• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Kaypro 2X (GM 3305HU) floppy alignment guidance

Hak Foo

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2021
Messages
111
I recently pulled a Kaypro 2X I had out of storage for a few years The good news: It didn't explode. I seriously figured "I'd better work in an area where I can ventilate fast" because I expected RIFA consequences.

The more frustrating news: it wasn't particularly keen on booting from its own drives.

If I prepare a disc using ImageDisk and a Panasonic 360K drive on an XT clone, it generally doesn't even notice the disc is there at boot. (I'm not sure if that's a limitation of the bootstrap code, but it seems capable of saying "disc does not contain an operating system" under some scenarios).

If I take the Panasonic drive out of its host machine, jumper it to DS0, and connect it to the Kaypro, it boots fine.

From there, I can prepare an additional disk with one of the "original" drives as drive B, toggle the DS switches on the old drives to make that drive A, and boot from that.

It seems highly likely the drives are basically out of alignment. If I use DUTIL to copy the disc from drive A to B, it occasionally gets a track failed to read, and even if it succeeds, if I swap the discs, a disc written in drive B is not readable in drive A.

I have taken both of the Kaypro drives over to a PC and used ImageDisk to seek them back and forth (since my original thought was that the drives were stuck at one track). Nope, turns out, they're just surprisingly quiet when you seek them.

Now, the obvious way to solve the problem in 2021 is to chuck the spinning rust and buy FlashFloppy/Gotek style devices. But that seems inauthentic, and costs money.

I saw https://vswitchzero.com/2018/05/07/5-25-floppy-drive-alignment/ which makes it sound like you can do a marginal alignment yourself using ImageDisk and a known-good disc. I figure I could write a disc on the Panasonic as a "reference" and then align the Kaypro drives close enough to track it reliably. Then discs would at least be interchangeable within my home (and hopefully between drives A and B), and it's not like I expect a mountain of original Kaypro formatted floppies to appear here suddenly.

But I don't know how to get the drives disassembled enough to try this, or which screws to loosen and tweak. I'm sure this is super-drive-specific. The drives are labelled with a diamond-shaped logo possibly saying CMI or OMI, and the model GM 3305HU, and seem to be undocumented.
 

ldkraemer

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
2,181
Location
Chaffee, MO
Those floppy drives have little documentation. Do they have a lead screw or taunt band for
stepping the actual head assembly? You can find documentation on the two types of stepping
mechanism's from other manufacture's floppy drives.

Tezza's website has three good articles about alignment without an alignment floppy.
All three are for a Tandon TM-100-xx Series Floppy Disk Drive (taunt band type)

https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm

https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2010-06-28-alignment-tandon-m100.htm
https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2010-06-28-ibm-pc-disk-alignment.htm
https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2009-01-18-kaypro-drive-repair.htm

You may also have to adjust the Track 0 alignment. Don't forget to also verify the RPM at 300.

Larry
 

alank2

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
Messages
1,850
Location
USA
Be careful with some of the adjustment screws on these - I recall breaking a screw head half off very easily when trying to do this. Luckily I was able to cut a new flat blade head into it.
 

ldkraemer

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
2,181
Location
Chaffee, MO
If you wanted to try a GOTEK and boot from a Kaypro 2X Floppy, I've created a K2X22G_IMD.hfe
file with the HxC Software that should boot from the SDCard or USB Flashdrive in the GOTEK.

It should boot and run from the GOTEK with Flashfloppy Firmware.


Larry
 

Attachments

  • K2X22G.TXT
    12.2 KB · Views: 7

k6whp

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
64
Larry, et al,

I am not approximately at the same place as this thread is now. That is, i have:

(1) The Gotek floppy controller
(2) The power cable adapter
(3) The 34-pin to 17-pin edge FDD cabe adapter
(4) Have downloaded the HxCFloppyEmulator v2.5.6.6

What's is:

(1) Where to get native file images for a Kaypro 2X
(2) How to create a disk image compatible with the Kaypro DSDD 360K FDDs.
(3) How to import the files onto a bootable Kaypro DSDD disk image

I have tinkered with The HxCFloppyEmulator software per the HxC instructions as follows:

(1) Run HxCFloppyEmulator.exe
(2) Selected "SD HxC Floppy Emulator settings"
(3) Note: did not see Epson SD-521 or other
Chose "General Shugart" and unchecked "auto"
(4) Returned and selected "Disk Browser"
(5) Selected '5.25_8" 360KB DSDD 300RPM FAT12'
(6) Saved as "Kaypro 2X DSDD Disk Image.hfe"

..At this point I wonder if i have totally wandered far afield or am I ready to create bootable disk images, load them with files (including CP/M executables, etc.) and create a disk image that can be booted/handled by the GoTek to test it out.

Thanks in advance.

William
 

k6whp

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
64
Also this:

I downloaded your K2X22G files and was attempting to make them work but was unable to get the disk browser to display the images/contents of K2X22G_IMD.hfe which was apparently the issued Kaypro 2.2G boot disk.

Try as I would, I could not seem to load an acceptable .RAW file or select the proper format for the disk image. The '5.25_8" 360KB DSDD 300RPM FAT12' selection seemed the most logical but all I got was this:

HxC Image 1.gif

..and thrashed about trying to select the proper format but without success.

HxC Image 2.gif

Clues and breadcrumbs appreciated.
 

ldkraemer

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
2,181
Location
Chaffee, MO
William,
First thing is you can not use the HxC DOS File browser on any image except DOS images.
I made that same mistake. If you browse through the HxC Forum you will find it is for DOS
ONLY.

Answers for Question 1.
1. Find Kaypro Software Images here:
Code:
http://www.retroarchive.org/maslin/

http://www.retroarchive.org/maslin/roms/index.html

http://www.retroarchive.org/maslin/disks/kpro/index.html

http://www.retroarchive.org/maslin/disks/kaypro/index.html

https://oldcomputers-ddns.org/public/pub/archiv/maslin/masl-dsk/images-97/kpro/index.html

https://www.mrynet.com/kaypro/software.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20200224062626/https://amaus.org/static/S100/

Once you have the correct Kaypro software downloaded you need to get it into a format that is usable with
your computer's software that will be writing the image. There are several image types:
A. TD0 - Image created with TELEDISK by SYDEX
B. IMD - Image created by Imagedisk by Dave Danfield
C. RAW or IMG - Sector Dump Image created by Imagedisk Utilities or Linux's dd or Windows Raw Write (Read)
D. SCP - Image created by SuperCard Pro
E. RAW - Stream Files Created by Kryoflux
F. IMG - Created with CopyQM by SYDEX

There are other formats, but the above are the most often located.

Misc Formats supported by SAMDISK - https://simonowen.com/samdisk/formats/:
  • EDSK — Extended disk image (Amstrad CPC, Spectrum +3, SAM Coupé, PC).
  • MGT — MGT +D/Disciple/SAM (Sinclair Spectrum / SAM Coupé).
  • SAD — SAm Disk (SAM Coupé).
  • SBT — Sam BooTable disk (SAM Coupé).
  • SDF — Sam Disk Format (SAM Coupé).
  • DS2 — Velesoft split side format (SAM Coupé).
  • CPM — Pro-DOS CP/M (SAM Coupé).
  • TD0 — Sydex TeleDisk (various).
  • RAWKryoFlux stream format [IBM MFM and FM only].
  • SCPSuperCard Pro stream format [IBM MFM and FM only].
  • DFIDiscFerret stream format [IBM MFM and FM only].
  • IPF — Interchangeable Preservation Format [IBM MFM only].
  • HFE — HxC Floppy Emulator disk format [IBM MFM and FM only].
  • DMK — David M Keil’s disk format (mainly TRS-80).
  • IMD — Dave Dunfield’s ImageDisk utility (various).
  • TRD — Beta128 disk for TR-DOS (Sinclair Spectrum).
  • FDI — Full Disk Image (Sinclair Spectrum, not Disk2FDI).
  • OPD — OPus Discovery (Sinclair Spectrum).
  • MBD — MB-02+ Disk (Sinclair Spectrum).
  • UDI — Ultra Disk Image (Sinclair Spectrum).
  • SCL — Sinclair betadisk archive (Sinclair Spectrum).
  • DSK — Disk image (Amstrad CPC).
  • DSC — WinAPE disk image (Amstrad CPC).
  • CFI — Compressed Floppy Image (Amstrad).
  • BPB — FAT12/16 BIOS Parameter Block (MS-DOS, Atari ST).
  • MSA — Magic Shadow Archive (Atari ST).
  • D80 — Didaktik D80.
  • D88 — Pasopeia D88 (NEC PC-xx).
  • D81 — Commodore 1581.
  • D2M — Commodore CMD FD-2000.
  • D4M — Commodore CMD FD-4000.
  • LIF — Logical Interchange Format (Hewlett-Packard).
  • DTI — Deep Thought (Jupiter Ace).
  • S24 — Sega System 24 (Arcade, 1.8M and 1.88M formats).
  • RAW — raw sector dumps, identified by file size only.
There are conversion utilities to convert the Downloaded image(s) to the proper format for writing.
This all depends on your method of conversion and that depends on the computer and OS of your choice
of method to write the converted image to Floppy (or USB media). Once again this is going to depend
on your Computer's Hardware and the DOS that is used.

22DISK, TELEDISK, COPYQM, ANADISK, and other SYDEX software runs on a DOS Computer.
IMAGEDISK also runs on a DOS Computer, but can be run under DOSBox with Linux.
These DOS Computers must have the proper FDC (Floppy Disk Controller) to properly write the
Floppy's.

If you are familiar with cpmtools (also cpmtools built with libdsk) you can use libdsk (Windows, MAC, & Linux)
to convert formats and write the Floppy with the libdsk's dsktrans or dskconv software.

Examples:
$ dsktrans -itype copyqm -otype ibm1440 -format ibm1440 144CPM86.IMG 144CPM86.RAW
$ dsktrans -itype copyqm -otype tele -format ibm1440 144CPM86.IMG 144CPM86.TD0
$ dsktrans -itype copyqm -otype rawob -format ibm720 720CPM86.IMG 720CPM86.RAW
$ dsktrans -itype tele -otype raw -format alt5 alt580_1.td0 alt580.RAW
$ dsktrans -itype raw-otype floppy -format kay2 K2X22.RAW /dev/fd0

cpmtools can insert and remove files from a .RAW image for the Kaypro. (Win, MAC, Linux)
The .RAW image must then be written to a Floppy.

CONVERT and 22DISK can also insert and remove files from Kaypro Floppy's (DOS)

There are CP/M Definitions that must be used in cpmtools, libdsk, flashfloppy/GOTEK, CONVERT,
22DISK to allow the files to be inserted/removed.

What is your Choice of OS and are you going to use an older DOS Computer?

Larry
 
Last edited:

k6whp

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
64
Larry,

Thank you very much for the comprehensive responses! While I am going through them and tour Debian tutorial let me answer your immediate question above: I have a desktop machine running Windows 7 and it is my hope that I can find some of the images on the internet that you and others refer to so I can translate them into a Kaypro 2X DSDD 360K floppy image and put that appropriately on a USB "thumb drive" for use with a GoTek floppy controller.

I have -- as you may have seen from previous posts -- two Kaypro 2X units and a Kaypro 1. The Kaypro 1 is fully functional with both FDDs operational. The two 2X units have issues with their floppy drives. One has a B: drive that is non-functional and probably needs cleaning. (You and I discussed this at length on another thread, I believe.) The second has an A: drive which I cannot boot from. All of the 2X FDDs are Epson SD-521s. All will eventually receive a cleaning and appraisal. They are relatively clean inside and are recoverable. (Fingers crossed.)

My goal is to upgrade ALL THREE units with the GoTek FDD controller and, ideally, have a functional B: drive in place in all so that I can format and copy disk images to a 5.25" floppy in the appropriated format.

Your help with this has been immeasurable and I am very grateful for your time and advice!

William
 

ldkraemer

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
2,181
Location
Chaffee, MO
One thing I forgot to mention is you need the correct version of Software that matches your Kaypro's
ROM Label. If I remember correctly your version is CP/M 2.2 Version G.

Larry
 

k6whp

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
64
You are correct. The 2Xes are 2.2G and the Kaypro 1 is 2.2u1...
 
Top