[Coladam] disk drives

Jim Notini jnoti2 at comcast.net
Mon Jul 4 05:37:48 CEST 2011

Seems like the large majority of Mark's/Micro Innovations drives didn't have 
a very long lifespan unfortunately... probably why I haven't seen a single 
one go up on an eBay auction since I've been following things. It's either 
that or the simple fact that those ADAMites who were still around and bought 
these drives from Mark are the true hardcore fans and will probably never 
sell their drive.

Concerning your drive, Rich. It couldn't hurt to try and dump the firmware 
program for preservations sake. I would assume that Mark used GALs for these 
which would make dumping the contents a more involced process from what I've 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Frances and/or Richard Clee" <cleechez at tamcotec.com>
To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2011 10:08 PM
Subject: Re: [Coladam] disk drives

> At one point one of the drives I bought from Mark Gordon would not work,
> and I ended up with the controller board (fully populated, obviously) of
> a Micro Innovations 5-1/4" 320k disc drive. I suspect the chip on the
> board could be read and yield useful information, and could bring it to
> Adamcon if anyone has a reader. Is this information useful?
> - rich
> On 7/3/2011 2:30 PM, Geoff Oltmans wrote:
>> I have a copy of the 320/720kb drive code as well. Before CompuServe 
>> ceased operations I downloaded all of the Adam archive and one of the 
>> files includes the drive firmware and instructions for modding the pcb.
>> You can modify the drive to do either dsdd 5.25" or 3.5" mechs. The trick 
>> is the disk in switch for the 5.25" mechs. You can use a double sided 
>> drive without modification to the pcb or changing firmware, I just glued 
>> a microswitch in place on mine to handle it.
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Jul 3, 2011, at 1:00 PM, "Jim Notini"<jnoti2 at comcast.net>  wrote:
>>> What about just replacing the drive mechanics if something goes bad 
>>> (like the drive motor, broken belt, read/write head, etc.) with an old 5 
>>> 1/4" DS/DD 360K Disk Drive and use it as a SS/DD 160K Drive. It would 
>>> probably take a lot of research and buying different drives to see if 
>>> you finally find one that has all the same sensor hook-ups since adding 
>>> a sensor would be out of the question for almost all but a select few 
>>> people. I could swear the drive I picked up for an old PC to do 
>>> transfers between the ADAM and PC has all the same sensor hook-ups, but 
>>> I will have to pull it in order to verify.
>>> That socketed chip on the controller board behind the power switch is 
>>> the drive BIOS and the only one that would have the program data that 
>>> gets burnt to these chips for a drive conversion to 5 1/4" 320K, 360K or 
>>> 3 1/2" 720K is Terry Fowler (unless someone pulled the chip from their 
>>> drive and had it dumped). This software was written by Jim Marshall / 
>>> MMSG for drive conversions that Ed Jenkins offered and Terry Fowler used 
>>> the same conversion kit.
>>> John Lingrel / Orphanware was the first to perform drive conversions and 
>>> had his own software written probably by Tom Clary or Glen Gabarik... 
>>> but there were some issues as I recall that developed over time but I 
>>> can't elaborate as I don't know for sure.
>>> Think we have ourselves a mission on our hands... especially if the SD 
>>> Drive isn't mass-produced.
>>> Jim
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "geoffrey 
>>> oltmans"<oltmansg at bellsouth.net>
>>> To: "Joe Blenkle"<jblenkle at sacnews.net>;<coladam at adamcon.org>
>>> Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 8:53 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [Coladam] disk drives
>>>> As Bob said, it is definitely possible, and everything he said is true. 
>>>> I will
>>>> add that you also need to do a wire mod to add the side select signal 
>>>> to the
>>>> disk drive connector otherwise it won't work correctly with double 
>>>> sided disks.
>>>> ________________________________
>>>> From: Joe Blenkle<jblenkle at sacnews.net>
>>>> To: coladam at adamcon.org
>>>> Sent: Wed, June 29, 2011 7:56:10 PM
>>>> Subject: [Coladam] disk drives
>>>> Just curious...and I know this has probably been discussed before...is 
>>>> it
>>>> possible to replace the drive mechanism in an ADAM disk drive with a
>>>> standard 360k drive...or is there something more complicated that needs 
>>>> to
>>>> be done rather than just swapping hardware? It the ADAM's disk 
>>>> controller
>>>> separate from the drive or is it actually soldered into the drive 
>>>> mechanism?
>>>> Was just wondering because I've got several working 360k PC drives and
>>>> barring the day where my ADAM drive might have a mechanical failure I 
>>>> was
>>>> wondering if they could be swapped.
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