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Old 01 May 2016, 17:33   #1
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IBM Floppy drive -> External Amiga floppy drive?

Hello everyone,
i've lurked around the forum a bit and found an interesting thread about modifying IBM floppy drives so that they can be used as replacement drives for the amiga.

Let's state it, i'm a n00b at hardware modification and even if i own an amiga since the late 80s i've never messed around with it enaugh to consider myself an expert.
I simply used it for playing games and such when i was a kid (and still do ^^).

Now i'm feeling the need for an external floppy drive (DF1) to plug into my amiga.. i'm not interested in floppy emulators or such, i like the idea of using old school floppies.

I assume a modification is still needed even for external floppy drives for the ready signal and such.
If i put my hands on a samsung floppy drive, which modifications does it need?
is it still the same as for an internal floppy drive replacement?
in the mod guide it says to modify the drive to work as a FD0 from FD1, this also applies right? it has nothing to do with the fact that the external drive will be DF1 on the amiga...?

also looking forward for some suggestions on enclosures i should use to make the external floppy drive a little bit more "appealing" on the desk.

thanks everyone in advance for your help.
Old 01 May 2016, 18:45   #2
ex. demoscener "Bigmama"

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for an external drive you need a little bit of circuitry that latches the motor signal. If you don't know how that works, a solution could be to buy a ready-made adapter for external pc drive use.
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Old 01 May 2016, 19:48   #3
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Hi, thanks for your quick reply.

I'd love to learn building my own, do you have any information, guide i can read?
Old 01 May 2016, 22:34   #4
ex. demoscener "Bigmama"

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Hmm... I'd say you need to familiarize yourself with how the amiga controls the floppy spindle motor, then look at e.g A500/2000 schematic which shows one way of latching the signals.. This requires that you are familiar with flip-flops and so on, however.. What is your electronics skill level?
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Old 01 May 2016, 23:59   #5
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i'm not an expert but i know the basics, i also have a good backup from electronic gurus just in case

i thought there were project already available tho.
Old 02 May 2016, 03:34   #6
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You could try the Sakura external floppy drive enclosure project:


You can purchase it [with or without a floppy drive] from retroami.com.pl

My understanding is that it utilizes an interface card to connect to non-modified PC drives. The design of the interface card is open source (CC-By-SA license]) and available on GitHub:

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Old 04 May 2016, 23:33   #7
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Originally Posted by André View Post
You could try the Sakura external floppy drive enclosure project. (...) My understanding is that it utilizes an interface card to connect to non-modified PC drives.
Yes, exactly like that. You can build this interface and use it to connect a "normal" PC drive to Amiga as DF1, so that it can read/write Amiga 880kB format.
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:27   #8
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I'll second the Sakura Floppy drive. I bought one from the first batch and it is a solid drive. Actually it is probably one of the best floppy drives ever made. I have used it to backup many, many disks that had read errors on other older drives.

The PC drive interface is great too and it is open source so you can easily order the PCBs from places like OSH Park and source the components for a DIY kit. I received a notice from Retroami that they have more drives in stock so I wouldn't hesitate to order one. It is nice because if the drive ever does die you can easily replace it with any old 1.44MB drive.
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Old 14 January 2019, 15:04   #9
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Does this make it possiblle to read and write 1.44mb Floppies on our Amiga?
Don't really care about the Amiga 1.76mb format. But if you can read and write 1.44mb with CrossDOS, this would go from an "adequate" replacement to an essential upgrade.
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Old 14 January 2019, 16:54   #10
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Nope, it essentially gives you a standard Amiga double-density (880KB) floppy drive. Making an Amiga read high-density floppies is a bit more involved and would require a significantly more complicated interface, or else a drive modified to spin at half the speed. 1.44MB or 1.76MB are essentially the same thing when it comes to requirements - neither are readable as standard by the Amiga chipset and drives.
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