Replacement Floppy Drives

Question: Do any of you guys know what model and make of floppy drive is in the EPS and the ASR-10? Can I find one at an electronics store or is a special order item? What is the difficulty level to replace it? Has anyone here ever replaced your own floppy drive?

Answer: Here's a partial list - there may be more that would work.


Original EPS and 16-Plus

Note: the common Sony 920 drive does NOT work; and ironically this is what is used in the ASR-X.

From what I've done, most off the shelf drives "will not work". The two variables are the compatibility of the floppy drive itself (the logic board), or the jumper settings - if there are any. There are floppy drives that could be compatible, but the "jumper" settings are hard-wired in - either using connections or within an IC - thus unless you knew the schematics, there is no way of setting up the drive properly.

The ASR-10/TS- series drive is "AT" type, which is what is common in PC's these days. Again, the partial problem that most drives don't work is because you can't change the jumpers.

The EPS/VFX/SD series of instruments use the "Shugart" type and is not made anymore. Right now many people are having their floppy drives break, only to have no recourse on replacement parts, even from Ensoniq.

Any findings this list could provide regarding availability or modifications to enable EPS/ASR users replacement floppy drives would be appreciated by a large amount of people. Drives are VERY difficult to find, and it's only going to get worse.

By the way, in the Hacker it was mentioned that a certain company Techzam repaired bad floppy drives. I have sent 6 drives to them, and have had 4 returned, having been said fixed. They still do not work, and the other 2 drives I have sent them are unaccounted for - they sent us two wrong replacement drives. Currently they are not returning our calls - we have since recovered our money and are waiting for recourse from them. I would not recommend them as a solution to our problem, until I see them actually fix a drive!)

I have never seen a compatible EPS/ASR floppy drive in a store or for sale commercially for years - it's a specialty drive Sony or Panasonic makes - although see above.

It is easy to replace - the hardest thing is pulling the stupid thing out. We have replaced our drives many times for different reasons! Actually, I don't have one now - I use the RCS Internal ZipDrive.

Contributed by Garth Hjelte

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