Odd floppy drives (was: Orbis
cclist at sydex.com
Sat Sep 24 12:32:59 CDT 2005
On 9/24/2005 at 9:52 AM Fred Cisin wrote:
>Although not very solid, Epson was the only 67.5 TPI 3.5" drive that I
>could ever find. (disk format of Geneva PX-8)
I believe I still have an original Sony OAD-1 drive (single-sided with head-load solenoid) that was only 40 tracks. And I know I still have a couple of the competing 3.25" floppy drives.
>I remember about 20 years ago that TEC (NOT TeAc) announced a
>2.9" drive with a spiral track. (as well as some 720K 2.9" ones)
>Is that what they were using?
Well, I'm holding one of the diskettes in my hand right now--it's labeled 2.8" and has no shutter over the access holes. The hub is a hunk of white plastic (nylon?) about 3/4" in diameter with about a 1/4" center hole and a very small hole for an indexing pin. These are "flippies"--each side has its own write-protect punchout tab.
Does this sound like your 2.9" jobs?
>There was also a Weltec 5.25" drive that ran at 180 RPM,
>in order to do 1.2M with XT at 250K data transfer rate.
Ah yes--when it was cheaper to change the drive than the controller! AFAIK, almost all 5.25' 1.2M drives had some sort of dual-speed 300/360 RPM capability under the hood, even if it wasn't publicized. Much like some 3.5" 1.44MB drives today.
The NEC approach always appealed to me--the same recording format and data rate across the whole range 8"-5.25"-3.5".
>The Dysan 3.25" was kinda neat. Dysan bet the company that the
>"shirt pocket" disk (3", 3.25", 3.5", 3.9") that would succeed
>would be the one with software availability. So, they overextended
>themselves creating a software publishing/distribution company
>providing MOST of the big popular software titles on 3.25".
>'Course George Morrow said that the solution was to cut a deal with
>the clothing industry to enlarge shirt pockets to 5.25" or even 8".
I've still got a couple of those drives--labeled "Shugart Venture" when there were two Shugarts--one in the valley and one in the Santa Cruz mountains. Still have a box of Dysan diskettes for them, too--but given the poor protection of the recording medium, the LAST place I'd ever want to put on is in a shirt pocket!
>My favorite weird drive was the Amlyn. It was before the AT came out.
>It used a "proprietary" 8 bit ISA controller that had a 500K data
>transfer rate (could also be used for 8"). It used a cartridge that held
>5 600 Oersted disks (total of 6M), with a few extra holes punched in
>corners of the jackets, and could change disks from the cartridge under
>software control. One of mine is now in Sellam's collection; NO idea
>where the other one is.
I've only seen one of those--and it may have been at a WCCF--reminded me a bit of the old NCR CRAM.
I've got a couple of the Drivetec drives with the dual-motor embedded servo positioning system. One is the original 2.88MB model that was in the Kaypro boxes; the other bears a Kodak nameplate and is a 6MB model.
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