[Color Computer] [Coco] high density floppy controller mods
lamune at doki-doki.net
Mon Aug 7 11:57:04 EDT 2006
jdaggett at gate.net wrote:
> On 6 Aug 2006 at 20:29, Mike Pepe wrote:
>> jdaggett at gate.net wrote:
>>> Only FD500 controllers made after about 1982 or so. I have one that has
>>> the WD1973 controller chip.
>> They weren't called FD500 until the very late 80's.
> Mike it is my understanding that there were two designs flavors of the FD500 controller card
> ( long card) The first was a 5V/12V requirement that used the WD1793/WD1691 and
> WD2143 chip set. This was catalog 3022 first appeared in 1981. This shipped with the single
> ful lheight 5.25 inch drive. The one that the I have could not have been built before week
> 47 of 1981. The first controller card needed 12 volts only for the WD2143 IC. There was a
> redesign of the original to make it a 5 Volt only. The WD1691 and WD2143 were dropped
> for probably two reason, one being cost and second 5 volt only operation. The Five volt
> operation was accomplished by replacing two ICs with discrete logic. The FD501 came out
> with the COCO2 circa 1983/4 time frame. The FD501 controller card I have was on or after
> week 18 of 1985. It has the WD1773 and is labeled FD501. I also have a FD502 controller
> card which has the WD1773 controller.
> Going to the WD1773, which is software compatible to the 1793, was a major cost savings.
> It allowed a smaller board and a single chip solution. That is the data separator was done on
> chip with digital data separation instead of the external analog solutin. In theory, when
> aligned properly, the external phase lock loop data separator is better. It is more forgiving of
> drive speeds. It can be designed/adjusted to have a wider lock range than the internal
> digital solution on the 177x series of chips. I would imagine that it was at least a $1 or more
> per unit savings. Good for the bottom line. This did sacrifice the ability to go with higher
> densities than 360K/720K floppies.
>> This board is copyrighted 1984, the date codes on the chips are all from
>> early '84 as well.
>> The schematic references the 1793, and is copyrighted in 1983. So, it
>> may be pot luck if the controllers have a 1793, 8877 or 8877A in them.
> That is the redesign single 5 volt pack.
>> The 26-3129 (later known as FD-500) all have the 1773 controller, which
>> isn't hackable.
> I only know of two conrollers that used the 1773 chip, the FD501 and the FD502. Correct
> that the 177x series will not handle 500Kb/sec data stream.
It depends what you mean by "FD-500".
The transition from "26-3129" to "FD-500" wasn't clean. The system I
bought around 1985, the box said 26-3129, the controller was called
26-3129, but the drive unit had the FD-500 label on it. Later the
sticker on the controller switched from "Radio Shack" to "Tandy FD-500"
Funny thing is, the board inside my original controller has a date code
for the end of '84, so maybe '84 was the year when they transitioned
from the 3029 to the 3129.
The 3129 has the WD1773 inside and is mostly empty space.
The only controllers I've ever seen, and the only things I have
referenced in the service manuals, is the 3022, 3029, 3129 and then the
later 501 and 502 controllers, which I don't think I have the service
manuals for. (I'd have to check)
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