WTB: 5.25" Floppies

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KayjayUK
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WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:28 am

Does anyone have any discs of good quality they can pass on or perhaps knowledge of a supplier, if there are any now!
My discs are aged or at least I think that's my problem, they won't consistently format, sometimes ok sometimes can't find sector at start of disc. I don't want to commit data to then just in case it doesn't hold it reliably.

So I'm happy to pay a reasonable price and of course the postage if anyone has any good discs.

Oh, I use 80 track, double sided, double density.

Keith
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

cmorley
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby cmorley » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:41 am

Out of interest. Have you given your heads a really good clean?

I have found that old disks can shed their coating and it sticks to the heads. Enough so that it stopped one perfectly good drive from formatting/verifying properly. A brief panic then head clean later and the drive was fine.

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martinw
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby martinw » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:45 am

Mark at Retroclinic sold me some, a while back now ....

https://en-gb.facebook.com/RetroClinic/

Martin

KayjayUK
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Location: Stockport

Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:30 am

cmorley wrote:Out of interest. Have you given your heads a really good clean?

I have found that old disks can shed their coating and it sticks to the heads. Enough so that it stopped one perfectly good drive from formatting/verifying properly. A brief panic then head clean later and the drive was fine.

Good tip Chris thanks. In this case though I bought the drives from Mark a couple of weeks back, remember? You were looking at a set for me but they were duff. I would assume the drives I now have will be fine as everything else that comes from Mark is =D>

Incidentally, did you get those duff drives along with a poor looking Beeb?, I think I saw the listing for something like you described to me, one of the drives had been changed for a different make.

Keith
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

KayjayUK
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Location: Stockport

Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:32 am

martinw wrote:Mark at Retroclinic sold me some, a while back now ....

https://en-gb.facebook.com/RetroClinic/

Martin

I shall pester Mark once again with my custom :) Well, I'll enquire anyway.

Keith
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

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trev-ham
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby trev-ham » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:41 am

Another reason for drive failure to read/write or format unreliably is the drive belt perishing, I would recommend replacing before taking any further action.

Trevor

KayjayUK
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:48 am

Since writing the lead post in this thread I've played around some more with thediscs I have and have found that they format perfectly every time as 40 track.

I have a lot to try and refresh from the 80's as I've only just brought out the Beeb since then. I am surecI would have known the answer to my next question as well as many others that are currently putting splinters under my fingernails. I thought that there wasn't a difference between discs used for 40 or 80 tracks and they were just made single/double sided and standard/high density. The majority of the discs I currently have are DS/DD but won't format reliably with drives selected for 80 tracks.

My head aches with all the info I'm trying to remember, it's sad really, back in the 80's I could write a rom header and the software following it without a single reference to data and now all I remember on that front is the first two instructions, jumps to language and service. This isn't a request for that info by the way, just pointing out how sad I am now I've reached my dotage, Paul Mc sang about me .... When I'm 64 ... that was last year though, I'll be 66 next month .... someone fetch my pipe and slippers please. :cry: :wink:
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

KayjayUK
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Location: Stockport

Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:52 am

trev-ham wrote:Another reason for drive failure to read/write or format unreliably is the drive belt perishing, I would recommend replacing before taking any further action.

Trevor


Thanks Trevor. The drives are 'new' just bought a couple of weeks back from Mark at Retroclinic (see thread above yours) so there will be no problems with them, this is why I thought I'd look towards discs, besides they'd be cheaper than a drive repair.

Keith
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

cmorley
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby cmorley » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:28 am

KayjayUK wrote:Good tip Chris thanks. In this case though I bought the drives from Mark a couple of weeks back, remember? You were looking at a set for me but they were duff. I would assume the drives I now have will be fine as everything else that comes from Mark is =D>
Keith


I'm sure Mark sent the drives in great condition. It only takes one disk with bad surface to gunk up the heads - the horrid squeak noise or chirp noises means you should clean the heads before doing anything in my experience. A disk which has been shedding surface looks more like a vinyl record (with grooves) rather than the normal uniform brown.

The dead drives came in a bundle I got off eBay. The B had a ROM/RAM board with bad battery leakage. I couldn't be bothered to repair the ROM/RAM board. The electrolyte had leaked down into the motherboard by the CPU but replacing a bunch of sockets and remove/clean/resolder the ICs near the CPU got that back to life. There was a bunch of other stuff in the eBay haul so I am not too worried about the disk drives being NFG.

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flaxcottage
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby flaxcottage » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:29 am

KayjayUK wrote: I thought that there wasn't a difference between discs used for 40 or 80 tracks and they were just made single/double sided and standard/high density. The majority of the discs I currently have are DS/DD but won't format reliably with drives selected for 80 tracks.


BITD 5.25" floppies came in a variety of versions;

- single-sided 48TPI that formatted to 40T
- as above but double-sided
- single-sided 96TPI that formatted to either 40T or 80T
- as above but double-sided

Your discs could be DS/DD 48TPI and so they may not reliably format to 80T. I do know BITD we used to format 48TPI discs to 80T and use single-sided disks as double-sided but sometime they would not take the format.
- John

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crj
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby crj » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:39 pm

KayjayUK wrote:My head aches with all the info I'm trying to remember, it's sad really, back in the 80's I could write a rom header and the software following it without a single reference to data and now all I remember on that front is the first two instructions, jumps to language and service.

I seem to have the opposite problem. Now I'm dabbling in retrocomputing I find all sorts of information stashed away in dark corners of my memory waiting to pop out when bidden. I wonder what else I could have learned instead in my mis-spent youth that would have stil been useful? (-8

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1024MAK
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby 1024MAK » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:55 pm

There is another possible cause of trouble. If the disks were originally used with a 40 track drive, the width of the head on a 40 track drive is wider than the head in an 80 track drive. So the 80 track drive may not be able to override all of the magnetic field made by the 40 track drive...

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

KayjayUK
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:03 pm

cmorley wrote:
It only takes one disk with bad surface to gunk up the heads - the horrid squeak noise or chirp noises means you should clean the heads before doing anything in my experience. A disk which has been shedding surface looks more like a vinyl record (with grooves) rather than the normal uniform brown.



I remember now, I used to have a disc that was a kind of hardened felt that I put fluid on to clean the heads. I assume these are no longer available so how would I go about cleaning the heads when needed?

Keith
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

KayjayUK
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Location: Stockport

Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:08 pm

flaxcottage wrote:
BITD 5.25" floppies came in a variety of versions;

- single-sided 48TPI that formatted to 40T
- as above but double-sided
- single-sided 96TPI that formatted to either 40T or 80T
- as above but double-sided

Your discs could be DS/DD 48TPI and so they may not reliably format to 80T. I do know BITD we used to format 48TPI discs to 80T and use single-sided disks as double-sided but sometime they would not take the format.


Of course, now I remember the 48 and 96 tpi discs and I remember risking the use of single sided as double and 48 as 96 hehe ... The things we did to save a few bob !

Thanks for jogging my memory Jon :)
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

KayjayUK
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Location: Stockport

Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby KayjayUK » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:21 pm

1024MAK wrote:There is another possible cause of trouble. If the disks were originally used with a 40 track drive, the width of the head on a 40 track drive is wider than the head in an 80 track drive. So the 80 track drive may not be able to override all of the magnetic field made by the 40 track drive...

Mark


Valid reasoning Mark, to be honest I thought I had used these as 80 track maybe I didn't in which case your explanation could come in to play.

Wherever the problem lies I now need to find some 96 tpi discs.

I have some brand new discs I got from Ebay a few years back thinking they would come in useful if I ever got the Beeb out again which is now the case. The only problem is they won't format at all. They are marked up as preformatted for IBM, so I suppose they were intended for PC's. Do you know the difference? Someone once told me something about them needing a hub ring to be suitable for the Beeb.

Any thoughts ?

Keith
From little Acorns great Beebs grow!

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1024MAK
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Re: WTB: 5.25" Floppies

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:32 pm

What type of disks are they? The last IBM/PC disks were high density and have a different magnetic coating. They are not normally suitable.

Also I f a disk has a alien format, the quickest, easiest method is to erase them using a bulk eraser. But as not many people have one, stick them next to a powerful magnetic field. An alternating field is best :mrgreen:

These days, the best way to clean a drive head, is to open the drive, then use head cleaning fluid, or IPA, on a chamois cleaning stick. If you can't get any of these, use a lint free material.

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...


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