Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy! - CP/M

This is a discussion on Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy! - CP/M ; Got your attention, didn't I? Sorry for the [only slightly] misleading subject line. The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a USB to ...

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Thread: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

  1. Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Got your attention, didn't I?

    Sorry for the [only slightly] misleading subject line.

    The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    USB to floppy controller. Will it work with a 5.25" drive? I don't
    know yet, but it's the first time we have found a 3.5" USB floppy that
    isn't "integrated" and that consists of a USB to floppy controller with
    a standard 34-pin interface.

    Barry Watzman
    Watzman@neo.rr.com

  2. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Jul 27, 9:58 am, Barry Watzman wrote:
    > Got your attention, didn't I?
    >
    > Sorry for the [only slightly] misleading subject line.
    >
    > The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    > drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    > USB to floppy controller. Will it work with a 5.25" drive? I don't
    > know yet, but it's the first time we have found a 3.5" USB floppy that
    > isn't "integrated" and that consists of a USB to floppy controller with
    > a standard 34-pin interface.
    >
    > Barry Watzman
    > Watz...@neo.rr.com


    Barry, does the literature say anything about USB 2.0 required? Or,
    does it happen to say it supports USB 1.0?

    TIA.

    Steve


  3. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    This is an old device, it's definitely USB 1.x

    s_dubrovich@yahoo.com wrote:
    > On Jul 27, 9:58 am, Barry Watzman wrote:
    >> Got your attention, didn't I?
    >>
    >> Sorry for the [only slightly] misleading subject line.
    >>
    >> The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    >> drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    >> USB to floppy controller. Will it work with a 5.25" drive? I don't
    >> know yet, but it's the first time we have found a 3.5" USB floppy that
    >> isn't "integrated" and that consists of a USB to floppy controller with
    >> a standard 34-pin interface.
    >>
    >> Barry Watzman
    >> Watz...@neo.rr.com

    >
    > Barry, does the literature say anything about USB 2.0 required? Or,
    > does it happen to say it supports USB 1.0?
    >
    > TIA.
    >
    > Steve
    >


  4. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    "Barry Watzman" wrote in message
    news:46aa1656$0$30678$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    > Got your attention, didn't I?
    >
    > Sorry for the [only slightly] misleading subject line.


    OK, I'll bring my soiled pants over for you to wash
    since I lost control when I read your subject line! 8^0

    Seriously, though, this IS potentially great news! Thanks
    for the update.

    Tom Lake


  5. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Barry Watzman wrote:
    [...]
    > The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    > drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    > USB to floppy controller.


    USB mass storage drives talk, basically, SCSI. The USB device will contain a
    microcontroller that will translate high-level 'read/write block n' commands
    into low-level FDDC commands. There's a good chance that it's hard-wired for
    PC formats and can't be configured for anything else.

    I've got a TEAC FD-05PUB, USB ID 0644:0000. It claims to support the following:

    (bytes x sectors x cylinders x tracks)
    512x18x2x80, 1440kB
    512x16x2x80, 1200kB
    1024x9x2x77, 1232kB

    (Figured out with the amazingly handy ufiformat program:
    http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html)

    So it may work with standard 1.2MB 5.25" disks, but you might be out of luck
    with any of the more exotic CP/M formats...

    --
    ┌── dg*cowlark.com ─── http://www.cowlark.com ──────────────── ──

    │ "There does not now, nor will there ever, exist a programming language in
    │ which it is the least bit hard to write bad programs." --- Flon's Axiom

  6. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    In article <46ab8ec1$0$648$5a6aecb4@news.aaisp.net.uk>, David Given wrote:
    > (bytes x sectors x cylinders x tracks)
    > 512x18x2x80, 1440kB
    > 512x16x2x80, 1200kB
    > 1024x9x2x77, 1232kB
    >
    > (Figured out with the amazingly handy ufiformat program:
    > http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html)
    >
    > So it may work with standard 1.2MB 5.25" disks, but you might be out of luck
    > with any of the more exotic CP/M formats...
    >

    The last one looks suspiciously like an 8" disk format (the 77
    tracks was the give away.) I have also seen 1024 b/s with 9 sectors on
    8" soft sectored media myself. If his hd adaptor board can do similar
    he could interface a 8" floppy drive to the board! (oh the
    possibilities... ) My old H47 8" drive btw did that last format now
    that I think of it. Sure the remex units made a racket but they were
    fun to listen to. I miss the H88 with the H47 I had. Never saw another
    one like it anywhere.
    Speaking of interfacing. how would someone interface a H47
    floppy drive subsystem to a modern PC? Some say it uses SASI. some say
    it uses something closer to IDE. which is it?

    --

    From the Desk of the Sysop of:
    Planet Maca's Opus, a Free open BBS system. telnet://pinkrose.dhis.org
    Web Site: http://pinkrose.dhis.org, Dialup 860-618-3091 300-33600 bps
    The New Cnews maintainer
    B'ichela


  7. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    B'ichela wrote:
    >[...]
    > The last one looks suspiciously like an 8" disk format (the 77
    > tracks was the give away.) I have also seen 1024 b/s with 9 sectors on
    > 8" soft sectored media myself. If his hd adaptor board can do similar
    > he could interface a 8" floppy drive to the board!


    I was really surprised to see it myself... 1.44MB floppies work fine in that
    format, but they spin faster (I never even knew that the drive could control
    spin speed!). Transfer rate seems to be a little faster --- 31 kB/s rather
    than 28-odd --- but some Linux filesystems don't like it because of the
    different sector sizes. vfat fails, minix and ext2 work. No great surprise
    there. mkfs.cpm ran, but I'm not sure it produced a meaningful result.

    I've no idea what's inside it, I don't want to take the lid off...

    --
    ┌── dg*cowlark.com ─── http://www.cowlark.com ──────────────── ──

    │ "There does not now, nor will there ever, exist a programming language in
    │ which it is the least bit hard to write bad programs." --- Flon's Axiom

  8. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Re: "I never even knew that the drive could control spin speed!"

    Generally, they can't, with one exception: High density (1.2MB) 5.25"
    floppy drives are normally dual speed 300/360 rpm. It's a special case.


    David Given wrote:
    > B'ichela wrote:
    >> [...]
    >> The last one looks suspiciously like an 8" disk format (the 77
    >> tracks was the give away.) I have also seen 1024 b/s with 9 sectors on
    >> 8" soft sectored media myself. If his hd adaptor board can do similar
    >> he could interface a 8" floppy drive to the board!

    >
    > I was really surprised to see it myself... 1.44MB floppies work fine in that
    > format, but they spin faster (I never even knew that the drive could control
    > spin speed!). Transfer rate seems to be a little faster --- 31 kB/s rather
    > than 28-odd --- but some Linux filesystems don't like it because of the
    > different sector sizes. vfat fails, minix and ext2 work. No great surprise
    > there. mkfs.cpm ran, but I'm not sure it produced a meaningful result.
    >
    > I've no idea what's inside it, I don't want to take the lid off...
    >


  9. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    I supported 9*1024 sectors on 8" drives in all of my operating systems
    (CP/M-86, MP/M-86 and CP/M-Plus) for the Heathkit/Zenith Data Systems
    Z-100 computers. I was not aware that anyone else was using this
    format, however. I also supported 5*1024 on 5.25" 360k drives. [These
    formats were supported in addition to, not instead of, other, more
    common formats]


    B'ichela wrote:
    > In article <46ab8ec1$0$648$5a6aecb4@news.aaisp.net.uk>, David Given wrote:
    >> (bytes x sectors x cylinders x tracks)
    >> 512x18x2x80, 1440kB
    >> 512x16x2x80, 1200kB
    >> 1024x9x2x77, 1232kB
    >>
    >> (Figured out with the amazingly handy ufiformat program:
    >> http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html)
    >>
    >> So it may work with standard 1.2MB 5.25" disks, but you might be out of luck
    >> with any of the more exotic CP/M formats...
    >>

    > The last one looks suspiciously like an 8" disk format (the 77
    > tracks was the give away.) I have also seen 1024 b/s with 9 sectors on
    > 8" soft sectored media myself. If his hd adaptor board can do similar
    > he could interface a 8" floppy drive to the board! (oh the
    > possibilities... ) My old H47 8" drive btw did that last format now
    > that I think of it. Sure the remex units made a racket but they were
    > fun to listen to. I miss the H88 with the H47 I had. Never saw another
    > one like it anywhere.
    > Speaking of interfacing. how would someone interface a H47
    > floppy drive subsystem to a modern PC? Some say it uses SASI. some say
    > it uses something closer to IDE. which is it?
    >


  10. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    It's possible that sizes which the drive cannot format itself can be
    used and supported (either read only or possibly even read/write) if
    they are formatted on another system.


    David Given wrote:
    > Barry Watzman wrote:
    > [...]
    >> The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    >> drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    >> USB to floppy controller.

    >
    > USB mass storage drives talk, basically, SCSI. The USB device will contain a
    > microcontroller that will translate high-level 'read/write block n' commands
    > into low-level FDDC commands. There's a good chance that it's hard-wired for
    > PC formats and can't be configured for anything else.
    >
    > I've got a TEAC FD-05PUB, USB ID 0644:0000. It claims to support the following:
    >
    > (bytes x sectors x cylinders x tracks)
    > 512x18x2x80, 1440kB
    > 512x16x2x80, 1200kB
    > 1024x9x2x77, 1232kB
    >
    > (Figured out with the amazingly handy ufiformat program:
    > http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html)
    >
    > So it may work with standard 1.2MB 5.25" disks, but you might be out of luck
    > with any of the more exotic CP/M formats...
    >


  11. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 19:43:12 -0400, Barry Watzman
    wrote:

    >I supported 9*1024 sectors on 8" drives in all of my operating systems
    >(CP/M-86, MP/M-86 and CP/M-Plus) for the Heathkit/Zenith Data Systems
    >Z-100 computers. I was not aware that anyone else was using this
    >format, however. I also supported 5*1024 on 5.25" 360k drives. [These
    >formats were supported in addition to, not instead of, other, more
    >common formats]


    Morrow and CSC also did 9x1024 8" DD (both SS and DS).

    Allison

    >
    >
    >B'ichela wrote:
    >> In article <46ab8ec1$0$648$5a6aecb4@news.aaisp.net.uk>, David Given wrote:
    >>> (bytes x sectors x cylinders x tracks)
    >>> 512x18x2x80, 1440kB
    >>> 512x16x2x80, 1200kB
    >>> 1024x9x2x77, 1232kB
    >>>
    >>> (Figured out with the amazingly handy ufiformat program:
    >>> http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html)
    >>>
    >>> So it may work with standard 1.2MB 5.25" disks, but you might be out of luck
    >>> with any of the more exotic CP/M formats...
    >>>

    >> The last one looks suspiciously like an 8" disk format (the 77
    >> tracks was the give away.) I have also seen 1024 b/s with 9 sectors on
    >> 8" soft sectored media myself. If his hd adaptor board can do similar
    >> he could interface a 8" floppy drive to the board! (oh the
    >> possibilities... ) My old H47 8" drive btw did that last format now
    >> that I think of it. Sure the remex units made a racket but they were
    >> fun to listen to. I miss the H88 with the H47 I had. Never saw another
    >> one like it anywhere.
    >> Speaking of interfacing. how would someone interface a H47
    >> floppy drive subsystem to a modern PC? Some say it uses SASI. some say
    >> it uses something closer to IDE. which is it?
    >>



  12. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Barry Watzman schrieb:

    > Re: "I never even knew that the drive could control spin speed!"
    >
    > Generally, they can't, with one exception: High density (1.2MB) 5.25"
    > floppy drives are normally dual speed 300/360 rpm. It's a special case.


    First generation only. Later, they spun at constant 360 rpm, which made
    it necessary to switch to a special clock frequency (9.6 MHz instead of
    8 MHz) at the FDC to process FM/MFM disks in these drives.

    These 360-rpm-only drives then were the standard drives in PCs.

    Tilmann

    --
    http://www.autometer.de - Elektronik nach Maß.

  13. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    > The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    > drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    > USB to floppy controller. Will it work with a 5.25" drive? I don't
    > know yet, but it's the first time we have found a 3.5" USB floppy that
    > isn't "integrated" and that consists of a USB to floppy controller with
    > a standard 34-pin interface.
    >
    > Barry Watzman
    > Watz...@neo.rr.com


    If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time. Not only does it seem
    from the UFI spec that talking to the 5.25 in all the modes needed
    isn't supported, but what good would a USB interface be with drives
    that are no longer being manufactured and aren't easily repairable if
    at all (unlike some discrete component 8" DS drives which will likely
    serviceably outlast all 3.5 and 5.25 drives (I temporarily rule out SS
    drives due to felt pad issue)).

    Rather, I think those concerned's time would be far more wisely
    spent migrating off 5.25" permanently, and going to 3.5" or better,
    developing some solid state USB floppy emulator box (with both 34 and
    50 pin connectors) that can plug into a PC, receive an image, then be
    configurable and functional as ANY kind of floppy for a legacy
    system. THAT would be a USEFUL and worthy endeavor.

    ~ J


  14. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    jsnospam@cimmeri.com wrote:
    >
    > > The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    > > drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    > > USB to floppy controller. Will it work with a 5.25" drive? I don't
    > > know yet, but it's the first time we have found a 3.5" USB floppy that
    > > isn't "integrated" and that consists of a USB to floppy controller with
    > > a standard 34-pin interface.
    > >
    > > Barry Watzman
    > > Watz...@neo.rr.com

    >
    > If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    > thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time. Not only does it seem
    > from the UFI spec that talking to the 5.25 in all the modes needed
    > isn't supported, but what good would a USB interface be with drives
    > that are no longer being manufactured and aren't easily repairable if
    > at all (unlike some discrete component 8" DS drives which will likely
    > serviceably outlast all 3.5 and 5.25 drives (I temporarily rule out SS
    > drives due to felt pad issue)).
    >
    > Rather, I think those concerned's time would be far more wisely
    > spent migrating off 5.25" permanently, and going to 3.5" or better,
    > developing some solid state USB floppy emulator box (with both 34 and
    > 50 pin connectors) that can plug into a PC, receive an image, then be
    > configurable and functional as ANY kind of floppy for a legacy
    > system. THAT would be a USEFUL and worthy endeavor.
    >
    > ~ J

    -------------------
    For the size of CP/M it would be a lot better to migrate to those
    little USB jump-drives, or just SanDisk Memory cards, which are
    easily written to and can hold all the programs you'd ever want
    from CP/M. Or you could just battery back-up one of those huge RAM
    sticks out of a PC. Why anyone is bothering with spinning media
    when we can do it all in RAM/ROM/EEPROM/Flash now is beyond me,
    especially if you're using USB technology to access that old trash!
    You might as well get up to date and stay in the memory/IO map
    rather than go out to mechanically fragile spinning (ugh) media.
    And let's put our cp/M in EPROM for gosh sakes! Somebody surely
    recalls how that overlay process works for bigger programs and
    it can be simply replaced or easily subverted. (P.S., I knew at
    one time, but forgot, does anybody have that info close at hand?)

    -Steve
    --
    -Steve Walz rstevew@armory.com ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew
    Electronics Site!! 1000's of Files and Dirs!! With Schematics Galore!!
    http://www.armory.com/~rstevew or http://www.armory.com/~rstevew/Public

  15. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Tilmann Reh wrote:
    > Barry Watzman schrieb:


    (snip)
    >>Generally, they can't, with one exception: High density (1.2MB) 5.25"
    >>floppy drives are normally dual speed 300/360 rpm. It's a special case.


    > First generation only. Later, they spun at constant 360 rpm, which made
    > it necessary to switch to a special clock frequency (9.6 MHz instead of
    > 8 MHz) at the FDC to process FM/MFM disks in these drives.


    > These 360-rpm-only drives then were the standard drives in PCs.


    I had thought that the dual speed drives came later.

    I had the data sheet for the TEAC FD55G long before I ever heard of
    the IBM PC/AT, maybe even before it was available in the US.

    In any case, IBM started using single speed drives with a three
    frequency controller. (250, 300, 500) kb/s.

    -- glen


  16. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Re: "If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time"

    You are entitled to your opinion; I do not share it, not one bit.

    As to drive availability, there are millions and millions of drives
    available. Drive availability is absolutely not a problem.


    jsnospam@cimmeri.com wrote:
    >> The Buslink FDD1 3.5" USB floppy drive ***IS*** a standard 3.5" floppy
    >> drive, with an easily accessible 34-pin ribbon cable, in a case with a
    >> USB to floppy controller. Will it work with a 5.25" drive? I don't
    >> know yet, but it's the first time we have found a 3.5" USB floppy that
    >> isn't "integrated" and that consists of a USB to floppy controller with
    >> a standard 34-pin interface.
    >>
    >> Barry Watzman
    >> Watz...@neo.rr.com

    >
    > If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    > thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time. Not only does it seem
    > from the UFI spec that talking to the 5.25 in all the modes needed
    > isn't supported, but what good would a USB interface be with drives
    > that are no longer being manufactured and aren't easily repairable if
    > at all (unlike some discrete component 8" DS drives which will likely
    > serviceably outlast all 3.5 and 5.25 drives (I temporarily rule out SS
    > drives due to felt pad issue)).
    >
    > Rather, I think those concerned's time would be far more wisely
    > spent migrating off 5.25" permanently, and going to 3.5" or better,
    > developing some solid state USB floppy emulator box (with both 34 and
    > 50 pin connectors) that can plug into a PC, receive an image, then be
    > configurable and functional as ANY kind of floppy for a legacy
    > system. THAT would be a USEFUL and worthy endeavor.
    >
    > ~ J
    >


  17. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Jul 30, 12:17 pm, Barry Watzman wrote:
    > You are entitled to your opinion; I do not share it, not one bit.
    >
    > As to drive availability, there are millions and millions of drives
    > available. Drive availability is absolutely not a problem.


    If there are millions, there certainly aren't a representative number
    of 5.25" drives -- especially HD -- on ebay. At least, not the good
    Teac ones with the right jumpers. But even if there were, one real
    issue will be longevity and serviceability as well as media
    durability.

    I still have to ask WHY, though? I would think most people would want
    to get off 5.25" floppies asap, and at the least cost UNLESS they are
    trying to maintain vintage equip with original drives ONLY. Thus the
    great logic of Allison's suggestion. There's nothing inately
    interesting about the 5.25" ... other than that the HD version can
    directly replace an 8" DSDD drive. I have a stock of new HD 5.25"
    drives here just for that purpose, followed by a stock of dual speed
    3.5" drives to replace them when THEY die. But as hedged as I am, I'm
    still betting my 8"ers will outlast them all except for possibly the
    media.

    Except for those of us who really enjoy watching and hearing the
    original drives (as I do), why not do as Steve Walz says -- just get
    beyond this old stuff.

    ~ J


  18. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Jul 30, 10:53 am, "R. Steve Walz" wrote:
    > For the size of CP/M it would be a lot better to migrate to...>
    > -Steve


    Steve, functionally, you are of course right on. Yes, it would be
    MUCH easier to shove a CF card into my most modern PC, plop files onto
    it, and then attach it directly to my IMSAI (I am working on this
    option too as a hard drive replacement).

    However, for some of us, experiencing all the sights, sounds, and
    smells of the original gear is much of the enjoyment. I'm still using
    8" drives with my IMSAI and would feel empty and odd if it operated in
    complete silence save for fan. One 8" is attached to IMSAI; one to a
    PC XT (286 upgraded), and that's how I shuffle files or disk images
    back and forth.

    ~ J



  19. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    > If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    > thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time.


    This is a HOBBY we're talking about. It doesn't need any justification
    as far as practicality, feasibility or anything. It just needs to be fun!

    I'm funding the contest simply because I want to transfer disks to my PC
    without
    having to have another computer in my already crowded computer room. I get
    my external floppy and the winner gets all hardware costs paid, a Hefty
    bonus,
    plus all the fame and glory (!?!) of being the first to do what everyone
    said couldn't
    be done! (Not to mention the non-exclusive rights to sell the device to all
    interested
    parties!)

    Tom Lake





  20. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Jul 30, 5:07 pm, "Tom Lake" wrote:
    > I'm funding the contest simply because I want to transfer disks to my PC
    > without
    > having to have another computer in my already crowded computer room.


    If it can be done easily, it's worth doing.. otherwise, existing
    solutions are too ready available, I think, to warrant reinventing a
    wheel.. THAT SAID.

    What's the format of disks are you desiring to transfer?

    I have a USB 3.5" dual speed (300/360rpm) dual datarate 250kbps/
    500kbps drive here plugged into my WinXP PC. I just formatted a few
    5.25" SSDD and DSDD CPM formats onto it at 300rpm, 250kbps... which
    means a 5.25" drive would interface with no problem and do the same.

    Let me know your format and I'll see if it's possible.

    ~ J

    www.usconverters.com


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