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Raspberry Pi Floppy Motive force Uncovers Fishy Secrets and techniques


(*1*)A discussion board put up via New Zealand electronics fanatic [zl2wrw] about retreiving waypoints from a mysterious floppy disk stuck our eye. The navigation machine on his buddy’s fishing boat had died and was once changed. However the previous waypoints had been saved on a 3-1/2 inch floppy disk that was once unreadable on a regular PC. To not be deterred, [zl2wrw] then seemed for some other resolution — it seems that a listing of scorching NZ fishing spots is price relatively the hassle.

The software he came upon, and the primary level of this tale, is the (*4*)bbc-fdc via (*5*) aka [picosonic]. [Jasper] made this undertaking to learn 5-1/4 inch Acorn DFS floppies from his BBC Micro. However bbc-fdc can be utilized to learn a number of floppy disk codecs, comparable to DOS, C64, Apple II, and others It may possibly additionally simply seize uncooked magnetic flux transitions at the disk, blissfully ignorant of any logical construction to the knowledge. We not too long ago wrote about (*3*)some other Raspberry Pi Floppy Power Controller undertaking via [Scott Baker]. What units [picosonic]’s undertaking aside is that he’s no longer the use of an FDC controller chip right here. The one interface electronics is a few open-collector 7406 ICs. Knowledge is learn the use of the SPI peripheral. If you wish to have to archive previous floppy disks or do a forensic research of unknown disks like [zl2wrw], then one of those two initiatives will virtually surely do the trick.

In the meantime again in New Zealand, [zl2wrw] came upon that the floppy structure was once usual (Changed Frequency Modulation, MFM) via inspecting the uncooked flux unload. On the other hand, the filesystem was once a thriller — it didn’t relatively fit any of the standard suspects. So [zl2wrw] dug into the hex unload of the knowledge and discovered sufficient of the construction to manually recuperate the waypoints. Due to this fact, a consumer at the discussion board discovered a report describing the record machine utilized by Furuno GPS gadgets, which proved to be a detailed fit albeit after the truth. Alas, [zl2wrw] hasn’t put up the coordinates of the ones excellent fishing spots.

Have you ever had any successes (or screw ups) relating to studying information from previous disks? Or have you ever encountered abnormal disk codecs and/or record methods, the place having a device like this may have been useful? Tell us within the feedback underneath.