Meaning of RD54 Beeps

Jon Elson elson at
Tue Apr 14 10:50:43 CDT 2015

On 04/14/2015 03:55 AM, Robert Jarratt wrote:
> I managed to get an RD54 going again (a different one to the one I was
> having trouble with recently). However, if I try to back it up, the backup
> is slow, I get quite a few read errors, and it often makes the beeping sound
> that it makes when you first power it on.
> Clearly the disk is not that well, but I wonder if anyone knows what exactly
> the beep means? Is it a signal that it has reached the correct rotational
> speed, or that it has re-calibrated the track position, or something else?
If it is more of a chirping sound than a strong beep, I 
think it is the head recalibrate sequence.
Every time the system does a Q-bus bus reset, and probably 
at other times like sensing the drive configuration, it 
causes the drives to do a head recalibrate on all drives.  
Other times when errors occur, it will also do a recalibrate 
operation on that drive.  This generally does make a sort of 
tone.  As far as I know, the RD-54 does NOT have an actual 
audio transducer.


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