Amlyn Minipac diskette changer

Steven Hirsch snhirsch at gmail.com
Fri Jul 16 14:12:14 CDT 2010


On Fri, 16 Jul 2010, Fred Cisin wrote:

> On Fri, 16 Jul 2010, Steven Hirsch wrote:
>> Has anyone else on the list seen one of these?
>
> I had a few of the 5150 version.
> Sellam has them now.

Is Sellam "The Computer History Museum"?  They appear to have manuals and 
drives, but no means of accessing documentation.  I guess it's nice if you 
want to look at pictures.

>>  I picked up a Vista V1200
>> disk system for Apple 2 that uses this type of drive.  The mechanism takes
>> a plastic cartridge with five 5.25" floppy disks.  The diskettes appear to
>> be conventional SS format with a couple of extra punchouts to mate with
>> the loader mechanism.  Electrical interface is compatible with 8" floppy
>> drives (interface card was also sold for that purpose).
>
> The 5150 version, and probably yours also, uses DSHD ("1.2M") disks.  As
> you mentioned, it has extra cut-outs.  I have used diskettes from the
> cartridges as regular 1.2m.
>
> If you get desperate, I have a few cartridges kicking around.

I would like to take you up on that if you can locate them.  I also saw a 
note from you referring to a frame for punching holes in 1.2M floppies to 
make them fit.  If you have one of those, I'd be interested.

>> I'm not able to turn up any information about the drive and am wondering
>> how the diskette select/load scheme is intended to work.  There are
>> at least a couple of possibilities:
>> - Treat the physical diskettes as portions of a single logical floppy and
>> select diskette by track range (first diskette 0-39, second 40-79, etc.)
>
> Depending on the software that you use, . . .
> The default software for the 5150 sees the pack as a single 6M disk.
> (5 * 1.2M)

Hmm.  I wonder how they map tracks, then?  The A2 Vista controller uses a 
WD179x controller and I think those are limited to one-byte track values.



>> - Treat each physical diskette as a logical drive and use binary select
>> lines on interface to choose.
>
> . . . capable of that, but not the default in the 5150 software
>
>> Anyone have documentation on the drive mechanism or the Vista product?
>
> No.

Thanks for the response - I'll keep looking.  And do let me know if you 
want to part with the cartridges and/or punch jig.

Steve



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