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 https://jestineyong.com/examining-and-testing-a-small-universal-fdc-to-usb-adapter/ 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.


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