RL02K Pack Reliability/Characteristics

Christopher Parish christopher.parish at parishcomputers.com
Mon Mar 30 00:47:26 CDT 2015

I've gotten my RL-02 -> USB Mass Storage controller mostly working with a few residual gremlins.  Specifically, I've noticed from my testing that I have good packs, ones that read out almost the same every time, and bad packs, ones where half the bits seem to be in different states every time I read them.  I've left write support untested until I can solve this problem.

Right now, my working theory is that different controllers had slightly different timing characteristics, and I may need to adjust more of my DPLL parameters dynamically to deal with that (something I'd rather avoid).  Of course, most of these packs haven't been put into a drive since the mid-80s, and there could be some bit rot going on.

As many of you have much more experience dealing with these drives than I do, my questions are:

- What type of long term reliability have people noticed from their RL02K packs?

- Is garbage data sometimes normal for certain packs until they are rewritten with “fresh” data?

- Has anyone noticed pack compatibility problems between various computers/RL-02 controllers?


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