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Cleaning/Fixing Repairing Atari Disk Drives?

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Over the past few months I've been given many Atari hardware items and software. These belonged to a friend of mine who was an avid member of the local Atari user group. He died about two years ago, and his son passed away about a year ago. I have been receiving various bits of documentation, paperwork, hardware and software from their family members in the time since they passed away. I've been asking what has and has not been archived and I've been doing my best to make sure that it has been archived (thanks to Allan Bushman for scanning and taking care of this 8-bit material-- he's such a great archivist!).

Until this point, I've not given too much thought about using some of the hardware like the 1050/810 disk drives. These were all stored in an outdoor barn/shed. All of the hardware (the computers included) is very dusty and I'd be shocked to learn that any of disk drives work at all.

 

A couple of months ago a friend of mine suggested that he would like to see an Atari load-up some floppy disks to play some games. We can do that already, as I have a disk drive emulator for the Atari and various AtariMax flash carts, but he wants to see some real 5 1/4" floppies booting to some game or other. In addition, included in the last batch of Atari items that I was given, was quite a bit of the Atari 8-bit public domain PD library on 5 1/4" floppy. It might be neat to load some of that stuff up on real hardware.

My question is: is there a FAQ or repair/restoration manuals and/or videos on how to go through and restore Atari 810/1050 disk drives. I guess, at the minimum, I'd need to learn to clean/lubricate gears/motors/heads.

Adam

 

P.S. I also have several Atari 410 program recorders, but I'm not sure that restoring those would even be worth the effort. Or is there a reason to have these around?

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There's a Field Service Manual for the 810 as well as for the 1050 but I don't know if they will help you.

 

All Atari tape drives have a rather unique feature, as they're able to play an audio track as well. While playing music during a tape load might be more of a novelty you're unlikely to want to experience more than once, there are a lot of learning tapes using this feature (language courses, etc.). So if you want to experience that, you might want to restore one. AFAIK belt kits are still available.

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All Atari tape drives have a rather unique feature, as they're able to play an audio track as well. While playing music during a tape load might be more of a novelty you're unlikely to want to experience more than once, there are a lot of learning tapes using this feature (language courses, etc.). So if you want to experience that, you might want to restore one. AFAIK belt kits are still available.

 

Yeah, the second track is pretty cool. This Atari treasure trove came with NIB German and CIB Italian. I have tons of power supplies but not even one SIO cable.

 

Adam

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I have tons of power supplies but not even one SIO cable.

 

SIO cables (and pretty much everything else) can be bought from Best Electronics or you can try myatari on EBay or Lotharek or many others for about 10$.

 

If you’re into 3D printing you can even make your own (although it might be a bit fiddly to get all those contacts right) or simply use connectors that fit individual pins if you‘re in a hurry.

 

There‘s also a trick that uses a pcb wedged between the two rows of contacts.

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