Floppy Issues with Sony HDB-50

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By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

05-06-2018, 03:31

So, I'm trying to get my Sony HDB-50 working and I can't seem to format my floppy disks. I keep getting 'Disk Error' whenever I try. The drive itself was quite stiff and I've given it a good clean on the inside. Not sure if I need to disassemble it more to really do a deep clean or if it's something else thats causing the problem.

Also as a side note, I feel dense (pun intended) for asking this, but am I correct in thinking I can use double-sided DD floppies in this single sided floppy drive?

Many thanks in advance, I really wanna get this drive working as I don't like leaving old tech to die... (also it's pretty and it matches my MSX)

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By sdsnatcher73

Hero (595)

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05-06-2018, 05:48

Using 2DD floppies in a 1DD drive is no problem. Never repaired ay floppy drives myself but it seems you'll need a new belt (at least).

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

05-06-2018, 06:19

Does the HBD-50 use belts? I had quite a good look inside and couldn't find any. I think it might use direct drive....

By sdsnatcher73

Hero (595)

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05-06-2018, 13:32

The belt may have completely disintegrated. Do you have an image of the drive mechanics?

By Repair-Bas

Paragon (1075)

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05-06-2018, 19:40

The hbd-50 has no belt

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

05-06-2018, 21:33

As I suspected...

Both motors in the FDD spin up and operate, so it's possible that it's the head itself that's broken or misaligned. either of those repairs, if possible, will require moving a lot of screws: it's way deep down inside the unit. *sigh*

Replacing the FDD for an identical one would be near impossible I think, without a donor drive. Any chance I can swap in a different kind of drive (modern, DD-compatible FDD) or would that not work? the HBD-50 is single sided, and I have no clue what it would do if I put in a single-sided drive, though I can hazard a guess that at very least the control board would not be able to use both sides. If it would work with only 1 side though, I'd still be very happy.

Worse case scenario, I might end up gutting the unit and setting it up as a FDD caddy, or maybe even use it as the basis for putting a small computer inside (possibly raspberry pi). But if I can rescue it, that's my #1 choice.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2083)

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05-06-2018, 22:22

Maybe putting a Gotek drive inside?

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

05-06-2018, 23:40

I've ordered a Carnivore2, so I can't see any advantage to putting a Gotek inside. But putting an FDD in the enclosure comes with all kinds of fun Big smile

By gdx

Prophet (3042)

gdx's picture

06-06-2018, 02:50

You can also sell the HDB-50 to someone who needs a drive and can repair it.

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

06-06-2018, 03:45

gdx wrote:

You can also sell the HDB-50 to someone who needs a drive and can repair it.

Or if there's someone who's got a non-working HBD-50, I could sell the drive, controller board, cartridge an power supply if I decided to make the chassis into a FDD caddy. It's a perfect compliment to my HB-75B, and I wouldn't want to split them up. Turning the case into an FDD enclosure would be far, far easier than fixing whatever the problem is with it...

By hamlet

Scribe (2536)

hamlet's picture

06-06-2018, 15:53

I found a HBD-50 with a broken case in my collection. (DHL made some stress test with that drive years ago.) Need to check if it is still running, let me know if your interessted.

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