[vcf-midatlantic] Workshop Jan. 30/31 Report

Douglas Crawford touchetek at gmail.com
Mon Feb 1 00:36:43 EST 2016

On 1/31/2016 11:53 PM, Dean Notarnicola via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> I worked on my TI Peripheral Expansion Bay and floppy drive. With the
> generous and expert help of Doug, Ian, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff and others it was
> checked out, cleaned, running and fixed.
> On Sunday, January 31, 2016, Jeffrey Brace via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
>> So the workshop was great for all of us! Lots done, lots of fun! :)
>> 16 showed up Saturday, 8 Sunday. 5 of us worked on Commodore 1541 drives
>> Saturday. Others worked on S100, PDP-8, Terminals, etc. The five working on
>> the 1541s mostly sorted through The Federation's 1541 drives and tested
>> which were good, medium or bad. Some were fixable with just using a q-tip
>> and alcohol to the drive head. Some attempts at re-seating chips and
>> voltage testing was done, but only for a small percentage of the drives.
>> Further repair and diagnostic wasn't possible due to running out of time.
>> I worked on my own personal 1541 drives myself was only able to tell which
>> were working or not without opening up, repairing or running diagnostics. I
>> spent a lot of time helping with The Federation drives and other Federation
>> business (running the workshop etc.) and had little time for my own stuff.
>> I did learn from Bill Degnan basic troubleshooting for 1541 drives. I hope
>> to work on them and apply what I learned next month and be able to actually
>> guarantee most of them 100% working.
>> We had a special visit on Sunday from Rob Clarke. He is a Commodore guru
>> who lives in Switzerland. He was in the Philadelphia area for some other
>> event and hung out with us on Sunday. Since I lost all my Commodore help
>> with the 1541 drives (they went home Saturday night), I decided to get
>> Computer Eyes up and running. After about 3 hours I was able to get it to
>> work! I captured a black and white image of myself and later a group photo.
>> I even printed them out.

Steve Toth and I were the first string 1541 testers.
We did a quick clean with a disk format head cleaner and then some 
functional testing.
We tested about half seeing if the drive would load DK Junior from a 
"reference disk".
Turned out many would load the first part of the program, but the 
"chain" to the next
part would hang.  We judged that this perhaps was an unfair test not 
actually knowing
the absolute quality of the diskette involved.  So we switched to using 
Chris Fala's
1541 test cartridge which did a r/w performance test.
Turns out we had some good documentation to recalibrate and board 
but we didn't really have time to dig in to that level (which I think we 
all thought we would).
There were a lot of drives to give a first pass to!
The usual good time getting together with the workshop crew!

>> Can others tell what they worked on and their progress?
>> Our next Workshop is Feb. 27/28. I hope to see many of you there!

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