Older drives require their step pulses at 3mS intervals, newer ones with ‘buffered
seek’ accept step pulses in a quick burst. The FAST step equate is hidden away in
the MAP BIOS. Normally it’s set for fast stepping (a value of 5), but for slower drives
such as the Seagate 506 a value of 1 is needed.
For any ST506 type winnie just 4 (possibly 5) values need setting, there’s no format
With all the new bits plugged up, and a new system on the disk, it’s time to try it out.
The winnie should start spinning with power on & take about 20 secs to get to speed.
Meanwhile the boot disk should start loading the CP/M, then nothing will appear
to happen until the winnie reaches speed and self-tests in some cases.
With Rodimes the power-on light will flash while the winnie spins- up. It will then
stay on after correct speed and a second light should flash as the CP/M accesses the
winnie. If the power-on light appears to flash in morse code, that’s because it’s
flashing an error message, you will need to look-up the error in the Rodime manual
and take any action that Rodime prescribe.
If all’s well after 30 secs or so you should be able to type DIR A: (or B:/C: if the
winnie is partitioned) and get “no file”, or perhaps a list of juicy files left on by the
But what if all does not go well? Firstly check all cables for correct orientation,
there’s several. If reversed it should not do any damage, except power cables (smoke
may accompany this fault!!). Check you have booted off the winnie CP/M disk. If
the system hangs (wait a minute or so) it indicates that the BIOS cannot talk to the
Xebec. If an error message appears it probably means the Xebec cannot talk to the
winnie. Run a winnie test/format program this will indicate if the Xebec/winnie are
OK and give any errors, It maybe necessary to re-format the winnie before it will
run properly. Try this, if formatting appears to work, things can’t be too bad.
Has all the above set you thinking about winnie-ing, your system? If so, give it a go,
because I think you’ll enjoy the performance increase and it’s not so difficult. If you
need further help I will be quite happy to assist, and can supply a program (‘wot I
writ’) to format/test the winnie & controller, for most any winnie.
Ian Cullen, ____ ____ ____, Nettlestead, Nr Ipswich. ___ ___. (____) ______