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3 1/2" disk on the DDI-1

Started by the KING, 12:24, 14 March 09

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the KING

I have just changed the drive belt in my FD-1 disk drive, and it actually works, afer 20 years in storage.

It's quite exciting for me, because I had written off the disk drive as broken the last time I tried, some 10 years ago. Finally I have access to all my school work and programs again. Did I say it was exciting for me???  ;-)

My next goal is to get the files to my PC. I have seen many tutorials how to connect a 3 1/2" PC disk drive to the second connector on a 664/6128, but can't find any documentation on how to connect it as a second drive with the DDI-1/FD-1 on a 464. Does anyone have experience with this, and could point me in the right direction? I have quite a number of old 3 1/2" drives around the house, and here's the models I can find within hand's reach: TEAC FD-235HF 807-U, Hewlett Packard/Epson SMD-340, Sony MPF520-1, YE Data 702B 6037 B1.

Any help would be appreciated.



Hi Tom donno if this is wha you want but here is a couple of options.

1. Option: Remove the 3" from FD1/DDI and replace with 3,5" drive:
I bought 2 wires from this french site:

What you need is a power cableconverter (Adaptateur alimentation):

and a flat ribbon converter (Adaptateur Lecteur 3,5 pouces Interne):

I used to translate from english-french as my french is a bit rusty (non-existing  :D )

Anyways it was all very easy to use. Removed the 3" drive from the FD1 using a normal screwdriver and the cables are plug and play easy.

Looks a bit silly but it works allright(pic):

2. option: simply attach your 3" directly to your PC !!
If you have a desktop pc, you can simply use your 3" directly in the pc. All i did was to to hook the drive to the end of the pc floppy ribbon cable. Then changed the pc Bios to "720kb" floppy setting.
Turn the FD1/DDI on first then the Pc and use CPCDiskXP from to read and write Dsk.

Note: i read somewhere that you need to modify your 3" drive before using with pc. I tried that but couldnt get it to work. So now i just use my FD1 without modification and it works great. Cant be sure that it wont blow up on me one day of cause (but i got a spare). If you are worried about that, you are better off with option 1.

Note 2: those 2 french cables also work inside 664 and 6128. Nice to know if you ever need to use a 3.5" inside one of those.

the KING

Thanks Cholo,
Option 1 will not work for me, as I need to have both the 3" and the 3 1/2" connected to transfer my 3" disks to 3 1/2".
The second option looks interresting, as that will remove the need to go via 3 1/2" to get my files to the PC.

Does anyone else have experience with this solution, maybe regarding the modification mentioned?


the KING

I have now tried connecting the FD1 to my PC with the mod (I suppose the mod was deconnecting the power the FD1 sends through the flat cable) and without the mod.

I have tried setting the BIOS to both 3 1/2" 720 and 5" 360, and I have tried a couple of cables. The first cable I tried was a simple one with just one connector in each end, with a bunch of reversed cables at the disk end. The other cable I tried was one with connection for 4 drives, two 3 1/2" and two 5". With the last cable I tried both the connectors meant for 3 1/2" drives.

Unfortunately I couldn't get CPCDiskXP v2.0 to recognise the FD1 with any of the variants I tried.

If anyone out there have got this to work, would you be so kind to describe what cable you were using, as well as what option you selected in the PC BIOS regarding drive type.



Im using a normal 2x 3.5" port drive cable. A long ribbon that goes from the pc untill just before the twist is a normal 3.5" connector. After the twist and at the end of the cable is another 3.5" port where i attached the 3" drive normally.

Drive appears as a 5 1/4 deive inside windows even tho i chose 720k setting in bios. Cant access the drive except inside CPCDiskXP tho.


Have you tried installing the low-level FDD driver for Windows?

I can confirm that you can make a 3" drive work with a PC (as a 5.25" one), though the only time I tried was with an old (maybe Pentium or Penitum II-class) PC...

the KING

I use the driver that came with the CPCDiskXP, fdrawcmd by Simon Owen, but I'm starting to suspect that the floppy controller might not be compatible with the setup. I get to the point where the drive spins up, but CPCDiskXP returns errors when reading the sectors.

In fact, I as well, did get it to work on a PC some 10 years back using a command line program in DOS. I had abandoned that idea as I couldnt find much info on that, until Cholo pointed me to CPCDiskXP. I managed to transfer half of my disks the last time around, but the rest wouldnt read. I thought they were faulty, but when I changed the drive belt this week, every disk worked perfectly on the CPC.



Hi Tom

I too have a CPC464 with a 3" external DDI drive, and I've built myself a 3.5" drive. I have both drives connected. The 3.5" drive as drive A and the DDI as drive B. That way I can easily transfer DSK files onto 3.5" disks, and run them on my CPC. :-)
It requires a decent amount of soldering to make it, but it wasn't that hard. Just took some time.

I used an old external CD-rom drive for the purpose. That way I had something to put it in, and the power-supply needed as well.
I followed this diagram to make it.

Some pictures:

Alternatively, you can also make yourself a parallel cable and transfer whole disks that way. I did that at first, because it's much easier to make a parallel cable than to make the 3.5" drive.

the KING

I can't imagine how I missed that document, found right here on cpcwiki..... I have an old external drive case a lot like yours, and the soldering part doesn't look too complicated. I might give it a try if I fail to get the FD1 to work with my PC.


PS. may I get back to you later, if I have any questions?


Quote from: the KING on 19:13, 16 March 09
PS. may I get back to you later, if I have any questions?

Of course. :) That's why we're here. ;)

Btw, I just remembered. I actually did a mix of the two diagrams (with/without RDY signal), so that I have another hidden switch inside the case. On the picture there's one switch on the back-panel. That's an old picture. It's now on the front, and controls which side of the disk is to be used. The other switch is for RDY signal, which is only needed at the time of putting in the diskdrive.


I just noticed, the link may be a bit confusing, since it actually starts showing a diagram for a CPC6128.
The CPC464 diagram is a little up. Use this link instead.

the KING

I have finally got my disks transfered.

In the end I went for the parallel-connection, as that cable was very easy to make. I didn't get it to work at first, but soon discovered that the edge connector on the 464 was dirty. I just pulled and pushed the plug a couple of times, and then it worked very good.

Another problem I encountered was that the program for the PC-end of the connection needed real DOS to work. All my current PC's have Vista or XP, and uses disks with NTFS. So I pulled a very old laptop in from "storage". It fortunately had WIN95 and FAT file-system, so I was able to boot to MS-DOS, and could run the programs.

Thanks to those that helped,


Not really on topic, but just in case:
DOS is really small and you dont need a harddrive or all the commands to enter DOS. So small that it can easily fit on a single 1,4MB floppy along with the transfer programs and a handfull of Dsk too.

A selfbooting Dos-floppy is like 100kb so you get a good 1.3mb free space to use. Modern pcs also has options to boot into CD and USB i recall so even if your dont have any hdds with dos you can make a selfbooting cd or usb-stick with a small dos partition and boot into that.

The real troubles tho is a modern pc is usually way to fast to work well when connecting to a "slow" ol' cpc.

QuoteCreate MS-DOS bootable diskette
When formatting a floppy diskette, users have the               option of creating a MS-DOS startup disk, follow the below steps               to do this.                  

  •                Place diskette in the computer.                
  •                Open My Computer, right-click the A: drive                   and click Format.                
  •                In the Format window, check Create an MS-DOS                   startup disk.                
  •                Click Start             

Then copy all the files to the floppy using explorer inside XP/Vista.

QuoteHow to use a boot diskette                 Once the bootable diskette has been successfully                 created, following the below steps you will be able to boot from the                 diskette.                 

  • Make sure your pc's BIOS is set to boot into floppy drive first.
  • Insert the diskette into the                     computer and reset or turn on the computer to begin the boot                     process.
  • As the computer is booting, answer the questions prompted (if any).
  • Once at the A:\> take the                     appropriate actions depending upon the situation of the computer.
and run Turbotrans or what you use.


You're right about that... I think that THIS will be of great help.

USB is probably the way to go, I find it harder and harder to find a computer with a floppy drive attached!

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