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From the archive! A small wooden machine!

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  • From the archive! A small wooden machine!

    We had a need some years ago (25+?) to make a few hundred copies of the floppy discs we were using to distribute our software on at the time..... so I made this!

    Not too difficult at all. Blank floppies were placed in the hopper and the loading mechanism pushed them into the floppy disk drive. When the copy was complete the unloading jack lifted up the floppy drive which activated a push rod connected to the floppy eject mechanism to allow the floppy to drop out via the exit chute.

    It was all fully automatic with only two control lines from the RS232 port of the computer and of course the cables required to operate the floppy drive.

    This is the loader motor which is direct connected to a threaded rod with a nut that is fixed to a plastic slide. When the computer set the control line to load the motor would run until stopped by a limit switch. Resetting the control line allowed the motor to run in the other direction until stopped by the other limit switch.

    This is the plastic loader slide which pushed the floppy disc which was at the bottom of the hopper into the floppy drive.

  • #2

    I have opened the machine up to show a floppy emerging from the hopper and how it would go into the drive.

    This is the unloader jack which was connected to a pivot bar supporting the floppy drive, when the unloader run it would tilt the floppy drive down which at the same time operated a push rod to trigger the eject mechanism. The first picture shows the jack in its operating position. The rectifier is connected to the field windings of this universal type motor and is a way of being able to reverse the motor by reversing polarity. Like the loader this motor was controlled by limit switches activated by movement of the floppy drive.

    Here is the floppy drive tilted down by the unloader and the push rod in position to activate the ejector.


    • #3
      Too slick! Very clever!


      • #4


        • #5
          Apropriate technology. Good work John, or good enough work.

          Although I enjoy a good relationship with my employer, some of my creations have come in for criticism for not being "professional" enough looking. Never mind that the devices serve the intended purpose well, made the company money, and cost virtually nothing, being built (kludged?) from parts salvaged from old disused machinery from the back bay of the plant. Many of these devices were rush jobs, in response to unforseen (unmanaged for?) situations.

          Things are changing. Just yesterday, in a meeting I suggested construction of a particular test device and was bluntly told "we aren't going to do that anymore" by a low level manager with newly acquired power and a louder voice.

          We shall see.

          Back to the OP, to quote The Artful Bodger from another time and place:

          "It's about people who know how to have an idea and to turn it into reality by their own effort and skill."
          Good work, John.
          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~