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portable external 5.25" floppy disk drive

Hi,

Recently there was a long thread here on the desire for a USB external
5.25" floppy disk drive.  I do not have one of those, however, I did
find in my stack of stuff a portable external 5.25" floppy disk drive
made by "CMS Enhancements".  It is model EF360U and is available on
the surplus computer equipment market.

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=EF360U&fr=yfp-t-471&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

My drive has what *APPEARS* to be a parallel port interface.  I am not
100% certain as it could be a proprietary interface (card required) or
it may even be SCSI.  I do not have the documentation nor do I have
the drivers for this drive.  If anyone has the drivers or manual
please post them or send them to me, I would greatly appreciate it and
will help with the investigation as to whether this part would serve
the need requested earlier.

I removed the case from my drive and it is a simple TTL circuit board
comprised of about a dozen 74xx type chips (markings were painted
over) interfacing directly to a standard DSDD floppy disk drive (48
tpi, I think).  I believe it would lend itself to some simple reverse
engineering but I am not volunteering since my plate is already full.

It appears to be parallel port based although I am concerned about
drawing enough power from a parallel port to supply a floppy drive, I
do have another 3.5" Imation SuperDrive which is parallel port powered
in the same fashion so it is at least *theoretically* possible at
least in my mind.  While not USB based, a parallel port solution would
be nearly as good, I think, since it is one of the most commonly
available ports on computers, at least all the ones I have seen.

Again, if anyone has one of these drives or buys one in the near
future, please post the drivers (or send me copy please) and the
manual if possible.  I am especially interested if this drive is in
fact interfaced to the PC parallel port.

Thank you.

Andrew Lynch

0
lynchaj (280)
8/13/2007 7:14:39 PM
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lynchaj@yahoo.com wrote:
Andrew Lynch wrote:

>> My drive has what *APPEARS* to be a parallel port interface.  

Be careful when connecting such a drive to a parallel port! 
I know of at least one vendor (the Dutch Tulip Computers) that made external
5.25 inch diskette drives for some of their 286 laptop model, with DB25
connectors, but with a pin-out very different from a parallel port.

Regards,
Freek.
email: f.heite ATT hccnet DOTT nl
0
me4 (19624)
8/14/2007 9:31:55 PM
On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 21:31:55 GMT, me@privacy.net (Freek Heite) wrote:

>lynchaj@yahoo.com wrote:
>Andrew Lynch wrote:
>
>>> My drive has what *APPEARS* to be a parallel port interface.  
>
>Be careful when connecting such a drive to a parallel port! 
>I know of at least one vendor (the Dutch Tulip Computers) that made external
>5.25 inch diskette drives for some of their 286 laptop model, with DB25
>connectors, but with a pin-out very different from a parallel port.

Or like the FDC (ISA 8bit) for older PC that has a DB25 on the rear
for an external drive that is otherwise vanilla disk IO save for the
use of DB25.

Allison

>
>Regards,
>Freek.
>email: f.heite ATT hccnet DOTT nl

0
no.spam5 (564)
8/14/2007 11:19:17 PM
On Aug 14, 4:19 pm, no.s...@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 21:31:55 GMT, m...@privacy.net (Freek Heite) wrote:
> >lync...@yahoo.com wrote:
> >Andrew Lynch wrote:
>
> >>> My drive has what *APPEARS* to be a parallel port interface.  
>
> >Be careful when connecting such a drive to a parallel port!
> >I know of at least one vendor (the Dutch Tulip Computers) that made external
> >5.25 inch diskette drives for some of their 286 laptop model, with DB25
> >connectors, but with a pin-out very different from a parallel port.
>
> Or like the FDC (ISA 8bit) for older PC that has a DB25 on the rear
> for an external drive that is otherwise vanilla disk IO save for the
> use of DB25.
>
> Allison
>
>
>
>
>
> >Regards,
> >Freek.
> >email: f.heite ATT hccnet DOTT nl- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Allison, Freek,

All very good points which is why getting the technical manual of this
product is so important to assess whether it could be a viable
solution to the portable external 5.25" external drive request.  I do
not know for certain it is a parallel port only that it appears to be
one.  Certainly, it is possible but without the manual we cannot know
for certain.

If it requires a proprietary card or even a SCSI port the EF360U is a
non-starter since it would require openning chassis etc.  I am hoping
this product would work with the plain parallel port.  I think since
the interface is so simple and directly connecting to the floppy drive
connector that it would be flexible to allow special formats to be
read with the drive.  Of course, special driver software would have to
be written but that was part of the original request anyway with the
USB solution.

Thanks!

Andrew Lynch

0
lynchaj (280)
8/15/2007 12:06:24 AM
On Aug 14, 5:06 pm, lync...@yahoo.com wrote:
> On Aug 14, 4:19 pm, no.s...@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 21:31:55 GMT, m...@privacy.net (Freek Heite) wrote:
> > >lync...@yahoo.com wrote:
> > >Andrew Lynch wrote:
>
> > >>> My drive has what *APPEARS* to be a parallel port interface.  
>
> > >Be careful when connecting such a drive to a parallel port!
> > >I know of at least one vendor (the Dutch Tulip Computers) that made external
> > >5.25 inch diskette drives for some of their 286 laptop model, with DB25
> > >connectors, but with a pin-out very different from a parallel port.
>
> > Or like the FDC (ISA 8bit) for older PC that has a DB25 on the rear
> > for an external drive that is otherwise vanilla disk IO save for the
> > use of DB25.
>
> > Allison
>
> > >Regards,
> > >Freek.
> > >email: f.heite ATT hccnet DOTT nl- Hide quoted text -
>
> > - Show quoted text -
>
> Allison, Freek,
>
> All very good points which is why getting the technical manual of this
> product is so important to assess whether it could be a viable
> solution to the portable external 5.25" external drive request.  I do
> not know for certain it is a parallel port only that it appears to be
> one.  Certainly, it is possible but without the manual we cannot know
> for certain.
>
> If it requires a proprietary card or even a SCSI port the EF360U is a
> non-starter since it would require openning chassis etc.  I am hoping
> this product would work with the plain parallel port.  I think since
> the interface is so simple and directly connecting to the floppy drive
> connector that it would be flexible to allow special formats to be
> read with the drive.  Of course, special driver software would have to
> be written but that was part of the original request anyway with the
> USB solution.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Andrew Lynch- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Hi,

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.cpm/browse_thread/thread/d74b68e9f27d052f/9a2774829a023d98#9a2774829a023d98

If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion to the original requestor
of the USB external 5.25" floppy disk drive; if it was worth it to you
to hire someone to make the product from scratch, maybe it would also
be worth it to you to invest in one of these EF360U external floppy
drives to investigate whether it would be close enough for your
needs.  Even posting the information on the EF360U would help me and
other people here evaluate if this product is feasible or a practical
solution for your needs.

I believe the EF360U drives are available on the used computer
equipment market for reasonable amounts (less than $100).  Yes, it is
taking a bit of a risk but if it works out it would be MUCH cheaper
than paying for a hardware and software development effort of a USB
external floppy drive.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=DELA,DELA:2005-51,DELA:en&q=EF360U

Thanks!

Andrew Lynch

PS, It is just a suggestion, please do not take offense.  None is
intended from me.

0
lynchaj (280)
8/15/2007 12:34:16 AM
On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 23:19:17 GMT, no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net 
  <no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net> wrote:
>
>
> On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 21:31:55 GMT, me@privacy.net (Freek Heite) wrote:
>
>>lynchaj@yahoo.com wrote:
>>Andrew Lynch wrote:
>>
>>>> My drive has what *APPEARS* to be a parallel port interface.  
>>
>>Be careful when connecting such a drive to a parallel port! 
>>I know of at least one vendor (the Dutch Tulip Computers) that made external
>>5.25 inch diskette drives for some of their 286 laptop model, with DB25
>>connectors, but with a pin-out very different from a parallel port.
>
> Or like the FDC (ISA 8bit) for older PC that has a DB25 on the rear
> for an external drive that is otherwise vanilla disk IO save for the
> use of DB25.
>
I had a Toshiba laptop which had a BIOS setting to use the parallel port 
for a printer or a floppy drive. Also, the TRS-80 Model 100 used a 
floppy drive with a 25-pin serial interface.  The serial port on the 
computer was a female connector like a PC parallel port.

-- 
heavy, adj.:
	Seduced by the chocolate side of the force.
0
marcumbill (1024)
8/15/2007 8:04:57 AM
no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:

(snip)

> Or like the FDC (ISA 8bit) for older PC that has a DB25 on the rear
> for an external drive that is otherwise vanilla disk IO save for the
> use of DB25.

Ones I used to have (probably still have) have a 37 pin D
connector.  I believe with the usual 34 pins, and three unused,
unless power also comes through.

-- glen

0
gah (12851)
8/15/2007 2:38:38 PM
Reply: