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Author Topic: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help  (Read 805 times)

Max1227

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Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« on: April 17, 2020, 11:10:31 am »

Hello all,

I posted on the 68kmla forum and the chaps there pointed me towards LisaList so here I am. I would very much like to get a widget drive going however I do realise this is unlikely.

So here is where I am:

I have two widget drives, neither are working but perhaps I can get parts from one and transplant to another if they have different faults.



Widget drive 1:

This drive turns on and spins, there is an audible clunk about 5 seconds after reaching speed (this drive sounds lovely, smooth and no strange noises)
The lights on the widget controller board light up and the voice coil actuator arm attempts to read the disk and initiate the self test. Although this fails and the head just jitters backwards and forwards (it doesn't make the very unique squeaking noise)



Widget drive 2:

This drive turns on and spins up however there is no audible clunk and the brake doesn't release. None of the drive lights illuminate other than when powered on briefly

So this is the stage I am at. I should mention that both widgets have the optical guidance glass (really don't know if that's the right terminology) in place, not broken and firmly glued down. I carefully and very briefly opened both drives to confirm it hadn't come loose or worse broken.

Kind regards and stay safe,
Max
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mactjaap

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Re: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2020, 05:22:17 pm »

Hi Max,

I'm a Widget fan for many years. I own four. Just one of them is working ( somehow). The widget drive is nowadays difficult to work "out of the box". But ..give it a try like I do.

The one that works is similair to your Widget 1. I get it going ( if it refuses to start) by sligtly moving the arm when it is stuck. Then it finds the correct cylinders and it works smooth. No bad blocks. No spares (blocks) used.

BUT.....If I where you I would start first, before you follow my advice to try to start with disks NeoWidEx and BLU. These disk sometimes help in starting unwilling disks

BLU use: Hard Disk Functions / I - Identify Hard Disk Device / 3 Internal parallel
It will try to access the drive and send a RESET to the disk if it is unwilling. If you "see" the disk, changes are bigger that it will be usable.

http://sigmasevensystems.com/blumanual.html

or use:
NeoWidEx
https://github.com/stepleton/NeoWidEx/blob/master/MANUAL.md

Use RESET SERVO and SOFT RESET to see if your disk will do something. If you 'see' the disk ( DRIVE INFO) you have a change that you have a working disk.

 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 05:33:34 pm by mactjaap »
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mactjaap

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Re: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2020, 07:56:23 pm »

And some video footage of my work. Testing the best widget I have....

https://youtu.be/FNkvkA2tndQ
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patrick

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Re: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2020, 07:52:35 am »

Widget drive 1:This drive turns on and spins, there is an audible clunk about 5 seconds after reaching speed (this drive sounds lovely, smooth and no strange noises)
The lights on the widget controller board light up and the voice coil actuator arm attempts to read the disk and initiate the self test. Although this fails and the head just jitters backwards and forwards (it doesn't make the very unique squeaking noise)

The controller board waits for the motor to reach its speed, then issues a servo reset pulse. /ServoReset releases the HDA brake solenoid, this is the clunk you hear. After that, a single seek is done. You should hear "squeak-squeak". If you get "squeak-bang" or somthing like this instead, your servo is broken or badly misaligned. After that the controller performs a R/W test on an outer track. If this passes, the bad block scan is started ("squeak-tic-tic-tic-..." with blinking LED).

Your drive seems to fail after the first seek and it should end up with the ready LED on. In this condition the drive will not accept regular R/W commands, but you can use diagnostic tools like WidEx (Apple III), NeoWidex (Lisa) or UsbWidEx (PC-based) to read the status registers of the controller. This should give you more information about the fault type.

To check and align the servo system, refer to the last chapter on this page: http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/patrick/UsbWidExamples.htm. Without special tools you can rotate the HDA axle manually. Keep the drive upright and do not move the HDA arm while motor is not spinning!

Quote
Widget drive 2:This drive turns on and spins up however there is no audible clunk and the brake doesn't release. None of the drive lights illuminate other than when powered on briefly

So you do not get the /ServoReset signal. Either your controller board is faulty and does not do anything at all, or the motor does not come up to speed (or the controller thinks so), or there is a /ServoReset pulse and your solenoid is badly misaligned and cannot move.

* Check the solenoid alignment. There should be a small air gap between the rubber pad and the HDA axle when the solenoid is engaged. Push its latch back manually to check this. It is possible that it sticks in the beginning and comes loose if you push it back a few times. The solenoid is attached with a central screw, so you can even remove and realign it if necessary.
However, do not move the HDA arm (i.e rotate the axle) while the spindle motor is not running! The rotating disk causes significant airflow inside the drive, and this is necessary to lift the heads from the magnetic surfaces. Without airflow the heads will scratch the magnetic coating.

* Swap the controller boards between both drives. It is safe to do so, this does not affect alignment or formatting.

* Monitor the ServoReset line with an oscilloscope during startup. If the pulse is there, check the motor PCB on the bottom of the drive and the solenoid. You can even issue a ServoReset by yourself by shorting U1D (74LS09) pin 3 to Gnd.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 07:54:32 am by patrick »
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Max1227

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Re: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2020, 02:09:58 pm »

Quote
Hi Max,

I'm a Widget fan for many years. I own four. Just one of them is working ( somehow). The widget drive is nowadays difficult to work "out of the box". But ..give it a try like I do.

The one that works is similair to your Widget 1. I get it going ( if it refuses to start) by sligtly moving the arm when it is stuck. Then it finds the correct cylinders and it works smooth. No bad blocks. No spares (blocks) used.

BUT.....If I where you I would start first, before you follow my advice to try to start with disks NeoWidEx and BLU. These disk sometimes help in starting unwilling disks

BLU use: Hard Disk Functions / I - Identify Hard Disk Device / 3 Internal parallel
It will try to access the drive and send a RESET to the disk if it is unwilling. If you "see" the disk, changes are bigger that it will be usable.

http://sigmasevensystems.com/blumanual.html

or use:
NeoWidEx
https://github.com/stepleton/NeoWidEx/blob/master/MANUAL.md

Use RESET SERVO and SOFT RESET to see if your disk will do something. If you 'see' the disk ( DRIVE INFO) you have a change that you have a working disk.

Excellent suggestion I'll see if I can get those tools downloaded and written to a floppy disk. I too really like the Widgets - I think it is a fascinating hard drive.
Unfortunately, BLU doesn't 'see' Widget 1 at all. It will just hang and the reset the drive command changes nothing. It just continues with its jittering.

Quote
The controller board waits for the motor to reach its speed, then issues a servo reset pulse. /ServoReset releases the HDA brake solenoid, this is the clunk you hear. After that, a single seek is done. You should hear "squeak-squeak". If you get "squeak-bang" or somthing like this instead, your servo is broken or badly misaligned. After that the controller performs a R/W test on an outer track. If this passes, the bad block scan is started ("squeak-tic-tic-tic-..." with blinking LED).

Your drive seems to fail after the first seek and it should end up with the ready LED on. In this condition the drive will not accept regular R/W commands, but you can use diagnostic tools like WidEx (Apple III), NeoWidex (Lisa) or UsbWidEx (PC-based) to read the status registers of the controller. This should give you more information about the fault type.

To check and align the servo system, refer to the last chapter on this page: http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/patrick/UsbWidExamples.htm. Without special tools you can rotate the HDA axle manually. Keep the drive upright and do not move the HDA arm while motor is not spinning!

Yes Widget 1 doesn't get to anything after the brake has released. There is no squeak squeak at all just the jittering of the head backwards and forwards. And when I say jittering not across the whole length of the platter literally maybe a cm or two backwards and forwards along the platter. What is the Widget doing when it performs the first squeak squeak? Yes the software tools are required, Tom has modified the NeoWidex tool to allow drives really faulty, like mine, to send and receive commands. I will get onto this and see if I can write a floppy with his program.

Quote
So you do not get the /ServoReset signal. Either your controller board is faulty and does not do anything at all, or the motor does not come up to speed (or the controller thinks so), or there is a /ServoReset pulse and your solenoid is badly misaligned and cannot move.

* Check the solenoid alignment. There should be a small air gap between the rubber pad and the HDA axle when the solenoid is engaged. Push its latch back manually to check this. It is possible that it sticks in the beginning and comes loose if you push it back a few times. The solenoid is attached with a central screw, so you can even remove and realign it if necessary.
However, do not move the HDA arm (i.e rotate the axle) while the spindle motor is not running! The rotating disk causes significant airflow inside the drive, and this is necessary to lift the heads from the magnetic surfaces. Without airflow the heads will scratch the magnetic coating.

* Swap the controller boards between both drives. It is safe to do so, this does not affect alignment or formatting.

* Monitor the ServoReset line with an oscilloscope during startup. If the pulse is there, check the motor PCB on the bottom of the drive and the solenoid. You can even issue a ServoReset by yourself by shorting U1D (74LS09) pin 3 to Gnd.

Yes and I have good news, Widget 2 is now working. I swapped the controller board out as you suggested and Widget 2 released the brake and booted into MacWorks Plus. So this narrows down the fault on Widget 1 a bit. It wasn't on the controller board. The only thing is I now need to acquire another controller board so that I can test Widget 1 as I am going to leave Widget 2 alone now for fear of damaging it. Or to find the fault on the Widget 2 controller board and repair it.

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mactjaap

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Re: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2020, 06:46:24 pm »

Wowww. You have a widget working again!  Great!
Now for number 1!
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mactjaap

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Re: Apple Lisa Widget Drive Help
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2021, 04:23:22 pm »

Just to know. Any work done on widget 1?
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