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Old 27 March 2020, 13:14   #1
pincoo
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Amiga external disk drives problems

Hi all, I've got an A1200 with Blizzard 1260 with 16mb and Blizzard SCSI kit IV with 64mb. the computer is almost old, it mounts KS 3.0, an 8gb CF on its internal IDE and the Indivision AGA to connect my monitor.

Externally it has a SCSI CDROM and 3 external drives that now are giving some troubles...
These drives are two generic drives (a CUMANA drive and another generic one... with the drive port) and an A1011 without any drive port. Moreover, the CUMANA driver can be mounted only as df2: (I bought it on ebay for few euros and this was the problem...) so I mounted them in this way: the generic one as df1:, the CUMANA as df2: and the A1011 as df3:.
My OS is ClassicWB ADVSP and all is properly configured for my HW.

All was perfect for years but a week ago I began to have some troubles on df2: drive, when the OS was loaded it showed me ***SOMETIMES*** the df2:???? icon.
Usually I rebooted my Amiga and all went OK.
In the last 3 days the problem became more frequent so I changed my drive chain and noticed that with df2 removed the chain worked.
I focused my attention to the CUMANA drive and I opened it and after some checks (I'm not an expert so I replugged all flats, removed some dirt from the electric part, cleaned the heads, no more...) and I closed it.
All Ok, the old drive chain worked for a moment, the OS booted without any problematic icon and the all the drives read disks. Some minutes after the df2: didn't work anymore. I rebooted and the OS showed me the df2:???? incon and the df3:???? icon. Also the A1011 begun to not work. I did the same actions done for the previous drive.
I want to say that all these troubles were not sistematic, if I powered off my Amiga for a while (let's say a couple of minutes) when powered on all was ok for a few moments. The CUMANA and A1011 drives read disks for the first time, but after they do not work anymore... If I remove the disks from them the disk icon remains on desktop and If I mount any other disk on them they have no activity.

Yesterday the problem became more serious. While playing I noticed that Amiga starts to smell burning . I soon powered off it to save the more precious components (A1260 with SCSI) and I opened the Amiga to check if some electrics was burnt, and NO, everything looks fine, the smell came from the external floppy port area, so I made the usual cleaning activity, recabling activity and whatelse but when repowered the computer worked as usual in these last days (df2:???? and df3:???? appears at random, the two drives doesn't work properly) .

No problem for the generc drive df1:
If I mount as df1: the A1011 it doesn't work (df1:????)
If I mount the only the df2: both of them (A1011 and CUMANA) don't work.

Randomly the drives work!!!

For sure I have a problem, I don't know if it is a problem related to the Amiga mainboard or to the drives and I'm asking you some advice to debug my hardware.

Any help will be very appreciated,

thank you for all ,

pincoo
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Old 27 March 2020, 14:16   #2
solarmon
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You should test each external drive separately to make sure they work on its own.

Use Amiga Test Kit and test with only one external drive connected at a time (as DF1). Then daisy chain a known working drive to it (as DF2) - and test both drives. Do that test separately for each drive.

It might be that the passthrough part of the external drive is not working.
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Old 27 March 2020, 14:47   #3
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I will do and post results.

The only thing is that I cannot mount the CUMANA drive as df1: so I will test it only as df2:

Thank you Solarmon for the advice!
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Old 27 March 2020, 15:50   #4
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What is the reason why the Cumana drive cannot be used as DF1?
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Old 27 March 2020, 20:45   #5
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I did all the tests! they required some time(expecially RAM test) but it was an occasion to recheck all devices after yesterday.

About drives, the test went OK for all but the A1011 :-(.
The A1011 now seems to be dead and it doesn't read or write on disks, the AmigaTestKit (ATK) does recognize it but cannot control. I tried all possibile chains with the A1011 included and not included.

ATK can control CUMANA, the internal df0 and the generic one without any troubles.

The problem is if running the OS. In all the chains if I include the A1011, the system gives me dfX:???? where X is the palce of A1011; Ok, the drive is not good, I expect this response from the OS.

Something strange happens If I remove A1011 from my configuration: the system at beginning controls them all (internal drive, generic one, CUMANA), and if I insert a disk in one of them the drive works and the disk icon appears on the desktop; if I remove the disk from internal and the generic one drive the icon disappear from desktop, in CUMANA drive case the icon remain on the desktop and if i put a different disk, the drive doesn't work.
If I reboot the system now the drive is not good anymore (I can put it as df1, df2).
Anyway if I load ATK from inside the OS it controls the drive!!

So in ATK the CUMANA works with no problems, in OS it works only the very first time. In ATK the A1011 doesn't work as well as in OS. The generic drive and the internal one always work.

@Solarmon: why CUMANA has to be mounted as df2? I don't remember why :-|, I remember that in past I tried to use it as df1 but with a lot of troubles so I left. Today, after ATK tests, I started the OS with the only CUMANA drive mounted as df1 and it worked :-O. Always the same problems: if I remove the disk the icon doesn't disappear...

Have you some advice for me? May be something goes wrong with OS?

Thank you very much for all,


pincoo
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Old 27 March 2020, 21:00   #6
pincoo
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It is nothing about OS; now I made a test that excludes all expansion hardware (Blizzard, SCSI) and I loaded my original Workbench 3.0, and problems remain... the original WB works in the same way. So I must understand if it is a problem from my Amiga mobo or from my external CUMANA drive... (A1011 for sure is not good).

What puzzles me is the fact that 2 different drives broke in the same day... Bah...

Thank you for any advice,

pincoo
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Old 27 March 2020, 21:29   #7
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In Amiga Test Kit, have you done the other health checks, especially CIA timings.

For each external drive connected, does the floppy drive signals tests (in Amiga Test Kit) look OK - do you see the Ready, write protect, signal pulses, etc. Describe what signals you get when you put a floppy disk in and out.

Also, check that your power supply is good and provide good and stable +5v and +12v.
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Old 28 March 2020, 13:41   #8
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Here me back again! I begin to understand now how Amiga Test Kit works. I see that my A1011 is dead, ATK sees its presence but cannot even start its motor. CUMANA seems to be ok, but for a further investigation on it I have to understand how CIA works and I didn't find anything fast about ATK CIA configuration to check how the drive works so, reading from your past post: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=98836, I tried to use DriveTest also because you report an useful link to a video that shows how things roll... so with DriveTest:

The generic external drive works well as the internal drive. I kept them in mind to check the others.

The CUMANA has a problem with the disk change (the flag doesn't move when disk removed) showed in the video, I tried to move manually the presence switch but this move is not caught by the software. Also the RW protection pin is not detected; the operation of step/direction works as in the video.

The A1011 is dead. Only the presence is detected.

So when Amiga starts the CUMANA drive is well initialized and it works only with the first disk inside, the drive cannot detect any disk change.
I tried to clean the switches in the drive but no way.

I have no idea how to face the A1011 and CUMANA problems. I'd like to restore both :-)

Thank you very much for any advice,

pincoo
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Old 28 March 2020, 17:00   #9
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If you open up the external floppy drive enclosures you will find that there is a controller board connected to a floppy drive.

You can swap the floppy drive in these enclosures and test whether the issue is with the controller board, or the floppy drive.

Normally now I use ATK as it does all of what DriveTest does, and more, but with a nicer and more intuitive interface interface. ATK also show the index pulses which is also imporant.

Regarding the CIA - they handle some of the floppy drive signals and perform important timing functions required by the system. However, since the internal drive and one for the external drives seem to be working fine then the issue is probably not with them.
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Old 28 March 2020, 17:53   #10
pincoo
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I noticed the similiar controller board. The A1011 board is firmed CHINON, nothing is written on the board of the CUMANA drive, but the white connector in the right side (the one connected to the motor) is not the same, the A1011 is smaller and I cannot swap the controller board... :-(

How can I go on?

Thank you,

pincoo
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Old 28 March 2020, 21:09   #11
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For now, you don't need to swap the controller board. Just change the floppy drive. For example, take a known working floppy drive from a known working external floppy drive enclosure and put it in the suspect external floppy drive enclosure.
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Old 29 March 2020, 16:27   #12
pincoo
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This morning I repaired my CUMANA drive (I hope). The problem was on the disk presence pin . The circuit for the presence disk pin and RW pin was dirt. I cleaned it and the drive worked. I committed only one error: when I opened the circuit of the 2-pin switch I lost a little spring (in the mechanism there were 2, one for each pin), so I chose to save the presence pin and to render functionless the RW pin. Now when I use the CUMANA df2 i must remember that I have no pretection agains unwanted disk writes...
Do you know where can I buy some little pin spring?

Now the problem is the A1011. The problem is that when plugged into Amiga, the computer try to initialize it (the front led lights up for a while...) but nothing happens, I cannot hear the classic "Click" emitted by a good drive. If I insert a disk nothing happens, the OS always report me df1:???? icon and both Amiga Test Kit and DriveTest cannot control it.
How can I begin my debug? Solarmon suggested me to put the A1011 floppy drive in the shell of a good drive. I can't do it because the A1011 is the only one that has no rear floppy port and its cable drive-side connector is very different from the other drive-side connectors.

Thank you very much again,

pincoo
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Old 29 March 2020, 18:19   #13
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I don't know where to get a replacement spring or switch - probably the only way is from a donor drive.

Doesn't the A1011 have a standard 3.5" floppy disk drive in it? Please could you provide some pictures to help me understand.
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Old 30 March 2020, 13:50   #14
pincoo
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Today I fully repaired CUMANA drive again as I accidentally found the spring on the ground!! And now works in all its parts.

I post my umounted A1011 picture and a picture of a generic one with rear floppy connector to show the differences between connectors drive side.

As you can see in rear picture and in the comparison picture it is possible to see that the connector in the floppy at right side (the CUMANA) is made up of 2 connector: a right 4 pin connector and a left connector.
In the next photo of the A1011 you will see only one connector.

Solarmon can you better explain me what to do? I'm sorry I'm a newbye technician and I can try to follow you.

Thank you very much for you patience :-)

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Old 30 March 2020, 18:15   #15
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Well done for finding the spring! I lost a spring from the keyboard once and found it a couple of week later!

Thanks for the pictures. It looks like the controller logic is built/integrated directly in to the bottom board of the floppy drive.

Do you have a multimeter to check for voltage and continuity? That would be the first thing to do.

What is the behaviour of the A1011 drive in the ATK drive signal tests?

I'm not familiar with this drive, but the multimeter tests and ATK drive signal tests will help guide us to try to pinpoint the issue.
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Old 30 March 2020, 19:24   #16
pincoo
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Ok, you find the images of the AKT behaviour signal test. Both of them are done with disk inserted.

I have a multimeter but I'm not an expert. If you kindly tell me where I have to put the multimeter pins on the drive and what is the measure I will be happy to do it. .



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Old 30 March 2020, 21:05   #17
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i can help you in italian language, send me a pm
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Old 31 March 2020, 13:12   #18
pincoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpiac64 View Post
i can help you in italian language, send me a pm
You got it!

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Old 31 March 2020, 17:06   #19
solarmon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pincoo View Post
Ok, you find the images of the AKT behaviour signal test. Both of them are done with disk inserted.

I have a multimeter but I'm not an expert. If you kindly tell me where I have to put the multimeter pins on the drive and what is the measure I will be happy to do it. .



Pincoo
For A1011 as DF1, the Amiga is detecting it - so the controller is responding.

But the first issue is that there is a message saying that it cannot find track 0. This can either be because the track motor is not working - so it cannot get to track 0. Or, the track 0 sensor or signal is not working.

I would first check all the pins on the external drive DB23 connector has continuity to the corresponding pins on the 24-pin connector/socket inside the floppy drive enclosure. Then check that GND, 5V and 12V are getting through to the controller board and to the floppy drive - you have to try to trace where these go/are.
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Old 31 March 2020, 18:29   #20
pincoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
For A1011 as DF1, the Amiga is detecting it - so the controller is responding.

But the first issue is that there is a message saying that it cannot find track . This can either be because the track motor is not working - so it cannot get to track 0. Or, the track 0 sensor or signal is not working.

I would first check all the pins on the external drive DB23 connector has continuity to the corresponding pins on the 24-pin connector/socket inside the floppy drive enclosure. Then check that GND, 5V and 12V are getting through to the controller board and to the floppy drive - you have to try to trace where these go/are.
I checked the continuity and seems to be good.
All pins in DB23 are connected to the 24-pin connector.

I got the voltage in the two point in red in the picture attached (in the right upper side and right bottom side), and where signed 5V I got a 4.5V, where reported 12V I got a 0.9V.

How can I refine my investigation? I think that Amiga side is all good because the other 2 drives work. How can I do a further investigation on the A1011?

Thank you Solarmon

pincoo
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