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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Bytecc BT-146 Floppy Disk Drive and Card Reader
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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s243a

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr 2018, 03:24    Post subject:  Bytecc BT-146 Floppy Disk Drive and Card Reader
Subject description: What can we do w/ Floppies & SD Cards
 

I have three computers with floppy drives connectors and only 2 floppy drives.

I was thinking of how to use them. I think I've installed grub for dos on a floppy before and also tried plop.

Even pupngo is too large for a floppy but technosaurus built a version of linux small enough for a floppy called microsaurus, which he/she started rewriting as PLING.

After word of microsausus; I started to thinking about floppies again. I discovered that they have been in some cases been replaced by floppy emulators. So I started searching for floppy emulators and I found what seems better.

My understanding is the Bytecc BT-146 has both a 34 conductor floppy cable and a USB connection (but please research this if you plan to buy). So this means that I can use it on old computers with the 34 pin IDC [1] floppy connector or newer computers via a USB port.

It can use both 3.5" Floppies (1.44 MB) and various types of flash memory

Quote:
CompactFlash Card type I, CompactFlash Card type II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Microdrive, MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SmartMedia Card, xD-Picture Card

https://www.cdw.com/product/Bytecc-BT-146-Floppy-Disk-Drive/3004574

From the picture it looks like it might also support the larger floppy disks but I don't see that anywhere in it's specs.

The prices are $19.99 on CDW, CDN$ 47.07 on amazon, out of stock on newegg and KMART and PPCS,

Anyway so one of the flash formats that it supports is SDHC Memory Card size which according to google holds between 4GB and 32GB. Puppy can pack a lot of stuff into 32GB and the nice thing about SD cards is that you can store a lot of them in a small space. I don't know if their will be any issues trying to boot from a 32GB SD card with this device. For instance if one tries the superfloppy approach then it is limited to 16GB or less according to the Feb 2017 news letter. Earlier supper floopy tests were only at 512 MB (see BK's 7 Mar 2017 blog post)

I had not luck with SD card boots or superfloppy boots in the bast but maybe this hardware would help solve the problem Smile. Note that if someone has a newer computer they may want something like the Kingzer 3.5 Floppy Bit Panel USB3.0+USB3.0 Card Reader CF/SD/MS/TF/XD/M2 which connects to the motherboard via a 20 pin USB 3.0 interface instead of the 34 pin IDC interface.

----------------------
1 - the specs on cdw say that it has a 34 pin IDC connection.
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april

Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 1241
Location: Green Island baby!

PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr 2018, 17:41    Post subject:  

I guess you are young enough not to have used floppy disks much . The problem I had was that they grow a fungus on the magnetic medium . It feeds on that medium so the floppy needs to be cleaned to use after being left for 6 months or the reader heads clog.

The material is therefore breaking down with age and eventually fails to read the line up markings and all is lost.

I have suspended CD's and DVD's off the end of a jetty ,some for two years in salty water . Bring them up clean them and away they go but put them in the sun hanging from a tree as bird scarers and the sun breaks down the label side and the clear plastic to a point where they fail.

SSD's were too expensive to play such games with but now I might submerge and hang a few old 4 gig USB devices when I find time . Later Ill try with some SDHC Memory Cards but I am using all I have and brilliant they are .
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 954
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr 2018, 19:57    Post subject:  

I carelessly broke two old Dell CPX pentium 3 laptops eight years ago, which had DVD but also floppy drives. I broke them both by plugging in pcmcia Ethernet cards without turning them off... I am still annoyed at myself for that and keep one of the cpx machines in a box in case it somehow comes back to life one day... Particularly annoying was that I had only just upgraded it to 256 MB RAM; twas 128 MB prior to that. It was the machine Precord was developed on.

wiak
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april

Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 1241
Location: Green Island baby!

PostPosted: Tue 01 May 2018, 17:13    Post subject:  

I see
I went looking for Precord and found an old 2012 thread on it with a name of mcewanw on it . Barry made a comment on it in 2017 .

I did not find it in xenialpup64 7.5
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