Black Amiga Floppy Button dilemma on black cases solved?

YouKnowWho

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For those of us who bought the new replacement Amiga 1200 cases in Black and Checkmate 1500 in black, the lack of a good black floppy button solution sucked. We see these, and we touch them often. The right button doesn't come with the 1200 case (and they aren't offering a correction apparently, I've asked), and none come with the black 1500. 3D printing is a nice stop gap, but it doesn't look right. Paint on original buttons is no good because it will wear out quickly due to touching.

Well, imagine my surprise, when I learned that Chinon FZ-354 and FZ-357 drives came in black! They exist, and of course the 354 works unmodified and 357 can me modified relatively easily. The 357 ones I bought at a very reasonable prices are Malaysia made, so when they arrive perhaps they may be versions that can be modified to do HD floppies on the Amiga. Forgive if you knew of this black Chinons already (I can be slow to learn things), but I didn't so I thought I'd share.
 

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damiraga

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Even with the black Chinon drives, you may still have an issue of the original drive buttons being too short for the A1200 case. I had this issue when I was trying to use modified pc drives in A500s. Luckily, I still had original Amiga drive buttons which I was able to slighly modify and mount onto new drives (of different brand). They are slightly crooked, but work fine. Just my 2 cents.
 

YouKnowWho

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@damiraga - oh boy! So my excitement maybe premature? Hopefully, as the drive model is the same, it will be a drop-in.

I'll report when they arrive. 357s will be here soon. 354, that was from Japan, and I'm shipping it surface, so there won't be button function confirmation until Valentine's Day. :)
 

Boing-ball

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All well and good. But not everyone has the Chinnon drive for their A1200’s. My solution for the Checkmate 1500 was to buy a Black Sony MP920 and modify it to work with the Amiga. Plenty of guides out there to do it.
At the moment I’m using the Ian Steadman Drive mod board with a TEAC Floppy and USB card reader writer all in one.
 

YouKnowWho

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Makes sense Boing-ball. I bought that 3.5" bracket too for the case - is that what you're using? But I also bought the internal floppy drive face bracket to get that 3000 look, and to have it be clean. First, no black buttons on the Amiga internal floppies at all. But these Chinons are the ones used in a 3000, right?

I just want to avoid this outcome in the black setup.

CM1500.jpg
 
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damiraga

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FB354 and FB357A were the ones used on the A3000s. Early A4000s used FB357A as well, while the newer ones used FZ models.

If you are going for the genuine A3000 look with the checkmate case, note there were no black FB35x floppy drives and buttons (except for the very rare A3400 prototype which if I remember correctly used the FB model).

I suggest you either go with the beige FB354/7 and paint the rare A3000 floppy button the best you can, or go with the standard size black FZ model and see how you can make its button fit.

BTW, I just checked my A1200 and I believe the FZ model and its button will fit perfectly. You will have to cut portion of the drive top cover though to prevent hitting the case floppy drive opening. Hope this helps
 

Boing-ball

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Makes sense Boing-ball. I bought that 3.5" bracket too for the case - is that what you're using? But I also bought the internal floppy drive face bracket to get that 3000 look, and to have it be clean. First, no black buttons on the Amiga internal floppies at all. But these Chinons are the ones used in a 3000, right?

I just want to avoid this outcome in the black setup.
I’m using the big standard 3.5” face plate for mine.
 

YouKnowWho

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Even though we're familiar, here is the 1200 floppy side FYI. To me these black Chinons looks very promising. 1200FloppySide.jpg
 

Xanxi

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I don't care the floppy button being white on my black A1200, as i barely use it, and it is a modified model from Amigakit anyway.

However, i would like to have a black Chinon for my A4000TX and my new A4000 Arymanx edition black metal case. Where can they be found, i don't seem to see any online?
 

YouKnowWho

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Xanxi, am I contributing to your empty-slot-disease here? I don't want to be an enabler! :)

I tripped across the black 354 in standard "Chinon" searches, but the 357 hit was a "Roland floppy" search. Probably other similar keyboard manufacturer searches may do the trick, as they often used floppies, and black ones at that. Turns out keyboard guys are putting GoTeks in there too, and then have these "useless" black face floppy drives.
 

YouKnowWho

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By the way, according to the http://jope.fi/drives/computolio/ site, Chinon FZs (354/357) all work on Amiga as 880KB floppy drives completely unmodified? Is that so?

Also, regarding HD floppy, a AmTrade HD floppy kit called "The Real HD-Drive A357 sold just recently, and it included shots of the instruction manual. Here they are as FYI:
 

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YouKnowWho

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Well, the FZ-357 arrived. I can confirm a few details. Button fits, looks great, works great. I have to loosen the screws and nudge the floppy drive toward the front a bit for perfection. The button on these internals doesn't stick out as far, as a consequence it doesn't stick out as far out of the 1200 case as the original button. That's quite fine actually, makes it look a bit more stealthy and won't take any impacts. Works fine and the travel is very short on these Chinons anyway. It goes flush with the case without disk, it sticks out perfect amount with disk.

I can also confirm the FZ-357 works perfectly in the 1200 without any modifications. I got one of each MADE IN MALAYSIA REV B with the straight motor print that indicates that it is modifiable to a Amiga HD floppy drive. And a MADE IN JAPAN, which also has the straight motor print, and works perfectly in the 1200, but not sure if this MADE IN JAPAN can be modified for the 1.76MB capacity. Either way, both work as Amiga floppy drives with a straight drop with the addition of the last 2 sets of pins on the right shorted vertically in addition to what you see in the photos.

Actually...I have to test if these perhaps somehow already read the 1.76MB floppies maybe? Just not sure what's needed to do that. Do I need some special Amiga 4000 kickstart or library for 1.76MB floppies? Or does any Amiga with Kickstart 2.05 or later support 1.76MB Amiga floppy disks already? Also, I have to confirm if 1.44MB PC floppies read in this as-is as well. TBC....
 

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btp

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If I recall correctly Amiga HD drives required the motor to rotate at half speed. Very few models support this speed.
According to this article only a few of FZ-357s can be made Amiga HD compatible and still you need to perform several modifications on them

You need at least Kickstart 2.x so that the Amiga can use 1.76Mb floppy drives.
 

YouKnowWho

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@btp - Yes, I saw that very informative post. What was disappointing is that at the bottom, you're told the surprise that the floppy surgery alone is not enough. That site by the way is a very useful resource.

In the lot of two FZ-357 drives I received, one meets the requirements of MADE IN MALAYSIA and straight motor print. Funny enough, there is an authentic 357A for sale out there (photo), and it shows a MADE IN JAPAN mechanism, like my second FZ-357 drive that's MADE in JAPAN with straight print (photo). They both apparently came out of same model ROLAND keyboard.

However, without that add-on board noted on the 357 instruction site, the surgery would be useless. While I'd like an easy ability to move files on a PC floppy to the Amiga, I guess I'll have to just sick to DD 720KB PC limit. I still wonder if the FZ-357 unmodified and working as a 880KB Amiga floppy, will recognize 1.44MB PC HD disks with CrossDOS. It is a 1.44MB PC floppy drive that happens to read 880KB Amiga floppies with out mod. I have to try this shortly. I also want to take out my 4000 at the same time, format an Amiga HD floppy at 1.76MB with files on it and and then try it in these unmodified FZ-357s in a 1200. Actually...what about using the FZ-357 on a PC? Would it be able to read/write Amiga floppies in an emulator?

I want an HD Amiga floppy drive in a 1200, but this looks hard to do. I'm just going to live with 880KB standard Amiga floppy drives I guess. I made it through without HD floppy first time around. :)
 

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