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I purchased a Atari 520st. No floppy. So I have patiently been waiting for things to pop up at a price I could afford.  First I got the cable, then the ps, and finally I picked up a external drive.

 

No to figure out how to buy a few games. Or figure out how get games I can download onto a floppy disk. Are most games now legal to down load? Are most abandon ware?

 

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Sadly I must say that external drive is not what finally solved it.

You can buy Atari ST games - on ebay, there are some sites who sell it ... But I don't recommend it at all. All it is very old, and in questionable condition. I mean something like:  Original game XYZ in unopened original box. Like something of higher value than opened one. Well, this is not collecting old porcelan stuff. Magnetic media degrades. Floppies with games are now over 30 years old. Even if it will work in beginning, will not last long for sure.

Then, legality is somehow a grey area. There are sites with thousands of game floppy images, called often (incorrectly) ROMs . So, you can get practically everything for free. Hardly will anyone loose any money because that. Of course then comes the real problem: how to write it to floppies. And how to get floppy disks.

There is no DL on floppy disk. You DL image and need somehow to put it on floppy disk.

There are different ways. And USB floppy drive on PC is not that. It just can not handle formats used with Atari ST.

So, need PC with internal floppy drive and SW for write images, like: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php

Or can write it with Atari self, but then need way to transfer images to Atari.

I will not go here in details, that may be longer.

More interesting is reliability question. That's just not good with old drives and disks. No wonder that more and more people goes on solutions without floppy drive:  Gotek, HxC or some Flash card based mass storage like UltraSatan.

 

And for the end: buying originals is bad idea because diverse compatibility problems too. It may be that game just works not (well) with TOS version in your Atari. Or RAM size is what makes problem. Cracks, fixed games are better in that, plus there are trainers ...

 

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So dumb question. And I used to know the answer 20 years ago. But I forgot.  dd/dd floppy can be used correct?  The atart 354 will just use one side and see it as 360k?  Or am I mistaken.

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3 minutes ago, hobbyhands said:

So dumb question. And I used to know the answer 20 years ago. But I forgot.  dd/dd floppy can be used correct?  The atart 354 will just use one side and see it as 360k?  Or am I mistaken.

Yeah, 354 is one sided drive. Bad purchase. It can work with 400 K capacity too, or little more. But choice of SW on single sided disks is limited.

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I don't really consider it a bad purchase.  Also I heard that the original 520st would not work with 314. Perhaps I was mis-informed.

 

My final plan is to do something like this. So I can use the 314 as a shell. Well that is the idea anyways.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I heard that TOS 1.02 is better than TOS 1.04. And zillion other wrong claims.

I bought in 1987 520 ST with SF354, knowing that it is limited. But price diff to v. with SF314 was 200 DEM. And I bought for that money DS drive EPSON without case, so I had 2 floppy drives for same price. And even if that EPSON was not for Atari, 2 sided, worked well with 520 ST. Or any other Atari later.

And little advice:  use search instead that 'I heard' . Sad thing is that there is lot of people who will rather say something wrong, just to appear as helpful, smart,   instead saying 'I don't know', or just remain silent when is not sure.

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So when I said "I heard", I should have said I read.  This site bellow makes the claim that some atari st machined could not read 314 without an upgrade. Perhaps this person need to be informed better. Or perhaps I'm reading it wrong. Thank for the help and info

 

https://middlemanone.blogspot.com/2017/05/atari-sf314-sf354-floppy-drives.html

 

So that is great news if mine can use a 354. I will keep my eye out for that one also. They are a little hard to come by. At least here in the USA.

 

When I was just a teen I worked a computer store that sold the Amiga and Atari computers. Good times! I own an Amiga, but never did own an Atari ST

Edited by hobbyhands

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Wow. I looked only begin of that page, and saw at least 2 errors . Ah, pardon, not relevant is it heard or read. I see errors even at Best Electronic site. Some people, who lived from computer fixing and considered self as experts claimed also ridiculous things.

That my first Atari 520 ST was with TOS 1.00, and it worked with 2 sided drives. And only TOS available in period 1985-87 was 1.00, while SF314 was available in that period, so 1.00 certainly supported 2S drives. Just absurd, reckless claim.

Then: " For STE's is even possible to fit a 1.44MB floppy drive into the system. This requires a slight modification to both the floppy drive and cabling. "  Another complete shallow talk, pardon writing.  No need for drive mod, or at least it is not HD related (WP is what may need mod - http://atari.8bitchip.info/flomodam.html  )  . Mod in computer is needed: supplying 16 MHz clock to FDC chip instead 8 MHz . And same is possible with any ST, even easier - 16 MHz is accessible is STs, in STE not. Plus, not all FDC chips can work reliable at double clock rate, so may need to replace FDC chip to.  I did HD upgrade for my good old 520 in 1990, and luckily FDC chip worked well at 16 MHz.

Ah, and what genius forgot: need TOS patch or TOS 2.06 for HD floppies, or at least program for proper step rate set.

Hey, there is comment section ... I added corrections. It appeared. Now, question is: will it be deleted, considered, or ...  ?

 

" but never did own an Atari ST " - biggest mistake in your life 😄

 

 

Edited by ParanoidLittleMan
mistype

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Hi Hobbyhands,

 

I'd just like to welcome you on behalf of the ST community.  You've taken that all important first step and bought one.  You made it happen!  Not everyone does that.

 

I can't say that you've bought the best model (a 4MB STe with TOS 1.62 and good DMA chip is the best all-rounder) but we all have to start somewhere and the ST is not an easy system to get into.  My advice would be to start small and enjoy what you have (that's what I did); get some cheap games from eBay, try your luck with magazine disks and see where it takes you; if you've got an old PC with a floppy drive handy see if you can get some games off the internet; if you love the ST, you'll love whatever you can find and everything else will come along in good time.

 

I would recommend that you upgrade to a double sided disk drive in the not too distant future as that will greatly increase the amount of software available to you.  I wouldn't spend a lot of money on a digital solution until you have an ST that's more able to take advantage of it.

 

Enjoy!

Edited by English Invader
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The SF314 works fine on the 520ST. And I do recommend you get one or swap out the drive with a PC mech. Will have to modify the case though. Chinon FZ357 or Epson SMD 300 work well. You can then copy files to PC FAT12 format 720k disks.

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My quest continues to get a working 520st.  So I plugged in my 354 drive. And anytime the 354 drive is plugged in the atari st will not boot to tos. It just stays on a blank screen. Un plug the drive and the system boots up.

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23 minutes ago, snarkdluG said:

Do you have power on the drive?

I have power on the drive. The red light turns on, then off after a bit. But I think I can still here is humming.

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Good questions. I have tried both sockets. When I plug it into the (in) I get the led power then turns off.  But computer does not boot(stays on a white screen). When plugged into the (out). Nothing happens, but computer boots. No RED led. 

 

I will have to put a floppy in and see what happens.

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I just want to say thanks to those who responded.   It did indeed take aboout 40 seconds for the machine to boot up with the floppy plugged in.

 

I only have 720k disks. I stuck one in and it gave me an error. It had not been formatted either. Can you format a 720 to a 360? Anyways.  At least this confirms the computer detects a floppy.  So I still may look for a 314 drive or try modding a gotek to work externally.

 

Thanks again. I'm at least farther than I was. Until this I'll have to settle with my retropie hatari setup

Edited by hobbyhands

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You can format DS disk as SS (360K) from Desktop. Well, I really don't want to be rude, but you will find yourself format option, just go through all menu items 😄

If format goes well, simplest test is to Save Desktop with opened A: . Then reset comp. and see will it start with same layout. 

If format gives errors try with other floppy. If still, you should clean floppy drive, especially heads.

" It did indeed take aboout 40 seconds for the machine to boot up with the floppy plugged in. "  It was told that 40 secs when no floppy in. But same happens if floppy is not formatted, or can not be read from some reason.

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I thought that it might take the same amount of time with a un-formatted floppy in. I did see the format option in the menu the other day. I just did not get to formatting one. I will try today though. And cleaning the heads is a good idea.

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