double-density disks, though I haven't tried to format a TI DSDD disk in 160K or 320K (used by early Myarc Controllers and both of the prototype DSDD controllers from TI (Hex-Bus and PEB Card)--and I have an example of each type).

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That is one very useful program--so long as you have a controller in your PC that supports the single-density that many TIs use--it also works great for double-density disks, though I haven't tried to format a TI DSDD disk in 160K or 320K (used by early Myarc Controllers and both of the prototype DSDD controllers from TI (Hex-Bus and PEB Card)--and I have an example of each type).

Are the Myarc controllers hard to get? Expensive? I would like to have the ability to use DSDD disks.

Things like the EB game Star wars, I've only seen in DSDD image, would be nice to be able to have access to stuff like that.

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Are the Myarc controllers hard to get? Expensive? I would like to have the ability to use DSDD disks.

Things like the EB game Star wars, I've only seen in DSDD image, would be nice to be able to have access to stuff like that.

 

You do NOT need to spend tons of money on Cor Comp or Myarc controllers to get DSDD sized results. If you replace two little IC chips on the TI-FDC "The 80 Track Mod" you'll get the same amount of space, assuming your disk drives are capable.

 

gallery_35324_1027_165504.jpg

 

Also with all that savings, you can keep an eye out for this guy on Ebay, he sells << these drive >> kits that work PERFECT with the 80 track modification.

 

** EDIT **

He has a full TI 3.5" drive kit up RIGHT NOW ----> HERE if you want to grab it.

 

$_57.JPG$_57.JPG$_57.JPG

Edited by --- Ω ---

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There are actually a number of different floppy controllers for the TI that do Double Density. The Myarc FDCC-1 and the CorComp DSDD, are the two most common ones, and usually run from $120-$200 each, depending on how long it has been since one showed up as available. There are outliers that have gone above $300, but that is really not common. The Myarc HFDC is about the next most common--and it also allows you to connect MFM hard disks to the TI. These usually go for around $250 or so. The next most common after that would be the SNUG BWG DSDD Controller, which usually goes for $150 to $200. Beyond that things get more difficult. In Europe, you might also find an Atronic DSDD controller (about $200), but they are not at all common. The TI prototype DSDD controllers are extremely rare--I doubt more than 30 or so of them are around (I have three of them, one of which I built from an original TI kit)--and they were prone to heat issues so users went to interesting extremes to heat sink them for stable operation. These go for as little as $200 and as much as $500 depending on interest level at the time of sale.

 

There are several sidecar options as well. The CorComp 9900 will give the equivalent of an RS232, 32K, and DSDD controller attached to the side of the console--these often sell in the $250-$350 range. The Myarc MPES-50 rarely comes up for sale, but it does the same (and has two disk drives integrated into the box). I got mine for about $200, but that was mostly because no one else knew what it was at the time it was being sold. In Europe, there was also the Atronic CPS99, which worked in the same fashion as the other two, also with the integrated drives. They usually hit the $300-$350 range when they come up for sale.

 

That's pretty much it for DSDD controllers, with the exception of the prototype Hex-Bus controllers. They usually go for $200 to $600 each--and there are maybe 20 of them in the wild, so they usually end up in the hands of collectors, not users. There is also an IDE hard disk controller designed by Thierry Nouspikel (about 100 of these were made as part of a group parts buy), the Myarc Personality Card (a SASI controller), and two different SCSI controllers (one from WHT and the other from SNUG). The SNUG ASCSI was the better of the two, although later revisions of the WHT card (or modified earlier revisions) work just as well. Any of these cards will run between $200 and $300 most of the time.

 

Lastly, you have the option of modifying the TI DSSD card for 80 tracks--as already noted. This gives the additional disk space, but the mod isn't too common (easy, just not very common).

 

Note: DD disks come in two flavors: 160K/320K (16 soft sectors per track) or 180K/360K (18 soft sectors per track). Only four controllers directly supported the 16-sector mode--Myarc DDCC-1, Myarc HFDC, TI DSDD, and TI Hex-Bus. All others would only work in 18-sector mode (and the Myarc cards could read/write it as well, but the TI controllers could not). The Myarc controllers could also do 720K using 80-track disks, making them ideal for use with 3.5 inch disks.

 

Two other single density options existed--a sidecar from TI and a sidecar from Percom Data (the TX-99). The TI variant usually goes for $30 to $50 and the Percom goes from $50 to $100 (and has an integrated drive).

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Thanks for the information. I'd have to have someone do the mod for me. I can do simple soldering but I am famous for lifting traces when trying to do something like that.

I do have a spare disk controller, it has the external floppy card edge snapped off, but it works fine. I could use that one while I send the one in the PEB to someone to be modded.

I'd, of course, be happy to pay for parts and labor.

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Thanks for the information. I'd have to have someone do the mod for me. I can do simple soldering but I am famous for lifting traces when trying to do something like that.

 

 

I hear ya, I'm not a stranger to a soldering iron myself, but when it comes to 30+ year old stuff that is difficult to replace, I'd rather leave it to a pro. Drop "CantStopClicking" a PM, he might agree to do it for you. He seems to love any excuse to pick up his soldering iron. I can personally vouch for his work, as he did the 80 track upgrade to my TI FDC. I believe he even has a few of the chips left. If I remember right, he does the upgrade for about $40-$45 (don't quote me ask him). Now other people may differ, but for me personally I thought that was a hell of a deal, compared to the other cost quotes I was getting for other controllers.

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Just having a PEB and no software is kinda like a new PC with no Install disks. It does nothing. Ninja must be using some TI-related disk program to format his TI-compatible disks. PCs normally use their own format for disks, the TI can't read a PC-format, so there must be a program he's using to create one.

 

If all you have is blank, unformatted disks, the TI requires a Disk Manager cart to format disks on its own. It can read and use pre-formatted disks, but lacking any of those, it takes more than just a TI console and PEB to get rolling.

 

 

 

If I had a 5.25" I'd offer to put DM2K on a disk so he could see if it'll load a formatted disk and format his own. Maybe someone can volunteer to help a fellow TI'er?

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The thought occured to me, but he's also lacking an XB, E/A or even a DM2 cart, so a ready-to-run utility disk won't work without at least XB to run it.

-Ed

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The thought occured to me, but he's also lacking an XB, E/A or even a DM2 cart, so a ready-to-run utility disk won't work without at least XB to run it.

-Ed

 

GOOD POINT! -----> X

If he clicks the X he might be able to cure the problem! :)

$_57.JPG

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I've got something like half a dozen Extended BASIC cartridges in my spares box. If someone really needs one, I'm sure I could part with one for a reasonable price.

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I hear ya, I'm not a stranger to a soldering iron myself, but when it comes to 30+ year old stuff that is difficult to replace, I'd rather leave it to a pro. Drop "CantStopClicking" a PM, he might agree to do it for you. He seems to love any excuse to pick up his soldering iron. I can personally vouch for his work, as he did the 80 track upgrade to my TI FDC. I believe he even has a few of the chips left. If I remember right, he does the upgrade for about $40-$45 (don't quote me ask him). Now other people may differ, but for me personally I thought that was a hell of a deal, compared to the other cost quotes I was getting for other controllers.

 

I heard back from "CantStopClicking" and the price is very reasonable. However, I'm not willing to give up 5.25 drives for 3.5. If I was more of a TI user I would go for it without doubt.

I'd have to remake my whole disk library for the TI, and honestly all my 720K DSDD disks are used for Apple IIgs and Atari ST.

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I heard back from "CantStopClicking" and the price is very reasonable. However, I'm not willing to give up 5.25 drives for 3.5. If I was more of a TI user I would go for it without doubt.

I'd have to remake my whole disk library for the TI, and honestly all my 720K DSDD disks are used for Apple IIgs and Atari ST.

 

I'm going to get another set of these drives for my backup P-Box, then I'll use the 5.25" drive that I remove as an external drive on my main P-Box. It'll be perfect since my updated TI FDC is set up a 80/80/40. I doubt I'll ever use the old 5.25" drive, but what the hell, my hobby is expanding the TI as much as possible. :D

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Can't you keep a 5 1/4 drive as any one of the three stock positions and have 3.5 drives filling the other two slots? On mine, it's a simple DIP switch and/or cable swap (in a dedicated data wiring setup that enables only specific Drive Select lines) to interchange drive numbers between physical drives. Or just exchange your old 5.25 drive for one of the 3.5 drives in this dual drive setup. Keep the second 3.5 drive as a backup replacement.

 

For that matter, I have a four-drive cable on my three-drive TI. I can add a fourth drive, and choose between it and any other drive in the chain by adding a DPST switch to the power connectors to send power to either of my drives 3A or 3B, for example. By changing appropriate DIP switches, I could as easily have two different 1A and 1B drives instead.

 

Ad infinutum if you're so inclined, with simple switches and hand-wired power connectors to as many drives as you'd like. Just three at a time is all with a stock TI. The PEB supply can handle an additional drive if you don't have an external power supply. If your cabling is correct, only the drive being accessed spins its drive motor so its not like the PEB is spinning all three drives every time a disk access is performed.

 

The "extra" drives don't care if only the data connector is plugged in. They don't respond until power is also applied to that drive. You can take a long ribbon cable and attach as many drive connectors as you like, then enable each in turn via the custom power switching you have provided. Four was enough for me, lol, but it's easy to extend the concept.

 

If you do this, make sure all files are closed on the drive befire you swap it out for another. Do a "open and read" on one drive and switch to a different drive before doing the write can cause some files to not be properly closed as they may not exist on the other drive. It's not quite like ejecting a disk on your Mac or PC, you'll need to keep track of which Drive 3 (A or B) is being used or able to be swapped to a different drive. LOAD file from drive A, swap drive power, then SAVE to drive B would make for easy backup as an example of one way I used my drive switch.

Edited by Ed in SoDak

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I don't see that there is enough out there, I would use, to make an upgrade to 3.5 worth it. For the most part, all the games I've wanted to try are in images I can easily create on 5.25 disks and use in my current setup. Plus considering we are working with DSK images, the DSK images are the "backups" really. If a 5.25 disk was ever to go bad the image could just be written again from the DSK on another disk.

If I was doing more with my TI than just using floppies created from DSK files to play game, I'd definitely want to go with the upgrade and 3.5 drives. I just don't see the worth of it for me.

Question though... are the 3.5 drives used in the TI 1.44 DSHD drives or are they the older 720K DSDD drives? Depending on the answer to that, is it HD disks or DD disks that are used?

My ST computers and IIgs use the DSDD and I hate working with them. I think they are more expensive and harder to find than 5.25 DSDD. The reliability seems bad too, as I always seem to find disks that worked before suddenly have trouble when going back to use them later. I know it can be a wide variety of causes for that, but I have nothing but excellent reliability with all my 5.25 hardware.

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I don't see that there is enough out there, I would use, to make an upgrade to 3.5 worth it. For the most part, all the games I've wanted to try are in images I can easily create on 5.25 disks and use in my current setup. Plus considering we are working with DSK images, the DSK images are the "backups" really. If a 5.25 disk was ever to go bad the image could just be written again from the DSK on another disk.

If I was doing more with my TI than just using floppies created from DSK files to play game, I'd definitely want to go with the upgrade and 3.5 drives. I just don't see the worth of it for me.

Question though... are the 3.5 drives used in the TI 1.44 DSHD drives or are they the older 720K DSDD drives? Depending on the answer to that, is it HD disks or DD disks that are used?

My ST computers and IIgs use the DSDD and I hate working with them. I think they are more expensive and harder to find than 5.25 DSDD. The reliability seems bad too, as I always seem to find disks that worked before suddenly have trouble when going back to use them later. I know it can be a wide variety of causes for that, but I have nothing but excellent reliability with all my 5.25 hardware.

HD drives work fine provided you use DD media or tape the HD detect hole. HD disks tend to have reliability issues it seems though.

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Can't you keep a 5 1/4 drive as any one of the three stock positions and have 3.5 drives filling the other two slots? On mine, it's a simple DIP switch and/or cable swap (in a dedicated data wiring setup that enables only specific Drive Select lines) to interchange drive numbers between physical drives. Or just exchange your old 5.25 drive for one of the 3.5 drives in this dual drive setup. Keep the second 3.5 drive as a backup replacement.

 

 

The way the TI FDC is designed, DSK3's connection is outside the box, so that is where the original SSSD 40 track drive will have to be hooked up... after I find and locate an aesthetically pleasing disk drive enclosure. The way the connections are handled on DSK1 & DSK2 (as shown in the photo below) it would be a real kludge, not to mention a mess to screw with it as I also have the 80 track modification installed which prevents me from using a legacy 40 track 5.25 as DSK1 or DSK2.

 

$_57.JPG

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I don't see that there is enough out there, I would use, to make an upgrade to 3.5 worth it. For the most part, all the games I've wanted to try are in images I can easily create on 5.25 disks and use in my current setup. Plus considering we are working with DSK images, the DSK images are the "backups" really. If a 5.25 disk was ever to go bad the image could just be written again from the DSK on another disk.

If I was doing more with my TI than just using floppies created from DSK files to play game, I'd definitely want to go with the upgrade and 3.5 drives. I just don't see the worth of it for me.

 

 

 

True, in MOST cases you can take a sector editor to a program and get it to run from almost anyplace you want and eliminate the need to even use the drives, but I've found an exception or two, one of which is Telco. If you want to run that program, it's disk drive or nothing. To me it's just easier to find and purchase 3.5's, not to mention storing them.

 

Now whether or not it's worth it, well it's a 33 year old computer, 90% of what I want to do could be done in emulation, but it's a HOBBY, a big hole which sucks my time money and interest. Hell, I don't even NEED a TI, but I enjoy getting stuff to hang off of it. It all comes down to personal choice and interest. One of the things that interest me the most about the TI... there are so many different configurations out there! There is no right or wrong way, only what you want, so if it's not worth it you, don't do it! :)

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