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Johnnya101

Broken floppy drive?

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My Quadra 700 was having some difficulty reading disks. The disk would be kind of "sticky" when being inserted. I removed the drive and checked it out (Note, it has been lubed before), and I think it must just have been installed wrong in the case, because it works great manually. I popped off the gear cover to check them out, yup, a lot of dried goo there. I broke the little gear when trying to remove it, so I put in an old spare I had. I may have moved the blue potentiometer just a tiny hair (Dont know what it does...? Surely it cant be too too sensitive). I had another old floppy drive I looked to for guidance it realigning gears. Got it spot on...

 

I put the floppy drive in, removed the hard drive (So I can see if it will spit out disks okay without having to get everything set up). Insert a disk, and it tries to read (Its a non system disk, so good), ejects. But not quite. Now it just kind of lifts the disk like its about to eject, and makes a weird noise. I got a paperclip and ejected it, inserted the disk again. Now when it tries to eject it whines. I quickly shut it off.

 

??? Whats going on here? Did I really just trash a floppy drive by replacing the gear? (Well, of course not, ive done this before, just kind of confused now...)

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Weeeeeeeellll Im sure you guys knew it. The replacement gear is junk of course. The teeth are flexible, so when the motor spins it just buzzes from the teeth not catching on the other gears. And a chunk missing (like always). Havent seen them become flexible before, only break.

 

Good thing I have a spare drive until I order new gears.

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You'll notice that one gear is a different material than the other gears. I figure it uses a different type of plastic that's slightly softer in order to reduce gear noise; the replacement gears I've found have all been much louder than the original orange gear.

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Has anyone noticed if the new gear makes things a tad bit slower or rougher? I am having this issue with my 800k drive where the auto inject is like lightning, I can manually eject no problem, but the auto eject sounds just ever so strained. 

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I have replaced quite a few of those, never had any issue, works as the original unit.

 

Mine came from Italy i think.

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6 hours ago, LaPorta said:

Has anyone noticed if the new gear makes things a tad bit slower or rougher? I am having this issue with my 800k drive where the auto inject is like lightning, I can manually eject no problem, but the auto eject sounds just ever so strained. 

Did you disassemble the drive and clean out all old gunky grease and re-lube?

The disk carrier assembly can be removed and cleaned.

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I’ve removed the old and re-lubed with Molykote 33, thin stuff. As to disassembly, the most I’ve ever been able to do is get the bottom PCB off. I’ve never been able to get the whole mechanism off the metal base...is there more crud under there? Guides/pics would help.

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This guy's video is pretty flippin awesome:

 

 

However, right at the end when the disk ejects, it sounds like mine does: weak. Do everyone's sound this way?

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3 hours ago, LaPorta said:

However, right at the end when the disk ejects, it sounds like mine does: weak. Do everyone's sound this way?

I don't think anything could sound as pitiful as the average Mitsubishi manual inject drives when they try to spit out a disk.

 

Anyway the eject function of the Sony 800k and SuperDrive is common to both: a brushless DC motor (usually supplied by Omron) powering a 3-gear reduction train to the final driven gear. So all things equal, all of the Sony auto-inject floppy drives will sound the same. Any weak sounds are likely caused by a lack of good lubricant, though there's a chance that a heavily used drive could have worn contacts in the eject motor, which would obviously reduce its performance. Also possible is oxidation build-up in the motor from a lack of use, which would likely go away if you ran it long enough.

 

In the eject assemblies that I've seen, from the factory the gear shafts have grease on them and there's a big glob placed where the motor gear and the first, orange gear mesh. Whether it's a component of the grease or the material in the orange plastic that reacts with the brass in the motor's gear, I don't know, but drives that have been out of service for a long time will have a green buildup where these gears mesh and this is usually where the orange gear breaks first. The white gears seem unaffected by the grease.

 

As I mentioned, the replacement gears, while a good physical reproduction of the original, sound a little toothy compared to the more constant sound of the original gear. I imagine this is because the orange material was engineered to be softer to absorb some of the vibration imparted to it by the tiny, fast-spinning driving gear, thus reducing noise.

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Those little motors need to output quite a bit of force to eject the disk. If you remove the gear box, you will see the circular cutout in the metal below it. Try putting in a disk and trying to push it. Its not too easy to eject it by hand from that point, so imagine a little motor. I wouldn't doubt a straining or weak sound is normal. Mine all sound kind of weak and whiny.

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6 minutes ago, Johnnya101 said:

Those little motors need to output quite a bit of force to eject the disk. If you remove the gear box, you will see the circular cutout in the metal below it. Try putting in a disk and trying to push it. Its not too easy to eject it by hand from that point, so imagine a little motor. I wouldn't doubt a straining or weak sound is normal. Mine all sound kind of weak and whiny.

Yeah pretty much all of the Sony drives sound like that when they're working properly, kind of a "WHIRRrrrrrRRrrrRRRR" sound.

The Mitsus, by contrast, are much closer to what I'd describe as weak: some of them make noises close to "WHIRrrr....rrr..rr....rrrrrRrRrR" or in worst case a "WHIRrrrr...rr.r..rr..." and then requiring manual assistance to get the disk out before finishing off with "...rrrRRr." A thorough cleaning usually helps these things but they still sound sad and defeated.

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Perhaps you guys are right...it just seems different than when I was a kid. I do have an external drive that has been untouched that sounds "correct" to me. I'll make a short movie with the two drives working and post back here to compare...tomorrow night, that is ;).

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I've had drives sound kind of weak when he mechanism's all gunked up.

 

After a thorough cleaning with rubbing alcohol (which involves the gearbox also), they usually sound better.

 

I think they could've been designed to eject with more force, but I think they are weak on purpose to an extent so the disk doesn't go flying across the desk when it's ejected (I have a Zip drive that did that, where I'd have to hold my hand in front of the opening when I hit eject because otherwise it would fly out and fall on the floor if I didn't).

 

Most manual-inject drives (aside from the Mitubishi drives, apparently) seem to have stronger eject motors in general than the 800k and 1.44 MB auto-inject models (the 400k drives are a different matter; the eject motors on those are HUGE by comparison to everything else!).

 

c

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I'm more wondering if there is significant inter-drive variability as to the motor strength. The other thing that is driving me nuts is the motor gear housing. Those plastic tabs are brittle: I've had two break on me recently! I guess we will be needing 3D printed versions of those someday, too...

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So here is a video: unrestored external drive that has just always worked great, then internal drive I just worked on. You can see inject works great on both, but eject noise is a bit different. The higher pitch of the external is what I remember form back when.

 

what do you guys have?

 

 

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