Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Hardware questions and modifications

Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby Chuckphd53 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:25 pm

Have you lloked at the racore stuff/downloads here on Mikes down;oad section?
I am not familiar with the Racore HD, but there may be software that needs loading at startup.

the docs may have some hints....

oh Iam sure you did this, but make sure any HD jumpers are the same as the original... hope they were right... maybe the manual has some info...
(PCJR/JR-IDE-512DOM,TandyMod,V20-10Chip,BiDir,LPT2,3FlopBrd,
USBEmulator,ZIP100,PS2Keybrd,MouseSysMouse,InternalSwitcherPS)
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby ChuckB » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:35 pm

Chuckphd53 wrote:Have you lloked at the racore stuff/downloads here on Mikes down;oad section?
I am not familiar with the Racore HD, but there may be software that needs loading at startup.

the docs may have some hints....

oh Iam sure you did this, but make sure any HD jumpers are the same as the original... hope they were right... maybe the manual has some info...



(pertains to the second floppy drive)
Funny you should metion software.. I was just looking at the Rapport Drive 2 installation instructions.. it appears that I must install the Rapport Drive software on my DOS boot disk for my second floppy drive to work.. does this sound right?

Here is something that confused me about the second floppy drive instructions:

It seems like there is a mistake..

Shouldn’t the disk drive adapter have two Diskette-Drive Signal Cables, A wide and a narrow one?

If not, besides the side car, where does the other end of the narrow one plug into?

In the picture below they only show the wide Diskette-Drive Signal Cable. (my adapter has both the wide and narrow cables.)

(Scroll past the picture to read about my hard drive!)

Image

(pertains to the hard drive)
As far as the Racore fixed drive Plus installation instructions, I am going to send Mike a copy so he can scan it and add to his download section. He currently does not have it. At the very end of the instructions, they state:

"This completes the installation of the Racore 10/20 MB fixed disk plus package.
For further information on the operation of the Racore 10/20 MB Fixed Disk Plus
Package, please refer to the M1511/1521 instructions provided with this unit."

I do not have those instructions.. Neither does Mike.. maybe it mentions software(?)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby Chuckphd53 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:50 pm

I will take pictures of mine tomorrow for you, the side car controls the drives, with a small cable that plugs into it and selects drive A and B

pictures are coming...
(PCJR/JR-IDE-512DOM,TandyMod,V20-10Chip,BiDir,LPT2,3FlopBrd,
USBEmulator,ZIP100,PS2Keybrd,MouseSysMouse,InternalSwitcherPS)
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby ChuckB » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:53 pm

Chuckphd53 wrote:I will take pictures of mine tomorrow for you, the side car controls the drives, with a small cable that plugs into it and selects drive A and B

pictures are coming...


Thank you, but no need for pictures.. I think you missed the point of my post. The controller card that I have for the drive two has two data cables connected to it.. the controller card in the instructions only shows one.. I was asking if the instructions were wrong. I am familiar where the two cables plug into the side car.

Someone sent me the correct Racore instructions that shows the extra cable. So it seems that the Rapport instructions are correct, they were just for a different drive enhancement package, the Rapport Companions Drive Two Enhancement Package (Model 1200).

I have the Racore Drive Two Plus with DMA Option (Model 1501) which requires the extra cable.
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby mcsew2k » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:26 am

I believe the Racore HDD add-on requires a non-standard low-level format. I am the original owner of a Racore 10 MB HDD add-on and while mine was still under warranty, the HDD developed a "bad track 0" error which is not repairable. They swapped the HDD but did not low-level format it. Under their instructions I tried a low-level format on the jr and on an XT system using the parameters they provided. I was then told by one of their senior engineers that I had to return the drive again so they could do the low-level format using a proprietary program. It worked great for several years after that. When that drive died I retired the jr. A few years ago I bought a replacement that works great in my XT. I tried several different methods to low-level format the drive and I again could not get the drive to be recognized by the jr. Someday I will attempt to reverse engineer the bootup code to see what the Racore BIOS is looking for.
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby mcsew2k » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:29 am

Also, I clearly remember that my jr was able to boot directly from the HDD.
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby Brutman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 am

The problem with the old MFM drives is that the controller and drive are pretty much a matched pair. If you have a very similar controller or drive you can do a swap, but basically the low level format depends on the combination of the two, so you just can't turn around and swap the drive or controller freely.

On an XT class machine there is a built in format routine in the BIOS of the machine that you can get at through advanced diagnostics. On clone disk controllers the routine is on the controller card BIOS and can sometimes be invoked by jumping to the routine, usually at c800:0005 (or something like that). I wonder if Racore cut a corner and did not include the formatting routine in the BIOS; they might have had it on a floppy disk utility. Or if they patterned their controller after a similar XT controller they might have done the formatting on an XT.

Do you see any copyright statements on the chips? It's either a Xebec or a Western Digital chipset. Formatting the drive on an XT with a similar controller would probably work.
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby TimsPCjr » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:40 pm

Hi all,

I know this thread is a year old but I want to replace the power supply and would like some feedback. I have the Rapport expansion chassis and like an earlier post would like to use a single ATX supply to power both Jr and expansion. The original Rapport ps also has the Pick output line shown in the Racore but also has a -6v line. I figure the Pick line will not need a connection but what would the -6v go to? I don't see it as an input on the original ps on the Jr.
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby geoffdaddy » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:20 pm

Brutman wrote:The problem with the old MFM drives is that the controller and drive are pretty much a matched pair. If you have a very similar controller or drive you can do a swap, but basically the low level format depends on the combination of the two, so you just can't turn around and swap the drive or controller freely.

On an XT class machine there is a built in format routine in the BIOS of the machine that you can get at through advanced diagnostics. On clone disk controllers the routine is on the controller card BIOS and can sometimes be invoked by jumping to the routine, usually at c800:0005 (or something like that). I wonder if Racore cut a corner and did not include the formatting routine in the BIOS; they might have had it on a floppy disk utility. Or if they patterned their controller after a similar XT controller they might have done the formatting on an XT.

Do you see any copyright statements on the chips? It's either a Xebec or a Western Digital chipset. Formatting the drive on an XT with a similar controller would probably work.


On my RACORE 10MB controller, you have to use g=c900:5 to get to the utility.
PCjr: 10MB RACore 01 hard drive expansion, Hotshot 640kB RAM expander, optical mouse, Xircom PE3, speech sidecar.
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Re: Schematic: Racore 1504/1507 Disk Upgrade

Postby prpplague » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:47 am

Chuckphd53 wrote:Lastly is the addition of my Floppy 3 drive board that I will have coming soon..
this allows 3 drives to easily be added with individual cables and also a way to switch which drive to boot from using a selector switch if desired..
..


do you have the schematic for this posted somewhere?

p.s. love the colors!
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