Read floppy disks on a Raspberry Pi with bbc-fdc #PiDay #RaspberryPi @Raspberry_Pi @femtosonic

Jasper Renow-Clarke is the author of bbc-fdc, a floppy disk interface for Raspberry Pi.

This project is to allow the direct connection of floppy disk drives with 34-pin Shugart bus ribbon cables to the Raspberry Pi for the purpose of reading floppy disks.

It controls the drive using GPIO and samples the read data pin using SPI to obtain a forensic level capture of the raw magnetic flux transitions on the floppy disk.

Initially this was created to read my BBC Micro 5.25 inch disks formatted in Acorn DFS, but I’ve also been able to read and extract data from Acorn ADFS, MS-DOS, Commodore 64 and Apple II 5.25 inch disks.

I’ve read both 40 and 80 track 5.25 inch disks, both using the 40/80 track selector switch on the back of the drive and by double stepping. These tracks are spaced at 48 and 96 tpi respectively.

Single and double sided disks can be read by switching between upper and lower heads during the capture process. Flippy disks can also be detected and imaged without the need for flipping the disk in the drive.

More recently I’ve also been able to read 3.5 inch disks using a TEAC FD-235HG PC drive. Due to the drive being internally set to DS1 I’ve had to connect it to the 34 pin ribbon cable prior to the swap and by moving the drive select jumper on my board to DS1.

I’ve so far been able to read and extract data from several 3.5 inch disks including Archimedes Acorn ADFS S/M/L/D/E/F, MS-DOS and Amiga.

See more on the project GitHub and an article on Hackaday.


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