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  by Bill Degnan - 02/11/2021 01:29
Because the 3712 drives cannot format their own floppies (!) I used Dunfield's Image Disk program to format an 8" diskette with 77 tracks, 26 sectors and 128 byte sectors per track. I formatted at 250 kbs (khz) rate, SSSD. Click image for larger view.

The starndard IBM layout for an 8" disk is here and it matches up with the iCOM manual for the 3712 disk:

At Kennett Classic there is a PC with an 8" drive attached to be used for archiving and creating disks of ancient formats. Note the format settings on the screen are not correct for this project. See image above. Click image for larger view.

I took the newly-formatted disk to the Altair cabled through the S-100 Interface card to the iCOM 3712 drive. Earl Evans (Retrobits) sent me two of the older iCOM 8800 interface boards, adapted for use in F000. To do this the back of the board needed the original address assignment traces (C000) cut and new jumper wires added. I set up an interface with the Altair via the same TeraTerm as terminal described above (VG monitor).  I was able to load and run DERAMP's PC to Floppy Disk program (PC2FLOP.COM). 

The lights on the drive are busy "on", error "off", ready "on".  Drive 0's light is "off".  Drive 1's light is "on" (when selecting drive 1 as the target drive.)

Initiating and running the PC2FLOP program created by Mike Douglas (DERAMP). Click image for larger view.

I could not progress through the PC2Flop menu with the drive turned on, so I left it off until I was ready for the XMODEM transfer. I chose the CPM14-3712-48K.dsk.  Noting that when I started to transfer the file, I heard the drive click (perhaps as a quick test to be sure the target drive was there?) there was no other response from the drive.  I watched the bytes transferred progress bar but nothing happened on the disk drive.  The typical format action of the drive arm clicking through the drive did not happen.

Did I miss something?

NEXT - Check the signals from the S-100 interface cards (I now have three) and the iCOM drive controller to see if there are any electrical faults.



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