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How come there aren't any 5.25 external USB floppy drives?

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Perhaps the DIY solution in form of the Greaseweazel would be possible to adapt with routines for reading the tape drive, but I wouldn't hold my breath that it works right out of the box. The other, more expensive closed source solutions that are nicer packaged are less likely to support it. A cheap, ready made mass market product is more or less out of the question IMHO, this is tinker land for die hard hobbyists.

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The USB97cfdc from SMSC was intended to provide the capability to connect a floppy tape drive to USB.

Quote

Although not required for standard floppy operation, provisions for 16K bytes of external buffer SRAM, in addition to
that included in the USB97C102 core, is also provided for extended applications, such as tape drives and for other
special applications.

Finding a 25 year old chip and the necessary driver source code which would need modification to successfully attach a tape drive seems unlikely. 

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