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Thread: Hoping for your help w/ a Famicom Disk System project

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    Ryu Hayabusa (Level 16) rbudrick's Avatar
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    Zach, I have some emails formt he author that explains what he did to his drive. I"ll post them when I get home. I couldn't really understand what he said. Went right over my head. But I'll tell ya anyway. :-)

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Hey guys,

    I ran a babelfish.altavista.com translation on this link:

    http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:m823sbkpZgUJ:www.geocities.jp/pasofami77/retoro/fchp04.htm+fd3206&hl=en&lr=lang_en|lang_ja

    It mentions two versions ogf the 3206, one of which is protected, one that is not. It also mentions the 7201...hmmm. Not sure whatthose IC numbers mean.

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Default About reprogram fds

    I confirm that 7201 + BU3208 / BU3213 Hack can reprogram fds disk.
    Here is my config and needed for reprogram fds

    (Disk to Disk)
    ------------------
    1) Game Master 6M (Copier from BUNG)
    2) Copy Master v1.1 (Copy program use on Game Master from BUNG)
    3) Modded FDS drive

    or another config

    (PC to FDS) - Can dump and reprogram
    ----------------
    1) MGD1 8M (from BUNG)
    2) MGD1 to PC cable
    3) MGD.exe (transfer to fds software by BUNG)
    4) Modded FDS drive

    -Tomy

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    Tomy have you tried fdsloadr cable and software for reprogramming disks at all? I for one do not have any bung fds hardware/software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplynes
    Tomy have you tried fdsloadr cable and software for reprogramming disks at all? I for one do not have any bung fds hardware/software.
    Yes, but I can not make it work. My pc running winme, it hang my pc.

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    Pretty soon I am going to partition my hard drive to have a small Win 98 partition so I don't have to fiddle with other peoples' PCs anymore to get things working. :-)

    It's a little complicated, even though I have a copy of partition magic...

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Hey Guys,

    Iorry it took a while to post this, but here is Brad Taylor's response to how he modded his fds drive so that only his seemed to work with fdsloadr after he wrote it:

    Refer to "FDS Copy Tool" at nesdev.parodius.com for a publicly-known technique. While it's not the best tech doc, you will have to see it anyway for info on modding the power module board inside the FDS disk drive.

    Inside the FDS drive unit itself, you have the evil 3206 chip; this thing provides (among other things) the signals for the write head. Apparently, this chip needs to be bypassed completely, in order to write any in-coming data onto the disk. You might as well break the path between where this chip

    Luckilly, the incoming signal is a stream of pulses that mark where a pulse should be recorded on the disk. This can be accomplished by feeding the write data into a simple positive-edge triggered toggle flip-flop, and powering the 2 write head lines with the complimentary logic outputs on the flip-flop (polarity of signals is irrelivant).

    The outputs of the flip-flop must be forced to be equal, during the times when writing is undesired. With TTL comp. out. flip-flops, this _can_ be accomplished by using taboo and activating set and reset flip-flop inputs simultaniously, though this may cause the chip to race for a few dozen nanoseconds after deactivation of the RS inputs.

    The clean solution is to use either:

    A) two- 2-input (N)and/or gates. The gates will be tied in series with the flip-flop's comp. output path to the write head wires. the other unused inputs on the gates will be your disable write heads.

    B) 1- 1 of n decoder with disable inputs. use two decoded addresses from feeding the flip-flop's output line onto a decoder input address pin.

    The complimentary write signal drive outputs must be either open-collector, or have a high drive output for both sink and source (in this case, you'll remove the 2- 200 ohm resistors pulling up the write head lines to +5VDC).

    The /ready, /write, and /write enable (from switch) signals must all be zero, in order for the write head outputs to function.


    My mod only used 2 simple standard TTL chips: 7445, and 7476 (which is much less parts than the aformentioned public mod shows it being done with). The 7445 is a 4-line to 10-line address decoder with high-current open-collector outputs. The 7476 is a dual pos-edge trig. JK flip-flop.

    I fed the write data signal right into the input of one of the flip-flops (with J, K, /R, and /S inputs all tied to logical 1), and fed the Q output into address decode input line 0 on the 7445. I fed the /ready, /write, and /write enable signals to the remaining 3 address decode input lines, and hooked up the decoded outputs from lines 0 and 1 up to the write head lines.

    That's it.

    Feel free to ask more questions if this explanation is not clear enough.
    I dont understand it, but if you can , then Congraduration. A winner is you.

    It's a bit too technical for me. However, look at the very first paragraph of his response, second sentence:

    While it's not the best tech doc, you will have to see it anyway for info on modding the power module board inside the FDS disk drive
    .

    How could I have missed that? Well, with Tomy and Brad saying so, if it wasn't set in stone before, it is now. Always a good thing to have a double confirmation, even if Brad didnt have 7201 drive.

    Zach, any updates on your progress?

    Tomy, if you are still reading, are Bung hardware and software somewhat common on your side of the world, or are they extremely difficult to find there too?

    Thanks!


    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Hey Folks,

    I figured I'd give you an update on the progress of things here, since I haven't seen any movemnet in this thread for a while. A new FDS drive arrived in the mail for me today (Can't wait to go home). And translation of the FDS Copy Tool (the first one) docs has been progressing somewhat. I am almost done figuring out the Kanji so I can type it all up and start real translation.

    I've done a lot of research into the FDS disk format. I got to thinking, if the FDS loader gives CRC errors since it can't read the data that gives a valid CRC check off the disks, how on earth did valid dumps get online? As it turns out, the FDS disk format is NOT proprietary, contrary to popular belief. Granted, many of you may have known this, but it really isn't common knowledge, especially in the western world.

    Back in the 80's (actually, probably around 1978), Mitsumi invented a disk format known as the Quickdisk. The quickdisks came in a couple formats (50KB per side, 64KB per side -like the fds disks-, and I heard rumors of a larger 128-or maybe 256KB- per side disk). The 64KB per side was the only type that was ever really used in a semi-big way. For our concerns, let's forget the others even existed...I"m not even positive they were real. The other formats were exceedingly rare, from my understanding.

    So, Mitsumi invents this Quickdisk, aka QD. The QD drives and disks did not see widespread use. They were used in a few Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Akai, and (crap a few others...I forget) keyboard/synthesizers in the 80s. They were also used in a few Brother word porcessors, and Smith Corona, I think. But, who gives a crap about those? What's important is that a few rare 80's PCs used them. I think there was maybe an Amstrad, there's rumors of the Dragon 32 having one that I can't confirm, but what computers I can confirm had them are the Sharp MZ-700 and MZ-800. Also, the MSX in Japan had an add-on QD module. The MZ-700 also used an add-on. The MZ-800 had it built in standard.

    UPDATE: It seems the Ts CC40 used them too.

    Now, my research indicated that most of the fds dumps online happened in the early 90s mostly in Europe. Did they use the MZ800 or 700, perhaps? I don't know, but it seems likely....unless someone can confirm otherwise. Also, they may have used the Amstrad, or Dragon 32, or maybe that TI CC40, or some other machine that used them, if they indeed had QD drives for them.

    In Japan, they also had a version of the MZ-800, only it was black and could use kana, blah, blah, blah. It was called the MZ-1500. After painstakingly translating probably 1000 different webpages (well, a combination of Babelfish, Japanese language books and a few other sites, heh heh, yeah of course I cheated), I found very little indication as to how to do this. However, I did find repeated in several places that it was done. The MZ-1500 could indeed be connected somehow to the FDS. Check out this site and click on the links to the other pics to see more:

    http://my.reset.jp/~toragiku/kopa/mz1500.htm.

    On that link, the caption under the pic translates to:

    "Using the family computer disk system as QD drive."

    I wrote the author, but got no response. He may very well not speak English. Oh well.

    I can't confirm this either, but I heard a Japanese magazine, most very likely, "Oh! MZ" had plans on how to connect the MZ-1500 to the FDS drive, but I haven't a clue what issue. Well, it was probably between '86 and '87 that the issue came out if it did at all. I think (not sure) that "Oh! MZ" became "Oh! X" in late '87 to support Sharp's new line of X series computers (X68000, etc). I'd love if someone could confirm this.

    So hey, maybe all those dumps didn't strictly come out of Europe, but trhat's just what I heard.

    Note in that pic that one of the faceplates of the FDS drive is missing. I'll tell you why. Let me first say that finding some quickdisks was no picnic. They are a bitch to find and they are usually way too expensive. Smith Corona may still sell some at some office supply stores. This might be a valid link:

    http://www.esticortland.com

    Part #061838. Expensive at $12.25 for 2. That's the Smith Corona part number, btw. Your best bet is to check out music stores. They can sometimes get them since some music afficionados insist on using their old synths. But anyway, they can be found. If you look hard enough you can sometimes find a crapload of them for real cheap (I found 65 for about $100). I bought out the whole stock of em taht they had. If you find some, I would encourage you to do the same. I'm sure we could all use some blanks. :-)

    Ok, so anyway, that plate is missing because an actual quickdisk is square and the FDS disks are slightly longer on the backend. So, when you insert a quickdisk into your FDS drive, the spring-flap-door makes ejection of the disk very difficult. Removing that panel fixes it. Sort of. The other difference with quickdisks, besides length, is that on the back end of a quickdisk (the side facing the front of the drive once inserted), there's two little tabs on the left and right sides of the disk that hit the metal on the fds unit, blocking complete entry. Just shave this bit of plastic off (be real careful!) and voila! They fit.

    Nintendo actually launched a propaganda campaign against these quickdisks. My understanding is that they depicted the black quickdisk as the evil villain and the yellow offical disks as the hero. I'd love to dig up some footage or media of this. I heard that it was quite a bit Nintendo's fault that QDs were haulted in production, much to many a music composer's dismay. In fact, I have a pirate FDS disk (that is actually the FDS length) that says Quick Disque on it where NINTENDO usually appears.

    I recently managed to find an MZ-1500 with a working QD drive. I also found an MSX QD peripheral. I should have them sometime in July. They were quite sinister to find, but now I need to get an MSX (the purchase of which I started researching in another thread). So, from there, I will begin experimenting how to back these up. I know for a fact it has been done with the MSX and MZ-1500. This leads me to believe it has also been done with the MZ-700 and 800.

    I haven't the slightest clue what software or hacks, if any will be needed, but please let me know if you hear anything. I am in touch with the guy that runs www.sharpmz.org. He is looking into it for me. There's no one more knowledgeable in the world on MZ computers than this guy and his network of contacts, so we'll see what he digs up. But I must be patient, as he is extremely busy, as are his contacts. However, he is very interested in this and assured me he would get back to me as soon as he can. These guys are super-smart though. Lets hope they can dig up some goods!

    In the mean time, how the hell do I copy a disk in an MSX, and where do I get the correct 720KB floppies?

    Yours,

    Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Heya fellas,

    I have a FD3206 drive with a BU3208 chip. Am I completely screwed?

    Off topic. What sort of adaptor will I be needing for my Famicom and Famicom Disk System? I don't want to blow out the circuitry.

    Thanks.

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    I have a FD3206 drive with a BU3208 chip. Am I completely screwed?
    Hey Merp... this was discussed in the thread, but as a recap, the FDS Copy Tool doc (japanese) shows you how to build a circuit to defeat this (if you have a 3206 chip. I am still translating it. I expect to be done in 2-3 months. I suck at Japanese.

    I believe all systems have the BU3208 that must be defeated first (7201 drive or not).

    If you can wade through the text, you may still beable to build the circuit.

    Tomy's site linked above gives some info on this.

    As for AC adapter...I dunno...I"m at work now, but I remember specifically that it is much different thatn a US NES's AC adapter. don't use this...I hear it can kill your system. On the FDS, I just use batteries.

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Hey Zach,

    I remeber you said you were having trouble writing disks. Well, I was having huge problems with reading and dumping disks. I thought my belt was dying! I took the whole damn thing apart, which was good in a way because I finally got to measure the inside diamter of the belt with a special tool and also the width and thickness with some calipers....if I ever need a replacement. Well, with that done, I put it all back together. I was SURE that I killed the damn thing since I can never retune the motors on these damn things once I remove a belt. Luckily, it was still as bad as before I took it apart (would read some games and not others...games I knew were good on another drive).

    Well, I decided to clean the head. A bit of rubbing alcohol and a q-tip took care of that. All my games started to work again (well, all the ones that worked in the other drive)! Good as new. :-) Anyway, if you haven't tried it, give it a shot. :-)

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    My belt seems really lose and likes to hug the gears. Seems to me that I'll need a new one. Would anybody verify this? Also, where may I purchase one and what's the easiest and safest way of replacing them?

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    My belt seems really lose and likes to hug the gears. Seems to me that I'll need a new one. Would anybody verify this? Also, where may I purchase one and what's the easiest and safest way of replacing them?
    If you are getting a lot of disk errors and games won't load, and you have cleaned the head (and you know the disk isn't damaged), chances are you are in need of a new belt. Where do you purchase one? I'm not sure....I think someone on this board might sell them, but I took some measurements on the belt and it seems that what is needed is a flat (not round or square) belt-sometimes called ribbon instead of flat. I believe it was just shy of 1mm (.040") thick and it was 2mm (.080") wide. it had an inside diameter of 9 1/8 inches. Since it might be a bit streched, it may have originally been 9 inches...can't confirm this until my belt dies and I replace it though, heh heh.

    Now, this belt I have on there is a replacement itself, so the original belt may have been 3 or 4 millimeters wide (in fact, I'm pretty sure), considering the width of the space on the brass-colored motor pulley and the white plastic wheel.

    The easiest way? Pay someone else to do it! Ha!

    Seriously...you can do it yourself but it is rather tricky to get it off and put it back on. If you've done it once, it's not so hard, but the first time is a real pain in the ass. You may find this link usefull:

    http://simplynes.emucamp.com/fdsguide.html

    The biggest problem arises when you must adjust the motor on the drive. There's a little screw hole on it to do this. Once you replace the belt, try loading some games. if they work, fine. You're done. If not (and the belt is visibly on properly), the motor probably needs adjustment. I'm really no help here, since I have never successfully set one correctly. Zach has, but lord knows how he did it...Seriously, I think that thing has to be lined to the thousandth of a turn...drives me crazy.

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Oh yeah, any VCR repair/parts shop may be able to order the belt. Try MCM Electronics or MAT electronics...maybe TV Supply in Nashua NH has them...they are an excellent source.

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    I can't even get anything to display on my TV yet. I don't know what kind of power supply will work and not destroy my Famicom and FDS. I'm not into using batteries and for some reason rechargables don't ever work in videogame systems.

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    Unless you have an AV mod, you will have to use channel 95 or 96. Make sure the Famicom works alone first. If you have just the ram adapter inserted, it will still display the FDS main screen.

    -ROb
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Sorry I've been absent for a lot of posts, guys.

    Yes, the good, old FDS belt replacement! Good times, good times.

    This is all from memory, right off the top of my head, so if you decide to follow these instructions, please do so with caution. Seriously, I could be remembering things incorrectly, so proceed at your own risk!

    The actual replacement of the belt is straight forward enough -- just a complicated, pain in the ass, mechanical project. Take your time and carefully remove the parts, noting how everything goes back together. I haven't done this in a while, but the guide on SimplyNES's site looks to be pretty accurate.

    The tough part (for me, at least) comes when you have to phyiscally align the drive. The first time I replaced a belt, the drive worked (without any alignment) for most of my games, but not some others. After finding someone on the internet to help (man, I wish I would have saved his contact info or even his emails with instructions, for that matter!) I was able to learn how to align the little disk pickup assembly. Yes, it seems that the disk needs to be positioned correctly (in degrees) with repsect to the read/write head. So what you have to do is reach in from the front of the drive, loosen the SMALL black allen head set screw that holds the grey metal block to the spindle, then rotate the big gear with the belt slot around until it clicks (you'll see the spring-loaded piece snap into place, dropping down a steep notch). At that point, you have to rotate the big gear another quarter turn. This is the position where you want the assembly to be when you have the little, black set screw pointing straight out the front of the drive, so line up the smal, grey metal disk pickup block (which should be free to spin around the spindle since the set screw is loose) , and tighten the set screw with your little allen wrench. Try it out and see if more disks are loading (or see if you've messed up the drive even more!)

    After this, I also spent some time adjusting the drive motor. I think this has been explained pretty well here.

    Anyone, please chime in if this is a complete waste of time. I KNOW it helped my drives, but your mileage may vary.

    Rob, thanks for your dedication translating all of these documents and hunting down all of these web pages! I hope we can get this all figured out. I'll look through the FDSLOADR author's instructions on modifying the drive and see if I can make any sense of it. I am pretty good with building circuits and stuff, so I might be able to pull it off.

    Keep up the good work, everyone.

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    Wow Zach....I've never heard of that repair step before. Can you make a guide for that with lots of pics?

    That be some complicated sounding stuff! But words w/o pics probably make it more complicated than it is. I've got a borken drive module I can mess with...maybe I'll try that (or try to try...does that even make sense? Lol).

    Anyone, please chime in if this is a complete waste of time. I KNOW it helped my drives, but your mileage may vary.
    Not at all! Keep it coming! We'l need every tidbit of info we can get.

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Hey guys,

    Just a little update here. Merp hooked me up with a friend of his that will probably be able to translate these docs. I'm sending him a zip file of pretty much all those websites. And tonight I finshed finding all the Kanji in FDS Copy Tool 1. All I have to do is type it up and send it to him. There's only about 5 or so Kanji in the whole doc I wasn't able to find....actually I did find them, but I wasn't sure if they were correct...we'll see.

    I got my MSX quickdisk drive in the mail today...I realized one more difference between FDS disk and standard quickdisks...there's 3 little tabs on the ends of FDS disks that make them about 3 millimeters longer on that end. My MZ-1500 should be arriving soon so I can check out that QD drive for differences and to see if they too back up FDS disks (we'll see if I can connect the FDS drive to it...).

    I also just won an auction for an MSX Turbo R A1GT...I should probably have that by late July....so then I'll actually be able to test the QD drive.

    Talk soon...

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    Hey, guys,

    Sorry for not posting any progress on this for a while. First of all, I'd like to point out that a new fds backup solution is coming;

    http://tototek.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=2267#2267


    [img]www.tototek.com/0.jpg[/img]

    EDIT; I can't figure out why that pic isn't showing up...

    Tomy doesn't think these are going to sell well, he's just making it because a few people will. Give him your support by letting him know in that thread that you are interested too. Tomy is an awesome guy and extremely reputable. He's also a super-genius, if you ask me...the guy is incredible with old copiers and 6502 programming and such. Plus, He sells home made backup solutions for other systems too.

    Next, Copy Tool 1's translation is complete, and it's a pretty damn cool article (and a huge weight off my shoulders). Extremely informative piece. There's a few errors I am working out...no biggie, and a few things that sound a bit too Japanese that I am toying with to make sound more natural in English without detracting from the literal translation.

    Also, I did discover what publication these are from. They are both from a Japanese book/magazine (they are thick like a book, put a regular publication...quarterly, I believe). The Japanese like to call them mooks. :-)
    The publication is calle Backup Technique. They only had 38 issues (+2 for a couple issues that came out *I think* a couple years after the last one. I think they might be a "best of' thing, but my Japanese suuucks)....I think they started in 1986. After issue 38, they turned into Game Lab, or Gemu Rabo (a monthly mook, I believe...still active). Basically, these things are a console/old computer hackers Bible. The amount of hacks and such REALLY blew me away. I mean, there were hacks and mods I never heard or thought of in these things. Cool retro ads for old backup devices and such too. :-) Articles on ram cartidges for roms, controller hacks, modchips, backup techniques (lol, of course), blah blah blah....there's so much in them.

    Anyway, I found a bunch of issues, but I don't know which one it is in yet. I got issues 3, 4, 5, and the +2 issues I mentioned earlier. I am going to be getting 13 more issues from 6-21 soon. When I do this, I will make MUCH better scans and apply the translations to them. I coulda sworn that the copy tools were in issues 5 and 6, but I was wrong....there was one in 5 but its a new one. I also believe there is an outdated one in 2 that was updated in copy tool 1 for errors and modifications to the design...I will have issue 2 to confirm soon.

    So, you folks may be happy to know I found a few other copy tool docs in these books. I will get to them eventually too.

    I also managed to find a few FDS disks that facilitate copying disks. Disk Hacker 1.3, Tonkachi Editor and Disk Keeper. I haven't dumped them yet, because I've been so busy with Copy Tool 2. I finished typing up the Japanese for Copy Tool 2 last night. I am currently going over it for errors before sending it out for translation.

    I'm probably forgetting something, but I'll post again if I think of anything...I'l let you know when Copy Tool 1 is totally complete.

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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