MicroStyle 3.5" Dual-Mode Disc Drive

Started by Cholo, 22:49, 17 November 09

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or "Mega" drive. Just got this drive a couple of days ago and didnt see anything about it on the Wiki. Donno if it belongs on the wiki anyways, as i donno how "official" this is as a amstrad hardware (it look fairly "homemade").

Nothing special about the drive itself its just a normal external 3.5" drive as to get all the "dual" or "mega" you have to go buy Ramdos or Rodos (or similar).

According to the short manual (1 page) it works for both 6128/664 and 464 as a second drive. To use it on a 6128/664 you just hook it up normally using the black oldstyle "pc" connector, but on the 464 you need to connect the white connector to the spare 34 pin connector on the DDI cable. (im gonna make a good scan tomorrow of the manual).

Not much to see outside:

The back:
I noticed that the top leftmost pin in the white-464-connector is missing. i hope that is on purpose but cant test it as it didnt come with a psu. According to the manual it uses a 35 mm jackstick.

Opening the drive i find a TEAC FD 235F 112-U with some nice jumpers:

2 jumpers are set "RY" and "D1" and that kinda makes sense with the ready signal and secondary drive. Apparently only 2 wires go into the actual drive to power it .. the right most pin black ground and the second from the right yellow (12v ?). What exactly goes on there at the back with all the yellow/black wires i donno (but im gonna have a closer look tomorrow and hope i can get some better pics). Anyways its obviously the side switch that goes to the the ribbon.

and a whole bunch of more blurry pics here:


My guess:

the cabels on the left side and the cables coming from the FDD - cable are meant to power the drive.

As you can see on a scheme on this website:


The drive needs 5 Volts and 12 Volts power supply. As the 5 Volts probably can be taken directly from the FDD cable (the primary drive feeds 5 Volts current on 2 lines of the FDD cable), the only problem is to get a 12 Volt power source.  That can be done by an adapter with a connector that fits into the round port on the left side of the picture. One could think of a solution with only the 12 Volt power supply and maybe a resistor for lowering the strength of the current down to 5 Volts for the drive where it needs it.

The switch can turn on and off the 5 Volt supply for the FDD. I think it is impossible to use the drive with a PC, because the 5 Volt power supply couldn't be provided by the PCs native power supply while there are cables soldered to the corresponding connector pins.

With the 5 Volt turned off, the CPC will no longer be aware of the drive.


I have another disc drive like this.

About the power supply. you don't need 12 volt. because this unit don't use 12 volt. like the 3'' disc drive.

You need 5 volt. but you can do it with a power supply of 6 Volt. or more because this unit has a "regulator" of Volt.

You can see the "regulator" on these photo :


Is on left corner, a 7805 regulator of Volt. from 12 Volt. to 5 Volt. of 1 A.

And look at the correct polarity.


Isn't the drive a normal PC FDD ? I looked up the referring power supply in the link I provided.


This drive is a PC drive too.

With the PC you dont have problems with the drives but with the CPC you can have problems.

Not all the PC drives is valid for the CPC.

Normally the old drives like this where you can config with jumpers is valid for CPCs.

The swith of the drive is for change the side of the disc.

With the PC drives you don't change the face of the disc fisically because you have 2 heads for read all the disc.

You need a switch for change the side of the disc like on the CPC, if you don't use like CPC then you don't need for exemple using special format like Ramdos, Vortex or other Parados big formats.


Alright! Disassembled it a bit more it all makes sense now. Once i removed that one screw to the left the black 3 legged black thingy did jump right out and it is indeed a MC 7805 QG C031 (i think as its very hard to read with those 3 legs in front).

Pretty clear:

Powering part: The black (from inside jackstick, 5-12V ?) wire goes to the first leg of the 7805 and the yellow (outside jackstick, ground?) to the second leg but then continues to the drive second pin from the right. From the third leg the black wire goes to the drives rightmost pin (this is usually the red wire i guess with 5v).

Switch part: The little red wire (ground?) goes from the top of the jackstick connector to the top switch leg. Middel leg is then connected with the brown wire to the ribbon towards the drive. Buttom leg is the black wire that connect to the ribbon toward cpc side.

So if i ever wanted to recreate a similar setup (but without the switch) would be get a compatible ribboncable and get a psu to power the right most drive pin with 5V 1A and the second pin to ground?

at Cpcmaniaco: does your ribbon cable have any pin(s) missing too?

Here is the manual scan (pdf):

And some more blurry scans:

Oh! and thanks for all the feedback, its highly appreciated.

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