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Hawk269

Atari 1050 Disk Drive - Which Blank Disk does it use?

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Greetings all...

 

I just aquired an Atari 1050 Disk Drive and it has been 25+ years since i have used one of these systems. I am looking on Ebay/Amazon for blank disks, which ones work with the 1050 DD? If you can link to the one I should buy it would be helpful.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

 

 

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Soft or hard sector won't matter. The 810 and 1050 don't use the timing hole and I've read here and even in magazines in the 80s of people using hard-sectored floppies just fine.

 

The ones to avoid are the high density ones (1.2 Meg or more) - the HD disks in both 3.5" and 5.25" form-factor use a thinner oxide layer that doesn't hold data well when written from the lower density drives (or in lower densities from HD drives for that matter).

These tend to be rare in the 5.25" size though as 3.5" drives were becoming the more common size around the time HD floppies came out.

 

As for brands - in some regards it's stayed the same through cassette, floppy and CD/DVD eras but with some exceptions.

IMO Memorex made great floppies but started to slip in the 3.5" era. I've used some of their DVDs and they were pretty woeful.

Verbatim have just been consistently good for as long as I remember. Above average for floppies, and their optical media was usually sourced from the best fabs.

TDK - a mixed bag. Good through tape and floppy era but I found their DVDs to slip in quality from about 6 years ago.

Dysan - I have a few of their floppies, always seemed reliable.

Fuji - a company that always seems to care for their image, I've not got a lot of their media but what I do have has been 100% good.

Edited by Rybags

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Soft or hard sector won't matter. The 810 and 1050 don't use the timing hole and I've read here and even in magazines in the 80s of people using hard-sectored floppies just fine.

 

Not just "people". A few original disks were released on hard sectored floppies.

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And yet the XF551 chokes on them as do a number of other drives I own, they also choke on them, and might I add so do the standard mechs are connected to the floppy board as well as not working with the atr8000, and so on and so on.... using hard sector disks is asking for it... but hey I only found this problem with handful of people and number of disks... I am sure it's all just fine, till it isn't....

Edited by _The Doctor__

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And yet the XF551 chokes on them ...

 

The exact behavior probably depends on which mechanism. Same/similar thing as trying to use flippies on the XF551. Mitsumi mechanisms should be able to read and and also write, but format won't work.

 

Not sure what will exactly happen on Chinon mechanism. Chinon mechanisms can't use flippies at all, but here is different ... Format, again, won't work. But conceivable, might be able to read and write disks already formatted.

 

But I agree that hard sectored disks should be avoided if possible. Now, they are probably hard to find nowadays? They were not common even then.

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The exact behavior probably depends on which mechanism. Same/similar thing as trying to use flippies on the XF551. Mitsumi mechanisms should be able to read and and also write, but format won't work.

 

Not sure what will exactly happen on Chinon mechanism. Chinon mechanisms can't use flippies at all, but here is different ... Format, again, won't work. But conceivable, might be able to read and write disks already formatted.

 

But I agree that hard sectored disks should be avoided if possible. Now, they are probably hard to find nowadays? They were not common even then.

 

Well,

 

I once had a Chinon 5,25" XF drive - it will not read, not write and not format if a disk does not have two index holes. Insert the backside of a disk with one index hole and the Chinon drive will NOT stop spinning, its impossible then to do anything with the disk, since the drive is always busy (you will get an Error 138 or something like that)...

 

Therefore I kept only the 5,25" XF drives with a Mitsumi mechanism and converted my XF drives with a Chinon mechanism into 3,5" drives... (besides, the 5,25" Chinon drives were used as external drives for the Amiga). And thats how a Chinon drive looks (note the non-straight lever and the round busy LED on the left side, whereas with a Mitsumi mechanism you have a straight lever and a rectangular busy LED on the right side):

 

post-3782-0-98717000-1482263785_thumb.jpg

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I once had a Chinon 5,25" XF drive - it will not read, not write and not format if a disk does not have two index holes. Insert the backside of a disk with one index hole and the Chinon drive will NOT stop spinning ...

 

Yes, but this case is different. We aren't talking about disks that are missing the index hole. Hard sectored disks are not the same as flippies. We are talking about disks that have too many index holes!

 

It is still possible that the Chinon drive won't stop spinning when inserting a hard sectored disk, I don't know. Somebody want to try punching a couple of extra index holes to see what happens? :)

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You might also check out floppydisk.com or athana.com.

 

edit: just got off the phone with floppydisk.com. They sell Athana floppy's, so might get a better deal at athana.com. He claimed athana hasn't manufactured the disks in many years. If that's true then they are selling off inventory. Probably a safer bet than Ebay since they are likely stored in good conditions. You don't know where the NOS boxes of disks on ebay have been stored all these years, so they could be hit or miss.

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You might also check out floppydisk.com or athana.com.

 

edit: just got off the phone with floppydisk.com. They sell Athana floppy's, so might get a better deal at athana.com. He claimed athana hasn't manufactured the disks in many years. If that's true then they are selling off inventory. Probably a safer bet than Ebay since they are likely stored in good conditions. You don't know where the NOS boxes of disks on ebay have been stored all these years, so they could be hit or miss.

This is a quote from the floppies I linked in post #3, it also states that there are 400 cartons available.

Not necessarily true, but likely since there aren't many sources in these quantities.

 

 

 

These were kept in climate controlled Government warehouse free from moisture and the elements.

 

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This is a quote from the floppies I linked in post #3, it also states that there are 400 cartons available.

Not necessarily true, but likely since there aren't many sources in these quantities.

 

 

Those were made in 1993, so there not too old. Should be ok. I went ahead and ordered 3 boxes (10count) of Athana's from floppydisk.com. I'm curious to see when those were actually made. Said they made a final buy when Athana stopped manufacturing them and have about 300k disks in the warehouse. They have the 3.5" disks coming out their ears.

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I am about to order, but which ones are the ones that will work flawlessly with the 1050 drive? Floppydisk.com has:

 

In High Density: DS/HD 1.2 MB Formatted & DS/HD Not Formatted

 

And the same in Low Density.

 

I assume, it should be the high density ones?

 

And on Athana.com they have some listed as 48tpi, 96tpi etc. Which ones on that site are the ones I want to order?

 

Thanks!

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You need the DD double density for your 1050. I don't know if the 48 vs. 96 TPI matters. Supposedly the 96 TPI are better because they are certified to work at higher track density. Don't pay extra for formatted disks because you'll need to reformat them for the Atari anyways.

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You need the DD double density for your 1050. I don't know if the 48 vs. 96 TPI matters. Supposedly the 96 TPI are better because they are certified to work at higher track density. Don't pay extra for formatted disks because you'll need to reformat them for the Atari anyways.

 

So Tep, on Floppydisk.com they show under the header:

 

New 5.25" floppy disks DS/HD MF2-HD "high density"

 

DS/HD Not Formatted Box of 50 $29.95

 

Under that they show under the header:

 

New 5.25" floppy disks DS/DD MF2-DD "low density"

 

DS/DD Not Formatted Box of 50 $49.95

 

Since you said I need Double Density, I assume it is the bottom one I want? So they are low density disk, but double sided and double density. The top one says they are high density, but Double Side/High Density.

 

Sorry if this is getting confusing, I just don't want to order the wrong thing. I prefer to order through Floppy since I can do it on-line right now instead of having to put in a fax/phone order at Athena.

 

Thanks for your help.

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You want DSDD "low density". HD disks which are for 1.2MB 5.25" drives, should never be used in a 1050. They have recording surface which has very different magnetic affinity than SSDD. Specifically, the strength of the magnetic signal they hold is far weaker than the older DD. I know, I said weaker; and it is! The HD disks store a weaker magnetic signal to prevent bleed over with other recorded information. That's necessary due to the much higher data density.

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Speaking of the Disks and the 1050, the add-on board that you can add that is called the Happy. Would having one of those installed change which kind of disks i should buy? I am thinking of ordering the Happy since it is non solder add-on and looking at the instrucitons I should be able to add it in without issue.

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No, you may install the Happy mod and still use non HD disks.

 

There is no mod that can change the disk requirement either, we simply can't use HD

disks at all in any Atari made drive for the 8 bit. Consider that to be carved in

stone.

 

The Happy mod is a quite good one to settle on particularly if you don't have

one already. I also like to have a US Doubler in my stack of drives as well.

 

On the phone with a 1-800 3M rep maybe two decades ago I was informed that

among all manufacturers of floppies, the Defense Department has a rotating requirement

that they all continue to produce these and other floppies for their consumption.

Some chip in to mitigate costs for another company to satisfy their DOD requirement.

End of the day, someone somewhere has these disks and others forevermore. So it's

3M's turn to make some but can't so they buy the production run from Fuji since

their manufacturing line is still operable and is agreeable to a payment from 3M

to cover a good deal if not all of the cost. Keeping them in DOD certified storage

room is then to be expected. Quality will also be to DOD standards. Likely these

'DOD' disks are the only disks made recently.

 

Exactly how it is that they are released to the sellers on eBay would

be the question that needs an answer. Might be a DOD requirement to

rotate old stock out, keeping the new run for themselves. In which

case a government auction clearing house might be the source to the

general public? Like army surplus is done.

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