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Atari 810 potential issues and questions


jaek_3
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I recently got an Atari 810 in the mail, but unfortunately for me the seller neglected to include a power supply so I've got some time to kill. When I plug my current power supply into the 810, if I'm lucky the head will zip all the way to the end of the rail for a little bit, then back up. The busy light will shut off, and the motor will stop spinning. Most of the time though, the busy light stays on and the motor keeps spinning. Is that normal behavior?

 

Also, is there any program for writing Atari 8-bit single density disks besides SIO2PC? I ordered one already, but it's going to take some time to arrive. I've tried out some already, but from what I understand they will not write 810-readable disks.

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It's normal behaviour for the 810 to seek to track 0 at powerup. It should spin for 10 seconds or so, then seek back to 39 before spinning down.

 

If it doesnt stop, something else is up. Ive seen it do that if the computer tries to read a sector while there is no disk in the drive. The 810 has no smarts to tell if the drive latch is actually closed or not I think, so it will keep trying to read.

 

What is your current power supply? It is the same as the 1050. (9VAC, 3 amps) You might try reseating chips, but if its intermittent I'm guessing maybe your power supply is insufficient.

 

Which specific SIO2PC did you order? Most still require a real atari computer to drive the talking to the PC and drive. Ie running a sector copy program to copy from the real 810 drive 1, to an emulated drive 2 on the PC. The PC cannot normally directly talk to the disk drive. There are some variations such as '10502PC' and ape prosystem that can do that.

 

Your only limitation with the 810 vs other drives is that it only supports single density. (And its very large and noisy haha)

Edited by Nezgar
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Wow, talk about an easy solution! Thanks!

 

Would you also happen to know anything about writing Atari 810 disks? I tried out a few MS-DOS utilities, but I think theyre only compatable with XL/XE systems and don't support writing single density disks. I would try a disk out on my real 810 but for obvious reasons that wont be an option until a few days from now.

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Would you also happen to know anything about writing Atari 810 disks? I tried out a few MS-DOS utilities, but I think theyre only compatable with XL/XE systems and don't support writing single density disks. I would try a disk out on my real 810 but for obvious reasons that wont be an option until a few days from now.

 

MS-DOS PC's with the right controller can only read double density Atari disks, not single density, if you can get it to work at all. IMHO, that path is not worth the effort. The minimum setup would be Lotharek's Sio2PC-USB to have your PC/Mac/Linux running a program like AspeQt or RespeQt to serve up a virtual emulated floppy drive using a real Atari computer, or 10502PC to read disks directly from an Atari drive to the PC (I haven't used this)

http://www.lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=98

http://www.lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=198

 

Sio2PC is the easiest way to download new software as well.. open the ATR file on the PC and turn on the Atari computer and boot :D

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MS-DOS PC's with the right controller can only read double density Atari disks, not single density, if you can get it to work at all. IMHO, that path is not worth the effort.

 

That's not accurate. All PC floppy controllers ( that access a drive mechanism directly, not USB drives) can read Atari double density, and only some can read single density. But there are some some limitations and complications that indeed make it not the best method nowadays.

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As per the referenced FAQ:

  9 V AC  15.3 VA  (1.7 A)  Atari#CO14319
    400,800,822,850,1010,1200XL
The smallest 15.3A potentially included for the 400/800 would not be sufficient for a drive.

 

And that 15.3 VA reference doesn''t show 810 in that list. So one wouldn'r choose that one would they?

 

but, this one is the one someone would choose since it is used on the 800 and 810...

  9 V AC  31 VA  (3.4 A)  Atari#CO17945
    400,800,822,850,1010,1200XL,810,1020,1050,XF551

So, the PSU used on a 800 Can power a 810, that's what I was getting at...

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Yeah, the 400/800 supply, though 9VAC is only rated to something like 1A, definitely not enough to drive the 12V side of thew 810 (motor etc). That is definitely your problem.

In general, the above statement is still not true. You're just assuming all 400's/800's only have a 15.3 VA PSU. The 400's/800's and 810's I bought all had the 31 VA PSU's...

Edited by AtariGeezer
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Well everything seems to be working, maybe. I got a pack of DOS 2.5 diskettes, and they do boot, but the 810 can't write or format them. I'm assuming that's because DOS 2.5 was designed for the 1050. I was wondering if there was a cassette DOS I could use instead? I've tried TT-DOS, but I don't think it'll run on an Atari 400; it crashes both on real hardware and in emulators. Someone on this site actually ported Atari DOS to cassette... but it's DOS 2.5 so that doesn't really help! If worse comes to worse I could just wait for SIO2USB to get here, but I'm sure that'll take at least a month

Edited by jaek_3
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Well everything seems to be working, maybe. I got a pack of DOS 2.5 diskettes, and they do boot, but the 810 can't write or format them. I'm assuming that's because DOS 2.5 was designed for the 1050. I was wondering if there was a cassette DOS I could use instead? I've tried TT-DOS, but I don't think it'll run on an Atari 400; it crashes both on real hardware and in emulators. Someone on this site actually ported Atari DOS to cassette... but it's DOS 2.5 so that doesn't really help! If worse comes to worse I could just wait for SIO2USB to get here, but I'm sure that'll take at least a month

Dos 2,5 has a format at single density H option to copy dos files to diskette and you can then boot it with an 810 Drive.

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Dos 2,5 has a format at single density H option to copy dos files to diskette and you can then boot it with an 810 Drive.

Do you have any idea why my 810 can't seem to write to disks then? I couldn't even save a file in BASIC without it spazzing out and spitting out an error 144, which according to various people is pretty much a general failure that could be anything from an open drive door to a bad sector. How long does formatting take? Because I've left it running in the background probably for 10 minutes at a time and the drive still just sits there chugging along

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Error 144 means the drive thinks the disk is write protected. There is a write-protect LED/photosensor in the drive that looks for the notch in the disk. It may not be emitting or detecting, causing it to think all disks are write protected with 'no notch'.

 

Maybe crack it open and ensure its not clogged with dust, and re-seat all connections. Many people also modded 810's with a manual write-protect switch.

 

Format should only take less than 1 minute. If you open up the drive you should see it parked at track 39 (the innermost track) when idle. When you start the format it will immediately seek to track 0, then incrementally step to track 39 (formatting), then back to 0 a with a little slower step rate (verifying). You can also hear this pattern without it open. If you hear it taking longer on some tracks when verifying, or erroring before getting back to 0 that means it failed verify and the disk may be faulty or the head may need cleaning.

Edited by Nezgar
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Error 144 means the drive thinks the disk is write protected. There is a write-protect LED/photosensor in the drive that looks for the notch in the disk. It may not be emitting or detecting, causing it to think all disks are write protected with 'no notch'.

 

Maybe crack it open and ensure its not clogged with dust, and re-seat all connections. Many people also modded 810's with a manual write-protect switch.

I thought of that too so I flipped the disk and tried again - the computer refused to even begin formatting. I think the sensor is working. I also had the drive open when I retrobrited the case but the internals seemed to be in pristine condition; maybe I can try greasing the rails? Edited by jaek_3
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I thought of that too so I flipped the disk and tried again - the computer refused to even begin formatting. I think the sensor is working. I also had the drive open when I retrobrited the case but the internals seemed to be in prestige condition; maybe I can try greasing the rails?

 

I added a little more to me previous post about the expected behaviour of a format, can you report what you observe? I've noticed the 810 will fail a format with a lot of disks that seem to work fine on a 1050.

 

If you do lubricate the rails, use a little 3-in-1 oil on a q-tip and dab it on the rail being super careful not to get it on anything else. With the drive off, you can work the lubricant along the rails by manually moving the head back and forth. I took the whole mech out so i could access the bottom of the rails and put a little on the bottom side of the rails as well. I also put a little on the metal where the head lifter tab drags to stop it from squeaking when seeking while open, and disassembled the top hub ring spinner to lubricate that to make it a little quieter. I think theres probably something that could be done for the bottom hub spinner, but was beyond what I wanted to disassemble haha.

post-53052-0-93598600-1517076276.png

Edited by Nezgar
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