interfacing with floppy disks at low level, part 4

we’re going to back up a little in this part – we have MFM and index pulse data coming out of our chonky panasonic 3.5″ floppy drive and capturing that well. but now we’re a little curious of how folks are going to use this if floppy drives arent available. we had to pay a pretty penny for this drive, second hand, and that makes it tougher for more folks to get drives and use them to read floppies.

we did have a USB floppy drive (originally ordered to read out our mavica camera images) and now we’re curious how it works so we opened it up! inside is a samsung SFD-321S which is we’ll take as the “S”MT version of the SFD-321B datasheet we read earlier. (we couldn’t find a datasheet for this ‘S version tho).

instead of the 34-pin IDC there’s a 26-pin 1mm FPC connected to a cheapy adapter board with a single sanded-off 28-tssop chip. the chip is handling the Mass Storage – FDD conversion all on is own. but it’s too smart for us! we don’t want MSD, we want those delicious flux transitions.

thankfully this nice person posted up the pinout for us and when we probed the index and data lines while accessing the disk, we found nice MFM traces coming out. next up we’re going to design a quicky adapter from 26-pin FPC to 34-pin IDC pin header & breadboard. (we did find some converter PCBs but all going the opposite way!) – video.

Screenshot 838

in this video we also have a preview of our floppy rabbit friend we’ve been working on, name no decided on yet – stay tuned.

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.