Thread: Fixing Falcons
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Old 06 March 2010, 00:33   #52
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
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A spare 240v PSU arrived today for Falcon A from Coze in Japan (thanks very much). It was fitted and works a dream.

If you remember this Falcon, as well as having it's PSU fuse blown by the wrong voltage also was sold as having a non functional floppy disk drive and IDE hard drive. Armed with my new PSU I fired it up and confirmed that neither drive interface was working.

On power up the internal stock 84Mbyte Conner 2.5" IDE drive chattered, disk light illuminated (several times) but it didn't boot. It just timed out and returned to the GEM desktop. I tried to access the my HDDriver floppy disk in vain hope of restoring the IDE but the floppy drive didn't spin and double clicking on A drive in GEM brought up an error.

I connected an old external SCSI hard drive (with HDDriver already installed on it) and it started to boot, even detected the IDE drive but then didn't detect the SCSI drive even though it is booting from it!! Finally exiting to the destktop.

I was starting to think the worst when I decided to start from scratch and unplugged both the IDE drive and floppy drive and bingo it booted from the SCSI hard drive no problem.

The strangest thing is I plugged the floppy drive back in and now it works too!! A fault in the old 2.5" IDE hard drive must have been affecting both.

I tried to fit an IDE->CF adapter + card that I used with the Amiga but for some reason it was not detected. I started to fear that the IDE interface might be toast so I tried an old 60GB 2.5" PATA hard drive I had lying around and boom. It worked, partitioned, installed first time.

All I can think of is that either this brand of CF adapter is incompatible with the Atari Falcon :

OR perhaps it is my 1GB SanDisk CF card.

I might try see if it can be changed to FIXED and try again.

So now both Falcon's (that I bought for well below the eBay price of even one Falcon) are now both fully tested as working. All I need to do now is restore them. That means fitting new NVRAM batteries and replacing the noisy fans plus give them an overall clean. Oh and fix the keyboard of one which is a bit dodgy.

Rather than sell one on eBay and double my money, I have preliminary agreed to sell one (at cost) to the (semi) active Falcon-less Atari Scener : James Boulton (JimB), Co-Author of the Atari ST Emulator SainT.

Last edited by alexh; 06 March 2010 at 00:41.
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