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Amstrad 3.5" Floppy drive Ribbon Cable
Created on: 18-06-2019 By Gee
Part three of making a standard 3.5" floppy drive work with your Amstrad cpc 6128 is rather easy in one way, but not so easy in another.
The easiest way to get your floppy drive connected to the Amstrad CPC is to use a ribbon cable from an old PC. Old enough that it had a 5.25" floppy drive in it.
The reason for using such an old cable is that it just so happens to use the same connections you need for connecting your floppy directly to the Amstrad CPC with no modifications. One end being a normal floppy IDE connector and the other being an edge connector.
Sounds easy doesn't it? Well it is... once you have a cable. If you're lucky enough to have a stock of the cables, then fantastic! Otherwise you'll be searching the internet for a while, looking at floppy ribbon cables and thinking its the right one in the picture, only to read a bit further on that it states "does not work with 5.25" floppy drives". This annoyed me for a while, but I did eventually find one on eBay that came from Greece.
When the ribbon cable arrived, I plugged it in and it worked instantly. I was even able to use the other non used connector to place jumper wires in to pins 31+32 to make it read side b of the disk. To go back to reading side A, just remove the jumper.
On a side note, the guide I followed also explains how to get a ready signal through using a jumper on pins 33+34 if you are unable to do so the same way that I explained in part 1.
Another great thing about this guide is that it also explained that putting yet another jumper in pins 11+12 after boot, would make the drive take over as drive A. This is great for the software that assumes the disc that it's running from is drive A. So if you try run it from drive B, it simply wont work (unless you re-program it).
So that is it! you can now use your 3.5" floppy drive on your Amstrad CPC 6128 (or 664 if it works the same?).
If you're happy with that then, use your new B drive till your heart is content.
I wasn't happy with a couple of things, and they were purely cosmetic. The ribbon cable I bought was quite short, so the drive had to sit awkwardly on top of the Amstrad. I couldn't place it to the side if I wanted to.
The other thing I didn't like was the look of the bare drive.
Both of these 'issues' I will go over in future posts. I haven't quite finished resolving these to date, but not far off.
The next step is getting software from the internet, onto floppy disc to then use on the newly attached drive. Stay tuned! or... logged in as the case may be.