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1050 intermittently works


gorkon
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I have an Atari 1050 stock drive I just got and it worked ok right when I received it, but later on it would intermittently not work. Fiddle with the switches in the back and swap the SIO around and maybe blow it out and it would work for a while. I did try cleaning the head...no dice. I am not sure of the pad. Can someone share a pic of where it's supposed to be?

When I had it apart, I did power the drive up with a disk in it and the drive pulses on and off and the head doesn't move when it's not working.

 

Any ideas??

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I believe if you power it on and the drive light and motor alternates on/off every 2 seconds it means the powerup hardware test sequence has failed. At that point no disk operations will be possible until a successful restart of the drive.

 

The felt pad is on the spring-loaded mechanism opposite the r/w head, from memory position should correspond to the same position as the head on the other side of the disk.

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clean and reseat all socketed chips being extremely careful about how wire blocks are positioned and put back the exact same way only handle the connecctors! not the wires themselves... some of the those blocks get put in differently than expected!

next conact spray all switches then blow all sensors and switches our with compress air or duster..... lastly move head gently all the way out and back a few times and then leave it somewhere near the middle of travel...

 

after you are sure it is all dry from your contact cleaner and everything is reseated and put back exactly as it should be.... then you may put power back to the drive and try with know good but not important disks!

low res pictures can help us make sure the header blocks are back on correctly for the wire harnesses

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Work those drive selector switches while still wet with contact cleaner or WD-40 twenty times back and forth. Then set them to the desired drive number position - I need to do this every decade or so myself, crud causes the drive to intermittently respond to any number or none while operations are attempted. Any number of symptoms then can occur, but I generally have a hunch that the wonky has returned to my switches when it happens here. Some effect can be had doing it dry, but soon enough it'll happen again. Use cleaner on them and they are good for ten years or so.

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If the drive access light just goes on and off repeatedly, its not the drive id switch or anything else like that. You have a failure on the power up sequence. I forget off the top of my head which component needs to be replaced. I think there is an old 1050 issues thread on here that has the answer.

Edited by kheller2
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If the drive access light just goes on and off repeatedly, its not the drive id switch or anything else like that. You have a failure on the power up sequence. I forget off the top of my head which component needs to be replaced. I think there is an old 1050 issues thread on here that has the answer.

 

 

I hope someone can find such a thread - one of my three 1050's does exactly this. Reseating the chips didn't help, unfortunately.

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That blinking ready light issue is due to a bad 6532 RIOT chip, and I thought everybody already knew that, sorry I didn't mention it before. Oddly, one can open the door too soon on a Happy equipped 1050 and get this symptom going there, but a simple reboot of the drive fixes it again.

 

Yeah, I completely missed "the drive pulses on and off" part, no sense fixing the switches when the RIOT is flashing the ready light. So follow _The Doctor__'s good advice and reseat all the chips. If that doesn't fix the blinky light on the front, then you should replace the 6532 RIOT chip. It won't say RIOT on it but it will have the numbers 6532 on it. Try eBay, mouser, jdr, jameco, digikey, futurlec.

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For what it's worth, last summer I tried replacing the 6532 in my non-functional 1050 with a RIOT from a working 1050 and a second time with one from a working 2600 ... No change. So at least in my case, the 6532 has no connection with whatever is going on.

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That's interesting DrVenkman, I don't think I could rest until I swapped out every chip I could trying to isolate it right on down to the motherboard or the drive mech. kheller2's suggestion for FDC involvement might be it? Or ram, or...

 

 

Well, on-board RAM is provided by the RIOT so I don't think that's the issue. I'm guessing it's the FDC but I don't know where to easily track down a replacement. I have two other working 1050's and most of my I/O is done with an SIO2USB connected to my RaspberryPi right next to my Ataris so I don't really need a third drive. As a result, tracking down this issue is very much on the back burner for me.

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$8 on eBay with shipping, I'm not trying to inspire you. I'm just saying I would not rest until I knew what was doing it. RIOT only provides for half the ram and it's not the half that makes up a sector's worth of data either, it's used for configuration info, stack and OS overhead, the 6810 is where the sector data is buffered. Which is why you need two of those when you go with US Doubler upgrade. Understood about actual use, I too use real floppies very rarely and only when nothing else can be used. If you ever do find out, please post a message as to what it was - inquisitive minds want to know...

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