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Floppy drive read/write head specs

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by Kemmotar, Feb 16, 2005.

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  1. Kemmotar

    Kemmotar Guest

    I'm wanting to use a floppy drive read/write head (removed from the
    drive) to read other types of magnetic media, but I can't find any specs
    on it. What I need is some idea which pins are which, and what voltages
    etc. to use.

    I've got the head out of the drive, and it has a ribbon coming out of it
    which terminates in five contacts. Any ideas where to start or where I
    might go (other forums, webpages etc.) to find this info?

  2. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    Find the head amp chip. Look up the part data. Trace the wires.
  3. Zak

    Zak Guest

    I suspect one wire shield, two wires to the actual read/write head, and
    two wires for the 'tunnel erase' used when writing.

  4. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    I recall that an old National Semiconductor Application Note on drive PLLs
    contained the words "National Semiconductors can't vouch for the sanity of
    enyone who ventures beyond this point".
  5. Kemmotar

    Kemmotar Guest

    That's kind of what I was thinking. I also thought I might try plugging
    the drive (minus the head) into the computer power supply and testing to
    see what voltages etc. I have coming to the head. Of course that may
    not work if the computer can tell that I don't have a disk in and so
    doesn't send any power to the head.

    Alternatively I could just try various things... I've got a virtually
    unlimited supply of heads (brother in law rebuilds computers) so if I
    burn a few out it's not that big a deal!

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Kemmotar

    Kemmotar Guest

    It is a rather insane project, but those are the best kind! If you fail
    there's little dissapointment, and if you succeed there's great
  7. Kemmotar

    Kemmotar Guest

    Just took the back cover off the head, and I can now see that two wires
    go to one side, which is red, and two go to the other side, which is
    green. I'm guessing that the red side is the erase head, and the green
    side is the read/write head. I'm going to proceed on that theory anyhow!

  8. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    For the effort involved in getting it working.... I'd want a bigger reward
  9. As in top and bottom of the disk? Floppies are double-sided...
  10. Kemmotar

    Kemmotar Guest

    No... I only have one of the heads out... the one off the top actually.
    The other one, that would read/write the other side of the floppy, is
    still in the drive. The head itself is color coded... the left side is
    red, and the right is green. I'm just guessing about what the colors
    mean, but I think it's a reasonable guess.

  11. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    Did you locate the head amp IC? If not, I have the circuit diagram for
    the original IBM 5.25" 1.2MB FDD. Perhaps it can help you understand
    how things work??? Let me know if you want it.

    - Franc Zabkar
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