Author Topic: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives  (Read 1503 times)

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Offline andrewferguson

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Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« on: 17:55, 23 August 20 »
A couple of years ago I was given some PCW 3-inch drives, to use as spares. The time has now come to actually use them, but they'll be needing new belts before that.
I looked on ebay for belts, and I noticed that one seller was selling a different belt for the "B" drive (720k), saying that:
Quote
It is a slightly different size to that used in the 180k A drive. Fitting a standard A drive rubber belt will often result in B drive read errors.
I'd never heard of this before, nor have I encountered this advice before online, and am wondering how true it is. (For what it's worth, the seller is charging extra for the "B" drive belts, although only £1 extra).
If the belts are indeed different, that could be a bit interesting, as I am not 100% sure whether the drives I have are A or B drives. When I got them, two were labelled as A and one as B, but I'm not 100% sure of this. Is there a way to check without connecting the drive and checking it with a 720k disk (which I cannot do until I've changed the belts)?
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Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #1 on: 18:20, 23 August 20 »
I've never heard of this before, either.   However, there are different models of the drives, certainly of the A: type drive (SSSD) and there may well be more than one model of the B: (DSDD) drive as well.   There could well be a slight difference between the 'optimum' belt sizes for the different models.   The seller might be correct, and using the wrong belt size could be less than optimum.   Not sure if anyone would notice though, and there are various other things that could cause 'read errors'.  I'd just get the 'standard' ones, and see what happens.

The article about the belt change on the Dutch web site is helpful, and gives detailed descriptions of the different drive types.
http://www.fvempel.nl/belt.html.

This says there are 4 types, EME-156 and EME-232 the older types, and EME-155 and 231 the newer types.   I take it the 1xx are the SS drives, and the 2xx are the double sided ones.

Geoff
« Last Edit: 18:31, 23 August 20 by GeoffB17 »
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Offline tjohnson

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #2 on: 19:26, 23 August 20 »
It's bull, the belts are the same
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Offline P5ychoFox

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #3 on: 20:54, 23 August 20 »
I know it's true as I am the seller. The 720k B drive benefits from a slightly smaller belt. I was told this by a long time PCW repair technician and after taking his advice I have never had any trouble replacing the belt in a B drive and I have replaced many many belts. Before this (using A drive belts) 1 out of every 3 drives would just give read errors.
« Last Edit: 20:58, 23 August 20 by P5ychoFox »
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Offline P5ychoFox

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #4 on: 20:57, 23 August 20 »
A couple of years ago I was given some PCW 3-inch drives, to use as spares. The time has now come to actually use them, but they'll be needing new belts before that.
I looked on ebay for belts, and I noticed that one seller was selling a different belt for the "B" drive (720k), saying that:I'd never heard of this before, nor have I encountered this advice before online, and am wondering how true it is. (For what it's worth, the seller is charging extra for the "B" drive belts, although only £1 extra).
If the belts are indeed different, that could be a bit interesting, as I am not 100% sure whether the drives I have are A or B drives. When I got them, two were labelled as A and one as B, but I'm not 100% sure of this. Is there a way to check without connecting the drive and checking it with a 720k disk (which I cannot do until I've changed the belts)?

A 720k drive has 2 read / write heads.
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Offline andrewferguson

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #5 on: 21:43, 23 August 20 »
I know it's true as I am the seller.
Many thanks for replying! I hope you took no offense at my questioning of it - it's just something I'd never heard of before.
Regarding the two read/write heads of the 720k drives, is this something that's easily visible without disassembling? I know I'll need to disassemble them to change the belts, but I'd prefer to do that as little as possible. Otherwise I'll take the drives apart to find out which type of belt I'll need.
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Offline P5ychoFox

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #6 on: 21:54, 23 August 20 »
The 720k B drive will be slightly heavier than a 180k A drive but you can find out for sure by unscrewing the metal shielding and sliding them back to see how many heads it has.
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Offline tjohnson

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #7 on: 22:54, 23 August 20 »
I've used the same belt on both and not had any issues with the same size.  How much are the belts selling for?
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Offline TynH

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Re: Belts for PCW 3-inch drives
« Reply #8 on: 18:01, 08 September 20 »
For what it’s worth: my experiences are similar. Replaced my B drive’s belt but within weeks it developed erratic behaviour. As in sometimes reading a disc etc. I did purchase a new belt as in the link above and fitted it which immediately sorted the problem. No long time experiences though as I’ve since replaced the entire drive with a second Gotek (from the same seller I think) which works great!
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