Microdrives dont spin or do anything

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retro_collector
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Re: Microdrives dont spin or do anything

Postby retro_collector » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:55 pm

Hi Martyn,

You are correct. I run the SDINIT command which prepares the SD CARD. I have tried multiple cards. The cards get formatted. Then I do MKIMG, which creates a blank image. MKIMG works, where it all fails is when I try to format the new image I created. The red LED comes on (indicating the drive is being accessed ) then the red LED goes out and then I get format failed.

So I am scratching my head. I hope Charlie has some idea

Cheers

Bill


retro_collector
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Re: Microdrives dont spin or do anything

Postby retro_collector » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:47 pm

Tada!

I finally got my Vdrive QL working! It was my Vmap that caused my problems and Charlie is sending me a new one.

IMG_4008.jpg


IMG_4010.jpg


martyn_hill
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Re: Microdrives dont spin or do anything

Postby martyn_hill » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:06 pm

Well done for persevering, Bill!

Out of interest, which OS were you running when trying to format the MDV image?

QDOS and Minerva have different 'tolerances' as to what constitutes a reliable result from the FORMAT command and vDrive has been configured to report a suitable number of sectors so as to allow the OS to accept the format as successful.

I mention this because an earlier version of the vDrive firmware reported too many sectors for Minerva v1.98 to accept (yes, Minerva actively rejects too many sectors as indicative of an over-stretched tape or motor running too slowly to be reliable) and Charles updated the firmware to adjust how many sectors were found based on the version of Minerva that is running as a result.) The Format error you observed previously might thus have been due to another OS variant/version rejecting vDrive's format results.

vDrive is a really useful device and a credit to Charles's innovative approach and care reverse engineering the raw MDV encoding scheme from very sparse documentation at the time!

Enjoy!


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Bloodnok
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Re: Microdrives dont spin or do anything

Postby Bloodnok » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:04 am

martyn_hill wrote:Hi Bill!

The fact that you can 'see' the 'VTKQL109' medium listed suggests that the vDrive is being correctly accessed - but as yet, does not recognise the SD Card.

If I recall correctly from the vDrive documentation and my own experience, vDrive will present a 'pseudo' MDV image containing only a boot program and the (optional) vDrive Toolkit with no SD-Card mounted (or recognised.)

If you you have successfully loaded that boot program and the Toolkit, then the QL to MDV interface is working correctly - and all that remains is to review the documentation to check that your SD-Card is initialised correctly. The card initialisation itself is carried out using the utilities commands as contained in that Toolkit.

Good luck - you are almost there!


Thanks Martin. Great explanation. The manual has more detailed info if needed.

I've been working directly with Bill for a few weeks now on resolving the various problems with this particular QL. I strongly recommend that, before even attaching the vDriveQL that the QL is tested to make sure that it works OK and the internal Microdrives at least can be addressed (they don't have to work 100%). If it doesn't then any issues need to be resolved before attaching the vDriveQL (or anything else for that matter). As you can imagine, trying to fault find these issues from New Zealand across wildly different time zones is a bit of a challenge! I'm always happy to help out but there are limits to what I can diagnose remotely.

To date the main issues center around the QL not being in a known state before attaching the vDriveQL. Some of the QLs have missing mods (or factory mods that have been incorrectly done) and as the Microdrives weren't used the problems went unnoticed - until the vDriveQL came along. Other problems uncovered include using the AH ROM (it won't work) and version 2.47 of the Gold Card/SuperGold Card ROM (only 2.49 is supported).

I think we've figured out most of the things that stop the vDriveQL in its tracks and Bill and Andrew now have QL/vDriveQL combinations that work as advertised.

Charles


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Bloodnok
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Re: Microdrives dont spin or do anything

Postby Bloodnok » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:08 am

retro_collector wrote:Tada!

I finally got my Vdrive QL working! It was my Vmap that caused my problems and Charlie is sending me a new one.

IMG_4008.jpg

IMG_4010.jpg


Just to clarify - the vMap was damaged during installation - it is definitely a challenge to fit but I think that's made clear in the install guide. I have sent another (free of charge).

Charles


retro_collector
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Re: Microdrives dont spin or do anything

Postby retro_collector » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:53 am

Yup I have 3 broken pins and Charlie was kind enough to ship me another. So while I wait for that to arrive I will solder new pins on the VMAP I have and see if it works.



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