Author Topic: TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?  (Read 1738 times)

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Offline John_ITIC

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TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?
« on: March 29, 2017, 02:18:51 am »
My TDS544A can only write to the floppy if it was formatted in the TDS544A. But then the files cannot be read on my PC. If formatting the floppy in my PC, the TDS544A can't write to the floppy. The track alignment must be off in the TDS544A. Can this be fixed or do I have to buy a replacement floppy drive on Ebay?

Thanks.
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Offline Jwalling

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Re: TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 10:01:14 am »
In the old days of 8" floppy drives you would use a special disk and an oscilloscope to align drives. I remember doing this back in the 80's on Shugart and Qume drives. The scope would show a cats eye and you would turn the motor until the lobes were of equal size.
www.myatari.com/dymekalign.pdf

There is a screw that holds the motor that drives the heads in place. If you loosen the screw you could try using a disk formatted on your PC and turning the motor CW or CCW until the scope can read the disk properly.
Jay

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Offline CJay

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Re: TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 01:21:17 pm »
I would assume you've tried more than one PC floppy drive?

It's rather important to know which drive is out of alignment or you could end up with a pile of disks only you can read.

Those alignment disks, I remember them along with the floppy exercisers that made alignment much easier and on 5.25" and 3.5" drives.

Technology used to be so serviceable and actually fun to work on. 

« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 01:40:59 pm by CJay »
 

Offline tombi

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Re: TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 02:29:38 am »
Depending on how original you want to keep the device, I wonder if a floppy emulator might be a better solution? Something like this http://www.ipcas.com/products/usb-floppy-emulator-fdd-to-udd.html
 

Online edpalmer42

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Re: TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 03:01:59 am »
The first thing to do in a case like this is clean the heads of all the drives, both the scope and the PC.  For this, you need to find a floppy cleaning disk.  If there's no cleaning fluid with it, just use a drop or two of isopropyl alcohol.

If cleaning doesn't cure the problem, as CJay said, you need to make sure that the suspect disk is the one that's out of alignment.  Since alignment disks are impossible to find, the next best choice is an installation floppy for some software package.  Those floppies had a reputation for being cheap since they were often only used once.  Try a few.  They should be readable on both drives.

Ed
 

Offline John_ITIC

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Re: TDS544A - misaligned floppy drive - can be fixed?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2017, 02:10:14 am »
No, it's definitely the floppy drive that's out of alignment. There is one of Ebay for $50 and the USB adapter ones are about the same. Before buying, I'll have to open the enclosure to see if it can be adjusted (low priority since lots of other scopes to use, really).

Thanks.
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