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Old 22 April 2012, 19:49   #1
ElectroBlaster
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Power Computing PC 880BS Pictures WTD.

Has anyone got some detailed pictures of a Power Computing PC 880BS drive?

I managed to stumble accross the remains of this drive in my storage and the floppy drive power lead is missing, looks like it was unsoldered?

Also the short floppy drive connector lead is missing.

Thanx
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Old 22 April 2012, 22:25   #2
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I have Power Computing Amiga PC880 and PC880B drives. The difference is that the B drive has Blitz copier hardware built in and a Virus-Blocker switch. Both drives have the Power Computing Anti-Click board.

I know nothing about the PC880BS type. I can upload detailed pictures of either of my drives, but I don't know whether they are sufficiently similar for that to be helpful.
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Old 22 April 2012, 23:35   #3
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If it is not too much hassle I would like to see anything you have there. I seem to remember this drive came too me in a large bundle of amiga 500's and it would refuse to read disks. So I pulled the drive out... I think it was faulty but cant be sure.

I have just found a Sony MPF920-E that I can use on this drive after it has been adapted (I hope)
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Old 22 April 2012, 23:49   #4
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Okay, I'll try to get pictures of both uploaded in the next couple of days. I would hope that there's sufficient similarity between these drives and yours to make it worthwhile.

And yes, the Sony MPF920-E, suitably adapted, is an excellent choice for the drive mechanism.
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Old 23 April 2012, 02:19   #5
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Excellent

I shall have a crack at some photos of the controller board. I got this thing so long ago that afaik nobody had even started to mod pc drives. I assume this is why it got chucked in a box and forgotten about.

Im also going to keep hunting for the original floppy lead and power lead as I know they are in that storage somewhere, I never throw anything away lol.
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Old 29 April 2012, 02:58   #6
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Ok the sony drive has been converted. Just need to find the original cables but still no luck so I might end up making some instead.

I need to figure out where the power lead solders to on the board, only two wires are used afaik.
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Old 29 April 2012, 17:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroBlaster View Post
Ok the sony drive has been converted. Just need to find the original cables but still no luck so I might end up making some instead.

I need to figure out where the power lead solders to on the board, only two wires are used afaik.
Damn! Sorry mate, I completely forgot about this.

I'll try and get it done by tonight for you.
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Old 29 April 2012, 18:35   #8
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Thanx m8

Im not having much luck tho

I successfully converted a sony disk drive and tested it on an a1200 with a floppy drive power splitter coming from the a1200 power header (missing the power lead from the pc880) It loaded everything I threw at it. Then I took the carcass of the pc880b and put the sony drive in it along with the power splitter, had no luck, I even put the ribbon cable the wrong way around just to see if the drive light would stay on which it did. Then I tried a1200 disk drive on it, still no go?

To make it easier this is what happens:

With the pc880b connected the amiga refuses to load anything.
One of the socketed chips gets red hot, you can even smell the heat!
The chip is marked as a GAL16V8-25LNC. This is why it ended up in a box in the first place. I robbed the parts and forgot about it, I just could not be arsed to sort it out. I really want to get it going again just for the challenge I guess.
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Old 29 April 2012, 18:52   #9
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It's most unusual to find that the interface is to blame when an external Amiga floppy drive fails. It's much more common to find that the drive mechanism is faulty.

For this reason, you will often find external Amiga floppy drive enclosures being sold on eBay without a floppy drive unit, or indeed external floppy drive interfaces on their own.

I have a number of spare external floppy drive interfaces (untested) which I have obtained quite cheaply in this way.

I am going to get some pictures of my Power Computing PC880 drives shortly, which I shall upload sometime this evening.

If they can't provide you with a clue what's wrong with your interface, then I may be able to supply you with a replacement interface with which you can repair your drive.
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Old 29 April 2012, 22:08   #10
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I have one Power Computing PC880 Amiga external floppy drive and two PC880B drives, and all of them have Sony drive mechanisms. I have scanned the interface pcb area of each of them and attached the pictures here.

From what you have said above, I am certain it is the PC880Bs which will most interest you.

The PC880 interface has the connections for +5V and 0V to the floppy unit clearly marked, but those of the 880Bs do not. Furthermore, the 880Bs' power connections are slightly different and the 0V and +5V wire colours are swapped over, even though the floppy unit requires the same polarity supply in each case, of course. (I suspect that a quick look underneath the pcb will show that the connections are actually the same in each case.)

If you have any further questions, please ask.
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	PC880.JPG
Views:	85
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ID:	31430   Click image for larger version

Name:	PC880B-1.JPG
Views:	66
Size:	185.4 KB
ID:	31431   Click image for larger version

Name:	PC880B-2.JPG
Views:	77
Size:	196.6 KB
ID:	31432  
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Old 29 April 2012, 23:01   #11
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Brilliant, I really appreciate you doing this! Now I have a reference point where I can go hunting for the original power and ribbon lead. It has been some years since I got this thing.

I just dont understand what is going on here as I tried two known working disk drives that are 100% amiga compatible and still nothing? What worries me is the gal chip getting roasting hot like that... could the chip have failed? can it be replaced just by swapping in another chip or has something else failed? I might whip the main lead off and get my multimeter out and probe all the connections and remove the interface board to check the solder spots aswell. According to a google search that gal chip is nothing more than a High Performance E2CMOS PLD Generic Array Logic. The other two chips stay cold.

I would defo be up for one of those interface boards! Picture pc880bs1 is the one that reminds me of mine. It has the same power lead with blue and red wires, the board is only one revision from mine being an E and mine an F.

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Old 29 April 2012, 23:27   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroBlaster View Post
What worries me is the gal chip getting roasting hot like that... could the chip have failed? can it be replaced just by swapping in another chip or has something else failed?
If the chip is getting hot, then I don't think it can have failed. That's more a sign that it's being overloaded by something else which has failed or shorted, IMO. If it had blown, then it wouldn't even warm up.

Quote:
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According to a google search that gal chip is nothing more than a High Performance E2CMOS PLD Generic Array Logic. The other two chips stay cold.
These GAL chips are programmable Grid Array Logic. Any replacement chip would have to be programmed in exactly the same way.

Quote:
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I would defo be up for one of those interface boards! Picture pc880bs1 is the one that reminds me of mine. It has the same power lead with blue and red wires, the board is only one revision from mine being an E and mine an F.
You're welcome to have one of my spare interfaces if yours can't be revived. It won't, of course, be from a Power Computing 880B drive, so it won't have the Blitz copier hardware, but it will still be a suitable replacement which will give you a working external floppy drive.
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Old 30 April 2012, 01:51   #13
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I dont really care about the blitz part of it, it would have been good to have it working but its no biggy.

I do have some old metal floppy drive cases in various states which might work out layout wise, im thinking about the back end of the pc880b not being compatible.
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Old 30 April 2012, 01:59   #14
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Quote:
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I do have some old metal floppy drive cases in various states which might work out layout wise, im thinking about the back end of the pc880b not being compatible.
External Amiga floppy drives all have a very similar layout at the back end. I'll have a look and see what spares I have which would best fit the Power Computing enclosure.
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Old 30 April 2012, 02:01   #15
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Thanx
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Old 30 April 2012, 02:22   #16
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I have two spare interfaces which are very similar in layout and might fit. I'll try to find time to test them tomorrow.
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Old 01 May 2012, 00:02   #17
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Good news. Thanx
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Old 02 May 2012, 22:58   #18
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I have tested all the spare Amiga external floppy drive interfaces I have and they are all working!

The one I have which would best fit your PC880B enclosure has only a single ON/OFF switch as well as the 23-way D-type connector on the back, so you may have to enlarge the cut-out on the back panel to accommodate that, but it should fit without problem otherwise.

Attached is a scan of it fitted to a Motorola MPF-920E drive. It is complete. Let me know if you would like it.
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Old 05 May 2012, 19:02   #19
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That will do nicely my friend

Many thanx for going to the trouble of finding one for me.

Shall we discuss this via PM?
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Old 05 May 2012, 19:14   #20
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You're welcome.

Just PM me your address details and I'll send it to you.

All I ask is that you send me the remnants of your old interface if you don't want to throw it away. I'd like to see if it can be repaired.

Edit: If it can be repaired, then you can swap it back if you wish.

Last edited by prowler; 05 May 2012 at 19:30.
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