Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

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Startax
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Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby Startax » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:40 pm

Hallo,
I just bought a Microperipherals Disk Interface and Floppy Disk drive. It works with the QL (set jumpers to have DD 1440 sectors), it formats, reads and writes fine.
The problem is when i try to read (and write) MP formatted disks using emulators (Qemulator and QPC2). There's no way to read or write them.
I tried also to format another floppy disk from Qemulator (which gives me 2880 sectors - btw when can i set to 1440?) and try to read on the QL but no way..

Basically, my goal is to use the PC to copy QL software to MP formatted disks and read/use them in the QL..

What should i do and which PC software lets me work with MP formatted disks?
I'm using a 2013 Macbook PRO with Bootcamp and a USB Mitsumi floppy drive. As told it works fine with Qemulator (unregistered)...

Thanks in advance (and sorry, I'm not so experienced in QL/floppy stuff).


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vanpeebles
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby vanpeebles » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:52 pm

It sounds like the emulator is formatting 1.44mb disks? :) Do you have some 800k floppies to try?


Startax
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby Startax » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:04 pm

Could try to find 800k disks, but the problem is that the emulator isn't able to read MP formatted floppies from my real QL...
MP formatted floppies couldn't be read from QL Image Editor, too.


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tofro
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby tofro » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:36 pm

What works quite well here is:

  • Format a DD disk on a QL drive - Note must be DD, not HD. With HD disk I get mixed results
  • Copy files from QPC2 (running on a MacBook Pro under Parallels) to this disk using a Fuji USB floppy drive
  • Read on the QL


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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby RWAP » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:21 pm

I get mixed results because Windows lacks proper DD disk support (after WIndows XP); plus a USB floppy disk drive lacks a proper disk controller.

For reliability, disks are ALWAYS better formatted on the QL first and you MUST use DD disks - not HD disks with the hole covered over.

Even then, every now, if the disk has been written to by the QL, I sometimes have to force Windows to recognise it as a DD disk. To do that, I have to put a blank DD disk in the USB disk drive, then open a DOS window and enter the command:

Code: Select all

FORMAT a: /t:80 /n:9


This attempts to format a disk to DD.

Now insert the QL formatted disk and Windows should be able to read it.

If you use special QL formatting routines (eg where the number of sectors is reduced such as done by Tony FIrshman), or increased (for example using the routine from DIY Toolkit to squeeze 90 tracks onto a DD disk instead of 80), Windows and emulators will completely fail to read the data.


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NormanDunbar
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby NormanDunbar » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:05 pm

RWAP wrote:Even then, every now, if the disk has been written to by the QL, I sometimes have to force Windows to recognise it as a DD disk. To do that, I have to put a blank DD disk in the USB disk drive, then open a DOS window and enter the command:

FORMAT a: /t:80 /n:9

This attempts to format a disk to DD.

Now insert the QL formatted disk and Windows should be able to read it.


I'm just making sure that the above is explicitly clear, in case of mistakes, but I assume that you wait for the format of the blank DD disc to complete before swapping it for the QL disc! To prevent the QL disc getting formatted.

Cheers,
Norm.


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Startax
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby Startax » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:10 am

wow, tried 20 DD old floppies but apparently they're corrupted... keep on searching to make tests... covering the second hole of a HD floppy could work?


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vanpeebles
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby vanpeebles » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:59 am

It sounds like the drive heads need cleaning :)


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tofro
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby tofro » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:12 am

Startax wrote:wow, tried 20 DD old floppies but apparently they're corrupted... keep on searching to make tests... covering the second hole of a HD floppy could work?


I have never had any positive experience with HD disks disguised as DD, although in theory, it should work.

In case the MP drive is the only drive that can actually read its own disks, it might very well be the head or the track 0 sensor on one of the drives is misaligned. Because with only two drives it's nearly impossible to tell which one is wrong, you'd first need a third reference drive to find out the misaligned one.

Recalibration of a misaligned drive is nearly impossible for the layman or at least a very fiddly procedure (slightly move the sensor, format a disk, test if it is readable on the other (OK) drive, rinse, repeat. "Slightly" is in the several 100th of a mm range here.

I'd start to look for a replacement drive. Bytedelight in the Netherlands has acceptable (new) drive sets for an OK price that I have used to replace a set of mine. They work fine on my QLs. (http://www.bytedelight.com/?product=dua ... ydrive-set)

Tobias


Startax
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Re: Microperipherals Floppy Interface R/W

Postby Startax » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:57 pm

Finally I found a couple of working DD's...
I also thought it would be a dirty head but once opened the drive I found it not easy at all to clean...
Anyway, as told a couple of DD's are apparently working, I can format and read/write between emulator and QL.
Now, kindly asking some Q's:
1. I read that's not convenient to unzip the files on the pc side, and it would be better to put the zip in the floppy and let the QL unzip... can somebody suggest a tutorial for it?
2. I found the floppy-version psion software but looking in the files they look at clamp, not gfl... is there a way to change the name via software?
Thank you very much for your help



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