Spectravideo X'Press Lives - Part II


Long time between posts, but I have been busy trying a few things.  I also visited a long time friend in Melbourne and was surprised that he still had his Spectravideo X'Press including box and the nice carry case they came with.  He gave it to me to take home, and I managed to get it home, as checked in luggage.

Getting it home and out next to mine I was surprised that it was in very good condition, definitely much whiter than mine. 

The drive (which was floating inside the case (: ) was the original single sided unit, not the upgraded double sided one I had upgraded for him, so long ago.  I did not hold any hope of it working, but after reconnecting the drive and booting the machine up it works fine and reads most of my disks (obviously a large number are single sided).  The keyboard on this unit is a little worse for wear so next I tried swapping the drive over to my unit.  After a bit of fiddling around, I got it to work!

I still have a problem getting the data off the disks and into my environment.  The existing disks won't read without errors, but I have tried freshly formatted ones, copied data from the old disks and I seem to be able to read the files (selectively).  So the read heads must be ok, but the write heads might be a little worn (or perhaps dirty).  Since it is my only working drive, I am a bit worried about using any head cleaner that uses abraisive cleaning.

The Sony floppy drive I got on eBay has no markings or switches on it's circuit board that I can work out to change it from B to A and disable the Ready signal.  I have previously cleaned out most of my old PC hardware, so I am out of options there.

Waiting a bit longer, I was lucky to get the job of disposing of some old machines from a customer of mine.  The 1st machine I stripped down had a TEAC drive and nice and clear markings.  So next free weekend I will have a go at getting it working as a primary double sided drive.

Failing that I will try and make a secondary drive.