DIN14 Floppy Adapters
The DIN14 boards are a tight fit and may require a bit more effort than expected to pull out of a device. One issue that I think we’re stuck with is that the pins on the DIN14 board are fairly easy to bend. Please be careful when unplugging a DIN14 board from a device to make sure your fingers don’t slip and bend the pins inward as it comes out.
On the flip-side – if you do happen to bend the pins, if you bend them back as closely as possible, they should straighten themselves out the next time you insert the DIN14 board into a device.
Also, one issue that I didn’t notice in the first batches of these boards is that the two rows of soldered pins might scrape the case of the device it’s inserted into. Consider adding some adhesive foam on top of them to prevent any scratches. Future orders will have this added by default.
The pins are easy enough to bend that I do it occasionally even though I know to expect it. Fortunately, as long as they’re still pretty close, they should still go back into the device without much issue, and doing so should get them pretty straight.
Notes on power supplies
For HXC/GoTek/etc floppy emulators, most USB power supplies should work well with a 1A current rating. If using a real floppy drive, however, there are a couple of important notes to keep in mind:
- Some *very* old floppy drives require a 12V power supply in addition to 5V. These will not work with the USB power supplied by these boards, however you can connect another power supply directly to the drive itself
- Even if the drive states it requires 1A of current, many USB power supplies labeled as 1A won’t actually deliver enough current for the drive to function properly. If you encounter issues with a real floppy drive and have tried both ID combinations, the first thing I’d suggest is using at least a 1.5A or 2A USB supply
Notes on floppy IDs
Most standard PC floppy drives you’ll encounter default to using ID 1 versus ID 0 which is what Atari STs expect. On these drives you’ll usually find either jumpers, switches, or solder pads that allow you to change the ID of the drive. The floppy adapter boards have two jumpers that can be used to allow use of a “standard” PC drive without changing settings on the drive itself. Simply place the two jumpers towards “inverted” to use this setup.
Note: there should be no risk to your system if you get these settings mixed up. Feel free to try one or another if you encounter issues.
Suggested floppy drives
I’ve had the best luck with the ALPS DF354H series, as well as the Sony MPF920 – they’re both generally capable of reading “non-standard” formatted ST disks that you may occasionally encounter, but it can vary from drive-to-drive. They should both read 99% of standard ST disks without issue.