3" diskettes?

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peacer
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3" diskettes?

Post by peacer » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:01 pm

Fortunately, I have a still working microdisc drive. But my 3" diskettes are limited in numbers. Mostyle I achieved them from flea market as amstrad cpc disks. Also thanks to Steve Marshall, he sent me some more disks a couple of years before. Right now I have around 10-15 units of 3" diskettes.

I've been searching internet for 3" diskettes to buy but its nearly impossible to find them. As you know even 3.5" diskettes are out of technology today.

Do you have places to still buy 3" diskettes ? China? Dealextreme or aliexpress like websites?

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by omelette » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:14 pm

I would like to know the same thing. I was surprised to read (here, I think) that you can still get thermal paper for the Oric printer, which really was a niche item, yet 3" disks are apparently as plentiful as hens teeth. Strange.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by Dbug » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:49 am

The MCP40 does not use thermal paper, it uses normal paper, just in a weird format (Half A4 width), and the same mechanism was used in many printers, and is still in use in some modern devices like medical equipment and business systems.

Regarding the floppies, your best bets is people selling their stocks of Amstrad floppies, but they still go for big price.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by omelette » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:12 pm

Good to know, I was getting it confused with the ZX Spectrum printer's operation. Regarding the CF2's, yeah, I thought as much, no harm asking though. It's also good to know that if ever I'm short of money, I can sell my worn out CF2's on eBay, certify them as "untested, no refunds" and ask $6+ each for them - just had a look on eBay :) There is someone in Belgium atm advertising 10 new CF2's on eBay, asking for nearly $100! Time to return to work on that time-machine of mine...

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by coco.oric » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:29 am

10 new CF2's on eBay, asking for nearly $100
waoow, i have to get my 3" drives cpc & oric, and cleaning my disks with this tool :
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... EzhXa8QJF4
(found on https://www.facebook.com/pascal.visca/p ... 4598876297)

or you have this shop :
https://www.retrogear.co.uk/software/si ... wYOMpAiePk

or you can build your own cleaner :
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39610 ... aYUOpwB0qU
coco.oric as DidierV, CEO Member
Historic owner of Oric, Apple II, Atari ST, Amiga

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by omelette » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:25 pm

Hey, thanks for the links. Interesting, especially the Thingiverse one, I might print one out, though I'd be afraid to actually try it on my precious CF2's. In the video link;

- the disk this guy is demonstrating with, is a 'quality item'. I know this cos I have done the exact same thing with dozens of disks, and when I do it, the cloth is left with a dirty dark smear, not remaining pristine, as his appear to be. This is with 3.5" disks though, I'd never try this with 3" ones. I've also tried spinning the disks with a motor, often really fast, while cleaning them in this manner - it didn't make much of a difference.

Has anyone ever tried micro-waving 3.5" disks, to see if drying them out helps any? That ferrite-like layer used, seems to absorb moisture over time.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by mikeb » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:28 pm

omelette wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:25 pm
Has anyone ever tried micro-waving 3.5" disks, to see if drying them out helps any? That ferrite-like layer used, seems to absorb moisture over time.
No: But I wouldn't expect your data to be intact afterwards! :)

Are you thinking of techniques used to bake old reel to reel tapes, to stop them ending up as a sticky pile of ferrite dust, whale oil, and empty backing? That was done in controlled, heated ovens, not microwaves.

If disks absorbing moisture is a problem, using a dessicator or other lower temperature technique, would probably be less harmful than zapping it with a microwave.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by omelette » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:46 am

mikeb wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:28 pm
omelette wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:25 pm
Has anyone ever tried micro-waving 3.5" disks, to see if drying them out helps any? That ferrite-like layer used, seems to absorb moisture over time.
No: But I wouldn't expect your data to be intact afterwards! :)

Are you thinking of techniques used to bake old reel to reel tapes, to stop them ending up as a sticky pile of ferrite dust, whale oil, and empty backing? That was done in controlled, heated ovens, not microwaves.

If disks absorbing moisture is a problem, using a dessicator or other lower temperature technique, would probably be less harmful than zapping it with a microwave.
Haha, yeah, I wasn't expecting the data to survive, but who knows until someone tries it. :) No, I was thinking of ways of 'recycling' disks that I have. Almost all of the ones I have in mind have, to varying degrees, become discoloured, with what I presume is a fungal growth of some sort. Before even thinking of trying to clean them up, I think a first-step would be to make sure that they were dried out. Dessicator is great for keeping already-dry stuff dry, but it wouldn't be much good for the disks I'm thinking about. I also have dozens & dozens of Sam Coupe disks, all original software, and more than likely, all destroyed from being stored in a damp environment for nearly 2 decades. I tried to 'revive a handful of them years ago, but gave up in despair.

I've got loads of Atari disks, whose contents I couldn't give a hoot about, and would microwave them in an instant - if I had a microwave! I threw mine out years ago, after researching their health implications.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by peacer » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:12 pm

omelette wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:46 am
- if I had a microwave! I threw mine out years ago, after researching their health implications.
Well, microwave owens are not as dangerous as you reckon :) I am talking as a md of radiology specialist :)

Perhaps the previous generation devices have some leaking issues but nowadays they are quite safe and even healtier than normal owens in many ways. They produce electromagnetic radiation but not all e.m. radiation is bad. light and radiowaves are also electromagnetic radiation, also your cellphones produce it too. We can't cover ourselves from cellphone radiation by some protective issues but microwave ovens do cover themselves with metal shields. So radiation they produce deccreases out of the device. You don't put your hand into the owen :) But outside of it, and if its cover is not broken, you can use it in a way safer than cellphones (and cigarette smoking). Microwave owens don't give radiation to foods too. It just move / vibrate electrons of water inside the food and this rapid electron movement leads to production of heat to cook the food.. Thats the simple idea..

In harvard university page it says : "Some nutrients break down when they're exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. But because microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with a microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that break down when heated."

and accoording to Who, "When used according to manufacturers' instructions, microwave ovens are safe and convenient for heating and cooking a variety of foods. "

I use microwave owen more than 15 years and its ok for me :) But I am not sure if they are safe for discs at all :)

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying- ... -nutrition
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mi ... #radiation
https://www.who.int/peh-emf/publication ... owaves/en/

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by Chema » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:32 pm

Well, the medical doctor has spoken, and he knows well. :)

He is completely right. Besides microwave oven radiation is not mutagenic, which means it cannot produce mutations, and cancer (only wavelengths shorter than ultra violet are, hence the sun radiation is dangerous).

We've been using them for decades now, and they have proven to be perfectly safe.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by mikeb » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:58 pm

omelette wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:46 am
Dessicator is great for keeping already-dry stuff dry, but it wouldn't be much good for the disks I'm thinking about.
Aside from my spelling error, a desiccator may not be the right thing then, I was thinking of the sort of unit used to dry "wet" (raw) fruit and veg for preservation. On Googling, I was apparently thinking of a dehydrator. Probably best not to use the same one for drying your fruit as mouldy disks ...
omelette wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:46 am
.... microwave! I threw mine out years ago, after researching their health implications.
Extremely dangerous, e.g. when dropped on your foot (especially a good quality 1980's clockwork and iron one, not a modern plastic digital one), and if opened and poked about with a screwdriver, a fair chance of it being the last time you will ever need one.

If by "research" you mean the idea that "it uses radiation to cook, therefore my food is now radioactive!" then I guess only tin-foil hats can provide protection :)

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by omelette » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:34 pm

Haha, I wasn't looking to spark a debate as to the safety of microwaves. I stopped using one 10 years ago based on my research back then and I'm happy with my decision. I will say that we were also assured by preeminent scientists that DDT, asbestos & smoking posed no health risks, and look how that turned out.

I would still like to know the effect a microwave would have on a floppy disk though.

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by iss » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:48 pm

omelette wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:34 pm
I would still like to know the effect a microwave would have on a floppy disk though.
Here you are:



This is the real effect, everything else is a speculation! ;)

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Re: 3" diskettes?

Post by omelette » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:50 pm

iss wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:48 pm
omelette wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:34 pm
I would still like to know the effect a microwave would have on a floppy disk though.
Here you are:



This is the real effect, everything else is a speculation! ;)
Haha, thanks for that, it never occurred to me the check Youtube. I'd nearly buy a microwave (or try it on someone else's), to see if it's reproducible - ie. without the medal piece, would it still occur, or would a ferrite core perform similarly? :)

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