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Old 18 August 2019, 22:38   #21
solarmon
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@ProdigalAmigan

I'll try with my A1200 (rev 2B) to see what the behaviour is, but I don't expect it to be different from my A500+.

What revision is your A1200? It shouldn't make a difference, but it is always good to know.

For floppy drive testing, I normally use X-Copy, Amiga Test Kit, and DriveTest. Obviously, testing in Workbench is also an option.
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Old 18 August 2019, 22:51   #22
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Solarmon as I think I mentioned before my Amiga 1200 is of the 1D4 variety.
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Old 18 August 2019, 23:00   #23
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I've just tried on my A1200, exact same setup (just swapped out the A500) and, as expected, ko issues.

It could be an issue with the drive controller that is on DF2:. Have you used the same one to connect the fourth (DF3) drive?

It would be good to see some pictures of your setup.
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Old 19 August 2019, 00:25   #24
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Maybe you can convince one of your enclosures to answer to Sel3 when only two drives are attached. That way you could rule out that this is something specific to Sel3. That would pretty much only leave the signal quality as the cause of your problem.
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Old 19 August 2019, 00:37   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
I've just tried on my A1200, exact same setup (just swapped out the A500) and, as expected, ko issues.
... Thanks for your suggestions. I'll try swapping the drives around tomorrow. Will keep you posted on what happens.
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Old 19 August 2019, 11:23   #26
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Are your power supply voltages good? Perhaps the Cumana drives are loading down the system.

Are they the tall Chinon mechs or the slimmer PC style mechs?
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Old 19 August 2019, 11:40   #27
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Thumbs up Thanks for sharing your thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
Are your power supply voltages good? Perhaps the Cumana drives are loading down the system. Are they the tall Chinon mechs or the slimmer PC style mechs?
Hey Jope thanks for replying. I also got your private message.
PSU voltages should be good. I am using a Corsair RM750X ATX PSU with an Amiga PSU adapter so there should be enough juice to power everything.

I am guessing that the Cumana CAX-354 model employs the slimmer PC style mech as I have also seen another taller Cumana external drive for the Amiga and that's not the kind that I have.

Right now I am mostly worried that there is something wrong with my Amiga. I mean if Cumana drives are loading down the system more than let's say Roctec drives and THAT is why DF3 is not working then it's okay.

Unfortunately I only have one other drive than the 2x Cumana and 1x Gotek in a noname external enclosure and that is the Roctec Slim you repaired for me before. However that one is not working properly anymore. Not sure if it'd be the belt again or something else (still would love to get it fixed so it could be used if at all possible)

So I can't do any further testing. Well short of spending money on buying external drives which are not Cumana but.... *sigh* I just wish I could figure out if there is some issue with my motherboard or if its just the Cumana drives that are power hungry....

I now switched the DF1 drive out for the other Cumana drive in the chain to see if this produced a different result and now DF3 (Gotek) starts formatting a blank disk as it should but stops with a Seek error at random.

Seems to me the "signal degradation" theory may hold true but question is why? The Amiga was designed with up to 3 external drives in mind, and my power supply should be more than enough still this happens.

Any way to fix it? Otherwise I'll just have to swap the Gotek in as needed. It's not 100% necessary to have it available at all times but it would have been nice.

Also I haven't been able to test it out with other external floppy drives either so it's difficult to do any sort of good troubleshooting.

Last edited by ProdigalAmigan; 19 August 2019 at 19:11. Reason: Adding information
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Old 19 August 2019, 22:01   #28
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I would use Amiga Test Kit's floppy drive test feature on DF3 and see what that shows.

Are you using Workench to do the format and reading? Try using X-Copy or some other disk utility and see if that makes a difference.

Try cleaning the pins on the external floppy connector and the floppy drive controllers. Corrosion on the pins can add to the resistance and could cause signal degradation, if that is the issue.

Without seeing the state of your motherboard it is hard to tell whether there are potentially any issues with it.
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Old 19 August 2019, 23:02   #29
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If the available power is the problem, you could also directly connect the drives to your PSU. You could also try to use shorter cables.
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Old 20 August 2019, 06:58   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
I would use Amiga Test Kit's floppy drive test feature on DF3 and see what that shows.
I actually did this with all the drives connected up, and from what I remember it did say RDY signal was late or not detected (don't remember the exact message it showed). Also for testing writing (on DF1/DF2/DF3) it failed in this configuration with 3x drives. As soon as I go back to 2x drives everything works fine (be it Cumana 2x or Cumana 1x and Gotek 1x) ...

Quote:
Are you using Workench to do the format and reading? Try using X-Copy or some other disk utility and see if that makes a difference.
I've been using both Workbench 3.9's Format feature and X-Copy Pro (The one with a snazzy purple interface) and the results are consistent with both ways of formatting be it the result is good (2x drives) or bad (3x drives).

Quote:
Try cleaning the pins on the external floppy connector and the floppy drive controllers. Corrosion on the pins can add to the resistance and could cause signal degradation, if that is the issue.
I assume I need something like this? And spraying it on both the male (pin side) and female (passthrough connectors on the back of the external enclosures) side?

[ Show youtube player ]

Quote:
Without seeing the state of your motherboard it is hard to tell whether there are potentially any issues with it.
Having had it looked at and recapped before it was sent off to Sweden and then having it looked at again when I sent it off to have the E127R fix done I assume there should be no major issues with it. And it's been working very nicely (knock on wood!) ... it's just this issue with the external drives...

At the end of the day it comes down to the fact that this computer and its external drives is 20+/30+ years old and nothing can be taken for granted. If I can only have 2x drives connected at the same time it's not the end of the world I guess...
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Old 20 August 2019, 07:05   #31
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Hey R4M thanks for the suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by R4M View Post
If the available power is the problem, you could also directly connect the drives to your PSU. You could also try to use shorter cables.
I don't think available power is an issue. I am using a Corsair RM750X modular PSU connected up to an ATX->Amiga PSU converter. I didn't buy it specifically for the Amiga but it so happened that I had one available.

I assume both connecting the drives directly to PSU and recabling the drives for shorter cables would require quite a bit of soldering in which case I would need to ask someone for help. Unfortunately I am not a very capable tinkerer. I realize it would have been a VERY good thing messing around with the Amiga in this day and age (it's almost a requirement when things needs fixing) but unfortunately .... I can't do these kinda things.
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Old 20 August 2019, 09:45   #32
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The WD-40 contact cleaner probably won't clean surface corrosion, which should be cleaned using an abrasive method.

Even though your power supply might seem OK, I would still check the +5 and +12V going out of the external floppy connector. There are associated components (E598 and E599) on the +5 and +12V lines that may have degraded enough to impact how many devices it can power effectively. The same applies for the signal lines too:

(from https://www.amigawiki.org/dnl/schematics/A1200_R1.pdf)

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Old 20 August 2019, 17:21   #33
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Thank you again for taking the time to try and help me. I appreciate each and every morsel of information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
The WD-40 contact cleaner probably won't clean surface corrosion, which should be cleaned using an abrasive method.
Any specific method that you would recommend? I want to make sure I do the right thing so I don't screw anything up. I'd be much less worried trying things on the PC side, but with the Amiga machines, they're old, quite "rare" and ... I just wouldn't want to cause any damage to my girl :-)

Quote:
Even though your power supply might seem OK, I would still check the +5 and +12V going out of the external floppy connector.

There are associated components (E598 and E599) on the +5 and +12V lines that may have degraded enough to impact how many devices it can power effectively. The same applies for the signal lines too...
This is all going a bit over my head. I understand that I would need a multimeter to check voltages etc. but I don't have any idea how to actually work with such tools. I'm thinking I'd probably be looking at sending the machine off to have work done on it (again!) if needed...

Sometimes when coming up against things like this I get the feeling that it would have just been easier to keep on using WinUAE but I also have such love for the Amiga platform that I feel like I made the right decision in getting an Amiga again. It's more problematic these days when one can't do work inside the Amiga (lacking the skills)...


//ProdigalAmigan
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Old 20 August 2019, 17:39   #34
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For simplicity, just use a toothbrush to clean the pins and sockets, with the contact cleaner fluid, or isopropyl alcohol.

For better results, you might want to get a set of "Pen Style Scratch Brush Set" as those connector pins and sockets are pretty hard to clean.

You can just keep connecting/disconnecting the plugs/sockets which might scrape off any corrosion naturally.
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Old 20 August 2019, 17:54   #35
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Isopropyl Alcohol I can do. Toothbrush I can do. Will try
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