Archimedes Addendum

Foreshadowing

In the last post, I mentioned that the only thing left to do was to make up a cable and I’d be done with the Archimedes.

Well, that turned out to be quite the project, didn’t it?

So the point of the cable is twofold. Firstly, it physically connects everything together and secondly it changes the drive number on the second drive, as I’d been unable to find any obvious jumpers to change the drive letter.

I had some lengths of ribbon cable lying around so I stripped out a length, and pared it down to 34 conductors. I used a permanent marker to mark one side as “pin 1” for some of the length and the opposite side as “pin 1” for the rest. (Archimedes floppy pin 1 is opposite to Gotek pin 1, for some strange reason)

I crimped on 2 of the 3 IDC connectors, making sure to get the connectors / connector notch on the right side, as well as having them the “correct” side of the cable to make it easier to insert. (There’s a bit of a trick here, as the strain relief actually flips the cable so you have to factor that in.

I then carefully separated the strands every 4 wires. for the length that was to go to the Gotek. This guarantees ground cables will stay together with data lines. I ended up with 2 sets of 5 in the middle, but I knew that was going to happen.
This was all done to make the floppy cable much more flexible.

Finally I trimmed about a 5mm section out of wire 1 on the Gotek side (wire 34 on the Archimedes side) as the Gotek doesn’t like a signal that gets sent down that wire and can burn the controller. Let’s not burn the controller. Honestly, I have read so many forum posts and the like getting to here, I don’t even remember where I saw that.

Now onto the other side of the cable. Following this guide (Part of a two part article which appears to be the only article out there on adding second drives), I carefully split the cable between wire 9 and 10, and 12 and 13 and added a twist and clamped on the final IDC connector. We’re done! (Or are we?)

I inspected my work, triple checked where I’d put the twist and mounted it in the Archimedes. The connector for the motherboard was the central one to make routing much, much easier. Everything looked neat and proper so I gingerly plugged one end into the Gotek and fired ‘er up. Well so far, so good. I could read and write to the Gotek OK.

Unplugging the Gotek and plugging in the FDD, nothing caught fire, which was a good sign. I went into the Configure app and added an additional drive. I inserted the Floppy and… No.

First up I got a Drive 10 Error and then “Drive Empty”. Maybe it’s that the other end wasn’t terminated in a device? Nope. Plug in the Gotek and neither device works.

Hmmm.

I check my guides. I check my cabling. I check my logic. I check my software settings. Nothing obvious I can see.

OK StarDot, my new friend. Can you help me?

Having posted my issue, someone else reports they weren’t able to get things working quite right yet either, using the guide I was working with so I start looking for another guide. I stumble onto this article (by searching for slightly different search terms) which has a reference to the actual model number of the internal FDD. And that gets me to a drive manual. Guess what? I don’t need to put the twist in the cable, as this model has a switch cunningly mounted on the side that sets the drive number!

It can’t be that easy, can it? I set the jumper on the floppy, (This entails removing the drive from the computer AND the mounting bracket) connect a straight through cable and… check! it’s working on floppy disk as Drive 1.

Oh gods! I pull the cable out, break off the strain relief bar, remove the end of the IDC connector with a pin, un-twist the cable, reclamp it and reattach it.

Oddly initially it works once and then starts doing “Drive Empty” errors, but then, as it’s now nearly 10pm, I screw everything back in and tighten everything, it just works perfectly. Huh! I have a two drive setup. Sweet!

Elite is coming off a floppy disk. PacMania is coming off an ADF via the Gotek.

At this point, for reasons I don’t quite understand, you need to access the Gotek before you access the FDD. Go figure?

Published by ilike8bits

I collect old computers and consoles

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