Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive

Postby Bellator » 2018-8-29 @ 20:40

While reading the "Resurrecting 5.25" floppy drive" topic, it came to my mind that I have a Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive.

I had a Compatible PC-XT (my first computer) with this floppy drive that never worked properly even new.

If you inserted the disk with the protection sticker, you could normally read its content, copy it to hard disk, play the games or run the programs. But if you inserted the disk without the protection sticker, then the information on the disk was immediately lost/corrupted and the disk was no more accessible. So I could never write a disk without destroying its data.

I was a rookie on the day and did not realize the problem until much later (what a frustration, I could not comprehend what it was happening). The faulty drive was later substituted with a new working one, and stored until the end of the days. Some years later the Compatible PC-XT was sold to buy a new 486 that I still have.

Now I wonder if there is an explanation for this malfunction and if I could make it work. I think I will give it a try in the 486 (I still have disks that I have not used for 20+ years).

These are the jumpers that I can see:

DS3 Open
DS2 Open
DS1 Closed
DS0 Open
TE Closed

What do they mean?

Have you ever encountered this problem and know how to solve it?
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Re: Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive

Postby Keith1212 » 2018-8-31 @ 20:39

TE is for termination.
DS0-3 are the drive numbers.
So in an AT or XT machine TE would have a jumper if it's the last drive on the cable. Then you would just select your drive order by placing another jumper on DS0-3. AT and XT machines did not have a twist in the cable like newer machines so this was how you selected the drive order. I have the same drives in my commodore PC-10.
Commodore PC-10
NEC 8088 Processor - 8087 Math CoPro - 640k Ram - DOS 3.3
IBM Aptiva 2144-M51
Socket 7 Pentium 166MHz MMX - 128MB Ram - Voodoo 1 - Windows 95
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Re: Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive

Postby Bellator » 2018-9-01 @ 14:31

OK. I don't remember if my XT had a twisted cable but my drive seems to be configured for it. Anyway, I have left the jumpers untouched and I have tested the drive in my 486, in the edge position of a twisted cable. Its behaviour is the same as in those days. I took a disk that I could read, and even could copy its files to the hard disk, but when I tried to copy one file onto the disk it turned unaccessible and it could'nt be read any more.
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Re: Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive

Postby Bellator » 2019-7-20 @ 19:22

I have found that the drive works well with high density disks but it does not with double density disks. I have tried 4 different 96 tpi MD2-HD disks and I can read, write and format (360 KB of course, because it is a 360 KB drive) all of them without an error. All the 48 tpi double density disks (whose data could be read perfectly) that I tried to write or format, ended up with a "track 0 bad" error and never worked again. Why?

One more problem. In windows 98, the first time you try to access the disk it shows a "drive not ready" error, but if you quickly click on the retry button it works. It is very important to click the button quickly, otherwise it throws the error again and again. This problem does not appear if windows starts in safe mode, where it works perfectly. Is there a way to fix this?
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Re: Chinon Fz-502 5.25" floppy drive

Postby Vynix » 2019-7-20 @ 20:03

Contrary to what was stated earlier, the IBM PC and its clones (also including XT-class and AT-class) machines did indeed use a twisted FDD cable, exception of some unusual PC clones (such as the Tandy 1000) which relied upon the DS jumpers and didn't use a twisted cable.
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