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A bit more RL02 progress

Posted <2017-12-21 Thu 11:08> by Aaron S. Jackson.

Here is the status of my RL02 drives:

First Drive:

This one always seemed more promising. I was able to load a cartridge and nothing crashed. Unfortunately, progress ended very suddenly, as described in my last post, earlier this week, when the heads crashed into the platter.

Second Drive:

This drive was in a bit of a state when I got it. Some of the nuts which hold the motor together had fallen off into the cooling system, making a horrible rattle. When I tried to fix this originally, I disconnected the spring and couldn't get it back on. So it was basically in parts.

Yesterday I fixed those two problems and put it all back together. I checked the alignment of things and then loaded my remaining good pack. This time the heads were connected correctly to the R/W module. It did not crash! but the fault light came on.

I can manually position the head on the disk (as described in the technical manual, don't freak out) and I can see the sector information, which appears as it should. For some reason, when the heads first load automatically, they do not find any sector information.

Additionally, the heads do not retract automatically when I depress the load switch. I have to do this manually, very quickly, to avoid a crash. That's quite worrying.

Perhaps the first track of the cartridge is bad and I just can't see any damage, or perhaps there is something more serious going on with the servo control, which I swapped out from the other drive, which could load and retract the heads without human intervention.

We will see. Anyway, I am going back to Wales for 5 or 6 days now, so progress will be again stunted.

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