Floppy notcher

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Floppy notcher

So, getting back into my Apple //e recently and after getting ADTPro working (and the Online Disk Server), I decided to notch some of my floppies to use side 2.

So, I grabbed my trusty hole punch, just like in ye olde days.

Then I remembered those neato disk notchers, and checked ebay.  Seeing only one at or over $100 or so, decided that wasn't the route.. ;-)

Then I decided to check Thingiverse to see what 3D printer options might be available to help.

Actually did find a "floppy notch guide" to help line up your hole punch better!

So got that, but it wouldn't fit on my 3D Printer (Monoprice Mini).

Took it into Tinkercad (Not a pro designer) to cut it down to fit, and started to do that...  But then I changed my mind and decided to make a more basic one from scratch.

Just basically took a rectangle, cut a floppy width section out of it.  Added a spot for the hole punch and for my thumb to hold the disk in place while punching.  And after about 4 prototypes (I am not great with measurements), I have been able to make some much more stable notches than what I normally do by hand.

One thing I did do was to keep the notch really small.  Initially on my last run, I thought I had pulled back too much (less than half of the circle), but I formatted 3 disks just fine.

I do have a "square hole punch" in my save for later Amazon cart, but I am thinking that might be overkill since this works.

Man, if I only had a 3D printer back in the day...  ;-)

One thing I do need to watch out for is remembering which hole punch I intend to use.  We have 2 in the house, and they are just slightly different designs.  With my tolerances as close as they are, it only works with one of them.

 

Unrelated/related side story.  I was going thru some old PC floppies (DSDD) earlier, and had one that I couldn't format, so thought it was just bad and threw it away.  When I was testing the notcher guide, I decided to grab that floppy for some alignment tests.  (It was just on the top of the trash in my office)  Then I realized why it wouldn't format.  It had NO write protect notch at at!!!!  Not sure how I didn't noticed that before.  ;-)  

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You don't need anything fancy

You don't need anything fancy to put a notch in a disk.  I was using a standard hand-held hole punch for years. 

Just get another Floppy disk, put them back to back to align the hole and just punch a half-moon in the disk.  Easy peasy, quick and cheap.

If you're a fussy hole puncing sort of guy, then you can get a square hole punch on eBay...    https://www.ebay.com/itm/173994284022/

Hope this helps!

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Yeah, I mentioned that I

Yeah, I mentioned that I already have a square punch in my amazon cart.  ;-)

And I know I don't need anything more than a hole punch.  I technically don't need an Apple //e either.

Just having fun... ;-)

 

Have a good one...

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Those square punches on

Those square punches on Amazon are (1) the wrong size, (2) do not puch through well, and (3) some aren't gauged thick enogh to slip over the media (at all!). I bought several styles from Amazon to try them, and they simply are not worth the effort.

 

I have an actual notcher, and I use it regularly.

 

I should hae three of them, but IKD where the others are. Someone should produce a new match of them, as absolutely nothing beats them either for professional aesthetics, or for speed. I can notch an entire box of disks in about one minute with a true notcher. They used to sell for < £5when they were new, and were plentiful. The present pricing is pure gouging, and making a new run that we could sell off for 1/5 of that pricve per piece seems to make sense...

 

I would think that we could make the housings with a 3D printer, and the cutting edge could be made with simple machining tools. 

 

I also have a notcher for 3.5 disks, that allowed you to fool drives into using DD diskettes as HD diskettes, although the DD diskettes are harder to find now, which makes it rather useless. I've used HD diskettes as DD by filling the media type hole or by using one of the foil write protect tabs from 5.25 diskettes, as needed, but the actual magnetic material differs slightly and that may not be reliable long-term.

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I have a silly question. If a

I have a silly question. If a disk is labelled "double side", why do they come write protected for side B??

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Because they were designed

Because they were designed for double sided drives.

Those drives had read/write heads on the top and bottom.

 

The Apple II/C64 original drives were single sided.  In order to get the 2nd side to your read/write head, you had to flip the disk. ;-)

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Aaahh, that makes very sense!

Aaahh, that makes very sense!

 

So there was just one "write protect" notch for the whole drive?

 

I'd be tempted to just disconnect the write protect switch temporarily than fiddle with all my disks to be honest :D 

 

Thanks for clarifying 

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Yeah, I did consider that. 

Yeah, I did consider that.  Disabling or adding a switch...

But I have a duodisk with my //e and for some reason I'm not as inclined to open that one.

And there is the nostalgia from using the hole punch / notcher back in the day.   Silly retro feelings.. ;-)

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I understand the feeling, I

I understand the feeling, I think we all have it here :)

 

I opened one of my drives and instead of desoldering the wires I moved the switch out of the way so it can be easily restored if I wanted it. It's still clamped in that metal bar so it's not going anywhere.  

the only disadvantage is that now I do not feel the usual friction when sliding a disk in - with the characteristic'click' at the end when the write protection switch slides into the notch! Some of that retro feeling you were mentioning indeed! 

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I know what you mean about

I know what you mean about the click at the end.  Great to know its in there. :)

 

Back in the day, there were options for a switch on the front of the Disk II drive that disabled the write function temporarily. :)

 

BTW, I have an old square notcher for my 5.25 disks and I still use it also :)

 

 

 

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Yeah I saw that mod somewhere

Yeah I saw that mod somewhere but I'd rather not drill a hole in my Disk ][!

 

after all it would take 5 minutes and a screwdriver to restore the switch functionality so it seems a good solution to me 

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